A/N: This anon's prompt was forwarded to me by Calzonastories: Tim wasn't dead and was found as a prisoner of war. He was sent to SGMW to receive treatment and to set Arizona straight so she can live her life with Callie. Also to spoil Sofia like a cool uncle he is.
Ok so, the way I read this prompt with the 'setting Arizona straight' I figured this was intended to mean during the whole plane crash thing, so that's what I've gone with. So this is set after 9x07 but before Bailey's wedding, kinda AU in that respect, anyway, enough rambling from me.
This turned out to be rather long... and thanks to Amber for Beta-ing.
Callie studied the medical research once more; scrutinizing every single detail that her and Arizona had highlighted the previous night. She smiled at that thought. It may not have been much, but in the grand scheme of their recovering relationship, Arizona's offer to help her prepare for Derek's operation was a massive bound in the right direction. They may not have been sharing a bed yet and their conversation was still very limited but at least there was no shouting, no death glares or ignoring of one another.
Now Derek had finally agreed to the nerve donor idea, Callie was studying every single journal she could find on the subject; she wanted to know everything about the procedure, everything that could go wrong and how to overcome those issues if they presented themselves.
'Yup?' Callie asked as she turned to find one of her ortho nurses in front of her.
'There's a guy outside that wants to see you.'
Callie's brow furrowed, 'A guy wants to see me outside?'
The nurse nodded, 'He said that he couldn't come inside, but that you were the only one that could help him.'
'Does he have a name?' Callie asked, very intrigued now.
'He wouldn't say, he said that would complicate things.'
Callie sighed, 'Right, I need to go down to the ER anyway, where he is?'
'Sat on one of the benches out front; he's wearing an army hoody and has his arm in a sling.'
'Riight.' Callie said, 'Thanks.' Callie made her way down the hospital building, curiosity had got the better of her, the fact that the guy knew her name and had specifically asked for her but had refused to give his name only made her more curious. 'He could be some stalker and kill me...' Callie muttered to herself as she stood just inside the front doors. 'No, it's in the middle of the day and they're too many people around for that Callie, shut up.' With a nod of her head, Callie pushed the front doors open, stepping outside into the fresh air of a clear Seattle afternoon. She scanned the people that were outside and instantly saw the guy that the nurse had described; he was sat on one of the furthest away benches, his hood pulled up over his head, his right arm held in a way that Callie could instantly see he was in a great deal of pain. She made her way over to where he sat, hands stuffed in her pockets, she stopped with a bit of distance remaining between them, 'You asked for Dr. Torres?'
The hooded figure didn't look up, his eyes shifted slightly, but only to look at Callie's shoes, 'You're Dr. Torres?'
'Yup, that's me. Do I know you?' She asked.
'No...kind of.' He replied mysteriously.
'Okkk, any reason why you sent one of my nurses to find me and get me out here?' Callie asked.
'I need your help.' He replied, his eyes still trained on the floor.
'Because you're the best.' He replied simply, 'I did some research before coming out here, I want you.'
'Ok, well you're going to have to come in and book an appointment in the hospital.'
'Why?' Callie asked, realising that this was fast becoming a waste of her time.
'Because...there is someone in there I need to avoid...for the time being anyway.' He said.
'Look, I don't know who you are, or whatever, but I seriously don't have time for this right now, so you either come into the hospital with me and we can talk, or I'm turning around and going back to do my job.' Callie said, when she didn't get a reply she turned on her heel and headed back for the hospital.
'Wait!' Callie heard a voice call behind her as footsteps followed her, 'Callie, please wait.'
Callie whipped round then, 'How the hell do you know my na-' Her sentence cut short when she saw for the first time the face beneath the hood.
'See.' He said, glancing around he gently pulled his hood down with his left hand, his right being the one in the sling, 'You know who I am?'
Callie shook her head, her eyes squinting as she willed the tears to stay where they were, 'You can't be...'
'I am.' He replied, 'I'm who you think I am.'
'Say it.' Callie said, even though she didn't need him to say his name for her to know the truth; he had the same hair, the same eyes, he even had the same freaking dimples.
'I'm Tim Robbins,' He said, his eyes meeting Callie's for the first time. 'Arizona's brother.'
Callie's eyes went wider at that reply, even though she had known instantly; even if she hadn't seen pictures of Tim she would recognise him as Arizona's brother in a crowded place. 'What...how...seriously?!'
'I know, look I'm sorry to spring this on you..' He began.
