Disclaimer: In first chapter

It's flashback time, folks! We're going right back to a few months after the parking lot, when Arizona first appeared on the show. The next chapter will involve Arizona a little bit (not in any sort of relationship with Callie!), among other things so I thought it was important to give the background and explore Erica's feelings about her.

I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing it :)

Mercy West Hospital 2008

'I was paged?'

No-one responds. Unsurprising, considering that anyone female in the immediate vicinity of the nurse's station has transformed into a giggling school girl for some reason.

'Excuse me?' I say loudly, not even caring how condescending I sound. I'm not here to win any popularity contests. 'One of you paged me before social hour started?'

They look at me dumbly, like a herd of docile cows, before one of them pulls herself together enough to be able to form words.

'Oh. Yes. Dr. Hahn,' she says dreamily. 'Dr. Sloan from Seattle Grace is here to see you.'

No. Just…no. The thought of even laying eyes on that man again makes my skin crawl. Actually, my skin is crawling; I can sense his whorish presence.

Reluctantly I follow the nurses' besotted gazes to the waiting area and there he is, radiating good health and virility. He's like a goddamned preening stallion.

'Oh my God,' I hear someone hysterically whispering behind me. 'She's so lucky!'

Wait. They can't actually think that I would…Jesus, I feel nauseous. I have no idea why he's here- most likely only to piss me off and frankly even a fleeting glimpse of him has more than achieved that goal. I don't need to subject myself to his self-satisfied, higher deity voice. In the unlikely event he needs to talk to me in a professional capacity then he can call the Chief and go through the proper channels. I return his 'come hither and worship me' smile with a withering glare and prepare to turn on my heel.


I stalk over to him and fire out three short words.

'Is she alright?'

The smile grows in size and loathing inducing power.

'And here I thought you didn't care.'


'She's fine. At least- physically fine,' he adds, regarding me coolly. Disapprovingly, even. I feel rage bubble inside me and struggle to control myself. He's here to give me a lesson in ethics? To hold me responsible for Callie's broken heart? Unbelievable.

'Oh, spare me!' I spit out, moving to step past him and avoid the embarrassing scene that I can feel brewing. I just want to escape- from him, from Callie completely unapologetically telling me that she slept with him. Twice. From the whole disaster.

'Hey, wait,' he says quickly, moving to block my exit. 'Wait. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have-. I'm sorry.'

Could there be the barest hint of humility attempting to break free on his face? Surely not. There is…something though. Earnestness? It's enough for me to pause momentarily anyway.

'What do you want?' I say resignedly.

He turns his best puppy dog look on me and my eyes roll reflexively.

'Just listen to me for five minutes.'

'And after that you'll leave?'

'You'll never see my perfect face again.'

'Fine,' I say shortly. 'Let's go.'

We walk to the surgical floor coffee cart in silence, break it to have a petty fight about whether he can pay for my drink or not, and then quickly resume stalemate as we stand by the vending machines. He even looks pretty bathed in the sickly glow of a soda machine. Figures.

'Well?' I bark aggressively after a not insignificant period of him giving me meaningful looks has passed.

'Isn't this place a little B-league for you?' he says, looking around distastefully.

'Four minutes, fifty seconds, Sloan.'

He sips his coffee thoughtfully.

'Did you hear about Jordan Kenley from Peds?' he asks casually.

Okay. Not where I thought he was going.

'Yeah. It's a shame; he seemed like a decent guy.'

He nods mournfully. I'm willing to bet that Kenley's obituary was the first time he appeared on Sloan's radar but whatever.

'Did you hear about his replacement?' He wriggles his eyebrows suggestively and I heroically try to resist the urge to dump my coffee down his pants. He's incapable of asking me for the time without trying to tease me.

'Can't say that I did.'

'A little different than Kenley. Just finished up her fellowship at Mass Gen but I believe she did med school and residency at Hopkins. Maybe you've met before. Let's see…blonde, worryingly perky, wears roller-skate shoes, frequently uses the word 'awesome' and all synonyms and exaggerations of that word, refers to kids as 'tiny humans'…am I ringing any bells here?'

Oh yeah. A whole irritating symphony in fact.

'United States of Robbins is your new head of Peds?'

He laughs.

'Hey, that's good. United States of Robbins. I bet you terrorized her.'

I shrug.

'Did she make anyone cry with her touching battleship story yet?'

'Not yet.'

'Just wait, it's a good one.'

I'd had limited contact with her, until I encountered her dressed as some kind of insect- a butterfly, I think, skating around the surgical waiting area, blowing bubbles and whipping all the children into a dangerous frenzy when she had delinquent charts from the previous night. I dressed her down, quite unkindly I suppose if I'm being honest, and thirty minutes later she rolled up to me and, between sobs, informed me that she was a 'good man in a storm' and only cared about the welfare of the 'tiny humans'. She was crying because she had a problem with authority figures. Just so I'd know.

I've never forgotten it- her sniveling 'people think I'm named after the state but I'm not,' antennae drooping mournfully, while pink face paint and glitter dripped onto her roller-skates.

Bizarre woman.

'Well. She seemed competent.' I say as fairly as I can.

'Did you know she's gay?'

'Is there anyone in the continental United States that doesn't know?' I shoot back disdainfully.

The corners of his mouth turn up but he doesn't say anything, just stares at me until suddenly I realize where he's going.

Oh. It doesn't hurt. Much. No more than when she told me I was bad at sex or that she took interactive lessons from Sloan before she could work up the courage to sleep with me again or that she'd cheated on me or that she couldn't understand why I was angry with Stevens. No more than say, a vicious blow to the ribs with an aluminum bat.

