AN: I know, I know... it's been too long. I'm really sorry I made you all wait for so long but I had to give it a pause, the story wasn't coming out as I was planning so I needed a pause to clear my mind and get back on track... the right track. I even started anoher story (The Deal) to help me with my writing and maybe improve it a little and I think it worked... at least a little bit. Anyways, enough blah blah blah, you've already waited for too long. Once again, SORRY. Enjoy!
It's been a while since I came back home. Home... it's weird to think like that because it doesn't feel like home.
When Callie made this proposal to me it got me really mad. I really wanted to come home but I wanted it to feel like home, to be home... our home. She made it sound as if she was doing it only because she felt guilty for kicking me out, because of my "needs" and not because she wanted to have me closer. Which she clearly doesn't since she didn't stay here, she's living in Mark's apartment now.
Yeah, like I said, it got me really mad but deep inside I knew it was the best thing to do. It's closer to the hospital and the two loves of my life would be just across the hall, even if one of them can't stay in the same room as me without us fighting. So I just called her two days later and said I was coming home.
When she knocked on my door because she heard Sofia crying, that pissed me off. But not just because of what she did. I'd had a really crappy day and was trying to let go on the first thing I could... and it was her. At least some good came from it, though. She finally realized that Sofia should have a birthday party and I was... I am really excited about it. Kid's parties are always the best and my little girl's won't be any different.
It's finally Monday night and it was another tough day. I still don't know what's wrong with my patient and his mother keeps screaming at me as if it's my fault that her son is in pain. 'I'm trying my best.' I tell her but she won't listen, she just wants her son to stop feeling the pain, no matter what. I kind of get that, I'm a mom too after all, but sometimes I just need a break.
"Hey Robbins!" Karev said as he entered my office. "I need you to sign these papers for me."
"Put them in this pile," I point to a big pile of charts that were next to me. "I'll sign them as soon as I finish all these, it seems to never end!"
"I can see it in your face, how long have you been here charting?"
"I don't know... an hour or two... who's counting?" I let out a weak laugh. God, I feel like I'm going to pass out, how can one be this tired?
"You look like crap, you should get some coffee."
"Wow, thank you for that, Karev. I really appreciate it." I say sarcastically. "I may get one on my way to Callie's, it's my night with Sofia but I guess I'll spend it here finishing this so tomorrow I'll be free and be able to enjoy my daughter's birthday. I need to see if she can take her for tonight."
"How has it been being back home?"
"It's way better than a hotel room but doesn't feel like home." I say as I stand up. "But it'll eventually... I hope." I give him a sympathetic smile and leave the room.
The cafeteria is empty tonight. Only a few doctors who look more like zombies are drinking some coffee and chatting.
I get my cup of coffee and go to an empty table and close my eyes for a while trying to clear my mind a little. I wanted to have nothing to think about for just a few moments. But my moment of peace is broken by someone approaching my table.
"Can I sit here?" Her voice echoes in my head so many times that for a moment I thought I had imagined it. "It's crazy weird here at night, and those doctors from Derm kind of scare me. Unless it's a problem... I can sit somewhere else." She says as nothing comes out of my mouth.
"No," I finally manage, this is a rare moment. "Callie it's fine, you can sit here, of course. I was going to find you anyways."
"Oh, okay... what for?" She asks as she takes the seat across from me.
"I have so much work to do, piles of charts to sign and I may have to work all night. So I was wondering if you could take Sofia tonight? I know it's my night with her, that I have responsibilities but-"
"Arizona, it's okay." She cuts me off. "No problem at all."
"Okay... I'm really sorry I have to ask you that. I know you won't mind because you love spending time with our daughter, and I don't want you to think I'm not a great mom but I just have so much work to finish and tomorrow is her birthday. I want to be free to spend the whole day with her and decorate the apartment for her party," I say in a rush, barely breathing between words.
