Title: Chance Encounters
Author: Eek's Bubble
Beta: Arizona3311 – Thank you!
Disclaimer: All movies, songs, and other copyrighted material referred to in this work and the characters, events, and settings thereof are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for profit, it constitutes fair use. Reference to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context and are not intended to be libellous, defamatory, or in any way factual.
Summary: What if Arizona was already an amputee before she met Callie?
A/N: Sorry for the delay and the complete radio silence. I wont bore you with the reasons why. Final chapter is here. I really do hope that you have enjoyed reading this story as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Thank you so much for sticking with it and for your wonderful feedback. I'd love to have your thoughts for Chance Encounters one last time.
- Chance- -
The unknown and unpredictable element in happenings that seems to have no assignable cause -
As Arizona turned on the street for home, she immediately spotted the moving truck parked in her driveway. Their driveway, Arizona mentally corrected herself happily. Pulling over to the side of the road, she got out of the car and made her way over to the chaos.
"It's fine" Mark wheezed through gritted teeth, "this thing isn't heavy at all, take your time."
Mark and Jackson were standing in the middle of the hallway, not so patiently waiting under the solid weight of Callie's antique dresser. Callie, Arizona noticed, seemed to be rather flustered, especially when Teddy appeared and said, "Callie, did you know that all the boxes in the kitchen say bedroom and all the boxes in the bedroom say office?"
Matters weren't helped any further when a resounding crash was heard down the hall along with an "oops" from Lexie.
Everyone stared at Callie waiting for their next instructions. Nobody appeared to have noticed Arizona's presence in the doorway.
"Right," Callie began, "this is what we are going to do." More silence as Arizona could practically hear the cogs turning in that beautiful head of Callie's. As the silence ticked on however, Arizona decided that maybe it was time to intervene as she reminded herself that not everyone found this flustered and disorganised version of Callie as adorable as she did.
Stepping forward, she put on her best 'world class pediatric surgeon' voice and said "Mark, Jackson, go and put that dresser in the bedroom before one, or both of you give yourself a hernia." Turning away as the boys gave a chorus of "yes ma'ams", she turned to Callie and said "Calliope, go out to the truck and make sure all the boxes that you are giving to Alex go in the right rooms". Callie disappeared and Arizona directed her attention elsewhere, "Teddy, please can you put the office boxes in the office and the bedroom boxes in the bedroom." Finally she turned to Amelia and said, "go and check on Lexie to see that she isn't having some sort of nervous breakdown. If she has broken anything of mine, she's on scut for a month. Now if she's broken that hideous vase of Callie's, she gets to assist on my next big surgery."
Amelia chuckled as she made her way down the hall to assist Lexie, leaving Arizona alone to survey the rest of the mess. Letting out an exaggerated breath, she went back outside to join Callie. Walking around the corner of the truck, she wolf whistled at the delightful view of Callie's backside as she bent to pick up a box, "looking good!"
Callie turned and grumbled, plopping herself down on the edge of the truck, she pulled Arizona between her legs and rested her hands on the blonde's hips. "You can look all you want," Callie said, "but there won't be anything else after you went and left me to deal with this by myself all morning."
"Is that so?" Arizona asked, a hint of playful challenge in her tone as she leant forwards to place a series of warm kisses along Callie's neck.
"What did I just say about touching?" Callie asked. There was a slight hint of a reprimand in her voice but she gave herself away by titling her head to the side to allow her girlfriend more access.
Arizona grinned against Callie's neck and responded cheekily, "Do lots of it?"
Callie just mumbled something indistinct as Arizona started sucking lightly on her pulse point, her grip on Arizona's hips tightening in response. "Hey!" she protested as the blonde pulled away, "I was enjoying that."
"I know you were" Arizona replied smugly, "but I thought, rather than giving our neighbours a peep show, maybe I could tell you where I've been this morning."
"Oh?" Callie replied, her curiosity piqued.
"I went to the bank."
Callie raised an eyebrow, "I was expecting something a little bit more interesting babe."
"I cashed the cheque."
"What cheque?" Callie asked with a bemused expression before understanding dawned on her features. Quickly hopping off the truck, she hurried into the kitchen and then back out again to where she had left Arizona standing. "You cashed the cheque?!" she asked incredulously.
Arizona just nodded in response with a small smile.