'That's nothing to do with me.' I manage to say eventually.

'She's miserable without you.'

'She was miserable with me! Obviously,' I admit bitterly. I know if I look at him I'll see pity so I stare at the floor instead.

'That's not true.'

'Time's up,' I state abruptly- I can't talk about this, I just can't.

'You're telling me you feel nothing for her. Nothing at all.'

'You know how I feel about her', I say angrily. 'Which is why I can't stand the sight of you.'

'I know you're not okay with this.'

'Apparently, Callie is,' I say robotically. 'She's moved on, good for her. Best of luck with Sparkle, I hope she likes pink. Now, if you'll excuse me-'

I try and leave again and again he stops me, putting himself squarely in front of me.

'She misses you and Robbins is chasing her and if you squint she looks a little like you. That's all. She's moved on about as much as you have.'

'Why do you care?' I ask, genuinely confused.

He sighs and smiles ruefully.

'I like you two together; I think you're good for each other. And…I'm sorry for my part in what happened. I was an ass. So I'm trying to make it right.'

'That's touching Sloan, but I think the climb up from the seventh circle is going to require a little more effort than that.'

'I'm working on it.'

'Good luck,' I mutter sarcastically.

'Look, she was an idiot and she knows it. But you can't give her a second chance?'

'How do I even know she wants a second chance?'

'Trust me, she does.'

I shake my head, willing myself not to indulge in this fantasy. It'll only hurt more when it crashes and burns.

'You're really going to let her skate off into the sunset with Robbins?'

I snort in distaste, unable to stop myself.

'Is she still-'

'-incredibly annoying? Yeah.'

'You're just saying that because she wouldn't sleep with you.'

'Details. I don't like her.'

'Maybe she's not so bad after all.'

He tosses his coffee cup in the trash and moves out of my way reluctantly.

'We're going to Joe's after work. Can you make it?'

This is dangerous, very dangerous, allowing myself to think this way. I should say no. That would be for the best.

'I…don't know, Sloan. I just don't know.'

'Look, even if it's too late for you two to be together, can't you at least forgive each other? Try and be friends again? Is this really how you want to leave things with her?'

'I'll think about it,' I concede. 'Now, I really have to get back to work.'

'Objective achieved' is written all over his smug face.

'Yeah. Okay. I'll see you tonight.'

I drive to Seattle Grace after work. At the turn off for the parking lot for Joe's I keep driving. I go around the block four times. I can't make myself go in. I drive home. I pull into my driveway and shut off the engine. Immediately I turn the key again and reverse into the street. I pull back into my driveway. I hit my head against the wheel. I go inside. Pace. I am going. I'm not going. I can't go. I have to go. I look at the clock. 10.36. Pace. 11.04. I should go now. I shouldn't go at all. 11.10. I look at my car keys in my hand.

I go.

Taking into account the thirty minutes I sit in my car outside Joe's, trying to figure out what the hell I'm going to say to her, it's after midnight before I actually go inside. She's probably gone home. That would be for the best. It would be for the best but I might go back to my car and cry if that's the case.

I step inside. She hasn't gone home. My heart jackhammers inside my chest, a somehow perfect combination of dread and excitement swelling inside me.

Her hair's different. She looks…sad.

Okay, you've done the hard part. Now you just have to stop lurking in the shadows like a serial killer, get Little Grey to leave, and talk to her. Just go over. Say 'hi'. The rest will come. Don't commit suicide and tell her you love her. Definitely don't do that.

I take a deep breath and try to ignore the crippling nerves that have overcome me. From my left the tail end of a conversation trickles into my consciousness.

'…what are you going to say?'

'Well, I'll tell her that the talk is good. That people really like her. And then I'll say that one person really likes her-'


'Yeah. One person really likes her and when she's over being upset about Attila the Hahn-'

I jerk into full awareness. Is that…is she talking about…I turn my head a fraction of an inch. It is. She is. I guess Sloan wasn't exaggerating.

'You think you have a chance?'

'I think so. I mean, I'm hot. I have women lining up for me, right?'

There's an irritating chorus of high pitched agreement.

'And when I go out to get something, I get it. I'm committed that way.'

I feel a sudden, inexplicable urge to commit a steak knife to her chest.

'Okay, you totally have to go over there. Oh no, wait- she's going to the bathroom.'

'I think she's crying.'

'Arizona! What are you waiting for? Get in there and comfort her!'

'Really? You think so? Now?'

Hysterical concordance.

'Okay, I'm going. Do I look okay? Yes? Okay, wish me luck.'

I stand there like an idiot, completely frozen with indecision. Somehow I know if I do nothing then it's over for good. Which is what I thought anyway until six hours ago. So it's fine. The kindest thing to do, as her friend, would probably be to bow out gracefully. Robbins would treat her well. People seem to like her for some reason. They'd probably be happy. And I want her to be happy. As her friend. I'm going to leave. It's the right thing. The sensible thing.

I see Robbins sauntering over to the bathroom and I recall, quite violently, that just being friends with Callie was never really enough for me.

I can't let it be over. Not like this.

I cross the room in three long strides, intercepting Robbins just as she goes to open the door. Her eyes widen in shock.

'Sparkle…' I try and find some nice, non-confrontational way of telling her to back the hell off. 'Keep walking.'

'You…you were gone!' She protests feebly.

'And now I'm back. So…whoever's second in line, just go and talk to them, okay?'

She throws her hands up in frustration, muttering 'for the love of God' but she leaves. I open the door before I lose my nerve.

She's standing in front of the mirror, dabbing at her eyes with a tissue.


She freezes as our eyes meet in the mirror. Slowly, she turns around, mouth open in disbelief.


'Are you okay?'

