AN: This is my first foray into the Grey's fandom, so hopefully my characterisation isn't too far off base. I've just had too many Calzona feels over the past week to not write something about them. I hope you like it! Just a warning: it does head into smut territory at the end. Hopefully that part isn't too out of the blue. Anyway, happy reading :)
Callie was sick of this. She was sick of Arizona blaming her for things she had no control over. She was sick of being shut out of her own bedroom. She was sick of Arizona's depression, and she was sick of not being able to do anything about it.
She was Arizona's wife. Shouldn't that mean that her mere presence, simply being there, would make everything better again? Apparently not. Every time she tried to reach out, tried to pull Arizona out of the dark place she was stuck in, she was pushed away. Her presence was not welcome, let alone healing. This was going to make it even harder than she thought to get their relationship back to where it once was. Back to that unbelievable state of bliss.
After she put Sofia to bed, singing to her briefly until her eyes gently closed, Callie returned to the kitchen, not intending to break her nightly routine of a glass of wine (or two. Or three). She was in charge of the parenting duties these days. She was in charge of most things. Arizona managed to pay the bills while Callie was at work, but she refused to leave the house and rarely answered the phone. Sometimes, on a good day, she would allow Sofia to be in the same room as her. Holding her was out of the question, though. She didn't want her daughter to be exposed to any part of what had happened to her. Callie wasn't even allowed to touch Arizona unless it was absolutely necessary: helping her dress, undress, shower. Arizona had crutches to help her get from the bed to the couch, and back again. That was pretty much her trajectory for the day.
Sipping on her second glass of chardonnay, Callie closed her eyes and exhaled a breath he hadn't realised she'd been holding. Every day seemed longer when it was up to her to hold everything together: looking after Sofia, providing the care of two parents by herself, keeping Arizona afloat. It all seemed like a juggling game that could only end in disaster. Her eyes still closed, Callie revelled in the quiet of her apartment. It was the only thing that enabled her to believe she still had a handle on things. But suddenly, it wasn't quiet anymore.
Soft, almost imperceptible sobbing was coming from her bedroom. Well, what used to be her bedroom. Arizona was quite clear that her personal space was not to be invaded, so Callie had the choice of sleeping on the floor of the bedroom or on the couch. Usually, she chose the couch. Arizona's boundaries weren't going to stop Callie from checking on her, though, as pointless as it seemed. The Latina walked tiredly up to the bedroom door and knocked, waiting a second for a reply that never came. When she opened the door, she was faced with an unusually emotional Arizona. Ever since her operation, ever since she was rescued from the plane crash, the blonde had seemed like a shell of herself, not really feeling or processing anything. Now, however, it seemed like reality had finally caught up to her. Even though her face was buried in the pillows at the head of the bed, her heaving shoulders and the muffled wails that escaped across the room to Callie's pained ears told the brunette that her wife had finally lost the battle to stave off her despair. Good, she thought. At least we're moving somewhere.
"Hey," Callie said, and when it seemed to have no effect on her wife, she raised her voice, "Hey!"
Gasping slightly from the sobs that were stealing her breath, Arizona slowly lifted herself up from the pillows and turned towards the brunette. "What?" she replied, her voice barely audible, but cutting all the same.
"You're crying." This wasn't going to work. Nothing had so far, and this wasn't any different.
"I know." The blonde's anger was starting to return, pushing her sadness to the side. "Did you come in here to tell me to pipe down?"
"No." Callie didn't know what to say. Arizona wasn't saying anything, and she knew that if she didn't, the blonde would throw her out of the room. Again. "I…"
"What? You what?" Arizona was sitting up now, but her legs were still covered by the blankets that were strewn across the bed.
"Don't give me that crap, Arizona!" Callie stepped further into the bedroom, shutting the door behind her. "I have been so patient with you. I want to be patient with you. But that doesn't mean you get to be impatient with me. You can't get mad because I'm not dealing with this the way you want me to."