'Spring this on me?! Fucking hell I've actually lost it haven't I? I'm hallucinating because otherwise what other explanation is there for the fact that I'm talking to my dead brother-in-law!?'
'Can we sit down?' He asked, 'Let me explain.'
'I don't think you need to be doing the explaining to me.' Callie replied.
'I know,' Tim agreed, 'This wasn't how I wanted to do things but...look, please can we sit down so I can explain?'
Callie eyed him for a second before sighing and sitting down on the bench, 'You have five minutes before I go and find Arizona.'
'I understand.' Tim nodded, 'Where to start...'
'How about starting with how your family has thought you dead for four years?' Callie shot instantly, feeling very protective of not only her wife but also her parents-in-law.
Tim sighed, 'I was killed...I mean, the army presumed I was dead. Do you know the story of my 'death'?'
'Arizona told me about it once, that it was an IED that hit your convoy?' Callie said.
Tim nodded, 'Well that's what happened, an IED hit our convoy and honestly I can't remember much of what happened immediately after that, I had a pretty bad head injury and that's when I first busted my shoulder so I was in agony. Next thing I knew I opened my eyes in a cell...'
Callie turned, animosity momentarily forgotten, 'You were kidnapped?'
Tim nodded, 'Marines were like gold-dust out there, it was right near the beginning of the war; Al-Qaida wanted to know everything and anything they could; they managed to get three from my convoy, from what I know now only three others survived and got away, the rest were killed.'
'But how did the army tell your family that you were dead? Surely they found no trace of your body?' Callie asked.
Tim nodded, 'They found my dog-tags with my blood on them, that was enough proof.'
Callie nodded, she knew Arizona kept those very dog-tags in her bedside draw; Callie would often find her sitting there with them in her hand; a private moment between her and her fallen brother.
'They sent home a coffin, my dog-tags and a flag.' Tim continued, 'It was just understood that the rest of me must've been lost in the dust...that's how a lot of men go.'
Callie nodded, 'You were in there for four years?'
'Three and a half.' Tim replied, 'It was hell. I thought the war itself, seeing your fellow soldiers get blown up around you was hell...but being a POW...it took hell to a whole new level; they tortured us for information, the other two guys that were kidnapped with me ended up dead after two years; one was killed because he hit a guard, the other grabbed one of their guns and shot himself. I don't know why they didn't kill me; they weren't getting any information from me and really I was useless physically; my shoulder was fucked, I knew that without any medical opinion. I think they just wanted to keep me as leverage...just in case that particular group ever had to make a deal with some American or British soldiers; I was their insurance.' Taking a breath, Tim plough forwards, needing to get this all out in one go, 'Anyway, a situation presented itself, the group that had me were becoming restless, this was about 7 months ago now, anyway, they were taking their eyes off of the ball, panicking because the Allied forces were pushing forwards, I went for a pee behind a rock, managed to tackle the guard who had me and legged it with his piece. I had no idea where I was going, but somehow luck was on my side and a British patrol picked me up...I must've looked like a madman – I had a thick beard, was practically black and I was as thin as a rake...anyway, they took me back to their camp, sorted me out...told me my shoulder was beyond repair and got me back to the marine's camp. Obviously it was a big shock that after over three years I'd suddenly come out of the woodwork – usually bargains were made for POW's lives, but that just hadn't been the case with me. The offered there and then to ring my family and tell them, but I just couldn't let them find out like that, you know? I wanted to tell them myself, and I needed to get my head sorted before I did. So I came back to America, got myself an apartment in Chicago, got some physio and did some research. I found out about you and Arizona...'
'How?' Callie interrupted.
Tim looked sheepish for the first time, 'I may have used being a marine to my advantage.'
'Right.' Callie said with a small smile, 'Carry on.'
'Anyway, I found out that you were the best at what you did so I knew that I needed to find you sooner rather than later about my shoulder...I'm not saying I want you to fix me up so I can go back to the war...but I'm in constant pain, and it's not just mild pain... I was all set to come out to Seattle and be all like surprise! Then the plane crash happened...'
Callie let out a gasp at that, her eyes finding Tim's and even though nothing was said for a minute it was as if he understood.
'I couldn't come and add me being alive on top of everything else, I don't know all the details but I know kid lost her leg...I...I'm sorry.'
Callie nodded, the tears now trickling, 'Me too.'
Tim went to move his hand onto Callie's leg, his hand hovering in doubt before he placed it there and gave a reassuring squeeze, 'That's why I didn't come into the hospital today and find her straight away, I needed to know how she was...how you both were, whether she was stable enough for me to suddenly appear back in her life. I'm sorry that I've kind of sprung it all on you.'
