Author: Chelle Storey-Daniel
Pairing: Mark/Callie Callie/Hahn Mark/Addison
Summary: What happens when a man steps up and offers you everything you've ever wanted at the same time that a woman does? What happens when you're feeling things that you've never felt before and you question everything you thought you knew about yourself. Callie takes a journey that is rocky, wonderful, terrifying, and breathtaking as she realizes that there is one heart too many in her life and that's the one that she will have to break.
Dedicated: To the readers. Thank you! And for Ange, I hope you know that I love you for a lot more than your art. You are outstanding and I'm blessed to know you.
Ange, this was hot! And also? It's my new wallpaper. :)
Packing up my things and moving yet again could not be harder.
I grew up with roots and I dug those roots up and never planted them again.
Erica had no roots at all, but she has them now. I can't wait to let her show me how to do the same.
We have to stop and buy clothes hangers and she assures me that the plastic blue ones are the best ones. I have no clue what to choose. Remember when there were only wire hangers? Hell, I guess ‘Mommy Dearest’ got her wish in the end because I didn’t see a single wire hanger in stock. I bought enough blue ones to hang up everything, even my socks if I want to, and followed her in my car to her place. When she gets there, she opens both sides of the garage so that I can park next to her. It’s the first time that I’ve parked in the garage at all. She parked my SUV in there when my family visited, but I usually just leave it in the driveway. It’s like ... damn ... my Range Rover has a home, too. One that will keep it out of the wind and rain the same way that Erica does for me. Even if we’re outside in a storm ... she acts like an umbrella for me and ... SHIT ... now that damn Rhianna song is stuck in my head. Ella ella ella eh eh eh. If I ever download that as a ring tone I will shoot myself in head ead ead eh eh eh.
She helps me unpack and hang everything up. There are two oversized walk in closets in the master bedroom and she tells me I can share with her or use the empty one. She opens *her* closet door, though, and points at all the empty space so I go that route, hanging my jeans across from her neat row of dressy pants and my sexy, cleavage baring shirts across from her more conservative choices. Most of my wardrobe is black, dark blue, and jewel tones. Most of hers is beige, brown, and patterned. The clothing of mine that she hung up looks like it just left the dry cleaners, but the pieces I hung up are wrinkled and I hope nothing smells bad because I was embarrassed to tell her that I can’t remember what’s clean and what’s dirty. I’m also kind of embarrassed to tell her that I have more stuff in a small storage unit, but she’s going to eventually wonder why I randomly vanish and come back with a few things at a time. There was no room at Cristina’s for anything beyond clothing and well ... I didn’t live to be thirty three without collecting a few things here and there.
She doesn’t bat an eyelash when I tell her. She simply asks me if it will all fit in my vehicle or if we’ll need hers, too. "It’ll fit in mine," I reply.
"You want some help?"
"Are you tired?"
"Not at all." She wads up the last garbage bag and walks around the bed to where I’m standing. She kisses my cheek, then leans her forehead against mine. "I’m only going to ask this one time and then I’m done. Are you sure this is what you want?"
I take her face in both of my hands and kiss her. "I’m sure."
I’ve decided that my stomach needs a name of its own. It likes to makes it presence known in the most awkward moments and the sounds that it makes are mortifying. Right now ... right now it’s growling like Cujo did in the movie. It’s *horrible*. And loud. When I do a mental inventory of the last time I ate ... it was technically two days ago with Erica and I’m wishing I had devoured that Death by Chocolate right about now. I grimace and look at her, "You didn’t happen to accidentally give me a mouth in there when you were operating did you? Because it sure can sing."
"I hear it."
I put a hand over my shirt, looking down at my stomach, and say, "Shhh! We’re having a moment here."
"Tell me that you’ve eaten today."
Or ... not. "I don’t have a ton of stuff. It should only take about an hour to get it."
"Oh, that’s nice. And what did you have for breakfast?"
Or ... okay. "I slept through it."
"How about lunch?"
"It's very hard to eat and grovel at the same time, Erica, and I’m very happy that I groveled instead."
"You did not grovel."
"In my own special way ... I most certainly did."
"We’ll go out for dinner ... how’s that?"
I give her a impish grin. "Only if I can wear a dress again and you do that thing under that table that -"
"Oh, honey," she says sadly, shaking her head. "You will grovel in so many ways before I do that again."
"Let’s go." She takes my hand and starts to head into the hallway, but I linger in the doorway, looking back. "What is it?"
I take in the picture over the bed, my photo on the end table, and the blue comforter that is so soft and soothing that I could sleep under it for hours. I look at the painting between the two closets and the arched window and I decide that I’ve never been in a prettier place before. In my life or my location. "I was just thinking ... I get to call this ‘our’ room now."
Putting her arms around my waist, she looks at everything over my shoulder like she’s trying to see it through my eyes. "Does that mean I get to call you ‘mine’?"
"Well, I’ve been that all along."
It takes us ten minutes to get out the door and into my car because when you say something like that ... making out is required. At least the first base kind of kissing that makes you strain for second with enough effort that you get a charley horse and then get benched. She shuts me down when I try to take her shirt off and I realize that she’s still on her period. I will be making us BOTH appointments to get on Depo Provera to stop this monthly madness. This? This is easily the worst part about being a woman in a same sex relationship. There’s PMS and days of no sex that seem to stretch for years. It doesn’t amuse me. But then it does because there isn’t a *boyfriend* alive who understands PMS, cramps, bloating, or boob aches. I wouldn’t trade it if I could.
