Flashbacks in italics.
Callie picked up her sangria, took a satisfying sip and placed it back on the table beside the beach chair she was reclining in. She glanced to her right and looked at the beautiful woman sitting next to her. Blue eyes looked back at Callie as blonde hair sparkled in the Spanish sun. Callie reached over and placed her hand on top of Arizona's and gently gave it a squeeze before turning her attention back to the gentle roll of the waves breaking on the beach in front of them. It had been a hectic but wonderful eight years since the night of the storm that nearly tore their world apart. Callie glanced at the children playing in the sand near the water and turned back to her wife.
"So did you want to stay out here for much longer or take the bambino's back to the hotel?"
"Let's give them a bit more time to play and we'll head in for dinner."
Callie nodded and Arizona smiled as she watched the other loves of her life building a sand castle, trying desperately to stop the incoming tide from breaching the castle's defences. Arizona found herself reflecting on the conversation she and Callie shared after that therapy session when Callie brought up the question of having more kids together. They'd had a nice dinner with Sofia that night and settled in with a bottle of wine while Callie gave her a massage and they talked.
Callie started the conversation. "So, are you really serious about us having another kid?"
Arizona sat up and took Callie's hands in hers. "I am. But I need to say something before we begin and I don't want you to think this is me backing out or changing my mind."
Callie squeezed the hands in hers. "Go on."
Arizona took a moment and composed herself. "I don't think it's a good idea for me to carry a child." Before Callie could protest Arizona continued on. "I want this, I do, but the extra weight would put too much pressure on my prosthetic, so yeah, I don't think I could be the pregnant one."
Callie smiled widely, her eyes full of love. "Well, I wanted to be the pregnant one anyway so this works out just fine. I was thinking though, I want to use your eggs with sperm we pick together."
Arizona met Callie's gaze and smiled. "You want to use my eggs?"
Callie's nodded and brought one of Arizona's hands to her mouth and placed a kiss to her palm. "Of course. That way we can get a donor that looks like me and get the best of both of us. So what do you say? Ready to be a Mama again?" Arizona's dimples popped and she launched herself at Callie and pulled her surprised wife into a bear hug.
They made tender love that night and started to make plans soon after for extending their family. Sadly, things don't always work out like you want or expect them to. They tested Arizona's eggs and they were in excellent shape and they found a perfect donor but Callie's car accident and Sofia's emergency delivery had caused scaring that would most likely make it difficult for her to carry their baby to term. Callie had been devastated when Addison had given her the news.
Callie had laid on their bed since they came back from seeing Addison, her tears flowing no matter how fast she tried to wipe them away. Arizona had given Sofia a bath and explained gently to her why her Mommy was so upset and had put her daughter to bed before she walked into their bedroom and spooned Callie, trying as best as she could to comfort her wife.
"Hey, we'll work something out. Maybe I could get pregnant after all or we can look at other options."
Callie turned and kissed Arizona lightly on the lips and leaned her forehead against her wife's. "No, I can't ask you to do that. Maybe it's just not meant to be. I'm happy with Sofia and our family, we don't need more kids."
Arizona knew Callie had been lying to her and she was just as upset as her wife but they both needed time to come to terms with the blow they'd been dealt before they dismissed the idea. It wasn't until a few weeks later when Arizona was talking to Anne when they were in a surgery that their problem was solved.
"So she's been so depressed. Callie spends most of her time in the lab with Dr Ross going over her research and shutting me down when I try to talk about it. I mean, we talk about everything else except for this. She keeps ignoring the issue and I'm at a loss, even Nicole can't get through to her. Gauze please."
A few weeks later Anne would make Callie and Arizona the offer of the gift of a lifetime.
"Are you serious? Anne we can't ask you to do that, it's too much."
