Author's Note: I uploaded two chapters at once! Make sure to go back a page and reread the last one before this, which is simply the epilogue!
Two Months Later
A quiet knocking on her door, had Callie's heart pumping fast in her chest, as she smoothed her hands down the sides of her dress. It was a different dress this time, both she and Arizona decided that was best for both of them. They would use the same rings they had from before, but this time… new dresses.
"Come in," she called, and she expected the door to open to reveal her father, adorned in his tuxedo, smiling at her.
Instead, reflected in the mirror she was looking in was the face of someone she hadn't seen in so long, it made her heart feel like it was slowing to a stop in her chest, her voice coming out on a disbelieving whisper, "Mom?"
Spinning around, she came face to face with the woman she hadn't spoken to since their fallout years ago, and the way she stood in front of her, looking down at the ground instead of at her face made Callie feel like the woman she'd admired growing up was so… small.
The brown eyes that looked so much like hers, like Aria's, flashed up to hers, as her mom smoothed down her dress in a manner so similar to the way Callie just did hers that it made her heart hurt, "Calliope, I – I'm sorry to come in like this. Just before you'll be getting married. But…" she trailed off to take a deep breath, "I hated that I wasn't here a few months ago, and it's not often that you get a second chance to correct the things you've done wrong. Like missing your daughter's wedding."
"I –" she didn't know where to begin. She didn't know how to separate what she was feeling at all, because… she didn't know what it was tangling inside of her like this. Instead, she shook her head, revealing her loss of words, as her heart felt like a hammer in her chest.
Her mom took that as a sign to continue, "I've done you wrong, as a mother. And… I've spent almost six years not knowing how to repair the damage between us. A part of me still feels like this –" she gestured around them, around the bedroom that they were in – the guest bedroom in Addison's townhouse that she was using to get ready before she and Arizona would walk onto her friend's beautifully decorated patio – "Is unnatural, in a way. But I'm fighting with that part of me, because… I want to be here."
Her mind could hardly wrap around the words she was saying, as anger and hope both clashed in her chest. A part of her wanted to tell her mom that it was too late, but the other part wanted her to stay. The indecision of it made her hands shake, just a bit.
And then the words started to spill out, feeling like they were burning her throat, "You can't just do this. Not today. It – today took so long to happen, and then you come here and want to be a part of it all after you…" shaking her head, she felt like tears were threatening to spill over as they filled her eyes at once. "Today is a big day, one of the biggest of my entire life. It was supposed to be free of any drama," her voice dipped low as she tried to swallow the awful feeling at the back of her throat.
In response, her mom bent her head, "I understand. I… can go."
But before she could actually go anywhere, Callie squeezed her eyes closed, tightly, "No, wait. Promise me, you're here just to wish Arizona and I well. Even though a part of you doesn't agree with us. Please, I need you to promise that, and everything else we can talk about later."
There was less than a moment's hesitation before she nodded, "I can promise you that. I know this doesn't fix what's between us, Calliope. But I want to make a start."
Without fully keeping aware of what she was doing, she stepped forward, just a bit closer to her mother, looking into her eyes, before nodding, "You can stay."
Those eyes, her eyes, looked up at her in gratitude, and she hated the way she enjoyed it, before her mom skimmed her eyes down her dress, saying quietly, "You look very beautiful," and stepping back out, the door shutting behind her as if she'd never been in the first place.
And even though she only had minutes left before they were supposed to start, she had to sneak across the hall first. As she walked, she thought about their journey here.
They hadn't immediately gone to get married. She and Arizona had waited for nearly two months, settling back into their lives, and making plans for their future one, before planning this small ceremony for where they were now. She'd seen her dress, and her in her dress, many times by this point.
But the way blonde hair curled over her shoulders and contrasted goldenly against the ivory dress made her entire world slow down, and forget everything that she'd had on her mind, calming the way her heart was beating rapidly, the way the backs of her eyes burned.
Arizona's dimpled smile was like a balm as it washed over her, "Calli – are you okay? What's wrong?"
Closing the door behind her and leaning on it, she shook her head, as if everything that just transpired had just been a figment of her imagination, "My mom's here."
Blue eyes widened, as Arizona walked closer, her hands coming up to rest on Callie's shoulders, her thumbs stroking gently, "What? Here, here?"
