Summary: One and a half years after the horrid events at SeaTac, Callie returns to the place she got her heart broken so badly. What will the outcome be this time?
Disclaimer: I do not own the characters in this story, nor do I own any rights to the television show "Grey's Anatomy". They were created by Shonda Rhimes and belong to her and the ABC network. No copyright infringement intended!
A/N#1: So, I'm new to writing Grey's Anatomy fics, hope I can do the characters justice
A/N#2: For those of you still waiting for an update on "Purple Rain"…uh… I am so sorry that I haven't updated this story in such an awfully long time. Truth is, first came the writer's block and stupid life getting in the way and all…and then Callie and Arizona kinda got in the way. Bad ladies. Very bad ladies ;) But, plus side, they got me into the writing mood again, so don't give up hope on "Purple Rain"; I know where I want to go with that one, I just need to continue writing. Loving Faith and Willow far too much to let them go :)
Calliope Torres sat anxiously in her seat, biting her lip. A look at the arrivals board told her that the plane she was waiting for had landed about ten minutes ago.
Not that she didn't know that already – she had been staring at that board almost exclusively ever since she had arrived in SeaTac half an hour before.
The remaining moments her attention had been focused on the little slumbering bundle of joy she was holding safely in her arms, the little baby hand tucked under a chubby baby chin, her head cradled against Callie's chest.
Her little girl. Her eight month old Sofia. The baby she had dreamed of for so long. The baby that had showed up in her life differently than she had planned, had expected.
Thinking back on it, she would do a lot of things differently if she possibly could. But she couldn't. All the fights, all the drama of the last one and a half years...it was all part of her life. And there were definitely parts she wasn't proud of. But holding this tiny clone of herself in her arms made her certain that it had been all worth it.
Sofia made her insanely happy. But there was one large piece missing in the jigsaw puzzle that was her life. One part missing that made her life complete.
Arizona. The love of her life.
Too long since she had seen her last. Here. At this airport. Almost in the exact same spot she was now. Flying off to Malawi and leaving her behind.
Ever since she knew Arizona was coming back, knew the exact time and date, she had hardly been able to think about anything else. Anxiousness had completely taken over. Pee-your-pants-in-anticipation-about-an-upcoming-majorly-cool-surgery-anxiousness. Biting-perfectly-blue-painted-fingernails-anxiousness.
Everyone who had seen her in the last couple of days had called her different levels of crazy. Especially Bailey who had been one of the first to learn about Arizona's return. 'You realize she's only been gone four weeks, right?' the shorter surgeon had asked incredulously, mildly worried upon being confronted with the even-giddier-than-usual brunette.
'No, not four weeks,' Callie had corrected her, '30 days and three hours. And four days and 12 hours till she comes back. Ergo, a total of 34 days and 15 hours,' she had calculated with a happy twinkle in her eyes before walking off and leaving Bailey behind, who shook her head in disbelief but still couldn't help the little smile from appearing on her lips. Torres was loopy indeed.
Callie couldn't care less. Excitement was definitely in order. If anything, people should be worried if she weren't excited about seeing her wife again.
Baby Sofia, who seemed to be starting to wake up, was certainly able to understand her. Or would be able to, once she understood what was happening.
And then there she was. Within a crowd of people having picked up their luggage Callie could make out a shock of familiar, bright blonde hair. Arizona was still about a hundred feet away, but already Callie could feel her heart beating faster. She stood up and gently placed Sofia on her hip, maintaining her safe grip on her and she bent down a bit to pick up something she had put on the seat next to them. The sudden disturbance stirred the eight-month old fully awake – a fact the baby was not too thrilled about, letting out a little whine to make sure her mommy knew about her unhappiness.
"Shhh, it's okay, baby girl", Callie tried to calm her, "but we don't want momma to miss us. And we want her to see what we made for her, right?" Sofia immediately perked up at the mention of her momma, raising her tiny eyebrows at Callie, obviously expecting something momma-related to happen any minute.
Arizona had just passed the passport control area and now looked around, trying to spot the people she longed to see. At first her eyes only took in cardboards with names written on them. Dozens of these things were being held up by business-like-looking people. They all looked the same – the signs, not the people. All stating the names of certain people or companies. Simple. Functional.
One sign, however, stood out. Not black letters on white or brownish surface and written in an almost similarly neutral font or hand-writing. This one was yellow... more like bright shade of beige, even. The letters written on it read 'Mayi' and were made of tons of glitter. Right next to it was a light red hand print obviously produced by a chubby little baby hand. An assortment of blotches and shapes of various colors and sizes all over perfected this masterpiece.
Looking up to see who held the board – of course she already knew – her face broke into a smile that was so big it was almost painful. Her two favorite women stood there, eagerly awaiting her return. Well, one of them was eager; the other one was still unaware that 'momma' would be back with them within a minute or two.