Anne gave the couple a smile. "I want to do it. Look, I'm still young and I don't have a husband or boyfriend to consider so I can do this. All I ask is you cover all my medical expenses and match my pay while I'm on maternity leave. Aside from that, I say we do it. You've both done so much for me so let me be your surrogate. Let me repay the kindness you've shown to me."
To say they were shocked was an understatement but in the end Callie and Arizona agreed to using Anne as a surrogate so they could have another child. Arizona started the fertility injections and egg harvest and they were able to get the sperm they wanted. It all came together about a year after the storm and they were ready to go. It took four agonising months for it to finally take and when Anne had her first scan they got the surprise of their lives.
"Are you joking? 'Cause this isn't funny Addison."
Addison laughed and pointed to the screen. "I'm not joking. Look and listen, one, two heartbeats. Congrats you guys, it's twins."
Arizona hadn't said a word since Addison announced the news and had a slack-jawed look about her. Callie walked around and pulled Arizona into a tight hug, squealing in her wife's ear. They knew this was a possibility with the multiple eggs implanted to improve their chances but to have it happen was another thing.
"Oh my God, twins. I can't believe this."
Callie gave a smile and a thank you to Anne, still laying on the table, covered in the goo until Addison started wiping it off. Anne pulled down her gown, stood up and walked over to Arizona after receiving a hug from Callie.
"You okay Arizona?
Arizona didn't say a word but pulled her favourite scrub nurse into her arms and hugged her to within an inch of her life. Arizona pulled back and wiped a tear.
"Thank you so much. You don't know what you've done for us. I don't think we could ever repay you."
Anne chuckled and walked over to dress behind a screen. "Take me to lunch and we'll call it even. I have this craving for a pizza with really weird toppings."
Arizona laughed and hugged Anne again when she came out. "You got it."
Arizona took Callie's hand and walked side by side back to the car. "So twins. We really need to move now don't we."
So Callie and Arizona went on the hunt and quickly found a beautiful two-story house about a twenty-minute drive from the hospital, one with a pool in the back yard for Sofia and enough room for their expanding family. It had only gone on the market about a week before they started to look around for homes and it was fate that they found it straight away. It even had a guest house out the back which was perfect for Colonel Daniel Robbins to live in, Arizona's father having announced his retirement a year and a half after losing his wife and finding out about the newest members of the Robbins-Torres household that would be arriving in four to five months time. The house was so quiet without Barbara and now he was on his own being near his girls and preparing to be a grandfather again was all that mattered to him. Callie, Arizona and Sofia even made the trip to Baltimore for the big send off the military gave him.
"Hey Arizona, remember me?"
"Of course." Arizona gave Glen a hug. "How are you Glen?"
"I'm great. How are you enjoying the Aqua leg?"
Arizona laughed. "I love it. Callie and I have started the Mommy and Me swim classes with Sofia and she took to the water like a champion and we've got two more on the way through our surrogate, so life's good."
Glen chuckled lightly. "I know, your Dad told me. Glad to hear you're enjoying the leg and congratulations on the new arrivals. Oh, I see the bat signal from the missus. Excuse me."
That night Arizona watched her father as his career came to an end and the rest of his life began. She shed a tear for her mother who would've been so proud of her husband and how happy she would've been with Arizona's life being back on track and their family together again. Daniel happily moved into the guest house down the backyard of the new house and Sofia, who never had another nightmare about people leaving her after Arizona moved home, loved having her Pop Pop around all the time. And she loved her new bedroom, painted like an Easter basket as Callie liked to say. The twins room was painted a neutral pastel after they decided to wait and see whether they were having boys or girls or one of each.
Of course they had to try really hard to resist the urge to be around Anne 24/7 but they managed. Anne was gracious and understanding and let them spend time reading to her stomach and talking to the babies, letting Sofia talk to her younger siblings and making sure they were always both there when she had scans or tests, making sure they experienced everything together. It was worth the wait when Anne, via C-section at eight months, delivered two healthy babies.