We stop at Chili’s before we head to the storage unit. I pass on the baby back ribs, pass on the burger, don’t look twice at the fajitas ... and ask for a salad. She looks impressed until I tell the waiter to make sure the chicken is fried and that I have enough honey mustard to bathe in. When he walks away, she takes my hand across the table. "It’s a start," she says. "I guess I need to realize that underneath that mountain of flour, grease, and dressing there are some vegetables."
"I’ll eat your freakin’ oatmeal in the morning to make up for it. I discovered that it comes with peaches and cream. So, I can eat fruits *and* mushy crap and totally rock your world."
"There are other things you eat that rock my world, Callie."
I choke on my Coke.
So does the spot between my legs where she rests her foot, grinding just enough to make me not enjoy my fried chicken salad in the least.
She watches me closely, doing things with her straw that should be illegal.
I hate her table manners, I decide. Not just because her foot is rudely invading my bubble (oh, all right, I can't hate *that*), but she’s molesting the silverware, too, stroking it with her long white fingers until my fork clatters to the table twice. She finally takes a little pity on me and stops with the silverware sex ... but her foot stays in place until we pay.
I’m so hot and bothered when we leave that I’m ready to beg her to slip into the backseat with me and make my body do tricks for her that it ONLY does with her. I can go from zero to orgasm with her in half the time it has ever taken me before. I’m not going to overanalyze it, but I think the fact that she has matching parts gives her insight that is unimaginable. There isn’t a boyfriend alive who can do that thing she does with her tongue ... God, how am I going to carry boxes when it’s a struggle to balance at all? I'm already walking kinda bowlegged. Thinking of her tongue causes me to bite mine, but the pinch of pain doesn’t help.
I want her.
I somehow manage to drive us to the storage place without doing any damage and I park in the spot right in front of the small building that I rent. It’s not much larger than the closet we’re sharing at her house, but the contents here are a lot more valuable than my clothes. I’ve got pictures, scrapbooks, and so much of *me* to take *home*. I unlock the door and lift the back hatch of my car, going around to let the seat down. Erica joins me and says, "If you own this much luggage then why on earth do you have so many Glad garbage bags?"
"Because this is Louis Vuitton and I *hate* labels." I grab the nearest suitcase and load it into the car. She follows suit and we work our way through half the area before my phone rings. I pull it out of my pocket and gasp, answering. "Addison?"
"Where are you?"
"California. Are you - are you okay?"
"You don’t hit *that* hard," I reply, adjusting my Bose radio on top of a suitcase. "I’m sorry for what I said to you. I don’t know what the hell I was thinking. You’re not moving back to California are you?"
"Well, that was sorta the plan."
"You know the fireman that I mentioned?"
I stop securing the lid on a box. "The one who likes you?"
"Yeah. He was killed in a fire. Naomi called me yesterday and I started packing for the funeral ... and, well, I packed everything."
"Oh my god! Addy! I’m so sorry."
"Do you need me to come?"
"No ... actually ... Mark came with me."
My lack of a response is the best that I can do and it obviously speaks volumes.
"I told him about Alex. He’s mad as hell at me, but he’s still here. All my things are at his apartment. He showed up at the Archfield when the bellhop was loading my luggage and he refused to let me bring it to California. We went to his place and left it and he packed a bag to come with me." She takes a deep breath. "I think maybe he wants to try for something now. You know ... assuming that he gets over the Alex thing which is only about thirty minutes old in his time."
"You *just* told him?"
"Yep." She sighs now. "Callie?"
"Are you okay with this?"
"I’m fine with it. I really am. Just ... don’t hurt him."
"I can make that deal if you won’t let your girlfriend hurt me. She's terrifying. When I told her that I hit you ... well, let’s just say that I’m gonna be watching over my shoulder for a blond butcher for about two years before I feel comfortable again." She laughs and I join her, glancing over at Erica, who is still hard at work. "At the same rate though ... you need to watch out for Mark. I mentioned what you told me about the baby and the flower and ... well, you should watch over your shoulder for a while, too. He’s pissed. He was gonna call you, but I wouldn’t let him."
"Thank you for that."
"You and me? We’re still friends. I don’t care what anyone says. Okay?"
"Always." I let my eyes wander over Erica’s backside as she reaches across two stacked boxes. Her pants are pulled tight and I can see her panty line. Unless I’m much mistaken, those damn blue panties are back. They’re the only pair in her collection, and I think I’ve seen them all but not in a dirty ‘let me paw through your panty drawer’ kind of way, that hug her ass just so. Addison continues to talk, changing gears and mentioning the eternal sunshine in California, but I can only fill the pauses with grunts and forced laughter. Erica rubs her hands over her backside as she reaches for another box and it causes me to groan.
"You okay?" Addison asks.
"I’m moving in with Erica."
"And it makes you sound like *that*? Does she scare you, too?"
The next sound I make is a strangled cry. From a box I had forgotten I had ... Erica pulls out the biggest, purplest dildo to ever see the light of day. I drop the phone and accidentally hang up on Addison in my haste to catch it before it can hit the ground. I take a flying leap across the small area to prevent Erica from digging any deeper into my toy chest, but it’s too late. From the depths of my depravity, which incidentally happens to be the largest box here, she pulls out a set of handcuffs, a whip, and a leather bustier that leaves nothing to the imagination. She starts to laugh when she looks up at me. "Holy shit, Callie. I’m starting to think that maybe you have a dirtier mind than *me* and that’s hard to do."
