Title: Unwanted Visitor
Disclaimer: This is a work of fan fiction using characters from Grey's Anatomy. The characters are created and owned by Shonda Rhimes and ABC. The story is AU, and for entertainment only. I am not profiting financially from the creation and publication of this story.
Summary: This is an AU story taking places about twelve years in the future; it does refer back to the story line for some major events through the beginning of season 9 but not all. As it takes place in the future (and it is fiction), there are some things that are different.
A/N: It is my first attempt at fanfiction so I am a bit apprehensive. I have no beta, so the mistakes are all mine.
Arizona pulled up to Jefferson High School at 1:20pm. This was her fault; the words sang through her head like the lyrics of a bad song that would not stop. She just wanted to shut her brain off sometimes.
She had ten minutes until her appointment with Sofia's high school guidance counselor. Arizona had finished her last surgery just in time to get to the school for the appointment. The day before Arizona had received a phone call from Mr. Jones asking if one of Sofia's parents could come in. Sofia was struggling academically and with the April school vacation the following week, Mr. Jones wanted to meet as soon as possible, before the grades of the normally straight "A" student slipped even more.
Sofia never mentioned she was having any issues at school, of course Sofia never mentioned much of anything these days. Life at home was...complicated. Arizona realized she knew very little about what was happening in Sofia's life right now. Any efforts to check-in with the teenager were brushed off, though if Arizona was honest with herself, her efforts were half-hearted. Ignorance was bliss had been her mantra of late. It looks like bliss was biting her in the backside she thought.
It was decided that Arizona would attend the meeting at the school as she historically had been the one to connect with Sofia's teachers, plus she was off Thursday afternoon. Sofia may look like Callie, but her personality and mannerisms were all Arizona. Homework help would often turn into a battle with Callie, but not with Arizona. Sofia and Arizona have, or used to have, a rapport that was special, unique. Callie admired how well Arizona navigated the waters with Sofia. Sofia would listen to the pediatric surgeon and, like Arizona; she would take her time to process a situation. When Sofia was ready, she would go to Arizona and work it out. It dawned on Arizona that she could not remember when the two last spent any quality time together.
Arizona dragged herself from her Alpine White BMW sedan. She had not slept in 36 hours, as she had been on-call the night before. It was a busy night. Since January a restful night's sleep was more of a luxury anyway. This meeting weighed heavily on her. There must be some mistake; Sofia never has issues at school. It just didn't make sense. She had not seen Sofia since before the phone call from Mr. Jones yesterday, and she was not sure whether Callie had mentioned it to Sofia. Arizona had no idea whether her daughter knew she was asked to come to the school.
The timing could not be worse. School vacation started tomorrow and Callie was taking the kids on Saturday to California to see Arizona's parents. Her father had a week of baseball games and fishing planned for the boys. Her mom had trips to Build-a-Bear and The American Girl store for Anna. Sofia was looking forward to some shopping. They would all spend a day Disneyland. The trip was planned last November, over Thanksgiving. The kids were so excited for the vacation. A pang of sadness rushed through Arizona when she remembered that she would not be joining her family for this vacation.
Lindsey poked Sofia, who was sitting in the desk in front of her, with the eraser end of her pencil. Lindsey was Sofia's best friend. The two met ten years ago when Sofia's parents bought a house, a five bedroom ranch, in Lindsey's neighborhood. Lindsey's house was just one street over from Sofia's. This year the two had the same sophomore English class. They also had Calculus together. Lindsey pointed to the window with her pencil where they both could clearly see Arizona walking toward the entrance of the school.
Lindsey admired the doctor; she was considered a 'cool' mom among their friends; both Sophia's parents were. You would never know she had only one leg just by looking at her. Sometimes, like today, Dr. Robbins limped a bit, but rarely. Come on, the woman survived a plane crash, she's amazing Lindsey thought. Lindsey loved her own parents, but she was a bit envious of Sofia. To have a mom who never flipped out, and who was great with homework questions – Dr. Robbins actually gets 'new' math - unlike her own parents, was awesome. The bonus, you could always talk Dr. Robbins into going for ice cream. Lindsey knew things were bothering Sofia, but Sofia was not one to share her troubles easily. Upon seeing the doctor's arrival at school, Lindsey decided things must be worse than she figured.