"It's a boy." The nurses took baby number one for his Apgar test and gave him a six, a good score for a twin. He weighed in at a healthy 6 pounds 10 ounces. The nurses wrapped him in a blue blanket and handed him to Arizona as Callie leaned over her shoulder and marvelled at their newest addition. Just as they were getting lost in his cuteness, the nurses pulled their attention back to Anne and their other child coming into this world. Addison delivered the baby and looked over at Callie and Arizona.
"It's a boy too. Congratulations."
Callie excepted the little bundle of joy after he'd had his Apgar test and looked at his face. He weighed in at 6 pound, 7 ounces and had a score of 6 too, so both their boys were healthy and loved so much already. Callie and Arizona briefly held each of their children before handing them back to the nurses so they could be taken down to the nursery for observation and to give them proper testing and cleaning. Callie and Arizona walked out hand in hand to their waiting family and friends. Sofia was the first to run up and ask about the twins. She was so looking forward to being a big sister and she even had an 'I'm the big sister' shirt on.
"Mama, Mommy. What are they?"
Callie picked Sofia up, balancing her daughter on her hip as Daniel, Alex, Jo, Meredith, Derrick, Owen, Christina, Bailey, Ben, Richard, Avery, April, Shane, Carlos, Lucia and Aria crowded around them to find out.
Yes, Carlos, Lucia and Aria were there too. Carlos had finally managed to convince his wife and daughter that they would lose Callie forever if they didn't stop being so stubborn and realize Callie wasn't going to leave Arizona or her family and marry some guy just to please them. Carlos was proud of his daughter and he loved the family she'd created and he would never ask her to change it in a million years. Their reconciliation was hard, it was stressful and it was frustrating, but it was worth it when Callie had her mother and sister by her side when she made their announcement.
"Their both boys everyone. Two healthy baby boys."
Sofia clapped her hands and cheered. "Yay! Two little brothers. We see them?"
Arizona kissed Sofia's cheek. "Not yet big girl. They have to be checked out and they need some sleep but soon okay."
Callie put Sofia back on the ground as congratulations, hugs and tears of joy came from all around them. Shane said his piece and headed back to the Ortho ward to check on their post op patients, having become Callie's right hand man in the past two years. Ortho may not have been his focus but he had taken to the field and was excelling, quickly becoming essential to Callie's research with the cartilage regeneration and the clinical trials they would be starting after Callie came back from maternity leave.
Daniel pulled Arizona to side and into a tight hug as he whispered in her ear. "I'm so proud of you. Your Mother would be too and I know she's watching us right now, smiling down on us. I can feel it."
Arizona pulled back fighting tears but not succeeding. "I can feel her too and Timothy. I miss them so much."
Daniel felt the tear roll down his face. "I do too. Come on, I want to know what my grandson's names are."
Arizona walked back over to her wife and in-laws, receiving hugs from Carlos, Lucia and her newest friend Aria. The two of them got on like a house on fire and Arizona was finally happy to have someone to tease Callie with after the years of being picked on by her wife and father. The two of them stood side by side as Arizona announced the names of their sons.
"Baby boy number one will be Timothy Marcus Robbins-Torres and baby boy number two will be Charles Nicolas Robbins-Torres. So Timmy and Charlie for short."
Everyone had nodded their heads in understanding knowing most of the names were to honour those who sadly where no longer with them and Charles being the Anglicised version of Carlos for Callie's Dad. He'd done so much in reuniting Callie with Lucia and Aria they both felt the need to thank her father by naming one of their children after him if they had boys. The Robbins-Torres family crowded around the nursery window when they were finally allowed to and fawned over the two boys, both showing signs of being blue-eyed with tuffs of darker hair coming through.
The family finally went back to the house while Callie and Arizona went into the recovery room to make sure Anne was doing okay, thanking her again for giving them the greatest gift. In return Callie used part of her trust fund to buy Anne a new car since her old one was being held together by rust. Anne chuckled at her friends and waved them away.
