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.
"Wake-up! Momma! Mami! Wake-up, wake-up, wake-up!" Sofia excitedly shouted as she jumped up and down on the bed her mothers were sharing.
Callie rolled toward the center of the mattress, begrudgingly opening one eye to see Arizona happily staring back at her as their daughter continued to cause an earthquake on their bed. "I'm not ready to get up, mija," Callie teased, winking at her wife. "Why don't we go back to sleep for a while? We can open presents later."
"You have to get up, mami! Right now!" she cheerfully insisted, landing in the center of the mattress on her knees. "There are lots and lots and lots of presents under the Christmas tree, and a bazillion of them have my name on them!"
"A bazillion sounds like a lot," Arizona joked, pulling Sofia close. "But you know you aren't supposed to look under the tree without mami or me with you."
"It's okay, momma. Abuela was with me, a-a-and we already had breakfast, and Timothy had a bottle. Then I helped Abuelo make coffee. So, you have to get up! Right now! We have to see what Santa brought!" Sofia rambled.
"What do you think, mami?" Arizona asked, letting the little girl go and laughing when she again began to jump on the bed. "Ready to see what Santa brought?"
Callie yawned, rubbing at her eyes, and nuzzling her nose against Arizona's jaw, she seductively whispered into her wife's ear. "I'm pretty content with the gifts I got last night."
"Oh my God, mom. I love them!"
"They're beautiful, Mrs. Torres."
Callie and Arizona simultaneously spoke upon opening matching gift boxes that were specifically from Lucia. They both were beyond shocked at what they found inside, each box containing two smaller open hearts identical to the ones they already wore around their necks.
"I thought they would be a beautiful addition to the pendants you already wear. One represents Sofia, and the other, Timothy," Lucia explained, happy that her gifts appeared to be well received.
"They're perfect," Arizona replied, already adding the hearts to her necklace.
Callie nodded in agreement, shocked that her mother had even noticed their matching jewelry, but slipping off her own necklace, she immediately added the smaller hearts to her chain. Once it was back in its rightful place, she turned so that Arizona could see, and upon receiving her wife's seal of approval, she jumped from her seat on the couch, crossing the room to hug her mother. "Thank you, mom," she said into the woman's shoulder. "For everything."
Lucia nodded as Callie pulled back, her attention going to the framed family portrait of Callie, Arizona, Sofia, and Timothy she had received as a Christmas gift, her right hand fidgeting with the brand new grandmother's locket that now adorned her neck. With a contented sigh, she gave Callie a wink, cuddling Timothy on her lap and smiling as Sofia concentrated on checking Carlos' heart with a bright pink Doc McStuffins stethoscope.
"How's my ticker, Sofia?" Carlos teased.
Furrowing her brow in deliberation, Sofia removed the stethoscope from her ears. "I have a diagnosis!" she exclaimed.
"It's time for your gift from me," Callie excitedly commented, dragging her eyes away from her parents and children to gaze longingly at her wife.
"You, too," Arizona replied, jumping up to grab the gift she had placed in Callie's stocking late the previous night.
Callie's brow furrowed in confusion as she did the same, the boxes they pulled from within the stockings very similar in size and shape, both accompanied by an envelope, though the one she held in her hand was red where Arizona's was green.
"You first," Callie insisted, clearing her throat as she handed Arizona her gifts.
Arizona smiled, happily accepting the packages, and running her fingers under the adhesive of the red envelope, she pulled out the papers that lay folded within, her eyes quickly scanning the top of the page.
NOTICE OF INTENTION OF MARRIAGE
"Calliope. . ." she breathed out, her eyes landing on Callie who had moved from her seat on the sofa to land on both knees in front of her with a small jewelry box held in her hand.
"It's your Christmas present. Kind of, but not really. It's. . ."
Arizona adamantly shook her head, holding her hand up to halt whatever lovely words she was sure were about to spew from her wife's beautiful mouth. "No! Stop, Callie! I need you to stop!"
Callie's eyes instantly grew wide at her wife's outburst, visibly recoiling as if she had been physically slapped. Was Arizona really denying her proposal? Would she really tell her no? "Arizona?" she anxiously called, once she finally found her voice, though it wavered with fear.
Carlos and Lucia exchanged concerned glances upon hearing Arizona's raised voice, and watching as their daughter's eyes instantly welled with tears, they sat in uncomfortable silence, unsure of what to do.
Staring into Arizona's moist azure eyes, Callie swallowed hard, unable to do anything else. She couldn't believe this was happening. Never in a million years did she think that this would turn out negatively. Sure, they had suffered. They had both made mistakes, but she thought they had wiped the slate clean a long time ago. How could Arizona possibly refuse to marry her a second time?
"You ruined my plan!" Arizona soon exclaimed, causing Callie to jump a mile in the air as the blonde swatted at her red satin pajama clad arm.
"Ow! What the he. . .heck, Arizona?" Callie shouted in disbelief, utterly confused at exactly what the hell was going on.
Arizona shook her head, handing the green envelope to her wife. "Open it," she insisted with a roll of her eyes.
Callie didn't immediately move to do as her wife said, but when Arizona shook the envelope in her direction, she hesitantly took the offering. Apprehensively opening it, she gasped when she read the words across the front page.
