A/N: to everybody who has stuck by this story: thank you so much for your patience and feedback. I hope you like the ending :)
Arizona lent against the wall, closing her eyes as she inhaled deeply. She hadn't smoked in years, but the smoke filled her lungs like a familiar friend. She exhaled, opening her eyes and meeting Lydia's gaze. "Thanks," she smiled. "I needed this."
Lydia smiled back, biting her lip. "I know what else you need," she whispered seductively, closing the distance between them and running her hands down Arizona's sides, resting on her hips. Almost close enough to Arizona to pin her to the wall, she sought Arizona's mouth with her own, holding her gaze for a second too long before kissing her.
She tasted of tequila, strawberries, danger. Arizona kissed her back, wrapping one arm around her waist, the hand at her side still holding the smouldering cigarette. She gasped for air as Lydia broke the kiss, working her way down Arizona's neck. It would be so easy. Arizona swallowed, forcing herself to push Lydia away. "I can't," she whispered, shaking her head. "I'm sorry."
Lydia stared at Arizona evenly. "Okay," she nodded, giving Arizona a smile. "But come back to mine anyway. I've a bottle of wine, a Netflix subscription, and nothing else to do, so you can tell me about her."
Arizona stared, cigarette forgotten. "I never told you –"
"You didn't have to," Lydia shrugged. "All the hot girls are hung up on somebody else, it's the law." She deftly plucked the cigarette from Arizona's hands before it burnt her fingers, dropping it to the floor before crushing it underfoot and offering Arizona a new one from the packet. "This way."
Arizona hesitated momentarily, then smiled, falling into step beside Lydia. She'd been in Seattle a year and still had barely any friends outside the hospital. And wine… Wine sounded good.
Teddy goggled, open-mouthed. "But you left with her!"
Rolling her eyes, Arizona passed her a doughnut, taking one for herself. "Yes. And we spent the whole night talking." It was almost the truth, after all. Apart from that kiss, there'd been nothing except wine and discussion.
"I knew it!" Teddy grinned triumphantly. "I told Mark there was no way anything was going to happen. But she's interested, right?"
Arizona blushed. "Yes."
Teddy narrowed her eyes. "You're hiding something!"
Meeting her friend's eye, Arizona wondered whether it was worth lying. Sighing, she admitted, "She kissed me, outside Joe's. But I told her I couldn't, and… We spent the night talking about Callie." It was pathetic, she knew, pining after the same girl for twelve months. The same girl who'd made it clear she didn't want her.
Teddy's glee turned to sympathy. "Arizona…"
"I know!" Arizona exclaimed despairingly. "I know, I just need to move on, forget about it, like she clearly has…" She thought miserably of Callie's last fling, a particularly unpleasant waiter named John. "But I can't." She didn't mention her wildly unrealistic pipe dream that Callie would wake up one day and realise she was making a mistake; she didn't tell Teddy that the reason she hadn't slept with Lydia was because she didn't want to hurt Callie. But somehow, she had a feeling that her friend knew.
Teddy bit her lip in thought. "She sounds nice," she offered, thinking that a girl who would spend all night listening to Arizona talk about Callie was definitely not in it for uncomplicated sex. "And I hate to say it, but Mark's right. You have to get back out there." She regarded Arizona seriously. "Maybe you should give her a call."
"She did what?!" Callie stared open mouthed at Addison, dropping the medical journal she'd been reading. A pile of notes sat beside her, forgotten.
Addison nodded. "No morals. Ten tequila shots and she's anybody's," she said solemnly, ducking as Teddy hit her with a cushion.
She stared suspiciously at Teddy. "You did not try and give Mark Sloan a lap dance."
"I did not!" Teddy protested, blushing. "I fell over."
"Over onto his lap," Addison smirked, enjoying teasing her friend.
Realising she was being teased, Teddy rolled her eyes. "Some of us have our sights set higher," she said airily, waving a hand. It was her turn to duck as Addison took aim.
"So really, what did I miss?" Callie smiled at her friends' antics. She'd been upset to miss spending time with her friends, especially given Mark's great news. She'd fired off a quick congratulations text to him as soon as she'd heard about his grant, but he had yet to reply.
The look that passed between Teddy and Addison was not lost on her. "Oh… Not much," Teddy shrugged shiftily, reaching for Callie's notes. "Cartilage regeneration? That sounds amazing."
Addison cursed internally, unaware of what had actually happened the night before. Teddy steadily refused to meet her eye, uncomfortable but unwilling to break Arizona's confidence. Weighing her options, Addison sighed. Either she told Callie, or she found out from the hospital rumour mill. Picking her words tentatively, she said, "Arizona… met somebody."
