Calzona, DC

Story: Calzona, DC Storylink: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9328070/1/ Category: Grey's Anatomy Genre: Romance Author: fluffycalzonafics Authorlink: https://www.fanfiction.net/u/4505433/ Last updated: 11/19/2013 Words: 215687 Rating: M Status: Complete Content: Chapter 1 to 35 of 35 chapters Source: FanFiction.net Summary: Arizona Robbins is just like any other college student, except for the fact that her father is the President of the United States. What happens when she falls hopelessly in love with her professor, Dr. Callie Torres? The older woman is off limits for so many reasons, but Arizona just can't seem to help herself.

*Chapter 1*: Chapter 1
AN: So I finished Once Upon a Calzona today, and I am currently suffering from a condition that I have decided to call "Split-Fanfic-Disorder." Symptoms of this disorder include having way too many ideas at once and a very short attention span when it comes to sitting down and committing to writing ONE FREAKING FANFIC AT A TIME. I am hoping that this disorder resolves itself in time. Until then…enjoy yet another new idea lol. And please let me know what you are most interested in…this, Calzona Seaside, or Calzona Rising. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona Robbins pulled out her phone as she slid into the limo, swiping to the favorites screen and pressing on her best friend's name. She'd just seen him the night before, but she'd forgotten to ask him about his class schedule. "Alex, hey, it's Z," she said when he answered the phone. "Well no shit, Arizona," came Alex's cranky reply. "You know that it shows your name when you call, right? Well actually it shows 'Hot Piece of Ass,' b ut you get my point." "Shut up, Karev," Arizona said, rolling her eyes. She gave a quick smile to Cristina and Jackson as they entered the limo and closed the door. The car started moving a moment afterwards. "Listen, we forgot to go over our class schedules last night." "Yeah, what are you taking?" "Intermediate Accounting, Financial Management, Intro to Marketing, the first half of Business Law, and French," Arizona said, rattling off the classes that she was registered for. "Are you in any of those?" Today was the start of classes at Georgetown University, and Arizona was excited to get her junior year started. Halfway done. "Why the hell are you taking French?" Alex asked. "Because I like it," Arizona said simply. She had only explained this to Alex ten thousand times since they'd met their freshman year of high school. "But it's not even required!" Alex argued. "And if you have to take a language, take Spanish. I mean, according to all you Repub licans, if people like my dad get their way, we'll all b e speaking Spanish b y 2025." Arizona ignored the dig at her father's political party—she had also explained to Alex ten thousand times that just because her father was a Republican, it didn't mean she was. Even though, secretly, she actually agreed with most of the Republican party's stances on things. She just didn't broadcast that fact. "Whatever, Alex," Arizona huffed. "Are you in any of those classes or not?" "Uh, lemme check," Alex said, pausing for a minute. "I've got Intermediate Accounting with Torres at 10:00 MWF, Financial Management with Ling at 11:00 MWF, and that Business Law class with Porter at 9:30 TTh," he informed her. "I'm not in Marketing ,though, and I'm sure as hell not in French." "Oh, good," Arizona sighed in relief when she heard that Alex was in her classes. "Teddy's in those classes, too." "Oh excellent," Alex said, sounding pompous. "I'll have my two b londe Repub lican b omb shells on my arms as usual this semester." "Whatever, you commie," Arizona laughed. "I'll see you soon, okay? Save me a seat." "Will do, Rob b ins." Arizona just shook her head as she put her phone on silent and dropped it back in her bag. Alex Karev had a personality, that was for sure. Arizona had met Alex over six years ago, when they'd started school together at the Sidwell Friends School. A lot of politicians' kids went there, which had made it easier for Arizona to make friends—most of the people there knew what her life was like. When they'd first met, Alex's father had been a Democratic senator from Maine, and Arizona's father had been a Republican senator from Vermont. Alex's father was still a Democratic senator from Maine, so his life hadn't changed too much. Arizona's life, on the other hand, had changed drastically. Her father, Daniel Timothy Robbins, was now the President of the United States of America. Bit of an upgrade. In general, Arizona disliked being the president's daughter. Sure, living in the White House was fairly awesome. And she

got to have some really cool experiences and meet some really influential people. But it was also stifling. Sometimes, she wished she could just live in the dorm like a normal kid. She'd actually asked her parents for that, but they'd told her no. They wanted her living at the White House, surrounded by the Secret Service. As if Cristina and Jackson weren't on her ass enough as it was. And she couldn't just go to the mall. She couldn't get a fake ID and go get drunk with her friends. Everything she did had to be planned and scheduled and approved. And she was constantly watched. The Secret Service watched her for her safety, which she hated but also understood. But the nation watched her. The press followed her and scrutinized her. Random people on the internet blogged about her fashion choices. Everyone wanted to know who she was dating, what kind of grades she was making, and what kind of trouble she was getting into. It was just plain annoying. But she'd been raised to put her nation above all else. When her father had decided to run for President, when he had decided to put her family under such intense scrutiny, he had impressed upon her that it was her patriotic duty as an American to be a good example. That being watched closely and not having all the freedom of normal college students was a sacrifice she had to make for the good of the country. That she was supposed to be a good man in a storm. And so she was. She didn't go out and party. She worked hard and got perfect grades. And she didn't date. At all. Her parents hadn't forbidden her from dating—indeed, they had often wondered out loud why she never went out on dates with the boys who asked her. But that was just it. Arizona didn't want to date men. She wanted to date women. And she just…she couldn't do that to her father. She couldn't do that to her Republican father who was on public record as being staunchly opposed to gay marriage. Her family wasn't really religious, so Arizona doubted that her father had an actual problem with it. But he had needed to court the religious vote to win the presidency, so he'd come down hard on gay marriage. And so Arizona had retreated deeply into the closet. Not that she'd ever really been out of it. Timothy had known. Somehow, he'd always known. He'd actually been the one who had pointed it out to Arizona in the first place. But Timmy was dead, blown to bits in some god-forsaken desert. Which left Alex. Alex was the only other living soul who knew she was gay. And it was going to have to stay that way. Her father was still in his first term, and he had every intention of running for a second one. Which meant that Arizona would just have to put her personal life on hold for the next several years. She would tell her parents after her father's political career was over. And then she'd be able to date. She was a good man in a storm, and she was raised to love her country. She was raised to put her country ahead of herself. And as far as she was concerned, that meant that she had to be straight for the next several years. If her country needed her to be straight, then she'd be straight. Arizona was pulled out of her thoughts as the limo pulled to a stop in front of the business building. Cristina and Jackson stepped out first, as usual, and Arizona groaned internally when she saw the large crowd that had gathered, the flash of cameras started already. She really didn't know why the press felt the need to take her picture getting out of the car and walking to class. It wasn't a terribly interesting story. Yet at the beginning of each semester, and on random days throughout the term, there they were, wanting to take her picture, asking her to stop for an interview. So Arizona just blew out a deep breath and stepped out of the car. Cristina immediately wrapped an arm around her and they started walking to the classroom building, Arizona keeping her head down and trying to avoid making eye contact with any reporters. Jackson walked in front of them, making sure no one got too close. And there were, of course, other secret service agents in the vicinity. But Cristina Yang and Jackson Avery were her personal agents. Wherever she went, they were always right there with her. Arizona continued walking to class, ignoring the calls of "Arizona!" and "Miss Robbins!" Thankfully, the student body was used to the President's daughter attending school with them, so they didn't harass her or get in her way. The teachers and students on campus were more than respectful—it was only the reporters that caused a problem. Arizona was almost to the refuge of the business building—the press wasn't allowed inside—when she heard a distinctively different type of voice calling for her attention. Arizona turned around, her eyes searching the crowd for a moment before they found the little girl to whom the voice belonged. She was wearing a Robbins Montgomery campaign t-shirt and waving excitedly at Arizona, clearly wanting to greet the President's daughter. Sighing and letting out a dimpled smile, Arizona approached the little girl. She hated the press, but she took her job as a role model seriously. She tried to make time for little kids when they wanted to talk to her. "Hi," she smiled when she reached the girl, crouching down a little bit so she was at the girl's eye-level. "What's your name?" "Emily!" the girl exclaimed, looking overjoyed that Arizona had stopped to talk to her.

"It's very nice to meet you, Emily," Arizona said. "Do you want me sign that for you?" she asked, spotting a picture of herself in the girl's hands. "Yes," the girl nodded, giving Arizona a toothy grin. "Okay," Arizona said, gratefully accepting a permanent marker from the girl's mother and autographing the picture. "Here you go, Emily," she said, handing the picture back to the girl. "I'd love to talk to you more, but I have to go to class now, alright?" "Okay," Emily smiled. "Okay. See ya later." Arizona gave the girl one last smile before standing to her full height and heading into the business building. She looked up at the clock as she entered the building and silently cursed—she was going to be two minutes late to Accounting. Oops. "This is the required textbook," the teacher was saying as Arizona tried to slip into the classroom quietly (which was hard when two secret service agents followed her into every room she entered). "You need to actually b uy it because I'll assign homework from it every day, plus you'll use the same textbook in Advanced Accounting anyways." Arizona quickly spotted the back of Alex's and Teddy's heads in a row near the back left of the room, so she started heading in that direction. "And tardiness is very frowned upon," the teacher continued. "So I don't really care if your car broke or you hit traffic or your alarm clock didn't go off or you think the world waits for you because your daddy's the president," she said, looking pointedly at Arizona, "I expect you to be on time." Arizona felt her face flushing and she swallowed guiltily as she sat in the empty seat between her two friends. Busted. "Shut up, Alex," Arizona muttered under her breath, not needing to even look at Alex to know that he was getting a big kick out of her embarrassment. Then she turned to make eye contact with her other good friend, Teddy Altman. "Hey Teds," she said quickly. "Hey," Teddy smiled back. "Alright," the teacher said. "Those are the highlights of the syllabus. You can read the rest and email me if you have any questions. Today I'm gonna review what you should remember from intro accounting, and then on Wednesday we'll move on to new stuff." Arizona reached into her bag and grabbed a notebook and pencil, getting ready to take notes even though she had aced intro accounting. Then she finally looked up and focused on the front of the room for the first time. And her eyes bulged out of her head and her jaw dropped open slightly. Her teacher was hot. Like…mega, super, awesome, foxy, dirty hot. Arizona's eyes fell down to the syllabus Teddy had snagged for her and learned that her teacher's name was Dr. Callie Torres. Damn, even her name was hot. Arizona swallowed as she looked back up. Dr. Torres was dressed in a gorgeous dark grey skirt suit with an attractive red blouse underneath. The pencil skirt hugged her ass deliciously, her black heels made her legs look like sex itself, and her hair, makeup, and accessories were perfect. The woman was almost too perfect, every single thing in its place. And her eyes. Her eyes were a deep chocolate brown and were impossibly expressive. Arizona was suddenly very happy she was an accounting major. She wondered if Dr. Torres taught any other classes besides this one. The next several minutes of class passed pleasantly enough, Arizona drooling over her professor as they covered a bunch of basic accounting concepts that she already knew. She knew it was a rather strange thing to love, but Arizona loved accounting. She loved the order and absoluteness of it. There weren't grey areas. There was a right and wrong answer. It just seemed so sure and simple in a world full of uncertainty. And her parents had been alright with her selection of accounting as a major. Neither Arizona nor her parents thought she would actually be an accountant when she was finished. But it was a good foundation for law school, or it would give her the basic skills she would need to go into the business world. Arizona was zoning out, staring at Dr. Torres' breasts as the professor reviewed the Statement of Cash Flows, when her phone started playing her father's ringtone. "Shit!" Arizona cursed under her breath as she reached into her bag, rummaging through it to turn it off. She could have sworn she'd switched it to silent mode after she'd gotten off the phone with Alex. Her fingers had finally found the phone and she was pulling it out of the bag to shut it off when she heard her professor's voice. And it was coming from somewhere a lot closer than the front of the room.

"I'll take that please," Dr. Torres said. Arizona's eyes widened when she realized her professor was standing directly in front of her, hand outstretched. "Wha—what?" Arizona stuttered. "If you'd been on time, you would have heard that my class policy is that if your phone goes off, I answer it." "But…it's my dad…" Arizona said nervously. Dr. Torres just looked amused and held out her hand further. Arizona grimaced and handed her phone over to her beautiful teacher. "Mr. President?" the professor said, answering the phone. Arizona couldn't believe this was actually happening, and she was pretty sure Alex was in the process of actually dying from laughter. Teddy, on the other hand, looked appropriately mortified. "Yes, this is Dr. Torres, your daughter's accounting professor. I think she forgot to turn off her phone when she came to class." Arizona slumped back in her chair. Giggles were now erupting from various points in the classroom. "Well sir," Dr. Torres continued. "I would appreciate it if my taxes were a little lower." The professor paused while Arizona's father spoke. "Oh, yes, I guess that makes sense, sir." Another pause. "Yes, Mr. President, I would be happy to tell your daughter to call you back when she's done with class." Yet another pause. "No, thank you, Mr. President." Arizona looked up and gave Dr. Torres a sheepish, apologetic smile as the professor ended the call. She was relieved to see that the older woman looked more amused than angry or irritated. "You can have this back at the end of class," Dr. Torres said, waving Arizona's phone in the air before returning to the front of the room and resuming her lecture. Five minutes later, Arizona's phone rang again. Alex died all over again and Arizona was pretty sure her life was over as well. "Who the heck is Gisele Devaux?" Dr. Torres asked, looking at the caller ID. Arizona just snorted, too embarrassed at this point to even really care. "That's the first lady of France," she said simply. Dr. Torres' eyebrows raised, and she gingerly set the phone back down on the desk, apparently deciding that was more trouble than it was worth. "Okay," Dr. Torres said, again getting back to her lecture. "So, using the indirect method…"

*Chapter 2*: Chapter 2
AN: Really happy that so many of you seem to like this story! :) ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona adjusted her bag as she entered the hallway where all of the accounting professors had their offices, Cristina and Jackson in tow. She'd only been down this hallway once before, and that had been to meet with her assigned advisor to make sure she wanted to declare as an accounting major. She knew that other students often visited professors during their regular office hours, but Arizona usually didn't—school came very easily to her, and she'd never needed extra help. So it was with a little bit of nerves that Arizona continued down the hallway, her eyes peeled for office number 502, which, according to her syllabus, was where Dr. Torres was right now. It was later in the afternoon on Monday. Arizona had already finished her three classes for the day—accounting, finance, and French—and she was headed to Dr. Torres' office to apologize for disrupting class that morning. She'd had finance class immediately after accounting that morning, so she hadn't had a chance to speak to Dr. Torres earlier. She knew what had happened wasn't that big of a deal, but also she knew that she had made a less than stellar first impression on her new professor, and she wanted to rectify that. Arizona told herself it was because Dr. Torres was a member of the accounting faculty and it was important that she had the brunette's approval. But if she was really honest with herself, Arizona would have admitted that she was going to Dr. Torres' office because Dr. Torres was hot, and Arizona wanted to get on her good side. As Arizona neared 502, her ears picked up someone speaking in rapid Spanish, and a smile crossed her face when she realized the voice was coming from Dr. Torres' office. Her accounting professor was gorgeous, sexy, and spoke Spanish? The idea made Arizona's head spin. This woman was the stuff of wet dreams. Arizona came to a stop in the open doorway, poking her head inside to see if Dr. Torres was available. The Latina professor was chatting on her phone, but when she saw Arizona, she motioned for the blonde to come inside and take a seat. Arizona sat down and waited politely while Dr. Torres spoke on the phone for a few more seconds and then hung up. "Sorry about that," Dr. Torres said cheerfully. "You're not the only one with a father who calls at inopportune moments." Arizona laughed nervously. "Yeah, about that…" "Oh, don't worry about it, Arizona," Dr. Torres said with an easy smile. "I was just giving you a hard time. And in hindsight, I probably shouldn't have picked on you." "No, no, you were fine," Arizona said. "It was totally my fault I was late, and it was irresponsible of me to leave my phone on." "Well actually," the Latina chuckled, "apparently nothing interesting has happened today, because the biggest news story right now is that you were late to class because you stopped to make a little girl's dreams come true." "Oh," Arizona said, looking down as she blushed slightly at her teacher's praise. "That was nothing, really." "No, stuff like that is important," Dr. Torres said. "I mean, I'm a mom, and I know that my little girl would have just loved that." "Oh, you have a daughter?" Arizona asked. "Based on how pretty you are, I bet she's adorable." At Arizona's compliment, Dr. Torres smiled and gave a little awkward laugh, while Arizona's eyes widened and she felt her heart starting to race. She had not meant to say that. Thankfully, the professor recovered quickly. "Yeah, Sofia," she said, turning towards her computer and minimizing the window that she had up. Arizona smiled as the background picture was revealed. It was Dr. Torres sitting on a bench in a park, holding an absolutely adorable little girl in her lap. "Aww," Arizona gushed. "She's so cute! You and your husband must be so proud!" "Oh, I'm not married," Dr. Torres smiled, shaking her head and scoffing slightly. "I mean, her father's in the picture, and he's wonderful and very proud of her, but we were never together." "Oh, I'm sorry," Arizona said, wondering how exactly that worked. "I shouldn't have assumed."