She dumpster dives again and pulls out a pair of vibrating panties that malfunctioned on me just when they were getting good. I thought that my clit had been electrocuted, but it turned out to be a wire that came through. Yeah, not fun. "Erica -"
"What is this?"
She has found THE TONGUE.
It even has a *nose*.
Wrinkling her own nose, she shakes it a little, watching the Pepto Bismol colored pink tongue flap up and down. The worst part is coming. Any minute now she’s going to see the adapter. I watch as comprehension dawns on her and I contemplate lowering the roll up door on my head to just make it all stop. She howls with laughter when she sees the end of the cord. I knew she would. I try to blend into the wall when she makes the tongue flap at me like a flag of crazy in straight line wind. "CALLIE!" she wheezes. "TELL ME YOU NEVER DID THIS WHILE DRIVING! IT PLUGS INTO THE LIGHTER!? HAHAHAHAHAH!"
The phone in my hand rings and I answer fast, relieved to have something to do. "Hello?"
Addison says, "Did you hang up on me?"
"No, sorry. Bad connection." I watch Erica reach into the box yet again and when she pulls out the French Maid outfit ... my mortification is so complete that my brain won’t let me carry on any form of communication beyond, "Addy, can I call you back?"
"Sure. I’ll be here."
I hang up and pretend that the life history of my vagina’s playthings are not on display like a museum exhibit. I pick up a box and put it in my car, taking far too long to make sure it’s just *so* and when I turn around ... Erica is on her feet. She’s watching me with a look of amusement that gives me plenty of warning that she’s about to rub it in. "Callllllie."
"None of that is mine," I lie. "I was ... uhm ... that must be George’s stuff."
"George, huh?" From behind her back, she holds up a straight jacket. "You’re the only person I know who needs this. And check it out ... built in nipple clips."
Damn that straightjacket. I never should have stolen that from my ex. "Hmm, how’d that get in there? As a matter of fact, I’ve never seen any of this before in my life. I’ll need to talk to management because apparently someone left it here."
"The Sex Fairy? Dirty Santa? The Orgasm Bunny?"
She walks toward me like a tiger stalking its prey. She doesn’t stop until I’m forced to sit down on the back bumper of the car. She tosses the straightjacket in behind me and kisses me, moving between my legs as her thumbs brush against my nipples, which naturally ... are hard as rocks. "Tonight ... when we get home ... you’re gonna have to demonstrate how some of this works because I’ve never seen such an assortment in my life and ... curiosity may kill me if you don’t."
"You’re not freaking out."
"My collection is not as ... diverse ... as yours, but I’ll gladly share."
If lust could be classified as a disease ... it would be terminal for me.
She’s going to be the death of me.
When she makes sure that the box containing my vast assortment of vibrating, twirling, and rotating ... things ... gets loaded last and therefore will be the first box to come out of the car ... I wish that I had the power to teleport. No, I wouldn’t send myself off to some far off place to hide ... I’d zap us straight to *our* bedroom and show her a thing or two about how *I* can dance.
Hmm, that has potential.
I slide behind the wheel and start the engine, then drive to the main office and put the keys in the night box. When I get back in ... The Tongue is plugged into the ashtray and she’s watching it hum with life.
It’s going to be a long drive.
We put the boxes and luggage in the guest room because it’s getting late. Despite the fact that I slept most of the morning away, I’m exhausted. When the last box is stacked neatly against the wall, I go into the master bedroom and draw up short. My treasure chest, which Erica personally escorted upstairs, is on the floor between the two closets. She’s standing at the dresser and I watch her take her earrings off. Her eyes meet mine and there’s a flash of devilment when she lets her gaze wander lazily over my reflection. I can’t see myself from the current angle, only her, and I could look for days. I can hear water running in the bathtub and I ignore the big sex filled vibrating elephant in the room in favor of touching her. She’s tried, and failed, to twist all of her hair into a clip so I take it down and do it for her.
That, in case you’re wondering, is one more thing that doesn’t suck when you’re with another woman. There’s no weird tangling of oversized and hairy fingers into earrings, hair scrunchies, or clips. We know how to pull bobby pins without scalping someone and we know how to twist, braid, and secure hair for mundane things like long soaks in the tub or, you know, to expose someone’s neck. Which I take full advantage of. The nape of her neck always smells sweet. It doesn’t matter if she’s just performed surgery ... her skin rejects odor and she always has that delicate, perfect hint of lilacs. I can smell her shampoo today, too. It’s vanilla. I bury my nose in her hair while I fasten my lips to her neck and taste her. Her backside moves against my crotch and I know that I’ve got it bad. I’ve got it very, very bad.
"Guess what?" she asks.
"Someone’s coming tomorrow to repair the hot tub."
"Yeah. And they’ll be filling and setting it for us ... so tomorrow night ... anything can happen."
"Mmmm hmmm." She turns around and kisses me, sliding the clip from my hair with the same ease that I secured hers. "Why don’t you go take a bath?"
I glance up at her hair, which I was sure she was putting up to keep from getting it wet. "I thought you were -"
"Later. Go on."