She twists her hands in her lap nervously, tearing the tissue into shreds.

'I…not really, no.'

So far the only reaction she's shown is shock. Is she happy to see me? Angry? Apathetic? I have no idea.

'Do you want me to go?'

'No!' Her hand shoots out and grabs my wrist. We both stare at it. 'Sorry,' she murmurs, blushing, 'Just please don't go.'


'You'll stay?'

'Yes. I'll stay.'

She nods and lets go. At least she tries to because I keep holding on. I can't help it. Oh boy. What am I doing?

'I thought…I thought I'd never see you again. I'm happy,' she clarifies quickly, finally smiling at me. 'God, I'm so happy to see you.'

'Me too,' I say honestly.

'You are here to see me, right?' she asks, uncertainly.

I nod distractedly. I can't stop staring at her lips. It feels so good to kiss her. Just remembering it feels good. And everything else we did…God. I want her. I'll always want her.


'Can we talk?' I ask her, shaking myself out of my reverie. 'Somewhere more private? We…I,' I correct myself regretfully, 'left things in a bad place and I don't want that…to be the end. So, if it's okay-'

'Of course it's okay!' She interrupts, shot-gun quick.' Uh…my place? Did you see Yang out there? I don't think she'll be home for a while.'

Her place. Her place with her bed. Bad idea. Very bad idea.


'Okay,' she says, smiling happily. 'I'll just get my stuff.


I step aside to let her pass but instead she walks right into me and I feel her arms wrap around me. After a second's hesitation I reciprocate, trying desperately to keep the embrace in the realms of a friendly hug. Almost shyly, she kisses my cheek.

'I've missed you so much,' she whispers in my ear and I feel a shiver travel down my spine.

'I…I've missed you too,' I admit hoarsely.

We stay like that for a few seconds until she gently pulls away.

'I'll just be a minute.'

'Right. Okay.'

She leaves, and I turn the faucet on with shaky hands, splashing cold water on my suddenly overheated face.

Alright. Get it together. You've only agreed to talk. Don't get her hopes up. Don't get your hopes up. Under no circumstances allow any clothing to be removed- either yours or hers. Maybe keep to a minimum safe distance.

Pep talk over I open the door, only to come tantalizingly close to head butting Sloan's grinning face. Loitering outside the women's' bathroom, why am I not surprised?

'Tell me you two just tore one off in there real quick.'

'You disgust me, Sloan.'

'Uh-huh. One for the road before you go back to Callie's and do it slow and dirty?'

'We're going to talk!' I bite back defensively before I can remind myself to rise above. 'That's all.'

'Dirty talk, maybe. Have you seen the way you look at her? It's like you want to eat her alive. Hot as hell.'

My face flames red with embarrassment but luckily he appears to mistake it for rage.

'Whoa. Okay, backing off. I'm just saying, if you need someone to deliver some post coital cigarettes then Torres has my number.'

'Good night, Sloan.' I say dismissively, looking around for Callie.

'Yeah. You have a good one.'

He glides away, none too quickly and I feel a pang of anxiety as I scan the bar. I can't see her. Did she change her mind? Freak out again? Run for the state line? Do I really look at her like a starving animal? Shit.

A light touch on my arm.


Relief. Oh, sweet relief.

'You ready?' She asks, smiling sweetly.

'I am.'

It's so strange being back at her apartment, everywhere I look triggers some kind of memory of euphoria or misery. I asked her to go on a date with me there, we made out like teenagers there and in there I woke up alone, had life affirming, revelatory sex and cried for thirty minutes after she virtually ran away.

I hover awkwardly in the middle of the living room, not really feeling comfortable enough to sit down. Also, I'm so full of nervous energy I'm not even sure if I could sit still for more than five seconds. What I really want to do is pace but hey, this isn't my therapist's office. Have some boundaries.

I hear the clink of wine glasses in the kitchen and turn around to see her retrieving a bottle from…the oven?

She smiles at my questioning glance.

'Yang'll drink a hundred dollar bottle of wine like it's Thunderbird,' she says, rolling her eyes in annoyance. 'Sometimes actually from the bottle. So I hide the good stuff. Honestly, I don't think she even knows where the 'on' switch is,' she continues, nodding her head at the oven. 'Safest place.'

I can't help but laugh. I miss this, I miss her. So much.

She hands me a glass and smiles sadly.

'I've had this bottle for weeks. There…there wasn't really anyone I wanted to drink it with.'

'Robbins prefers white?'

We both freeze in shock. God, what is wrong with me? Admittedly, I didn't have a lot of time to prepare for this conversation but I'm pretty sure I was going to open with 'sorry', not a barbed accusation. I stare at the floor, completely ashamed of myself.

'I don't know what Arizona drinks, I've only ever spoken to her at work,' she says quietly, after a few moments.

I still can't bring myself to look her in the eye. No wonder I don't have any real friends if that's how I react when somebody offers me an olive branch.

'I'm sorry,' I mutter. 'I didn't mean to-'

'Don't be sorry,' she cuts me off abruptly. 'Isn't it about time that we were honest with each other? Because we weren't before. We avoided each other and slept with inappropriate people and said things were okay when clearly they weren't and now look at us. You're my best friend and you can't even look at me. So, I think it's time for us to have an honest conversation.'

Finally, I meet her determined gaze.


'Good. Do you want to sit down?'

'Oh. Right. Yeah, I guess.'

We sit down carefully on the couch, a significant distance away from each other. Honest, right. This should be interesting. Fuck it, be brave.

'Was it really so horrible? The first time?' I blurt out before I lose my nerve. 'Because I didn't want it to happen that way but then it was happening and I couldn't really help myself,' I admit, blushing crimson. 'But I thought you…I didn't expect you to say what you said.'