Callie smiled softly, 'I understand why you did it, you're just trying to protect your sister.'
'How is she now?' Tim asked, eager to know how Arizona was.
'Better.' Callie answered, she didn't want to tell Tim everything about the last few months, that would be Arizona's story to tell, if she chose to. 'She took it hard, obviously, and with Mark too...'
'Mark?' Tim asked.
'He didn't come up in your research?' When Tim shook his head Callie continued, 'Then you don't know about Sofia?' Again Tim shook his head. 'Well, congratulations Tim, you're an Uncle.'
Tim couldn't help but smile widely despite his confusion, 'No way? My sister has a kid?!'
Callie nodded, pulling out her phone she flipped the unlock and passed it to Tim so he could see the picture on her wallpaper of Arizona and Sofia.
'I can't believe it.' Tim said, remembering what they were originally talking about, 'Wait, who's Mark?'
Callie sighed heavily, 'Mark is...was Sofia's Dad. I don't know how much you know, but long story short, Arizona won a Carter Maddison Grant, we fell out and broke up, she went to Africa for a month, whilst she was away I slept with Mark, we're just friends and were drunk but...anyway, Sof happened. Mark and Arizona didn't get on at first but then me, Zo and an unborn Sof were in a car crash, everyone survived...
Tim's eyes went wide as his mouth formed a small o, 'That's quite a story... she looks really happy.' He said as he took in the wide smile of his sister.
Callie smiled, 'She was in that photo...she's getting better, but she's not quite back there yet.' Tim nodded, 'So what's the next step Tim?'
'I don't know.' He answered honestly, 'I hadn't really got past getting you to listen to me.'
'Right,' Callie answered. 'I'll level with you Tim, I'm not comfortable with giving you a consult on your shoulder without Arizona knowing...we've only just got our relationship back on track, I need to be honest with her.'
Tim nodded, 'I understand that...how about I come in, wait in a room or something and you go and find her?'
'And do you want me to tell her?' Callie asked, 'I'm not sure I'm comfortable just pulling her into a room and saying look who I just found honey.'
'Tell her,' Tim said. 'Tell her it's me, if she turns around and walks away then I'll come back tomorrow, and the next day, until she listens to me.'
'Ok, I can work with that.' Callie said, getting up and showing Tim through the hospital and into one of the conference rooms, promising him that she would be back.
As she headed for the peds ward she could feel the dread and worry creep into her; she had no idea how Arizona was going to react to this, whether she'd blame Callie, hit out once more in this ongoing battle for their relationships' survival. But she had to know, Callie had to tell her. Somehow.
Pushing open the double doors of the peds ward, Callie surveyed the foyer, seeing that her wife wasn't amongst the scrubs that were there, heading for her office she was relieved to find her there; at least she could tell her privately, knocking on the door, Callie pushed the door open, 'Hey.'
'Hey!' Arizona was surprised to see Callie; although their relationship was on the mend, Callie hadn't randomly popped into her office since she'd been back. It was nice. 'You ok?' She asked when she saw the confused, slightly upset, slightly apprehensive look on her wife's face.
Callie closed the door behind her, smiling as she turned, 'Yeah I'm ok.'
Arizona's brow furrowed, 'What's wrong?'
Callie couldn't help but smile, even after all they'd been through, all that had been said, Arizona still knew her better than she knew herself. 'I need to tell you something.'
'Ok?' Arizona asked, suddenly very nervous.
'And I need you to just hear me out, because what I'm about to say will sound utterly ridiculous and like I'm being seriously horrible, but I'm not.' Callie said, trying to somehow prepare Arizona for the revelation she was about to make.
'Ok.' Arizona replied; all sorts of things ran through her mind; Sofia, Callie was leaving, she'd met someone else. Nothing could have prepared her for what came next.
'Your brother's here.' Callie said.
'Excuse me?' Arizona asked.
'Tim, he's here, in the conference room on the first floor.' Callie said again, moving forwards so she was nearer Arizona.
Arizona shook her head, 'What...why are you saying that?'
Moving even closer to her wife, Callie knelt down, placing a hand on each of her knees, ignoring the shudder that came from Arizona when her hand met the prosthetic, 'I know this sounds completely horrible, and impossible, and if I hadn't seen him myself I'd be looking a bit like you right now, but it's true...he wants to tell you why and explain it himself...he just asked for me first because he knew about the crash...he wanted to make sure you were ok enough for him to come in.'