I pick up my bag of toiletries and head into the bathroom. I can smell cherry blossoms and smile when I see that the tub has bubbles in it ... my favorite scent from Bath & Body Works at that. She’s put two towels on the sink and her shampoo is on the ledge of the tub. I frown and lift the ends of my hair, smelling it. Maybe she’s trying to tell me something. I don’t soak for long. It’s going to put me to sleep and I really want to make sure before I drift off that I tell her exactly how sorry I am for what I’ve put her through and how happy I am to be here with her. I wash and rinse ... then wash again for good measure ... and finally step from the tub. I secure my hair under one towel and wrap the other around me after I pat myself dry. I forgot to bring any panties in with me so I deal with just the towel. It’s a fluffy and oversized royal blue affair with cream colored accents. Erica doesn’t strike me as the type who likes to shop, but I could be wrong. She has excellent taste.
She put my panties in the drawer next to her own. I rifle through it, trying to find my favorite pair.
"Looking for these?" she asks.
My Spiderman boy shorts are dangling off her finger. She’s leaning in the doorway and when I nod at her, she crooks that finger slightly. She could toss them, but she doesn’t. If she’s going to make it hard on me ... I’m going to reciprocate. I pull the towel and from my body and throw it into the hamper, then I take the one from my hair, which I comb my fingers through. When I walk toward her now ... I’m completely naked ... and she’s looking at every inch of me. I’ve never had a problem with being naked. Never. And this isn’t an exception. She looks at me like she’s seeing me for the first time every time I’m stripped bare. She looks at me like she’s seeing something so perfect that she can’t look away from it. I don’t even care that the scar on my abdomen has turned a purplish color now or that my skin puckers a little. When she looks at it ... I know that she sees her own handiwork and she *knows* that she saved my life. The scar is proof of that ... and that could never be anything but perfect.
I stop in front of her. So far her eyes have only made it as far as my chest and it’s a slow process for her to get to my face. When she does, I smile at her. "Are you going to give me my panties?"
"Why? You’re not gonna need them." She reaches up and traces a water droplet, following its path over my nipple, which she circles with her fingertip. "I’ve been thinking about doing this for days. Since the restaurant, actually. If I had spent the night with you that night ... well ... you wouldn’t have gotten much sleep."
"Don’t worry. I didn’t. I really am so sor-"
She brings her hand up, resting her thumb against my lips. "House rule number one ... you don’t have to say what I already know."
"Are there other rules?"
Nodding, she kisses me. "House rule number two ... enjoy yourself."
She gently coaxes me backwards until I fall back on the bed. She comes with me, settling between my thighs as her mouth blazes a path over my throat and collar bone. When she worries my earlobe in her teeth, I hiss and say, "Is your period *finally* over?"
Pushing herself up a little, she smiles at me. "House rule number three ... it’s better to give than receive. I don’t have to get off ... to want to get you off. So, be quiet."
"I was very quiet the last couple of times that you got me off ... I’m not making any promises."
"House rule number four ... be very, very loud."
"You’re making this up as you go."
"And it’s subject to change." Kissing me again, she pulls my legs a little further apart so she can grind against me all the more. "You wanna play with something in your box of toys."
"There is nothing over there that can compare to the real thing."
"Good answer." She slips down to my breasts, nipping and sucking until I urge her lower with my hands on her shoulders. I hear her chuckle at my boldness, but she complies, letting her tongue dance over my belly button.
I jump when she presses her face against the crease of my leg and bites at me. It’s a ticklish spot that I never meant for her to find, but I’ll be damned if I can hide anything. She worries that spot until I’m laughed out and begging her to stop, then she moves down to my thighs, kissing both of them. She rakes her teeth across my knee and then repeats it on the other one and I finally push myself up on my elbows and glare at her. "Stop. Making. Me. Wait. Yellow."
"This is you groveling, Callie, in your own special way."
I watch her put her finger in her mouth. I was so wrong about the things she does to a straw ... this is sexier. Her lips close around it, heart shaped and perfect. When she finally eases it from her mouth,I lick my own lips in anticipation. Slowly, and with far too much enjoyment at being slow as hell on her part, she eases it into me, curling it slightly. I reach down, grabbing the top of her hair and I don’t have to pull hard to get her face between my legs. She goes willingly, parting my flesh with the fingers of her other hand so that her tongue can dance against my clit. She pulls me taut, spreading me open as she traces the bundle of nerves that she has had on edge all night. I watch every single move she makes with her tongue until her blue eyes find mine and hold me. I stay on my elbows and I can’t look away from her. She’s goooood ... she’s hypnotizing.
And just before I get off ... she stops.
She eases her finger out of me and I start to protest, but she shifts her weight and I feel something cold against me.
When whatever it is slides into me and hums to life ... I groan and fall back onto the bed.
I wasn’t expecting *that*, yet I’m not complaining.
I’m also not quiet at all. It’s probably a good thing Buddha isn’t here because I’d be working him into a frenzy with the sounds I’m making. I’m obviously working *her* into a frenzy.
Oh. My. God.
She makes me come three times before she slides back up my body and kisses me. "You have the best orgasm face ever," she says.
"Gee ... I wonder why. What the *hell* was that?" I ask, breathlessly.
