Author: Chelle Storey-Daniel
Summary: Making amends can be the hardest thing in the world. But sometimes the chaos is worth it.
Pairings: Alex/Addison George/Callie Mark/Izzie
The weight of the world is often times unbearable. You wonder how you can stay upright. You wonder how much your legs can support until they snap. Crying, agonizing, fearing, and obsessing over things you can not control rarely leads to any good. Callie somehow kept it together after she returned to the dinner table. No one asked her what had transpired with her mother, but the careful execution of safe topics that led them through dessert was an indication that her friends had discussed it. They carefully steered her into mundane discussions, but the playful banter could not be recaptured.
Callie was no longer carrying her many burdens. The man who had tried to kill her was behind bars. She had spoken out against Roy Porter. Her mother had made an effort for the first time in her life. And Callie should have been the happiest person alive, but she wasn’t. As she sat next to George in the taxi, heading back to Addison’s place, her mind was on the envelope that Molly had left for her. It currently resided in her purse and every time she picked up her bag ... she felt like she had a priceless treasure hidden in the leather pocket.
When they arrived at the brownstone, Callie excused herself and slipped out onto the terrace. No one objected, no one offered to accompany her. There are times in life when a person needs the space to fall and Callie knew that she had stumbled through much of the day, despite her bravado. Falling was the logical thing to do and she would prefer to fall to pieces on her own terms, in her own way. She took a seat on a smooth, concrete bench and pulled the envelope out. Her full name was typed on the front with a beautiful, swirly font.
Molly would have spoken it aloud, very clearly, for her program to type it out. Closing her eyes, Callie could hear Molly's voice the last time they had spoken on the phone. It had been during the holidays and Molly was boasting that the weather in New York held the promise of a very white Christmas. Seattle, on the other hand, held the promise of rain, sleet, and more rain. Molly had plans to go ice skating with friends and Callie had been envious enough to lie and say that she was heading out as well. She had actually spent Christmas Eve in the basement of the hospital reading Harry Potter and eating a cup of Ramen noodles because she was on duty Christmas day and couldn't make it out to Pop's place.
Callie's hands shook as she opened the envelope. The key fell out into her palm and she studied it, trying to imagine what it would unlock. Her curiosity was piqued enough to give her the strength to pull the letter out. She didn't open it, but she held onto it and took a deep breath. She didn't want to shed another tear. Her past was being erased with every step forward she took and she want to revisit it again.
But she had to.
With trembling hands, she opened the letter and began to read.
This key opens a safe deposit box at the Gotham Bank of NYC. Holy Batshit, Robin! Yes, there is a Gotham Bank! You're smiling right now, aren't you? I specifically chose that one because you and your comic books would appreciate it. Do me a favor ... leave your Batgirl outfit in the phone booth. If you’ll remember ... I sent you the rental agreement for the safe and you signed it without hesitation while you were in medical school. That means that you inherit what’s inside even though I technically lied about needing a co-signer. But this way they won't hassle you about getting into it and you have to do that for me. Okay?
Let's move on.
If you’re reading this then it means two things: 1) I’m dead and 2) You testified again to keep Roy in prison. I want you to know that I didn’t just kill myself because of the hearing. It was a pretty decent motivator, but what you will find at Gotham Bank is something that I’ve sat on and kept to myself for years. I was wrong to do it, but I couldn’t bring myself to do what I knew had to be done. I was a coward that way. I trust you won’t be.
I’m proud of you for showing up for the hearing. I’d give you a nice round of applause, but I can’t because I’d need hands. Haha. I’m stomping my feet in your honor, though and if I can make it back from the other side ... I can guarantee you that I haunted the hearing. If Roy seemed uncomfortable it's because I was giving him ghostly wedgies and stuff.
I’m sure you did our story justice and you let our memories of those four days guide your tongue. I’m glad that we were friends. You were my best friend and idol when I was kid and I’ve always been amazed by your will power and determination. We were bent very badly in that shed, Cal, but you never broke. I did. But not for the reasons you probably think. My reasons were mine alone until you take possession of that box.
