Title: Gloria In Excelsis Deo
Summary: After accepting Carlos' invitation to spend Christmas in Miami at the Torres Estate, Callie and Arizona are shocked at what they discover upon their arrival. Will Lucia welcome them with open arms? Will Sofia take to the grandmother she's never known? Will heartache ensue, or will the Christmas Spirit triumph above all else? Set at Christmastime 2015.
Disclaimer: All television shows, books, movies, songs, and other copyrighted material referred to in this work and the characters, events, and settings thereof are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for profit, it constitutes fair use. Reference to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context and are not intended to be libelous, defamatory, or in any way factual.
AN: A big THANK YOU to Awesomegrey's, Shoehore, and HereWeGoNow for allowing me to bounce ideas off of them and discuss ideas for this story. It turned out to be much longer than anticipated, but it's a Christmas gift, so why not? I really hope you enjoy it!
Sitting in her office, Dr. Calliope Torres flipped through a stack of patient charts, her hand cramping from the obnoxious amount of notes she'd been writing for the past three hours. She couldn't believe just how defective this year's group of interns really was, and setting her pen to the side, her fingers immediately moved to rub at her temples in an attempt to fend off the headache she could feel building behind her eyes.
Callie had been at Grey+Sloan Memorial Hospital for the past twenty-four hours, and all she really wanted to do right now was hop into her BMW SUV, making her way through the sleet and snow toward the warmth of her home. With an exhausted sigh, she looked up from the history and physical she was signing off on, her tired eyes landing on a newly framed photo sitting atop her desk. Reaching out, she took it into her hands, smiling down at the gorgeous faces beaming back at her.
She had snapped the shot two months prior, and in it sat a glowing Arizona Robbins wearing a pair of pink plaid pajamas with a four and half year old Sofia Robbin Sloan Torres, in matching jammies, seated between her outstretched legs, a five month old Timothy Mark Robbins-Torres leaning against his sister's chest and wearing the same attire, only in navy blue.
Callie's smile grew wider as she studied the trio's faces; Arizona's cerulean eyes sparkled with happiness and contentment, a super magic smile consuming her entire being as Sofia's chocolate eyes gleamed with mischief and mayhem, Timothy's blue eyes, identical to his momma's, alert with wonder and his mouth held wide with adorable toothless grin. Reverently running the pad of her index finger over the faces of her entire world, Callie sighed before gently setting the frame back in its proper place, and with one final signature, she decided to pack things in and head home, praying she made it there before bedtime.
But, just as she was exiting her office, the buzzing of her phone caught her attention, and reaching into her pocket, her brow furrowed in question when she saw the name written across the display. "Hey, daddy," she answered, once again taking a seat at her desk. "Is everything okay? It's not Sunday."
"Can a father not just call his daughter on a whim?" Carlos teased.
Callie chuckled softly at her father's banter. "Of course you can, daddy. I'm just a little surprised, that's all."
"I was going to wait until our call on Sunday, but thought it better to give you as much time as possible," he explained, though Callie didn't quite understand.
"As much time as possible for what?" she skeptically asked.
There was a slight pause on the other end of the line before Carlos again spoke. "Your mother and I are hosting Christmas at our house this year, and we would be thrilled if you, Arizona, and our grandbabies could join us."
Callie rolled her eyes at her father's proposition; he always tried so hard to involve her mother when it came to invitations such as this, but she knew deep down that it was really just him who wanted them there, that much was clear considering she hadn't seen her mother since her wedding to Arizona nearly five years prior. "Thanks for the invitation, daddy, but you know as well as I do that mom doesn't want us there. She hasn't spoken to me since my wedding, and I highly doubt she's had a sudden change of heart."
Carlos loudly sighed into the phone; this was so difficult. Lucia was so stubborn, but he loved her. There was no way he should have to choose between his wife and his daughter. "I've spoken with your mother about this, mija. She and I both agree that we would love to have you here for the holidays. Won't you please consider it?"
Callie cleared her throat, an unwelcome swell of emotion causing a lump to take up residence there. "I don't know, daddy. This is Timothy's first Christmas, and I'd much rather spend it in a place where my family and I are welcome."
"You're welcome here, Calliope. Always," Carlos insisted.
"It's kind of late notice," Callie argued, though she knew her attempt was probably futile. "And I can't just make that kind of decision without talking with Arizona first."
"You have three weeks. That's plenty of time to make travel arrangements, and of course I don't expect an answer this minute," Carlos contended, and when he didn't receive any response, he continued. "Just think about it, okay?"
Callie sighed, her gaze once again landing on the photo of her beautiful family. "Fine. I'll think about it."
An hour later, Callie navigated her car up the driveway and into the two stall garage before dragging her exhausted body from the vehicle. Grabbing her bag from the back seat of the car, she then trudged through the garage and into the house.
As she entered the Craftsman Bungalow style home she now shared with her wife and children, Callie dropped her bag on a table near the door, simultaneously toeing off her boots as her black leather jacket and scarf found their place on the coat rack in the entryway. She couldn't believe she hadn't seen her wife or children in over a day, her melancholy mood lifting as she moved through the downstairs of the house, finding only the light over the kitchen sink lit, safely guiding her way toward the staircase that led up the stairs.
Reaching the top of the staircase, Callie first peeked into the red, blue, and white Dr. Seuss themed nursery, expecting to see Timothy sleeping peacefully in his crib, but finding only an empty room with a nightlight lit, she made her way further down the hallway to check on Sofia. Finding that door slightly ajar with the soft glow of the little girl's bedside lamp providing the only light in the room, she smiled at the gorgeous sight she was greeted with.
In the center of the twin size bed, Arizona sat propped up against the headboard, Timothy's tiny body secured protectively against her chest with one arm, the other wrapped around Sofia as the little girl held the antiquated book her mother was reading to her in her little hands.