Reaching between us, she gently tugs the toy from me and holds it up. "Mine. You didn’t have a g-spot stimulator in your bag of tricks. Which, considering that you have everything else perverted, I’m kind of shocked. You really have GOT to tell me all about the French Maid outfit, preferably while you’re wearing it."
"Out of everything in that box ... *that* is what you want to know about?"
She rolls onto her back beside me. "I don’t like penis ... fake or otherwise ... and all that phallic stuff you’ve amassed does nothing for me. No matter how much variety you have."
Great. Now I feel like I’ve broken some huge rule. It doesn’t matter than I haven’t technically messed with anything in the box since *before* George, now I feel like there’s something horrible about ... still liking some of the ... phallic stuff. Like you have to completely swear it off when you’re with a woman. I didn’t get the handbook apparently.
"Callie?" She turns her head toward me and I look at her. "I do, however, like using them. I’ve already got the biggest dick ever. Might as well strap one on occasionally. You know ... since you *do* like it."
I feel like I shrink three inches into the mattress. It’s not an accusation on her part, but it feels that way. "I - I’m not supposed to like it ... right? I mean, it’s against the rules or something?"
"We’re gonna make our own rules. If there’s something in that box you want to bring into the bed ... I’m not intimidated by it. If you *like* it ... then like it with me ... and don’t go searching for the real thing. But if that day ever comes ... when you need a man and not me ... tell me."
"That’s never gonna happen." I roll to face her, my hand on her hip. "When I tell you I love you ... I mean it. I don’t just say it to hear myself talk."
"House rule number five," she says. "Use your own lines."
"Here’s a few original lines," I reply, leaning forward to kiss her. "I love you. I love you more than I've ever loved anything and you’re stuck with me. We’re gonna be little old ladies fighting over whose walker is closest to the bed and whose turn it is to go fetch the vitamins and Ensure.
"I’ve got about ten years on you so I automatically win."
"Yes, but you eat healthier than me. I’m sure I’ll be paying by then."
"That’s why we need to have kids, baby, because they can do it for us." She stretches and sits up. "I’m gonna go take a shower. I really need to talk to someone about scheduling my surgeries so early. I need a strict ‘no cutting before nine’ law."
I realize that I’m not breathing when she goes into the bathroom.
She actually just said we need to have kids.
Those little people that she hates.
She said it.
I crawl under the cover and listen to her humming in the shower. Surely she was just *talking*. There’s no way she was remotely serious because she’s Erica Hahn.
She thinks about career, me, and sex ... possibly in that order.
I think it’s going to be a sleepless night for me, but I’m wrong.
Contentment can and will act like an Ambien if you let it.
There was a soap opera on when I was a teenager. My mother obsessively sat in front of the television watching the lives of people unfold every single day. The Capwell family was rich and powerful, just like mine. One of their daughters, Eden, fell in love with a blue collar cop and they became the most star-crossed lovers ever seen on television. At least to hear my mother tell it. I got roped into watching ‘Santa Barbara’ during the summers when I had nothing to do, but I secretly enjoyed it. Up until blond haired, blue eyed Eden fell in love with Cruz, who was not only poor, but a *gasp* ... Latino ..., I had never been invested in love. I rooted for them through their ups and downs and begged my mother to record it while I was school. I saw the kind of relationship that you could have with someone if you overcame the stigmas and broke the barriers. In a way, my relationship mirrors theirs. Erica is the blond haired, blue eyed half of it and she was the poor one. I’m the one who has enough ethnicity on my face to deal with certain stereotypes and enough money to comfort myself over that fact, but the same thing that motivated Cruz and Eden is motivating me. ‘In dreams and in love, there are no impossibilities.’ That was something they said on the show more than once.
It’s something that I firmly believe in now.
Erica doesn’t mention children again. Maybe she won’t. I don’t know.
But the fact that she *did* mention them means that it’s not impossible.
And the fact that I'm finally happy and someone wants to hold my hand means that dreams *can* come true.
We go into work early and just like I promised Erica I would, I reach for the peaches and cream oatmeal with no coaxing on her part. I even eat it and opt for orange juice as opposed to Coke to wash it down with. We ride the elevator upstairs together and I’m kissing her neck, whispering how much I enjoyed last night, when Stevens walks into the elevator. She looks at me, then at Erica, and shakes her head. Dr. Savoy, who I really can’t stand for more reasons than the way he attacked Bailey during Duquette’s M&M, comes in next. He looks down at our joined hands and smiles, cloaking it under a cough. "Stevens," he greets, smiling at her.
"Dr. Savoy," Izzie nods at him, then glances back at me.
Savoy looks back as well. In the same tone that he used to greet Izzie, he says, "Lesbians."
"Asshole," I fire back conversationally.
He lets his eyes move over me, then Erica, "Hahn is taller, little more masculine. I’d put my money on her being the guy."
Izzie snorts, "Callie’s the one with the shoulder span of a linebacker. I’d say she’s the guy."
Savoy shakes his head. "No, she’s the pretty one. And she drives stick really, really well."
Okay, when *you* are an intern and a hotshot young doctor keeps randomly following you into stairwells, telling you how beautiful you are and how much he wants to touch you ... and *you* can say no ... then you can come and talk to me about me NOT saying no. It happened twice. I smile sweetly at him. "But I don’t enjoy it when the ... stick ... resembles incense in size."