I’m not scared of death. I’m ready for it. Don’t think badly of me for choosing to do this. You’re going to understand when you open that box even if no one else does. You will. Do me a favor ... wear latex gloves. Actually ... ask the police to go with you. There’s only one thing in there that you need to touch and it has a red ribbon around it. Make sure they give that you. Pitch a tantrum if you have to, but it’s yours and you have a decision to make on what to do with it.
I love you. I always have. I always will. My one regret in life is that I didn’t get to see you at that hearing. I bet you gave them hell. I bet you stared him down, too.
Roy will never make amends for what he has done. Our lives, as chaotic as they undoubtedly were in the years following the attack, led us to be who we became and I'm proud as hell of who we grew into. Follow the yellow brick road, Callie, because one day ... when you’re old and gray ... I’ll be just beyond the rainbow waiting for you. Don’t let my death ever sway you from the course. I died *free* which is more than Roy will be able to say.
Addison took a sip of her beer and watched as George shifted uncomfortably. For almost an hour, he had been standing in front of the kitchen sink, staring into the backyard at Callie. Glancing at her watch, she shook her head. "It’s too cold for her to stay out there. I’m going to go talk to her."
"No," Alex said. He was sitting next to her at the table and he put his hand on her crutch before she could lift it. "Let her process the day."
"She’s going to -"
"If she gets cold she will come inside," Alex replied.
"He’s right," George said, not moving away from the window. "She’ll be okay."
"Is she crying?" Addison asked.
"Surprisingly enough. No. She's reading the letter again and she's *laughing*," George said.
Addison rested her chin in her palm and sighed. "I wonder what her mother said to her outside."
"She’ll tell you eventually," Alex replied.
"She’s coming in," George said suddenly, racing to the table. He sat down at the precise moment that Callie opened the backdoor.
Callie was under no illusions. The three of them were sitting at the table so that they could be closer to her and had probably taken turns checking up on her. It had taken all of her strength not to cry outside and she had read the letter enough times to memorize it, but she somehow held it together. Seeing her friends at the table, she grinned a little. "Nothing on television?"
"No cable," Addison replied with a shrug. "We could amuse ourselves with strip poker."
"I’m going to amuse myself with a hot shower," Callie replied, then frowned. She tilted her head to one side, narrowing her eyes. "Did you hear that?"
"Oh god! Not again!" Addison’s eyes widened and she screamed, all the while pointing and flailing.
Right before their eyes, what appeared to be the same rat from the night before scurried across the floor and disappeared behind the refrigerator. It happened in a matter of seconds and by the time the rat vanished, Addison was on top of the table, flat on her stomach, and Callie was kneeling on the countertop, her purse drawn back in attack mode.
George and Alex looked at one another and burst into hysterical laughter. George attempted to help Callie down, but she shook her head and pointed at the fridge. "Not until you catch that thing. It’s huge! It’s going to bite one of us! Probably me because it remembers last night!"
"New York City rats are known for their diseases," Alex said.
"Which is why you better get it out of my house!" Addison squealed, still on her belly. She had picked up the napkin holder and was holding it out in front of her like a crucifix.
"Where’s the garbage can?" Alex asked.
"Under the sink."
George retrieved it, still laughing, and took the bag out of it. He grabbed the dust pan and the broom next and nodded at Alex, who began to slide the refrigerator away from the wall. The rat emerged almost instantly, trotting into the middle of the room and standing up on its back legs. The animal appeared indifferent to the massive amount of screaming that both ladies were capable of and held its ground. When George lowered the garbage can and gently touched the rat with the broom, it lazily walked into the container and George sat it upright.
"Oh my god," Callie said. "That is *so* weird! It’s like Mr. Jingles in The Green Mile or something."
"If that thing has a spool of threat I'm dying!" Addison replied, her hands over her eyes. "What is it doing? Why don't I hear you killing it?"