"No, it's fine," the professor replied. "He's my best friend and we got drunk one night and well," she laughed nervously, "you know how that goes." Arizona's eyes bulged out of her head as her teacher continued to ramble. Apparently someone had a major case of over-sharing. "Oh, wow," Dr. Torres said suddenly, her eyes widening to match Arizona's expression. "I'm so sorry, I…wow, I should not have said that. Sometimes I just have the worst verbal diarrhea." "It's okay," Arizona replied, not knowing what else to say. This was certainly the strangest talk she'd ever had with a professor. "Could you maybe not tell anyone about this conversation?" Dr. Torres said, looking a little sheepish. Arizona smiled and nodded. "That won't be a problem, Dr. Torres." "Thank you," the Latina replied. "So uh, is there anything I can help you with?" "Oh, not really," Arizona said shaking her head. "I just came to apologize for this morning. I hate to get off on the wrong foot." "Oh, it's absolutely fine, Arizona," the brunette smiled. "Don't worry about it at all." "Thanks," Arizona smiled. "And um…you mentioned something at the end of class about an accounting club?" "Oh yeah!" Dr. Torres smiled excitedly, spinning in her chair to grab a piece of paper off of a stack on a file cabinet. Arizona couldn't help but smirk when she noticed that Dr. Torres had kicked off her high heels. "I kind of ran out of time to talk about it, so I'll talk about it more on Wednesday," she said, handing Arizona a flyer. "But we have our first meeting this Thursday night. It's only open to juniors and seniors, so you should be fine, and it comes with a decent time commitment. You're required to attend the meetings that we have when accounting professionals come in to talk, plus we have a mandatory community service requirement." "And you're the faculty advisor for it?" Arizona said, looking over the flyer. She knew she should probably just join the stupid club regardless, but seeing Dr. Torres one extra night a week certainly wouldn't hurt. "Mm hmm," the brunette nodded. "It's a really great opportunity. You really get to know the accounting community in the greater metro area, which will help with job opportunities after college. Plus, a lot of students just enjoy it for its own sake. It's a good way to make friends, and we do our best to make our community service projects really fun." "Okay, well I'll be sure to check it out," Arizona smiled, sticking the flyer in her bag. She knew Alex was going to give her crap about doing something as nerdy as joining an accounting club, but she didn't really care. And besides, he was in the school's investing club. That was nerdy, too. "Great," Dr. Torres nodded. "Oh, and hey, if you want to get more involved, we've still got some positions that need filling. The executive board is elected and made up of all seniors, but I'm still looking for an event planning chair and someone to maintain our Facebook page." "Alright, I'll think about it," Arizona said, standing up from her chair and throwing her bag over her shoulder. "I'll see you in class on Wednesday?" Dr. Torres smiled and waved at her as she exited the office. "I'll be there." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie Torres hummed to herself as she pulled her pearl white Audi TT RS into the driveway of the upscale townhomestyle duplex that she shared with Mark and Lexie Sloan. The duplex was located within walking distance of both Georgetown University and Georgetown University Hospital, where Mark and Lexie both worked as surgeons. She sometimes felt a little ridiculous driving to work each day, because it was a pitifully short commute, but she did it anyways. She loved her little Audi, and she wanted to drive it as much as humanly possible before she had to trade it in for a larger, more practical, four-door sedan. Sofia was two and a half, so the complete lack of leg room in the back seat wasn't yet an issue. But Callie knew that it wouldn't be too long before her little girl complained of being cramped. Callie smiled as she opened the front door to Mark and Lexie's side, a definite bounce in her step. She'd had a great first day of the semester. All of her classes had gone well, and she was enjoying the freedom of now being an associate professor. Having tenure was a great feeling—it meant that she'd have to do something pretty ridiculous before she

could get fired. The department still had very high expectations of her in terms of teaching, serving on committees, and publishing in the top journals, but the added job security felt nice. Not that it really mattered—she was a millionaire, thanks to her trust fund. "Hey guys, I'm home!" she called out as she stepped into Mark and Lexie's inviting foyer. She quickly kicked off her shoes and threw her blazer on a decorative table before walking further into the home in search of a certain two-year-old that she couldn't get enough of. "Mommy!" she heard a squeal from what sounded like the kitchen, followed by the quick pattering of little feet. "Hey, big girl," Callie smiled as her daughter came into view. She quickly walked towards Sofia and scooped her up in her arms, showing her with kisses. "How was your day, sweetheart?" she asked. "Did you have fun at daycare?" "No daycare," the little girl smiled, cuddling into her mother's neck as Callie settled her on her hip. "Shopping." "You didn't have daycare, today?" Callie asked, her brows furrowing as she followed her nose into the kitchen. She could have sworn that all three of them had been scheduled to work that day. Even though it was unconventional, Sofia's parenting arrangements worked great. Callie's schedule as a professor was flexible, and all of the classes she taught were on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, so she tried to stay home on either Tuesday or Thursday with Sofia (sometimes both), depending on Mark and Lexie's schedules. She was also pretty much guaranteed to not have any work on weekends or in the evenings, save for Thursdays when she had accounting club. Mark and Lexie's schedules were more variable, but they often had random days off during the week, which actually worked out for the best because Callie was free every weekend. So while Sofia could of course go to daycare every day of the week, there were often weeks where she went to daycare only once or twice. "Wow, Lex, that smells amazing," Callie gushed as she entered the kitchen to see Lexie frying up some vegetables on the stove. "Thanks, Callie," the petite brunette smiled. "It'll be ready pretty soon. Have a good day at work?" "Yeah," Callie nodded, sitting herself down on a stool and letting Sofia settle into her lap. "Sofia says she didn't have daycare today?" "Yeah," Lexie nodded, adding some seasoning to the pan. "I had a twelve-hour surgery scheduled for today that got pushed to tomorrow, so I just grabbed her and we spent the day shopping." "Oh yeah?" Callie smiled, turning to look down at her daughter. "Did you have fun shopping with Lexie, Sofia?" "Uh huh," the girl nodded, giggling when Callie gently tickled her sides. "Oh and Mark just called, he's on his way home now." Callie smiled at the information—it wasn't terribly common for the entire family to be home for dinner. It was frequently just Callie and Sofia, or them plus either Lexie or Mark. Callie loved it when they could all eat together. Sofia had been conceived when Mark and Lexie had been on a break. Mark had been distraught, he and Callie had gone out drinking, and they'd somehow wound up in bed together. Mark and Lexie had already reconciled by the time Callie discovered she was pregnant, and so things had been a little tense between the two women for a while. But that had been three years ago now, and it was mostly water under the bridge. They'd moved on from it, and their strange little arrangement worked great. Callie considered Lexie to be family, and she knew Lexie felt the same. Callie had even stood up in Mark and Lexie's wedding six months prior. "So," Callie said, several minutes later as the four of them sat down to dinner. Mark had arrived home and immediately snatched Sofia out of Callie's lap, making sure that his beloved daughter was smothered in snuggles. "I spoke with the President of the United States today." At that statement, both Lexie and Mark looked up at her with interested looks on their faces. Sofia, however, continued playing with her peas. "Wait, what?" Lexie laughed. "How?" "So you know that the president's daughter goes to Georgetown, right?" Callie started. "Wait, that total babe of a blonde that you have a crush on?" Mark asked.

"Mark…" Callie growled, a warning tone in her voice. During the campaign, after a few too many beers, Callie had admitted to Mark that she thought the Republican candidate's daughter was beyond beautiful. He had teased her about it the next day, and she'd made him swear never to bring it up again. "Whoa, whoa, hold on!" Lexie said. "Since when do you have a crush on Arizona Robbins?" "I don't!" Callie said, both amused and exasperated. "I told Mark I thought she was cute, like once. And I was drunk—I can't be held responsible." "I believe the exact phrase you used was 'She has a super magic smile'," Mark said with a playful smirk. Apparently he was in the mood to get Callie riled up. "Oh, good grief," Callie muttered, shoveling some chicken in her mouth and reaching down to pick up the sippy cup that Sofia had thrown on the floor. "Isn't she like like…what? Twenty years old?" Lexie asked. "That's a little bit of an age difference, Callie." "That's why I don't have a crush on her!" Callie said, food still in her mouth so the words came out a little mumbled. Mark and Lexie understood her meaning, though. "Uh huh," Mark said, winking at Callie. "Her boobs are way too hot for you to not have a crush on her." "Um, Mark," Lexie said, waving to get her husband's attention. "Hi. I'm here. At the table." "Right, sorry," Mark said, sinking into his chair a little bit with a sheepish look on his face. "Anyways," Callie said after taking a gulp of her water. "If it's alright for me to continue my story?" She looked at Mark pointedly. Mark nodded. "Thank you," she said. "So, like I said, Arizona Robbins goes to Georgetown, and it just so happens that she's in my ten o'clock. And you guys know how if one of my kids' phones goes off during class, I answer it?" "Oh no way," Lexie said, her eyes wide. "You answered her phone and it was the president?" "Uh huh," Callie nodded, a proud smirk on her face. "And I asked him to lower my taxes, and he said that he'd love to, but the Democrats in Congress are stopping him." "Those damn Democrats," Mark said, shaking his head. Callie and Lexie grinned at him. The three of them were all registered Democrats. Despite his cute daughter, Callie had not voted for Daniel Robbins. "So was she embarrassed?" Lexie asked. Callie nodded. "Yeah I think so. She actually came by my office hours later to apologize." "Aww, that's sweet," Lexie smiled. "Yeah, I actually felt kinda bad," Callie admitted. Callie was rather playful with her students in general, teasing them and giving them a hard time when it was appropriate. She found that it improved her relationship with them, and they paid better attention in her classes. But Arizona had just seemed so sweet when she'd come to apologize to Callie, that Callie had felt a little guilty. Being the president's daughter, Arizona probably had enough scrutiny and negative attention to deal with. She really didn't need for her teachers to embarrass her in class. "I'm sure she's fine, Cal," Mark said, shoveling some more fruit onto Sofia's plate when the two-year-old pointed to it. "She's the president's kid. She can take it."

*Chapter 3*: Chapter 3
"What the heck is an earnings response coefficient?" "A what?" "An earnings response coefficient," Arizona repeated from where she was lounging on her bed, laptop open. "I repeat my prior question," Teddy replied from Arizona's couch. "A what?" "It says here that Dr. Torres just published a paper on the intertemporal and cross-sectional determinants of earnings response coefficients." Teddy just made an incredulous face and stared at Arizona. "The what what determinants of what?" "Never mind," Arizona shook her head, turning back to her laptop, where a picture of Dr. Torres and a list of all of her accomplishments were currently displayed. She had quite the impressive resume—an undergraduate degree from Yale, a master's degree from Princeton, and then a Ph.D. from Harvard. And her list of publications was a mile long. Arizona was scanning through the titles, and she found that she had absolutely no idea what any of the papers were about. "Why are you looking at her publications anyways?" Teddy said offhandedly, not looking up from her own computer. Arizona's eyes flashed to her friend. If it had been Alex, and not Teddy, asking that question, the answer would have been "because she's hot as hell." But Teddy didn't know Arizona was gay, so instead Arizona just shrugged and said, "Dunno, just googling all my professors. There's nothing else to do." "Arizona," Teddy said, taking a sip of her Diet Coke, "You have a bowling alley, a pool, and a movie theater inside your house. You are not allowed to be bored." Arizona just giggled and clicked on a news article showing Dr. Torres accepting a teaching award. Teddy had a point. It wasn't that Arizona didn't want to be out to Teddy. Teddy was one of Arizona's closest friends, and it bothered her quite a bit that she had to hide a part of herself from her. But unlike Arizona's father, who had an anti-gay marriage stance for purely political reasons, Teddy's father was one of the most outspoken critics of homosexuality in the country. He was the governor of Arizona, ironically enough, and he'd been an adamant supporter of the state's constitutional ban on gay marriage. Arizona had never once talked about the issue with Teddy, so she didn't know where the blonde stood. In general, Arizona, Teddy, and Alex avoided talking about politics as much as possible, aside from making playful jabs at one another's parents. Deep down, Arizona had the feeling that Teddy didn't have as hard of a stance on it as her father, but Arizona didn't want to jeopardize their friendship by telling Teddy. It was just easier to allow Teddy to think she was straight. "Oh hey," Teddy chirped up after a few minutes. "You're in the headlines." Arizona frowned in confusion. She hadn't done anything, as far as she knew. "Why?" she asked, looking over at Teddy. "You stopped to give a girl an autograph," Teddy replied. "And that's news?" "Well, the Democrats are angry because the girl was wearing your dad's campaign t-shirt, so they think you were just doing it for political gain." Arizona rolled her eyes. The press could sell anything. "And the religious right is angry because when you crouched down to say hi to her, apparently you showed a lot of cleavage, which is a bad example for young girls." Arizona actually laughed out loud at that one. "Ooh, and ugly fat people are mad because you were wearing Abercrombie." "Wait, what?" Arizona wasn't following that one. "Oh, people have been mad at Abercrombie lately because the CEO or whatever made some statement about only wanting attractive people to buy their clothes."

Arizona snorted. "The CEO actually said that?" On one hand, Arizona thought political correctness was overdone, but on the other hand, some things were just plain rude. "Mm hmm," Teddy nodded. "And so people think you should stop wearing Abercrombie & Fitch because if you wear that brand, you and—more importantly—your father's administration, are implicitly condoning his statements." "Oh, kill me now," Arizona sighed. The world was ridiculous sometimes. "I think you should just say screw them all and become an Abercrombie model." "Oh, there's a brilliant idea," Arizona quipped. "What?" Teddy said. "You're hot enough to be an Abercrombie model. I mean, I'm following at least five Tumblr blogs that are dedicated to how hot you are." "Teddy!" Arizona giggled. "And I'm pretty hot too," Teddy continued. "Oh my gosh, so is Alex. The three of us should totally do a spread for them." "And hey," Arizona added, playing along. "If Alex comes too, then it'll be bipartisan." Teddy smiled widely and started nodding conspiratorially. "Now you're talking." Arizona just grinned and turned back to her computer, searching for anything else she could find on her ridiculously attractive accounting professor. But then Teddy interrupted her thoughts again a few minutes later with "Ooooh, how did I not know you were dating the blonde guy from One Direction? Can you get me concert tickets?" "Okay," Arizona sighed, slamming her laptop shut and standing from her bed. Then she grabbed Teddy's hand and started dragging her friend out of the room. "We are going bowling, because you have clearly had too much internet today." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie scowled as she adjusted Sofia on her hip and made her way from the parking garage to the business building. It was Thursday night, the first meeting of the accounting club that semester, and she had somehow ended up with her two-year-old. Mark and Lexie had both been scheduled to be home that evening, but then there'd been a massive pileup on the Beltway during rush hour, and they'd both been asked to scrub in on some emergency surgeries. There hadn't been a whole lot of time in between when they were called in and when Callie had to leave for accounting club, so she hadn't been able to find anyone to watch Sofia. She'd called all of her normal babysitters, but none of them had been available on such short notice, and she'd even called Erica Hahn, her closest colleague and frequent co-author. But Erica hadn't picked up, so there Callie was, dressed to the nines in her usual business suit with her somewhat cranky daughter on her hip. "Sofia, please stop pulling on mommy's earrings," Callie said, trying to keep her voice calm. She felt frazzled, but none of this was her daughter's fault. The little girl obeyed Callie immediately and instead started pulling on Callie's hair. "Sofia, don't pull my hair, either," Callie instructed softly. "It's not nice." "Wanna go home!" Sofia whined grumpily. Callie sighed. It was half past six in the evening, about a half hour before the meeting would begin. She really didn't have to get there ahead of time—her officers all knew what they were doing, and she was certain they were setting everything up at that very moment. But Callie liked to arrive to the meetings on the early side in case she was needed to put out any fires. It also gave her an opportunity to chat with her students, which was one of the best parts of the job. She loved mentoring students, giving them advice, and helping them make decisions about their future. It was immeasurably rewarding. But it was also an hour before Sofia's bedtime, so this was messing up her daughter's schedule. Normally at this time of night, just after dinner, Callie, Lexie, or Mark would be giving Sofia her bath and then reading her stories, making sure the little girl got plenty of cuddles before she went down for the night. And on every night except Thursday, after Sofia went to sleep, Callie would spend several hours working in her home office. It wasn't because she was a work-a-holic and couldn't stop working—she just did it to make up for the fact that she usually left her office around three in the afternoon. That was another thing Callie loved about her job—the flexibility. She worked the same amount of hours as any other

white-collar job, but she could move the timing and location of those hours around to maximize the amount of time she got to spend being a mom. Thursday night was the only night when she sacrificed time with her daughter. "I'm sorry, Sof," Callie said, nearing the entrance to the business building. "I know it's bath time. But we can't go home right now." "Whyyyyy," the little girl complained, starting to squirm in Callie's arms. "Cuz mommy has to work, and daddy and Lexie are at the hospital." "Daycare?" "Daycare's closed right now, sweetheart." "Mer'dith?" "Auntie Meredith is at the hospital, too." "Abuelo?" "Honey, you know your grandparents live in Miami. That's really far away." "Wanna go home!" the little girl cried, growing more and more agitated. Callie just let out a deep breath and counted to ten. Then she entered the room where the accounting club met and waved at her officers, who were setting out pizza and soda and sign-in forms. "Hey guys!" she called from across the room. A chorus of "Hey Dr. Torres!" and "Hey Sofia!" rang out from her officers. Callie had had her five officers over for a cookout a few weeks earlier to go over plans for the school year, and they'd all been thrilled to meet Callie's adorable little girl. Of course, that adorable little girl wasn't currently acting so adorable, now that she was missing bath time. "Hey is that your daughter?" came a voice that didn't belong to one of Callie's officers. Callie turned and noticed that the president's daughter and several Secret Service agents were also in the room. "Oh um, yeah," Callie nodded, adjusting Sofia on her hip as Arizona walked over to greet her. "You're rather early." "Oh," Arizona waved her hand in dismissal. "These guys had to check some stuff out, make sure the building was secure at this time of night and what not." Callie's eyes widened slightly at the thought. "Hi, Miss Sofia," Arizona said, finally coming to a stop in front of Callie. The petite blonde lowered her head a bit, so she was at Sofia's eye level, and gave the little girl her super magic smile. Just a smile, Callie corrected herself, trying to get what Mark had said the other night out of her head. She did not have crushes on her students. "I'm Arizona," the blonde said sweetly. "It's super nice to meet you." "I wanna go home!" Callie's mini-me pouted in response, burying her face in Callie's chest. Arizona grimaced adorably at Sofia's crankiness and stood back up to her full height. "Sorry," Callie said, apologizing for her daughter. "She's usually winding down at this time of night. Her dad and stepmom were supposed to watch her, but they got called into the hospital, and I couldn't find a sitter on such notice, so…" she said, letting a bit of her frustration show, "so I guess it's 'Bring Your Daughter to Work Night'." "Aww, I'm sorry," Arizona said, sympathy shining out of her eyes. "Could I maybe hold her for you? I'd be happy to let her sit with me during the meeting so you aren't distracted while you talk." Callie raised an eyebrow at the offer. She hadn't even thought of that option. She'd just been assuming that she'd be holding Sofia while she gave her introductory talk before the main speaker got started. "Oh, um, well, uh," Callie stuttered. "You don't really have to do that." "I don't mind," Arizona said happily. "I love little kids."