'Well, you tell me,' she says uncomfortably, her face as red as mine.


'You made me…so quickly. I couldn't believe how good it felt, that you'd never done it before. You made me feel amazing and then it was my turn and I freaked out. I didn't know…'

'Didn't know what?'

'What to do. What you liked. I thought…it would be awkward, that you wouldn't be able to…so I didn't do anything.'

'I didn't expect-' I begin wearily.

'I know, you said. But I was so embarrassed.'

'So you decided to make me feel like it was my fault,' I say flatly. 'Do you have any idea what it was like for me to hear that from you? That it wasn't good for you? Like I was defective or something? I thought you were…disgusted by me. And then that you decided to practice with Sloan.' My voice starts to shake as the memory brings a fresh wave of humiliation. 'It hurt, Callie. And I don't understand why you did it.'

When I find the courage to look at her she's frantically trying to wipe tears from the corners of her eyes before they have a chance to fall.

'Callie, don't cry,' I say imploringly.

'Right, you hate being emotionally blackmailed. I remember, you told me.'

I stare at my hands miserably. God, she must think I'm cold. And why wouldn't she, I suppose. I told her I didn't know her at all, walked away from her without a second glance and probably ruined her chance at moving on just so I could…what? Make her feel as awful as I feel?

'I hate knowing I've upset you,' I say quietly when I'm reasonably sure I'm not going to completely embarrass myself in front of her by crying myself. 'That's all I meant. I don't think you're trying to manipulate me.'

'Yeah?' she says, letting out a single peal of bitter laughter. 'Well, I hate knowing I've upset you too. But I did, didn't I? I hurt you.'

I nod heavily.

'Yes,' I admit thickly. 'You hurt me, but Callie-'

I break off abruptly when I see the tears start to flow hard and fast down her face, unstoppable and uncontrollable.

'I'm sorry,' she sobs. 'I'm so sorry for everything- for-for Mark and running away that morning and… and everything!' she exclaims.' Th-the way I treated you, I don't know what…what I was thinking or wh-why. I'm just so sorry.'

I sit there helplessly as she buries her head in her hands, completely stunned by how genuinely distraught she appears to be. I came here expecting to do the apologizing for how I left her, honestly I never expected her to express regret for her part in the whole car wreck after her completely unapologetic attitude previously.

'Callie, come on,' I mutter uncomfortably, awkwardly patting her arm like an idiot. 'It's okay. Don't cry.'

She grabs tissues from the box on the coffee table and makes a visible attempt to compose herself, eventually managing to get her breathing under control but looking just as miserable.

'It's not okay though, is it?' she says in a small voice after a few minutes. 'What I did is not okay. And I can't even tell you why I did it.'

'Callie,' I say earnestly. 'I didn't come here to make you feel guilty or interrogate you or…punish you. And I don't want you to punish yourself. You apologizing- it means a lot and if it helps then I forgive you. I'm not angry and…and I hope you can forgive me too.'

She raises her head and stares at me incredulously.


'I was trying to say before,' I explain. 'It wasn't all your fault. I wasn't honest with you- I told you things were okay when they obviously weren't and…and maybe I pushed you too hard when you weren't ready. And Callie- what I said before I left and how I left…' I feel hot shame run through me as the memory of our fight outside the hospital makes an unwelcome appearance. 'I'm sorry,' I whisper.

'You didn't push me,' she says tearfully. 'I let you down.'

'Still,' I insist. 'I'm sorry. What I said to you was…cruel and petty and I never wanted…I never wanted to make you feel…'

I cut myself off as I feel tears threatening again and all the sadness and regret I feel about Callie, that's been building since I left, gathering in my chest, threatening to overwhelm me.

'Erica,' she chokes out with difficulty. 'Of course I forgive you.'

I nod, unable to speak and she hesitantly shuffles closer to me until somehow we're hugging, both crying a little. She rests her head on my shoulder for a few moments and I try not to enjoy the contact too much. Okay, so we've forgiven each other and cleared the air- it's a good first step but I still don't know what's going to happen next. Or if what I want to happen is the best thing to happen, if she wants what I want…to sum up I know nothing.

She pulls away, though probably not as far as what could be deemed a friendly distance and gives me a watery smile which I try my best to return. Undoubtedly I look hideous, raw emotion is not a good look on me.

'Erica,' she says slowly as if she's weighing up whether it's a good idea to say something. 'If you didn't come here to uh, punish me or whatever, then…then why did you come? Do you want to try and just be friends again or…'

She trails off, leaving the atmosphere thick with possibilities. Or. My eyes fix on where her hands are resting on my thighs, my mind lurching exhaustively between what would be sensible and my own selfish desires.

'You and Sp- Robbins…'

She blinks at me, surprised.

'Arizona? She's…she's been nice to me. I guess she was flirting with me a little lately but I didn't…nothing's happened.'

'Did you want it to?'

She squirms uncomfortably.

'I don't know. If you hadn't come back then maybe something could have…she made me feel attractive I guess? And less of a total disaster. But you did come back,' she says earnestly. 'And she's…fine I suppose and nice but Erica, she's not you.'

'Yes,' I say bluntly. 'She's not me. People actually like her. She's probably very sociable and popular and not cold or-'

'You're not cold,' she interrupts, frowning.

'Most people think I'm a bitch, Callie,' I continue doggedly. 'And I can be. I play up to it. People would think you were crazy if…' I can't bring myself to say it, I want it too much. 'They'd think I was dragging you down,' I finish sullenly.

'Well, I could care less what they think,' she says angrily. 'I'm pretty much already the hospital freak anyway. And you're not a bitch. Pretend all you want but I know it's not true. So don't ever say that again.'