"Wow" was all Callie could think to say.
"Makes it a bit more real now huh?" Arizona said.
"Yeah" Callie mused into the silence. "Do you know what you're going to do with it?" she asked.
"I do have one idea but we'll decide on that together." Arizona responded.
Callie's eyes widened and she opened her mouth to say something but was stopped by the presence of Mark and Jackson who had arrived to hulk the next piece of Callie's furniture into the house. "We'll talk about it later." Arizona promised.
"Okay" Callie agreed, not at all comfortable with the idea of being a part of the decision to spend fifteen million dollars of another person's money, even if that person was Arizona. "But I just want you to know how proud I am that you deposited the cheque. I know that can't have been easy for you."
Arizona smiled that wonderful smile that she reserved only for Callie as she stepped forward to place a chaste kiss on her lips and said, "Let's get you moved in shall we?"
"I know what you're saying but the fact of the matter is that the Renfield grant won't go to General Surgery. Renfield only ever donates to something glamorous" Arizona said, stopping her task emphasising the word glamorous with quotation marks. Their friends had been popping in and out all day to help with the move and Bailey had turned up half an hour ago just as Teddy and Amelia were leaving to help unpack. "How many charities exist out there to aid healthcare for kids or cancer research? General isn't sexy enough and people aren't going to throw big money to research fistulas or for improved appendectomy techniques."
"But that's my point entirely" Bailey argued whilst emptying a box of glassware, "Paeds, Cardio, Oncology… they have the exposure already to draw in funding without the need for the Renfield. Heck Plastics pays for itself but General is like the Geriatrics of medicine, we just get forgotten about."
When Bailey looked like she was going to continue with her complaint, Arizona put her hands up in surrender. "I understand what you're saying but it's not me you need to convince. Apply for lots of smaller grants instead. I get that it's a lot more work but I'm telling you that Renfield is not the answer." Arizona looked down at the object she had just pulled out of the box she was unpacking; "I don't even know what this is." She handed it over to Bailey for inspection.
"Don't look at me. Unless it has a scalpel attached somewhere then I'm no use to you."
"Same here" Arizona muttered as she went off in search of Callie. Callie's screeching voice reached her ears long before she set eyes on her girlfriend.
"Oh you are so going to pay for that!"
"Getting slow in your old age Torres."
"I wasn't slow; you pulled a grenade on me! What was I supposed to do?!"
Arizona stopped short at that particular statement. She peeked into just in time to see a rather gruesome scene on a computer game that both Mark and Callie seemed to be glued to.
"Ha! Die! Die!" Callie hailed triumphantly, clearly proud of the carnage she taking ownership of on the computer screen, "Revenge is sweet my friend. I am the Queen of video games, nobody can defeat me."
Callie and Mark whipped around to see Arizona standing in the doorway with her hands on her hips.
"How exactly have we gotten this far into our relationship without you revealing this side of your personality?" Arizona asked.
Callie shrugged but couldn't keep the grin off her face, "I would only play video games at Mark's place but Mark bought me this," she pointed to the console, "as a moving present. Besides, all my boxes are in now so you're stuck with me and my sociopathic tendencies towards video games."
"Mhmm." Arizona responded with a smile, "We might have one problem though" she stated.
"Problem?" Callie repeated.
"Yep. A big one." Arizona replied with a firm nod. She strode across the room, swiped Mark's controller out of his hand and had taken out Callie's avatar before Callie even had a chance to respond. She patted Callie's cheek on her way back towards the kitchen and said, "Just so we're clear, I'm the Queen of video games in this household." She then dropped the mystery kitchen item into Callie's lap and said, "now when you're done schooling Mark, you can drop by the kitchen and tell me what this thing is and where you want it to go."
Mark and Callie watched Arizona's retreating form in awed silence.
"Just when I thought she couldn't get any better" Callie said dreamily before grabbing the controller to start round two of Mark's annihilation.
Half an hour later Callie strolled into the kitchen, placing a quick kiss on Arizona's temple as she passed by. "It's a pasta maker hon."
"Now I'm all for your home-made cooking Callie but come on" she scoffed. "They sell all kind of pasta at the store, how much better can they be home-made?"
"I'll make something for us with it soon. Trust me; you'll never want to go back to the stuff at the store."
