Rating: T (for now)
Summary: What happens after 9x23. Following the train of thought I had in the theory, and after seeing the sneak, this is what played out in my head. Depending on what happens in the finale and certain other factors, this could become a multi-chapter fic. COULD.
A/N: Okay I’m honestly a teensy bit irritated (read: REALLY) that someone over on ff.net swooped on in and ran with this before I got the chance to do so myself. But, since certain parts of what were posted over there actually DID come from me, verbatim, originally, I do feel like it’s okay for me to use it in my own story. Right?? I skimmed over that one, and while one particular part DOES match, the rest of it differs.
A/N2: It's not great. The tenses are a little screwy. I wrote this at like 4am because I couldn't sleep. It's very possible I could end up making changes here and there to amp up some things, make them more visible in the reader's mind.
A desperate kiss.
Hands fumbling blindly for any hold, seeking to pull the other closer, needing to feel something, needing to feel anything. After so long a shell, she just needs to feel like herself again.
A breath. Enough for a thought to surface. A wife, a child. A commitment.
Hands pushing away.
“I’m sorry. I…I can’t.”
A hand reaches for the door, a gateway by which to return to her safely controlled little world.
A pause. Frozen. Locked in place by one word; locked in this place, but another time that bore that utterance in much the same tone. A time when all pieces of herself made up a cohesive whole; undivided, unhidden.
“You are allowed to lose….a little bit of control.”
Arizona stumbled from the on-call room, clutching the still blaring pager tightly in her hand as she headed for the NICU, desperately trying to pull herself together, wrapping her perky professional mask around herself.
What just happened? What the hell did she just do?
Shaking off the unbidden thoughts, she stepped into Doctor mode, directing the interns and Alex to make sure the parents stay calm.
“Everything is fine.”
She wanted to believe that. She needed to believe that.
WHAT THE HELL DID SHE DO?
“Need a hand?”
Arizona whipped around, discomfort and icy indifference rolling off of her in waves as her eyes met those of Lauren Boswell.
Hazel eyes. SHE has hazel eyes. Why the hell would she ask Arizona what color her eyes were?
Arizona whirled back to face Alex, questioning eyes boring into him. Turning back to Lauren, she started again.
“I-I thought I told you that-”
“I wasn’t going to sit on my hands while there’s a room full of babies that need help. What can I do?”
Before Arizona had a chance to say anything else, Alex again speaks up. “You can cross check the med rec forms so we can get the correct dosages.”
As Lauren walked away, Arizona turned back to Alex, shooting him a look as if to say, “What the hell are you doing?”
Alex shrugged, confusion painting his features. “We’re outnumbered. Keep the tiny human makers happy, right??”
Arizona just shakes her head, quickly shoving away her thoughts of everything relating to Lauren Boswell. “Okay people, we need to make sure the tiny humans are taken care of.”
As the storm over Seattle continued to rage, growing in intensity with every passing moment, Arizona rushed from one bed to another, checking on her patients, making sure parents are calm, all the while forcing herself to maintain control over her own overwhelming emotions.
How could she do this to Callie? To their family?
Just as the mental image of her wife and daughter floated across her mind, a figure stepped in front her. The storm, playing havoc with the electricity, knocked out the power for a split second, a flash of lightning flooding the room just long enough for her to glimpse brilliant blue eyes peering at her. Brilliant blue eyes that are identical to her own.
Stumbling back, Arizona barely managed to catch herself on the desk as the lights came back up and stayed on. Those eyes continued to gaze at her, sadness seeping out of them, reaching forward and slamming into her, causing her to shake.
Those eyes, combined with full Marine Corps dress uniform, could only belong to one person.
“Tim. No. You-you’re not really here. I fell, I hit my head, you’re not here.” A blonde head shakes back and forth forcefully, but stops as she looks around to see that the NICU empty. What the hell?
A deep, rich chuckle.
“Okay THAT you immediately believe, yet everything else is completely lost on you? Come on, Phoenix.”
That name. That name along with the names of many other cities that Tim and Nick took it in turns to call her. When she was younger, she hated it. She hated the name Arizona, too, but the city names were worse, because they were mocking her. Her brother and her best friend, mocking her. As they got older, though, closer, the names became endearments.
“Phoenix. What are you doing?” Tim steps forward slowly, head tilting slightly, eyes still shining with sadness and…something else that Arizona can’t quite define.
