Author: Chelle Storey-Daniel / burningeden
Pairings: The ones on the show with one or two surprises
Rating: Eventually NC17
Summary: I don't like summaries. I'm never good at writing them. Let's just say that things at Seattle Grace get chaotic as heck.
A/N: I wanted to post this before the last episode airs. I wrote the Callie/George confrontation weeks ago. I kinda like my version better. :) This will probably be novel length.
George O’Malley became a doctor because he had spent so much time in the hospital as a child. Having two older brothers who enjoyed using him a kickball had led to broken bones and more scrapes and bruises than most kids, but he also had a myriad of medical problems growing up. On his sixteenth birthday, after his asthma had flared up during band practice, he made the decision that medicine was the field for him. He couldn’t run, he couldn’t fix cars, he had no interest in working with his dad. He wanted more out of life and he looked up to the doctors who helped him along the way. He was confident and secure in his career choice.
However, at the moment, he felt utterly helpless. His father was sleeping a few feet away, hooked up to monitors and tubes and George had been reduced to the role of worried family member. In his heart, he knew that his dad was in the best place with the best doctors working on his case, but his mind forced him to open the chart again and scan every detail, hoping to find something that he had overlooked the first fifty times.
He absently ran his thumb over the notations that Callie had written in her neat, block script. He had joked with her once that she didn’t write like a doctor at all, she wrote like a comic book author. She had laughed and told him that’s where she picked it up. It was hard for George to believe that just a few hours before, he had been ready to commit to her, ready to tell her that he loved her and had all along. Alex had floored him with the news that Callie had been unfaithful and George couldn’t look at her, couldn’t be around her for more than a few seconds.
His family had certainly enjoyed being around her. His brothers acted like she was the second coming and his father kept talking about how beautiful she was. It made his heart hurt to think that he could have proudly introduced her as his girlfriend. He closed the chart and buried his face in his hands, wondering what had gone wrong. She had told him that she loved him more than once, so what had changed?
"Can I do anything?"
He felt a hand on his leg and glanced up. Callie was kneeling next to him, her eyes on his. "You can tell me why."
Callie shook her head. "They said that his heart-"
"No." George moved her hand away. "I know why my father is in that bed, Callie. What I want to know is whose bed you were in?"
"I need you to tell me why you’re sleeping with Mark Sloan."
She recoiled as if he had slapped her across the face. "George-"
"You said you loved me!" he snapped, the look on her face confirming his worst fears. He pushed himself to his feet. "Why would you-"
"We broke up," she cried, standing on shaking limbs. "It was *one* night with him. I’m not *sleeping* with him. I would NEVER do that to you!"
"Is this the part where you tell me it didn’t mean anything?"
"It didn’t. I - I was lonely and my heart was broken and -"
"Don’t you *dare* talk to me about a broken heart! I was ready to commit! I was ready to take this to the next level."
"I made a mistake." The tears in her eyes spilled over her cheeks and she angrily brushed them away. "But we weren’t together at the time!"
"I didn’t know that!"
"Because you didn’t notice! You were so wrapped up in Izzie and -"
"Her fiancé died! What kind of friend would I be - what kind of *man* would I be to let her suffer alone?" He paced to the window and stared out over the city. "Get out."
The sounds of her sobs almost forced him to turn around, to comfort her, to tell her it would be okay. Almost. The image in his mind of Mark Sloan kissing her, loving her, and her being receptive to it was nauseating. "I didn’t want to believe it. I couldn’t let myself believe it!"
"I’m sorry. I am so, so sorry. I wanted to tell you, but I - I didn’t know how. And -"
"And it would have hurt a hell of a lot less coming from you." He turned and looked at her. She had never really cried in front of him and for the briefest moment, he was moved by how young she looked, how truly pitiful she sounded. "All I asked you for was a little time. When we met, I was reeling from the most god-awful relationship that I’d ever had. I told you to give me time, to give me a little space and to let me get my head on right. You couldn’t even do that."
"I’m talking now! So you shut up!" he shouted. "It’s my turn! I can’t stomach to look at you. Mark Sloan is disgusting. And so are you."
