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A/N: I was really hoping to get this last part up well before tonight's episode, but I had a little bit of writer's block. I hope you all enjoy this last part and thank you for reading! Also, thank you to my beta, RavenwoodWriter
When I got back to the hotel I bypassed the bar and headed straight for my room. The emotional roller coaster I had been on all day had worn me out and I needed a hot shower and a comfortable bed. As I got in bed I thought about Callie and how she must be feeling today. A malpractice lawsuit was a very serious matter and for a surgeon as great as her it was going to be a blemish on her outstanding record, no matter the outcome.
Callie is strong though, she has been through so much and she only gets better. What if she doesn't have it in her to put up a fight though? What if everything going on between us makes it hard for her to focus on the suit? My biggest concern was that she was holding everything in. Without Mark she didn't have a best friend to confide in and well, normally I would be the one she could talk to, but that has not been in option anytime recently.
When she smiled at me as I was leaving tonight I took that as a good sign. I knew that it was a shot in the dark, she had a bad day and just because she was nice to me didn't mean she wanted to actually see me or talk me. I needed to continue to give Callie her space right now, even if it hurt to walk away from her after a bad day.
The next morning I left early in hopes that Dr. Wyatt would be in her office. I was happy to see that her door was open. If she didn't have an appointment she typically kept her door open for staff, which was more helpful than I could have ever imagined.
"Dr. Robbins, are you going to stand in the doorway or are you going to take a seat?" She never looked up but it was scary how she knew I was there.
"Good morning, Katharine." I said as I entered her office and took a seat on the couch.
"Arizona. It's been a while. To what do I owe the honor at this early hour?"
"Do you have time to talk?"
"My first appointment is in 45 minutes."
"I miss my family."
"Okay. Have you and Callie talked yet?"
"No, we haven't. She can't stand the sight of me, so trying to talk to her is near impossible."
"How are things going with Sofia?"
"That's the one area where we do get along. Thankfully."
"That's good to hear. Do you think that you are letting Callie get off easy when it comes to talking to her because you are scared of what the outcome may be?"
"When you were here the last time we talked a little bit about how you didn't feel as though you had any friends in the hospital after Dr. Altman left. Have you attempted to change that?"
"Yes, I have actually become good friend with Dr. Kepner, oddly enough."
"Dr. Kepner? Really?" She lost her professionalism for a moment and I chuckled out loud. "Sorry, that was wrong of me."
"No, I understand. It took me by surprise, but I've gotten to know her and in some ways we have a lot in common."
"I'm really glad that you've made a friend. I think that right now it is very important that you have someone to talk to, to have fun with on a friendship level. I know you are having a difficult time right now, but there is too much going on to go through it all alone."
"I kind of started seeing someone." I didn't plan on telling her, but I knew that nothing was going to get better if I didn't tell her everything.
"You did?" She seemed surprised. "Do you really think that is a good idea?"
"It wasn't and I ended it yesterday. I was lonely and at first I thought it might make me feel less lonely, but it didn't. I would see Callie at the hospital and I just felt guiltier, like I was betraying her again."
"But it is over now?"
"Yes." I didn't want to talk about it anymore so I quickly changed the subject. "The hospital was served with a malpractice suit earlier this week. The suit is against Callie."
"Oh wow. Callie, really?" I could tell by her reaction she wasn't expecting it to be against Callie.
"Yeah, I had the same reaction." I shared with her the events from the day before from the daycare to Carlos's surprise visit to my interaction with Callie. She talked me through some of my fears and told me that although I wanted to be there for Callie right now, it may not be the best time to force the issue. If Callie wanted to lean on me, she would.
By the time I was ready to see Sofia for lunch I got a page to Ortho. I changed my direction and headed towards Callie's wing.
"Hi, I got paged." I said to the nurse on duty at the desk.
"Yes, Dr. Torres is in her office."
"Thanks." I was actually in shock. I knocked lightly on the closed door and only opened the door when I heard a response on the other side. "Hi."
"Hi…" She looked frazzled. "My dad took Sofia for the day. I left my phone at home and when I went to find you this morning I got pulled into surgery."
"Oh, okay. That's fine. She can stay with you tonight if you want, since your dad is in town."
"About that. He wants you to join us for dinner."
"Oh." That wasn't what I was expecting to hear.
"I can make up some excuse, you don't have to come."