“What-what are you talking about?”
“Don’t play stupid with me. What are you doing? To Callie, Sofia? To yourself? Why are you torturing yourself?”
“What the hell are you talking about, torturing myself? You have NO IDEA what’s been going on with me, Tim! You’re not here!”
That made her freeze. He only ever called her Arizona when he was deadly serious.
“Arizona, do YOU know what’s been going on?”
“Of course I know what’s been going on! I cheated on my wife! I let that woman get to me and destroyed the best thing in my life! How am I supposed to tell her, Tim? How am I supposed to tell Callie that her ‘good man in a storm’ is anything but?!”
Tim shakes his head sadly. “Arizona, you need to stop. To think. Really THINK. You’re not getting it. You’re not seeing the whole picture here.”
“What whole picture, Tim? You’re dead. I’m well aware of that. So how am I seeing you, talking to you? What the fuck is going on??”
“Arizona. It’s not real. You need to wake up.”
Again the room falls dark, thunder crashing overhead, rattling the windows in their casings and shaking the foundation of Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital. When the lights flicker back on, Arizona has somehow managed to be seated on the floor, heaving breath after breath, desperately trying to rein herself in. Glancing up into the bright blue concerned eyes of the patient’s father, her own eyes slammed closed. Violently shaking her head once again to clear the image of her dead brother from her mind, she opened them to find the dark brown orbs of her wife.
“Arizona, are you alright?” A soft hand gently cups her cheek as her eyes drift closed.
“I’m fine. I’m-I’m good.”
Struggling to straighten out her prosthesis, which is lying at an awkward angle, Arizona accepted her wife’s helping hand to aid her in standing. Once she was fully upright, she looked around to see the various interns and parents scrambling about, taking care of the tiny humans under her charge, everyone assured that their boss is okay.
Callie kept a hand lightly on her back as she led Arizona down the hall to her office. Opening the door, Callie stepped back as she waited for Arizona to go ahead, closing the door behind them as Arizona flopped down onto the couch, head falling into her hands.
Kneeling on the floor in front of her wife, Callie gently pulled Arizona’s hands away, grasping them tightly as she waited for her to open her eyes and look at her. Blue eyes peeked open and immediately drifted to the ceiling, Arizona biting her bottom lip to keep the tears of shame at bay. How could she look at her beautiful wife after what she’s done?
“Arizona, what happened out there? I walked in and you were screaming about…just…what happened?”
Arizona’s breath froze in her lungs as she looked at her wife. Callie heard her. She knew. Tears began cascading down her cheeks as she rapidly blinked, trying to clear her vision, to read Callie’s face and get some idea of just how much she heard.
Callie looked confused and not just a little concerned. Running her thumbs across Arizona’s hands, she waited patiently for an answer, ANY answer, ANYTHING that would make sense of what she just heard.
Pulling in a deep breath, Arizona let it out quickly, her entire frame slumping forward as though she carried the weight of the world on her shoulders.
“I-I saw Tim. I mean, I didn’t really see Tim, I saw that parent whose name is Tim but when the lights went out all I saw were his eyes and I lost my footing for a second and must have fallen and then the lights came back on and I saw Tim in full dress staring at me and telling me that I don’t get it and I mean how can I NOT get it, I’m the one living it I’m the one that did it!”
Raising one eyebrow and trying desperately to keep the smirk at her wife’s rambling off her face, Callie linked the fingers of both their hands together and gently pulled her forward, getting her attention. “Okay I didn’t catch all of that, but what did you do, what did you not get?”
Renewed tears poured down Arizona’s face and she collapsed into Callie’s arms, wrapping her own arms tightly around her neck, knowing that she might never get to do this again. Callie held her, a soothing hand rubbing across the expanse of her back gently, trying to calm her.
Pulling away, Arizona drew in yet another deep breath, forcing her tears to a standstill. She was about to destroy her wife; she didn’t deserve to cry over it. It was her own fault.
“I-I slept with Dr. Boswell.”
Callie’s eyebrows furrowed in confusion and her hands dropped from Arizona’s shoulders as she sat back on her heels, her breath catching in her throat. Shaking her breath, she stared at Arizona as though she didn’t recognize her, the confusion in her eyes growing before she finally opened her mouth.