Arizona knew better that to argue with Callie's culinary skills.
"Torres," Bailey cut in, "you'll agree with me on this one…" she then proceeding to talk about her grant appeal all over again.
"And you're on your own" Arizona whispered to Callie as she made a hasty exit out of the kitchen and into the living room. "You up for a game?" she asked Mark, nodding towards the controller.
Mark rubbed the back of his neck and smiled subconsciously, "give me half an hour or so more my male pride to be restored then you're on."
Arizona grinned in response and began unpacking the hundreds of CDs and DVDs that Callie seemed to have brought. Mark was loading books on to the bookshelf and they worked in silence for a while before Mark spoke up.
"You know Blondie-"
"Arizona" she cut in.
"Arizona" Mark corrected, "well, it's just that… I wasn't too sure about you at first."
"You don't say." She responded dryly.
"Right" Mark said, acknowledging Arizona's tone. "I just wanted to say I was sorry. I could have been more supportive of thing between you and Cal in the beginning. I was just looking out for her, because she's been hurt before I didn't want that for her again. What I'm trying to say is that I'm glad things worked out for you and that I couldn't think of anyone who could make Callie happier than you do."
"You know" Arizona said conversationally as she stacked yet more CDs, "I've never garnered your approval before because I don't need it." She looked at Mark for a few moments before continuing, "Maybe that was a mistake on my part. I didn't go out of my way to get to know you like I should have done. So what I'm saying is that we both could have done better. I might not need your approval but I'm glad to have it." She moved towards Mark and placed a kiss on his cheek and then let out a laugh when he looked all flustered.
Mark cleared his throat gruffly and pointed towards the games console. "So do your mad skills extend to NBA 2K13?" he asked.
Arizona laughed again, "Bring it Sloan."
Callie slumped down on the couch having seen the last of their friends out as Arizona was removing her prosthesis. "What a day" she said, automatically pulling Arizona's sock from her residual limb and began kneading the tense muscle.
"Mhmm" Arizona responded. She took a long gulp of wine before saying, "we have good friends."
"Yeah" Callie agreed lazily. "Little Grey broke my vase though."
Arizona wisely said nothing about the ugly vase. Callie had bought it during one of their first dates at a market. At the time Arizona had been too polite to voice her dislike of it. Instead, she changed the subject, "so I wanted to talk to you about my idea for what to do with the money."
Callie nodded to indicate she was listening.
"Well, I think we should keep some of it for a rainy day but I'd really like to donate the bulk of it to charity."
Callie studied the woman in front of her for a moment before finally saying, "you take my breath away Arizona do you know that? That's a really wonderful thing for you to do."
Arizona smiled shyly before a small frown creased her features. "I know I'm supposed to feel as though I deserve the money, maybe even I did feel that way at one point. But now... now I just don't like the idea of having it. It feels like blood money."
Callie nodded in understanding. "So who are you going to donate it to?" she asked.
"Search and Rescue" Arizona responded with certainty.
"Not what I was expecting, why them?"
"You." Arizona replied simply. Upon seeing Callie's bewildered expression, she elaborated further. "I know that I haven't always been as grateful as I am now that I survived. But the point is, without Search & Rescue, it wouldn't have mattered how grateful or ungrateful I was – I would just be dead." Callie flinched at the words but Arizona kept going, "Search & Rescue do that every day, they find people who are lost and they return them to their loved ones. They brought me back to my parents, who have already lost a son. They brought me back to my friends. They brought me back to me. They brought me back so I could find you. Without them, there would be no us."
"Well" Callie said thickly, "I can't think of a better reason than that."
The next morning, Callie was woken up in the best possible way. She was in her and Arizona's home, in their brand new bed and the smell of coffee and pancakes was wafting through the air. Most importantly, Arizona was nuzzling her cheek with her nose and nibbling on her ear lobe.
"Good morning pretty lady" Arizona said happily as Callie cracked open her eyelids.
"Hmmm. It is a good morning, will I get a wake-up call like this every morning?" she asked as she gratefully accepted her cup of coffee.
"Ha. No" Arizona responded. "I had to make the pancakes twice, the first batch did not resemble anything edible that I've ever seen. You can keep the kitchen as your domain."
"So is this because it's our first day officially living together?" Callie asked around a mouthful of bacon.
Arizona nodded, "That and I have something to give you."