Replaying the scenario in her head, she nodded, "She wanted to know if she had permission to stay here. That she didn't want to miss her daughter's wedding, and I wanted to say no, but then it came out as yes. Is that crazy? She shows up after so long and wants to stay. I should go tell her now –"
Just as she felt herself getting worked up, the hands on her shoulders moved to cup her face, and she found herself staring straight into baby blues that were both caring and steely at once, "Calliope, do you want your mother to be here today? Put aside the complicated feelings you'll have to work out, do you want to keep taking the steps to reconcile again? If you say no, you're completely justified. And I will walk out there right now for you and ask her to leave. But if you say yes, that you want to look back on our wedding years from now, and remember your mom being here, then… maybe we should leave it at that right now. That she wants to be part of your life, and it's messy, but it's a big day and she loves you."
Releasing a deep breath, she closed her eyes for a few seconds, letting Arizona's words sink in, "You're right. You're so right."
She was met with a sunny smile that made her stomach flip with butterflies, as Arizona said, "I guess that's why you're marrying me."
With a shrug, she let out a hmm sound, "Your sound advice and your great ass."
Arizona's mouth dropped open, "Callie Torres, how inappropriate. And on a classy day such as this."
She narrowed her eyes, "You're marrying me for my breasts!"
The laughing response she got vibrated against her mouth, as she leaned in to capture the blonde's lips with her own. This was it. This was what she was going to get for the rest of her life.
Their kiss broke apart as there was a knock on the door that she felt behind her back, making her jump, and she and Arizona stepped back in unison to open it, revealing her smirking sister behind it, "I thought I sniffed out some hanky panky."
Rolling her eyes, she shook her head at Aria, who just grinned up at her in response, before moving her gaze to Arizona, "You look amazing. And, your dad is ready for you, if you two are ready," she looked between the two of them for an answer.
And then Arizona looked at her, ocean eyes imploring her for an answer, to which she nodded, "I'm good. I'm ready." This was her day, her day with Arizona. She had to take her mother being here as a good thing.
The soft pale hand reached down and squeezed hers, and she whispered, "I'll see you on the other side."
Her eyes followed them as they walked away, watching her sister loop her arm over her almost wife's shoulders, as she asked, "You're ready to officially join the family?"
Before she settled back against the wood of the door, closing her eyes and letting herself catch her breath. This was it. It was happening, a moment she'd been waiting for… honestly, ever since she was in medical school.
This time, when there was a faint knock on the door next to her, it really was her father, smiling at her in his soft, special way, in his tuxedo.
The way he smiled at her, and his low voice as he asked, "Are you ready, mija?" made one of her own smiles break out on her face, as everything felt like it settled.
"I am. Without a doubt," she answered, and she looped her arm through his as he offered it to her.
Before they started walking, he patted her hand with his, looking over at her, hesitation hinging in his eyes, "Have you… you've spoken to your mother?"
With a deep breath, she nodded, "Timing wasn't perfect, but, it is what it is, and she's mom. Today is about me and Arizona. That's all I can think about right now." In truth, it was all she wanted to think about right now, too.
He nodded, and kissed her temple, whispering, "Then let's go."
The feeling in her stomach was akin to those nervous butterflies, but the thing was, she didn't feel nervous. It was excitement, and the feeling of this was really happening. The feeling that Arizona was really there, standing there, waiting for her, that beaming smile was there, just for her.
The people there, the small crowd they'd invited, were already standing for Arizona's entrance, and now they looked toward her. With each step she took past everyone, the sheer feeling of happiness felt like it was going to bubble over.
By the time they got to Arizona, her hands were tingling in excitement, and she could hardly even feel her feet, for some strange reason.
As the justice of the peace they had started speaking, she kept one ear on her words, as she looked out at the people who were here. Her friends who had seen her through everything, and her family, including people that she might have otherwise not had here. Her mother, and Felix, who was well on his road to becoming her brother-in-law once more, as he and Aria came to reconnect.
And then there was the family that she hadn't been raised with, but who came to accept her as theirs anyway. Arizona's parents, who were smiling broadly at them.
Then her gaze was brought back to those smiling cerulean eyes, as Arizona's hands held tightly onto hers. She saw no nerves in them, no discomfort, and they just reflected the love that she was feeling. This was so right.
Before she knew it, it was time to exchange their vows, and their rings, just the way that they had designed the way they wanted the ceremony to go. And everyone was looking to her, as she was handed the ring she was going to slip on Arizona's finger by Addison.
Looking back up, she ran her eyes over the love of her life's face, and she took a deep breath, "I originally wrote these vows, months ago. And I wracked my brain trying to think of new ones to say to you today, but… I kept coming back to these, because…" she trailed off for a moment, feeling her heart well up in her chest, and she told herself she wouldn't start crying yet, "I could say how much I love you in so many different ways, but this is the truest."