"Arizona, really it's okay, I understand." She looks me in the eyes, and stares for a moment as if she wants to say something but doesn't know how. And there's also this guilty look in her eyes that I can't quite understand. "I'm sorry about the other day, I-I didn't want to make you think I don't trust you with Sofia, that I don't think you're a good mom. I was a little drunk and... it's totally otherwise, I do think you're an incredible mother."
"Thank you, Calliope." I can feel my heart warm as her words sink in.
A moment of silence expands between us. It's been a while since I last called her 'Calliope'. I've always found it sad that she doesn't like her name, it's so beautiful and sexy. And beautiful and sexy are things that fit her well. Whenever I hear someone call her that it gets me a bit jealous because I'm the only one – besides her dad – that calls her like that. But the jealousy never lasts long because she always tells people not to call her that.
"Dr. Torres!" A voice calls from behind me. The voice of a man.
"Oh, hello." She replies with a small smile.
"I hope you remember me... Dr. Jones." He says, giving her a bright smile.
"Yes, of course I remember you from the other day in the bar."
Wait, bar... what bar?
"I'm glad you do because I didn't forget you either, and I also remember that you owe me a drink." He says flirtatiously. Dude, can you not flirt with my wife in front of me?
"Yes, I do owe you a drink." She says with a little blush across her cheeks. "We could get that drink someday."
"What about tomorrow? My shift ends at six, it would be nice."
"Tomorrow I can't, it's my daughter's birthday and we're having a party... maybe another day."
"You have a daughter, that's sweet." He says giving her a disappointed smile. "So, maybe another day?" He says with hope.
"Okay, I'll remember of that." He says, giving her a wink.
"Okay.." She says, blushing a little more.
"Have a good night Dr. Torres... and…?," He continues, finally turning to face me.
"Dr. Robbins. Peds." I answer, giving him one of my best fake dimpled smiles. What else am I supposed to do? He is flirting with my wife!
"Dr. Robbins, nice to meet you... I have to go now, good night." He finally turns on his heel and leaves.
I can see Callie trying to avoid looking at me and I'm actually glad because I'm pretty sure my face is red as a tomato because of the jealousy. Really, Callie? Really!?
"So," I state as I take a deep breath. "You can invite your friend to the party if you want." I don't really mean it. I don't mean it AT ALL.
"Oh no, I... he-we're-" She clears her throat. "We're not friends. I only saw him once at the bar, that's- that's all." She says looking me in the eye.
"Oh I see, the way he-" I was going to say the most jealous thing ever but I just decide to avoid it. "I have to go back to my office. You know, the piles and piles of charts." I get up, tumbling on the table. AWKWARD!
"Oh, yeah... sure." She replies, standing up too. "I'll go get Sofia, see you tomorrow."
"Have a good night Callie, give her a kiss for me."
"You too, I'll do so."
We stayed still, in front of each other for a moment expecting more from the other but nothing else happens so I just turn on my heel and walk away with my now cold coffee. I don't need the coffee anymore, though. The jealousy is enough to keep me awake and working all night. Bright side of all this awkwardness? We were able to talk without fighting. Yay?
It's been a long night. Full of charts, full of thoughts... the thoughts, not good thoughts at all. I can't stop picturing Callie and that man together and ... ugh, I can feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up just from that thought. How can I be this jealous? I don't remember being like this since... since Mark!
I shouldn't be this jealous, right? I mean, we're still married but we're not together…
No... I can be jealous. I have to be jealous, that's MY wife!
But now the night is finally over and I'm heading back home. I hadn't planned staying all night but life has its sacrifices and I'd do anything for my little girl.
I was in front of door looking for my keys – God, I always have trouble finding my keys, I should get a smaller bag – when I heard Sofia and Callie's laugh coming from the door just across from mine. The sound of their laugh penetrated my ears like a song, a beautiful song... I had missed that sound. I wanted to turn around and knock on their door and join them but that wouldn't be right, would it? When she knocked on my door it got me really mad, made me think she doubted my ability to take care of our daughter...