"Don’t-" She took a step toward him, imploring him not to say more. "You’re about to cross a line that you can’t come back over."
"You should know all about that, Callie." He held up a hand, signaling that he didn’t want her to come any closer. "Now get out of my sight. My father needs me."
"I want to be here for you. You - you shouldn’t be alone."
"He’s not," Izzie spoke up from the doorway. It was apparent by her body language that she had heard enough of the conversation to piece together what had happened. "And I think he asked you to go."
"Why don’t you mind your own business?" Callie snapped.
"George is my business. He’s my best friend," Izzie retorted as she stalked into the room.
"Oh, that’s right! How could I forget?! You guys should pay to be surgically attached since you’re like Siamese twins."
"At least I’m not a stalker."
"No, you’re a murderer. Murderer trumps stalker." Callie took a step toward the blond, but George moved between them.
"That’s enough!" he yelled.
Izzie tried to shove him out of the way to get at Callie, but he held his ground. "This is my *father’s* room! Both of you show some respect!"
"Georgie?" Mr. O’Malley spoke up, coughing a little. "Water?"
George shot both women a look, daring them to try anything else, and moved around the bed. He poured fresh water into the cup and held it for his father, then eased him back. The old man was asleep again before his head hit the pillow, the heavy combination of pain killers and sedatives doing their job. When he turned, opening his mouth to reprimand both women, Callie was gone.
"I don’t get her," Izzie said, slumping into one of the two seats. "She cheats on you and then acts shocked that you’re pissed. You should hate her."
George sat down next to her, burying his face in his hands again. "It would make it so much easier if I could."
Addison sat alone in the fancy and overpriced restaurant of the Archer Hotel. A dog eared romance novel rested on her lap while she scanned the menu for something that sounded remotely appetizing. It had officially been another day from hell. She was bone tired and soul weary and because she had a very early c-section planned for the following morning, she couldn’t enjoy the very hard liquor that kept calling her name from behind the bar. She lifted the menu a little higher to hide the perfect row of bottles and made a concerted effort to find something to eat.
A second later, she peeked over the menu again and was elated to see Callie sitting on one of the barstools. Dr. Torres apparently had no intention of pretending that the bottles were just for show. As Addison watched, she purchased a fifth of tequila and picked up a shot glass. When the dark haired woman turn, Addison waved at her and said, "Don’t make me eat alone."
Callie ambled across the room. As much as she needed the quiet of her hotel room, the prospect of facing it alone was horrific. "Hey."
Addison narrowed her eyes, studying her friend closely. "Okay, spill it."
"George found out about McManWhore."
"Ouch." Addison pushed the chair opposite her out with her foot. "Having both been there and done that I can tell you with absolute conviction that you shouldn’t be alone. Sit. Drink. Be merry."
Grateful for the offer, Callie slipped into the seat and rested her chin on her palm. "My life sucks."
"Yet another thing we have in common. Do you realize that we’re both successful career women who fell into Mark Sloan’s seductive trap, we lost the men we loved because of it, and we are both so pathetic that we live at a *hotel* where they serve the exact same food every single day?" Addison watched as Callie downed her first shot of the evening. "I really didn’t help at all, did I?"
Laughing a little, Callie shook her head. "Not even a little. But I’m not long for this hotel. I found an apartment. I’m just waiting for the new carpet to go in and I’m gone."
"Yeah. It’s a lot cheaper than this place."
"How many bedrooms?"
"Two bedrooms, two baths."
Addison grinned slyly. "What would you say to a roommate?"
The second shot was burning its way down her throat and Callie coughed a little. "Seriously?"
"Absolutely! I was going to run an ad in the paper for a roomie and I was NOT looking forward to it. I haven’t lived with anyone since my college dorm." Callie smiled genuinely for the first time in a very long while. "You up to the challenge?"
"You wanna interview me?" Addison returned the smile. "I’m Addison Montgomery. I am tidy, but not obsessive-compulsive about it. I don’t have any really bad habits unless you count the fact that I sleep with the light on or start every morning with a crossword puzzle while I drink imported tea. I like old movies, I live for Veronica Mars, and I like to read. Oh, and I promise that I won’t dye my hair black and start wearing your clothes. I totally hated ‘Single White Female’. Anything else?"
