Author: Chelle Storey-Daniel
Rating: R for content
Pairings: Mostly canon for the show with Alex/Addison
Summary: As if it were possible ... things get even more chaotic.
A/N: Sorry this took so long. I've been swamped with holiday stuff. Hopefully I can update faster now.
Callie emerged from the bathroom wearing dark jeans and a tight red shirt. The only indications that something was amiss was the absence of her trademark eyeliner and lipgloss and her hair, usually curled to perfection, was pulled back in a long ponytail and hung straight down her back. She was aware that George was following her every move from his position on the bed and she pointedly ignored him as she dug through the closet for her boots.
"Are we going somewhere?" he finally asked, flipping the television off and laying the remote on the pillow. "I need to run by the house and change clothes."
She sat down in the chair and zipped her boots on. "It’s almost noon and you should be at the hospital with your dad."
"I talked to my mother. He’s resting. We can drop by this afternoon." He swung his legs off the side of the bed and put his hand on her knee. "You look pretty."
Callie stood and paced to the window, staring out at the rain soaked city. The grey, overcast sky matched her mood and she sighed. "I’m not going to see your family."
"I plan on apologizing to them. My mother was so excited when she heard that I was with you and that we were-"
"We’re not together, George."
"What?" He stood, laying a hand on her arm. "I thought that-"
She turned, feeling more annoyed than she could ever remember. "You thought what? That you could sleep in a chair beside me and everything would be okay when you woke up? It’s not okay. We’re not okay."
"Hey!" George tightened his grip when she started past him and took both of her hands in his. "I’m doing everything in my power to work things out with you."
"Why? Why now?"
"I miss you."
"What about a week ago? Two weeks ago? Hell, George, just yesterday you were horrible to me! You blamed me for Uly, you were rude, you were cruel. You expect me to believe that you had a change of heart that fast?"
"I didn’t have a change of heart. I haven’t stopped wanting you. I was pissed at you because of Sloan, but we *were* broken up and it was partly my fault."
"Partly your fault?" Callie pulled her hands from his and opened the closet, grabbing her leather jacket from the hanger. "I had to force you to give me the time of day when we first got together. You let your friends treat me like crap and then adopted their patterns and decided to shut me out as much as they always have. You invited me into your home and then kicked me out. You didn’t acknowledge that I said I loved you. And through all of that, I was still willing to try with you. You made me feel insecure and like a stupid *girl* who doesn’t know when to walk away. I know now. I’m walking away, George. You got what you wanted."
"This is not what I want!" he shouted, yanking her coat from her hands and throwing it across the room. His temper, which had simmered just below the surface for days, erupted and he forced her backwards until the back of her legs hit the chair and she sat down. "You ticked off my shortcomings so let’s run through yours. You knew that I was coming off a bad relationship, but you still expected me to commit. You knew that Izzie’s fiancé had died, but you didn’t want me to help her. You knew that I needed a little time, but you still rushed and rushed and refused to compromise."
She shoved him away from her and stood, standing toe to toe with him. "I was willing to give you all the time in the world! The only thing I wanted was to be included. When Meredith hurt you, when Denny died, when you needed *time* ... all I wanted was to be there for *you* the same way you were there for Izzie, but you couldn’t let me be! In case you failed to notice, you were more than just my lover ... you were my best friend! I only wanted to help!"
"Do you understand the concept of moving too fast!? You couldn’t be included in everything because there are parts of my life that are mine alone!"
"Wrong. There are parts of your life that belong to Meredith and Izzie."
"They’re my family!"
"What am I?"
He took a deep breath, running a hand through his hair in agitation. "This is getting us nowhere."
"You still can’t answer it. What am I to you, George? Have you figured it out yet?" When he didn’t reply, she threw her hands up. "Do you see why I can’t go back down this road? You gutted me."
"You *suffocated* me. I know you didn’t mean to, but you did. It was just so new and unexpected."
"Well, you can breathe easy because you don’t have to worry about it anymore."
"I can’t breathe at all!" George reached for her, but she sidestepped. "Callie, I want to be with you. I’m sorry it took me so long to realize it."
She retrieved her jacket from where he had thrown it and shoved her arms into it. "I’m sorry, too. Because I don’t think you will ever find anyone who loved you the way I did. There can’t be anyone else in the world as stupid as I am."
He watched as she picked up her purse and dug her car keys out. "Where are you going?"