Alex couldn't help himself. He put his finger to his lips and picked up the nearby feather duster. "I caught it," he said as it brushed the duster against her arm. "Want to see."
Addison screamed and almost fell off the table. He caught her before she could lose her balance and laughed his ass off, even while she pummeled him on the chest. "You ass!" she cried. "Where is it?"
George, who was also laughing so hard that tears were streaming down his face, pointed at the garbage can. "He's in here. Wanna see?"
"You guys are not funny!" Callie growled. "What are you going to do with it?"
Alex slid the fridge back in place and glanced down into the trash can. "It’s looking up at me. Heh, it’s kinda cute."
"That is NOT cute!" Callie snapped. "Puppies are cute. Kittens are cute. That thing has 'plague' written all over it!"
"We should feed it and then let it go," Alex said.
"Feed it!? Then it’ll be like a dog that keeps coming back!" Addison cried. "What happened to diseases, Alex?!"
"Not to mention the fact that it’s already the size of a cat!" Callie added. "The last thing it needs is food!"
"It’s still looking at me," Alex replied, putting his hands on his hips. "I’m feeding it."
George handed him the box of Cheerios on the counter and watched as Alex sprinkled a few into the can. The rat began to eat at once, holding the cereal in its hands. "Awww," he said, grinning. "It is kinda cute."
"Unbelievable," Callie said, slipping off the counter. "I am going upstairs before that thing gnaws its way out and up my dress!"
"I'm sure I'll get there first," George told her.
"Not at the rate you're going."
She stepped beside the garbage can and peered down in it. Alex seized the opportunity to goose her and she screamed, throwing her purse into the air and fleeing the room. Addison grumbled at both men and slid from the table in the most unladylike manner possible. She put her hands on her hips, demanding that they take the rat out of the house and Alex picked up the can, pretending to stumble and almost spill the furry contents.
Addison bellowed, her face as red as her hair. Her vocabulary was so colorful and scary that both guys applauded loudly when she finally left the room in a huff.
It was getting late by the time Callie and George finished making up the sofa bed. The mattress was lumpy and held the promise of an adventurous night of tossing and turning, but it was better than nothing. Addison had argued until she was blue in the face against Callie and George taking the living room. In the end, they had flipped a coin. Callie plumped her pillows and sat down, pulling her gown over her thigh to cover the horrific bruise there.
"I was actually enjoying the view," George told her, sliding it back up her leg. He hissed when he saw the black and blue area and leaned down, kissing it softly.
She let her fingers slide through his hair. Still damp from his shower, it curled over his forehead in the way she found irresistible. She remembered the first time she had seen him, sitting on a stretcher, waiting for her to set his shoulder. His hair had been long then and she had fought hard to resist the urge to touch it, going so far as to put her hands in her pockets. There had been no doubt in her mind at that moment that she was seeing the man of her dreams. He was in pain, he was slouched in obvious discomfort, and he had barely made a sound when she popped his shoulder back in place. He was perfect for her. "George?"
"Hmm?" He was tracing the bruise with his fingertips, lightly caressing it.
"Grow your hair out again."
"What will you give me if I do?"
"You should be more concerned with what I won't give you if you don't." She smiled at him. "How’s your dad?"
"He’s responding to the antibiotics." He kissed her leg again, but this time he missed the bruise and kissed a little higher. "You know, we can talk about my dad later. I feel like I haven’t touched you in years. How long has it been?"
"A little over a week."
"Too long. Way too long." He kissed her other leg.
"How’s your mom?" Callie asked, grinning when she felt his tongue tracing a small scar on her thigh.
"Fine. Everyone’s fine." He kneeled down in front of her, spreading her legs a little.
He lifted an eyebrow and slid his finger along the crotch of her panties. She made a small noise and he said, "Did you want to ask me about my uncles? Cousins? Grandparents?"
"No. No. Not at all." She shook her head. "This is officially a family free conversation."
