AN: Hey all. I decided to postpone my sequel to Nagging Humanity, because I came up with this idea and it got stuck in my head. So, I wrote up this chapter as a tester to see if there would be any interest in the story. It's sort of a When Harry Met Sally story of Callie and Arizona, starting in foster care. Every chapter will be a different time in their lives when they meet and interact, leading to the joining of their adult lives. I'm pretty sure I will alternate POVs every chapter, which is something I almost never do (usually I do a whole story with one person's POV). This first chapter is when they first meet when they are young. Also, I have never been in foster care, so if I inadvertently offend anyone with inaccuracies, I sincerely apologize, and feel free to correct me if something really upsets you. Let me know what you all think. Have a good day.
The first time I met Arizona Robbins, I was ten and she was twelve.
Miss Alloway's foster home was a three bedroom farm house on a small piece of property in a rural part of Washington. The décor was rustic and worn, attempting to provide a 'homey' feel, but succeeding only in projecting the image of neglect. The graying woman in her fifties slept in the master room, boys in the room to her left and girls at the end of the hall. It wasn't perfect, but…it wasn't really anything.
My sister, Aria, and I had been staying with Miss Alloway for a few months when a tall, scrawny, blonde with bright blue eyes walked in. I barely took notice. Kids came in and out all the time. That's what foster care was. A revolving door of kids, lazy care givers, and anxiety. You never knew what to expect or how long you'd be at one place. One day, your social worker showed up, took you away from one crappy place and deposited you in another. That's it. No place was home. No place was family. Each place was simply a waiting room for the next home-ish establishment. For me and Aria, this was our third place since we entered foster care two years prior. Our parents died in a car accident and we had no relatives to take us. Our family was rich and had everything. Then, one car plus one ran red light and we had nothing. Well, nothing until we turned eighteen and could claim our trust funds and family money. Until then, we were property of the state of Washington. It was exactly as glamorous as it sounds.
I didn't talk much. I kept to myself and minded my manners. My life sucked enough, there was no need for me to go looking for trouble. Most kids left me alone, sensing that I was no threat and not even worth the time to mess with. That worked for me. Not being seen by anyone was just fine. Except…she saw me. Arizona Robbins decided that making my life hell would be a perfect mission for her during her time at Miss Alloway's. From day one she busted through my nice, neat little fortress of solitude and kicked me out with a swift boot to the ass.
"Who are you?" The blonde demanded, disgust etched on her sharp features.
"Uh…Callie?" I'm still not sure why it came out as a question. I think the sheer shock of someone paying attention to me, made me question my very existence.
"Are you sure?" The blonde sneered, obviously not willing to let my mistake go unnoticed.
"Yes?" Oh, yeah. I did it again.
"You don't sound sure. Maybe I'll change your name for you." The blonde smirked, and pretended to think, "Let's see…what would be the perfect name for a weak little girl that chews her own hair and doesn't know her own name?"
"Calliope? Is something wrong?" My thirteen year old sister quickly stepped up beside me, easily noticing my discomfort.
Despite her attempting to save me, I glared at her and growled, "Don't call me that."
"Calliope? Seriously? Wow, did your parents hate you." Arizona laughed, before adding, "Well, obviously they did, or you wouldn't be here."
Oh, low blow. "Our parents are dead, you ass!" Aria spat back, as my hands balled into fists and tears sprang to my eyes, "And, who the hell are you?"
I saw the briefest flash of guilt pass in her eyes, before she smirked again, "Oh, so you're the runt's sister. Cute. I'm Arizona Robbins."
Without thinking it through, I scoffed, mumbling, "And, you made fun of my name."
Arizona narrowed her eyes at me, stepping right up to my face, "I was named after the battleship my grandfather served on. Are you disrespecting my grandfather sacrificing his life for his country?"
Normally, I shied away from confrontation, but something about this particular blonde made me want to fight back, "I don't give a shit about your grandfather, I just want you out of my face." With that, I turned and left the slack jawed Arizona standing with my sister. I cried myself to sleep that night.
Through the next week, I had several run-ins with Arizona. There were six kids in the house at the time and for some reason, Arizona chose me as her victim. Every chance she got, she made fun of me, bugged me, and pushed me around. Aria fought her off when she could, but that wasn't all the time.
One day at breakfast, I was finishing up my bacon when Arizona came by and snatched it from my plate. "Hey! That's mine." I loved bacon, and bacon Tuesday made my week.
"Well, now it's mine. Thank you." Twelve year old, Arizona sneered. Walking away with my fatty goodness.
"Miss Alloway! Arizona took my bacon." I whined to the older woman, ignoring that tattling was the least cool thing I could do.
"I don't have time to deal with the drama between you two today. Just finish and get ready for school." Miss Alloway sighed, exasperated at having to do any kind of parenting.
Arizona sniggered as she strode to the bathroom to brush before school. I was pissed. Doing what any ten year old would do when wronged, I grabbed my sister's unfinished scrambled eggs and dumped them in Arizona's backpack. That was going to smell like death. Aria giggled and linked her arm through mine, escorting me out the door to the waiting bus.
