On the up side, I did find a USB drive at home with a tonne of fanfics I don't even remember starting - many of them Callica - would it be worth continuing them and posting?
Anyway, enough stalling...enjoy (fingers crossed!)
Title: Life’s A Game We’re Still Learning How To Play…
Pairing: Callica (but be patient for it)
Summary: What happens when a certain blonde cardio surgeon is back in town with more than one offer to make? (slightly AU)
9 – Sometimes your cards come up, but not always in the right order…
“You never told me that the ‘old friend’ you were seeing was Erica Hahn.”
Callie winced at the tone the statement was delivered in, but couldn’t deny she deserved it. She truly had been avoiding Arizona all morning. “’Zona…”
“Don’t ‘Zona me, Callie,” spat the blonde. “I went to Joes after my shift last night to find her all over you.” She held up her hand to stop Callie interrupting. “No, I don’t want your excuses. I don’t want to have to stand and listen to you say it was nothing.”
Callie sighed. “I can’t say it was nothing.”
“You cheated on me?”
Callie quickly shook her head. “No! Nothing happened last night. Nothing physical.”
Arizona shook her head, practically vibrating with anger. “So what? All this time I was just some little stand in while you pined after her?”
“’Zona, it wasn’t like that.”
“Then what was it like, Callie?” growled the shorter woman.
“I never wanted to hurt you. I never thought that I would see her again…” Callie started, only to be cut off.
“Oh, so I was second best. You just thought you would settle for me?” Arizona blinked back tears. She would not cry at this. “I took a chance on you. I was there through everything!” she shouted. “I should never have bothered! I hope you two are happy in your screwed up little relationship!” Turning on her heel, Arizona furiously wheeled away, almost colliding with Mark Sloan. “And screw you too!”
“You told her about Erica then,” he said as he came to a halt in front of a shell shocked Callie.
“I didn’t have to. She saw me with Erica in Joe’s last night.
“You cheated on her?”
“Why the hell is that everyone’s first thought?” growled Callie, punching his arm. “No, I didn’t cheat. We had a drink and I asked her to dinner.” She sighed. “I wouldn’t have cheated on ‘Zona, not after all she’s done for me. And I wouldn’t do that to Erica, not again. Whatever happens, I’m doing it right this time.
“You okay?” he asked, putting an arm around her shoulders and pulling her into a hug.
She sighed as she leant into him. “I should be. I’m getting another chance with the woman I thought would never even want to speak to me again. I just wish I could have worked things out better with Arizona. I didn’t want to hurt her, it was just a shock seeing Erica again.”
“It’s messy. It’s always messy when you like someone,” said Sloan, careful not to say love, knowing Callie would overthink it as always, even when it was true.
Callie smiled. “But I refuse to let this end messy this time.” She pulled back out of Mark’s embrace and took a deep breath. “I am going to make this work.”
Mark smiled. “Good for you. Both of you.”
10 – Same game, same mistakes?
Callie took a deep breath before pressing the call button, biting her lip as she listened to the phone ring, waiting for Erica to answer. As the ringing continued, she looked around her apartment. She had spent the day cleaning it and removing any traces of Arizona. She wasn’t sure how to feel when she discovered that after almost two years, there were no real traces of Arizona in her apartment. Even the things that were there, were things Arizona had either put or left there, not things that Callie herself had placed there. A couple of pictures, a scarf…nothing of substance. With a sigh, Callie thought that perhaps that was testament to her true feelings towards the woman. Yes, she would always be grateful to her for helping her piece herself back together after the accident, but beyond that…
“Callie?” The familiar voice on the other end of the phone broke through her thoughts.
“Hey you,” Callie grinned. “You kept your same number.”
“And you haven’t changed.”
Callie bristled at Erica’s tone.
“You were still dating Arizona Robbins when you asked me to dinner.”
Shit! How the hell does she even know?
“When you asked me to dinner, saying you wanted to do it right this time, I swallowed everything I wanted to say to you because I wanted nothing more than to say yes.”
Callie would hear Erica’s voice become hoarse, betraying the fact the blonde was crying.
“Erica please, I do want to do this right,” she pleaded, tears in her own eyes.
“Really? Because I would have thought that someone who wants to do things right doesn’t just drop people the moment someone better comes along. How long was she with you, two years? And you’re willing to push her aside in an instant.”
