Welcome to my very first foray into Calzona fanfiction. I wanted to explore how Arizona might have reacted to Morgan's boyfriend's attitude towards his premature son, as she was in a somewhat similar position when Sofia was born, but obviously she reacted very differently.
Arizona rested her head gently against the bright blue door of her apartment. She could hear music, mingled with the sound of Callie's voice drifting through the door. She smiled at the sound of Callie chatting with their daughter as she shook herself, and mentally switched from hospital mode to home mode. Pushing the door open Arizona smiled warmly at the sight before her. Sofia was sitting in her highchair while Callie spooned a green goo that Arizona recognized as strained peas into her mouth while describing in detail how she had replaced a man's thumb with his toe a few days ago.
"And thennn," Callie said, so enthralled in her daughter she didn't hear Arizona enter, "We removed the second toe just below the third phalanx bone."
"Ahh Mhhh," Sofia replied enthusiastically and Arizona couldn't help but laugh, alerting her wife and daughter to her presence.
Callie turned in her seat, "Hey," she greeted, a big smile playing on her lips.
"Hey," Arizona replied, returning the gesture.
"I was just telling Sofia that I checked in on Dominic today, post-op day two of his beautiful toe-thumb, and everything is looking great," Callie beamed.
"That's fantastic," Arizona replied, hanging up her coat.
"Duh Bahhh!" Sofia babbled loudly, doubly unimpressed that her Mommy had momentarily turned her focus away from Sofia and onto her wife, and that her Momma had entered the apartment and not yet shown her daughter any signs of affection. She began smacking her hands on her highchair, trying to bring her mothers' focus back where it belonged.
At Sofia's outburst of indignation, Callie turned herself back towards her daughter, just in time to watch Sofia bring her hands down a third time. As she did so, her left hand caught the edge of the bowl of peas and sent it flying forwards, landing squarely on her Mommy's chin and dropping down onto her chest.
As green goo dripped from Callie onto the floor Sofia squealed with delight and Arizona burst out laughing.
"Ugh, it got in my mouth!" Callie moaned. "God that's disgusting." She glanced over at Arizona who had grabbed the counter-top for support as she doubled over with laughter. "Well I'm glad you're amused," she shot at the blonde as Sofia squealed with laughter again. "Both of you," Callie added. She rose from her seat. "Alright, well if you two want to laugh at my misfortune you deserve each other. Momma's all yours Sofia," she said as she headed towards the bathroom.
As Callie left the room Arizona got her laughter under control and made her way to her daughter. "You got her good baby girl," Arizona cooed, taking in the mess surrounding her daughter. "Wow, you didn't even get any on yourself. That is impressive." Sofia clapped her hands happily as Arizona grabbed a cloth and began to clean up the mess. "You're always doing all kinds of impressive things, aren't you?" Arizona continued to talk to Sofia. She was crouched on the floor, wiping up strained peas, but Sofia knew from the tone of her voice that the conversation was being directed at her and she giggled appreciatively. "You survived a birth at 23 weeks. That's pretty impressive. You know what that stupid algorithm said your chances at survival were? I checked it out today. It said you had an 8.8% chance at survival. 8.8%. But here you are, throwing peas at your Mommy."
"Muh Ba Ba Ba," Sofia replied as Arizona lifted her out of her high chair.
"Exactly," Arizona continued as she made her way with Sofia into the nursery. "That's why I don't want that algorithm anywhere near my NICU. It's so negative, and negativity does not heal tiny humans."
Sofia rested her head against Arizona's shoulder and replied with a sleepy, "Ahh ah ah ah."
"I know," Arizona sighed, setting herself down in the rocking chair. "When you were sick you had three parents fighting like crazy for you, and now this little baby only has one. That's just not fair."
Sofia's only response was her warm, steady breath on Arizona's neck. She wasn't yet asleep, but she would be soon. Arizona settled back against the chair and began to rock her.
20 minutes later Callie entered the nursery to find Arizona unmoved from her spot in the rocking chair. "She's still not asleep?" Callie questioned.
Arizona shook her head, "No, she'd been down for ten minutes, I just wanted to stay a while."
Callie smiled in understanding and began to quietly leave the room before she caught a hint of sadness in her wife's eye. "Hey, is everything okay?" she asked quietly, pausing in the doorway.
"Everything's fine," Arizona smiled.
Working in Peds, Arizona had mastered the art of making a fake smile reach her eyes. It worked wonders on calming anxious children, and even better on calming anxious parents. But it also meant that it had taken Callie a very long time to be able to differentiate between Arizona's fake smile and genuine smile. They had been together for a year before Callie noticed that when Arizona's smile was forced, her eyes didn't open quite as wide as when the smile was genuine. The difference was so subtle that Callie was fairly certain that she was the only person in the world who could tell the difference. A knowing look passed over Callie's face at Arizona's reply, and she quietly left the room, leaving Arizona to sit a little longer with their baby, and grabbing a bottle of white wine from the fridge so that they could talk when the Peds surgeon emerged from the room.
Ten minutes later, Callie was sitting on the couch, sipping her own wine while the bottle and an empty glass sat on the coffee table in front of her. Arizona took in the sight before her and knew she was busted; that Callie hadn't bought her beautifully delivered line of, "Everything's fine." She simultaneously cursed and was thankful for the fact that her wife knew her so well and she sat down beside Callie pouring herself a drink.
"You wanna talk?" Callie asked gently.
Arizona sighed. "It's silly," she shrugged.
"That's okay," Callie replied. "We can still talk about it."
Arizona sighed again. "I have this preemie, born at 24 weeks."
"Morgan Perterson's baby?" Callie clarified.
"Yeah," Arizona nodded taking a sip of her wine.