But also... it's different now. Sofia is not crying, she's laughing. Plus it was supposed to be my night/day with her and... it's her birthday. Callie won't be mad, she can't be mad. After thinking for a few more moments I turned around and knocked on the door. Not a minute later the door was opened and I was greeted by a beautiful bright smile, the smile of my wife.
"Arizona?" She asked surprised, the smile never leaving her mouth. It was a good day.
"Hi, I just got back from work and heard her laugh and as she's awake I thought I could give her a hug or something." I said a little afraid of her reaction.
"Yes, of course." She replied giving me space to come in the apartment. "Come in, we are having breakfast... you can join us if you want."
"Oh," Okay, this is a surprise. "Sure, I'd love to."
"Mommy! Mommy!" The little toddler hugged my legs before I could even see her running in my direction.
"Hello big girl!" I said picking her up.
"Mommy guess what?!" She said super excited.
"Mama says it's my birthday today!" She said as she raised her arms in the air with excitement.
"Yes baby, it's your birthday today." I said holding her a little tighter in my arms. "That's why mommy is here, to give her little girl a big bear hug and say that mommy loves you so much and will always love you. No matter what happens, mommy will always be here for you, okay?" I tell her. I don't know how things between Callie and I are going to go. If she'll forgive me or if she'll ask for a divorce... I hope it's not the latter. "Happy birthday baby girl." I could see Callie watching us from the corner of my eye, the smile on her face now even brighter. "And you know what Sofia? We're getting you a big delicious cake-"
"Cake? I want cake!" She couldn't help but cut me off. I could feel she was really happy.
"Yeah, but it's not now, baby." Callie said as she approached us. "Now, we're having breakfast and then you're going to daycare and later you can have cake with your friends."
"Yes, later." She confirmed. "Now let's go finish breakfast... Why don't you invite mommy to have breakfast with us?" Okay, what's going on here? She couldn't last a minute with me without fighting, then last night she sat with me and now she's inviting me for breakfast? That's weird... But really, I'm not complaining, at all.
"Mommy?" She asked looking at me with those puppy dog eyes that I can't resist.
"Of course, I would love to."
Breakfast was a really good time. We laughed together and talked... for the first time in moths I could remember how it used to be and it made me sure that this is what I want and I'll fight for it.
"Alright Sofia, go brush your teeth and I'll be there in a minute to give you a shower." Callie said as she raised from the chair and went to place the plates on the stool.
"I can take a shower mama, big girl now." She said placing her hands on her hips.
"Not after the last time, remember the pool you made and I had to clean it up?" Callie said, also placing her hands on her hips. How can they be so alike?
"Fine." Sofia said turning on her heels and heading to the bathroom.
"Fine?" Callie repeated laughing. "Can you believe it? She just turned three and is already acting like this." I couldn't help but smile. "What?" She asked as she noticed I was staring with this big grin on my face.
"Nothing it's just... she's just like you."
"I think you're right." She said laughing. "You look tired... want some more coffee?"
"Oh no, thank you, I-I'm fine." I said with the smile still on my face. "Thank you for having her last night."
"You don't have to thank me, it was a great night." I just smiled back.
"Do you have any surgeries scheduled today?" She asked me.
"Uh, yeah... only one. I tried to adjust it to have the day free so I could decorate the apartment and enjoy her birthday with her. How about you?"
"Yeah, I have two simple procedures today and then I can come back home. If you need any help..."
"You could go get the cake...?"
"Yes, I can do that." We stayed still for a few moments. As always not being able to avoid the other's eyes.
"Mama I'm ready to shower!"
"I-I should get going or she'll wet the whole bathroom."
"Yeah, yeah go help her." I said giving her a sweet dimpled smile.
"See you later?" I asked before turning on my heels.
"Yes, see you later."
The smile on her face almost knocked me down.
The day went by faster than I thought. It seems like just a few minutes ago I was having breakfast with my daughter and my wife. Now, I am in my apartment watching, amused, as the kids run around. I decorated the place with pink and purple – Sofia's favorite colors – butterflies and balloons. The kids have those party hats with "Happy Birthday" written on them, and all of them have this smile on their faces. They are indeed having a good time.