"What do you have to deal with? It's my leg!" Arizona had matched Callie in volume now and if she could, she would have stomped out of the room. This was a conversation they had had many times, and she had no interest in repeating it tonight. "I don't care how you deal with it. Just leave me alone."
"No." Callie had grown accustomed to obliging Arizona since the operation, giving her everything she asked for, but this wasn't something she felt she could continue to give. "Not until you talk it through with me."
"I don't want to talk to you."
"Why were you crying?"
"Why do you care?"
"Of course I care! I'm your wife!" No matter how many times she drilled this into Arizona's head, Callie couldn't seem to get her to understand. "I want to know because I want to help, if I can. I know there are some things – so many things that I can't fix, but…" The brunette looked down at her wife, who was staring straight past her and completely unreadable, despite her tear-stained face. "You have to let me try, Arizona. At least give me that."
"Oh, that's rich," the blonde muttered under her breath. "You wanting me to give you something."
"You've taken everything already."
"I kept you alive!" God, this was infuriating. "Arizona, you're here. What more did you want me to do for you?"
"You shouldn't have let me live." The words are quiet, understated, like she doesn't want their importance to shine through. It takes a moment for Callie to process them, but when she does, her thoughts come to a screeching halt.
"Wait. What?" She takes a hesitant step forward, but refrains from sitting on the bed, knowing that would make the blonde uncomfortable.
"It's not worth it. Without my leg, I'm – " Arizona chokes on a sob before she can hold it back. "I don't have a life now, so I may as well not be alive."
Ice rushes through Callie's body as she listens to the thoughts that have clearly been plaguing her wife for weeks – months, now. "Arizona." She can't help herself. She sits down on the edge of the bed and tries not to acknowledge the ache she feels when the woman beside her shifts away in order to keep a distance between them.
"Don't try to argue with me," the blonde says, her voice shaking. "I know the speech: I have you, I have Sofia. But Callie, what good is any of that? How can it make me happy, when I can only be loved from a distance? I'm going to scare my daughter until she gets older, and then I'm going to embarrass her. And you? You're never going to look at me the same way you once did. We are never going to have what be had before. I'm never going to have that again."
This was too much for Callie to take. She grabbed her wife's wrist before she had a chance to pull it away and did her best to get the blonde to look at her. "Stop it. Arizona, stop it. Will you look at me!" She finally gave up reaching for Arizona's face and waited for her to turn her head herself. Reluctantly, the blonde twisted to meet her wife's gaze. "That is absolute bullshit." Arizona's face was still clouded, so the brunette continued. "I love you more now than I ever did before, and I will never stop loving you. You have to believe me." To prove her point, she moved closer to Arizona, taking advantage of her momentary shock, and clasped her arms around the blonde's body.
"What – " Arizona inhaled sharply, having almost forgotten what this contact felt like. "What are you doing?"
"I'm holding my wife. And I don't care if you don't want me to. I want to."
"You don't…I wasn't trying to – " Arizona's words were cut off by a soft kiss. After a moment she pulled away, needing to catch her breath despite the gentleness of Callie's affections. "I – need – I don't – not now. Not yet."
"I thought this was what you wanted?"
"It is, but…you don't want to. You can't…"
"I do. Is that so hard to believe?"
Callie shook her head at her wife's delusion. "Seriously? Arizona, I haven't touched you in more than two months. Not like this. It's all I want. I've just been waiting for you to be ready."
The paediatric surgeon couldn't let herself believe what she was hearing. She had been through so much hurt, not because of physical pain, or the loss of her leg, but because of everything else that she had assumed would disappear with it. Now, to hear these words coming out of Callie's mouth, it was too wonderful. She wasn't about to set herself up for more disappointment. More devastation.
"You don't have to pretend," the blonde said. "I'll get over it, eventually. You're right: it should be enough to be alive. And it will be."
