The next day seemed to pass by very slowly. Tiger avoided the two doctors whenever she could, staying holed up in her room. She also refused to meet any of their eyes. Secretly, Addison couldn't wait for her daughter's first session with Arizona.
She and Meredith spent the entire morning and most of the afternoon sitting on opposite ends of the couch, going over paperwork. Each was lost in her own thoughts. Finally, at around four o'clock, there was a knock at their front door.
Immediately, both jumped up, tired from sitting still. Meredith opened the door to find Arizona and her girlfriend, Callie, who was head of Orthopedics. As soon as they walked in, Addison threw herself at Callie, hugging the surprised woman.
"Hey," Callie said, awkwardly patting Addison's back. "What's up with you?"
"She won't let me touch her, she won't even let me get near her," Addison replied, letting go.
"Where is she?" Arizona asked, as she handed Meredith some plastic bags. "I brought Chinese food," she explained.
"Upstairs," Meredith answered.
"Could I go meet her?" Callie asked.
Addison shrugged. "I guess."
Callie started up the steps, wondering about the girl who was supposed to be one of her best friend's daughter.
The door to the room was open by a crack, and Callie tapped lightly on it. She peered inside to see the brown-haired, blue-eyed little girl. Standing in the doorway in question, the surgeon received a small nod from the child.
Callie walked in and sat on a chair beside the bed. "Hey, Bree," she said calmly. "I'm Callie."
There was a pause before something appeared to light up in the girl's eyes. "Calliope," she said.
Callie smiled and nodded. "That's right. Did Arizona talk about me? She's the only one that calls me that."
"She said you fixed my bones," Tiger replied.
Callie was surprised. "Yeah, I did," she said. Then, "You know Addison and I are good friends."
Tiger nodded slowly, her eyes suddenly suspicious.
"She's upset, that you're not talking to her. She cares about you," Callie dared to say.
Tiger fidgeted, lowering her eyes. "It's not that I don't like her," she said slowly. "I just…I promised myself I wouldn't do this."
Callie looked into the girl's eyes. "Do what?"
There was a long silence before Tiger finally spoke. "I don't want her to be sad. I never meant to hurt her, but the truth is, I must be such a disappointment. She's giving me all her love and I can't return it. I'm just so sad. I have been sad for so long, I have forgotten what happy feels like. I promised I wouldn't fool myself into thinking I could live the life I've never had." Tiger seemed to blink back tears.
Callie sat there for a moment, stunned. "So why don't you tell her this?" she asked. "Why would you tell me?"
"I can't, Callie, I can't. Don't you get it? If she loves me, there is no way I can pay her back. I'm not the happy little girl she thought I was. And to tell her that? To tell her how afraid I am? Telling means caring and caring means people leaving. And that's something I cannot afford."
Speechless again by this little girl, this child who looked so young yet sounded so old, Callie sat with her in silence. "Try," she said finally. "If she loves you, she'll forgive you and help you. Try. If not for her, if not for yourself, than for me."
Tiger laughed bitterly. "I don't even know you."
"But you owe me. You owe me for saving your life."
Tiger stared up at the dark-haired doctor, her eyes clouded. "It wasn't yours to save," she said softly. "You could have, no, you should have let me die." Another pause. "But yes, then we'll be even. I will no longer be in debt to you."
Callie nodded in silent agreement. Yes, then we'll be even. She reached out to squeeze the girl's hand, and left the room without another word.
As Meredith and Addison lay in bed that night, both couldn't help but to be discouraged by the occurrences of the day. Or rather, the non-occurrences. Callie and Arizona had stayed for dinner, which mostly involved surgical talk none of them really cared about, while Tiger had tried to avoid any form of direct conversation.
It was almost midnight, and the two had just fallen asleep when they were awakened by the sound of screaming. Addison shot up immediately, and quickly ran to the room next door while Meredith followed behind.
Illuminated by the pale moonlight streaming in, she saw Tiger sitting up in the bed, shaking and whimpering with tears streaming down her cheeks. "Hey," Addison said gently, moving closer. "What happened?"
Tiger quickly curled up into a protective ball, gasping for air, her eyes wild.
Addison walked over and sat down on the bed beside her daughter. She reached out a hand, but when she touched Tiger's arm, the little girl flinched and drew back farther, still shaking with sobs. Addison tried to ignore the stab of hurt, but it was still hard having her own daughter be afraid of her. "What happened?" Addison whispered again. "Did you have a nightmare?"
The girl turned her face, trying to control her tears. "I'm okay," she said, "I'm fine. It happens. You don't need to be here."
Addison stroked the girl's hair. "But I do. You don't have to be afraid, I'm not going to hurt you."
"No!" Tiger replied, more forcefully. "No, I can handle it. Go."
Addison watched the child shut her eyes tight, trying to slow her breathing. She knew Tiger wasn't okay. She knew how scared she was. But it was clear she wasn't wanted, and silently, with deep regret, Addison left the room.
Sorry for the wait! I'm really busy with school. This chapter was a bit of a filler, but hey, it's necessary. Review for an update!