"I have things to do. You should go."
"When I said ‘you should go’, I actually meant ‘get out’. I’m not asking."
"You’ve been drilling it into my head that you want me to commit and here I am. Callie, here I am!" He held his arms open wide. "I make mistakes. I’m flawed. I don’t always know what to say, but I am telling you that we can make this work!"
"How can you expect me to want to make it work after what you did?"
"If I can forgive you for MARK SLOAN then you can forgive me!"
She grabbed her purse off the desk and opened the door. "You haven’t forgiven me. You feel sorry for me because of what happened to me and maybe you do miss me a little, but it’s not enough. Leave my key at the front desk and leave me alone."
The door clicked behind her as she stepped into the hallway.
He didn’t follow.
"O’Malley, what are you doing here?" Alex asked, as George stepped into the elevator.
"Callie is staying here." George crossed his arms over his chest and leaned back against the wall, closing his eyes. "Women are evil."
Alex stared at him a second. "If you’re going gay I just want it known that I called it a long time ago."
"How can Torres afford The Archfield?"
George exited the elevator as the doors opened, walking across the lobby. "I dunno," he lied.
"Maybe she’s sleeping with Chief Webber, too. You know, more money and perks or whatever."
George drew up short and grabbed Alex by the arm. "Just so we’re clear, you don’t get to talk about her like that. She’s a good woman and yeah, she made a mistake, but she’s a good woman and I lo- I’m with her."
"Dude, whatever," Alex snapped, yanking free. "If you want a cheater that’s your business."
"You’ve done your fair share of cheating."
"I admit that I’m a bad person." Alex gave him a smug grin. "I’m sure you’ll be really happy together."
"I’m sure we will!" George glared at him, then wrinkled his nose. "Why are you dressed like that? You look like you’re going to a funeral."
Alex absently smoothed his jacket, grateful that he had left the tie in his pocket. "Don’t worry about it."
"Why are *you* here?"
"Like that’s your business!"
"Oh my god! You were seeing Dr. Montgomery! Weren’t you?" George picked up the pace when Alex exited through the revolving doors. "Why were you seeing Dr. Montgomery?"
"Because I hurt her leg!" Alex snapped. "Now go home, little dog, I don’t have any scraps for you."
Grinning, George followed him up the sidewalk. "You like her!"
Alex turned, putting his hands on his hips. "You better keep it to yourself, O’Malley, or so help me God-"
"There’s no way she likes you." George shook his head, smiling. "Addison Montgomery is very, very hot. And successful. And too smart for that."
"You know the pot, kettle thing." Alex narrowed his eyes. "If you can land Dr. Torres then *I* can land Addison Montgomery."
George’s smile faded. "I haven’t exactly landed Callie yet. She’s mad at me."
"She cheated on you."
"I called her a slut in front of my parents."
"Dude! She didn’t rip your balls off?"
"Not physically." George ran his hand through his hair in exasperation. "I don’t know what else to do."
"You want to be with her?"
"So be with her. Get in her face."
"Then there will be physical removal of the balls."
"Grow a pair first, O’Malley! You were willing to fight me because I told you about her and Sloan. Are you willing to fight for what you want?"
"I have been!"
"Make the grand gesture, you idiot." Alex dug the tie out of his jeans and held it up. "Look at this! I no longer have rent money because I paid for a shirt, jacket, and tie to impress a woman."
"Did it work?"
The makeout session on Addison’s bed flitted through his mind and he looked smug. "Like a charm."
George nodded. "Grand gesture, huh?"
Alex clapped him on the shoulder. "Hit the homerun."
George watched him walk away, pondering the words.
Everyone has a breaking point, a point where you hit rock bottom, where you sink or swim, where you give up or go on. Callie considered the possibilities as she walked to her car. It was only eight blocks, but it was eight blocks of glancing over her shoulder as if she expected Roy Porter to be one step behind her. Or George. She didn’t want to face either one. It was bad enough that her past had been exposed in a way that she couldn’t control, but it was ten times worse that George was being George and trying to fix her. She had begged him for attention, but not like this. Not because he felt sorry for her.
With a sigh, she crossed the road and headed for the hospital parking lot. She was fifteen feet from her car when someone called her name. She ducked her head, trying to pretend that she didn’t hear.
"Dr. Torres! Callie!" Louise O’Malley jogged toward her.
Callie recognized the voice finally and cringed when the lady drew to a stop on front of her. "Hey, Mrs. O’Malley."