"You don't need to do that. I'm happy to have done this for you, you don't need to buy me a car."
Callie laughed along with Arizona and took one of Anne's hands. "We do. You've sacrificed a lot and so have your kids to do this for us. It's the least we can do to say thanks."
Anne nodded. "Well if that's how you feel I won't say no."
Anne was released from the hospital two days after the birth while the boys were able to come home after three. Addison just wanted to be sure they were doing okay and when the time finally came the nursery was as crowded as the waiting room had been on the night they were born. Callie carried Charlie while Arizona carried Timmy. Daniel carried Sofia so she wouldn't feel left out and the Robbins-Torres family headed to their home to begin the next phrase of their life together.
It was hectic in the Robbins-Torres household after the twins came home even with Daniel helping and Callie and Arizona both taking time off to look after them but it was worth it. Both boys had olive skin like Sofia and they had Arizona's blue eyes and dimples much to Callie's delight. Sofia adored her little brothers and would help her parents when she could. From the beginning both boys had very different personalities. Charlie was a quiet baby, happy to look around at the world and fell into a sleep pattern quickly whereas Timmy was a firecracker. He wanted to touch and grab everything he could and he always wanted attention and would cry his little lungs out to get it.
The Robbins-Torres family quickly established a routine and things went smoothly for the first couple of months until Callie and Arizona had to go back to work. Luckily for them their old next door neighbour Mrs Elizabeth Jones was qualified in first aid and used to be a nanny when she lived back in Manchester. She already knew Sofia and she was such an organised person she had the household running smoothly so Callie and Arizona could come home at night and enjoy their kids and not stress about anything. Lizzie, as she liked to be called, was a valuable member of their household and was like a second grandmother to Sofia, Timmy and Charlie and a wonderful friend to Daniel.
With their private life flourishing their careers were right along with it. Arizona was still the head of Peads while Callie finally became the head of Ortho after the successful clinical trials of her cartilage regeneration project. In conjunction with the Harper Avery Foundation it took five years but finally Callie achieved her goal and changed the world for the better. People's recovery times were halved and patients with shattered bones could have them rebuilt without steel and titanium being implanted in their bodies.
It wasn't only humans that benefited. Vets used the same technology and regeneration techniques to help animals involved in accidents or with degenerative conditions like hip dysplasia. Even though she wasn't eligible for a Harper Avery Award because the foundation funded the research and development that didn't stop the ASPCA, PETA and many other organisations both in the veterinary community and her own colleagues as well as the entire medical community from honouring her and the wonderful things her work was doing.
And so Callie Torres and Arizona Robbins along with Sofia, Timmy and Charlie lived a mostly peaceful and happy life in their Seattle home with Pop Pop out the back and an extended family at the hospital that looked out for and supported each other in good times and bad. And it was that extended family that helped Callie to organise the surprise she had in store for Arizona. It was nearing their tenth anniversary and just after Sofia's tenth birthday when Callie did it.
Arizona looked around the cafeteria embarrassed as Callie got down on one knee. "Callie, what are you doing? Get up."
Callie smiled and shook her head no and held open a box with a ring inside. "Arizona Danielle Robbins, will you do me the honour of marrying me again?"
Arizona looked around and saw their ten-year old daughter and their six-year-old twin boys standing with their grandfather waiting for her answer. Arizona looked back down at her wife and nodded yes, her eyes tearing up as Callie stood and twirled Arizona in the air in celebration. The two best friends, lovers and wife's kissed in front of the whole cafeteria without caring who could see. They pulled back from each other only to be engulfed by their kids. Hugs, kisses and choruses of 'yay' and congratulations coming from their friends.