I raise my eyebrows at the forcefulness of her speech and she looks a little chastised but not much.

'You still haven't answered my question,' she reminds me in a slightly gentler tone.

'You already know the answer,' I mutter uncomfortably.

'I can't read your mind!'

'I don't know what you want me to say!' I exclaim, anguish and uncertainty making my stomach do backflips. I really don't think I can cope with another total humiliation in her presence.

'The truth!'

'Fine,' I state shakily. 'The truth is I feel insanely jealous at the thought of you being with another woman…or man. And I don't think I can just be your friend and watch you be happy with someone else. But I don't know if…'

'You still have feelings for me?' She asks softly.

'Of course I do!' I say, almost angrily. 'Do you not remember my little speech? I can't just turn that off.'

I realize that I practically just yelled in her face and feel my head drop in resignation.

'Sorry,' I sigh when I see her stricken face and rest my hand gently over hers. 'I didn't mean to yell.'

'Are you angry with me?'

'No.' I say firmly. 'No, but Callie- having feelings for each other doesn't necessarily mean we can be together.'

'Why?' she questions, frustrated, snatching her hand back and rising off the couch to stand over me, arms crossed. 'I don't understand. You said you forgave me,' she reminds me, anger quickly being replaced by insecurity.

'I do!' I reiterate emphatically. 'I told you before I don't want to make you feel guilty, that's the last thing I want but…I want you to be happy and I don't know if you can be with me,' I admit sadly.

'I can be,' she says quickly, voice laced with desperation. 'You think I'm lying?' she asks when I say nothing.

'Not lying. It's just…before-'

'I screwed up before, I know that!' she exclaims, tears once again tracking slowly down her face. 'But I'll be better this time, I won't make the same mistakes-'

'It's not about being better!' I counter frustratedly. 'You don't understand what I'm trying to say.'

She sinks back onto the couch and grabs my hands urgently, gripping them tightly. I'm crying again, dammit. What is it with this place?

'Listen,' she says imploringly. 'Please. You think you made me unhappy?'

'I'd say that was pretty obvious.'

'I wasn't unhappy,' she says slowly, sniffing and trying to get her breath. 'I was confused and scared and…and idiotic because I was happy. I was happy with you and you were a woman and if I could be happy with a woman then everything I thought I knew about myself wasn't true. I didn't even know myself anymore. And it freaked me out so I guess I went looking for something familiar. But I wasn't unhappy.'

I stare at our joined hands. I want to believe her so much, I want to be with her more than anything I've ever wanted in my entire life.

'I was stupid,' she continues. 'I was stupid and I'm so sorry but… I'm tired of being scared. I just want to be happy. With you.'

'Callie,' I say, stumbling over my words, my voice trembling with emotion. 'I can't be hurt again like I was before.'

'No,' she says emphatically. 'Never, I promise.'

'You have to be sure.'

'I am. I am, just…please let me prove myself to you.'

'No,' I disagree and her face falls a mile, she starts to pull away but I tighten my grip on her hands before she can. 'No Callie, wait. I just meant I don't want you to prove yourself to me. I'm not going to judge you or hold a grudge and you won't either, I hope. Let's just… take care of each other from now on, okay?'

'Yes. God, yes of course,' she agrees eagerly. 'And… we'll be together?'

I reach out and push her hair behind her ear, leaving my hand resting on her hot face. She covers my hand with hers, smiling.

'Yes.' I say, finally allowing myself to smile too, still not quite believing that all my misery is about to disappear. 'Yes, if that's what you want.'

Breathless laughter bubbles out of her as we sit there grinning like morons at each other. After a few seconds she presses a kiss to the inside of my wrist and then pulls me towards her, leaning towards me at the same time. I sigh when our lips meet even if the kiss is fairly chaste and short-lived. Kissing her feels like the most natural thing in the world. What did that stupid boy who encased himself in concrete say? My whole life is about kissing her. Clearly the only intelligent thought in his head.

'Not that I was underwhelmed with that kiss,' she says as she pulls away, some of her trademark attitude reinstating itself into her voice. 'But it was kind of salty.'

I smooth my hands over my face self-consciously.

'I never would have started if you hadn't set me off,' I say mock defensively.

'Yeah, I guess I should do some damage control. Can…can you stay for a little while?' She asks sweetly, her fingers idly playing with the ends of my hair. 'I know it's late but I haven't seen you in so long and…'

'Yeah, I can stay,' I say lightly, without even thinking. Thinking with my brain, anyway. 'I'm off tomorrow.'

'Great!' she says happily. 'I'm just going to go and wash up, okay? You want to find us a movie to watch or put on some music? If you're hungry we could order in I guess if anywhere's still open. And there's more wine…' she trails off, still smiling. 'You know all this stuff.'

'Right,' I agree. 'I do.'

'Okay then, I'll be right back.' Before she gets up she leans over and kisses me on the forehead casually, like she does it every day. I can't remember the last time anyone was so routinely sweet and tender towards me and it fills me with warmth and relaxation. I sit there in a stupefied daze for a few minutes, unable to quite take in how far my luck's changed in twelve short hours. It's only when I manage to clear the happy fog from my brain that the endless questions begin again.

I have my best friend back and my…what? Lover? Girlfriend? I don't know what to call her. We're together but how together? Are we back at square one, starting again? Are we picking up where we left off before? I've agreed to stay for a few hours? The night? And as for what 'staying' entails…I think back to the pledge I made at Joe's. Absolutely no sex. It seemed like such a bad idea then. Now…my resolve is rapidly fading. Assuming that's even what she wants. Would we just be rushing like before? Would she regret it? I know I wouldn't.