Callie balked at the president's daughter for a moment. Sure she'd seen lots of pictures of Arizona kissing babies on the campaign trail. She'd even seen a photo earlier that week of Arizona signing the autograph that had made her late for class—a photo in which the blonde had revealed a mouth-watering amount of cleavage. (She hadn't actually gone looking for the picture—Mark had been kind enough to set it as her phone background). But Callie had always assumed it was just for show. She'd never actually considered that maybe Arizona just liked kids. "Well um, if you're sure?" Callie asked. "Yeah, I'd be more than happy to," Arizona said, giving Callie a dimpled smile that made Callie's knees a little week. Why did this girl have to be so damned charming? And why had Mark felt the need to plant that seed in her mind? "Okay, well thank you," Callie smiled. "Hey Sof?" she said, getting her daughter's attention again. "This is Arizona. You're gonna sit with her for a while until mommy's less busy, okay?" "Wanna go home," Sofia whimpered. "I know, baby girl," Callie said, kissing the top of her daughter's head. "I'm sorry, sweetie." Callie nuzzled into her baby's neck affectionately before setting Sofia on her feet and giving Sofia's hand to Arizona. Callie's and Arizona's hands briefly made contact as the transfer took place, and it definitely didn't escape Callie's notice. Arizona, however, seemed unfazed, and immediately went into "little kid mode," asking Sofia how old she was and what she had done that day. Callie swallowed as she watched the blonde walk away with her daughter in tow. She had fleeting touches with numerous people during the day and it wasn't a big deal—it was just part of life. So why had she noticed touching Arizona? Dammit, Mark. Callie blew out a frustrated breath as she approached the front of the room and helped her officers with a few last minute details. And as she did, she made a mental note that she needed to go on a date. Because she was currently having some very dirty thoughts about a certain blonde who was making her daughter giggle, and that was unacceptable. Arizona was her student. And if Lexie was correct in her estimation that Arizona was twenty years old, then Callie was thirteen years her senior. Not to mention that Arizona was the president's daughter. It was just plain wrong on so many levels. Callie had had a healthy and active dating life—once. But then she'd had Sofia, and the dating had just sort of fallen away. Sofia was the light of her life, and Callie was overjoyed with every minute that she got to spend with her little angel. But the little girl was also very time-consuming, and dating just hadn't been a priority since Sofia had entered the world. But if Callie was mentally undressing a student of hers? That meant she was horny, and it was time to put herself back out there. As it drew nearer to seven o'clock, more and more students started to trickle in, so Callie found herself distracted by greeting students who had taken her classes before, meeting students who were just joining the club, and asking everyone how their summers had been. Every thirty seconds or so, out of a mother's habit, Callie's eyes searched for Sofia, always finding her under Arizona's watchful care. The blonde was apparently a natural with small children, because Sofia didn't look the least bit grumpy anymore. And Callie smirked to herself when she saw that two other politicians' kids, Alex Karev and Teddy Altman, were seated near Arizona. They weren't even accounting majors, and yet they were attending the accounting club. Apparently the blonde had some cronies. At seven, Callie called the meeting to order, introducing herself and the officers, and then explaining how the club worked for new members. She talked for a good twenty minutes, and was impressed that Arizona somehow managed to keep Sofia quiet the entire time. After her opening spiel, Callie handed the meeting off to the guest speakers for the night— representatives from a large accounting firm. Then she sat in the seat right next to Arizona, gratefully accepting Sofia back and letting the little girl almost instantly fall asleep in her arms. As the guest speakers kept talking and Sofia kept sleeping, Callie kept cursing Mark. Because for the life of her, Callie couldn't pay attention to what the people at the front of the room were saying. Her entire body was on alert, all of her senses zeroed in on the blonde sitting next to her. It was incredibly distracting. When the meeting drew to a close, Callie was instantly swarmed by more students wanting to say hi (she was a rather popular and well-liked professor) and other students who had questions about the academic and service requirements of membership in the club. Sofia was quickly growing fussy because of all the over-stimulation and the fact that Callie couldn't pay much attention to her, so when Arizona approached and offered to watch Sofia again, Callie didn't even hesitate, quickly handing Sofia over to the blonde with an enthusiastic "Thank you, thank you, thank you!" After what felt like forever, all of the students were finally gone, and Callie was left alone in the room with only Arizona and the Secret Service. "Oh my gosh, Arizona," Callie sighed, walking over to the blonde and accepting her daughter back. "I don't know how to

thank you. I don't think I could have handled tonight without you." "Oh, it was my pleasure Dr. Torres," Arizona said with that perfect dimpled smile again. "Sofia's a sweetheart." "Yeah, she's pretty great, isn't she?" Callie smiled as she looked down at her daughter. She knew that it wasn't the most modest thing to say, but she couldn't help it. She adored Sofia and despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, she was fairly convinced that her baby girl could do no wrong. "Hey, listen, Arizona," Callie said, reaching for her purse. "Can I pay you? I mean, you've practically been babysitting for me for the past hour and a half." "Oh, no," Arizona said, immediately shaking her head and gesturing for Callie to stop looking for her wallet. "It was fine, Dr. Torres, really. I don't have enough little kids in my life, so it was a treat." "Okay," Callie said, not quite pulling her hand out of her purse. "If you're sure?" "I'm sure," Arizona nodded. "Actually…" she said. "This might come off as sorta strange and so I totally get it if your answer is no, but…I would love to babysit sometime." Callie just furrowed her brow at her student. What? "Arizona," she said, shaking her head. "You…you're the president's daughter. I can't imagine that you need spending money." "Oh no, I don't," Arizona agreed. "But I don't have any young cousins, and we don't really go to church much so I don't see kids there, and I obviously don't have any neighbor kids wandering around and so…" the blonde shrugged. "So I miss kids. And, as you pointed out, I'm the president's daughter. Nobody asks me to babysit anymore." Callie just chuckled awkwardly at Arizona's explanation. Was she being serious? She really wanted to babysit for fun? "Okay, well, anyways," Arizona said, pulling a pen and piece of paper out of her bag. "This is my number just in case. I'm free more often than you'd think." Arizona looked up and held the slip of paper out to Callie. Callie swallowed and reluctantly accepted the piece of paper. "Oh, and um, don't put that in your phone as Arizona Robbins." "What?" Callie asked. "Like make up a random name. It's in case you lose your phone or it gets stolen or whatever. I don't want my number getting out." "Oh, oh, yeah of course," Callie said, picking up on Arizona's meaning. "Okay, well," Arizona said, shifting her bag on her shoulder. "I should probably be heading out. See you in class tomorrow." "Oh yeah, see ya," Callie said. Arizona flashed her one last dimpled smile and then walked out the door. Callie couldn't help but smirk a little bit when the very stern-looking Secret Service woman muttered "Phoenix is moving," into her microphone. Once the Secret Service had filed out and Callie was left standing alone with Sofia in the classroom, Callie let out a deep breath and looked down at the slip of paper that Arizona had handed her. It was a nice offer—you could never have too many good babysitters to call. But had the daughter of the President of the United States seriously just offered to be Sofia's babysitter? Sighing, Callie pulled out her phone, saved Arizona's number under "Dimples," and tore up the piece of paper, chucking it in the trash on her way out the door.

*Chapter 4*: Chapter 4
AN: Hi all! My lovely man is coming to visit me (yay!) this Friday-Tuesday. I *might* have another update before that, but I also might not. So if I disappear, don't worry, I'll be back once he leaves, and I'll probably be in an extra sappy mood lol. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "Hey Erica," Callie smiled as she stopped in the doorway of her colleague's office and leaned on the doorframe. It was just after three in the afternoon on Monday, and Callie was on her way out. Both Mark and Lexie were scheduled to work very long shifts, which meant that Callie got her little girl all to herself that night. She secretly loved it when that happened. Mark and Lexie were fantastic parents, but Callie was Sofia's primary caregiver, and sometimes Callie liked to have the opportunity to bond with her daughter alone. She wasn't exactly proud of that fact—it felt a little selfish to her, because she knew that the best thing for Sofia was to be around all three of her parents as much as possible. But it was the truth —Callie loved alone time with her daughter. After being somewhat distracted by Arizona Robbins' presence in class on Friday, Callie had tried very hard all weekend to get the gorgeous young blonde out of her head. By Sunday night, she had thought she was doing pretty well. Unfortunately, that thought went right out the window on Monday, because as soon as Arizona had walked into class on that morning, Callie's pulse had started to race and she'd started lusting after the president's daughter all over again. Callie didn't know what was wrong with her—this was ridiculous. Arizona was her student. And even if she wasn't, she was too young, too inexperienced, and also in a completely different stage of life than Callie was. So why did Callie feel such a pull towards her? It was infuriating. After her Intermediate Accounting class finished and Arizona left the room, Callie resolved to start dating again, as soon as possib le. Which was why she needed to talk to Erica. Erica Hahn, Callie's slightly older and blonde co-worker, turned around in her swivel chair upon hearing Callie's voice. "Hey Cal, what's up?" she asked in her gravelly voice. "What are you doing on Friday?" Callie asked, hoping the answer was "nothing." Before Sofia had been born, Callie had gone out with Erica on a regular basis. She found it easier to go to bars to pick up a date if she had a friend tag along with her. "Oh, probably just knitting a sweater and reading some Charlotte Bronte aloud to my cats," Erica replied sardonically, eliciting a snicker from Callie. "Why do you ask?" "Do you wanna hit up some bars with me?" Callie asked hopefully. Erica looked at her skeptically for a second before asking, "What are we, twenty-three again?" "Erica, I need a man," Callie replied. "I need a man soon. Like yesterday," Callie replied. A smirk appeared on Erica's face. "I thought you had decided you were bisexual." "Or a woman," Callie added quickly. "I'm not picky. I just really need to get laid." "Well if you're that desperate," Erica said, throwing down the copy of The Accounting Review she'd been holding, "then close the door and I'll take care of you right now." At that, Callie threw her head back and guffawed loudly. Erica Hahn was a little rough around the edges, and she didn't make friends too easily. But Callie thought she had an absolutely wicked sense of humor. "What, you think I'm kidding?" Erica asked, just making Callie laugh louder. "So is that a yes?" Callie giggled out when she finally caught her breath again. "Friday night works for me," Erica nodded. Callie's brow furrowed slightly at the look on Erica's face—there was something in the older blonde's expression that she couldn't quite make out. Erica almost looked…disappointed? "Okay, I'll meet you at Beacon at say…six?" Callie said, deciding Erica probably just had a case of the Mondays. "Sounds good," Erica said. "Okay," Callie smiled, pushing herself off of the door frame to stand up straight. "See you tomorrow, Erica," she said

cheerfully before turning to go. "Bye," Erica called out after her. As Callie exited the accounting department hallway, made her way out of the business building, and headed for her parking garage, she kept her eyes peeled for Arizona. She hated that she kept her eyes peeled for Arizona, but she did. And that was ridiculous. It was a large campus, with many different academic buildings, and the blonde could have been anywhere. Callie wasn't even certain Arizona was on campus to begin with at that time of day. But she couldn't help herself—wherever she was on campus, she found herself wondering (and if she was honest with herself, hoping) that Arizona would walk by. Callie groaned internally as she got into her Audi. This was why she needed to go out on Friday. As soon as she pulled out of the parking garage and headed in the direction of Sofia's daycare, Callie dialed the number of Becca, Sofia's favorite babysitter. Mark and Lexie had a couple of days off towards the end of the week and were taking a trip to attend a wedding, so Callie knew she had to find someone else to watch Sofia on Friday. But unfortunately, Becca was also going to be out town to visit her grandparents. Callie sighed to herself as she weighed her options. Meredith, Lexie's sister, was also attending the out-of-town wedding, so she couldn't ask her. Plus, in general, Callie tried to rely on Meredith as little as possible—she was still single and worked a ton—Callie didn't want to cramp her style by asking her to babysit on a Friday. So it was either Rachel—a babysitter that Sofia didn't like very much—or Arizona Robbins. Callie clenched her jaw as she stopped for a red light. Arizona had seemed great with Sofia during accounting club the prior week. And if Arizona had been telling the truth, and she really missed kids and wanted to babysit, then Callie felt it would be a little mean to deny her the opportunity. It wasn't Arizona's fault that Callie's heart rate sped up every time the blonde stepped in the room. Callie chuckled mirthlessly to herself at the thought. Arizona probably didn't even know Callie was alive. She was a twenty-year-old girl. Her head was probably full of hot guys and Taylor Swift songs. To Arizona, Callie was probably just a lame, old woman. No, Callie's sex-starved brain had simply invented their chemistry and had fabricated the jolt that Callie had felt when their hands had touched briefly. And getting laid on Friday would fix all of that. Rolling her eyes at herself, Callie instructed her car to call "Dimples," and waited for the president's daughter to pick up. If she really felt like babysitting, then Callie wasn't going to stop her. Callie wasn't going to punish the blonde simply because Callie found her to be distractingly irresistible. And plus, Sofia would probably be happier this way. "Hello?" Arizona's sweet, perky voice answered after a couple of rings. "Uh, hi, Arizona," Callie said, accelerating when the light turned green. "This is Callie Torres." Callie heard something like a muffled curse word followed by a loud clunk and then some more cursing. "Uh, Arizona?" Callie asked when the blonde hadn't said anything. "Sorry, Dr. Torres," Arizona replied after a moment. "I dropped my phone and it fell b etween my b ed and the wall." "Oh, that's okay," Callie chuckled, an image popping into Callie's head of Arizona's cute butt in the air as she looked for her phone. And then Callie mentally cursed herself and she gripped the steering wheel tighter when she imagined herself in the room with Arizona, slapping that ass. What was wrong with her?! Where were these thoughts coming from ?! Dammit! "Listen, um, Arizona—were you serious about wanting to babysit for me sometime?" "Oh, uh yeah," Arizona said, her voice sounding a little shaky to Callie. "Th—that would b e super!" "Okay, great," Callie replied. "Is there any chance that you would be free this Friday night? I mean, I know you're in college, so you probably have better things to do than play with a two-year-old, but—" "No, Friday would b e awesome," Arizona interrupted. "I don't have anything going on." "Oh, uh, okay," Callie said, somewhat surprised. She immediately felt happy at the thought of Arizona inside her home, and then she immediately felt guilty about the fact that it made her happy. "I have to leave about 5:40, so let's say come over at 5:15? I'll text you my address later?" "That works for me," Arizona said. "Thank you for thinking of me, Dr. Torres." "Sure thing, Arizona," Callie said as she pulled into a parking spot at Sofia's daycare. "I'll see you in class on Wednesday."