Lunch time at Halcort Elementary School consisted of me sitting with my sister and fellow house mate, Jason. We talked quietly, laughing at the sixth grade math teacher and the clique of rich kids. Suddenly, my entire lunch was swept from in front of me and a furious blonde towered over me. "You did it, didn't you?" Arizona's eyes blazed and her chest moved harshly with her uneven breaths.
Deciding I was done with her stupid games, I calmly stood up and looked her in the eye, "Yep. Did you enjoy your egg-ucation today, Arizona?" Yeah, that was the kind of insult ten year old me came up with.
"Oh, you are so gonna wish you were dead, Calliope." Her voice was low and menacing.
"What foster kid doesn't? And, that's two meals today you've ruined for me." I shot back in an equally quiet voice.
That statement seemed to stop her, causing Arizona to swiftly turn and stalk away. Aria snorted next to me and clapped me on the back, "Did you really just say 'egg-ucation'?"
I giggled and shrugged, "Yes, I did."
"You know, I've never seen you fight with someone like this before. You usually let them walk all over you, and eventually, they stop." Aria commented as she bit into her sandwich.
"She just gets to me…I don't know why." I shrugged as I stared at the retreating form of the older blonde.
When I got back to Miss Alloway's that day, Arizona stayed out of my way. We didn't talk, didn't even look at each other. That worked wonderfully for me. I thought that maybe I got through to her or something. Then, at bedtime, I discovered that my bed was sopping wet. Someone had clearly poured a large pitcher of some sort of smelly liquid in the middle of my bed, soaking through all the layers. "What the hell?"
Arizona came up beside me, "Oh, sweetie, I didn't realize you still had problems making it through the night. I'll get Miss Alloway and tell her you've peed the bed. She'll get you fixed up." Arizona smirked as she left the room, returning a minute later with a sleepy and cranky looking guardian.
"Callie, I cannot believe you wet your bed. How old are you? If you can't handle staying dry in the night, then you'll sleep on a tarp on the floor. Starting tonight." Miss Alloway grumbled as she yanked off my bedding and tossed it in the hamper.
"But, Miss Alloway, I didn't-" I tried, but she cut me off.
"I don't want to hear your excuses, because there aren't any for a ten year old peeing the bed. Arizona, go get her extra bedding and a tarp from the laundry room."
"Of course, Miss Alloway." Arizona said politely and skipped out to do her bidding.
I crossed my arms over my flat chest and glowered at the other girls snickering from their beds. Arizona was so going to pay for this. Arizona returned with the items and helped Miss Alloway fix up a place for me on the floor next to Aria's bed. "There. Now, do you have to go potty before you lay down?" Miss Alloway asked pointedly as a round of laughter erupted around me. Fighting back tears, I violently shook my head and collapsed down to the terrible bed. Miss Alloway strode from the room, slamming the door behind her, "Lights out!"
As I shifted under the covers, trying to get some sort of comfortable, a mocking voice floated through the dark, "Good night, Calliope, sleep tight."
"Screw you, Arizona." My sister replied for me, saving me from answering through my soft sobs.
The next morning, I crept into Miss Alloway's sewing room and pilfered a pair of scissors. Walking on my tip toes, I approached a sleeping Arizona. I hadn't slept well or much thanks to my camping gear on the ground. Perhaps that was what made the logic behind mercilessly cutting several large chunks of golden hair from her head solid. I stepped back, surveying my work. Satisfied that it looked totally terrible, I returned the scissors and started getting ready for school.
A screech from the bathroom alerted me to Arizona's discovery of her mutilated hair. I grinned to myself as I heard her growl and stomp through the house. A strong hand grabbed my shoulder and roughly turned me around. I snorted when I saw her, it looked so much worse when she wasn't laying down, "Your hair looks awful."
That must have been the last straw, because the next second she was on me. Her arms wrapped around my shoulders and her knee came up into my stomach. I managed to get my arms around her middle and slam us to the ground. We rolled around on the cold tile, scratching and pulling at anything we could reach. She grasped a handful of my raven hair and pressed my face into the cabinet as she punched me in the side. I bit her arm and used my leg to thump her back to the floor. Shouts from the other kids echoed around us as we tore into each other. I couldn't feel any of her inflicted damage, but I knew my face probably took some good hits and some decent bruises would litter my body tomorrow.
I don't know how long our fight was exactly, but Miss Alloway pulled us apart, screaming a mixture of our names and profanities. Blood rushed in my ears, my eyes pulsed with pain, and my chest heaved with effort. Chancing a glance at Arizona, I noticed that I did some harm as well. I hoped she hurt like hell. "Aria, take your sister to get cleaned up. Jane take Arizona. You two have some serious explaining to do." Miss Alloway snarled at us and walked away, clearly not caring about our explanation.
The next day, my social worker, Adele Webber, showed up and took me away from Miss Alloway, Arizona Robbins, and Aria.
AN: I won't always give clues about the next chapter, but in the interest of getting feedback about continuing, I will. In the next chapter, told from AZ's POV, they will meet again in another foster home when Callie is 13 and Arizona is 15. You'll back story on Arizona and a little more on Callie.