Hard Landing (4/4)
Rating: M (Note the rating change for this chapter)
Category: Hurt/Comfort; fluff, light-angst; MAJOR CHARACTER DEATH referenced
Disclaimers: I make no profit from this little venture. All the bad-assery that is Grey's Anatomy and its characters belongs to Shondaland and ABC.
Spoilers: This is bound to be one of MANY post-"Flight," fics to be posted during the hiatus. If you don't want to be spoiled for the finale, come back later when you do ;)
Summary: Arizona is still processing…
A/N: First of all, thank you all for your amazing reviews! I am so humbled by the positive response this story has gotten. Thank you so much for taking the journey with me!
I tried to make this chapter a smutty fluff piece pure and simple. I am such a sucker for romantic family fics, so I apologize for the saccharine sweetness of this. I couldn't help myself. The Calzona family is cuter than kittens and sexier than Rachel Maddow. However, those being the facts, the angst still managed to slip in. It just waltzed right in and it demanded to stay so I let it ;)
Oh and I made a little reference to an Ani DiFranco lyric in here—spot it and you win my undying devotion;)
One more thing- this story and the story "Whatever You Can't Do" by the lovely Faery in Combat Boots, share some similarities. We are both aware of it and are okay with it! No plagiarizing was done and no one got hurt. We just share a little bit of the same brain! If you haven't read her first chapter, I recommend it. That story is going places!
Thanks again to Julie_Hacking and 55angel55 for the AMAZING beta!
Also, if you are interested in more of my fangirl musings or writing updates you can also follow me on Twitter: illusiaNation
Thank you for reading. Reviews are love.
Song lyrics are from No One Said It Would be Easy by Cloud Cult
Hard Landing: Little Pieces
You came up from the ground
from a million little pieces
you're a pretty human being
yeah you're a pretty human being
4,320 hours after the crash
"C'mon big girl, just a little more," Arizona coaxed her daughter to eat the sweet potatoes she was spooning up while Sofia decided to spend more time spreading them around her high chair tray and putting them in her hair.
Arizona huffed out a frustrated breath. "Please, mi'ja? Do it for Mama?" Sofia looked up at her with big chocolate brown eyes, and offered Arizona the mashed potatoes in her hand. Arizona couldn't resist her charms, and pretended to snatch the potatoes off of Sofia's fingers with her teeth.
Sofia giggled and did it again. The game repeated itself a few more times until they were both giggling instead of eating.
Callie emerged from the bathroom in a robe toweling off her freshly showered hair. "Sounds like a lot of laughing in here and not a lot of eating,"
Arizona flashed Callie a grin, as she walked over to them. "Arizona, it looks like she got more food on her than in her." Callie playfully chided.
Arizona stuck her tongue out at Callie, sending Sofia into another fit of giggles. "Mami's no fun. Is she, baby." Arizona said to her daughter, nuzzling her and trying to wipe her sticky fingers. "No, she's not."
"Oh yeah? I'll show you how much fun I can be…" Callie said and bent down to place a thorough kiss on her wife's lips. The kiss lingered for a moment, while Sofia clapped her hands together in the background. "More fun later," Callie said around the kiss. She placed one more to Arizona's lips before she turned around and addressed their clapping daughter.
"Did you like that, baby girl?" Sofia nodded her head. "Yeah?" Callie responded and scooped her up out of the high chair. Arizona also stood up with the aid of the one crutch she still used for occasional support.
"Somebody needs a bath," Callie said dodging her head and hair out of reach of a very sweet potato covered Sofia.
"Here, I can do it," Arizona offered reaching for Sofia, the crutch perched under her left arm.
"No it's okay." Callie answered. "I'm still wet from my shower. I'll just run her a quick bath before she goes down for her nap."
"You sure?" Arizona asked feeling guilty.
"Yeah. Do your exercises for the day, and when Sofia falls asleep," Callie moved closer to Arizona, aligning their hips together, "we'll do another kind of exercising. Mommies only." She quirked an eyebrow and openly appraised her wife, knowing just what kind of an effect it would have her.