How does she know how long I was with Arizona? “Erica you need to let me explain. You…I can’t…I need to see you. I can’t do this over the phone. I need to see you, need you to see me and let me explain.”
“I don’t know that I can,” came Erica’s, no Callie corrected herself, Dr Hahn’s voice. “When I spoke to you that night, I really thought you had changed. That you actually cared.”
Callie sniffled as tears flowed freely down her cheeks. “You have no idea how much I care. Please, Erica. Nothing I said to you that night was a lie. Let me meet you, let me explain, please. If you were serious about giving me a chance, give me this chance.” The Latina waited anxiously for Erica to reply, her eyes tight shut against more tears.
“Fine. I’ll meet you at the park in an hour.” If Callie had to ask where, clearly she didn’t know Erica as well as the blonde thought she did.
“I’ll be there.”
Callie let the phone fall on the couch beside her, wiping her tears with her sleeve. She had an hour to figure out how to show Erica Hahn that she was the most important person in her world.
Erica sighed as she let the phone drop from her hand. She closed her eyes, picturing that little hopeful smile that Callie had had on her face when she had asked her out to dinner. God, she had missed that smile… She took a deep breath, trying to calm the raging storm of emotions stirring inside her. Over the past two years, she had done a lot of exploring, but had always known it was Callie. Coming back, she had always hoped she would run into the gorgeous young woman again, and to then have her ask her to dinner, all ‘I’ve missed you so much’ and hopeful smiles…
She shook her head, laughing at her own stupidity. Two years spent trying to mature and become more comfortable and confident in herself…and five minutes spent in Callie Torres’ company and she was willing to throw herself in front of that train bound for disaster once more. And the bit she hated most, was that she just couldn’t stop herself. Reaching for her bag, Erica pushed herself to her feet. The train was heading to the station, she should get herself to the platform in time to jump in front of it.
11 – This isn’t a game to me…
Callie couldn’t help the sigh of relief as she stepped into the clearing to see Erica swinging lightly on the old wooden tree swing that hung form one of the taller trees. Her breath caught in her throat as she took in the sight before her. In the orange light cast out by the setting sun, Erica’s hair almost seemed to glow. She approached slowly, the box in her hands trembling. “I didn’t know if you would be here.”
Erica gave her a sad smile. “I can’t help myself when it comes to you.”
Coming to kneel in front of the older woman, Callie gazed up at her. “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you about Arizona.” She paused, trying to formulate her words instead of them simply falling out of her mouth. “Seeing you again, I, I think I panicked. I couldn’t wait, and risk the chance that you’d think I wasn’t interested. Or think that I was crawling back to you after breaking up with ‘Zona. I should have broken up with her a long time ago, but after the accident…” she sighed. “After all she done for me, to get me through that…I felt I couldn’t.” She looked up into clear blue eyes. Eyes that used to let her in and show her everything. “But then I saw you that day, and I knew I had to, that I…”
Erica found that she had to look away from Callie’s intense gaze, realising that she couldn’t have it all her own way. After all, she had had two years in which to contact Callie, and instead she had chosen to suddenly appear back at the hospital. It now seemed rather cowardly on her part. It wasn’t fair to expect Callie to still be waiting for her… “I’m sorry.”
Callie gazed at the frown which had formed on Erica’s face.
“It’s not fair to keep blaming you. You deserve to have moved on…” She lifted her eyes when Callie grabbed her hand.
“I never moved on, not really.” She closed her eyes, not wanting to admit the truth. “The only reason I ever became involved with Arizona, was because she always made me think of you. The blonde hair, the blue eyes…it wasn’t you, but it always made me think of you…” She opened her eyes as a soft hand cupped her cheek.
“Oh, Callie…” She couldn’t help it. She leant down and placed a gentle kiss against tear salted lips.
Callie pulled back, shaking her head. “No, I need to finish saying this.” She took a few shaky breaths. “I had been going to end it with her. She wasn’t you. She could never be you…but then there was the accident…” She gasped at the look of pain that crossed Erica’s face, but kept going, needing to get this out. “And she was there. Always there. She got me through so much, even if it was only because having her there made me wish how much I could have had you there. Remind me how much you wouldn’t want me to give up.” She wasn’t prepared for the strong embrace that engulfed her at her admission, but quickly let herself melt into the arms she had missed so much. She only pulled back when she realised that Erica was sobbing hard against her shoulder. “Erica?”