Momma, who she had only been hearing over the phone in a handful of short calls and had seen during a few Skype sessions – time difference and often power shortage in Malawi not really helping them in communicating - not even remotely comprehending why momma was there with them but not really there with them in person.
Her mothers had kept a little more in touch throughout their time separated, albeit mostly via e-mail. They had thrived on the almost daily updates, Callie's often being paired with pictures taken of Sofia or both of them.
Of course, nothing could compare to finally being together again, and so Arizona hurried to finally reach her two girls, hold her two babies in her arms again. Her heavy luggage appeared feather-light as she almost ran the last few feet separating them.
Seeing those long-missed dimples come running their way, Callie's own smile grew even bigger. Little Sofia didn't really know what was going on, had just found a new plaything in the sign held up in her eyesight, tugging on it curiously, when she suddenly found herself sandwiched in between her mommies' bodies. Arizona had thrown her arms around Callie, holding her as tight as possible without crushing their little girl.
"Hey", Callie breathed, her lips immediately finding Arizona's, kissing her briefly but firmly. Her cardboard-holding arm went around to the blonde's back, hugging being made a little more complicated by the backpack on this one's pack.
"Hi, baby", replied Arizona and held on a little tighter, not worrying about all the official-looking people with their official-looking signs giving them curious, part deprecating looks. Screw them. This moment was special. Her sign was special. Her family.
Speaking of which...
...Sofia was starting to feel a little left out. Or maybe just squeezed a little too tightly. She let out a disapproving grunt and reached up a hand to get some attention.
The moms reacted after a few seconds, moved a little apart so that Sofia had more space. Immediately the girl looked up to see what all this commotion was about. When she finally recognized her momma and saw that this time she wasn't just portrayed to her by a computer screen but was finally tangible again, she immediately reached out her arms demanding to be picked up by her.
Callie gladly handed their daughter over, witnessing in amusement how Arizona held the baby above her head, blowing a raspberry on her tummy, before pulling her close to her, cuddling her and kissing her cheek. "Hi, baby", she cooed yet again, the baby giggling and reaching out to grab her face, equally in love with momma's dimples as her mommy was.
Sofia had always been a momma's girl, a lot of it stemming from the fact that she had been with her from day one, had been with her when Callie hadn't been able to due to the injuries that had her bed-ridden for unbearably long weeks. So the past few weeks had been extremely difficult for the baby and Callie had felt that she had missed Arizona a lot. So now seeing the joy on Sofia's face because of being with her momma again almost made Callie cry happy tears.
"Oooh, and look how big you are!" Arizona continued, having gotten all the details from the most recent check-up from Callie per mail - two inches and 387 grams more since the last time – but still, seeing and feeling it first hand was amazing. Especially knowing how rocky Sofia's start into this world had been, knowing how hard she had to fight, how touch and go she had been for months. Seeing her now, healthy and happy...she had no words to describe this feeling.
And with every passing day their beautiful little girl started to look more like Callie. It wasn't just the oh-so-soft black hair that was starting to grow thicker now or the big dark eyes beaming at her. It became more and more obvious that she had also inherited Callie's gorgeous smile. Still toothless, though, but Arizona knew that Mother Nature would soon change that. She was already looking forward to those nights when Sofia would need some extra comfort to get over her teething ache. Even if it meant even less sleep.
"You ready to go home?" she asked both her girls, expecting Callie to answer, but instead Sofia spoke up, babbling something that almost sounded like a 'yeah'. "Yeah? Okay, baby, lead the way", she adjusted the hold she had on Sofia and started walking them towards the exit.
"Okay, so that leaves me to be your mule, huh?" her wife whined, still standing where Arizona had left her, finding herself face-to-face with Arizona's suitcase that not only looked heavy but probably was as well. Her playful pout barely covered the gladness her face was portraying. A gladness that Arizona was back safely and that she and Sofia got along so well. A year ago she wouldn't have believed that possible. With the sleeping with Mark and previously Arizona trying to convince herself that she didn't have what it takes to be a mom, she'd never thought she'd one day be a witness of what was happening in front of her eyes constantly now. Cuddling. Goofing around. Or ganging up on her...
"Uh, yup", Arizona exclaims, the tone fall in her voice making Sofia giggle. They turned towards Callie and Arizona held out her hand for her wife. Callie accepted the peace offering, put the cardboard sign on Arizona's trolley and walked over to her girls, reaching out for the blonde's hand with her free one.
Walking through the exit gates and towards the giant parking lot, where Callie had found a spot in one of the far away lanes, Callie suddenly noticed something sticking out of Arizona's backpack. "She already has four of those, Arizona", she noted, pointing towards the long neck of a stuffed animal giraffe grinning its comic face back at her.