"Are we having a conversation?" His finger slipped under the cotton fabric, rubbing against her flesh.
"I didn’t think so." Slowly, he massaged her clit, watching her face. He loved the expressions she made, the way her eyes glazed with lust and the way she bit her bottom lip. It forced him to claim her mouth, kissing her roughly while his hands tangled in her hair.
"George," she whispered, panting. "We should turn off the light. What if-"
Callie got to her feet and watched as he hooked his fingers into the waistband of her panties. Her skin tingled as he slipped them over her hips and she stepped out of them. He was still on his knees and he lifted her Superman gown, kissing the tender flesh of her belly, her hip bone. His hands slid up the back of her thighs and cupped her buttocks, pulling her closer. When he kissed the trimmed thatch of curls at the apex of her thighs, she could have fallen over. Until she heard a creak from upstairs and was suddenly modest.
"But what if-"
"Fine." He slowly got to his feet and shut off the light, discarding his t-shirt and pajama bottoms as he went. Wearing nothing but his boxers, he returned to where he had left her. She was still standing in the same spot and he hugged her. "I want you, Cal. I want you really bad, but we don’t have to do this right now. I mean, you had to talk about some things today that-"
"I talked about a rape. It has nothing to do with us."
"I know it was hard for you. I don’t want you to think of him-"
"The only thing I can think of when you touch me is that I never want you to stop. You erased every bad thing that happened to me." She kissed him, toying with his hair again. "Make love to me, George."
"Are you sure?"
"Do I look sure?"
"You look beautiful." George lifted the gown up over her head and let it fall to the floor. When he hugged her again, he closed his eyes, relishing the feel of her naked flesh against his. "I love you, baby."
"I love you, too." She slipped his boxers down over his hips and waited for him to step out of them.
As one, they fell back against the bed, legs and armed entwined. They touched all over, hands skimming flesh until it was hot with need. Their kisses left them breathless and when he moved lower, settling between her thighs, the kisses her placed against her core drove her senseless and his tongue did things that made her toes curl. She tried to remain quiet, but his name escaped her lips repeatedly as he brought her closer to release. She grabbed the nearest pillow when he slipped two fingers into her and put it over her face, crying out as she climaxed.
A moment later, George removed the pillow and angled her hips, slipping inside her inch by incredible inch. She arched against him, her sensitive flesh quivering under his slow thrusts and he captured her mouth with his, stifling her moans. Their fingers entwined, moving above her head and he gently rocked against her. For what felt like ages, they stayed that way, locked together, loving so slowly, so completely that their hearts beat as one.
"I can’t last much longer," he said a while later.
"Then make it count," she smiled, pulling him down to kiss him again.
He didn’t disappoint. He urged her to stand and entered her from behind, reaching around her to manipulate her swollen clit. Within seconds, she was burying her face in the sheets to stifle the sounds of her second orgasm and a moment later, he collapsed over her back, moaning her name. They stayed that way, trying to catch their breath, until the cool air of the room forced them to seek warmth beneath the cover.
Callie snuggled into him, her arm across his stomach. "Do you have your cell phone with you?"
"Can you set your alarm? I already set mine, but I'll probably turn it off and go right back to sleep."
"You do hate mornings. What time do you want me to set it for?"
"Why so early? The plane isn’t leaving until after five."
"Molly left me something at Gotham Bank."
"Gotham? That’s so you."
Callie smiled a little. "Yeah, it is."
"I guess I’ll have to find you a Batman gown to go with your Superman one."
"I guess you will."
George laid his hand over hers. "What do you think she left at the bank?"
"I don’t know. But she told me to take the cops with me."
"Well, that’s pretty scary."
"I’m going to call Jake in the morning. I think - I think he’d want to be included."
"Do you want me to go with you?"
"I do." Callie nodded. "You know, when I turned around today at the hearing and you were there --- it was --- I never thought that I would need someone as much as I need you."