As Sofia glanced toward the window in the direction that Lindsey's pencil was pointing, her eyes opened widely, "What's she doing here?" Sofia thought. Sofia gave Lindsey an I-don't-know shoulder shrug, but the pit in her stomach told another story. Sofia let out a discouraged sigh. Her day was only going to get worse.
Arizona entered the school and signed in. She was promptly met by Jeff Jones, Sofia's guidance counselor. They went to a conference room. Mr. Jones explained that some of Sofia's teachers would be joining them shortly, but he wanted to spend a few minutes alone with Arizona prior to that. Mr. Jones handed Sofia's printed progress report to Arizona, Arizona peered at it incredulously. Sofia is an excellent student - or was. This said she was flunking math and science, and close to failing History and English as well. Her highest grade was in Spanish. Sofia was almost fluent in Spanish. Both Callie and their nanny, Mrs. Gonzales, spoke Spanish fluently. Callie and Arizona wanted their children to be bi-lingual, so they opted for a bi-lingual nanny.
Realizing Arizona was speechless, Mr. Jones started the conversation "Dr. Robbins, I think we can both agree this is highly irregular for Sofia. I am not aware of any issues she may be having at school other than the obvious grade problems. Is there something happening in Sofia's personal life that may be affecting her academically?" Arizona did not know how to respond.
Realizing that the doctor was totally caught off-guard by this news, Mr. Jones continued "Sofia's teachers are worried; she is a wonderful girl. You and your wife have been very supportive of the school. We would like to work with you to help remedy this problem but we are not sure what the problem is." Arizona knew she would need to have a conversation with the guidance counselor she dreaded. Saying it out loud made the problems even more real and even more depressing but this was about Sofia, not her. Arizona began "Well, there have been some..."
Forty-five minutes later the meeting was wrapping up. Sofia's math, science and English teachers had joined them. Sofia would be called in momentarily, for the last few minutes. The teachers were very sympathetic and understanding. Callie and Arizona had always generously volunteered their time at the school. Callie would help run an injury prevention clinic prior to the start of each sport's season. Arizona always helped out at the clinic for students needing sports physicals. The school was more than willing to work with the family.
Sofia entered the conference room. She refused to look at Arizona. She immediately sat down on Mr. Jones' left; Arizona was sitting on the counselor's right. Mr. Jones began, "Hi Sofia, thank you for joining us. We have spent some time with your mom going over your grades. She also shared with us some of the, ah, changes at home right now. We all want you to be successful; right now you are in danger of failing 10th grade. We have agreed to give you next week to get caught up. Your mother said she would work with you. You have quite a bit to complete but your mother, teachers and I feel you are capable of getting this done over vacation and finishing up any loose ends once you return to school. Do you have any questions?"
Sofia quietly replied "No." The teachers and Mr. Jones thanked Arizona for coming in and they exited the conference room, leaving Arizona and Sofia alone.
Sofia blurted out "I can't get this all done next week, I won't be home. You know I'm going to visit Grandma and Grandpa. "
Arizona calmly stated "I sorry Sof, you can't go. You'll need to stay with me. I will clear my schedule so I can help you get through all this."
Sofia cried "But we've been planning this trip for months. Mom bought the ticket already, Grandma and I already made plans to do stuff".
Arizona repeated, "I'm sorry Sofia, you are not going. I know things have been hard, but we need to fix this. School is important. You are failing two classes and barely passing the others. This is a consequence you will just need to deal with. Grandma will understand."
Sofia glared at her mother and harshly replied "After all these months now you decide to be the parent! You... You... You're not even my real mother! I hate you!" Sofia observed Arizona long enough to confirm that her words wounded her target as intended.
"Sofia, please. Let's..." Arizona tried to interject.
"I need to go; I'm going to be late for debate club." Sofia stoically replied.
Sofia stood there stone-faced. Tears filled Arizona's eyes; she was unable to find the words to reply to her child, so she just nodded. Guilt washed over Arizona. Sofia left the room without another word. Arizona darted from the school as fast as she could, before anyone could see the tears trickling down her cheeks.