"It's up to you."
"Arizona, I'm not ready for that yet."
"That's fine. Just tell him I got pulled into a late surgery or something. He won't question that."
"The first day of the trial is in two days. He is going to stick around for a little while to help out with Sofia. I told him he didn't need to stay, but we both know he doesn't like giving us any options."
"It's good for Sofia. She doesn't see him often."
"Well, I'm going to go grab lunch. I'll… I'll, umm, see you later."
"Arizona?" She spoke as I opened the door. When I turned to look at her she continued, "Never mind." She looked back down to the file on her desk.
I sat with April in the cafeteria. "So Murphy keeps looking at you like a lost puppy."
"Dear lord, I can't. Callie's dad showed up."
"Yeah, I ran into him at the hotel bar last night. She hadn't told him we separated."
"Oh crap. Did he throw you against a wall?"
"You heard about that?"
"Everyone knows about that. So, Murphy."
"Good." I looked up at her response. "It wasn't healthy."
"You are talking to me about a healthy relationship?"
"No…" She looked back down and started to play with her food. "I have to get back up to the ER. Drinks tonight at Joe's?"
"Yes, please!" My friendship with April was definitely strange and I am sure that people did not understand it, but she was fun. She has been a great friend the last couple of months. She isn't Teddy. She isn't as fun as Teddy, but I know that I can call her a friend.
"Perfect. See you at seven?"
"See you then, Kepner."
"Have a good afternoon, Robbins."
The afternoon went by slowly. I got pulled in for surgery around five, which meant that drinks with Kepner was going to get pushed back. I had one of the nurses text her to let her know. The surgery was easy enough but I was extra cautious due to Callie's suit. Even though I don't know what happened, as doctors we have a responsibility to make sure that we take extra precautions to ensure our patients' safety. As I was in the surgery I double-checked all of my work before we closed.
As I cleaned up after the surgery I slid my wedding ring back on and just stared at my hand for a moment. I grabbed my bag from my office and headed towards Joe's. The first thing I saw when I walked in was Callie sitting at the bar. She had a drink in front of her and her head was leaning against her propped up arm. I looked around for April and found her at a booth on the side.
"How long have you been here?" I asked April as I sat down.
"Not as long as her, if that's what you are wondering." She replied softly. "You should go talk to her."
"She doesn't want to talk to me. She wants to avoid me. Well, tonight she is avoiding her father, but she doesn't want to talk to me." I looked over at her and seriously considered checking on her. "Is this for me?" I asked pointing to the glass of white wine.
"Yes, I ordered it for you when you texted to let me know you were on your way."
"Thanks, I'm just going to run to the bathroom really quick."
I stood at the sink redoing my eyeliner when the door opened. Without looking I knew it was her.
"Peds, right?" She walked up behind me and put her hands on my waist.
"Callie…" I gripped the sink in front of me.
"I can't touch my wife?" She slurred.
"You don't want to do this. You're drunk."
"You don't want me anymore? Why because I'm not some young intern?"
"Callie…" I took a deep breath. "It's over. I… I just, Callie please don't this right now. I know you aren't having a good week."
"You didn't answer my question."
"I will always want you, Calliope." My eyes were filled with tears. I gripped the sink tighter as I whispered those words, my voice wavering.
"That's what I thought." She whispered harshly in my ear before leaving the bathroom. Her words ripped through my entire body and the tears that I held back started to stream down my face.
It was another few minutes before I composed myself and joined April at the booth. I looked around the bar. "She left as soon as she left the bathroom. You want to share why it took you so long in there?"
"No. I'm going to go. I need some sleep." I put my coat on and just stood there.
"I already paid for your drink. See you tomorrow, Robbins." She understood without having to ask.
"Yeah?" I turned around to hear what she had to say.
"It's going to get better…" She said softly. I smiled in return and continued towards the door.
I cried myself to sleep that night. It wasn't the first time I had done that over the course of the last year and I knew it certainly wasn't going to be the last, but tonight was different. Callie's actions kept running through my head and I could hear the hurt in her tone. I knew that I had broken her again and this lawsuit was only going to continue to beat her down. It was her choice to fight it though, the hospital wanted to settle, but she didn't. She wouldn't go through with the trial if she thought she would lose. She wouldn't do that to herself, she wouldn't do that to the hospital and she wouldn't do that to all of her friends.