"I feel the same way. When your plane lifted off ... I was miserable. And I had to deal with Alex laughing his ass off at me for crying the entire ride back into the city."
"I’m sure he was missing Addison."
"I thought he was going to drive to New York he was so messed up. He’s crazy about her."
"She’s just crazy in general." Callie yawned. "You better set your alarm. I'm half asleep."
George eased from the bed and retrieved his phone. He opened it and frowned. "Four voice mails."
"Did you have it turned off?"
"No." He checked the settings and swore. "I had it on silent because of the hearing."
Callie got comfortable in the bed while he checked his messages. He chuckled a little and said, "Mom sends her love. I’m supposed to hug you hard enough to break your ribs."
"Your mom kicks ass."
George deleted the two messages from his mother and listened to one from Bailey. "Uh oh ... Bailey says she heard a rumor that Karev is in New York with me and feels that he *better* be seeing a specialist of some kind because he called in sick."
Callie yawned again. "I’ll tell her that Addison needed him to come. It’ll be cool."
George frowned as he listened to the final message and stood, pacing across the room. Callie could barely see him, but something in the way he moved alarmed her. She sat up, flipping on the lamp. He was leaning against the door jamb, his back to her. His phone, however, rested against his thigh. Callie stood and slipped her gown on, then joined him, her arms slipping around his waist. "Is it your dad?"
"Is she okay?"
"She’s not going to be."
"George?" She moved around him so she could see his face. "What happened?"
"We don’t have to wonder how Mack Porter found you anymore." He threw his phone then, causing it to break apart on the hardwood floor. "She told him! Izzie told him exactly where you were!"
Alex arrived a second later, clad only in his underwear. He ran into the living room looking frantically back and forth between George and Callie. "What’s happening? What was that noise?"
"George dropped his cell phone," Callie replied softly, bending down to pick up the pieces.
Alex realized that George was completely naked and his eyes widened. "Dude! Are you sure it wasn’t his balls dropping because all this time I was convinced that they hadn’t yet."
George glared at him. Alex held his hands up and helped Callie pick up the remaining pieces of the phone, then returned upstairs. Callie took the destroyed phone to the kitchen, throwing it away. When she came back to the living room, George was sitting on the bed. He looked shell-shocked, but he had the presence of mind to put his boxer shorts back on. Callie sat down next to him and put her hand on his leg.
"She said that some man called the hospital and claimed to be your father," he finally said.
"Maybe it was. Maybe that’s how my mom knew where-"
"If you believe that for damn one minute then call your dad and ask him." George looked at her. "I’m sorry. Alex and I - we talked about every possible scenario of how this guy could have found you and never once did I think it was something like this."
"You should give her the benefit of the doubt until you know for sure."
"Because she’s so willing to give you the benefit of the doubt."
"Don’t make it about me," Callie replied.
"It is about you!"
"People call the hospital every day, George. It was probably an honest mistake."
"You’re not pissed?" he asked her.
"You’re pissed enough for both of us. And I don’t think you should go to bed mad at her. You should call her." She nudged him with her shoulder. "And since my cell phone is the only one working right now ... I’ll even let you use it."
"Izzie doesn’t like me and we both know that, but she’s not the type of person who would purposely get someone killed. I mean, she wouldn’t do that to you. Not after what she went through with Denny. She wouldn’t want you to suffer like she did."
George studied her. "You’re the most forgiving person I’ve ever known."
"You taught me how."
Addison felt like her bones had liquefied as Alex rolled off her and pulled her into his arms. After four orgasms, she could have died happy and if she could not control her breathing soon, she figured that her death was imminent. It still amazed her that he could do the things he did to her so well. It was nothing short of incredible. She kissed his chest and said, "Four times. I’m impressed."
"I’m impressed, too. I should never, ever be able to get a hard on after seeing O’Malley naked."
"Stop that!" Addison chuckled. "Do you think they were filming themselves? With the phone?"
He groaned. "Great. Thank you for *that* visual. "
"It’s weird, isn’t it? The fact that we’re all friends."