"Hi, honey. Has my son apologized to you yet?"
"What? Oh. Yeah." Callie nodded, refusing to admit that she had thus far not accepted said apology.
"I could have choked him when he said that to you."
One eyebrow arched and Callie studied the woman for a second. "You’re mad at George?"
"Furious. I want you to know that I raised my boys better than that. He had absolutely no right to speak to you the way he did and I am appalled."
"Private business should stay private, dear." Louise smiled at her, reaching for her hand. She squeezed it and said, "I don’t know about you, but I’ve had all the hospital I can stand for a while. I was trying to find a good cup of coffee around here. Want to help an old lady out?"
Having someone who genuinely seemed to like her was foreign for Callie. She returned the smile and nodded, unable to resist the temptation. Her own mother had *never* made time for coffee. Her own mother considered every day a dress rehearsal and would not be caught dead in public with someone who was as dressed down as Callie. "I’d love to. Actually, the Emerald City Bar makes a great cup of coffee and Joe, the bartender, owes your son his life. I’m sure he’d love to meet you. And it’s just right there."
Louise glanced across the road at the small establishment and smiled. "That’s fine."
Callie led the way, telling Louise about George saving Joe and how everyone in the hospital had talked about it for weeks. As they entered, Joe beamed at her, opening his arms for her to step into. Callie hugged him and said, "Joe, this is Louise O’Malley, George’s mom."
Joe shook the woman’s hand, gushing for ten minutes about Dr. O’Malley. Louise beamed with pride as he led them to a booth in the corner, away from the lunch crowd. They both ordered black coffee and Louise zeroed in on the pastry that was offered near the bar. Callie politely declined the offer for lunch and waited for Louise to place a fairly impressive order.
"You’re not hungry? Did you eat breakfast?" Louise asked, slipping the menu back into the holder.
"No, I’m fine."
Louise nodded and studied her for several seconds. "You’re not fine. I feel like I should go ahead and tell you that I overheard what that man said to you in the hallway."
For as long as she could remember, Callie had kept walls around her, careful not to let others get too close, careful to only let small pieces of herself pass through. Louise had been so close to climbing over or toppling the fortress completely. Callie had allowed herself to believe that Louise genuinely wanted to spend time with her. Instead, she was just like George. She felt sorry for her. A bitter smile tugged at her lips and she shook her head. "Boy, you O’Malleys have a knack for hearing things," she finally replied, not unkindly.
Louise reached across the table and placed her hand on Callie’s. "I was in the right place at the right time. I’ve been there."
"What?" Callie asked, eyes wide.
"I was raped my first year at college. I was away from home for the first time. I was naive and I trusted someone that I shouldn’t have. It was a classic date rape and I was so stunned and so afraid that I didn’t tell anyone for a few days. Because of that, they didn’t get a conviction. I wound up going back home and finishing my teaching degree at the local college."
"I’m sorry." Callie glanced down at their hands, noting the way that Louise’s was shaking. She squeezed it a little. "I’m so sorry."
"I don’t think anyone could ever understand what gets taken from you when something like that happens. It took me months to be able to look people in the eye. I felt like I must have done something wrong, made God mad, or deserved it."
If there was one thing Callie understood with perfect clarity, it was the guilt that came after the attack. "Did you go to court?"
"No, they never even tried to prosecute."
"In all honesty, the trial is like being raped all over again."
"I think I’d do it, though, just to know that he was punished and couldn’t do it to someone else."
So, there it was. Callie nodded a little as if something had been confirmed. "George wants you to convince me to testify, right?"
"I haven’t talked to George about it. It’s none of my business and I have no right to suggest anything one way or the other. I’m only saying that if *I* could make sure the man who did it to me was kept out of the picture I’d do it. He stole my trust and made me a very bitter, very cruel person for a while. He broke me and Harold eventually helped pull me together, but it was a struggle for me to believe that he could." She paused. "George is a lot like his father. He doesn’t always say and do what you want, but his heart is in the right place."
Callie let her hand go as Joe appeared with coffee and forced her to accept the bagel he had slathered with cream cheese. She thanked him, but pushed it aside and enjoyed the first powerful sip of Columbia’s finest. Louise took a bite of her sandwich, watching her closely, and Callie felt compelled to speak. "George didn’t want anything to do with me until he found out about what happened to me."