Arizona just stared at her wife, looking into her eyes she saw no lie there, only love and sincerity. She was at a loss for words, she didn't understand...couldn't even begin to understand what Callie was saying to her. 'I don't...'
'I know,' Callie said. 'You don't have to go down there if you don't want to...just...I wanted to tell you as soon as I could...whatever you want to do, I'm here.'
Arizona nodded, despite the fact that she'd just been told her brother was back from the dead she couldn't help but feel an overwhelming surge of love for her wife; she'd been a total bitch to her the last five months and here she was, still doing everything she could to protect her from the world.
'Do you want me to go?' Callie asked when she didn't get an answer, knowing that even before the accident that Arizona was very much a solitary thinking in certain situations.
Arizona shook her head, tears falling thickly down her face, 'No...never...' She said, and before she knew it, she was leaning forwards and Callie was catching her as she sobbed into Callie's shoulder; tears of sadness, joy, confusion and frustration. Tears not just for her brother, but also for herself and for her wife and the way she had been treating her.
Callie held her wife until the sobbing subsided, not wanting to push Arizona too quickly, she sat back on her heels, grazing her thumb over Arizona's cheek as she wiped away the few remaining tears.
'I don't understand.' Arizona said eventually, suddenly reaching out and grabbing onto Callie's hand.
'I know,' Callie replied. 'I don't think you will until you see him, hear what happened.'
Arizona nodded, 'He's told you?'
Callie nodded in reply, afraid that this would create animosity from her wife, 'I needed to hear it before I'd let him see you.'
Arizona smiled, 'Thank you.'
Callie smiled in return, relieved that Arizona seemed to be taking it a lot better than she could've expected, 'Do you want to see him?'
Arizona nodded instantly, despite the fear and confusion, this was her brother, her Tim and she needed to see it to believe it. 'Will you come with me?'
'Of course.' Callie replied, glad that Arizona was letting her help with this, getting up she began to make her way to the door.
Callie's head whipped round at that word coming from Arizona's mouth; she hadn't called her that since before that fateful night, 'Yeah?'
'I'm sorry and I love you.' Arizona said, hoping that that would be enough for now, talking would come, but not today.
Callie stood still for a minute, she almost had to pinch herself to ensure she wasn't dreaming; Tim Robbins back from the dead, and now Arizona saying those three little words. 'I'm sorry too, and I love you.'
Arizona smiled, walking forwards she placed the smallest of kisses on Callie's lips, sliding her fingers in between familiar tanned hands, a simple gesture that she had missed more than she knew. They walked down to the first floor in silence, both preparing themselves for the Pandora's box that was about to be opened. When they reached the door of the conference room, Callie stopped when she felt Arizona still beside her, 'You don't have to do this...'
'I do.' Arizona replied, 'I've been hiding from one thing or another for most of my life...I've hidden from you times enough...but this...'
Giving the hand in hers a squeeze, Callie asked, 'Now?'
Arizona nodded and Callie pushed the door open, catching Tim's eye briefly she just nodded and stepped aside so Arizona could follow.
Arizona's stomach literally fell through the floor. It was true. Her brother was alive. Standing as large as life in front of her. She didn't know what she wanted to do. Hit him? Hug him? Run away? She'd ran away too often lately; from her wife, her daughter and from herself; she couldn't run anymore.
'Hey kiddo.' Tim said, breaking the silence that had descended, his voice breaking silently as he said the words, Arizona's nickname falling softly from his lips.
With those two words that was it, Arizona's decision was made, hurrying forwards as fast as she could she fell into her brother's arms. Tears fell from three sets of eyes in the room, Callie silently watching as her wife came undone in her brother's arms.
Once Arizona had calmed down enough, they sat down and Tim proceeded to tell Arizona everything he had told Callie, Arizona hooked on every word.
'Have you told Mum and Dad?' Arizona asked once Tim had finished.
Tim shook his head, 'I'm not sure I could've coped with that on my own.'
Arizona laughed, the musical sound causing Callie to smile; it was the first time she'd heard her wife laugh in five months. 'They need to know.'
'I know,' Tim agreed. 'But after I found out what happened to you...I needed to see you were ok for myself...Callie tells me you're a Mom?'
Arizona smiled, pride radiating from her at that statement, 'Yeah, Sofia.'
'Callie showed me a picture, she looks like a heartbreaker.' Tim said.
'Oh don't worry, she'll have you wrapped round your little finger before you know it.' Callie said, smiling at both dimpled faces opposite her.
'So your shoulder?' Arizona asked, looking between Tim and Callie.