"You really like to talk after you get off."
"No." He kissed her head. "But if I start snoring ... just chalk it up to the fact that you’ve exhausted me tonight."
She playfully hit his belly. "You’re the insatiable one!"
"Look who’s talking! And talking and talking and talking."
Addison bit her tongue, making a concerted effort to stay quiet. Her mind raced ahead of her, though. "Alex?"
"Yes, Addison?" he asked groggily.
"How did you get out of work today and tomorrow?"
"I’m sick as a dog. Can’t you tell?"
"Yeah, you’re a sick little lust puppy."
"No, I’m lovesick." He pulled her a little closer. "And don’t even try to freak out by me saying that I love you because it won’t work."
Addison’s eyes were huge. "Are you saying that you love me?"
"Duh." He smiled a little. "Are you going to keep holding your breath until you pass out? Because if you pass out on me I’ll just revive you and we’ll resume this little talk that you initiated."
"I’m not trying to faint." She exhaled slowly and pushed herself up on her elbow. Her heart fluttered and she smiled at him, drawing strength from the way he was looking at her. "And you initiated this one. Not me."
"I'm trying to sleep, woman. I wrangled a rat for you, I gave you four very solid trips to the land of orgasmo and I've been scarred for life by O'Malley. I earned the right to sleep."
"Fine. Sleep, you big baby. I won't say what I was considering saying."
Alex had closed his eyes, but he opened one at her words, watching her. "You may as well get whatever it is out of the way because if you wake me up to tell me that you're freaking out ... I'm not going to take that very well."
"I - I love you, too."
"Huh?" It was Alex’s turn to stop breathing and his eyes were like saucers. "You - you love me?"
"Wait - were you just joking because-"
He pulled her on top of him and kissed her. "Stop talking!"
She felt his erection pressing against her stomach. "How can you possibly want to do this again?"
"YOU LOVE ME!"
"I think I should parade naked George around in front of you every day."
Alex, mindful of her leg, rolled her onto her back and eased into her. "And you’ll have every day from here on out to attempt to do that, but I beg you not to."
She dug her nails into his shoulders. "Convince me not to."
She didn’t have to ask twice.
"So, you tried to get Callie killed?" Mark asked conversationally.
Izzie dropped her spoon into her crème brulee and her eyes widened. "No, jackass! I did not *try* to get her killed. It was an accident!"
He studied her, flashing the grin that was patented McSteamy. "That’s about the ninth time you’ve called me a jackass since we sat down. In polite circles you don’t really do that on a *date*, Stevens."
"Any circle that you run in couldn’t be further from polite." She raised her eyebrows as if daring him to reply.
"Why do you hate her?"
"Why do you care?" She crossed her arms, her dessert forgotten. "Oh, that’s right. You slept with her."
"I’ve slept with most of Seattle." Mark shrugged. "Do you want to kill them, too?"
"For the last time -- I did not try to kill her!"
Mark took a sip of his wine and smiled at her. "Then stop trying to sabotage her."
"I’m sort of like an old pro at this broken friendship thing. Derek was my best friend and I let a woman come between us. Don’t make the same mistake."
"There *is* a difference here, Mark. *I* am not trying to sleep with my best friend’s woman."
"She’s good in the sack."
"Eww. I just *ate*." Izzie pulled her napkin from her lap and tossed it onto the table. "I’m leaving."
"Wait." Mark put his hand over hers. "All I’m saying is ... your best friend is in love. When Derek fell in love I felt like a third wheel and like I didn’t fit in his life anymore. Life was just easier when I accepted Addison and we became the three musketeers."
"The Three Musketeers were not slut bombs who shared Curly!"
"You’re thinking of the Three Stooges."
"And Addison was a total Larry."
"You know --- I had this little voice in the back of my head telling me to fling myself down a flight of stairs so that I could have a good reason to cancel this dinner from hell, but -"
"But you didn’t." He shrugged. "Why is that?"