The smile fades from his face and he turns to face the doors again. Izzie, however, has scented my agitation and apparently my announcement about the Duquette thing has sparked her rage. Rightfully so, I guess, because that was vicious on my part, but I don’t plan on apologizing. "Don’t worry," she tells Savoy. "Her ex-husband is my best friend and he told me -"
"Stevens," Erica says, taking a step forward. I move sideways, keeping my hand firmly on hers to pull her back ... just ... in ... case. "One word from your mouth that I don’t like is the one word that will tip the scale and have me going to the Hospital Board to talk about Denny Duquette and the blood money that is funding the memorial clinic. Callie’s ex-husband, your best friend, told her *everything* that happened. Everything. So you think about that before you say another word about her. Especially in front of me."
The doors slide open and Izzie leaves. Savoy laughs and says, "Yep, definitely the man," as he follows her.
Erica and I technically should have gotten off on the same floor they did, but the doors slide shut with neither of us moving. When she reaches for the stop button, I nearly panic ... as visions of being stuck again float around in my head. The elevator glides to a smooth stop with no bangs or screeches and I brace myself for an outburst of some kind about Savoy. What she does ... is hug me.
"This isn’t a house rule," she tells me, her face against my hair. "This is a life rule. Do not let them see that they’re getting to you or they’ll *always* get to you. The only power someone has to get under your skin is the power you give them. Don’t rise to the occasion, baby. Just smile and nod."
"You don’t smile."
"Well, no, I have perfected the fifty foot death stare at this point." She steps back, cradling my face in her hands. "But you have a great smile and it can disarm the opponent with the same ferocity of my laser beam eyes."
I wrinkle my nose. "Have you been reading my comics?"
"Just the ones on your panties."
When she kisses me, I completely forget that I’ve made a new enemy out of an old one.
Life rule number two ... never forget.
People have graduated from stupid and are now working towards degrees in Tragic Idiocy Esquire. My dislike of people is reinforced so much as lunchtime approaches, that I’d rather trade in my medical degree for a nice warehouse job somewhere. Or maybe become a postman. As a doctor ... you see everything. You hear everything. You do *everything*. Being puked on is common. Being called vile names is a near daily occurrence. But I reach an all time low when an aggressive father, who broke his leg during an argument with his daughter’s track coach, decides to kick me in the chest when I get just a little too rough with resetting his tibia. To his credit, he starts babbling about how sorry he is the moment it happens. To my credit, I refrain from stabbing my pen in his eye while I bend at the waist and try to breathe. Motherfucker has great aim.
Lexie Grey drew the short stick so she’s working on Ortho with me. Interns just don’t care too much for bones or whether they mend properly. There’s a reason why only three or four percent of all practicing physicians are orthopedic surgeons. It’s not valued or widely respected. There are no internal organs to slice, dice, and julienne and the level of complexity in a lot of ortho surgeries deal more with how healthy the patient is as opposed to how much difficulty a rotator cuff can actually give you. Ortho is cut and dried. There are rarely complications or surprises. The skeletal system is the same in nearly everyone. I say nearly because I once assisted on a guy who was born with no ribs. My hand to God ... we made him some.
I feel like my ribcage, and more specifically my sternum, has caved in on my organs and is squeezing the life out of me.
I sit down, arms crossed tightly over my breasts and try to drag in air.
Lexie, who looks too much like Doogie Howser for me to call her Dr. Grey, presses her stethoscope to my back and listens. "Dr. Torres," she says timidly. "do I need to get someone?"
"No." I glance at the bed, where the guy is watching me with a look of apprehension, which he should definitely feel. I may break his leg off and shove it up his ass before all is said and done. The image is comforting. "Think you can hold his good leg down?"
"I think I’d love to try." In a much lower voice, she adds, "That whiny assed dickhead needs to scream."
"Hear hear," I reply, smiling a little. I wonder if she realizes that George can be the most whiny assed dickhead alive. Or ... maybe he’s not when he’s with her. Maybe that was only when he was with Stevens.
I get to my feet and stretch my shoulders back, groaning a little and my sternum pulls itself out of my spine and settles back into place. If I have a Nike imprint on my chest the night that I can *finally* rock Erica’s world ... I’ll break the fucker’s other leg and shove *that* one down his throat.
We get back to work.
This time ... he kicks her in the mouth and she stumbles to the floor in shock.
Words cannot begin to describe how much I enjoy fastening him down with restraints and slowly, emphasis on the slow, manipulate his leg. It will heal beautifully. He won’t need surgery, but by the time I’m finished, I think he would beg to be put under. Lexie, who has a bruise on her chin, asks if she can put the finishing touches on the cast and I smile when she passes over the more masculine wrapping colors and goes for pink. He’s flat on his back, staring at the ceiling, so he doesn’t see that he’s being wrapped up like Strawberry Shortcake. We exchange an amused glance when he finally sees it and groans. I help her finish up and she says, "Are you okay?"
I rub my chest as I pull the curtain on our Pink Princess shut. "I can breathe again."
"This is a job hazard for ortho, huh? I helped Dr. Simmons a few days ago and he got punched in the nose."
"Find out who the patient was so I can send them flowers."
She laughs, then looks at me closely. "Uhm, Dr. Torres-"
"You can call me Callie, Lexie."
"Oh. Right. Thanks." She glances around us like she’s about to tell some fantastic secret that only I can hear. "I don’t like Izzie Stevens either."