When I got to work I went straight to the daycare to see Sofia, but she wasn't there. As I was heading back to my office I got a text from Callie.
Calliope Torres: Called in sick. Sofia is at home. If you want to stop by after work to see her you are more than welcome… My dad knows we both avoided him last night. He really wants to see you.
I wasn't sure how to respond, so I took the light-hearted approach.
Arizona Robbins: Only if he promises not to throw me against a wall.
I won't lie; I was really surprised that she was making an effort right now to talk to me. Well, she just invited me over to see our daughter and for the slight possibility that her father might have the desire to throw me out a window.
Calliope Torres: I can make no such promise. ;)
I was taken aback by her equally light-hearted response and just smiled as I read the text over again. I couldn't say I blamed her for taking the day before the trial off. All of her surgeries had been postponed or assigned to other doctors since the announcement of the suit. I knew that was hurting her more than anything, being a surgeon defined Callie. Taking that away from her took away another piece of herself that she did not know how to deal with.
Arizona Robbins: I'll text you when I am finished here.
It was another long day and another day without seeing my baby girl, which made it harder. I had two back-to-back surgeries in the morning, followed by lunch with Kepner. Murphy tried to corner me after lunch, but Kepner made sure that didn't happen by yelling at her to go check on patients. I knew at some point I would have to talk to her, but I much preferred ignoring her. Paperwork controlled my afternoon and magically I was able to leave on time. I texted Callie before heading over and took my time getting to the 5th floor of our building. Well, her building. I stood at the door and just stared at it for a moment before knocking. I couldn't believe I had to knock on her door. Within seconds of opening it the door flew open. Callie stood there in a pair of black yoga pants, a fitted sweatshirt and she had her hair thrown up on the top of her head. She looked beautiful. She always looked beautiful, but right now made me miss her more than ever.
"Thank god. He is driving me crazy." She whispered. "Sofia, your mama is here." She announced as she moved out of the way for me to enter.
"MAMA!" I heard Sofia scream from the living room where she was playing with Carlos. She stood right up and came running over to me. I knew I had to brace myself for the impact against my legs, but Callie grabbed her before she could reach me. She quickly handed her to me, our hands grazed each other. Her eyes widened a little bit at the contact and I took Sofia in my arms. She gave me a huge hug and I squeezed her tight. "Mama, I miss you!"
"Oh sweetie, I missed you too. I missed you so much."
"No pizza!" I laughed as the first thing she remembered was that we missed our pizza lunch date.
"We will have our pizza date, don't you worry, little miss." She smiled and kissed my cheek.
"Arizona!" Carlos stood up and walked over. He hugged me before just looking at me.
"How was your surgery last night?"
"Umm, it was… it went well." I looked at Callie who had a sly smile on her face. I missed her smile, God, I missed her smile.
I remember the first time I saw that smile. It was right after I kissed her in the bathroom at Joe's, the first night we met. I was ready to make her smile like that again.
I just smiled back at her.
"Is it okay if I take Sofia to the park for a little bit?"
"Yeah, that's fine. Just make sure she is back by 6:30 for dinner." I looked down at my watch, which gave us about an hour.
As I was heading out of the building the elevator opened back up and Carlos was walking towards us. "Is it okay if I join you?"
"Of course." I said nervously.
"Don't worry, Calliope has already warned me that I am not allowed to throw you against any walls." She smiled a little bit. "I was just hoping we could chat."
"Yeah…" We were quiet as we walked to the park. Sofia ran to the slides and some of the other children as soon as we got there. Carlos and I sat down on a bench where we could watch Sofia.
"You can relax, Arizona. I'm not going to yell at you." I nodded and released my breath. "I won't lie to you and say that I am happy about this, but you and Calliope have had a very rough time over the course of your relationship. Not just this last year… The two of you have never had it easy and you might not ever have it easy, but there is one thing that I am certain of – you two love each other more than any couple I know. I can see it when you are in the same room, when you try to avoid each other and when you are both with Sofia. I'm not going to tell you what you two should do, I have learned that Calliope does not listen to me when I do. She isn't my little girl anymore, she is an adult and she is strong. You told me that. Do you remember that conversation?" He looked at me and waited for me to nod my head that I remembered the conversation. "It's been running through my head on repeat since Calliope told me what happened. Arizona, I know you are a good person. You are a great mother, a great surgeon and a great wife. You did a bad thing, but it doesn't mean you are a bad person. We all make mistakes in life and we all break promises that we shouldn't have made. Life is full of making important decisions and we are not going to get them right 100% of the time. We do what we can to protect the things we love – the people in our lives, our family. Right now, this is when you need to be a good man in the storm." He never looked at me while he spoke. We both just watched Sofia have fun, but I listened to every word he said. Every word hit me like a ton of bricks. A few minutes went by before he stood up. "I'm going to go back and help Calliope with dinner." He didn't wait for my response as he walked away. I was left to go over his words, again and again.