"Arizona," Callie admonished, "we said no more gifts."
"Well this can be the last one for a while. Besides, this will be both of ours." Arizona said as she handed over a thick manilla envelope.
Callie still didn't look convinced but opened the enveloped anyway and quickly began to scan the contents of the document she pulled out. Slowly at the gist of the document became apparent, Callie's eyes widened in shock. "Arizona, this is way, way too much."
"I disagree." Arizona responded softly. She had contacted her lawyer to request that the title deed to the house be placed in Callie's name also. All Callie would need to do was sign the paperwork and they would be joint home-owners.
"You're giving me a house." Callie said bluntly. "It's not exactly a bunch of flowers."
"I'm not giving you a house." Arizona countered. "I'm just asking that this house, becomes our house, which I believe you already said yes to. Hence all the boxes. Please don't over think this sweetheart, just say yes."
"Yes" Callie said instantly. "Yes to anything you want that I can give you."
"Just you. Always you."
"Done." Callie said with a lovestruck smile. "Now," she continued very matter of factly, "I think this new bed need christening. I mean we were so busy with the move yesterday..."
"...And the guys all coming over tonight" Arizona added, catching on quickly.
Callie pulled Arizona on top of her and kissed her thoroughly. Barely moving back for air, she said against Arizona's lips, "we should take this time to celebrate."
"See?" Arizona said as her hands began to roam down Callie's body. "My thoughts exactly, this is why we're meant to be."
That evening, Callie and Arizona had invited all their friends to the house for some food and drinks as a mini house-warming and to thank them for their assistance with the move. Much like the day before, people had been dropping in an out to accommodate their shifts at the hospital. Arizona leant against the doorway of the living room as she watched Callie and their friends laughing and talking as they tucked into their feast of pizza and beer. Amelia was in a heated debate with Jackson about the football game that was showing on the television. Mark and Lexie were watching the game too but Mark, Arizona noticed, seemed to be paying more attention to Lexie than the game. Bailey had Callie and Teddy locked in what appeared to be an animated conversation on Bailey's part. Callie looked across at Arizona and smiled, throwing a wink in for good measure before returning to the conversation.
"You okay Arizona?" Meredith asked on her way back in from the kitchen, her arms laden with two tequila bottles and a bunch of shot glasses.
Arizona nodded. "I'm good thanks. Very good actually." She lifted her chin towards the tequila bottles. "One bottle at a time not enough for you?" she teased.
Meredith grinned. "We're celebrating more than just you and Callie tonight."
"General surgery received an anonymous donation this morning. Enough for Bailey to take on her research project and she's asked me to be involved."
Arizona smiled. "That's great news, Bailey must be thrilled."
"Definitely."Meredith nodded towards the rest of the group in the living room. "You coming?"
Meredith left to join Callie, Bailey and Teddy after Arizona indicated that she'd be along in a minute.
Looking around at their friends in their home, Arizona couldn't help but ponder at the direction her life had taken in the last year or so. Whoever would have thought that this would be her life now? That one single event could turn her whole world on its axis? Without the plane crash, she wouldn't have lost her leg. Without the amputation, she wouldn't have come to Seattle. Without Teddy, it wouldn't be Seattle at all. And without Seattle, she wouldn't be one of the youngest head of paediatric surgery in the country. And without Seattle, there wouldn't be Callie. Callie. She had never given much thought to the concept of chance before, but now, she couldn't help but feel it. She was certain that she could never feel grateful for the crash. After all, beloved friends, along with a part of her that went far beyond the physical had died. Life would forever be altered. But now, surrounded by the people who now filled her life, people who did nothing but enrich her existence, she thought that an altered life didn't have to mean that it was worse. No, she would never be grateful for the crash, but instead, she viewed it as a necessary detour on a journey to where she was now. To the life she was sharing with Callie. Arizona didn't really like the idea of fate or destiny. Her type A personality just wouldn't relinquish control to such abstract a theory. But even she had to give some credence to the idea. She didn't know what the odds are of being in a plane crash but she was sure that the odds would be even higher of going on to survive the plane crash and then find your soul mate right in the midst of your recovery. She had spent too long thinking that the plane crash had changed her life when really, it was that one chance encounter in a cafe when Calliope Torres walked into her life. Now that, was the game changer.