Disclaimer: This is AU. I do not own any of the characters from Grey's Anatomy. I just manipulate them to my will. Also, any line or phrase or setting that seems remotely familiar from any other show, movie or book, also not mine. I borrow…
AN: Alright, so I know I said I'd post this tomorrow, the day of the premiere. But someone asked me if I could post it a day early because their Thursdays are crazy. And because I figured no one would mind getting an update early for a change, I decided to post it today. Hope ya'll enjoy!
Many happy years later
The Robbins farm house in Sparks, Colorado is buzzing with life. The hot summer sun hangs high in big sky country, and the breeze that blows by is tainted with the smell of fresh fallen rain and the scent of musky animals. But inside is a whole other world of smells. Chicken sizzles in a frying pan while the sweetness of fresh made peach cobbler drifts through every room. It's no special occasion. Not a holiday, or a birthday, but just a day like any other day. The kids are on summer break, and the crops are doing their own cooking in the ground. And yet a celebration has emerged anyway, bringing together not only family, but friends.
"See? Here, I've done all the math."
"All I see is a number, Arizona." Tim replies
"But it's a good number." Travis adds from the other side of Tim. "Z and I worked it out. Many times. See, if we start small by only buying up a few thousand acres at a time, along with any farming equipment we're able to buy up with it-"
"We could grow into a corporation." Arizona continues.
"But why would anyone sell?" Tim asks.
"Why did we sell?" Arizona rebuts. "Money. The economy sucks. Crop prices are dropping while marketing prices are rising. See, what we do is buy up a farmer's land but let them stay on. They'd work for a percentage of the total profits."
"Ok… so, say T's farm gets mites this year and loses 30% of his crops-" Tim starts, quickly catching on.
"I wouldn't take that 30% from my small profit. It'd be thirty percent from my contribution to the total crop yield. So, if I only plowed up two tons of crop instead of three, if it's in a mass of two, three hundred tons… it's nothing!"
"Exactly." Arizona's heart is racing just from the excitement of her vision unfolding before eyes. "As opposed to him and his family taking a 30% hit right on the nose. See? This way gives everyone some cushion. Some protection. We'd be buying the land people are trying to get rid of, and then paying them to work it."
"You think the people of Sparks would go for this?" Tim asks doubtfully.
"If they are in a tough spot." Travis answers. "I know the Blacks out on the back forty are in a bad way. They'd sell us half their acreage for fifty cents on the dollar if it meant knowing they'd have the money to eat next week."
Tim reads and studies the pages and pages of his sister's scribblings. Crop prices, fuel prices, land prices, available acerages, theoretical pay and percentages to be given to field hands… it's all there.
"Could this really happen?" He asks, turning his gaze to Arizona leaning across the corner of their father's office desk. "I mean, could we really make this happen? It's seems… big."
"I think it's definitely possible." Arizona answers. "You've told me how badly this recession has hit Sparks. This will offer a protection that we've never had before. And by 'we' I mean all of Sparks."
Their moment is interrupted with a knock on the door and a small head peeps inside, telling the three soon-to-be partners that dinner is almost ready, so they break for the night with a promise from Tim that he'd think about it.
This messenger happens to be a scraggly nine year old Valentina with long braided raven hair and a gap between her two front teeth. Through the years that have passed since that night Callie and Arizona met in a cold and depressing hospital room so much has changed. And a lot remains the same. Valentina is still the social butterfly she was when she was younger, and there's never a moment when the girl doesn't have a story to tell. And, like Arizona, she's developed a natural affinity to all things animal. More than once the girl has brought home a small ball of fur, injured and alone, pleading both Callie and Arizona to save it. And she even has her own horse, one she helped bring into the world with her own bare hands.