"Can you cook?"
"No, but I can eat and I have pizza, Chinese, and sandwiches that deliver all programmed into my phone."
"Okay! It’s a deal." Callie drained her third shot. "You’ll love the apartment. It’s only six blocks from the hospital."
"In that new building? With the pretty flowers?"
"Yep. It’s on the eighteenth floor so the view is incredible."
"You’re a *resident*. How could you afford a place there?"
"I don’t know you well enough to tell you that." Callie poured her fourth shot and grinned. "But I can assure you that my half of the rent will always be on time."
Addison grinned. "You’re a trust fund baby like me?"
"Negative." Draining the shot, she grimaced a little. "Tequila is the only alcohol that tastes progressively worse as you go."
"But you look like you feel better."
Callie took a deep breath and screwed the lid back on the bottle. "You know what? I actually do. It must be the company."
"You’re very welcome."
Addison picked up the menu again. "Are there waiters in this place or do I have to go cook for myself?"
"How about a pizza?" Callie shrugged. "It’s on me."
Flipping open her phone, Addison nodded enthusiastically, "I’ll make the call."
Callie was incredibly nauseated the following morning. Putting greasy pizza on top of four very liberal shots of tequila was not very high on the list of smart things to do. She had skipped breakfast in favor of three aspirin for the searing headache and four cups of coffee. By the time she crumpled the fourth cup and tossed it into the trash, she realized that she could add jittery and shaky to the list of her current ailments. Wired, but lackadaisical at the same time, she walked down the corridor feeling like the weight of the world had settled somewhere at the base of her neck.
The looks that she received confirmed that the mirror had not lied that morning. She had skipped curling her hair and it fell limply against her shoulders, almost bone straight. Her make up bag had remained untouched as well and except for chapstick, her face was washed, but unadorned. She stopped next to the metal cart that held the current charts and found the one that had sent her pager into a frenzy a few minutes before. She signed off on additional pain meds and handed it to the nurse on the case.
"Dr. Torres, are you okay?"
Callie jumped a little as Miranda Bailey nudged her. "Yeah, I’m fine."
"You don’t look fine."
"Running late this morning."
Bailey shook her head. "You got here forty minutes early. Try again."
"I just have a lot on my mind."
"Ummm hmmm." Bailey glanced past Callie at George, who was scouring his father’s chart for new developments. "And I’m guessing one of the things on your mind is my distracted and errant intern who can’t focus or show up on time." Her voice rose several octaves over the last four words of her sentence. "O’Malley! Do you own a clock?"
George put the chart back in the tray by the door and nodded, refusing to look at Callie. "I’m sorry. I was here late last night and I slept right through the alarm."
"Welcome to being a doctor!" Bailey pointed at the surgical board. "Scrub in with Dr. Torres for the hip replacement and help her on her rounds today."
Callie’s eyes almost popped out of her head. "No," she said quickly. "I - I really can’t use an intern today."
"Those orders came from Chief Webber. Not me." Dr. Bailey shrugged. "I have to go round up the rest of the motley crew that I’ve been so blessed with."
Callie held her breath as she watched the small woman stalk down the hallway. She was painfully aware of George’s presence right behind her. Drawing from the small reserve of strength that she had, she picked up the surgical chart and turned, handing it to him. "Ulysses Warren Parkinson, eighty years old, took a pretty nasty spill in his shower and shattered the ball and joint of the hip. This should be a fairly routine procedure. Any questions?"
To his credit, he was able to hide his shock at her appearance. He stared at her for a split second before he took the chart and shook his head. "Not about the case."
She made eye contact for the first time. "Then what?"
"Are you all right?"
"I’m disgusting, remember? It’s hard to be disgusting and all right at the same time."
"Look, I am sorry about last night. I am sorry about Mark Sloan. I am sorry that I pushed you to have a relationship with me when you clearly didn’t want it. I'm sorry for the situation in Darfur and world hunger and Iraq and anything else you can think of. So you don’t have to say anything else and I don’t have to say anything else. Let’s just get this done." She didn’t give him time to reply. She moved past him and into the patient’s room. "Good morning, Mr. Parkinson," she said as cheerfully as she could manage. "This is Dr. O’Malley and he’ll be assisting me in your surgery today."