~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona squealed and did a little happy dance as soon as Dr. Torres hung up. When Arizona had offered to babysit the previous Thursday, she had gotten the sense that the professor had been a little weirded out. Arizona had been disappointed but not too surprised. She felt a strong desire to become friends with and hang out with the gorgeous Latina, but she knew that it wasn't exactly normal for professors to be friends with their students. But Dr. Torres had just called her and asked her to babysit! So Arizona felt like she at least had her foot in the door. And Arizona was also excited at the prospect of playing with Sofia—the blonde hadn't been lying when she'd said that she missed the opportunity to play with little kids. "What was that all about?" Alex called from where he sat at Arizona's desk. He looked up from his textbook and pulled one of his earbuds out so he could hear her. "Dr. Torres just asked me to babysit," Arizona said, a triumphant grin on her face. Alex rolled his eyes. Arizona had told Alex all about how ridiculously hot she thought their accounting professor was. Alex had just shrugged and said that if offered, he wouldn't turn the teacher down. "You know that she's gonna be there for like two seconds, and then you're just stuck with her whiny, snot-covered terror the whole night, right?" Now it was Arizona's turn to roll her eyes. Alex pretended to be all tough and ornery, but Arizona knew that he had enjoyed sitting next to Sofia at accounting club, whether he would admit it or not. "I like little kids," Arizona argued. "And besides, it gets me an in with Dr. Torres." "An in for what?" Alex asked incredulously. "She has a kid because she had sex with a dude, Arizona, which means she's straight. And you're determined to be deep in the closet for at least the next three years, which means you're straight for all intents and purposes. What's your end goal here?" "I don't know," Arizona said, suddenly feeling defensive. "I just like her, okay? I wanna get to know her better." "Whatever," Alex said, shaking his head at what he perceived to be just another one of Arizona's stupid crushes. Arizona didn't know what her end goal was, and that was part of the problem. She had no idea what she was doing. Callie Torres had to be in her early-to-mid-thirties. She was a university professor and a mother. And she was straight. But for some reason, Arizona just felt drawn to her. It didn't matter that in all likelihood, the professor only saw Arizona as a kid. It didn't matter that Arizona was Dr. Torres' student, so any relationship between them would be frowned upon, if not prohibited outright by university policy. None of it mattered, because Arizona had never felt so ridiculously attracted to someone in her life. She found it almost impossible to focus in accounting class, as all she could do was stare at Dr. Torres' body. And when she wasn't in class, Arizona wondered where Dr. Torres was, wondered what she was doing. Arizona knew in her head that nothing could come of it—the relationship was off-limits and Dr. Torres couldn't possibly be interested. But even though it made no rational sense, Arizona couldn't stop herself. She needed to be close to the Latina, in whatever way possible. And if that meant just being her babysitter? Arizona would take it. It was something. "Hey, I finished the finance reading," Alex said. "Wanna start the homework now?" "Yeah, sure," Arizona said, standing from her bed and saving Dr. Torres' number in her phone under "Caliente," smirking to herself at her little play on words. Then she asked, "Do you have any idea where Teddy is?" "I think she went down to the West Wing to flirt with the Deputy Communications Officer." Arizona just raised her eyebrows and looked at Alex with disbelief. "Again?!" ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona's eyes bulged out of her head and her jaw dropped slightly when Dr. Torres came to answer the door. Hot. Damn. Arizona had thought that Dr. Callie Torres in a power suit and heels was the hottest thing on the face of the earth, but she had been wrong. So, so, wonderfully wrong. Arizona had never been happier to be wrong in her entire life. A surge of arousal coursed through Arizona's body as her professor opened the door and welcomed her inside. Dr.

Torres was dressed in jeans that were impossibly tight, making it painful for Arizona to not reach out and squeeze the Latina's ass right there and then. Paired with the jeans was a casual black top that was fairly simple, but Arizona was certain it was her new favorite thing in the world because it revealed what seemed like miles and miles of perfect caramel cleavage. Sofia was on Dr. Torres' hip and cuddling against her chest, which pleasantly softened the professor's otherwise edgy look. And the little girl's hand was resting innocently on her mother's breast, inadvertently pulling the top down farther than it was supposed to go and revealing a sexy-as-hell lacy black bra. Arizona knew she'd have to find a way to thank Sofia for that later, but at the moment, Arizona wasn't sure she could even stand up straight. The only thing Arizona could do was swallow. There had been several nights in the past two weeks where Arizona had conjured up some sexy images of Dr. Torres, using fantasies of the professor to spur herself on to release when she was alone in her bed. But those fantasies didn't even come close to what was actually in front of her. This image? This was an image that Arizona wanted filed away for the rest of her life. Arizona was pretty sure that the socially conservative side of her father's political party didn't even want it to be legal for a woman to look this good. "Hey Arizona!" Dr. Torres smiled. "Come in, come in." "Thanks," Arizona said, trying to stop herself from gawking. "Um, this is Cristina," she said, introducing the Secret Service agent who had followed her inside. "I've seen you in class," Dr. Torres said, reaching out to shake the agent's hand. "It's nice to meet you, Cristina." "Likewise, ma'am," Cristina nodded curtly, accepting the handshake. "Oh, you can call me Callie," the Latina chuckled lightly. Arizona wished that Dr. Torres would tell her the same thing, but she knew that wouldn't happen—Arizona was her student. "She's not gonna call you that," Arizona quickly informed her professor. Cristina Yang was excellent, no—flawless—at her job, and Arizona appreciated the fact that she didn't report back to the president whenever Arizona did something he wouldn't approve of. But otherwise, Cristina and Arizona didn't really get along. They didn't fight per se, but they had pretty much nothing to talk about, and almost no actual relationship to speak of. Cristina was all business, and Arizona could tell that she had a quick wit and sense of humor, but she was generally unpleasant, and not at all friendly. "Yeah, I'm not gonna call you that," Cristina quickly agreed. "Um…okay," Dr. Torres said, looking at Arizona questioningly. Arizona just shook her head, giving her professor a look that said "Don't ask." Dr. Torres smiled awkwardly and then turned her attention to her daughter. "Hey Sofia, do you remember who this is?" she asked softly, gesturing to Arizona. The little girl looked at Arizona and nodded, but then nestled even further into her mother's chest as if to hide herself from the two strange women standing in the entryway. Arizona gulped as even more of Dr. Torres' bra came into view. Yeah, Sofia was definitely getting rewarded with ice cream or candy that night. "Aww, don't be shy, baby girl," Dr. Torres coaxed to Sofia, finally noticing the state of her shirt and fixing it. "Arizona's here to play with you, and Cristina's gonna…" "Stay out of the way," Cristina quickly supplied. "She doesn't do kids," Arizona explained, shaking her head. "Um, okay," Dr. Torres laughed nervously, apparently not knowing quite what to do with Arizona's stern Secret Service agent. "Well uh," she said, readjusting Sofia on her hip, "can I show you around?" "Sure," Arizona said, nodding and smiling. She started following Dr. Torres further into the home, trying not to stare at her bottom too much, and was relieved when Cristina remained in the entryway. Cristina had insisted on coming in instead of sitting in the car with Jackson, but she'd promised to stay out of Arizona's hair as much as possible. Arizona was impressed with the décor of Dr. Torres' home. The architecture of the townhome was gorgeous, and it was beautifully decorated. Arizona couldn't help but feel like she was smack dab in the middle of a Pottery Barn catalogue. Everything looked modern and sleek, yet homey and comfortable. The home was a little on the formal side, which didn't surprise Arizona given Dr. Torres' immaculate appearance at work, but it wasn't so formal that it gave off a stuffy air or made Arizona worried that she couldn't touch anything. She was surprised by the lack of mess, however. There were no toys anywhere to be seen, and if she didn't know better, she would think that no children lived in the home. The entire

living space looked pristine and polished, stylish and sophisticated. It just further reinforced the fact that Dr. Torres was a successful, classy, independent woman, and there was no possible way she would ever see Arizona as anything but a college kid. "Have you had dinner yet?" Dr. Torres asked, leading Arizona to the kitchen after showing her the living, family, and dining rooms. "No, but I brought a sandwich in my bag," Arizona said. "Okay," the professor nodded, setting the little girl down on the floor. "I already fed Sof, but it was a little earlier than she's used to, so she might want a snack before bed. I usually just stick to fruit or crackers, but she'll really love you if you give her i-c-e c-r-e-a-m," Dr. Torres said, spelling out the word. "And help yourself to anything in the fridge, except," Dr. Torres paused, narrowing her eyes at Arizona. "How old are you?" "Uh, twenty…" Arizona said, not sure why her professor was asking. "Alright, so help yourself to anything except booze, then," Dr. Torres teased. Arizona just giggled slightly at the idea. She would never dream of drinking alcohol when she was babysitting, whether she was of legal age or not. "Hey Sofster!" Dr. Torres said, crouching down in front of her daughter with an excited expression on her face. Arizona tried not to react to the added cleavage that was now on display, even though she wanted to do nothing more than bury her face in it. "Do you wanna show Arizona your bedroom?" "Yeah!" Sofia squealed excitedly, running out of the kitchen and towards the staircase as quickly as her little legs would carry her. Her mother and Arizona followed closely after her, and Arizona couldn't help but snort when Sofia caught sight of Cristina still standing near the door and turned right around, retreating to the safety of her mother's legs. "Oh, honestly, Sofia!" Dr. Torres sighed, scooping up her daughter and placing her back on her hip before starting to climb the stairs. Arizona followed her professor up the stairs and again found herself staring hopelessly at the Latina's delicious ass. Arizona mentally told herself to cool it—this was getting ridiculous. Dr. Torres was her professor—she shouldn't be checking her out so obsessively. "Alright," Dr. Torres said, opening a door and flipping on the lights before setting Sofia down. A broad smile crossed Arizona's face as she entered the room—this was why there were no toys anywhere else in the house—they were all in here. Sofia's bedroom was massive, and the little girl's parents had obviously gone all-out in decorating it with a fairytale theme. The bed looked fit for a perfect little princess—it even had a little platform above it with stairs on one side and a slide on the other so Sofia could pretend to be on top of a castle. The room was well-organized, with a tidy shelf full of children's books next to a comfy-looking couch and several bins of different categories of toys. But Dr. Torres didn't appear to be an overly strict mother, because it was clear that Sofia was allowed to make messes in the room. In fact, one of the walls of the bedroom had been painted white, instead of pink, and it looked as though Sofia was actually encouraged to use her crayons on it. "So this is obviously Sofia's room. She's allowed to leave stuff out in here, but if she plays with a toy somewhere else in the house, she has to put it away as soon as she's done with it, isn't that right, Sof?" The professor looked at her daughter pointedly. Sofia looked up at her mother and nodded. Dr. Torres snorted and looked at Arizona. "She agrees now, but just wait 'til she wants to get a new toy out before putting the other away, and you don't let her. She'll react like you shot her puppy." Arizona smiled at the mother's honest evaluation of her daughter—the blonde knew how little kids could be. "Alright," Dr. Torres said, clasping her hands. "I already bathed her, but she was adamant that she didn't want to put her pjs on until bed time. She can get her pj pants on just fine, but she can't seem to figure out how to put a shirt on to save her life, so you'll have to help her with that. And she's mostly potty-trained, but sometimes she gives you very little notice. So if she seems a little panicky when she tells you, pick her up and run to the bathroom. And I mean run. And you have to remind her to wash her hands every single time." Arizona grinned at that information—she'd come fully expecting to have to change a diaper or two that evening. Not having to do that particular chore was welcome news. "Okay, um, that's about it," Dr. Torres said. "Bedtime is at seven-thirty, and I usually read her a book or two. Do you have

any questions?" "Um, nope," Arizona said, shaking her head. "I think that's about it." "Okay great," Callie said, picking up Sofia and carrying her out of the room and back downstairs. "I'm not sure how long I'll be gone, but I'll do my best to be back by midnight. And you've got my cell if you need anything." "Yep," Arizona nodded. "And I left a list on the counter of her dad and stepmom's numbers. They're out of town, but if you need to get a hold of a parent and for some reason you can't get me, they'll have their phones on. I also put down some other emergency contacts and her doctor's name and poison control and all that stuff." "Okay," Arizona nodded again, impressed by what a responsible mother the professor was. Sofia was clearly loved and well taken care of. No one would have guessed that she was the accidental result of a drunken one night stand. "Okay," Dr. Torres repeated back, a large smile crossing her face. "Hey Sofia," she said, looking down at the girl in her arms. "Arizona's gonna have fun with you until you go to bed, and then I'll be back when you wake up, okay baby?" "No, mommy," Sofia whimpered, snuggling into her mother's chest. "But honey, you had lots of fun with her at mommy's accounting club, remember?" Sofia just made an adorable pout and shook her head. Arizona smiled at the little girl's attachment to her mother. "Aww, sweetie," Dr. Torres said, making a sad face in empathy for her daughter. "You know how when Becca comes to play with you, you have a really good time?" The little girl reluctantly nodded. "Well you're going to have just as much fun with Arizona." The little girl thought for a moment and then looked up at her mother. "Ice cream?" Dr. Torres let out a little laugh and then nodded. "Yeah, baby girl, she's gonna give you some ice cream." Then Dr. Torres sent a little wink at Arizona to let her know ice cream was okay, which caused Arizona to swoon involuntarily. She hoped the professor hadn't noticed. "So mommy's gonna go now, Sofia. I love you so much," she said, leaning down to smother Sofia's cheek in kisses. "And I'll be home before you know it." "No, mommy!" the little girl protested again, tears threatening to spill down her cheeks. "Yes, Sofia," Dr. Torres nodded firmly. Then she smiled at Arizona and starting shifting Sofia out of her arms, gesturing for Arizona to take her. Arizona stepped forward to accept the little girl, and her entire body stood at attention when the professor briefly touched her during the transfer. Arizona swallowed hard. The same thing had happened at the accounting club meeting the week before. It was as if an electrical jolt travelled through her body at the slightest contact with the gorgeous woman. "Bye, honey!" Dr. Torres smiled, quickly picking up her purse and keys from where they sat on a side table and gesturing to Arizona that she was leaving. Arizona nodded in understanding—it was sometimes easier if the parent left quickly, instead of a long, drawn-out goodbye. "Mommy, no! Mommy!" Sofia called out after her mother's departing figure. Arizona couldn't blame the little girl—she didn't really want the Latina to leave either. "Hey Sofia!" Arizona said, a huge smile on her face. It was time to distract Sofia from her mother's unwelcome absence. "Do you wanna show me your toys?" she asked excitedly. "I would love to see them!" The little girl just whimpered quietly for a few minutes, not seeming to be interested in playing with Arizona. But gradually she began to perk up, and before long, she and Arizona were busy playing princess.