'Is something that I'm hoping Callie can help me with.' Tim answered, 'Not that she knows anything about it.'
Callie smiled, 'Well from the way you've been holding it since I've seen you I'd say there's a lot going on; at a guess I'd say your labrum is a mess, the tendon attached to your bicep is causing the majority of the pain, and you've got ligament damage thrown in there as well. But hey that's just a guess.'
'Woah, she's good.' Tim answered as Callie had just recited the exact condition of his shoulder.
'She's amazing.' Arizona said in agreement, a smile thrown to her wife. 'You can help him right?'
Callie nodded, 'Course, the recovery will be hell but at least it'll give you an excuse to stay around for a while.'
'Like I need one.' Tim said sincerely. Their reunion was interrupted by the sound of a pager.
'Shit, it's 911, I've got to go.' Callie said, 'You'll be ok?'
Arizona nodded, 'Text me when you've done and I'll tell you where we are?'
'Perfect.' Callie said, and with an undoubted spring in her step, she kissed Arizona quickly and exited the room.
Once she'd gone Tim turned to his sister, 'She's quite something.'
Arizona just nodded, tears finding her eyes once more, 'I don't deserve her Tim.'
Tim's brow furrowed, 'Come on kid, she obviously thinks the world of you...as soon as she saw me outside her first reaction was to protect you from me and I'm your brother...that's someone that loves you right there.'
Arizona smiled through the tears falling down her face, 'I know she loves me, and I love her...I love her more than I can put into words T...more than I think she even understands...and these last five months I've treated her appallingly...god knows why she's still here.'
'You've not talked to her about this have you?'
Arizona shook her head, all of a sudden she found herself telling Tim everything, well, apart from the events that happened in the woods themselves; she told him about the arguments, the hatred that she had felt for her wife when she had woken up without a leg; all of it. 'I don't know how she still stands to be around me...'
'Because you don't have a leg?' Tim asked, he was never one to shy away from the truth, particularly with his sister.
Arizona nodded, 'And because of the way I've acted.'
Tim sighed, 'I can't pretend to understand what you two have gone through kid...but at the end of the day that woman loves you, it's obvious from the way she looks at you, and the way you look at her...but you need to talk to her, you know that right? Just like I had to tell you about what happened to me in Iraq, you and Callie need to talk; talk about what's happened but most importantly talk about your future...she loves you kid, don't lose sight of that.'
Later that day, Callie had finished the surgery and had found Arizona and Tim in the cafeteria; the smile still lighting up her wife's beautiful features. When Tim saw Callie arrive he smiled in her direction, standing up he said, 'Point me to the nearest restroom?'
'Straight through that door, left, then right.' Callie said.
'Be right back.' Tim said as he left, planning on taking the long route to and from the toilet so that Callie and Arizona had time to talk.
Callie watched Tim saunter off and sat down next to her wife, a small smile on her lips, 'You ok?'
Arizona nodded, 'I think so...I'm just waiting for the other shoe to drop you know?'
'I know what you mean,' Callie replied. 'I had to pinch myself when I first saw him.'
Arizona looked nervously down to her fingers that were now playing with the hem of her scrub top; there were so many things that she wanted to say, but where to start? How did she put all that she wanted to say into words?
'Thank you for today.' Arizona said eventually, 'You've been brilliant.'
Callie just smiled in return, not sure what to say to that, she could see that Arizona wanted to say more so she waited patiently.
'I know we need to talk.' Arizona said, her eyes still on her hands, 'There are so many things that I need to say to you, how sorry I am and how grateful I am for the last five months for a start, but I just...can we just have today and then talk tomorrow? I know it's going to be hard, but I want to work through this Calliope, and I know all of this is down to me, and I know I haven't exactly given you much reason to want to stay with me, but I love you, and if I have to spend the rest of my life making it up to you, then I will.'
Callie could feel the tears trickling down her own cheeks, hearing Arizona say all those things; it was like a shadow had been lifted, reaching forwards, Callie hooked her finger under Arizona's chin, lifting her face so that their eyes met, 'The talking will come, I think today we turned a corner...and I know we didn't see it coming, but it happened, and if there's one thing I'm certain of it's that we will get through this. As a very wise, and super hot, woman once said to me, I love you and you love me, and none of the rest of it matters.'
Timothy Robbins looked on from the doorway as his sister and Callie shared a kiss that was obviously long overdue. His return to 'life' could have been a burden, it could've sent everyone and everything spiralling out of control; but instead, he had been the spark, a spark needed to push Callie and Arizona that little step closer to each other.