"No. She’s ... weird ... about George. About me and George. Which, there’s nothing with me and George to be weird about, but that’s not the point. She keeps inviting herself to our apartment and then she points out why his old room at Meredith’s is so much better and she makes fun of everything I try to do to make it ... homey. And well, just between you and me, I can possibly admit that my attempts are a little pathetic, but she doesn’t have to point that out." Grey seems to realize that she’s talking to me like we’re long lost friends and stops herself. "I’m sorry. I ... babble."
I don’t know why, but the thought of her trying to make someplace ‘homey’ for my ex-husband makes me feel really, really happy. For both of them. "Let me give you a little piece of advice." She nods at me. "I once followed Stevens into an elevator and asked her to give me my husband back. I pleaded with her. I came as close to letting her see me cry as I could let myself and I stopped just short of dropping down on my knees to beg a little harder. What I should have done ... was follow her into that elevator and kick her ass so hard that she would have begged *me* to stop. She has a bad attitude and I should have adjusted it."
"Are - are you advising me to, uhm, kick her ass? In the elevator?"
I smile at her. She’s actually kinda cute. I could see George being with her. "No. I’m advising you not to beg. I’m telling you not to *ask* her for anything. Tell her that when she’s in your house ... she needs to respect you and keep her mouth shut. Don’t expect George to do it for you. His blinders are so thick when it comes to her that he may have permanent damage. Just ... take up for yourself. Don’t wait for anyone else to because when they let you down ... that hurts worse than anything that could happen when you do stand up for yourself." I point at the bruise on her face. "And put some ice on that."
"Thanks." Lexie smiles at me and it’s genuine, almost sadly grateful. I wonder if all the Grey women are dark, twisted, and broken. "And, Dr. Tor - Callie, watch your back. She was at my place ranting about you last night because of what you said during her surgery with Dr. Hahn and ... she may try to kick *your* ass."
"That’s all she would do. Try." I pat her on the arm and the movement causes my chest to ache from that well placed sneaker slamming against it. "Thanks for your help in there."
"Think you need an X-ray?"
"No. I think I need a break. I’m gonna go eat lunch. If you don’t mind ... can you get the Whiney Ass Dickhead’s discharge papers together for me? I’ll sign them when I make him wait an hour."
Lexie happily agrees and I watch her head into the supply closet for an icepack.
I go into the bathroom to see if I need one between my tits and draw up short.
Stevens is at the mirror, blotting at her red face with paper towels.
It’s nice to know that I’m not the only person who cries ugly. Her lips are peeled back and and my eyes are drawn to her crooked tooth, which is the only crack in her perfect, photographable, and flawless face. She meets my eyes and says, "I hope you’re happy."
"I’m very happy," I tell her. "You?"
She turns away from the mirror, leaning back against the sink. "I told George that you were a weird freak when he met you and you proved me right."
"Really? I told George that you were a psychotic bitch not long after I met you and then you went and killed Denny and proved me right, too."
"Don’t you *ever* say Denny’s name again," she snaps. "Ever! You don’t know what love is!"
"And you do?"
"Yeah. I do," she replies. "I know exactly what love is."
"You do fall in and out of it frequently. Was the ink even dry on *Denny’s* death certificate when you hopped into bed with my husband?"
"At least I hopped into bed with a *man*."
"He hopped out pretty fast, didn’t he?"
"Talk about moving fast ... you met and married George on fast forward."
"You met and got engaged to Denny a lot faster."
That makes her falter. When she finally speaks again, she says, "It doesn’t matter. I won."
I cock my head to one side, looking her up and down. "George may have left me for you, but he didn’t stay. You didn’t *win*. I may be a weird freak, but I’m at peace with that. You? You’re still the bitchy best friend who can’t stand that George has a new buddy. That’s not my definition of winning. That’s being stuck on second base for the rest of your life while the rest of us play the game."
"No, thanks. I like my women to play with a full deck."
She takes a step toward me.
Oh, God, let her swing at me. Let her get one good lick in so that I can whip her ass like there is no tomorrow.
The door opens and I hear the squeak of shoes on the floor. Cristina’s curls bounce up and down as she moves between us like she, all five feet two of her, could somehow stop something that has been *months* in the making. Okay, maybe she’s not five feet two, but the fight that I’ve envisioned in my head between me and Stevens has never been closer to happening and I intend to finish it off with her head in the toilet. I know what that did to *me* in school. I should pay it forward.
"Bailey’s looking for you," Cristina says to Izzie. "Something about waiting for lab work."
"Shit," Izzie says, smoothing a hand over her ponytail. I hope she didn’t have a false sense of security since he hair was in a ponytail. I wasn’t going to get near her hair to mangle her face.
When she walks around me ... Cristina moves as one with her, keeping herself between us.
Izzie leaves without looking back and I say, "What are you doing?"
Cristina turns and looks up at me. "Hahn is looking for you. If I announce that I found you and you’re mangled ... she won’t be as happy as if I point you out and you’re not splattered in blood."
"It would have been Steven’s blood. Not mine."
"It’s still alarming."
"Why is Erica looking for me?"
"You’re late for lunch. She actually let me do a running whip stitch earlier with the stipulation that I hurried the hell up so she wasn’t late for your ‘date’."
"Oooh, shit. I didn’t know we had a lunch date."