*Chapter 5*: Chapter 5
AN: Woo! I always know what needs to happen in each chapter, but sometimes writing it is a whole other beast. Sometimes it just comes flowing out, and sometimes it takes a lot of effort. Thankfully, this just came flowing out tonight, so I was able to finish it before I gotta stop and focus on real life for a while lol. I'll be back as soon as I can… probably update next Wednesday or Thursday? Also, I just want to thank everyone who has been reading, commenting, and reviewing. I get so excited every time I see that I have a new review, and it means a lot to me to know that you are enjoying the story! So thanks so much, and I hope you like this chapter as well. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie blew out a deep breath as she stepped off of the elevator and made her way out to the rooftop lounge. The Beacon Sky Bar offered great rooftop views and a nice, laid-back happy hour atmosphere. It had been a while since she'd been there with co-workers, and in her opinion, it was a pretty fun place to spend a late-summer evening. Not that she really wanted to stay there long—she was hoping to pick up a guy, grab a cheap hotel room, and get laid. Quick and dirty. That way she could be back home by midnight, with Arizona Robbins pushed right out of her head. Her life could go back to normal—the blonde would no longer be haunting her every step. Callie quickly scanned through the crowd, checking to see if Erica was there yet. After a moment, she spotted her coworker leaning against the bar, apparently waiting for her drink. "Hey Erica," Callie said, walking up to the blonde. Erica's ice blue eyes quickly swept up and down Callie's body, an amused smirk forming on her lips. "Wow, you look nice," Erica commented. "Oh, uh, thanks," Callie smiled, feeling a little bashful. She wasn't used to dressing this provocatively, but she was on a mission that night. She needed to get Arizona out of her head. Erica looked her up and down again. "You weren't kidding about needing to get laid, were you?" Callie just shook her head. No, she was not. "Well," Erica said. "If it doesn't work out, my offer still stands." Callie just gave Erica a look and laughed uncomfortably. Erica offering to sleep with Callie had been funny the first time, but now the joke was getting a little awkward. Which Callie thought was strange, because Erica's humor was almost always spot on. "Here you are, ma'am," a bartender said, sliding Erica's drink to her. Then he looked at Callie. "Can I get you something to drink?" "Sure," Callie nodded, thankful for his timing. For some reason, Erica had just been…off lately. Callie hoped that it wouldn't get in the way of her performance as Callie's wingman. "I'll just have some red wine, any kind is fine." The bartender nodded and Callie's eyes flashed back to Erica. "So, Arizona Robbins is babysitting for me tonight," Callie said, figuring that was a good conversation starter. It wasn't just any day that the president's daughter watched your kid. But a moment after the words left her mouth, Callie groaned internally. She was at this very bar with the express purpose of getting rid of her ridiculous crush on the young woman. So why was the blonde the first thing she brought up? Erica's eyebrows shot up. "Really?" Callie nodded. "Yeah. Crazy, huh?" "How did that happen?" Erica asked, taking a sip of her drink. "I really don't know," Callie chuckled. "I had to bring Sof with me to the first accounting club meeting this semester, and Arizona was just sorta taken with her, and asked to babysit sometime." "Both Mark and Lex are working tonight?" "No," Callie said, pausing to smile at the bartender when he delivered her wine. She took a sip and hummed appreciatively—a nice raspberry zinfandel. "No," she said, continuing her explanation. "They're out of town, and the

normal sitter couldn't make it. So the daughter of the president is currently playing with my two-year-old, and there are Secret Service agents both in and outside my house." "Well that's good," Erica smirked. "If Robbins doesn't know CPR, I'm sure that they do." Callie shrugged in agreement at that statement. She hadn't thought of that. "She seems like a nice enough girl, though," Erica added. "Oh you know her?" Callie asked. She hated it, but her curiosity about Arizona was insatiable, and she found herself wanting to know everything Erica knew about her. So much for pushing Arizona out of her brain for the night. Erica nodded. "She was in my managerial accounting class last semester. Got the high score in the class." "Well aren't you just a dirty little FERPA violator," Callie teased. As professors, they weren't technically allowed to discuss a student's grades with anyone but the student. Erica snorted and rolled her eyes. "Somehow, I don't think she's gonna sue me for telling you she's a genius." "Hmm," Callie said, taking another sip of her wine and narrowing her eyes conspiratorially. "I'm telling Richard." "Oh, I'm so scared," Erica said sarcastically. Richard Webber ran a tight ship around the accounting department, but he wasn't an overly controlling boss. Callie grinned at Erica and then turned around when she heard a throat clearing behind her. Her eyes landed on two attractive men who were clearly seeking the attention of the two accounting professors. "Evening ladies," one of them said, looking at Callie's breasts instead of her eyes. He was tall, broad-shouldered, and athletic looking. Callie quickly appraised him and determined that he would do—she'd slept with worse. And it wasn't as though she was looking for anything except a quick lay—she just needed a quick fix to calm her raging libido, so she wouldn't have any unwanted crushes on inappropriate people. "I'm Spencer, and this is Devin," he said, indicating to his friend. "And we were wondering if we might interest you two in a bite to eat? Maybe some drinks?" "I'm Callie," she smiled at Spencer. "This is Erica," she said, inclining her head towards the blonde. "And um," she said, glancing at Erica to see if she had any objections. "Sure," she shrugged, after Erica offered no protests. "That would be great." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona tried hard not to laugh out loud as Sofia struggled with her clothing. Dr. Torres hadn't been kidding about the twoyear-old's complete lack of ability when it came to putting a shirt on. The toddler had handled the pajama pants like a pro, easily sticking her legs in and pulling them up. But the pajama shirt was a disaster. Sofia had insisted on trying to put it on herself, and Arizona found herself wishing she had a video camera. "Okay, sweetie," Arizona giggled when Sofia tried to put her head through a sleeve for what had to be the tenth time in a row. "Would it be alright if I helped you with that?" Sofia pouted for a second but then handed Arizona the shirt. "Okay, cutie-pie, arms up," Arizona instructed. The little girl lifted her hands above her head so that Arizona could easily get her arms and head through the correct holes. "There you go," Arizona smiled, playfully tweaking Sofia's nose once the shirt was on. "Thank you," Sofia said sweetly. "You are very welcome!" Arizona said enthusiastically, pleased with the girl's politeness. After Sofia had gotten over her mother's departure, she'd been perfectly well-behaved the entire evening. Arizona had been around her fair share of twoyear-olds in the past, and Sofia was easily the best-mannered one she'd ever met. Arizona was sure that it was either due to Dr. Torres' clearly superior genetics, or excellent parenting, or perhaps both. "Brush teeth?" the little girl asked, clearly familiar with her bedtime routine. "Yup," Arizona nodded, leaning down to pick the toddler up to carry her to the bathroom down the hall. But Sofia started fussing and clearly wanted to walk there herself, so Arizona quickly set her down again and instead followed closely behind her. Once in the bathroom, Sofia climbed up the step stool so she could lean over the sink, and she picked up a

little purple toothbrush and held it out for Arizona. "Oh, no," Arizona shook her head. "I'm not brushing my teeth right now. Thank you though." Sofia just frowned at her and looked confused. She looked down at the toothbrush and then looked back up, giving Arizona an expectant look. "What?" Arizona asked. "Paste," Sofia grumped out. "Oh!" Arizona said, realizing what Sofia wanted. She quickly grabbed the tube of toothpaste off the countertop and squeezed some out on Sofia's toothbrush. "There you are, sweetie." When Sofia had finished brushing her teeth—Arizona making sure she didn't miss any spots—the toddler led the way back to her bedroom and walked up to the bookshelf, grabbing "Goodnight Moon," before hopping happily into her princess bed. But then a pout appeared on Sofia's face as the little girl looked around her bed and seemed to think something was missing. "Blanket," she frowned. "What?" Arizona asked, casting a glance around the room for something that looked like a baby blanket. When she didn't see one, she got on her hands and knees and checked under the bed—there was no blanket there either. "Sofia, I don't know where your blanket is," Arizona sighed, quickly lifting the bed covers to make sure the girl hadn't kicked her blanket to the end of the bed in her sleep the night before. "Mommy!" the girl suddenly said excitedly, jumping off the bed and running out of the room. Arizona's brow furrowed. It was quarter past seven—way too early for Dr. Torres to be home—and she hadn't heard anything to indicate that anyone had opened the front door. But when Arizona followed the little girl out of the room, she saw that Sofia was walking past the staircase and towards another room on the second floor. Sofia ran past several doors before finally stopping at one and reaching up to open the doorknob, letting herself inside. Arizona walked in after her and casually flicked on the lights. And then Arizona stopped. And swallowed. This was Dr. Torres' bedroom. It was gorgeous and elegantly decorated, once again reinforcing to Arizona that her professor was sophisticated and polished and so completely out of Arizona's league. Arizona's eyes automatically landed on Dr. Torres' bed, and she tried to continue breathing normally as a series of images flashed through her head. Arizona on her b ack, writhing in pleasure at the feeling of Dr. Torres deep inside her. Dr. Torres on her b ack, panting and moaning with Arizona's head b etween her legs. Arizona smiling and caressing Dr. Torres' gorgeous raven-b lack hair. Dr. Torres' sexy, luscious mouth on Arizona's b reasts. Arizona let out a slow, deep breath, mentally coaching herself to get a grip. Dr. Torres was gorgeous and sexy—she probably entertained company in this room on a regular basis. But Arizona would not be one of the people who would ever have the pleasure of being in that bed with its owner. "Okay!" Arizona was startled out of her reverie and looked down, seeing Sofia holding a ratty-looking blanket covered in pastel pinks, yellows, and greens. Apparently that was what Sofia had meant by "Mommy"—she'd remembered that her baby blanket was in her mother's room. "Okay," Arizona nodded, shaking her head slightly to force herself back to reality. "Let's go read your book, Sofia!" Sofia smiled and skipped happily out of the room, headed back to her bedroom. Arizona swallowed and cast one last longing glance at Dr. Torres' bed before turning the light off and closing the door behind her. As Sofia climbed back in beneath her covers—now complete with her baby blanket—Arizona sat gingerly on the edge of the bed, not wanting to invade the little girl's privacy. But Sofia quickly gestured for Arizona to sit more fully on the bed and lean back against the big, pink pillows. Arizona immediately obliged the little girl, and was delighted when Sofia climbed into her lap without hesitation. Sofia excitedly opened the book to the first page and then pointed at it. She craned her neck up to look at Arizona, an adorable smile on her face. Arizona smiled down at her—this little girl was melting her heart. Arizona loved kids in general, but Sofia was so happy and cute and cuddly. Arizona certainly hoped that she'd be asked to babysit again, and not just because of the fact that it got her on Dr. Torres' good side. Sofia was absolutely delightful. "Okay," Arizona sighed, adjusting her position a little bit and peering down to look at the book. She took another deep breath, pushing Dr. Torres fully out her mind to focus on the task at hand. "In the great green room, there was a

telephone and a red balloon and a picture of the cow jumping over the moon…" ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "Thank you," Callie smiled at the cab driver as she handed him his payment and stepped out onto her sidewalk. As the cab drove off, she smiled at waved at the Secret Service agent sitting in the black car parked right outside her house. Whereas Cristina seemed harsh and ornery, this guy—Callie didn't know his name—was all kinds of hunky. To the point that she wondered why in the world he was a Secret Service agent. He could have easily made a killing as a model or the guy that Britney Spears was in love with in her music videos. But instead, he had chosen to spend his life carrying a gun and babysitting an adorable twenty-year-old girl. Go figure. Callie grimaced to herself at that thought—Arizona was still as adorable to Callie as she had been several hours ago. And Callie was at a loss as to why that was. Callie had gone out, found a decent-looking guy, and then gone back to his hotel room with him. But she hadn't been able to get Arizona out of her head. The sex had been good—great even. Spencer had been flirty and sexy and had a very nice body. Callie had certainly enjoyed her night with him. But she still found her mind drifting to Arizona, and she was more than a little excited to see the blonde again. Somehow, the idea of coming home to Arizona and Sofia had Callie feeling giddy. Maybe she needed to try a gay bar. Maybe Callie was infatuated with Arizona because Arizona was so pretty, sweet, and feminine. Maybe Callie was just craving the gentle touch of another woman. Maybe that would do the trick. Callie nodded her head as she put her key in the lock and opened the door to her home. Yes, that had to be it. She would try a gay bar the next week. And she would make sure that the woman she slept with was a brunette or a red head—sleeping with a blonde would not be a good idea, as it would likely just make her think of Arizona even more. Callie closed the door and then smiled awkwardly at Cristina before setting her bag and keys on the side table and then quietly making her way up the stairs. Arizona had texted her when she had been between rounds with Spencer— apparently Sofia had had a nightmare and was asking Arizona to lay in bed with her, and the blonde had wanted to check to make sure that that was alright with Callie. Callie has been impressed with the blonde's thoughtfulness and politeness—Callie had come home to see Becca sleeping next to Sofia on several occasions, and Becca had never thought to ask permission. It was, of course, absolutely fine with Callie—she had no concerns that the either of the babysitters would ever do anything to harm Sofia. When Callie got to the top of the stairs, she headed for her daughters room. And when Callie opened the door and her eyes fell on Arizona and Sofia, softly illuminated by Sofia's nightlight, Callie's felt as though her heart was being squeezed inside of her chest. Arizona and Sofia looked angelic. Whenever Becca slept in Sofia's bed, they usually just laid next to each other, not touching very much. But Arizona was sleeping on her back, her golden hair splayed out gorgeously against Sofia's pillow, and Sofia was sleeping almost entirely on top of Arizona, her head nestled against Arizona's breasts. They both looked completely comfortable and at peace, and Callie couldn't help but smile softly at the protective arm that Arizona had wrapped around her daughter, holding Sofia tightly to her chest. Callie swallowed as she watched Arizona and Sofia sleep from where she stood in the doorway. As far as Callie could think, this was the first time she had ever felt, well…jealous of her daughter. Callie wanted to be snuggling with Arizona. Callie wanted to be resting her head on Arizona's breasts, the blonde's arm wrapped around her. At that moment, Callie wanted nothing more than to climb into the small bed with Arizona and Sofia, cuddling happily with them all night long. And that thought terrified her. Because at that moment, Callie knew that this wasn't something that was going to just go away. Sleeping with a man hadn't worked, and deep down, Callie knew that sleeping with a woman wouldn't do the trick either. She wasn't just horny. She wasn't just lonely. This wasn't some random infatuation, some randomly misplaced attraction. Callie was sexually attracted to Arizona, yes, but this wasn't just sexual. This was…real. Callie felt something for the blonde, something strong. At first, yes, she had just been captivated by the blonde's slender and shapely figure, her pretty hair, her adorable dimples. But even though they hadn't had more than a few conversations in passing, Callie knew that the attraction ran much deeper than that. She was attracted to Arizona as a person. Arizona was bright and intelligent, cute and playful, caring and compassionate. And something in her just called out to Callie. Callie closed her eyes and slumped against the doorframe of her daughter's room. Why was this happening? Callie hadn't had feelings for someone in a very long time. And now that she finally had them again, they were for a person who was one hundred percent off limits. Arizona was the daughter of the Republican President of the United States. A president who had come down very hard on gay marriage during the campaign. Which meant that not only was Arizona not gay, but she was also quite possibly very homophobic. And even if, by some miracle, she was interested in women, well then what? She was Callie's student. She was twenty years old. She would have no interest in Callie, and even if she did, nothing would come of it. Even if Arizona was gay—which Callie thought was incredibly unlikely—Callie highly doubted that she was out of the closet. Not with her father being who he was, not with Arizona being under such a harsh

spotlight. It was completely hopeless. Callie was starting to fall in love with someone, and it was completely hopeless. Why was this happening to her? What had she done to deserve this? Sighing, Callie pushed herself off the doorframe and walked across her daughter's room, sitting gently on the side of the bed. She meant to awaken Arizona with a simple touch to the shoulder, but much to her own alarm, Callie found herself softly stroking the blonde's beautiful blonde hair and caressing Arizona's cheek with her thumb. Goodness, she was beautiful. Arizona murmured slightly at Callie's touch, her gorgeous blue eyes fluttering open sleepily. Callie's breath hitched in her throat as she made eye contact with Arizona. She knew this was incredibly inappropriate—she should not be stroking her student's hair and gazing into her eyes. So even though her entire body was screaming against her, Callie swallowed and slowly forced herself to pull her hand away. But as she did, Arizona's hand reached up to stop her. Callie watched, speechless, as the blonde gently smiled and squeezed her hand, all the while looking dreamily in Callie's eyes. Callie's heart was racing and she didn't know what to do as she continued to sit on the bed and look deeply into Arizona's eyes. What was going through Arizona's mind? What was the emotion shining out of her eyes? Just sleepiness? Or perhaps friendship? Or…or…maybe longing? Callie knew better than to hope it was longing, but she found herself praying that it was anyways. Praying that somehow, someway, Arizona felt the same desire and pull that she did. Praying that the situation wasn't as completely pathetic as it seemed. "Hi," Callie managed to whisper out after several more moments of staring hopelessly into the most beautiful blue eyes she had ever seen. "Hey," Arizona whispered back, an adorable, sleepy, dimpled smile appearing on her face. Callie felt her heart melting at the sight of it. Arizona Robbins was quite simply the most charming, delightful, and enchanting person Callie had ever met. The two women didn't say anything else after that. Arizona just continued to hold Callie's hand. Callie just continued to sit paralyzed on the bed, looking deeply in Arizona's eyes. They both just sat there, gazing at each other, neither of them able to speak or move. And Callie wanted to kiss Arizona. Everything within her wanted to lean in and lightly brush her lips against Arizona's soft, pink mouth. She wanted to kiss Arizona so very desperately, it almost hurt. But before either of them could do anything, Sofia woke up, breaking the spell that had them both locked in a trance. The little girl shifted a little bit on Arizona's chest, before opening her eyes and spying her mother. "Mommy!" she cooed happily, still half asleep. At that, Arizona dropped Callie's hand and Callie broke their eye contact, turning to look at her darling daughter. "Hey sweetie," Callie smiled warmly, helping Sofia to sit up so that Arizona could scoot off the bed. "Did you have a nice night?" "Mm hmm," Sofia nodded, before letting out an adorable yawn and burrowing back into her pillow. "Okay, big girl," Callie said, adjusting her daughter's blankets and tucking Sofia back in. "You sleep tight okay? You need your rest so we can have fun at the zoo tomorrow." Sofia nodded happily and closed her eyes, falling back asleep almost immediately. Callie took one last glance at her daughter before turning around, absolutely no idea what she was going to say to Arizona. How in the world were they supposed to interact with each other after they had shared…whatever that had been? But Arizona had already left the room. So Callie checked one more time to make sure Sofia was fine and then headed out of the room and down the stairs. "Thanks again for having me babysit, Dr. Torres," Arizona said a little too energetically, a little too brightly, from where she stood at the base of the stairs. She was tying her shoes and Cristina was holding her jacket out for her. It was clear to Callie that the blonde didn't want to discuss what had just happened, and was hoping they could just ignore it and move past it. Callie knew that probably wasn't the wisest decision in the long run, but she followed Arizona's lead, not wanting to make the young woman feel uncomfortable. Or maybe Arizona had just been sleepy—maybe Callie was reading too much into things. "Oh, no," Callie said. "Thank you, Arizona. I'm sure Sofia had a great time." "Well," Arizona said, standing up and accepting her jacket from Cristina. "Your daughter is delightful and very well-

behaved. It's very clear that she has an amazing mother. I had a great time, too." Callie blushed slightly at the compliment and then went to her purse, grabbing several twenty-dollar bills out of her wallet. "I'm sure that's all her step-mom's doing," Callie smiled, not always comfortable with accepting praise. "Because God knows that Mark and I are a couple of screw-ups." Arizona just smiled at Callie's comment and took the money when Callie held it out to her. "I uh," Arizona said, looking at how much Callie had given her. "Dr. Torres, this is too much, you really don't need to give me so much—" "Arizona," Callie just shook her head. "I make plenty of money, and as far as I'm concerned, watching my daughter is the most important job on earth. So just…just take the money." Arizona looked like she was going to protest for a moment, but then she relented, nodding her head gratefully and pocketing the cash. "Thank you," she said. "You're very generous." "Well," Callie breathed out after a few beats of awkward silence. "I guess I'll see you in class on Monday?" Arizona smiled and nodded tightly. "Have a good weekend, Dr. Torres."