“I wanted to be there,” came the whispered admission. “I was there…after it happened, before you woke up.”
Callie gasped, suddenly unable to breathe.
“Mark called me,” admitted Erica shakily. “I just had to see you.”
Callie was still gasping for air, struggling to wrap her mind around what Erica was saying. Needing something to hold onto, she wrapped her arms around the blonde’s waist, letting her head rest in Erica’s lap where she still sat on the swing. She closed her eyes as Erica began to gently stroke her hair, the action calming them both.
“It feels so good to have you like this. To feel you so alive…you were so cold,” said Erica, struggling to get her words out. “Bailey let me sit with you one night. It was hard to believe it was really you. You were always so full of life.”
Callie sat up, turning to look at tear filled blue eyes. “No one told me you were there. Why? They knew how much I missed you, and no one said a word to me.”
Erica reached out and gently stroked Callie’s cheek. “I asked them not to. I knew you were with Arizona…but I just had to see you.”
“You should have told me!”
Despite the situation, Erica let out a breathy little laugh. “I did.”
“I was in a coma!” shrieked Callie in disbelief, finding herself laughing along with the blonde. “How screwed up are we?” she finally sighed, tightening her arms around Erica’s waist once more.
“Irreparably,” smirked Erica, gazing down at the familiar dark curls. It was only now that she noticed the box by Callie’s legs. Naturally, she was curious as to its contents, but knew better than to push Callie. Instead, she ran her fingers through soft curls, loving the feel of them. She felt the younger woman sigh contentedly and smiled. “I wanted to stay…I did. But I didn’t want to complicate things. I had Bailey call me with updates every day.” She shifted slightly, looking for her bag. “Cal, can you pass my bag?”
Frowning at why Erica was suddenly in need of her bag, slightly worried she was thinking about leaving, Callie nonetheless moved to retrieve it, passing handing it over and watching as the blonde rummaged around inside.
“I also gave something to her, to give to you if she thought the right time came up,” said Erica quietly, putting her bag down as she held out a small box to Callie. “I visited her at the hospital on Tuesday to ask if I could have it back to give it to you myself.”
Understanding dawned on Callie. Tuesday… “That’s when you saw Arizona…”
Erica nodded. “I’m sorry I got mad at you over that…I shouldn’t have. It was me that was pushing you that night...You were the one being a gentlewoman about things!” She sighed, dropping her gaze away to rest on the small box Callie was yet to accept from her grasp. “I just can’t seem to help myself when I’m around you. Any other time I am a rational, logical adult, and then I get within ten feet of you, hell if I hear your name, it’s like my emotions are five year olds after too much candy, bouncing around all over the place…”
Callie smiled gently at the admission. “And here I thought I was me who got all ‘aargh!’ and clingy…”
Grinning, Erica looked up at the familiar words. “I thought I didn’t need to know that yet?”
“Oh, I think it’s about time,” smiled Callie.
“Then I think it’s about time you had this,” said Erica, pressing the box into Callie’s hand.
Tearing her eyes away from the blonde’s, Callie carefully opened the small wooden box, gasping at the contents. Inside, was a gold chain, on which hung a gold leaf to match that Erica wore around her own neck. The only difference was that on this chain, there was also a tiny gold charm in the shape of a pair of glasses. Callie couldn’t have stopped the tears if she tried. She launched herself at Erica, wrapping her arms tightly around her neck in a fierce hug. What Callie hadn’t anticipated, however, was how the fact that Erica was still sat on the swing would factor into her actions…until she suddenly found herself lying on top of the blonde, her legs now tangled with Erica’s in the ropes of the swing.
“Smooth, Torres,” quipped Erica.
“Oh God! Are you okay?” asked Callie, frantically trying to get up and check whether or not she had hurt the blonde. It wasn’t until she felt Erica’s hands on either side of her face that she looked back into clear blue eyes that sparkled with mischief.
“I don’t know about you, but I’ve been worse,” grinned Erica as she let her arms drop to wrap around Callie’s waist. She watched as her favourite smile developed on Callie’s face; the one that started off hesitantly, before after a small giggle, transformed into that mega-watt smile Erica had missed so much.