"I think it’s a standing one as far as she’s concerned. Whatever you’re doing ... keep doing it. I’m benefitting from it."
"Don’t worry. I plan to. Thanks, Cristina."
"Also ... don’t do anything else on hospital property to make Webber’s head explode. I won’t benefit from that. None of us will."
"I’ll be good."
Yellow is pretty mad that I didn’t meet her for lunch.
She becomes extremely pissed when I tell her that the reason is because I was hoping that Steven’s would get within striking range. Reminding me of her earlier advice, Erica tells me that I let people affect me too much and then stalks off. She’s heading into surgery so I can’t follow her. Cristina whacks me on the arm to show me where her loyalty is and does the following herself. I go into the gallery again to watch and this time I keep mouth shut and watch Erica teach, working through the operation and asking Cristina several questions which she answers without hesitation. When my pager is still silent at one thirty, I go and tell Bailey that I don’t feel well and ask to leave. She asks me if it has something to do with the kick heard round the world and I tell her that it didn’t help. She insists on doing a quick exam and pressing against the most sore areas like her fingers are divining rods that know exactly where Whiny Assed Dickhead planted his foot. I’m fine, but she still lets me leave early. I take the keys to Erica’s car from her purse and decide that I need to grovel a little better than I have been.
I need to make things special for her since she’s always doing something for me.
She will be getting off at six and that gives me four hours to fly by the seat of my pants and pull romance out of thin air.
Ask me what I know about romance.
I drive all over town and find something so spectacularly perfect that it’s going to say everything that a simple ‘I’m sorry for the bumpy road we took to get here, but I’m so glad you’re in it with me’ can’t.
After I give my credit card a workout and take everything back to the house, it’s time to pick her up.
She’s waiting in front of the hospital with her hands on her hips, but she slides into the passenger seat and puts her seatbelt on with a small grin. "I could have you arrested for stealing my car, Torres."
"You could," I agree, leaning over the console. "Or you could give me a kiss. I’ve had a bad day."
"I heard. How’s your chest?"
"Affected by you ... like always. Inside and out."
"You’re forgiven." She gives me a kiss, smiling. "Where have you been?"
"I got you a surprise," I simply say. "And the hot tub ... it’s fired up and working just fine."
We make small talk on the drive to *our* place. I can’t believe that I can think of it as my place too, but I do. I’m beginning to think that anywhere she is ... that’s where home is, too.
The crap that I threw into the crock pot smells pretty decent (and I called my mother from the grocery store to ask what to buy), but I doubt it’ll hold a candle to what Erica can do in the kitchen. I don’t let her go there, however. I take her hand and lead her down the hallway to our bedroom, pausing outside the door. "Just so you know, Yellow, I pay attention to every single thing you say to me. And I want to give you *everything* you want."
Before she can reply, I open the door.
The black hairless cat on the foot of the bed sits up and looks at us, tilting his head to one side as he tries to decide if we’re worth interrupting his nap. His big ears perk and he stretches, arching his back as he stands up, hops off the bed, and pads toward us. "That’s Feo," I tell her. "That’s Spanish for -"
"Ugly. Spanish for ugly," she replies, bending down to scoop the cat up. I watch her fingers dance over his velvety skin as she lifts him to eye level and and shakes her head. "The name certainly fits. It’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen."
But then he stretches forward and rubs his nose against hers and I know that he has her. Right where he wants her.
She gasps when something rubs against her leg and looks down. I scoop up the beige colored cat that has decided to use her pants as a scratching post. Also hairless, also incredibly ugly to a fault, I lift the blue eyed cretin and cradle it in my arms. "This is Ruma. That’s Finnish for ugly and they came as a set. Despite the fact that you and I and very attractive, Erica, when you look at them ... they’re a little like us. This one," I hold up the beige cat, "has your eyes and coloring. That one has mine, though my teeth look a lot better than his. And they don’t want to be apart ... even for a second."
"Ruma and Feo." She touches the cat in my arms on the nose and laughs when it bats at her hand. "I distinctly recall telling you that I wanted *a* cat ... not *two* cats."
"Fine," I reply with a smile. "That one’s yours and this one is mine."
"Ours," she corrects, lifting her hand from the cat to my face. "We’re a family now."
"Did you just get that memo?" I lean forward and kiss her. "Because I’ve known about that for a while."
"As much as I’d love to bond with our new ... ugly and tragically flawed pets ... I’d much rather bond with you in the hot tub."
We leave the cats racing around their cat tree that I paid entirely too much for and by the time we get to the back door, we’re both naked. We race each other to the hot tub and she proceeds to kiss every inch of the bruise on my chest when she sees it reflected in the lights from the tub. I don’t let her take the lead, though. It’s my turn.
When all is said and done ... I’m sure that Louise O’Malley heard us three houses away. I bet Ronnie and Jerry are high fiving on their back deck and trying to give each other a play by play of what we’re doing.
Trust me ... even *they* aren’t imaginative enough to do it justice.
I’m pretty sure I’ve groveled enough.
And if there is a storm cloud on my horizon ... I’m not too concerned.
It’s always easier to find shelter when you’ve got a place to call home.
I told you there was fun on the way. :)
I had fun with it.
I wasn't sure about the sex toy talk, but Callie *does* like phallic shaped stuff and Erica is very brave to mention it and not let it threaten her. It worked in my head ... hope it worked here. :)