Taking her hand, she singled out the finger she was going to slip her ring onto, first bringing it to her mouth and pressing a kiss there, before saying, "The first night I met you, I remember that I was mesmerized by your smile and how it showed your dimples. Now I know that your smile is made of magic. I've had problems solved just by having your smile come my way. And if there's a day that goes by that I don't see it, it's a day wasted. I know without a doubt that that's the truth now. So, here I am, making the world a better place by choosing you to be the one with whom I spend my life. To promise to make you smile, every single day. With these words I take you, Arizona Leigh Robbins, to be my wife."
She couldn't believe she made it through without breaking out into tears, but she did, and her hands were shaking as they slid the ring onto a long, slim finger.
And when it was Arizona's turn, she looked up into her face, and the emotions shining there packed such a powerful punch, she was breathless. In an amazing way.
Those captivating blue eyes were glimmering with tears threatening to spill over already as she started talking, "I wrote these vows months ago, too. Because they are truer now than they've ever been. You changed my life. You changed… me, in the best possible way I could have ever imagined. When we met, I didn't think it was possible for me to love anyone as much as I love you. I never thought that I would want this, want to be standing here, making vows. But I do want this, so much; you showed me what real love is, and I know that we'll keep showing it to each other, forever." And now Callie couldn't hold in the tears, because Arizona's words moved her in a way she couldn't ever describe.
Without being able to wait, she used the hold she had on Arizona's hand to pull her in, planting a kiss on her mouth, lingering there as she felt the lips her own had committed to sensory memory go pliant against her own, not pulling away until she heard Aria let out a quiet "whoop."
The flush on Arizona's face was the most beautiful thing she'd ever seen, as she felt Arizona slide the ring on her finger, her voice rough with emotion, "With these words, I take you, Calliope Iphegenia Torres, to be my wife."
Two Years Later
"All I'm saying is that, I wouldn't be the same without Tim. He made me who I was while we were growing up, and I know that it was the same for you and Aria," Arizona whispered to her, as they were lying in bed.
She had her eyes closed, her feet propped up on pillows at the foot of the bed, and a perpetual half smile on her face as she shook her head, "Arizona…" she couldn't even finish as she trailed off on a laughing sigh.
Her wife's voice was dead serious, though, which was what kept making her smile, "Callie! Don't laugh, I'm trying to have a serious conversation here."
Arizona was lying so that her head was held up with her hand, level with Callie's torso, and she trailed her fingers lightly over a tan stomach, then rubbed it with her palm.
The thing was, Callie knew Arizona was being serious, which was why this was so damn endearing, "Baby, I know you're being serious. But come on. How about we have our first baby, you know, not living in my womb still before we talk about having siblings for her?"
Her wife had been three steps ahead of her throughout the entire pregnancy thus far, and they still had two and a half months left to go. Needless to say, the nursery, which was themed with pastels and baby jungle animals, had been done for three months already, due to her adorable wife informing her that they could never be too prepared.
She ran her hand over Callie's hard stomach, her smile turning into a large, sappy smile that made her heart sing, as Arizona said quietly, in amazement, as she always did when this happened, "She's kicking."
Callie slid her own hand down to feel it the way Arizona did, her own grin coming up onto her face, "That's because she recognizes your voice, and she loves her mama's voice already."
In this ridiculously cute way that Callie hadn't ever seen from Arizona in the years they'd been together, she used this baby talking whisper as she rubbed around where the baby had been kicking, "Hello in there, Sofia Leigh. It's your mama."
Biting her lip, she looked down at her wife. Her blonde hair was up in a messy ponytail that it had been in for the last hour that they'd been lying in bed together. Her tank top that she was going to wear to bed was loose, and she wore no makeup from the day they'd had out together earlier.
And she'd never looked more beautiful.
Her lips pressed against her stomach, and Callie closed her eyes as Arizona spoke again, lowly, "I didn't plan on you, my baby. I didn't plan on loving anyone the way I love your mami or you. I guess that's why people say that the best laid plans often go awry, but, the thing is, I couldn't be luckier with the way ours do."
This concludes the long, long journey of The Best Laid Plans. It's been my longest, best, most frustrating and rewarding piece I've ever worked on as a whole, and I can't thank everyone who has been here from the beginning or joined along the way enough for reading. Thank you for taking the journey with me, writing for an audience like all of you Calzona readers has made the entire experience worth it.