Arizona felt the heat rise to her cheeks and pool in her abdomen. She smiled. "I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday."
"Good." Callie said giving her wife a playful squeeze on her shorts-clad bottom before she and Sofia headed back to the bathroom. She looked back at Arizona once and added a little saunter to her step.
Arizona watched her go in anticipation. Though it hadn't been very long since they'd last been together, Arizona craved her. They'd always had a healthy sex life, but ever since the crash it felt like they couldn't get enough of each other. Arizona felt a surge of emotion rise to the surface. Tears immediately sprang to her eyes. Surprised at the sudden rush of feeling, she reflected on the morning. The simple acts of feeding her daughter, bantering with her hot wife, listening to water run for the bath… those simple little things, the little pieces that made up her life, were so precious to her. She had never taken them for granted before, but now they held an even deeper meaning. She'd almost lost them. All of them. Forever. Sometimes the realization would just hit her, the profundity of what she'd been through, washing over her at the oddest moments. She'd learned a long time ago that when those moments came, she was powerless to stop it. So she let them come.
Arizona ambled with a slight limp around the couch, crutch free, and retrieved her yoga mat. She unfurled it and laid it on the ground before grabbing the PT bands. She sat herself down gingerly on the mat, and appraised her bare left leg.
The pink scars, still fresh looking, stood out starkly against her pale skin. She ran her fingers along the jagged line on the top of her thigh, whispering over the straighter one that ran the length of her knee. To say she had mixed feelings about the marks would be putting it mildly. On the one hand, she was proud of the amazing work her wife had been able to do. On the other, she hated that they had to be there in the first place. For weeks, after the casts and bandages were removed, she'd looked at those marred lines in her flesh with anger and resentment. She had been furious at god or the universe or whatever, for bringing her plane down; for hurting her colleagues and family, for killing her beloved friend.
The scars were the proof she could never go back. The mottled skin and suture marks were a visual testament to her life and they had become her mile markers -much like Callie's scars—mapping the distance she had crossed; winning some, losing some.
Arizona lay down on the mat and gently brought her left knee up to her chest. On a deep exhale she extended her leg to the ceiling. She could hear splashing and singing coming from the bathroom. She closed her eyes to listen to the simple sounds of her family, and stretched her leg in rhythm to Callie's singing.
She smiled wistfully as Callie belted out her favorite lullaby, Los Elefantes. Sofia loved it and Callie often sang it at bath time. It had become a routine for them—one of their things. Sofia would splash and Callie would squeeze the water out of her bath toys in time to the numbers of elephants in the song. It was a counting game, and Arizona knew Sofia was starting to get it.
Arizona wrapped the band around her ankle to add resistance to the stretch. She focused on the sound of Callie's voice and Sofia's squeals of delight. "Tres elefantes," Callie sang, "se balanceaban sobre la tela de una araña, como veía que resistía, fue a llamar a otro elefante."
Arizona's thigh and knee were tender but not painful, and she breathed into the stretches. She laughed at the sound of her wife's animated voice and translated the song in her head. Three elephants stood on the web of a spider, they felt it was strong, it couldn't be tighter. Along came a friend, and they called to invite her. Four elephants stood on the web of spider…
The exercises were going well and she was feeling good until Callie got to the end of the song. Arizona knew it was coming but it still caught her off guard. Callie sang loudly about six elephants falling off the spider web and hitting the ground. Instead of stretching, Arizona froze.
Six elephants fell down. She sang in her head. Six fell down. Arizona gasped. Six fell down. There were six of them. There had been six of them. They had all fallen down, and one didn't make it. She was gone forever. The five of them, though, the five of them had lived.
The tears came unbidden, and Arizona stopped stretching all together. Arizona could hear Callie lifting Sofia out of the bath and draining the water. Instead of getting up to join them like she yearned to do, Arizona simply curled into a ball on the mat and cried.