I jump guiltily at the sound of my name. She's standing in the doorway of her bedroom, wearing yoga pants and an over sized t-shirt- a completely uninviting ensemble, excluding the fact that she's wearing it, which makes it sexy as hell. Okay, don't look like you were a short step away from an extremely vivid sexual fantasy about her. And stop undressing her with your eyes.

'I said your name like three times.'

'Sorry. I was um…daydreaming,' I mutter pathetically.

'Oh yeah?' she says, smirking knowingly. 'About what?'

'Nothing!' I say over defensively, avoiding eye contact. 'Nothing in particular.'

'Right. Okay.' I can hear the amusement in her voice and will myself desperately not to blush. 'Do you want something more comfortable to wear?'

I look down dumbly at my clothes. Dress pants and a blouse- not usually what I'd wear to lounge around watching movies and drinking wine. If that's what we're going to be doing. Let's be honest, I know what I'm hoping for, even if I really shouldn't be.

'Uh, sure. Thanks.'

'Okay. I'll leave something out for you.'

It's a little awkward, going into her bedroom to modestly change clothes away from her- it's not like she hasn't seen me naked. I have no idea how to raise the issue with her though so I just do it anyway. I'm halfway through unbuttoning my blouse when I realize what she's laid out on the bed for me to wear.

I open the door again and dangle the tiny gym shorts I found on one finger.

'Callie?' I question tiredly. She doesn't even look up from the magazine she's supposedly reading.


'What are these?'

She looks up faux casually.

'Those? Well they're shorts, Erica. Like pants but…short.'

'You really think I'm wearing these?' I ask incredulously, trying my level best not to smile as she grins mercilessly at me.

'It's just a shame that I'm wearing my only pair of pants.'

'Oh come on, Cal!'

'They're really comfy! And…and you'll overheat if you wear pants.'

'It's January! I'll probably get hypothermia!'

'But I want to look at your legs!' she practically whines in a petulant voice. I stare at her in stunned silence for a few seconds, unable to quite believe what I just heard and then, completely powerless to stop myself, burst out laughing.

'My legs?!'

'They're long! Really long and…hot, okay! You have hot, endless legs and I want to look at them!' She exclaims, trying her best to glare but failing miserably.

'Just turn up the heat,' I tell her after I eventually get done laughing at her absurdity and go back in her bedroom to put the ridiculous shorts on.

My legs? I stand next to the bed, just wearing the shorts and a bra and stare down at them doubtfully. They're fine, I guess. Useful. Reliable. Nothing on hers. My hand pauses at the clasp of my bra. Should I leave it on? What kind of message am I giving if I take it off? Assuming she'll be in a position to even notice that. Her hand probably shouldn't be up my shirt. But if it was…

After spending a stupid amount of time agonizing/fantasizing I take it off and pull the t-shirt she gave me over my head. I just want to be comfortable. That's all. Once it's on the t-shirt practically covers the shorts. Basically, I'm naked. Comfortably naked, but still. Great.

I can feel the weight of the atmosphere as soon as I re-enter the living room. We're not quite relaxed with each other yet; we're still not sure what the boundaries are. If there's any at all. And yet, somehow I know exactly what we both want. What we need. I just can't find the guts to actually tell her to take off her damn clothes so we can make up properly. She smiles at me genuinely but a little uncertainly as I approach the couch. This is what it was like before she kissed me the first time- all this sexual tension practically crackling between us and neither of us having any idea what we should say about it or if we should talk about it at all. It's unbearable and delicious all at the same time.

I hover awkwardly by the couch when I see that she's spread out over all three seats- surely she at least wants me to sit with her?- but then she indicates that she wants me to sit…between her legs. Jesus Christ. It's innocent, perfectly innocent except that it's going to entail being closely pressed against her body which, frankly, is never going to be an innocent thing in my head. Being closely pressed against her in a line to get my head cut off would still be slightly enjoyable.

I sit down hesitantly, my back to her front, our legs stretched out together and try and relax. She chuckles and drops a kiss on my shoulder, provoking a little shudder than can't go unnoticed.

'You're kind of tense.'

'Yeah,' I say evasively. 'I've been working a lot recently. Long days. I guess I haven't had much time to relax.'

'Are…are you tired?' she asks carefully, both of us still unwilling to directly mention the huge elephant in the room.

'No,' I say honestly. 'I'm not tired.'

The thought crosses my mind that it would be nice to fall asleep like this, with her holding me. The few times any man tried to do something like this with me I just felt restricted and uncomfortable. Ridiculous even, like I was play acting at being a person that I didn't even know. But this…would be nice if it wasn't so torturously arousing right now.

'Try and relax. I'm going to start the movie.'

'Okay.' I sip at my wine slowly, trying to calm myself down.

To be honest, Callie's inability to remain silent for more than sixty seconds means that I barely remember anything other than the vaguest detail about any movie we've watched together so I'm surprised when she stays silent. Her hands stroke over my stomach absentmindedly until I can feel my heartbeat thundering in my ears and hers beating against my back.

When she finally does speak, her voice is nothing but a whisper and the feel of her breath ghosting against my neck makes me shiver and shift in her embrace.


'Yeah?' Even I can hear how strained and low my voice is, how wound up I sound.

'Can I ask you something?'

'Uh…sure, okay.'

She swallows nervously but doesn't say anything right away. Suddenly I'm a little worried about where this is going, if it's going to break the spell that we both seem to be under.


'Have you been with anyone else? You know…since you and I….?'

'No,' I say slowly, surprised that she even thinks that could be a possibility. 'No-one.'