In the corner of the room, Meredith, Cristina, Callie, Owen and Derek were chatting, laughing at something Cristina just said. That woman is a piece of work, hard to deal with but after a couple shots of tequila, she is the best company someone could ask for. I stayed on the other side of the room watching the kids and watching them talking. I didn't feel comfortable going over there and staying with them. I'm sure Callie wouldn't be comfortable either. Things changed since last night, she is talking to me... I can say she is still hurt, sad and whatever feelings you can have when you're in the same situation she is. But she is trying. And I am glad she is because I'd be damaged if I lost her. I know all this is my fault in the first place, God knows if I could go back in time and change things I would. But I just can't. So now it's on her.
I watch as she and Cristina have some sort of discussion ending up with Callie throwing her arms in the air in surrender. When she turns around she catches my gaze and for a few seconds I hold my breath. Those warm brown eyes looking at me just give me a feeling that I can't describe with words. Before I know it she is walking towards me. "Enjoying the party?" She asks a little shyly.
"Yeah... yeah, I am." I say giving her a smile. "And so is Sofia." I say pointing to our little girl dancing with her friends.
"She is. She is having a good time." Her eyes shine as she looks at our little girl.
"How about you?" I return the question. "Enjoying the party?"
"Yes, I am. Cristina isn't really happy because there's no booze, but I'm going back at my place to get a bottle of wine for her." She says.
"Oh, I see..." I say. Listening to her saying she is going to her place makes me kind of sad. Now it's her place or my place... not ours anymore.
"Anyways," She says breaking the awkward moment. "I'll be right back." And with a smile she left.
Not long after Callie left I can sense the sugar high on the kids is starting to dissipate. When I look at the clock I see it's late and by this time everyday these kids are probably tucked in bed. It's time to cut the cake and let the tired parents – whom most are doctors and nurses – get their well-deserved rest.
"Sofia!" I call out for my daughter and the little girl comes running in my direction. "Honey, what do you think about cutting the cake now?"
"Yessss!" She squeals.
"Okay, go tell your friends we'll cut the cake and I will find your mama."
Before I left the apartment I heard Sofia call all her friends, letting them know it's time for cake. Crossing the hall to knock on 501's door, I hear some agitated interaction coming from within the apartment. I couldn't really understand what was being said because there was a mix of children's happy screaming coming from my apartment and Spanish coming from Callie's. It's been a while since she left the party, a little too long for someone who was just going to get a bottle of wine. I wait a little and the Spanish fades away. Taking a chance, I knock on the door.
I knock once again but nothing... there's something wrong.
Hoping that Callie wouldn't mind, I turn the doorknob and open the door. The image that meets my eyes as soon as I enter the apartment is Callie on the couch with her head between her hands and soft sobs echoing through the place.
"Callie?" I ask softly.
Lifting her head in surprise, not expecting to have company she wipes her tears as quick as she can and stands. "Hey, I-I... I'll get the wine."
"Are you okay?" I ask to let her know that her façade will not work with me. I want to know what's making her upset, why she's crying... maybe I could help.
"Yes..." She says but her tone says otherwise. "No..." She says letting herself fall on the couch and allowing the tears to roll down her perfect face once again. As her sobs get louder and louder I approach her and take a seat on the couch, of course leaving some space between us.
"You can talk to me."
She turns her head to look at me but not too long after, she turns her head again and stares at the wall. Feeling like she doesn't want to talk to me, I rise from the couch and start to make my way out. But I stop my pace when I hear her say, "My parents are coming to town." There is sadness in her voice. "My mother just had a stroke and they found a tumor in her brain. They say it's inoperable but my father wants a second opinion, so he's going to bring her here so Derek can take a look."
I let the words sink in. It's horrible, I know. On our daughter's birthday she gets such bad news…
"I-I'm sorry, Callie." I say softly, in a way of trying to give her some comfort. "How are you feeling?"