"24 weeks," Callie shook her head. "Bringing back some memories?"
Arizona nodded. "Do you know what a preemie outcome predictor is?"
"It's an algorithm, it predicts the chances of survival for micro-preemies."
"I've never heard of it," Callie admitted.
Arizona nodded. "That's because I don't use it. All micro-preemies are very sick babies with a huge fight ahead of them. Putting a number on that fight, I don't like it. It just upsets parents. It doesn't do anyone any good."
"Okay," Callie agreed hesitantly, not sure where Arizona was going with this.
"But Morgan's boyfriend is a resident in Cleveland so he has access to it. He's swearing by that formula and it's just, it's just so hard to watch." Arizona's voice cracked a little but her eyes remained dry.
Callie ran a soothing hand down her wife's arm, encouraging her to go on. "It's so hard to watch him stand there and analyse his own son like that, with nothing but numbers, but the worst part is that… I, I get it."
When Arizona's voice broke this time gentle tears began to slip down her cheeks. Callie set her wine down and moved closer to Arizona, wrapping a comforting arm around her shoulders. "He's a doctor, they teach us detachment from patients, he's detaching himself because he can't watch his son die. He walked away, he went back to Cleveland today and left his girlfriend and his dying baby."
A small sob escaped Arizona's lips and Callie pressed a kiss to her temple and murmured, "I know it's hard to watch. It has to be, because you know first hand how important it is to be there for your baby."
At Callie's words Arizona cried harder and pulled herself away from Callie's embrace. "I wasn't," she choked out between sobs. "I wasn't there."
"What?" Callie asked, confused.
"For Sofia. When she was dying, I… I wasn't there. I couldn't be there. I couldn't watch her…" Arizona's voice broke and she dissolved into tears again.
"What are you talking about?" Callie asked bewildered. "You were there. Arizona, people had to force you out of the hospital when they realized you hadn't left for a week. Sleeping in on-call rooms and spending every waking moment going back and forth between me and the NICU. You were there for every minute of her fight."
Arizona shook her head. "No I wasn't. When Sofia needed heart surgery, the PDA ligation for her left ventricle, I was there, in the OR and she, she started to bleed out and I… I left. I left the room. I couldn't watch her… I just couldn't watch."
As Arizona dissolved into fresh tears Callie reached for her again. "Arizona," she breathed. "It's not the same thing. When Sofia and I were sick, you were super-woman. You didn't sleep or eat, you put 100% of your energy into making sure we were healing. You rushed down from the gallery and got her heart started when she was born. Do you have any idea what kind of strength that takes? The kind of strength you're taking for granted right now? You did not abandon Sofia. You left the OR. Where did you go?"
"What?" Arizona asked.
"When you left the OR, where did you go?"
"The… the hallway," Arizona stuttered.
Callie chuckled. "The hallway? Arizona, you didn't leave Sofia, you just stopped watching her. There's a big difference." Arizona looked confused. "Parents who sit in a waiting room while their child is in surgery, do you think they've abandoned their kids?" Callie asked.
"I… No, of course not."
"That's because no parent should ever physically see their child die. Ever. Not even a doctor. Losing a child is painful enough without actually watching it happen. There is absolutely no fault, no blame to be placed on you because you were afraid to watch that happen."
Arizona rested her head on Callie's shoulder and let out a shakey breath.
"What Morgan's boyfriend did," Callie continued, "and what you did, you can't even begin to compare them. He was weak. You were so strong. You were and are amazing. Don't you ever for get that."
Arizona nodded into Callie's shoulder and Callie wrapped her in a tighter hug. They sat together for a while before Callie pulled back and cupped Arizona's face to look at her. She placed a gentle kiss on her lips before quietly asking, "Okay?"
Arizona nodded. "Thank you."
They settled back against the couch and Arizona put her head back on Callie's shoulder. It rested there for only moment when Arizona let out a gentle chuckle.
"What?" Callie asked.
"Did you wash your hair?" Arizona laughed, pulling back.
"Yes," Callie nodded.
Arizona grabbed a strand and slid her fingers down it. "There's still peas in it."
Callie let out a frustrated sigh. "You're kidding me," she huffed.
Arizona shook her head as she laughed. "Sometimes when I'm in the NICU I remember how terrified we were and I think how I never want to feel like that again. But every time I'm with Sofia I think about how I wouldn't give her up for anything."
Callie smiled and nodded in agreement.
"She makes me think it'd be worth it, even if we had to go through that again."
Callie paused her nodding, confused. "What would be worth it?"
Arizona smiled. "Having another baby."
Callie's eyes widened momentarily and a huge smile broke out on her face. "You want to have another baby?" she asked.
"I do," Arizona smiled. Her genuine smile, her eyes wide and bright. "Not right away. Sofia isn't even one yet, but… someday. Yes, I want to have another baby. You and I. Just the two of us. I want that."
Callie felt like her face was going to split from the strength of her smile. She felt tears well in her eyes as she leaned forward and kissed Arizona again. Harder this time, fuelled by love and passion. She pulled back a little and murmured, "Someday." Callie met Arizona's eyes and said, "I want that too. Just us, having a baby. Someday. And you're right, Sofia's too young, but it's not too soon to start talking about it. We'll have a lot of things to sort out and discuss and it will take time to get pregnant and," she took in a breath, "I love you so much and I am just so ridiculously happy in our life."
Arizona leaned forward and placed another kiss on Callie's lips. "Me too," she whispered. "Me too."
So there we are. I hope you made it to the end and enjoyed. As I said, this is my first attempt at writing for Callie and Arizona, and as they are definitely my favourite TV couple I would certainly like to try out a few more story ideas for them. So if you have any comments or feedback that would help me with any future stories, or with this story, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thank you!