Feeling Erica’s arms settle around her waist, Callie ceased all attempts at moving, content to rest her body against Erica’s, the sensation, even through all the layers they were both wearing enough force her to bite her lower lip in order to silence a moan. She gazed at the blonde below her, hair spilled out on the glass, glinting almost silver in the moonlight that now illuminated them. “I don’t think you’ve ever looked more beautiful,” she breathed, watching as Erica blushed, but didn’t look away. “Do you think it would be okay if I finally gave into that urge to kiss you now?”
“I thought you never would,” breathed Erica, whimpering as Callie’s lips brushed over her own in a touch so light it was barely even there. The Latina continued these feather light touches until Erica could not contain herself a moment longer, her hands finding their way into dark curls and guiding their lips together in a firmer kiss. It was if she had never been able to breathe properly and Callie was her oxygen. She simply couldn’t get enough as she sucked and nibbled on the younger woman’s lower lip until she was finally given access to the warm cavern of her mouth. Wasting no time, Erica set about mapping its smooth contours with her tongue, unable not to moan when Callie let her tongue with her own velvety muscle.
Limited lung capacity finally forced them apart, and they reluctantly parted lips, panting heavily.
“You have no idea how many times I’ve dreamed of you doing that,” breathed Erica.
“What? Mauling you on a park swing?” laughed Callie.
“Of course, it’s been one of my favourite all-time fantasies,” grinned Erica, not missing a beat.
Callie couldn’t help but laugh, surprised, but not at all in a bad way at this new, relaxed Erica. “You are something else.”
“I’ll take that as more of a compliment from you than my last therapist…Now, I hate to break this up, and believe me, I really do, but I think I might be losing the blood supply to my foot,” admitted Erica.
Callie immediately made to move, finding the easiest way to extricate herself was to clamber over the woman below her. Getting to her feet, she turned to find Erica still lying in the same position. “You’re a tease Torres.” Grinning, Callie shook her head, moving to untangle Erica’s foot from the rope in which it was tangled.
“Excuse me? This from the woman who has been pushing my self control to the absolute limits since she sauntered back into Seattle Grace.” teased Callie as she released Erica’s foot, putting out her hand out to help the older woman up. Her words were met with raised eyebrows. “Don’t deny it.”
Allowing Callie to pull her too her feet, Erica did no such denying, instead wrapping her arms around the younger woman’s waist and pulling her close, pressing their lips together. “So I saunter now, do I?”
Resting their foreheads together, Callie smiled. “Yes, you saunter, and wear horrendously great fitting jeans. Oh, and that little leather jacket, I hate it.” Her smile widened at the deep laugh that emanated from Erica.
“So I should just get rid of it then?”
Callie levelled a mock glare at the other woman before pouting. “No.”
Erica bit her lower lip, suddenly shy. “Then how about I wear it to dinner?”
Callie cupped Erica’s face in her hands. “I love how adorable you look when you do that. And yes, you definitely should wear it to dinner. Speaking of which…” She wriggled out of the arms around her and bent to retrieve the box she had brought with her. Opening it, she found what she was looking for. “I wondered if you wanted to go back here?”
Erica took the piece of paper being held out to her, her mouth falling open in disbelief when she recognised what it was. The bill from their first date. “You kept this all this time?” She turned it over and read the words she knew would be there: ‘l agree to let Callie Torres pay the bill on our next date’, with her own name signed underneath.
Callie shrugged. “I kept everything,” she admitted, lifting the lid on the box once more. “I don’t even know where half of this stuff is from, but I know that everything in here was some small reminder of you. Of something we did. I couldn’t throw any of it away.”
“And you’re calling me adorable?” smirked Erica. She watched as Callie continued to paw through the contents of the box. “You want some help trying to remember what half of that junk is?” She was slightly taken aback when Callie suddenly looked up with a very serious expression.
“Don’t call it junk, it was all I had of you!”
Bending, Erica retrieved the small box she had handed Callie just before being knocked of her swing by a particularly enthusiastic hug and held it out. “But now you have all of me. So maybe you could let me add to that box? And maybe tonight, if you’re not adverse to it, you’d like to come back to mine and we could go through that old stuff, see if we can remember together?”
Callie took the small box with a smile, watching as Erica bit her lip nervously once more.
“I know you said you wanted to take this slow, and do it right this time, and I’m not trying to rush this…but we were friends before we were anything else, and friends can come over for a glass of wine and talk about old times, can’t they?”
Looking at the hand that was being extended, Callie didn’t hesitate before taking it. “Yeah, they can,” she smiled, content to follow where Erica led.