"I know, but she doesn't have this one", Arizona grinned back at her. "And you like giraffes, right, baby? "she turned her attention back to Sofia, who just smiled back up at her, starting babbling away happily. "Yup. Yup", the blonde played along, pretending to understand her. "Mommy is just mad that she doesn't have one of those".
"Um-hm", Callie smirked, rolling her eyes in amusement.
"We'll let her play with it, yeah?" she asked Sofia, pinching the little one's cheek. "Besides, I have something much cooler. Pictures of real giraffes. They're, like, a hundred feet tall," her hand moving in a big gesture, taking a surprised Callie's arm swinging in the air with her, making their daughter giggle at the funny display. "Oooh, and there are elephants too... and turtles...and..."
On the drive home Arizona had continued her conversation, happy about all the babbled replies she received in answer.
Callie had been glad her wife had busied herself with Sofia in the backseat; it made it easier for her to concentrate on the traffic. After the accident, she still felt insecure when it came to driving a car or even just riding on the passenger seat. Driving a car alone with Sofia next to her was more difficult, since there was always the possibility of the baby distracting her in some way, which could lead to another accident.
Mark, knowing about her fear, had offered to drive them to the airport. But she had declined. She loved Mark, and even he and Arizona got along better than she had ever hoped by now, but still she had wanted this little family moment – their reunion after an awful 35 days of separation – all to themselves.
Finally at home, Callie had brought Sofia to bed, the little girl totally worn out by the excitement of getting to be with her momma again and telling her everything that had happened while they had been separated. Arizona had taken the time to take an extensive shower after that 18-hour-flight. Between being stuck in a plane with about 100 other people and her flight anxiety, it was certainly needed to feel fresh and clean again. And ready for much needed cuddles with her wife.
Having dressed in her favorite pair of sweatpants and tank top, she now lay on the bed, waiting while Callie took care of some things in the kitchen. It gave her the chance to take a better look at her pretty little welcome sign she had put on the bedside table.
She knew Callie wasn't usually the type for glittery and kitschy stuff. Or at least she didn't use to be. Sofia had changed that. Callie loved to dress her up in all the prettiest dresses and pink sweaters with cute prints on them. Like today with the light red Snoopy skirt and the matching white shirt which had Snoopy and Woodstock in their best friends forever hug.
It was almost a little too girly for Arizona's liking, but it made Callie giggle with glee and she loved seeing that side of her. And she could practically see Callie – with a little help from Sofia – making that sign for her. It was a fair guess that the living room had looked like hell after that. An easter basket-y, bat cave-y hell with a little glitter on top.
The best thing about this, however, was the message written on the sign. The simple one-word-statement that held so much meaning for anyone who actually knew what it meant. 'Mayi', meaning 'mother' in Chichewa, the language spoken by the majority of people in Malawi. Apart from the amazement about Callie's knowledge of the word, what amazed her more was... that it was true.
She was a mother. She was a wife. At least one of these things she had never imagined herself being.
Finally Callie entered their bedroom, baby monitor in hand. Arizona turned her head to look up at her wife. Her wife. They've now been married for a little over three months, and it amazed her still. That this wonderful woman had agreed to marry her. After everything they've been through, especially in the last year. That this miraculous woman had brought their gorgeous seven months old baby girl into this world. That both of them had defied all the odds the accident caused by her had brought on.
Knowing all too well that things could easily have turned out differently, she was eternally grateful for how they actually were now.
Years ago, she would never have thought this, but now she knew – nothing else, no one else could have ever made her life as complete. Not three years in Malawi or any of the numerous women she has had before Callie. None of this could hold a candle to spending her life with her two precious girls.
"Okay, she's down for now", Callie said putting the monitor on the nightstand. The softest of sleepy sighs could be heard over the speaker.
Arizona smiled gently before patting the empty spot beside her, "Come here, honey". As Callie did so, Arizona took the chance to study her. She looked tired. Knowing about Callie's always busy schedule and Sofia's troubles of sleeping through the night, she probably hadn't gotten much sleep. It was always different when you didn't have your partner here to take turns with you.
Of course, there were the nights in which Mark had her, but in the last few weeks Callie had hardly used those nights to catch up on sleep, but rather to clean the apartment or use her chance to talk to Arizona on line. Given the nine hours of time, their best shot of meeting online had always been around 10 pm for Callie and 7 am for Arizona. They hadn't been long talks, barely sufficient enough to quail their need for each other. And this exact need showed her that her decision to give up on the three years in Malawi – her dream – had been right.
If asked, she wouldn't lie about the struggle with herself after the return from Malawi for the first time. The constant fights with Callie, the unexpected pregnancy, the feeling of betrayal despite having had broken up, the squabbles with Mark, or all the discussions with Mark and Callie before Sofia's birth...