"Does it matter what caused the wake up call or that he listened to it?" Louise sipped her own coffee. "I know my son. I could tell the first day that there was something going on between the two of you. He looks at you in a way that I’ve never seen before. My boy’s in love."
"Mmm."Callie shook her head, feeling a painful stab to her heart. "Trust me, Mrs. O’Malley, he really doesn’t."
"That is nonsense. Harold knows it, his brothers know it, *I* know it. I’m his mother. I know these things."
"You don’t know the whole story."
"Then tell me. Look, I have a really strong feeling that I’m going to be seeing a lot more of you and I genuinely like you and want you to trust me. You can trust me, Callie."
Callie took a deep breath. "The last time I trusted an O’Malley I got hurt so bad that I could have died."
"I’m a Fisher originally. Trust the Fisher in me."
Callie could feel the walls beginning to shake again, could feel the desire to talk building deep inside her.
When Joe came back to refill their coffee, Callie was deeply involved in telling her side of the story.
George had called Callie’s cell phone no fewer than twenty times. He felt like an idiot, carrying a big package up and down the street as he searched for her. He had checked the hospital and her car was still parked where it had been. The same panic he had experienced the day before came surging back and he hurried into the hospital to have her paged. After twenty minutes, he gave up and decided to go sit on the hood of her car. She would have to return to it eventually.
He bumped into Christina, who glanced at the gaily wrapped package and wrinkled her nose. Their relationship had been strained because she had not confided to him how bad Burke’s condition was and so far, they hadn’t really talked. Cautiously, she attempted to joke with him. "I don’t think your father is going to appreciate floral wrapping paper."
"My dad is sleeping. This is for Callie." He tucked it under one arm, barely glancing at her. "Have you seen her?"
"Yeah, I saw her crossing the road when I came in. She went to Joe’s with your mom."
"My *mom* went to a bar?"
"It’s lunchtime, dude. I’m sure she’s not pole dancing."
"How did Callie look?"
"Like Callie?" Christina frowned at him. "How should she look?"
"Okay, Bambi, what’s going on?" She put her chart down and crossed her arms over her chest. "I know you’re pissed at me, but if I can help I will."
"It’s nothing," he lied. "I just need to talk to her."
"Yang!" Bailey snapped suddenly, appearing in the doorway of a patient room. "Did you find the correct chart?"
"Oh, yes, ma’am." Christina grabbed it, holding it up.
"Can I have it please?" Crossing her arms over her chest, she glared at the pair of them. "O’Malley, I know you’re not keeping my intern from her work."
"No, ma’am," he hastily replied. "I’m heading out." He gave Christina a small smile, feeling considerably lighter when she returned it. His father had given him sage advice, telling him to be careful of burning bridges. It embarrassed him to think of how horrible he had treated her, had treated everyone. "I’ll see you later. And thanks."
"Seeya," she replied, watching as he strode toward the elevator with a noticeable bounce in his step.
Addison reclined against the pillows, trying to relax a little. Her room still smelled like Alex’s aftershave and she glanced at her palms, remembering how his skin felt. She had kept her word and had not allowed herself to have sex with him, but she had wanted to. With every ounce of her being, she had wanted to.
God, he was a good kisser.
She sighed and stared up at the ceiling, shaking her head. The last thing in the world she needed was another complication in her love life. Having to work with Derek *and* Mark everyday was bad enough. If she started something with Karev then there would be three people under one roof that she had slept with and it would be horrible.
Or wonderful, a little voice in the back of her head reminded her. It could be wonderful and fun and just what the doctor ordered. She smirked a little at the pun her mind had cooked up. Something was starting with Alex whether she liked it or not.
And she did like it.
She rolled onto her side and flipped through the channels on the television. She stopped when she saw Ellen Degeneres introducing Olivia Archfield as a guest on her show and sat up. Now that she knew that Callie was the woman’s daughter she could see the resemblance. Olivia had lush brown hair, dark and vibrant, that hung over her shoulders in deep waves. Her smile was big and dimples winked in both of her cheeks. She was animated when she spoke and laughed in a deep and husky way that made you laugh with her.
Addison had the perfect idea.
Leaping up, she forgot her crutches and almost fell. Hopping on one leg, she grabbed her laptop from the desk and bounced back to the bed. Firing it up, she googled Olivia Archfield and finally located the number of her agent.
Callie needed her mom.
And Addison was going to be the one to make it happen.