The old man lifted a gnarled hand and smoothed what was left of his solid white hair against his crown. "Don’t you have another pretty girl that could help you?"
Callie grinned at him. "You’re gonna have to make do with just me."
"Oh, honey, I could. If I was a little younger, I’d take you dancing under the stars."
"A man after my heart." She patted his leg and sat down next to him. "Did you eat anything after midnight?"
"I begged that sweet little nurse until four a.m. and she wouldn’t cave in." Ulysses lifted a wet washcloth and blotted at his parched lips. "You’re operating on my hip. Unless you’re going through my stomach I don’t see why it matters if I have some jello."
"When we’re done I will personally bring you jello in every color I can find." Callie listened to the man’s chest and felt his pulse. "Deal?"
"It’s a deal. But I don’t like green. I ain’t no rabbit."
"I’ll keep that in mind."
"Why can’t you do the surgery right now? I’m gonna thirst to death."
Callie glanced up at the clock on the wall. "Four more hours. The operating room is booked up until noon." Turning, she said, "Dr. O’Malley, could you get some swabs for the dry mouth?"
"Yes, ma’am," he replied, his tone short and crisp.
"I don’t like him," Ulysses said, patting his mouth again. "Short men can not be trusted."
"Oh yeah? How tall are you?"
"Five nine. And that’s how I know we can’t be trusted."
"Nothing by mouth, Uly." She used her pet name for the man and took the washcloth, wetting it again. "The swabs will help, but you behave."
"I’m going to break my other hip as soon as I can. You’re worth it."
She laid a hand over her heart and smiled. "I look forward to it."
George returned with several swabs and Callie opened one, demonstrating how to use it. She watched as the man enjoyed the sweet relief of moisture in his mouth then glanced at George, "Can you take care of the labs and the prep?"
"Yes, ma’am." He still refused to look at her.
Callie made a couple of notes in the chart and reassured Mr. Parkinson before leaving the room. Even though she could still feel the effects of the coffee marathon that morning, she made a beeline for the vending machine and successfully burned herself in her eagerness to refuel. She was bent over the water fountain trying to console what was left of the roof of her mouth when Addison leaned down and looked at her.
"Drunken wastrel isn’t really the best look for you," Addison told her.
"You have to request O’Malley for your rounds today." Callie stood, drying her chin with her sleeve. "Please!"
"Too late. I’ve got Dr. Stevens playing shadow all day long. She’s in absorb mode only. She can’t touch or speak to the patients. She called herself the human sponge."
Addison made a face. "Tell me you’re not stuck with him today."
Callie nodded. "I’ve bypassed normal Hell. I’m in the Hell that Hell fears."
"Ask for someone else! It’s not like we have a shortage of whiny ass interns to pick from."
"I tried that already. Bailey said that the Chief wanted him with me."
"Oh," Addison replied, then her eyes widened. "Ohhhh. Oh my god. It’s my fault. I ran into Richard last night at the hotel after you had gone to bed and he said that he had seen you kicking back shots. I may have mentioned that O’Malley was being an ass to you and well ... our wonderful Chief is a firm believer of talking things out and if you won’t talk then he kinda forces you."
"Great." Callie leaned back against the wall and closed her eyes. "I’ll thank you with a snake in your bed after we’re all settled in."
"I deserve it." Addy patted her on the arm. "If it’s any consolation I just walked up on Derek and Meredith dry humping one another in the lounge and then turned around really fast and ran straight into the wall."
Even though it had felt impossible mere seconds before, Callie laughed. "How the hell did you recover from that?"
"Pretended that my pager is what caused it and rushed out of the room."
"But you still win on the ‘oh shit’ meter." Addison shrugged. "There’s an old Chinese proverb that says ‘shed no tears until you see the coffin’. I don’t see the coffin yet for you and O’Malley. Hang in there."
Callie scratched the side of her head. "I’m sure that will eventually make sense to me."