"I don't know." She lets out a sigh. "I was supposed to be happy, it's my daughter's birthday. I should be happy, celebrating that my daughter. My fighter, she survived that damn accident and is now a happy, healthy child celebrating another birthday. I was happy, but after this phone call... I feel so many things. It's so confusing that I don't know how I am." I just stare at her, not really knowing what to say. "I thought he was calling to talk to her, you know?" She says with a sniffle. "To wish her a happy birthday..." She says with a sad smile.
I just watch as she stares at the wall once again. I want to reach out to her. To close the distance between us and hold her tight in my arms, to comfort her. But I've lost that right.
"What are you doing here?" She asks after a while with a soft tone.
"The parents are getting a little tired, we were going to cut the cake. I came to call you so we could..." I didn't need to finish my sentence. She gave me a soft smile, grabbed the bottle of wine that was on the top of the coffee table and came walking towards the door. "Let's go have some cake." She said as she passed me.
Back in the apartment, I couldn't help but notice people staring at me and then at Callie. Her eyes were puffy and red from crying so I assume people are thinking we had a fight. Since she wasn't like that when she left the apartment, only when we came back together, it was the only conclusion they could make. After we cut the cake and Sofia oppened her presents, we said goodbye to our guests one by one, leaving the Greys for last.
"Shepherd, I need to talk to you." I heard Callie saying.
I watched as she lead him to the corner of the room and told him the story, a single tear falling from her eyes. The little girl in my arms didn't miss the tear either and looked back at me asking, "Why is mama crying? Sofia did something?"
"No, baby girl. You didn't do anything, you were a great girl tonight." I say meeting the concerned eyes of my daughter. "Mama is just... a little emotional. That's all." After Callie spoke to Derek, the Greys left the apartment, leaving only the three of us alone.
"What did he say?" I ask as I approach her with an almost asleep Sofia in my arms.
"He said he'll do anything in his power to help." She said not meeting my eyes, instead looking at the girl in my arms and brushing her little raven hair.
"Good." I say, finally having Callie to look up at me. "That's good." She just nods.
"Mama?" Sofia asks in a sleepy voice.
"Hey baby girl..." Callie coos, biting her lower lip to not let herself break down in front of our daughter.
"You sad?" She asks, reaching her arms up so Callie can hold her.
"A little, baby." She says holding Sofia tight against her. "But I'll be fine."
"Why you sad?" She asked. Noticing that Callie wouldn't be able to answer that without falling apart I change the subject.
"You know, Sofia... mommy just noticed something."
"What?" She asks looking back at me.
"You didn't make a wish."
"Of course I did, mommy." She says giving me a face saying 'I'm not stupid.'
"What did you wish for?" Callie asked her.
"I wished for mommy to come back sleep in the big girl bed wif us."
At that answer, Callie and I share a look of surprise and hurt. I didn't expect Sofia to come up with that.
"Good night, mommy." Sofia said reaching for me to give me a kiss on the cheek. "Good night, Mama." And with that she buried her head into Callie's shoulder and drifted off to sleep.
"That was..." Callie starts but doesn't finish. She doesn't need to, I know what she is talking about.
"I know..." I say softly.
"Arizona... I know I had her last night but-"
"You can stay with her tonight again, it's your night with her anyways." I say giving her a smile.
"I know but last night was your night and-"
"You need her." I cut her off. "I was the one who asked you to have her last night and right now, you need her by your side. I don't want you to be alone." She looked at me sweetly. I see nothing but love in those warm brown eyes right now.
"Can I hug you?" She asks me in a whisper that I almost miss.
"Of course." I reply opening my arms and welcoming my wife into my embrace. How I missed this. Having her in my arms. I feel her breath on my neck and a soft sob escapes her mouth. I tighten my grip on her a little more – as much as the girl between us allows – and say, "Everything is going to be fine."
AN2: Can't promise another chapter is coming soon but don't worry, it will come, I didn't forget this story. Thanks for reading!