"Mama! Mama!" Sofia's sweet voice pulled me away from my thoughts. "Swings!" She yelled from the bottom of the slide as she pointed to the swing set.
I enjoyed the rest of our time at the park. There was a time where I didn't think that I would ever be able to bring my daughter to the park and push her on the swings or ride down the slide with her, but I can.
When I brought Sofia back Carlos invited me in for dinner, but I declined. I didn't trust myself to cross trough the doorway. This entire week had caused me to reflect on every aspect of my current life. The good, the bad and the ugly. I had a text from Callie when I got out of the shower that night.
Calliope Torres: Sofia had a great time. I hope my father didn't cross the line, I asked him not to go.
Arizona Robbins: I'm glad she had a great time. I did too. No, he didn't.
Calliope Torres: Are you going to be there tomorrow?
Arizona Robbins: Of course. I mean, unless you don't want me to.
Calliope Torres: No, I do.
It was a good sign that she wanted me there, right?
Calliope Torres: It'll be good to have the support of the board.
Or, she just wants the support of the board.
The next morning I slowly got ready before driving to the courthouse. The board was meeting about thirty minutes before the trial started to go over things. Today was opening statements and some testimony. Christina and Jo would be giving their accounts of the surgery. Callie wasn't expected to testify until next week, but I knew she probably would have wanted to get it over with earlier, rather than later.
The mood in the courthouse was intense. Callie sat at the table in front of the judge stiff as a board. She was nervous, I could tell by how many times she touched the back of her hair. Christina had told the board about the surgery during a meeting the day before since she had been there. It was a difficult surgery from start to finish and according to her, Callie was very hesitant about doing it in the first place.
"She was the best orthopedic surgeon I knew." Christina said in response to the question. I put my head down and massaged my temple as I awaited the attorney's snide response.
"Was? You don't believe she is the best anymore?" And there it was.
"That's not what I meant." Christina stated.
"That's what it sounded like you meant."
"Dr. Torres is one of the best surgeons I know. This was not an easy surgery and it wasn't her fault she didn't have all of the information."
"She didn't have all of the information?"
"The patient did not disclose his entire medical history. It created a huge problem after surgery when the blood flow to his legs did not return."
"Is it true that you and Dr. Torres disagreed about the course of treatment following the surgery?"
"We had a professional difference of opinion."
"You know, in my office, if one of my co-workers was shouting at me so loudly that you could hear them down the hall it would be more than a difference of opinion. It would be grounds for a dismissal."
"We are passionate about our work. And in the end I agree with Dr. Torres that the heart surgery could wait."
"Yes." She said quickly. Maybe too quickly.
"Are you sure you weren't bullied?"
Callie' lawyer quickly rose and called, "Objection - Speculation."
The rest of Christina's testimony dragged by as I sat there watching the back of Callie's head. It killed me that I couldn't be sitting next to her. Jo's testimony followed, but was not nearly as long as Christina's. After Jo the judge called for a recess and said that the trial would continue on Monday. Callie and her lawyer were the first ones out of the courtroom and outside awaiting them were dozens of reports and photographers. They followed Callie to her car that was waiting outside and I watched the car disappear down the street.
A few of the other doctors and I headed to Joe's for a drink.
"Robbins, how are you doing with all of this?" Meredith dared to ask.
"Huh?" I wasn't paying complete attention.
"How are you doing?"
"I'm fine. Callie's dad showed up this week, so it's been an off week."
"Only because of that?" Derek laughed.
"It's been an interesting week. I'm not doing bad, but I wouldn't say I am doing well either."
"Understandable." He nodded.
"Time for tequila!" Meredith announced.
"Oh, I'm all set."