I feel her sigh a little bit with relief. 'I'm glad. Not that I would have any right to be jealous,' she adds quickly. 'But I think I would be a little.'

'I wasn't interested in being with anyone else,' I say shortly, just to completely clear things up. I'm being deliberately abrupt to avoid getting over emotional in front of her again but I can still feel it all churning up inside me. I've never had any trouble suppressing how I feel in front of people before but with her I apparently have no control or filter.

Another long pause.

'Not even just for sex?'

Especially not for that.


Her lips are tantalisingly close to my neck again. 'Good.'

'Wait,' I say suddenly as a horrible thought occurs to me. She huffs a little with disappointment, her hand halfway under my shirt but the moment's gone for me. 'Have you been with someone else? Is that what you're trying to-'

I swear if she's using this as some kind of segue into telling me she's been casually banging Sloan for the past two months I'm going to vomit.

'What? No! I haven't, I swear!' she babbles, sounding panicky. Her arms tighten around me as if she's afraid I'm going to pull away. Feeling guilty for jumping to conclusions so quickly I don't move and she relaxes a little.

'Not even just for sex?' I ask softly, holding her hands in mine.

'I'm tired of just sex,' she says quietly, eventually. 'I'm tired of feeling…cheap. It wasn't like that with you, I felt good um, physically. Really good,' she adds and we both blush. 'But it was more than that,' she continues self-consciously, 'the sex was great but afterwards was great too. I felt good inside. Healthy, I guess? It's difficult to explain.'

'I get it,' I say honestly. It's why I couldn't stomach the thought of a one night stand after Callie. Honestly, I had no idea she felt the same way though.

'I want to feel good again,' she blurts nervously, out of the blue. 'And…and I want to make you feel good too. I want you naked in my bed. And it won't be like last time,' she says defensively, as if I've raised a word of protest which I most definitely won't be. 'Last time we rushed and that was bad but this is not that. This is…we're attracted to each other and we care about each other and we both want this so you just give me one good reason why we shouldn't-Wait! Where are you going?' she demands, more than a little hysterically when I abruptly stand up. I raise an eyebrow imperiously at her tone.

'Are you yelling at me?'

She sits up, flushed and breathing heavily from her little rant.


'Hardly seductive,' I tease, smirking. She grins back a little uncertainly, but truth be told, I'm sick of all this angst. Especially about sex. All the deconstructing and agonizing and nerves, I'm done with it all. If we're doing this then I'm damn well going to enjoy it properly.

'You're making fun of me,' she says mock petulantly as I pull her gently to her feet and loop my arms around her waist.

'Just a little,' I concede, before lowering my head a fraction to kiss her neck because, damn it, I want to.

'Oh,' she says breathily, tilting her head back. 'That's nice. That's so…nice.'

'I can't think of any,' I say thoughtfully, pulling after a few delicious seconds.

'Huh? What?' She says impatiently.

'Reasons,' I elaborate carelessly. 'Certainly not any good ones.'

It takes her a moment but she gets it and God, when she does this look spreads over her whole face and I'm pretty sure if I looked in the dictionary under 'predatory' that's what I'd see.


'Really,' I confirm, realizing blissfully that I may have finally met someone I'm going to enjoy being a little submissive to.

She kisses me then, hot and heavy and all the suppressed sexual tension that we've been keeping inside suddenly explodes into the room and nearly overwhelms us. We only break apart when oxygen becomes an absolute necessity and by that point I'm breathing hard and pretty much ready to do it on any horizontal surface in close vicinity. I'm also feeling extremely pleased with myself, to the extent that I'm sure I must look unbearably smug.

'I'm going to top up our wine. You better be naked in my bed by the time I'm finished,' she says casually, sauntering over to the kitchen and looking back over her shoulder just to make absolutely certain that I'm staring open-mouthed after her like a lust struck idiot.

I make myself walk to her bedroom, despite the fact that by this point I want to sprint in there and rip off my clothes. Actually, the urge to take off my clothes at a fast pace occurs pretty much every time I see her but now that she's told me to…wow. By the time I'm stretched out on her bed, naked as instructed, my whole body's throbbing with pleasurable anticipation.

The sheets are cool against my overheated skin and I shift around impatiently, knowing she's loving making me wait. One minute, then two passes and I nearly scream with frustration, rubbing the tops of my legs together to try and relieve some of the ache. Finally she reappears, holding two full glasses of wine and grins at me knowingly, obviously fully aware of the state that I'm in. Somehow along the way she's lost her pants and the t-shirt barely covers…actually it covers nothing. I watch her dumbly as she puts the glasses on the nightstand and then, more slowly than I thought was possible, sheds the t-shirt. Naked. She's naked in front of me and I know I'm staring but damned if I can stop. She smiles at me almost shyly and I hold my hand out to her, not wanting to wait another second to feel her.

'Come here.'

'Has anyone ever told you you're kind of bossy?' she asks snarkily as she takes my hand and lets me pull her into my lap.

'Yes, many times,' I admit as I put my hands on her hips, encouraging her to grind her wet center against mine.

She groans as we rock slowly against each other, our breathing coming fast and shallow.

'You're really sexy,' she tells me breathlessly. 'Has anyone ever told you that?'

'No,' I say honestly, far more fixated on her breasts, which are bouncing slightly as she moves up and down, than with feeling sorry for myself.

'Well, it's true. You drive me crazy.'

'I know how you feel,' I mutter distractedly as I let my hands drift upwards to cup her breasts. Her mouth falls open as my fingers brush her nipples, pushing against me insistently until I suck one into my mouth, holding her still until I feel it tighten with arousal. I pay the same attention to the other one until she's whimpering desperately and slick with want. I can feel her as she rubs against my stomach, she's so wet.