*Chapter 6*: Chapter 6
AN: Hi guys! I'm back! Thanks for being patient while I was spending time with my man. We had a fantastic time… can't wait 'til he moves here in the fall! I had a lot of trouble writing this chapter. I felt like I needed to write all of these scenes to move the story forward, but…idk this whole chapter is kinda "meh" to me. There is no C/A interaction (sorry). But the next chapter should be better, and should have a lot more interaction between our girls. And then after the next chapter, we're gonna get some time jumps and really get things going. Hope you decide to stick with me after this lackluster chapter lol. Also—POLITICAL DISCLAIMER. This is set in DC, so politics are involved. There is a discussion involving politics in this chapter. I am not trying to push any agenda here, so I try to beat up on the parties equally lol. But just know that the political opinions discussed are not necessarily MY opinions and I'm not trying to insult anyone. I'm neither Republican nor Democrat. I'm in the unfortunate position of agreeing with both parties on a lot of things, so I never know who to vote for lol. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona Robbins let out a frustrated sigh as she sank back into her pillows. It was almost two o'clock in the morning, and she couldn't sleep. She was all set: pajamas on, teeth brushed, body freshly showered. But she wasn't sleepy and she didn't think she would be anytime soon—not after what had happened at Dr. Torres' home. Arizona breathed out harshly and internally berated herself for what felt like the thousandth time. What in the world had she been thinking? Why had she, in her sleep-filled haze, reached out and grabbed her professor's hand? How could she have been such a complete moron? She'd been the valedictorian of her excessively prestigious prep school, and she had a perfect grade point average so far in college, and yet she'd done something so completely stupid and idiotic. Arizona groaned and covered her face with her hands. How would she ever face Dr. Torres again? As a result of Arizona's stupidity, the brunette now probably thought Arizona was just a dumb college student with a pathetic crush. Or worse—maybe Dr. Torres thought Arizona was a suck-up. Either way, Arizona highly doubted that she'd ever be babysitting Sofia again. But then…why had Dr. Torres reacted the way she did? She hadn't pulled her hand away—on the contrary, Arizona felt as though the gorgeous Latina had almost been gripping Arizona's hand back in return. And Arizona knew she could have just been imagining things—she'd been asleep, after all—but there had been something lingering in Dr. Torres' eyes. Yes, Arizona had gazed into the chocolate brown orbs for longer than necessary, but her accounting professor hadn't exactly rushed to break eye contact either. It was almost as if the two women had been silently communicating with each other. The problem was that Arizona didn't know what exactly they'd been communicating. Arizona was enamored with the professor—that much was clear. Arizona loved talking with Dr. Torres, loved looking at Dr. Torres, just loved b eing with Dr. Torres. And she admired her class and professionalism, appreciated her ability to balance a brilliant career and a wonderful baby girl with apparent ease. So Arizona was fairly certain her admiration of the older woman was what had, unfortunately, been communicated while Arizona had been waking up. But what had Dr. Torres been communicating? Why had she so gently stroked Arizona's hair and face? Why hadn't she pulled away once Arizona grabbed her hand? Why had she looked deeply in Arizona's eyes for such an extended period of time? Arizona huffed as she rolled over. It didn't make any sense. The idea that Dr. Torres wasattracted to her seemed highly unlikely. So was Dr. Torres just fond of the blonde? Was she appreciative of how well Arizona had cared for Sofia? Arizona smiled and turned back towards the door when she heard a knock. "Come in!" she called, quickly turning a lamp on and sitting up in her bed. She'd been hoping Alex had received her text. The door opened and a grumpy looking Alex Karev entered. He closed the door behind him and fixed Arizona with displeased glare. "Okay, I'm here. This better be good. I was about to get laid." "Thanks for coming, Alex," Arizona said. "I know it's a pain." The rest of the world couldn't see why Arizona and Alex were best friends, but Arizona just chalked it up to nobody else seeing the real Alex. He was the kind of guy that would come to your house at two o'clock in the morning and be there for you if you were freaking out. "Yeah, yeah," Alex nodded, throwing his jacked on Arizona's couch and then sitting next to her on her bed. "What's up?" "It's about Dr. Torres." Alex just gave Arizona a stare that said "Really?! You made me come over to talk ab out our accounting professor?" But to his credit, he kept his irritation to himself and just said, "and…?," prompting her to continue.

"Well you know how I was babysitting for her tonight?" Arizona started. Alex just nodded. "Well, when she woke me up, we kinda…" Arizona shrugged. "We kinda had a…a moment." "You had a moment," Alex repeated back to her. "Yeah," Arizona nodded. "What the hell does that mean?" Alex asked. "I don't know!" Arizona exclaimed. "That's why I wanted to talk to you!" Alex just rolled his eyes and sighed. "Okay, so what exactly happened in this moment?" he asked. Arizona blew out a breath before speaking. "Well, I was sleeping in her daughter's bed, and when Dr. Torres got home, she touched me." Alex sat up a little straighter and he looked slightly alarmed. "You mean she, she…touched you?" he asked, his eyes drifting to Arizona's crotch. Arizona's eyes bulged out of her head when she realized how Alex had interpreted her statement. "No!" she squealed. "Perv!" Though, once she thought about it for a second, Arizona couldn't say that she really would have minded if Dr. Torres had touched her that way to wake her up. In fact, that would have made Arizona pretty ridiculously happy. "Okay!" Alex said defensively. "Geez. What do you mean by touched then?" "She like…she stroked my hair and face a little bit." Alex got a slightly grossed out look on his face. Arizona repressed the urge to roll her eyes—she knew Alex had a very low tolerance for anything he interpreted as being "mushy." "Here," she said, laying back down on her bed and grabbing a pillow. "So, I was lying down, and her daughter," Arizona said, dropping the pillow on her chest, "is this pillow." "Uh huh," Alex nodded. "Okay, so you're Dr. Torres, and you come in to wake me up. Scoot up a little closer," she instructed. Alex did as he was told. "Now reach out and stroke my hair and face to wake me up." Alex muttered and rolled his eyes a bit but humored her, gently caressing Arizona's soft blonde curls. "Like this?" he asked. "Mm hmm," Arizona nodded. "So, then I woke up, and we made eye contact. And she started to pull her hand away." Alex responded by starting to withdraw his hand. "But I stopped her like this," Arizona said, grabbing Alex's hand and returning it to where it had been on her cheek. "And she kinda gripped my hand back, and we just held hands and looked at each other for…for quite a while." "Dude…seriously?" Alex asked, scrunching up his face again. "Yeah," Arizona said, sitting up once the demonstration was done. "See, this is why two women shouldn't be in a relationship together. Not because it's immoral or unnatural, but because just one girl adds too much of this emotional, mushy, complicated drama crap to a relationship. So two women?" Alex made a face and shuddered. "Alex…" Arizona warned. She knew he was only teasing, but she wasn't in the mood for it. She wanted his serious opinion on what had happened. "Robbins," Alex shrugged. "It sounds like she likes you." "But…but I'm just a college student! I'm her daughter's babysitter!" Arizona exclaimed. "So?" Alex shrugged. "Did she look creeped out or uncomfortable when you were staring all goopily at each other?"

Arizona shook her head. "No. She looked…happy, I guess." "Then she likes you," Alex repeated, like it was the simplest thing in the world. "Alex..." Arizona whined. "Why in the world would she like me? She's…she's gorgeous and sophisticated and perfect. She lives in this ginormous townhouse and has the world's coolest furniture and the perfect daughter and the perfect job and…and you know how perfect and just…perfect she looks in class every day." "She looks perfect and perfect?" Alex smirked, teasing Arizona over her current lack of vocabulary when it came to adjectives. "Whatever," Arizona said, dismissing his comment. "You know what I mean. She's amazing. Breathtakingly stunning. Miraculous. And I'm just…I'm just some dumb blonde. And besides, didn't we decide that she's straight?" Alex shrugged. "I guess she's bi then. Because straight girls don't gaze longingly into other girls' eyes." "How do you know she was gazing longingly?" Arizona said, still not convinced that Alex's interpretation was correct. "Z," Alex argued. "Can you think up any other plausible explanation for why she would maintain extended eye contact with you and hold your hand? Not to mention that she could have just shook your shoulder to wake you up. Stroking your hair and face isn't exactly normal in a platonic relationship." Arizona sighed. "I guess…" she said uncertainly. "And you're not a dumb blonde," Alex added. "What?" "You're not a dumb blonde. Why shouldn't she be interested in you?" "Alex," Arizona rolled her eyes. "She is so completely out of my league." Alex just shook his head. "I think you're selling yourself short." "Alex, she's like a goddess on earth. And I'm just…I'm just a halfway cute college girl. She probably doesn't know I'm alive." Alex looked at her for a second, and Arizona could tell he was debating whether he should say something or not. Just when she thought he was going to keep quiet, he opened his mouth. "Did I ever tell you that way back when, for the first few months that we were friends, I had a hopeless crush on you?" Arizona's eyebrows rose involuntarily. No, he had not ever told her that, and she had never once suspected him of having feelings for her. "Now don't freak out," Alex said quickly. "That was a long time ago, and now you're just my lesbian best friend/sister," he explained. Arizona smiled at his description of their relationship. "But Arizona," Alex said. "You're pretty freaking awesome yourself. You are smart, and beautiful, and thoughtful, and caring, and from where I'm standing, Dr. Torres would be lucky to have a girl like you." Arizona felt her heart melting at Alex's praise. Even though she always knew he had a heart of gold buried deep within, it was rare that she actually got to see it. He usually hid behind his grisly, sullen exterior. "Alex," she smiled, her voice full of love and emotion. She started to move a little closer to him. "Oh, don't get all sappy on me," Alex said, moving away from her so the distance between them remained constant. "If you ever tell anyone I said that—" "Don't worry, I won't let anyone know you're a big softie," Arizona grinned, teasing her best friend. She was rewarded with a massive scowl. "I'm serious though," Alex said after a moment. "You're a catch, Robbins. And she'd be a moron not to notice you." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie quietly crept out of her daughter's room and then silently closed the door. Sofia had woken up at the ass-crack of dawn, as usual, and they'd had a busy morning of making pancakes, reading books, and playing in the backyard. Now Sofia was going down for her nap before they went to the zoo, which meant that Callie had about an hour and a half to

herself. And she had a very specific goal for that time—figure out what the heck had happened the night before. Callie blew out a deep breath before plopping herself down on her living room couch and reaching for her phone. Normally, she just talked to Mark when she needed advice. But as wonderful a friend as he was, Callie just didn't want to talk to him about this. He would just tease her and egg her on. He would mean well, of course. He always did. But Callie knew that he wasn't the man for the job. "Hey Callie! What's up?" Callie smiled as the cheerful voice of her sister sounded over the phone. "Aria, hi!" Callie responded. "You got time to talk?" "Sure," Aria replied. "The twins just went down for a nap, and Michael's taking Maggie to the park for some father-daughter time." "Aww, how are they all doing?" Callie asked. She vastly preferred D.C. to Miami, but she did regret that she didn't get to see her niece and nephews grow up. "We're good," Aria answered. "Daddy keeps giving Michael more stuff to manage b ecause he's so good at it," Aria bragged about her husband. "Maggie's getting really good at dance lessons, and Jimmy and Johnny are almost ready to crawl. Any day now." "Oh, please keep the video camera handy!" Callie said excitedly. She'd just been to Miami a few weeks prior, and the twins hadn't been showing any signs of being ready to crawl. But then, it was really amazing how fast babies grew in their first few years of life. "Will do," Aria laughed. "So what's new with you? Semester going well? How's Sof?" "Oh, good, good," Callie replied. "Everything's fine here." She didn't really feel like chit-chatting at the moment, but she didn't exactly know how to blurt out, "oh, by the way, I think I'm in love with my student." "Well, good," Aria responded. "I'm glad to hear that. So did you just call to chat, or…?" "No," Callie sighed. "Not really. I need your advice on something." "Wow," Aria responded. "It must b e serious if you're calling me instead of that man-whore you love so much." "Aria—" Callie's sister had never approved of Mark Sloan, which Callie understood. He was a major player, and he had gotten her knocked up, after all. But he was a wonderful friend and a wonderful father, and Callie didn't appreciate it when Aria spoke ill of him. "Sorry, sorry," Aria said quickly. "I know I promised I'd b e nicer ab out him." "It's okay, Aria," Callie said, accepting her sister's apology. "So what's up, b ab y sister?" Aria asked. Callie sighed. There wasn't exactly an easy way to say this. "Promise you won't judge me?" "Um, okay?" Callie closed her eyes, cringed, and said it as quickly as possible, like ripping off a Band-Aid. "I think I'm in love with one of my students." After a moment, Callie opened her eyes and sat up slightly on her couch. "Aria?" she said when the line was silent. "Callie, aren't your students all like…nineteen or twenty years old?" "Somewhere in there, yeah." "So…then isn't he a little young for you?" "It's a she, and yes, she is very young for me," Callie replied. "That's one of the problems." "One of the prob lems?" Aria asked. "Yes," Callie whimpered.

"The other prob lems b eing…?" "That if I have a relationship with her while she's still in my class, I could get fired. And um," Callie hesitated. "That her uh…that her dad's the President of the United States." Aria snorted. "Callie…" she laughed. "Aria, I'm serious!" Callie whined. "You have a thing for Arizona Rob b ins?!" "Yes," Callie sighed. "And I can't get her out of my head. Believe me, I've tried." "Do you have any indication that she likes you b ack ?" "Oh, I don't know," Callie huffed. It was true—she'd tossed and turned half the night, but she still couldn't figure out exactly what emotion had been shining out of Arizona's baby blue eyes. "It doesn't really matter, because even if she does, I could never pursue her anyways. She's completely off-limits." "So what's the prob lem?" Aria asked. "You're a responsib le adult, Callie. Just don't entertain those thoughts. They'll go away." Callie exhaled in frustration. That had been her initial instinct as well. She'd told herself that she just needed to date and find someone else, and it would all be fine. But in the back of her head, there was a little voice telling her that these feelings would never go away. That Arizona was someone very special. "Aria," Callie sighed. "I don't know what to do! I can't stop thinking about her. My pulse races every time I see her. I've tried to push her out of my head. I even went out last night and had a really hot hookup with some guy because I thought maybe I was just horny. But nothing works!" Aria paused for a moment before responding. "Callie, I think trying to date again is a good idea. But if you have actual feelings for this girl, as opposed to just wanting to sleep with her, then I can see why a one night stand isn't gonna cut it. You're thirty-three years old, Callie. You're past one night stands. You're looking for a relationship. Random hookups aren't going to satisfy you anymore." "Well then what am I supposed to do? I don't know anyone I want to be in a relationship with." "That's b ecause you don't put yourself out there. You spend all your time working or with Sofia." "Well where am I supposed to meet someone? And when am I supposed to find time for that? We can't all be like perfect like you, Aria." Aria and her husband Michael had been high school sweethearts. They had married right after graduation—in the Catholic church, of course. After graduating from college, Michael had gone to work for his father-in-law in the family's luxury hotel business. Aria had elected to be a stay-at-home mom, and the couple now had three children. Callie, on the other hand, had pursued a career and had born a child out of wedlock. In short, Aria was the perfect daughter, and Callie was the disappointment. And that was without Carlos and Lucia Torres even knowing that their younger daughter was bisexual. Callie had told her sister long ago because she knew that Aria loved her no matter what. But Callie had the feeling her parents would disown her if they knew. "Well have you thought ab out online dating?" Aria suggested. Callie scoffed. "What?" she laughed. "Do I really seem that pathetic to you?" "Callie, I know it sounds a little weird at first, b ut I actually have plenty of friends who met their spouses online. It's normal now." "Aria…" Callie whined. She didn't like the idea of online dating. It just struck her as being desperate. "Oh come on," Aria insisted. "Tell you what—I'll make you a profile on eHarmony. You won't have to lift a finger. If you don't like any of the people it suggests to you, you can just ignore it. Can't do any harm, right?" Callie made a face before reluctantly grumbling out a half-hearted "I guess." The idea sounded stupid to her, but at this point, she was willing to try pretty much anything to get rid of her feelings for a certain delectable blonde. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona groaned and put her pillow over her head when she heard her mother knocking on her bedroom door.