"Because I was trying to give you a chance to acquit yourself of the jackassery you’re so obviously guilty of."
"I’m the jackass? What does that make you?"
Izzie gasped. "What the hell are you saying?"
"I’m drawing parallels between you and me, Stevens. We have more in common than you think. Even though I broke Addison and Derek up --- look at me. I’m still the odd man out. Derek hates me. Addison is pretty indifferent to me and I don’t want to see you wind up like me."
"So I should just pretend to love Callie and pretend that she’s good for George even though she’s vile?"
"For George’s benefit you should not only pretend to like her, but you should also make the effort to get to know her."
"Because you, the resident slut of Seattle, thinks so."
"I’m the *attending* slut of Seattle and I know so." He refilled her glass with wine and held it out to her. "Now, would you like to have breakfast with me in the morning?"
She rolled her eyes heavenward. "No just doesn’t seem like a strong enough rejection."
"It’s breakfast. Bacon, eggs, croissants, whatever. How can you say no to that?"
"I don’t like your company."
"Yet every single thing about you suggests otherwise." He clinked his glass to hers. "To fair chances."
"I don't like that." She watched him for a second, then held her glass out again. "To being willing to waste my time while you prove that every single thing I think about you is true."
He nodded and touched his glass to hers. "You’re going to be sorely disappointed, Izzie."
"Uh huh." She returned to her crème brulee. A second later, her cell phone rang and she dug it out of her purse, frowning at the number. It was Seattle, but she didn’t recognize it. She answered anyway, shrugging apologetically at Sloan. "Hello?"
"It’s George. I got your voice mail."
"Hey! Can you hang on one second?" Izzie slowly got to her feet and excused herself from the table. She hurried through the restaurant, praying that the signal held as she made her way to the bathroom. "Oh my god! Are you okay?"
"I’m not the one you should be worried about."
"George, that guy was so convincing on the phone. I - I didn’t have any reason to think that he wasn’t her father. And I was so distracted. It was early and I was trying to scrub in with Sloan and -"
"Stop," George said. "When I got your voice message, the only thing I could think was that you had intentionally done it."
"I would never-"
"I know that! But the way you’ve treated my relationship with Callie, the things you say about her ... that’s what I thought at first. That you wouldn’t be upset if this guy got to her and if you could help him then that would be all the better. And I *hate* that that is the first thing I thought because I do know better. I know you’re not that kind of person despite the fact that you’ve been doing your best to destroy what Callie and I have."
Izzie felt tears burning her eyes and hurried into an empty stall. "I know I haven’t been kind to her, but-"
"There’s no but." George sighed on the other end of the line. "We’re coming back to Seattle tomorrow. Callie’s been through hell and I’m dealing with my dad and trying to be there for her and it would be very nice if you could step up and be there for *me*."
"I will. Whatever - whatever you want."
"Ask her how she is tomorrow, Izzie. Ask her if she’s okay. Ask her if you can do anything to help her. Tell her that she did well out here and that you’re sorry for giving that guy a map of where she was."
"I was wrong. I can admit that."
"I’ll see you tomorrow, Iz."
Mark stood and pulled Izzie’s chair out when she returned to the table. He tried to read the expression on her face and when he saw the tear stains on her cheeks, he leaned forward and took her hand. "Everything okay?"
"I’ll have breakfast with you."
"But only because I should really hang around you in order to avoid becoming just like you."
"Seattle needs a female slut."
"I’m sure you have a list of them in your little black book."
"I’d burn it for you."
Mark grinned. "So, meet me at the hospital in the morning at seven a.m."
"Seven? God, that’s early."
"The early bird gets the worm." Mark tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear when she blushed profusely. "But not the beaver or the wood."
Callie didn’t need the alarm to wake up the next morning. She rose while it was still dark and tried to determine if she would see the sun rise better from the terrace or the front steps as she brewed coffee. It had been a dread the previous night to actually fall asleep. She was convinced that the same nightmares of her youth would return and that night terrors would be inevitable, but it hadn’t happened. With George’s arm around her, she had slept peacefully and awoke refreshed.
