A/N grrr! I keep half-writing these chapters, then running out of time, putting them down, and forgetting about them for a week! I should really stop doing that, I doubt it's advisable! Anyway, here it is, better late than never right? Read and review!

-Nightshade

A Chance at Happiness

Chapter Nine

"Torres!" Bailey's shrill cry startled me, causing me to jump in surprise, while scrambling not to spill my coffee.

"Yes Bailey?" I asked, trying to keep the sleepiness out of my voice.

"Why have you been staring at the OR board for the last twenty minutes?" oh… I must have kind of slipped into an exhaustion-induced trance, staring at the squiggly lines making up names and procedures on the huge board. I scrambled to come up with a lie that Bailey would believe.

"Oh… nothing, I just like to know what's going on." I pulled the lie out of nowhere, trying not to squirm under her gaze. From the soul-searching glare and the furrowed eyebrow I could tell the shorter woman was not convinced.

"You're lying… you know how I can tell? 'Cause you're a bad liar!" she strode closer, giving me a more in-depth inspection. "you look like hell, you have bags underneath your eyes that could qualify as a small country, and you smell like my interns did after they lived here for that surgical contest… you've been staying with Arizona haven't you?" my God this woman's good.

"What does it matter?" I deflected, answering her question with a question of my own.

"Well, I don't know about your patients, but you look like the walking dead, I wouldn't want you holding a scalpel to me, that's for certain." She drawled with ease, not even having to struggle with her rebuttals.

"What does it matter if I stay with her or not? She needs someone to trust to heal." I groaned, stretching my sore neck as I spoke, those hospital chairs are hard on the back.

"In that case, you're in the wrong wing, the psychology department's one floor up. Look Torres, you shouldn't be getting too involved with your patients, it's not advisable." She warned. Her eyes were filled with the concern born out of experience. I had remembered how her name had been dragged through the mud and raked over the coals with the incident between Izzie and Denny. Something within told me that the shorter doctor was just trying to protect me, she was being Bailey the mother hen, protective of her flock.

"Bailey. I'm not Izzie, and she's not Denny. I'm not going to go running around stealing organs and cutting LVAD's, because that's not what she needs. She needs someone to rely on after she was beaten and raped within inches of her life by someone she's supposed to love and trust." I pleaded now, because I knew that if she expressed her worry to The Chief, I'd be off this case faster than a rogue missile from its launch. I received the weaker tail-end of her "Bailey Glare", paired with a quirked eyebrow for added effect, before she backed down.

"Fine. But if you're going to spend that much time with her, keep monitoring her stats, and see if you can get some basic information to fill her chart out with, a last name would be a good start. And if you're that invested in her, she appears well enough to be discharged in a few days, see to it that she has some accommodations ready other than the house of horrors she probably lived in before." And with a final once-over, I was passed the chart before Hurricane Miranda whirled around and headed the other way, looking for interns on her radar in need of a bit of a wake-up call perhaps. Armed with my unofficial permission, although as it has been said before, spiritually, Bailey's over all our heads, I headed back to Arizona's room.

"Hey, what took you so long? You usually come here to obsess over the readings on the irritating beepy machine every two hours, it's been two hours and eleven minutes." The blonde stated with an impish grin.

"Well I was nearly given a thorough scolding by my colleague; your so-called "beepy machines" had to wait." I watched her eyebrows do a mischievous dance as she processed that bit of information.

"Ooooh, the fancy Dr. Calliope Torres is getting in trouble! What for?"

"For hanging out with you too much." I admitted sheepishly, sitting down on the chair which had been my bed the other night.

"And what was your brilliant defense?"

"That you're just too magical and irresistible to be apart from." I joked back, watching a jubilant smile spread across her face.

"So in other words, the truth." I chuckled under my breath at her fake-cockiness as I flipped open her chart.

"Rein in the arrogance train for a sec okay, I need to fill in some of this stuff for your chart." I jotted down her vital signs - stable of course – before I began nervously fiddling with the pen, clicking the back in and out. Surgeon's hands, they never rest.

"I need your last name. For the chart." I watched her face fall as soon as I mentioned it, and I began to worry what I'd said wrong. Arizona swallowed uncomfortably, before clearing her throat of obvious nerves.

"Robbins, it's my maiden name. Arizona Robbins." I scribbled that into the formerly blank spot before flipping the chart shut.

"I suppose soon it'll be your full-time name again." I mentioned nonchalantly, feeling the need to explain myself as soon as I saw her frozen appearance.

"Y'know, after the divorce and everything?" I asked. It seemed obvious right?

"When did I say anything about a divorce?" she seemed aghast that I could bring the topic, while I was aghast at what she was implying.

"You aren't seriously thinking about going back to this guy, seriously?" I was just in utter shock and awe at her seemingly miserable decision making. Arizona ripped the blanket off of the bed, sitting up on the side of the bed, reaching to uncover the wire apparatus that was currently holding the shattered pieces of her tibia and fibula together.

"I'm thinking that this is what I got when I tried to leave him the first time." Her tone was sombre, and while I could somehow wrap my head around her logic, I refused to accept it.

"He wouldn't get to touch you this time. Give me a name, and I'll be on him so hard he won't know what hit him."

"You don't get it do you? If I left him, he'd go after me as if I had a bounty on my head! He'd kill me, surely. Believe it or not, I'm safer with him." She flung the blanket over her leg once again, her tone resigned and immovable.

"If you left him, I wouldn't let him get within eyeshot of you. You wouldn't be sharing the air with him, because he'd either be rotting in jail, or six feet below ground." My tone was as sharp and cold as a sword, and as menacing as one as well. Despite the years of training for how to save a life, the oaths I took to "do no harm", the conscience that would usually pipe up, all I wanted in this instant was to see this Rick-someone's head on a stick.

"He's more powerful than you think. He'd find me, it's just a matter of when." She was adamant in this. I sighed in defeat, turning away and preparing to leave.

"Rickard McCabe." She whimpered, and with the level of fear in her voice, I'd have thought that he was there in the room. In a way, he was, simply by acknowledging him, Arizona was dredging up all her awful memories of him. But her words were much more than a name. On some unspoken level she was giving me permission, permission to protect her at all costs, permission to stick around, permission to be hers.