"Oh no you aren't. We are all taking shots."
"Is tequila your answer to everything?" I laughed.
"Is that even a question?" Meredith left for the bar and came back with a tray of shots.
"I'll do one, but then I am out of here. It's been a long day." I smiled.
"That's what they all say." Meredith handed me a shot. "Everyone cheers. Let's just keep our heads up and get through this, together. All of us." She looked around to me, Derek and Christina.
I threw back the shot.
"Ready for the next one?" Christina laughed.
"I'm out of here. I'm off this weekend, so I'll see you all on Monday…"
"Keep your head up, Robbins." Derek placed a hand on my shoulder and looked me in the eye as he said it. "We are all here for you, don't forget that."
"Thanks, Derek. Means a lot."
The four of us didn't get together too often, but when we did it was usually for something big. Most of the time it was a celebration, but having drinks with them during this meant a lot. It meant a lot that they had my back, despite everything that had happened between Callie and I.
When I got in my car, I sat there for a few minutes before turning it on. When I pulled out of the parking I found myself taking a left instead of a right. Ten minutes later I was pulling up to a dark overlook. In front of me was a bench and beyond that was one of the best views of the city. It had been quite a while since I had been up here. The sky was clear tonight though, the city lights brightened up the sky and I took a seat on the bench.
I sat there and reflected more on my life as I overlooked the city. I knew that sooner or later I was going to start overthinking everything. I thought more about what Carlos said to me at the park the other night. His words really hit me and I did not expect it at all. I was waiting for him to get mad, to yell, to hate me for hurting his daughter, but he didn't. He showed me compassion and caring, when I deserved it the least.
"Can I join you?" I hadn't even heard a car pull up behind me or someone walking towards me. I knew the voice though. It was my favorite voice in the entire world, but right now it sounded broken. It sounded vulnerable and scared. I turned to look back at her and she sat down next to me without waiting for my response. "I'm sorry about the other night." Those were the last words I expected to hear from her.
"Huh?" I was confused.
"At Joe's, in the bathroom. I shouldn't have said what I said."
"Oh yeah, it's fine. You don't need to apologize. I should be the one to apologize."
"I think that we are both sorry for a lot of things." She said softly.
"Yeah, I think you are right."
"I'm scared." She paused for moment. "I'm scared that I made the wrong decision in regards to the lawsuit. I'm scared that I will lose my job."
"I know…" I looked at her and her eyes were filled with unshed tears.
"Then I am scared that my wife doesn't want to be with me and I keep thinking over and over again about how much we have pushed each other away. How we don't ever talk when we need to talk." As she started talking again my eyes started to fill with tears. We were talking. She was actually talking to me. "Arizona, I am scared that next week my life is going to completely change and I won't have anyone to turn to. My best friend is dead and I kicked my wife out. Sofia cries for you every single night that she is with me. I don't know what to do anymore. I don't have it in me to fight anymore." She was defeated. She never gave up on anything and here she is waving a white flag.
I didn't know how to respond at first, but I was quickly brought back to Carlos's words from the other night. This is when you need to be a good man in a storm. He was right. "What if you don't have to do it alone?" I turned to her and our eyes met. "I'm right here and I know that things aren't good between us right now. I know that it is going to take a long time and a lot of talking. I don't know if they will ever be good again. But… I do know that you don't have to go through next week alone. Or the weeks after that. I will always be right here, for you."
She didn't respond. She just nodded her head and a tear started to roll down her face. I quickly wiped it away with my thumb. She placed her left hand on my right leg, right above my knee. She smiled at me before leaning over to kiss the top of my head. I exhaled and she smiled at me, it wasn't the normal smile, but it was a smile and after today, after everything, I would take what I could get. I covered her hand with one of my own before resting my head on her shoulder.
We sat in silence for a while. I had no idea what time it was, but I was just enjoying being close to her. We were sharing an intimacy that we had not shared in months and it felt really good.
When she started to tense up I was afraid she realized that it was me she was holding on to and she had changed her mind. She squeezed my thigh gently.
"You ready?" The way she said it was casual and she relaxed as soon as the words left her mouth.
"For?" I asked softly in reply.
"To come home." I sat up straight and looked at her. She was looking at the ground, but then looked back up at me. She was nervous.
"Let's go." I smiled before taking her hand in mine and standing up.