Callie had organised a simple ceremony in their back yard for the next Saturday after she proposed, their extended family in attendance to watch Sofia walk down the aisle before her mothers as a flower girl, wearing a pink dress with a bouquet of flowers to match her mothers. The twins had the responsibility of carrying one of the rings each on a pillow and they were adorable in little suits with bow ties, one with a blue vest and one with a red vest. Aria stood as Callie's maid of honour while Alex stood in as a kind of best man for Arizona.
Daniel walked his daughter down the aisle for the second time, Arizona wearing a blue knee-length gown that matched her eyes, not a care in the world that people could see her prosthetic. Carlos and Lucia walked together with Callie who was wearing a red dress and a huge smile, both her parents finally giving their blessing to the renewal about to take place. Callie arrived at the altar to be greeted by her glowing wife and turned to face Bailey who decided if they were going to do this she was gonna be there to preside again.
"We come here today to renew the vows of a very special couple. They stand before us ready to choose each other again, before God and the loving family and friends that surround them. The first time you all did this I said there was a little bit of magic and I think I was right." Chuckles of laughter rippled through the crowd. "So Callie and Arizona, would you like to say your vows."
Callie took Arizona's hands and looked her wife of ten years in the eye. "I love you so much Arizona Robbins. We've been through so much in our life together. We have three beautiful kids, and a place I want to come home to the minute I leave in the mornings. I love everything we've been through, good or bad, because it's brought us to where we are today. You are past, my present and my future and I couldn't live my life any other way. I love you Arizona Robbins and I will for the rest of my life. I chose you once to be the one with whom I spent my life and I will always choose you."
Arizona squeezed Callie's hands before she spoke. "Calliope Torres, you are the love of my life and the best partner and friend anyone could ever ask for. You stood by me when I was in a dark place and you pulled me back into the light. You make me happier than I ever thought could be possible, you and our babies. I wouldn't be standing here today without your love and understanding and I thank you for it. You are the one I will always choose too and I love you so, so, much."
Bailey let the two of them get lost in each others eyes for a moment before she interrupted. "Charlie, could you hand the ring to you mother."
Charlie nodded and handed Callie the ring to be placed on his Mama's finger. Callie slid the ring on Arizona's ring finger and smiled widely. Timmy stepped up beside his Mama and held up the ring for his Mommy. Arizona smiled and placed the ring on Callie's finger, the ring sliding on easily and looked back at her wife with a matching smile.
Bailey couldn't help the smile that spread over her face, one that was mirrored throughout the family and friends watching. "It is my great honour to pronounce you wife and wife, again. You may kiss the bride."
Callie and Arizona leaned in and shared a sweet kiss, Arizona's hands sliding around Callie's shoulder while Callie's circled around her wife's waist. They let the kiss linger while a round of applause echoed in the crowd. They pulled back and couldn't help the smiles permanently etched on their faces. They finally pulled away from each other to kiss and hug Sofia, Timmy and Charlie. They walked hand in hand back down the make shift aisle, thanking everyone and starting the reception. That night they stayed in a nearby hotel and had a wedding night to remember. They loved their kids with all their hearts but it's hard to have loud and obnoxious sex with three little ones in the house.
Two days later they used Carlos' wedding gift to them and flew in his private plane to Spain, to a quiet seaside hotel with a private beach and their kids right along side them. Arizona always though she couldn't enjoy a Spanish holiday if she had kids but she was so wrong. Sipping a sangria on the beach with the love of your life and your kids playing in the sand was a dream she never knew she wanted but it was one she was so happy had come true.
Arizona looked back over at Callie and smiled. At the lowest point in her life she though her love had been lost forever. But hope was always right around the corner and when you have hope and love you can never be truly lost, only found.
Hello, I am sorry for the extended delay, this was hard for me to write as this story has come to an end. I want to thank all of you who had read, reviewed, favourite or followed this story. I am thinking of doing a series of one-shots about things I have written in this epilogue. If you want me to or you have an idea of something you'd like me to write PM me and I'll try. Aside from that, I thank you all again for coming on this journey with me. Til next time, Tigersforever.