Callie emerged from Sofia's room, an amorous bounce to her step. "She's asleep," she said in a sing-song voice as she crossed the living room to join Arizona who had moved to the couch.
The sexy grin playing on Callie's lips fell when she reached Arizona. "Arizona?"
Arizona sat still and quiet on the couch staring at a spot somewhere across the living room.
Callie sat down next to her and looked into her face. Arizona's eyes were red, the tears still evident underneath her eyes. Callie's heart sank. "Oh honey, hey." She said. "What's going on?"
Arizona broke from her trance, and turned to look at Callie. "Five of us made it, Calliope. We lost one of us, but five of us made it."
Callie nodded her head. "Yeah, you did."
Then Arizona did something Callie never expected. She smiled. "Five of us made it." She said again. "We survived, and we made it back home."
Callie nodded and smiled broadly confirming Arizona's statement with her look. Arizona mirrored her movements. They both studied each other for a moment.
"What's going on, Arizona? Why'd you go back there just now?" Callie asked.
"Nothing's going on," Arizona said, looking down at her lap. "I've just… I've been thinking." Callie found her eyes, and gave her questioning look.
Arizona focused on Callie's gaze. "I've been thinking about you, and Sofia and our lives." Arizona replied her voice cracking. The tears began again as she continued. "I made it, Calliope. I made it back."
Callie nodded and Arizona threw her arms around her, hugging her to within an inch of her life. Callie held her, soothing her with whispers. Arizona sighed deeply and moved to place kisses to Callie's shoulder, neck, and mouth.
"I made it back to you." She whispered into Callie's mouth, before kissing her again.
Callie lost herself in her own emotion, returning Arizona's passion with fervor. She gripped at the back of Arizona's t-shirt trying to get closer to her. She slid her hands under the shirt, relishing the feel of the warm, soft skin there.
"I almost lost this." Callie whispered when she broke away from the kiss, biting her lip against a sob and resting her forehead against Arizona's. "I can't believe I almost lost you."
"But you didn't. I'm here. I am here." Arizona murmured.
Arizona trailed kisses along Callie's jaw, and moved her hands down to the sash on her wife's robe. She loosened it and slipped her hands inside to brush over her wife's abdomen.
"Arizona." Callie gasped, bringing her hands up to Arizona's face. Arizona tucked her right leg up underneath her to support her left thigh and then slowly eased Callie down on the couch.
The sides of the robe parted, and Callie lie back against the couch cushion revealing miles of gloriously smooth golden skin. Arizona sat back on her heel and just drank Callie in. The delicious curves, the full, round breasts, Caliie's perfect face; she worshipped them all. She thanked whatever power was out there that she had this. That she'd made it back for this. She burned to touch Callie, so she did. Her fingers danced across Callie's skin under the flaps of the loose robe and continued their path along Callies's softness. Arizona forged a sweet trail up Callie's body with her fingers, sliding along Callie's torso up to circle first one nipple than the other. She palmed both breasts in her hands cherishing their soft weight.
Callie gasped and brought Arizona down hard against her mouth. Tongues clashed and mouths moved strong against each other in equal rhythm. Arizona carefully slid the rest of her body to lie between Callie's thighs, her hips immediately finding Callie's. They both moaned at the change in contact and Callie broke the kiss. She looked up at Arizona asking her a question with her eyes.
"I'm okay." Arizona replied and kissed Callie again. "My leg doesn't hurt. Nothing hurts."
"Are you sure?" Callie husked.
Arizona moaned her assent and pulled her shirt over her head. "I'm sure."
Callie smiled and captured her lips again. Her hands shot down to Arizona's shorts and she pushed them down over Arizona's hips, delicately maneuvering them around her left leg before she reached up with a foot to guide them the rest of the way.
Arizona pushed on the shoulders of Callie's robe and Callie sat up to help Arizona ease the fabric off. The robe slipped down beneath them as Callie brought Arizona flush up against her.