"Arizona?" Barbara Robbins called. "Sweetheart, it's time for breakfast." Saturday morning breakfasts were a tradition in the Robbins family. Of course, now that Arizona's father was the president, they'd become a little less regular. But if Daniel, Barbara, and Arizona were all in the same place at the same time? Then having breakfast together on Saturday was a requirement. It didn't matter that Arizona hadn't fallen asleep at a good time. "Sweetheart?" Barbara called again, the door to Arizona's room opening. "Oh!" Arizona's mother exclaimed. "Alex, I didn't realize you had spent the night." Arizona popped an eye open to spy a groggy-looking Alex Karev lying next to her. It had been nearly three o'clock in the morning when they'd finished talking the night before, and Arizona had insisted on him crashing with her. Overall, they'd made it through the night alright. He'd only woken her up a few times to reclaim some blankets—apparently she was an unconscious cover hog. Arizona had been pleased to discover that he didn't snore. But she did think he smelled a little funny. "Hey, mom," Arizona croaked out. "This isn't what it looks like—all he did here was sleep." "Yeah, I promise, Mrs. Robbins," Alex added. "I didn't touch her." Barbara just shook her head. "It wouldn't matter if you had, Alex. Her father and I think it's well past time she had a boyfriend." "Ugh," Arizona groaned, trying to burrow further into the bed to hide from her mother. She wished that her parents would just give it a rest. "Oh really, Arizona," Barbara sighed. "Would it be the end of the world for you to go out on a date?" "I'm pretty sure it would be, mom," Arizona retorted, not wanting to actually have this conversation. Barbara exhaled sharply, not bothering to hide her disappointment. "Well, anyways, it's time for breakfast, so get up. Alex, you are more than welcome to join us." Arizona smirked when Alex jumped out of bed at the invitation. Robbins family breakfasts were always good, but they'd become incredib le since moving to the White House. The chef they had on staff was ridiculously talented. "Okay, mom," Arizona said, reluctantly sitting up and throwing back the covers. "We'll be down in a minute." Arizona pulled her hair into a messy ponytail and threw some sweatpants on over her pajama shorts while Alex freshened up in her bathroom. Then the two friends made their way to the dining room. "So did you dream about Dr. Torres last night?" Alex whispered in her ear as they approached the dining room. "Shut it, Karev," Arizona growled at him before entering the room to see her mother and father sitting at the table and drinking coffee. She had dreamt about a certain Latina goddess the night before. And it had been a very erotic, very pleasant dream involving Dr. Torres doing a striptease and then settling between Arizona's legs. But that was the last thing Arizona wanted to be thinking about as she sat down to breakfast with her parents. "Morning, sweetheart," her father said, looking at Arizona with a warm smile. She walked over to him and leaned down so he could give her her usual kiss on the cheek. "Hi dad," she smiled back at him, squeezing his shoulder affectionately before grabbing a chair. The table was covered with scrambled eggs, omelets, pancakes, French toast, bacon, sausage, fruit salad, toast, orange juice, and coffee. Arizona's mouth watered just looking at it all, and she quickly shoveled a ton of it onto her plate. "So Alex," Daniel said, adopting a stern posture and tone. "Barbara says that you were in our daughter's bed this morning." Arizona was immediately torn between being annoyed at her mother for telling her father about it and being amused because Alex's face was red and he was choking on his orange juice. "Dad," Arizona sighed, as she leaned over and hit Alex on the back, trying to make the juice go down. "He was over late and crashed in my room. Nothing happened." "So the two of you aren't dating?" Daniel asked.

"No," Arizona replied simply. "Good," Daniel nodded. "Good?" Arizona asked, raising an eyebrow. "I thought you and mom wanted me to date." "We do," Daniel said, sipping on his coffee. "But you can't date a Democrat." Arizona snorted and rolled her eyes. She really didn't care about political opinions when it came to who she was friends with or who she dated. "You're still a Democrat, aren't you Alex?" Daniel said, turning to face Arizona's best friend. "Uh, yes sir, Mr. President," Alex nodded politely before shoving some more bacon in his mouth. "Any chance of that changing anytime soon?" Daniel asked. "Dad…" Arizona rolled her eyes. Alex and her father had been arguing politics for the past six years, and she was rather tired of it. "What?" Daniel said defensively. "He's young, handsome, educated. Good breeding, good connections. He's been a good friend to you. If he was a Republican, you'd be perfect for one another." "Dad, I'm not dating Alex," Arizona said simply, not leaving any room for argument. "Yeah, I'm not really her type," Alex said, winking covertly at Arizona. "She has much better taste than me, sir." Arizona replied by sticking her tongue out at Alex. She knew that Alex would never reveal her sexuality, but he liked to secretly tease her about it. "Oh, does she tell you about the boys she likes?" Barbara asked, joining in the conversation. "She never talks to either of us about them." "Mom," Arizona complained. "Why is it such a big deal to you? I just don't want to date, okay?" "But honey, why not?" Barbara asked. "There are plenty of nice-looking young men who would love to date you." Arizona just sighed and stabbed a piece of sausage before sticking it in her mouth. There were some times where she really wished she was out to her parents. It would make things so much easier. She did have a lot of guys who wanted to date her—celebrities, politicians' kids. And she understood why her complete lack of interest in any of them might seem strange to her parents and the press. But what was she supposed to do? She was in the closet for the good of the country. She did want to date—desperately. But she only wanted to date women, and that would screw up her father's political career. And despite her father's unfortunate position on gay rights, for the most part, Arizona thought he was a fabulous president. She wanted him to be president. She wanted him to get reelected. She thought he had brilliant policies and was leading the country in the right direction when it came to foreign relations and the economy. So she genuinely believed that being in the closet was good for her father, which meant that being in the closet was good for the country. "Alex, why aren't you a Republican anyways?" Daniel asked when it became clear that Arizona wasn't going to answer her mother's question. "Mr. President, I uh…we've been through this before, sir," Alex said, trying to avoid the conversation. "No, I want to hear it again," Daniel said firmly, leaving Alex no choice but to start talking. Alex sighed and put his fork down. "I think Republicans are too eager to start wars. I don't think they care enough about the poor in this country, and prefer to give tax breaks to rich people and large corporations. They're too weak on gun control and the environment. And I also don't like the way they try to regulate women's bodies or how they want to police people in their own bedrooms. I mean, who the heck cares if people are gay or straight, as long as they love each other?" Arizona gave Alex a soft smile at his last statement, knowing that he had said that just for her. "Son, I think you have a lot to learn about how the world works," Daniel said sternly. "Right," Alex nodded. "It's the government's job to ensure that its citizens are secure, and sometimes armed conflict is

the only way to do that. You do care about the poor, but you think that welfare and other programs create incentives for people to be lazy. You think that taxes and regulations get in the way of free market capitalism, and if you just let the economy be, eventually competition will work its magic and everyone will be better off, including the poor. We shouldn't regulate guns too much because they're a constitutional right, and the populace needs to be armed to stave off tyranny by the government. And all abortion is is the legal murder of thousands of children, and gay marriage is a threat to the sanctity of marriage and families everywhere," Alex quickly prattled off. "Does that about sum it up?" Arizona smirked as Alex listed off all of her father's positions on the issues. Alex was a Democrat, yes, but that didn't mean he didn't understand and respect the Republican point of view. Arizona credited herself for some of that—she and Alex had long and thoughtful conversations on politics once in a while, and she'd carefully explained all of her father's positions to him. Aside from the gay marriage issue, Arizona personally agreed with her father on almost everything. "So how can you still be a Democrat when you clearly understand the superiority of Republican arguments?" Daniel asked. "Sir…" Alex said, just shaking his head. "I just see things differently." "But—" "Dad," Arizona said, reaching out to place a hand on her father's forearm. "You're not going to change his mind. Okay? Just let it go. End of the day, we all want the same things—for Americans to be happy, healthy, and free. Alex just has a different way of going about it, and there's nothing wrong with that." "I know that, Arizona," Daniel said with a playful smile on his face. "I deal with Democrats every day, and I count some of them among my best friends. I just want Alex, here, to change his mind. Because then you could have a boyfriend." "Oh geez," Arizona said, deflating in her chair. "Can we please not talk about that anymore? I've had enough." "Arizona, it would look good if you could take a boy with you to state dinners once in a while," Barbara said. "So what?" Arizona said indignantly. "Some poll told you you'd go up a few points if the first daughter had a first boyfriend?" "No, sweetie, that's not what—" "What your mother is trying to say, Arizona," Daniel interrupted. "Is that we just want you to be happy. And we can't help but be concerned that being our daughter is getting in the way of your personal life." Arizona just laughed mirthlessly and continued to eat her breakfast. Her parents really had no idea how true that was. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Random story: Soooo I talk to my boyfriend about Grey's Anatomy a lot. Most of the time I have the feeling he's just smiling and nodding, because he thinks it's a stupid show and he thinks my girl crush on Jessica/Arizona is ridiculous (he even has a rule where I'm not allowed to show him more than 3 pictures of her per day lol). Anyways, after I picked him up at the airport, we were driving back to my town, and there were some storms and tornadoes in the area. He was getting a little nervous cuz he's not used to that kind of weather, so he looked at me sideways while I was driving and said, "If we get in an accident and I have to cut your leg off to save your life…" I looked back at him and said, "I promise not to cheat on you as a result of PTSD" to which he replied "Ok good." Ha! So he does listen!

*Chapter 7*: Chapter 7
AN: Hi! I just updated yesterday (less than 24 hours ago), so make sure you've read that first! ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie couldn't help but spew her iced tea all over her computer as she read the name from the list. "Shit!" she exclaimed out loud, quickly spinning around in her office chair to grab some napkins. She did her best to dry off her monitor and keyboard and did a quick systems check—everything seemed to be working properly. Crisis averted, she relaxed back into her chair and startled giggling all over again. It was noon on Monday, and she'd just finished teaching all of her classes for the day. Now she had office hours until three, when she would leave to pick up Sofia from daycare. No students had shown up in her office right away, so she'd opened up the lunch she had packed and had sat down to eat it and finally look at the eHarmony profile Aria had set up on Saturday. The website had already suggested several different men and women to her, and she'd quickly scanned the list of names and pictures. And then when she'd gotten to the bottom of the first page, she'd lost it. Because she recognized the name and the picture, and she just couldn't believe it. Erica Hahn. The people at eHarmony thought she'd be a good match with Erica Hahn. Callie just about lost all respect for the website right then and there. Erica Hahn?! Seriously? That was just…wrong. Sure, Erica was a good friend, and Callie genuinely liked the woman, but the thought of dating Erica made Callie's skin crawl. Clearly, the eHarmony people had absolutely no idea what they were doing if they thought that she was compatible with Erica Hahn. Callie threw a grape in her mouth and chuckled to herself before standing from her seat and taking a short trip down the hall to Erica's office. "Hey Erica," Callie smiled as she leaned against the doorframe of the blonde's office. Erica looked up from her computer and smiled at her. "Hey Cal, what's up? I'm still working on that draft you sent me for JAE but I should have comments for you by Wednesday." "Oh no, that's not why I'm here," Callie said, waving her hand dismissively. "Did you have a good weekend?" Erica nodded. "Yeah, I just worked for the most part. I had some papers to review." Callie made a face. She knew how it was—research was very time consuming, and sometimes her work spilled into the weekends as well. "How was your weekend?" Erica asked. "Did you end up um…getting what you wanted from that guy? Steven?" "Spencer," Callie corrected. "And yes," she smiled. The real answer was "no," because even though she'd had several great orgasms, she hadn't really gotten what she wanted. But she wasn't about to get into that with Erica. "Did um…did you? With that other guy?" Erica shook her head. "Nah, we didn't really hit it off." "Oh, I'm sorry," Callie said. "Eh, don't be," Erica shrugged. "You gonna see Spencer again?" Callie just laughed at the idea. "No, he was just a one night stand, no strings." "So you gonna try again this Friday?" "Well actually," Callie smirked. "After I told my sister about it on Saturday, she decided that I'm going about dating the wrong way, and so she made me an eHarmony profile." Erica looked at Callie with a little bit of alarm. "And?" she asked cautiously. "And guess who's on my list?" Callie said, barely able to contain her laughter. "No…" Erica cringed.

"Yup," Callie nodded. "Apparently we're made for each other, Erica," Callie teased. "Well who are we to argue with fate?" Erica quipped. "So then I guess I'm taking you to dinner on Friday?" Callie threw her head back at Erica's joke, missing the look of disappointment on Erica's face. "It really makes you think that the site has no idea what it's doing if it matches us together, right?" Callie smiled, oblivious to Erica's discomfort. "Uh, yeah," Erica said, a somewhat plastered grin on her face. "Yeah, that's too funny." Callie furrowed her brows slightly. Something was still just off about Erica—she'd been expecting Erica to die of laughter. But instead Erica had barely giggled. "Well anyways," Callie sighed, casting an uncomfortable glance down the hall. She stood up a little straighter when she realized Arizona and her agents were walking her way. "Oh hi Arizona," she greeted the blonde. "Hey, Dr. Torres," Arizona said, sending her an adorable dimpled smile. Callie swallowed. She'd avoided eye contact with Arizona during class because she simply didn't know how to act around her after what had happened on Friday night. But now the blonde was staring right at her, and she didn't appear to be upset at all. "Um, are you here for my office hours?" Callie asked as Arizona came to a stop in front of her. "Yeah I am," Arizona nodded. Then she poked her head in the doorway and smiled at Erica. "Hey Dr. Hahn." Erica smiled softly at the girl. "Hey Arizona. How's your semester going? Is Dr. Torres here putting you through your paces?" "Yes, ma'am," Arizona replied before turning to look at Callie. "She's an excellent professor." Callie gripped the doorframe for support. Was she imagining things, or had Arizona just winked at her? "Anyways, are you busy right now, Dr. Torres?" Arizona asked. "Uh, no," Callie shook her head. "Do you wanna just wait in my office, and I'll be there in a sec?" "Sure," Arizona said, again giving Callie the most charming smile known to man. Callie let out a nervous breath before turning back to Erica. She didn't know why Arizona had such a strong effect on her. "Um Callie…do you like her?" Erica asked quietly, looking at Callie skeptically. "What? No!" Callie said a little too loudly. Was she that obvious? "Erica," she said, walking further into the room and keeping her voice low. "She's a student." Erica just held up her hands defensively. "I know. But I picked up a definite vibe there." Callie just laughed it off. "You're crazy," she smiled, hoping that Erica would just forget about it. "You'll have that draft for me by Wednesday?" Erica nodded as Callie headed out of the room. "Wednesday." Just before she got back to her own office, Callie took a deep breath and closed her eyes, mentally preparing herself to speak with Arizona. The young blonde did strange things to Callie's mind and body, and Callie didn't entirely trust herself to act normally around her. "Hey Arizona, what's up?" Callie said, striding into her office and sitting down at her desk. She couldn't help but quickly look the blonde up and down, and she unconsciously licked her lips as a result. A cold front had moved through D.C. early that weekend, but temperatures were now back in the eighties, and Arizona was dressed accordingly. Her hair was curly and pulled up in a loose ponytail, and she was dressed in a navy blue Georgetown Hoyas tank top, a pair of teeny tiny white shorts, and some adorable white Chuck Taylors with red and blue stars on them. It was the shorts that really did Callie in. Arizona's legs were perfect. They were gorgeously tan and toned, and they seemed to go on for miles. Callie wanted to do nothing more at that moment than reach out and run her hands all over the sun-kissed skin of Arizona's thighs. "Oh not much," Arizona grinned, her bright blue eyes shining. "How are you?" "I'm good," Callie nodded. "Hey," she said, her brows furrowing. "Aren't you supposed to be in French class right now?"