I try and encourage her to lift up a little so I can work my hand between her thighs, feel her ride my fingers until she comes, but instead she leans forward, using her weight to push me flat on my back and pins first one, and then both of my hands over my head. Excitement stirs in me at being trapped by her like this and when she gently pushes one of her thighs between mine I gasp and wriggle desperately against her.

'You feel good,' she whispers down to me, pushing a little harder this time and I moan in frustration. She carries on this torture for a few more minutes, resolutely holding my hands although we both know I'm letting her, sometimes applying a little more pressure but never enough.

'Please,' I say imploringly when I can't take anymore and she smiles triumphantly.

'Please?' she questions, mercilessly.

'Just a little bit more,' I force out through gritted teeth.

'Do you want me to let you go?' she asks faux sweetly and I make her wait before I reluctantly shake my head.

'Don't move,' she warns me as she releases my wrists briefly and though I glare mutinously, I do what I'm told. She shifts her weight, wrapping one of my legs around her waist and my eyes flutter shut in anticipation as I realize what she's doing. A few seconds later her hands close over my wrists again, sending a jolt of white hot pleasure to shoot down between my thighs, and she lowers herself onto me, the angle just right for our swollen clits to rub against each other.

I can't stop myself vocalizing my pleasure when she starts to move, moaning unabashedly at the friction against my clit. She's not quiet either and I lace my fingers with hers, matching the slow movement of her hips with mine, wanting to draw it out as long as possible. Even in spite of the languid pace it's not long before I feel my orgasm building though- it's everything, the position and my powerlessness to control it, the firm pressure against my clit, the slow build-up of the night. Callie. God, Callie. I breathe deeply, trying to rein myself in a little, but the tension keeps mounting and I know I'm not going to be able to hold it off much longer.

'Callie, I….I'm going to…'I babble nonsensically as I feel myself approaching the point of no return.

'Yes,' is all she whispers, her movements getting more and more erratic but I take it as encouragement and push my hips into hers, giving myself over to it.

'Oh!...Callie!' I whimper as she moves shallowly, deliberately, sending bolts of heat radiating from my center down my legs. Then all I can do is groan loudly as I feel my legs shake and the start of my climax surge through me, flooding my system with satisfaction. Vaguely, through a fog of bliss, I feel her hips undulate wildly against mine and know she's there too which just prolongs it even more. God, we're doing this every day from now on. At least once. Twice on weekends.

I blink slowly as I come around, my satiated body stretching on instinct.

'You look so pleased with yourself right now,' I hear from the ether and I grin and turn my body into hers where she's collapsed beside me. I honestly can't help it; at this point in the game it'd be like the Earth trying to turn away from the sun, i.e. futile and painful.

'Shouldn't I?' I ask lazily, head still a little fuzzy.

She pushes my hair back from my face and kisses me lightly. We're lying on our sides, legs twined with my arm around her waist. I don't ever want to move.

'Oh, you can feel very pleased with yourself.'

'Good,' I say drowsily, going to close my eyes. Not to fall asleep or anything, I'm not that person, just to rest my eyes for a few minutes…or hours. It's only just as my vision is narrowing to nothing that I register a certain look on her face, one that brings back a horribly familiar feeling of being abandoned and it's enough to jolt me out of my relaxed, happy state and straight back into full consciousness.

'What? What is it?' I demand abruptly, extracting myself from her embrace and sitting up tensely.

She sits up herself, sighing.

'Nothing. Look, it's not what you think, I promise. Lie back down, we'll go to sleep.'

Well, at least she's not pretending that she has no idea what I'm talking about.

'Just tell me what you're thinking,' I persist. 'We can talk about it. Just don't freak out. Don't-'

'I was thinking that I was desperate for George to look at me like you do for our entire marriage,' she interrupts in a monotone, blushing with embarrassment. 'I was thinking what an idiot I was for ever thinking that he loved me.'

'You're not an idiot,' I say automatically, kicking myself for ruining the mood. 'And I'm not sorry he was.'

She smiles halfheartedly. 'Thanks. Lie back down with me?' She asks, hesitantly.

'I'm sorry.' I say genuinely when she pulls the comforter over us and we settle back down together. 'I didn't mean to jump to conclusions.'

'It's okay,' she murmurs sleepily. 'Don't worry.'

'I don't know how,' I say into her hair. 'How he managed to stop himself from loving you.' I don't say any more than that, it's probably too much as it is.

There's an agonizing pause and then her hand finds mine and brings it to her mouth. It's enough. Enough for now.

There's an elephant stomping through Callie's apartment. It's so loud, why won't it just go away? It's coming towards her bedroom, Jesus it's annoying…

Light. Bright light in my eyes. And a voice that is definitely not Callie's.

'Torres, why is there a container of cigarettes outside our front door? I nearly broke my neck on the way in. And did you buy any- Oh shit! Fuck. I'm sorry! I'm-'

'Yang! Have you ever heard of knocking?'

'Is that-'

'Yang, get out!' This time from both of us.

'Well, is she coming back?'

'Get out!'

The door closes, finally. Knowing my luck the whole bunch of misfits are outside gawping. Actually, if O'Malley's there then send him in.

'Jesus, sorry. Welcome back to the circus, I guess.'

So, I know how annoying it is when someone doesn't update their story in months. I genuinely wish I could update more frequently but the reality is that I can't make any promises. Honestly, it might be a week, it might be a year. However, please know that I AM always plugging away at this story in the background however slowly, and I WILL continue to write it- I might just have to finish it in a retirement home :p Thank you for your patience and as always for your reviews, I know I say this every time but I really do appreciate them so much. I hope you enjoyed reading:)