NOTICE OF INTENTION OF MARRIAGE
Callie found herself at a complete loss for words, but after several long moments of contemplation, a slight grin tugged at her lips before morphing into a huge megawatt smile, the sound of her infectious laugh now filling the room.
Arizona regarded her wife as if she had just sprouted a second head and with a stern look on her face, she shook her finger in Callie's direction. "Stop laughing, Calliope. You stole my plan! You stole my proposal! It's not funny!"
"It kind of is," Callie managed to get out though a fit of giggles.
Arizona once again rolled her eyes, not finding this situation funny in the least. "Could you please just let me say what I planned to say?" she huffed, crossing her arms over her chest.
"Will you let me say what I was going to say before you scared the crap out of me by telling me no?" Callie sarcastically remarked, raising her eyebrow in question.
"Why don't you both just say yes and get it over with?" Lucia offered with a shrug. "Sounds like a reasonable solution to me."
Callie and Arizona both looked toward the voice that had interrupted their juvenile spat, and appearing appropriately chastised, they glanced back at one another. "You really want to marry me, huh?" Arizona asked, her fingers now running over the signature Tiffany blue box tied with a red satin ribbon.
"More than anything," Callie insisted with a nod of her head. "But only if you want to marry me," she continued, taking the box from her wife.
Arizona tapped her index finger against her lips in mock consideration, but when Callie opened the small box to reveal a vintage designed engagement ring with a halo of stones encircling the center diamond, she stopped her teasing, her eyes welling with tears.
"The stones match the ones in. . ."
". . .the wedding ring you already have," Arizona interrupted, opening the box she held in her own hand to reveal a classic round cut diamond ring with a band of channel set stones that closely matched the wedding ring Callie already wore.
A rueful smile pulled at the edges of Callie's mouth; she couldn't believe they had bought each other the same gift, and after gazing down at the sparkling diamond for several long moments, her eyes then snapped upward to meet her wife's gaze. "Yeah," Callie softly replied, "Because there's no way we could ever replace our original rings, so I thought we could. . ."
". . .wear our engagement rings between two wedding bands?" Arizona asked, though she already knew the answer.
Callie nodded her head, and pulling the ring from its box, she cleared her throat. "I love you more than anything, Arizona. You are beautiful. . .inside and out, and I want to spend the rest of my life loving you," she whispered, completely oblivious to the other people in the family room who were watching them. "This ring. . ." she tapped her finger against Arizona's original wedding band, "represents our past and all we've been through. This new engagement ring is a symbol of our present, and the rings we'll exchange when we get legally married will represent. . ."
"Our future," they both spoke in unison, and as they simultaneously slipped the new rings onto each other's fingers, they couldn't contain their happiness as they both whispered, "we're getting married," against one another's lips before joining their mouths in a kiss so passionate that neither knew which end was up.
Pulling away when oxygen became a necessity, Arizona sighed against plump lips. "I still can't believe you stole my idea," she teased.
"I did not!" Callie contended with a laugh. "I swear to you, I had no idea."
"Angels we have on heard high, sweetly singing ore the plains. . ."
The sound of Sofia's sweet little voice caught both women's attention, instantly pulling them from the bubble of happiness, love, and joy they were floating in. With a huge grin on her face, Callie then looked from her daughter toward her parents who proudly stared back at her, and with overwhelming tears of pure elation flooding her eyes, she pecked at pink lips before standing to take Sofia into her arms.
"And the mountains in reply, echoing their joyous strains. . ." Callie sang along with the little girl as she held her close.
Arizona smiled as she took Timothy from her mother-in-law, and as Carlos and Lucia both joined in singing, she settled on the floor in front of the Christmas tree next to her wife and daughter. Callie smiled when Arizona leaned over to kiss her cheek, reveling in the overwhelming happiness and contentment she felt at being wrapped up with all the people she loved on Christmas Day.
There was no way to accurately describe the feelings Callie felt in her heart; she had two beautiful children and a wife she adored. She and Arizona planned to renew their wedding vows in a legal marriage ceremony sometime in the near future, but more than anything, Callie couldn't help the swell of emotion she felt at finally being welcomed back into her mother's life.
She finally had everything she'd ever wanted, and judging by the beaming look on her wife's face, she knew she felt the same.
Because Christmas is not just a time for festivity and merry making. It's more than that. It's a time for the contemplation of eternal things. The Christmas spirit is a spirit of giving and forgiving. Because Christmas may have begun in the heart of God, but is complete only when it reaches the heart of man.
"Gloria in excelsis Deo. Gloria in excelsis Deo."
Prompt: All this in a Post-Leah&Lauren Verse: Callie and Arizona get strong-armed into spending a Christmas with the Torres' in Miami; Lucia is a curious mix of resentful and welcoming. You can go for a 'the Christmas Spirit Triumphs!' resolution or not. I leave it to you, my generous friend! Merry Christmas! Don't Want: Callie and Arizona on shaky grounds. They are back together and solid; they don't doubt one another anymore, but can still be hurt and emotional etc.
AN2: Thank you so much for reading! I really hope you enjoyed this story, and I can't wait to see what you think! Reviews and comments are much appreciated. Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! Season's Greetings!