". . .but it matters not how he is pictured or by what name he is called. Santa Claus, the dream spinner and gift giver, is a beloved part of the holiday season. He will always be the very personification of Christmas. . .a spirit of sharing, giving, and loving. . ."
Callie smiled as she watched Sofia's face light up at the mention of Santa; Arizona's soothing voice, already lulling the sleepy little girl into dreamland.
"I love that story, momma," Sofia stated, closing the book she had memorized word for word and cuddling further into Arizona's side.
With a smile on her face, Arizona leaned down, pressing a gentle kiss atop silky raven hair. "I know you do, baby girl," she softly cooed, her free hand lovingly caressing Timothy's pajama clad back. "It was my favorite when I was a kid, too."
After gazing in on her family, undetected for several long moments, Callie finally stepped further into the room, careful not to wake the sleeping baby boy.
"Hey," Arizona softly greeted, weary, but sparkling blue eyes immediately finding chocolate brown.
"Hey," Callie replied, leaning down to first press a kiss against a silky ivory cheek before kissing Sofia's forehead and then taking Timothy into her arms. "I missed you guys," she stated, tenderly brushing her daughter's hair back from her face with her hand.
"We missed you. . ." Sofia spoke, pausing suddenly as her mouth opened with a wide yawn, ". . .too, mami," she finished, her eyelids fluttering shut and then open, each blink lasting longer and longer until she was completely lost to the land of nod.
Arizona glanced at Callie, a smirk on her face; they were both always amazed at how Sofia could go from full speed ahead to totally knocked out in a matter of seconds. "How was your shift?" Arizona asked, carefully detangling herself from the little girl's body before fixing the covers and turning off the lamp to follow Callie into the hall.
"Exhausting," Callie whispered, kissing the soft brown curls at the top of Timothy's head as she settled him into his crib. Confident that he was down for the count, she took Arizona's hand, leading her to the sanctuary of their bedroom. "I hate those long ass shifts. I miss the three of you too much, especially when you aren't with me at work to share in my pain," she continued with a sly smile, peeling off her jeans and sweater and throwing herself down onto the edge of the bed with a huff.
Smiling at her wife's comment and sitting down next to her, Arizona watched closely as Callie threaded her arms into the sleeves of her deep red pajama top, buttoning it up before donning the matching satin pants. As she watched, scrutinizing her wife's every move, her every sigh, and her every facial expression, Arizona could tell that something else was going on in Callie's pretty little head, but deciding not to push just yet, she remained quiet, allowing Callie the time she needed to process whatever was plaguing her mind.
With a sigh, Callie turned toward her wife, but just when Arizona thought she was going to open up to her, she pressed a kiss to the side of her face before standing from the mattress, making her way into the ensuite bathroom. Knowing full well that Arizona had already guessed that something was up, Callie took her time in the bathroom, but once she had washed her face and brushed her teeth, she slowly emerged to find her wife already comfortably snuggled beneath the plush duvet. Crawling into bed next to her, Callie scooted as close to Arizona as she possibly could, her right arm snaking around her waist as her knee nudged its way between two silky smooth thighs.
Reaching out, Arizona flicked off the bedside lamp, their room now lit only by the street lights outside and the silvery glow of a waning crescent moon. Burrowing her back impossibly closer to Callie's front, she sighed in contentment as her wife aimlessly drew random patterns over her wrist with her thumb.
"My dad called tonight," Callie finally whispered into the silence of their bedroom.
Arizona didn't immediately respond, wondering if Callie was going to elaborate, but when she did not, the blonde decided she probably needed to give her just a little push. "It's not Sunday. Is everything okay?"
Callie chuckled softly at just how well her wife knew her and her usual routine. "Yeah, everything's fine," she replied, kissing the back of a blonde head. "He, umm. . .he wanted to know if we'd come to Miami for Christmas."
Arizona again paused, unsure of how she felt about the prospect of spending the holiday with her in-laws. "And?"
"And I told him no," Callie quickly replied. "Well, initially I said no, but then I told him I'd talk to you."
Arizona lay for several long moments considering her options, and finally turning over to face her wife, she stared into dark brown eyes that glistened beautifully in the light of the moon. "Do you want to go?" she softly asked, tucking a strand of wavy brunette hair behind Callie's ear.
Callie shook her head, obvious confusion pouring from her eyes. "No. . .yes. . .I don't know," she spoke, the inner turmoil she was experiencing written all over her face. "I just don't want to deal with the drama. You know? I want Timothy's first Christmas to be perfect, and I don't want my mother, or anyone else for that matter, ruining it."
Arizona was completely still, quietly watching as conflicted tears brimmed in her wife's soulful brown eyes, and needing to be as honest as possible with her, to support the woman she loved no matter what, she finally spoke. "Timothy's first Christmas is going to be perfect no matter where we are, Calliope. Because we're going to make sure it's perfect," she honestly stated, pausing momentarily to gather her thoughts. "And, if you want to go visit your family for Christmas, then the kids and I. . .we'll be right there with you, holding your hand and helping you through it. But, if you want to stay here, then that's fine, too. Christmas will be perfect as long as we're all together. That's what Christmas is about, Calliope. That's all that matters."
A choked breath burst from within Callie's chest, and leaning forward, she gently brushed a whisper of a kiss against moist pink lips. "Have I told you lately how awesome you are?" she jokingly asked.
Arizona chuckled softly against Callie's mouth before leaning back, tapping her index finger against her chin in contemplation. "Not in the past, umm. . .two days," she teased, burrowing her face into a tanned neck. "And I think right now. . .if you're not too tired, you should forget about telling me how awesome I am, and show me instead."
To Be Continued. . .