Often times they had made her want to just give up on this. Had made her regret her return, almost had made her hate Callie for seemingly picking Mark's side in most of their three-sided-disagreements, had almost made her hate Callie for giving up her dream for, what... this menage-a-trois she had never wanted, and then had made her hate herself for thinking that way about Callie.
But now all those long months of exhausting struggling and bad moods, even the horrible accident leading to Sofia's very premature birth and Callie bound to the hospital bed for a painfully long time almost seemed like a bad dream.
Her girls were healthy. And now that she had the renewed Malawi experience, she knew that the Africa dream she had thought would make her happy could not hold a candle to the one she was living here in Seattle.
With Callie. With Sofia. Heck, even with Mark.
As the brunette lay beside her, her face only inches away from her own, Arizona couldn't help a few tears escaping her eyes. Callie noticed this with concern, "Hey, hey, honey, what's wrong?" she asked, her hand immediately cupping her wife's cheek, her thumb wiping away the salty liquid, "Did something happen in Malawi?"
"No, no...," Arizona quickly quenched Callie's fears, "I mean, it was hard at times. Not all my kids made it," she used the back of her hand to wipe her cheek. "But it was good. Lucy and the other doctors, they're doing amazing work there. I loved it, really," she halted for a moment, regaining her composure. "But not as much as I love you. And our baby". She looked into those dark, soft eyes filled with so much love. She could get lost in them forever.
"We love you too," the ortho surgeon replied gently. "I loveyou. So much. I never thought I'd ever be this happy. But you... you just..." Now it was Callie's turn to break into tears, and Arizona was quick to stop them. Weaving her fingers through the brunette's waves, she leaned in to kiss the corner of her eyes, her cheek, before finally reaching her mouth, at first kissing her softly, before bringing her tongue into play and demanding access.
Callie moaned at the little intruder, pulling her gorgeous blonde closer. She had missed this, good God, had she missed this. But not just this – kissing, cuddling, making out. No, Arizona. Her wife. Her blonde-haired, baby-blue-eyed, perky, perfect, tiny-human-savior. She didn't want to imagine her life without her, and hoped she'd never have to. At least not for longer than maybe a month or two. When it was necessary.
Arizona's hand moved from where it currently rested on the back of her neck down her spine, reaching the small of her back. Callie's hand was at her side, gently caressing it. Not intending to do anything more than just that. She knew that Arizona had something else in mind, her hand was eagerly making its way under her shirt, gaining more access. And as much as she wished she could say she wanted it too... tonight she was just too tired, the last few weeks simply too exhausting.
She slowed her movements, lessened the intensity of her kisses, in hope Arizona would get it. And, really, after a short while, Arizona broke the kiss. But only to continue with a little nose-kiss-dance, before murmuring a sweet, "Ndimakukonda".
Callie jerked her head back in surprise. "Gesundheit...," she replied with a slightly questioning tone to her voice.
"Dork," Arizona laughed, "it means 'I love you' in Chichewa," she explained. "At least I hope it does. I asked one of the kids to help me. They have a funny sense of humor, so for all I know, I might as well just have called you a stink beetle." Callie raised an eyebrow, giving her an unpleased stare. "But I can say it in other languages too," Arizona hastened to add, "Te quiero tanto, mi amor," she whispered and leaned in again, putting her mouth close to Callie's, "and I also know… besame…" she smiled, expecting her bilingual wife to follow her request and just kiss her, but nothing happened. "Aw, come on, besame," she tried again and finally received a brief, yet loving kiss to her lips.
"Alright, language genius, how about we get some sleep?" Callie proposed, pretending to be unimpressed by Arizona's knowledge of the Spanish language, but in reality finding it really adorable.
"Been sleeping on the plane to prevent a jetlag," Arizona replied, seeing more and more how tired her wife really was. A glance at the clock showed her it was only 8 pm, and from the feel of it, her body would need a few more hours before sleep slowly became an issue again.
"Okay, but we haven't. Well, Sofia has," Callie replied, "but I... had glittering to do and all...," she mentioned, only getting a warm smile from Arizona, "plus I was way too excited waiting for you".
"Awww...," Arizona cooed and kissed her again, still feeling Callie sagging. "Alright, baby, you get some sleep," she said, sitting up a bit to be able to reach down and grab the blanket from the foot of the bed and pulling it over both of them. Callie reacted immediately by scooting closer to Arizona. The blonde's arm reached for a secure hold around Callie's waist. "I'll take care of the little one once she wakes up," she murmured, kissing Callie below the ear lightly, feeling Callie's hands reaching for her arm.
She almost hoped this would happen soon, since she and Sofia had a lot more catching up to do and she could hardly wait. But for now she was perfectly content with just holding Callie and watching her sleep.
So, that it, my first Calzona story. Hope you liked it. Reviews are always welcome ;)