"I’ll explain it over dinner. You in?"
"I’ll be there."
There were several bones to mend that morning. Callie instructed George on setting a simple wrist fracture and tackled a particularly vicious arm fracture herself. Unfortunately, the big, burly man who was suffering through the reset took major offense to the pain and punched her, hard, in the face. She saw stars, staggered backwards, and almost tripped over a stool. Mark Sloan and Alex Karev were in the hallway and saw what had transpired. Mark caught her before she could fall and Alex and George worked together to subdue the patient.
"Son of a bitch," Callie growled as Sloan set her on her feet.
"Are you okay?" Mark asked, pushing her hair away from her face. He cringed when he saw the blood on her cheek. "Nope, you’re not."
Callie reached up to touch her face, but he slapped her hand away. "Stop that. Come with me."
"I’m sure it’s fine." She stiffened when he cupped her elbow. "I’ll go wash up in the restroom."
"And risk scarring that cute little freckled face? I don’t think so." He pulled her along behind him and told Olivia to bring him a suturing kit.
"Stitches!?" she cried. "No way!"
"I don’t know yet." He helped her up on the table. She watched as he grabbed a bottle of cleanser and rolled a sterile towel, which he cupped beneath her cheek. Turning the bottle upside down, he squeezed the liquid into the cut and she hissed. "Oh yeah, this may burn a little."
"Your bedside manner is appalling."
"But my bed manner more than makes up for it."
She rolled her eyes and stared at a water spot on the ceiling. After a few seconds, she said, "Well?"
"That guy has a mean right hook."
"I could have told you that!"
"Three stitches. Maybe five."
"Damn it! Seriously?"
Mark handed her a mirror and she groaned when she saw the laceration on her cheekbone. "Men always hit the exact right spot."
He frowned at her. "Speaking from experience?"
"Speaking from seeing ‘Pretty Woman’ eighteen million times." She shrugged a little and handed him the mirror. "I have surgery in about an hour. No pain meds and no numbing."
"I need to do a CT scan just to make sure that-"
"I AM FINE."
"It’s your funeral," Mark replied. "You know, I never realized you had so many freckles. That’s cute as hell."
"Oh, that’s right. I’m sexier when I’m not talking."
George knocked on the door, which was already open, and stared from one to the other. It was evident to Callie exactly what he was envisioning when he looked at the two of them together. She wanted to crawl under the table and hide from the world. Instead, she used the towel that Sloan had balled up to blot at her face. "What is it, O’Malley?" she asked, trying to keep any sign of emotion of emotion from her voice.
"Is it bad?" he asked softly.
"She needs stitches." Mark accepted the suturing kit that Olivia held out and instructed Callie to lie back.
George watched from the doorway as Sloan spread a blue cloth over her face. One portion of the cloth had a hole and he positioned it over the cut. "Karev," Mark said, motioning his intern forward. "Dr. Torres has decided to forego pain medication or numbing agents. Would you like to explain to her why that’s foolish?"
"No," Alex shook his head. "She’s about to find out on her own."
"Callie," George came forward, lifting the cloth so he could see her. "Take the medicine. Mr. Parkinson’s blood pressure is fluctuating and I don’t think he’s ready for surgery. It can wait until tomorrow. You should go home."
Callie glanced at Alex and said, "Karev, if an eighty year old man has been NPO for over twelve hours what happens?"
"Changes in blood pressure."
"Is that normal?"
"In an eighty year old dude? Changes in blood pressure are as common as the need for Viagra."
Callie glanced back at George. "Prep the operating room and make sure anesthesia gives Mr. Parkinson the feel good meds that I ordered this morning."
"I’m just saying that-" George began.
Mark interrupted, "I need to stitch her up, O’Malley. I have surgery in fifteen minutes."
George threw his hands up and left the room. He wasn’t very comfortable with the old man’s blood pressure. He caught Izzie in the hallway and led her into Mr. Parkinson’s room. The old man was overjoyed to see the young woman and proceeded to flirt himself silly.
Izzie agreed with Callie and Karev, however.
So George bit his tongue.
to be continued... :)