Max Junior, on the other hand, is as opposite his sister as day is to night. He's only a couple years from becoming a teenager, and breezes through his studies with perfect marks. He's quiet, and reserved. He prefers the company of books over that of his fellow schoolmates, which makes him a natural target for the bullies at his school. But he's a strong boy. The deepness of his gaze makes one think he's been walking the earth centuries longer than he really has, and it's only when he really has something to say that he speaks. For years Callie thought her son would never crawl out of the shell Max hid under during the rule of his father. Then one day Arizona put a guitar in his hands. And it was like the whole world opened up to him in that moment, for whenever Max Junior plays his guitar his voice is sure. His mind is empty. And his heart is set free.
But the kids are not the only ones that have grown in the years since that night Callie and Arizona first met. After the attack and a second rigorous round of surgeries attempting to salvage his leg, Tim stayed in Seattle for a couple years. Once able to move again, he began working at Joe's. He started earning his own keep once again. But more importantly, he fell in love. Thanks to what seemed like never ending physical therapy, Tim Robbins fell head over heels with the one nurse who always managed to be stuck with him. Since then the two have moved back to Sparks, Colorado and have gotten engaged.
Tim's leg still pains him. He now walks with a limp and a cane, but Tim is happy to be back home. The same home that Arizona bought back thanks to the winnings from her stint as a rider with the Professional Bull Riding tour.
It was a short lived career, but successful nonetheless. Arizona worked her way up the ranks rather quickly and became the first woman to compete head to head against her male counterparts and win gold. Her face has been pictured on the cover of Sports Illustrated which crossed off another unimaginable goal on her bucket list; blue bikini or not. But a series of bad falls, close calls, and a serious shoulder reconstruction surgery forced the blonde cowgirl to hang up her riding glove; much to Callie's relief.
And while Arizona was enjoying her retirement from professional sports, Callie's own career took off. After years and years of being suppressed by the hospital board, her Chief of Surgery, and her husband, Callie finally got the attention she deserved. Her research was picked up by a national foundation which led to a medical breakthrough that has placed her amongst the names of Cardiothoracic surgery.
As far as their lives together, it hasn't been all rainbows and ponies. There have been fights. Big, ugly fights. But then there is always that sweet moment of making up. And that is what has kept them together. Because they know that no matter what happens, no matter what the fight is about, it doesn't change the fact that they have found their soul mate. They're happy; the kind of happiness that springs from within. And neither woman would change a thing (unless it were to have found one another even sooner).
And what became of Max? He played one too many games with the devil, and he lost. Max returned to the same habits that landed him in jail. Borrowing, extorting, bribing, gambling, until one day he maxed out his debts with his fellow inmates. The following morning Callie received a call telling her that her ex-husband had hung himself in his prison cell, and that no note was left. Max exited the world with a guilt ridden conscience, without saying good bye to his kids or apologizing to the family he had hurt so much. And, at nights, while Arizona is sleeping soundly next to her in their bed, Callie wonders what kind of hellfire her ex-husband is burning in. …And wishes it were double.
But that was years ago, and the ghost of Max no longer haunts the dark recesses of their little happy family's lives. Arizona has become something she never thought she ever wanted to be; a mother. And Callie can't imagine spending her life with anyone besides her cowgirl. Her knight in shining armor who saved Callie when she never even realized she needed saving.
So why shouldn't they celebrate? They've all gone through so much, and yet they've all come out the other side stronger, happier, and more loved.
Which is why Arizona finds her beautiful wife of two years in the kitchen attempting the famous Barbara Robbins fried chicken and peach cobbler recipes. The sight of Callie, hair up and face alight with joy, still takes Arizona's breath away. Even after all these years.
A hand finds its way to the small of Callie's back. And lips soon the soft flesh of Callie's cheek, which quickly leads to a much longer and less chaste kiss.
"Easy now." Travis interrupts. "You burn that chicken and there will be hell to pay."
Arizona just smiles while Callie runs the pad of her thumb across a pink lower lip.
"Why don't you get the kids to set the table?" Callie suggests. "Dinner should be ready in a few."