They moaned in unison at the sensation of skin on skin and slowed their kissing down enough to pause and look at each other.
"Hi" Callie whispered. She traced her fingers up and down Arizona's back.
"Hi." Arizona said, and closed her eyes. "God, you feel so good."
Callie sucked in a breath, "Yeah, c'mere." she said wrapping her legs up around Arizona's waist, pulling her closer. "Mmmm. I needed this. Tu amor me inspira," she kissed Arizona's chest. "Tu ternura me conmueve," she kissed Arizona's neck, "y tus besos me enloquecen," she said and kissed her lips.
Arizona pulled back just enough to make eye contact with Callie. "That sounded hot," she smiled. "Tell me what it means."
Callie locked her gaze with Arizona's, and brought a hand up to cup her cheek. "It means your love inspires me," the tone of her voice was roughened by desire. "Your tenderness touches me," Callie moved her thumb across Arizona's mouth, "and your kisses drive me crazy."
Arizona smiled again and covered Callie's mouth with her own. "Likewise," she said.
The kiss quickly intensified, their bodies melding together. Callie slipped one of her hands between them and easily found Arizona's clit slick between her fingers. She circled it a few times savoring the sounds coming from Arizona. Arizona gasped and nipped at Callie's lips, and Callie eased two fingers into her, her thumb taking the place her fingers just left. Arizona released a contented sigh as Callie filled her and kissed her. They rocked against each other finding an easy, familiar pace. Arizona worked her own hand between them and immediately slipped two fingers inside of Callie's opening.
"Yes." Callie moaned, tipping her head back. "Mmm, yeah. Ohhhhhh." Arizona took advantage of Callie's exposed neck, licking and nipping along the strong tendons she found there.
They continued to move with each other, the power building with every stroke of their fingers. They each gave as good as they got, capturing each other's moans and breaths in their mouths, the motion of their hips eventually becoming erratic. Arizona added another finger and with startling force, Callie arched her back in climax, calling out for Arizona.
Arizona followed close behind, hanging on to Callie's frenetic movements. "Oh god…" Arizona murmured. "Calliope." She drew out Callie's name until she plummeted over her own precipice.
They collapsed against each other, a tangle of limbs and sweat. They rested for a few moments, before Callie grasped the blanket lying on the back of the couch to cover them from the impending chill. She tucked it around Arizona, before kissing her and giving her a lazy after-glow smile.
"Hey beautiful," Arizona said, touching her index finger to Callie's lower lip.
"Hi." Callie replied, grinning even wider. "That was…wow."
"Yeah, we still got it." Arizona laughed.
"Yeah, we do." Callie agreed and kissed her. "How's your leg, babe?"
"It's great. It doesn't hurt. A little stiff, but nothing that this-" she said as she stretched it out- "won't cure."
"Good." Callie said. "I missed you." She gave Arizona another kiss and cuddled her closer.
"Me too," Arizona said tucking herself against Callie's chest. They snuggled comfortably into the couch, and Arizona slowly bent her left leg up to cradle Callie's hips outside of the blanket. "Ah, that's better."
Arizona angled her head down and eyed the scars again. She looked up to Callie who had started to doze peacefully. She kissed Callie's chin and laid her head back down on her chest. She stared at the lines on her skin again and held Callie tighter. She closed her eyes and sighed. She knew that part of her would always be lost with that plane, and that she'd carry the loss with her forever. But instead of making her sad, in this moment she was grateful. Grateful that the crash, the marks her body and the marks in her mind, didn't define her. Only she and the women that lay beneath her had the power to do that. She lightly stroked her scars, and then brought her tingling fingers to Callie's cheek. Her reality finally and truly set in.
She'd really made it, she was home.
A/N: And there we have it. This is indeed the end for now, but I've got some ideas roaming around my brain that might make their way eventually into this universe. Thank you all again for your overwhelming support! This has been a great ride.