The words hit Callie like a freight train. Or, at least, it felt like what she imagined being hit by a freight train would feel like. She'd expected more, somehow: although she knew she had no right, she'd wanted Arizona to want her forever... Even if Callie didn't want her back. But you do want her, a small voice in her head spoke up. She quickly suppressed it, forcing a smile onto her face, trying to inject the light back into her eyes. "Wow, she did?" she breezed, scrambling to her feet. "That's… great, amazing, good for her. I just have to… Go and do some charts. I'll see you later."
Addison groaned as Callie all but ran from the room, leaving her pile of charts and research behind her. "Oh God."
"Robbins! You and Lydia, then… Nice," Mark winked, clapping Arizona on the back and causing her to roll her eyes. She snapped shut the chart she was holding, handing it to him.
"No, Mark," she shook her head. "Thanks for the gesture, though. Anytime I can fix you up with a cute redhead…" Arizona smirked, turning to walk away. Seeing Addison walking towards them, she grinned to herself. Addison stared at her, bemused, as she walked off whistling.
Rounding the corner, Arizona was almost knocked over by a gaggle of interns rushing in the opposite direction. She caught snatches of their conversation: "unhinged", "unprofessional", "I thought she was going to hit you!"
Confused, she headed to the nurses desk, where a harassed-looking Alex was trying to juggle ten charts. He gave her a slight smile, grunting his thanks as she took a pile from him. "What happened?"
He rolled his eyes. "Torres shouted at them, told them they'd never be good doctors if they cared more about their love lives than their patients, and that if they wanted to go sleep around with hot strangers, they should just leave now." Alex shrugged.
Arizona grimaced. "Crap… How did she even find out?"
Alex shrugged. "You know what this hospital's like for rumours." He looked at Arizona, hesitating slightly. "Good for you, though."
Sitting down on the chair, Arizona span in dizzying circles before coming to a stop. "Nothing happened." She sighed, seeing the question in Alex's eyes. "She kissed me, and I… couldn't do it. It would've been easy, once upon a time. But…" She shrugged helplessly. "I didn't want to."
Alex regarded her thoughtfully. "Talk to her," he finally suggested.
"But-" It was the last piece of advice she'd expected from Alex. Even Teddy, the most hopeless romantic Arizona had ever met, thought she should move on.
"I wouldn't," he admitted. "I'd get wasted every night and sleep with a lot of strangers. Remind you of anyone?" he smiled wryly, raising an eyebrow. "Talk to her. You two never talk, not properly. So go and snap out of your "we're-just-friends-honestly" act, and tell her how you feel."
Arizona bit her lip. "I already did."
"Then tell her again. What've you got to lose?"
She'd just lost a patient; the second one today, actually. The third in two shifts, if anybody was counting – which she was. Callie almost emptied the coffee cup in one gulp, feeling revived as the caffeine burned its way down her throat.
"Thanks," she smiled gratefully at Addison. "I needed that."
Her friend smiled back at her. "Anytime," she replied, leaning back in her seat and crossing her legs. "Tomorrow, it might be me."
Callie nodded. As an orthopaedic surgeon, she didn't lose patients as often as other specialties, but it still hurt. "Hot date with Mark tonight?" she grinned, watching Addison's mouth curve into a smirk.
"Maybe," she conceded, taking a sip of her own coffee. "You?"
Callie glanced at her phone as the tone indicated a new text: We need to talk. 9pm, park bench. X Wordlessly, she passed her phone to Addison, whose forehead crinkled slightly as she read it. Eventually she looked up at Callie. "Go. And tell her how you feel."
It was a different night, a different situation; it was darker, but the stars shone a little brighter, and the cold pierced Callie's skin like needles. She wasn't married this time, and she was sick of being scared; sick of everyone knowing how she felt except the one person it concerned. She'd got there before Arizona, nerves making her early, and now she sat alone on the bench, staring at the city spread like a blanket below the hill. A noise behind her startled her out of her reverie; she stood, turning to face Arizona.
"I didn't sleep with her," Arizona began immediately. "I don't know what you heard but I didn't, it's not true –"
"I know," Callie said softly, gazing at Arizona. Her hair framed her face, making her look younger.
"- and I know you won't believe me because, well, why would you, but – what?" Arizona stopped in her tracks when she realised what Callie had said.
Callie's eyes never left Arizona's. "I love you," she stated simply, firmly, registering the shock in Arizona's eyes. She reached for Arizona's hand, pulled her towards her. She watched her eyes soften as she closed the distance between them, hesitating only slightly as their lips met. She felt Arizona kiss her back, felt her intertwine their fingers. "I love you, too."