Within fifteen minutes the table is set, the food is served, and everyone is up to their elbows in country fried goodness. The mood is upbeat and the atmosphere is light. Arizona and Tim end up spilling more than one embarrassing story of their pasts, and both Callie and Tim's fiancé learn enough dirt about their significant other's to last a lifetime. The mountain of chicken gets demolished and Callie's freshly baked peach cobbler is consumed like locusts on a crop, all of which Callie takes as a thumbs up to her cooking. And when no one can eat another bite, they all retire to the living room to keep the good times going.
But time passes way too quickly, and before long Valentina and Max Junior are sent off to bed in Tim's old room. Then Travis and Teddy take their own little boy back home for the night. And soon, it's just Tim and Arizona left downstairs. With a cold beer in their hands and a starry night laid out above them, the brother and sister talk in a way only brother's and sister's can.
And when the last beer has been drank and last teasing has been dug, Tim bides his sister good night and disappears to their parent's old bedroom.
Arizona sits alone out on the back porch for another few minutes, just taking it all in. She's missed this place so much, and yet it's not home to her anymore. Seattle is her home. Max Junior and Valentina are her home. Callie is her home.
Finally, after a peek into Tim's old bedroom to make sure the two young ones are sleeping peacefully, Arizona retires to her own room.
Callie is still awake. She's reclined against the headboard with a bedside lamp on and a copy of the latest Cardio Medical journal in her hands.
"Hey," she says softly. "Was wondering if you'd come to bed tonight."
"Sorry. Tim and I got to talking and- well, you know how he is." Arizona tugs the shirt from her body and slides her weather worn jeans from her legs before slipping into bed next to Callie with a sigh. "Dinner was delicious by the way. Didn't know if you could hear all the 'yum's' and 'mmm's' over the sound of the wolves fighting over their meal."
Callie smiles. "I'm glad I did the Barbara Robbins' recipes justice." She puts aside the journal and settles down into bed. "So how'd the talk go with Tim go earlier tonight? You think he's game?"
"I think so, yeah. He's still on the fence about it. Thinks it's too risky but- I don't know. Travis and I are on board so we'll get him on our side soon enough." Blue eyes stare up at the old Cindy Crawford poster that was pinned to her ceiling so many years ago.
And Callie's gaze lingers on her wife. "What you thinking about, cowgirl?" Callie asks as she curls a lock of blonde hair around her finger.
A small smile pulls sadly at pink lips. "I don't know. Nothing. …Everything. Seeing Momma yesterday. Being reminded yet again that she's… not Momma anymore. Teddy and Travis and their little one. Tim told me he and Noelle are trying too. Can you imagine? Tim as a dad. God- I thought I'd never see the day. …But mostly-" Arizona turns over and pushes up her wife's shirt to expose Callie's stomach. "-I was thinking about this little one." Caramel fingers wind in blonde hair while Arizona kisses Callie's belly. "And I was thinking about how I can't wait to meet her." Blue eyes turn up to find deep brown staring back at her. "And I was thinking… how incredibly lucky I am to have found you."
Callie pulls Arizona back up and kisses her. Soft. And slow. Full of love and devotion. And as she kisses Arizona, Callie can't help but thank god that she too found Arizona. This woman who came into her life from out of nowhere and completely turned her upside down and inside out.
Their kiss slows, and Callie pulls away to stare up into dark blue eyes. "I love you, Arizona. So much…"
And as the moon rises outside their bedroom window, two women who fought for their love and lost a little along the way make love until the night draws late. Tangled in each other's arms they drift off to sleep to the sounds of coyotes howling off in the distance. What is to come, neither Callie nor Arizona knows. But they're not worried. They've got each other, and their family. And that's all they need.
Because, sometimes, things are just meant to be. No matter the obstacles.
AN2: Just wanted to thank all you readers again for sticking it out with this story. You guys are awesome! And another special thanks to meanasurly15. This story was her brainchild, and she's been nothing but patient with me while we were creating this story. Hope you all enjoyed this fic. And I wish you all the very best of luck with the premiere tomorrow night!