"No! No." Callie's hand began to move down towards her wife's hip and she felt Arizona stiffen at the movement. "Arizona, let me show you how much I'm not pretending."
Arizona closed her eyes, refusing to believe the reality of this situation. She was still sitting up, supporting herself on her hands, and she tried to just enjoy the sensation of her wife's embrace, knowing that it wasn't going to last. Callie's hand caressed the blonde's hip as she slowly pulled the blankets away from her body. Arizona's eyes snapped open then, but she stayed frozen, not sure how to react. Yank the blankets back up? Scramble out of bed to grab her crutches and flee? Callie made the decision for her, tightening her hold on the blonde to let her know that neither of them was going anywhere.
Meeting her wife's anxious gaze, Callie said, "Look at it. Look at it and try to see what I see: how strong my wife is, and how happy I am that she's here with me now."
Arizona looked briefly at the stump that used to be her leg, but quickly closed her eyes against the ugliness. It wasn't pretty. It would never be pretty, and she would never be beautiful again. Suddenly, she felt a hand on her thigh, right above the wound, and her body jerked instinctually away from the touch. She couldn't move away, though; not with Callie's hands holding her. She looked up at the brunette, anger and something else in her gaze, but all she saw in Callie's eyes was determination and love. The blonde inhaled shakily as her wife's hands moved to the waistband of her shorts, this proximity being something she was far from used to now.
"Can you lift up your hips?" Callie asked, almost an apology. Arizona looked at her for a moment, that 'something else' finally registering in her mind, before using her hands to lift her lower body up and give Callie enough space to pull her shorts down. They had gone through these motions on a daily basis since the operation, but there had been nothing sensual about it. The distance Arizona had maintained between them, even when they were physically close, had ensured that wasn't possible. Now, though, sex was the very foundation of the gesture, and Arizona didn't know how she felt about that. Pulling the shorts off of the blonde's right foot, Callie tossed them aside and turned back to her wife. The brunette's hand landed just below Arizona's stomach and she glanced at her wife, wanting permission to go further.
"Okay," was all Arizona could utter, before Callie's hand slipped lower and a smile lit up her face, feeling that the blonde could still get turned on by her.
"You don't know how long I've been waiting to do this to you. I need it. It makes me happy to make you happy, and you've been stopping me from doing just that. I'm not willing to put off your happiness anymore. Because you can be happy. I can make you happy. I know I can."
Arizona let out a soft whimper as her wife began to tease her folds, sliding through the wetness there before beginning to stroke her clit. The light circles of Callie's fingers were something the blonde had missed desperately, and she felt like crying after getting back something she was sure she had lost forever.
"Don't stop," she whispered, as Callie moved her face closer to her wife's.
"I won't," the brunette promised. "Nothing could make me stop."
Callie increased the pressure and speed of her fingers as she brushed her lips against Arizona's neck. The blonde's hips bucked of their own accord and Callie's free hand flew to her damaged leg, holding her still. The blonde's heart started beating even faster than it already was, especially when the other woman began stroking her thigh, making sure to be as gentle as she could, especially around the scar. It felt strange, Arizona thought, but not in a bad way. Then her thoughts were completely sidetracked by her wife's fingers slipping inside her.
"Oh God," the blonde cried out as Callie began moving in and out of her. Arizona felt her orgasm building inside of her and when her wife's mouth found her ear, whispering how she had never been as beautiful as she was in that moment, the blonde's walls clenched as she tumbled over the edge. Her scream was muffled by Callie's mouth, as they shared a kiss far more passionate than the one that had begun this whole…whatever this was. Maybe healing. Maybe something else.
Callie pulled back to give her wife a chance to catch her breath, removing her fingers and licking them clean before clasping her arms around the blonde once again. "You are amazing," she said, her brown eyes locked on shining blue ones. "Don't ever forget that." And right then, with Callie nuzzling into her side and holding her close, Arizona was finally able to believe her. She felt beautiful, for now. That was enough.