She smiled as she loaded her coffee with sugar and cream and stepped out the back door. The same bench where she had read Molly’s letter called her name and she sat down, gazing at the sky. She had chosen the best observation point and the first creeping rays of dawn were streaking the sky before her. Holding her breath, she watched as the darkness was chased away by yellows, oranges, and golds.
George sat down on the bench behind her, wrapping his arms around her waist. "It’s the butt crack of dawn and you’re not in the bed with me."
"It’s sunrise and you’re missing it."
He glanced at the sky and shrugged a little. "I’m more worried about missing you."
"I’m right here."
"Forever," he added, nuzzling her neck.
Callie sighed and took a sip of her coffee. "In a few days we’re both going to be back and work and moments like this are going to be rare."
"We’ll just have to make every moment count."
"I wish it could be like this every day."
"Well, you are rich so if you want to retire and be my sugar mama you totally could."
Callie chuckled. "That would never work. I love my job. I love bones."
"Don’t I know it." He nipped her earlobe.
"Pervert." Callie handed him her coffee and watched as he took a sip. When he grimaced, she shook her head. "You just don’t like it do you?"
"It’s horrible. Even the frou frou way you sweeten it up."
"Coffee is the elixir of the Gods."
He kissed her. "So is sex. Wanna do it right here?"
"Refrain, O’Malley," Addison said, stepping onto the terrace. She pulled her robe tighter around her and yawned. "My neighbors wouldn’t appreciate waking up to the wonderful world of outdoor sex while they cooked breakfast."
"What are you worried about?" Callie smiled. "It’s not like you live here anymore."
"There is that." She stretched and yawned again. "Have you packed your stuff yet, Callie, because you wait until the very last possible minute and -"
"Yes, mommy dearest."
Addison pointed her finger at her. "No more wire hangers!"
George watched their exchange and shook his head. "You two are so weird."
"Look who’s talking," Alex said, carrying two cups of coffee onto the terrace. He was barefoot, wearing pajama bottoms and a black wife beater. He kissed Addison when he handed her one of the cups and leaned back against the wall. "Am I the only one remembers the fact that you were strutting around naked last night and making enough noise to wake the dead?"
"I dropped my phone!" George snapped.
"Oh, speaking of," Addison said. "Were you guys using the camera to tape yourselves? To take action pics!"
"ADDISON MONTGOMERY!" Callie shrieked, then she cocked her head to one side. "That could actually be fun. Thanks for the idea."
"Better hope it has a zoom lens," Alex said, smirking.
"Oh my god." George buried his face against Callie's back. "There was such promise in this bright new day."
"Hey, mister!" Addison playfully narrowed her eyes. "I happen to brighten every occasion."
"Only because you have really loud hair," Callie innocently said.
"This coffee is really going to hurt when I accidentally lose my balance and pour it all over you."
"It’s the elixir of the Gods. They would smite you for that," Alex told her.
Callie pointed at Alex, smiling. "And that’s exactly what I just told George!"
Addison grinned at them and said, "So, our flight doesn't leave for a few hours. Do you want to go sightseeing?"
"Depends," Alex replied. "Does sightseeing include me and O’Malley waiting for the two of you to shop yourselves silly?"
"It could," Addison said. "Because we are slaves to fashion and we are in New York City where the best boutiques in the world can be found."
George and Alex both groaned. Addison grinned a little. "But on the plus side," she added. "We’re flying home on a private jet and it’s big enough to let us *all* join the mile high club in our very own rooms."
"I love shopping," George said.
"I could shop all day," Alex added. "And we’re in New York. Lots of shopping here."
George and Alex both walked back into the kitchen and Callie and Addison smiled at one another. "They’re so easy," Callie said.
"We should have banged interns a looooooong time ago," Addison replied.
"I told you! I’m reliving my teenage years!"
"I hope you get zits."