Arizona got a strange look on her face and she shifted a little uncomfortably in her seat. Callie's eyes widened when she realized what she had done—she had just admitted that she had not only looked in Arizona's records to see her class schedule, but she had also memorized it. Oops. "Uh, um," Callie stuttered, starting to panic. Had Arizona ever even mentioned to Callie that she took French? Callie didn't think so. Callie mentally cursed herself. She'd looked at Arizona's class schedule to see when she could "accidentally" bump into the blonde in the hallway. She was that pathetic. "I uh…" "You looked at my class schedule?" Arizona asked, looking confused. "I um…" Callie said. There was simply no way out of this. There was no other possible explanation. "Yes," she finally said, dropping her gaze to her own lap. "Why?" the blonde asked. Callie grimaced. Because I'm ob sessed with you, that's why! I'm a creepy thirty-three-year-old woman who is in love with her student! "Uh…I really have no excuse, Arizona. I'm sorry. I was just curious." "Uh…okay…" Arizona giggled slightly. "Well um, my class got cancelled, for your information. So I'm not skipping." Callie looked back up at the blonde, her cheeks flushing deeply. Thankfully, Arizona didn't look too angry. Normally, Callie wouldn't have even had access to Arizona's records because she wasn't Arizona's advisor. But because Arizona was in the accounting club, Callie had access. She needed it to verify that the club members met all of the academic requirements. "Oh, it would be fine if you were," Callie smiled, trying to force her heart rate back to normal. "Don't tell anyone, but I skipped a lot of classes during undergrad." "That's not frowned upon at Yale?" Arizona asked. Callie's heart fluttered slightly at the knowledge that Arizona knew where she'd done her Bachelor's degree. That meant that Arizona had been curious enough about her to look up her profile on the school's website. Apparently Callie wasn't the only one guilty of doing a little research. "So you know I went to Yale, huh?" Callie smirked. Now it was Arizona's turn to blush. "Hey," Arizona said, gracefully recovering with that damned dimpled smile. "At least that's publically available information." Callie leaned back in her chair. "Touché," she said. "So what can I do for you, Arizona?" "Well actually," Arizona said, sitting up a little straighter in her chair. "I was wondering if there were still any open positions in the accounting club." "Oh," Callie said, surprised that Arizona was interested. It wasn't as though the blonde really needed to pad her resume. Her last name alone would get her hired just about anywhere. "I got someone to run the Facebook page, but the event planning position is still open." "And what exactly does that entail?" Arizona asked. "Well," Callie said, sitting up and unconsciously mimicking Arizona's body language. "We have a lot of events throughout the year. Service projects, office tours, a couple formal dinners. Our VP, Izzie Stevens, is in charge of overseeing and scheduling them, and the event planning chair supports her in that. So overseeing more of the details, handling member registration, setting menus, stuff like that. If we don't have an event planner, Izzie will just do everything. But it's better if we have an event planner, so she can focus on other things." "So I'd be working primarily with Izzie?" Arizona asked. She'd met the senior a few times, and thought she was a little annoying. But she was competent, and Arizona knew she could work with her. "Not really," Callie shook her head. "Izzie decides what we're gonna do and when, but you'd actually be working more with me." "Oh," Arizona said excitedly, a massive smile adorning her adorable face. Callie grinned nervously in response. She didn't exactly know how to interpret Arizona's reaction. "So uh, can I have the job?" she asked. Callie shrugged and nodded. It wasn't a job that required an appointment or election—it was first come, first serve, pending Callie's approval. And at that point in time, Callie was pretty sure that, save for Sofia, she approved more of

Arizona Robbins than anyone on earth. Callie's stomach filled with butterflies at the idea of working so closely with her. "The job is yours if you want it." "I do," Arizona grinned. "Do I need to get started on anything right away?" "Uh, well," Callie said, pulling up her calendar on her computer. "Izzie and I have already worked out all the details for the run/walk next week, but we haven't gotten too far in planning the volleyball tournament that's in three weeks or the park clean-up the week after that. And it's really never too early to start planning our Etiquette Dinner or Winter Initiation." "Wow uh, okay," Arizona said, pulling out a notebook and jotting some things down. "What we should really do is schedule a meeting for this week sometime, if you're free." "Sure," Arizona nodded. "I could do um…tomorrow afternoon?" Callie glanced at her calendar and cringed. Both Mark and Lexie were at the hospital all day, so Callie had been hoping to work from home so Sofia didn't have to go to daycare. "Does that not work for you?" Arizona asked after a moment. "No…" Callie sighed. "That should work fine. I was planning on staying home to keep Sofia out of daycare, but really, she likes daycare, so it's more for me anyways." "Oh," Arizona said, looking thoughtful. "Well I could just come to your house after I'm done with my classes if that's easier for you. I don't want to inconvenience you, especially if you weren't planning on coming to campus." "Really?" Callie asked, raising an eyebrow. Half of her brain was telling her that that was a terrib le idea—that she should not invite Arizona into her home. That wouldn't help Callie get over the blonde at all. But the other half was overjoyed at the idea of hanging out with Arizona outside of school. And that was the side that won out. Callie's self-control had its limits. "Sure," Arizona shrugged. "I'm done with class at 3:30, so I could probably be there by 4:00?" "Okay," Callie nodded. "That sounds good. You won't mind Sofia being around?" Arizona laughed. "Are you kidding? I love your daughter!" "Well good," Callie smiled. It warmed her heart whenever anyone praised Sofia, but it was somehow more significant coming from Arizona. "Because she loves you, too," Callie added. "She wouldn't shut up about you all weekend." "Aww, really?" Arizona said, her dimples returning. "Yeah," Callie grinned. "She really enjoyed playing with you on Friday, and she told me that you give great snuggles and that your lap is very "cuddly." And trust me, that is very high praise coming from Sof." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "Mommy, pool!" Sofia grumped out, impatiently tugging at the hem of Callie's shorts. It was almost four o'clock on Tuesday, and Sofia had been begging to play outside for the past half hour. After the chilly weekend, D.C. was now in the middle of a short heat wave, and Callie had recently read on the thermometer that it was 87 degrees outside. "I know, sweetie," Callie said calmly, handing Sofia a popsicle to keep her occupied. "What did I say about the pool?" "Can't 'til Arizona," Sofia pouted. "That's right, you can't go in the pool until Arizona gets here." "When?" Sofia asked. She was wearing her bathing suit and had sunscreen on, all ready to go. "Five minutes, baby." "Okay, mommy." "Okay," Callie said, leaning down to place a kiss on Sofia's cheek. Because they lived in an urban area, backyards were hard to come by. But the townhome that she shared with Mark and Lexie did have a small, fenced-in backyard that was big enough for Sofia's kiddie pool, a sandbox, and not a whole lot else. When they had purchased the home, it had had a

much bigger back yard, but they had elected to build a large, covered porch that occupied most of the space that had previously been a lawn. Sofia was very excited to play in her kiddie pool, which Callie had recently filled with the garden hose, and Callie knew it was the perfect way to keep her daughter busy and entertained while she worked with Arizona. "Arizona!" Sofia squealed when the doorbell rang. She sat up from where she'd been sitting on the kitchen floor and ran towards the front door, Callie following closely behind her. "Sof, move out of the way, honey," Callie instructed when Sofia stood right in front of the door, preventing Callie from opening it. Sofia quickly scurried back and allowed her mom to open the door. "Hey Arizona," Callie said, smiling at the sight in front of her. Arizona apparently had a thing for blue and white, because she was wearing those colors again. Only this time, her tiny shorts were denim and she was wearing a skin-tight, spaghetti-strapped white tank top. It was appropriate given the weather, but it didn't leave a lot to the imagination. Callie suddenly found herself feeling very grateful for the heat wave. "Hey Dr. Torres," Arizona said. "Arizona!" Sofia yelled excitedly, launching herself at Callie's student. Callie about died when Arizona leaned over briefly to take Sofia in her arms. She'd inadvertently flashed quite a lot of cleavage in doing so, and it had Callie feeling dizzy. And those legs. "Hey Sof," Arizona smiled, walking into the house with Sofia on her hip. "Did you have fun at the zoo on Saturday?" "Uh huh," Sofia nodded happily. "Hey Cristina," Callie smiled at the Secret Service agent as she, too, entered the home. "Ma'am," the woman nodded, not bothering to take off her dark sunglasses. "Did you see the tigers?" Arizona asked Sofia excitedly. She really was a natural with kids. "The tigers are my favorite." "Yeah!" Sofia said, nodding vigorously. Callie just rolled her eyes. Sofia hadn't yet mastered which animal was which, and they had most definitely not seen the tigers on Saturday. The big cats were close to the back of the zoo, and Sofia had been snoozing in her stroller by the time they got there, worn out from all the excitement of the other exhibits. "Hey Arizona," Callie said, leading them through the living room and into the kitchen, which opened up to the back porch. "Do you mind if we work out on the deck? It's shaded, so it's still pretty cool, and that way I can keep an eye on Sofia while she plays in her pool and sandbox." "Uh, sure," Arizona said, bouncing Sofia on her hip. "That sounds great." "Okay, thanks," Callie smiled. "And can I offer you some lemonade?" She opened her fridge and held the beverage up. "Or else I have some soda as well." "Oh, lemonade sounds nice," Arizona said, her adorable dimples popping. "Thanks!" "Mommy, pool!" Sofia suddenly blurted out, apparently over the excitement of Arizona's arrival and ready to get her pool time started. "Arizona, do you mind?" Callie asked, nodding her head in the direction of the backyard. She was getting the feeling that Sofia would throw a fit if she had to wait the additional twenty seconds that it would take Callie to pour two glasses of lemonade. "Sure, no problem," Arizona said, flashing a smile at Callie before carrying Sofia out on the deck. Callie's mouth went dry as she watched the blonde walking away. Her butt was just so…so cute. Callie just wanted to smack it. She didn't know how the blonde pulled it off, but somehow Arizona Robbins was both impossibly hot and sexy and disarmingly adorable and innocent at the same time. It was a contradiction, but it worked. It worked very, very well. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "Okay, so I can call a few different caterers tomorrow and get some quotes for us," Arizona said. "Hmm?" Callie said, looking up when she realized she hadn't heard a word Arizona had just spoken. It was nearing five o'clock, and despite the shade of the back deck, they were both sweating slightly. And Callie had found that she was very distracted by the light sheen of sweat covering Arizona's face and chest. It was very hard not to imagine Arizona lying

underneath her, squirming, panting, and covered in sweat for a dramatically different reason. "I can have quotes for catering by tomorrow?" Arizona repeated. "Oh uh, yeah sure, that sounds good," Callie nodded. Callie had been pleased to discover that she and Arizona worked fantastically well together, and they'd accomplished quite a bit in the past hour, despite several interruptions by Sofia. "So then with that and the other calls you're gonna make, I think we're pretty much set with volleyball and the park clean-up." "And I'll be looking into preliminary details for the two dinners," Arizona said, reiterating their game plan before closing her notebook. "Yeah," Callie smiled, looking into Arizona's blue eyes for a little too long. She'd already done that numerous times over the course of their meeting. She really needed to stop. "Mommy!" Callie turned her head as a damp and sand-covered Sofia came bounding up onto the porch. She'd already interrupted them about ten times in the past hour. But really, considering that she was two-and-a-half years old, that was pretty impressive. "What sweetie?" Callie asked, holding Sofia's wrists to prevent the little girl from climbing into her lap. Sofia was a mess. "Mac 'n cheese?" Sofia asked hopefully. "Yeah, Sof, I remember," Callie nodded. "I said five thirty. That's in half an hour." "With hot dogs?" "Yeah, baby," Callie grinned. "With hot dogs." "Okay!" Sofia smiled widely before heading back towards the kiddie pool. There were toys everywhere in the pool and sandbox. Callie was not looking forward to clean-up time that evening. Arizona started giggling and Callie turned back to look at the blonde, a questioning look on her face. "Mac 'n cheese and hot dogs was my absolute favorite meal growing up," Arizona explained, answering Callie's unspoken question. "And I still love it to this day. I've even had the White House chef make it for me a few times." "Seriously?" Callie asked. Could this girl possibly get any cuter? Arizona nodded, her dimples showing and her eyes sparkling with mischief. "Well in that case, you are more than welcome to stay for dinner," Callie laughed. "But I'm no professional chef. It's just plain old Kraft in this household." "Oh, that's what I have him make, too," Arizona said. "I hate the gourmet crap. Mac 'n cheese is supposed to taste cheap. But um yeah…" Arizona paused. "I'd love to stay for dinner, if it wouldn't be an intrusion." "Oh not at all," Callie smiled. "I'm sure Sofia would love it if you were there." I would love it if you were there. "Okay," Arizona grinned. "Well then I'll stay. Thank you." "No problem," Callie said, standing from the picnic table. "Hey Sofia?" she called to her daughter. "Can you come here, baby? You're a mess, and I need to stick you in the tub!" "No, mommy!" Sofia whined. "Sofia Aria Sloan Torres!" Callie said, a warning tone in her voice. At that, the little girl grumpily trudged back to the porch. "That's what I thought," Callie nodded, grabbing Sofia by the hand and leading her inside. "This won't take too long, Arizona," Callie said. "Do you mind just chilling out for a sec?" "Sure, that's fine," Arizona nodded, following Callie indoors. "Or else I could get the water started?" she asked, trying to be helpful. "Oh uh, sure," Callie said, continually impressed by how thoughtful the blonde was when it came to helping out with Sofia. "Thanks! Pans are in the top cupboards to the left of the stove."

"Okay!" Arizona called as Callie led Sofia up the stairs and into the bathroom. She quickly turned some warm water on and then pulled Sofia's dirty swimsuit off before plopping the girl in the tub. "Mommy, not bath time!" Sofia complained. Sofia knew her schedule very well, and she was upset whenever it varied in the slightest. "I know, honey," Callie said, quickly washing sand off of her daughter's skin. "I'm not gonna wash your hair or anything. I just need to get this sand off so you don't get the house dirty, okay?" "Okay," Sofia grumbled, resigned to her fate. Callie just chuckled and rolled her eyes at her daughter's reaction. If being bathed b efore dinner instead of after was the most painful part of Sofia's day, then the little girl had a pretty nice life. As Callie continued to wash her daughter, she took a moment to take a few deep breaths and collect herself. It was a good thing for the accounting club that Arizona had offered to be the event planning chair—she was actually quite talented at it, and it would take a lot of pressure off of Izzie. But it was a very b ad thing for Callie. Because with every passing minute that Callie spent with Arizona, she found herself more and more infatuated with the young blonde. And that just wasn't acceptable, and Callie was starting to get worried. What if she couldn't get rid of these feelings for Arizona? Callie was working as hard as she could to hold her feelings at bay, but she felt helpless. Despite her best efforts to stay away, she was falling for the blonde, and hard. She had just had more fun planning accounting club events with Arizona than she'd had having sex with Spencer on Friday. It was getting ridiculous, and she didn't know what to do. Callie exhaled in frustration as she lifted Sofia out of the tub and quickly dried her off before carrying her back to her room. She had talked with a few of her eHarmony matches, and they seemed nice enough. She had a coffee date scheduled with one of them for Saturday morning. But in the back of her mind, she knew it was pointless. She wanted Arizona, and only Arizona. There was no one else. Sure, she could look for a relationship, instead of a fling, like Aria had suggested. And yeah, maybe that would distract her for a while. But in the end, she knew that it was Arizona. She'd never felt this way about anyone in her life. She was just drawn to the blonde. It was unlike anything she'd ever experienced. And if she couldn't have Arizona, then she didn't want anyone else. If she couldn't have Arizona, she didn't know how she'd survive. Get a grip, Torres, she told herself as she helped Sofia put her shirt on. She's twenty years old, she's straight, she's homophob ic, and she's your student. And pining for her is pathetic. You are a b rilliant career woman and the mother of the world's most adorab le toddler. You have ab solutely no b usiness going anywhere near this girl. After Sofia managed to get her underwear and shorts on herself, Callie silently followed her daughter back down the stairs and into the kitchen, where Arizona was stirring noodles in boiling water. The sight both warmed Callie's heart and made her feel like someone had punched her in the gut at the same time. This was perfect. Arizona was perfect. She looked so at ease in Callie's kitchen. Having Arizona in the house, just hanging out with Callie and Sofia, felt so good, so right. Callie closed her eyes and swallowed. It was perfect, but it wasn't permitted. She could not be having these feelings. "Hey," Arizona smiled and looked up when she noticed Callie and Sofia were back. "I hope that you don't mind that I poked around in your pantry to find the mac 'n cheese." "Oh no, not at all," Callie said, moving to the fridge to grab a package of hot dogs. "Thanks for helping. You really didn't have to." "Well it is just mac 'n cheese," Arizona said, turning to give Callie an adorable smile. "I really can't cook anything more complicated. Just ask Alex Karev." "Oh yeah?" Callie said, opening the hot dogs and stabbing them with a fork to get them ready for the microwave. "Yeah," Arizona giggled. "I've tried cooking with him a bunch of times, and I'm completely hopeless." Callie couldn't help but smile at the way Arizona talked about her friend. She'd often seen them goofing off during class— the two of them were obviously very close. It had Callie wondering, from time to time, just exactly how close. "Yeah? Is he your boyfriend?" Callie asked, trying to sound casual and disinterested. Arizona just laughed. "Uh, no," she shook her head. "I'm gay." Callie almost dropped the plate of hot dogs as she was putting them in the microwave. She was caught off guard by how casually Arizona had outed herself. And, apparently, so was Arizona.

The blonde was standing deathly still, frozen next to the stove. Her skin had paled considerably, and a look of absolute horror and dread was covering her normally gorgeous face. She almost looked as if she was going to be sick. Callie gasped as Arizona started moving all of a sudden, bolting for the bathroom. A few moments later, the sound of Arizona vomiting filled her ears. Apparently she wasn't almost going to be sick. "Sofia," Callie said sternly, letting her daughter know she was very serious. "You go play in your room, right now." The girl thankfully obeyed immediately. She simply nodded, wide-eyed at her mother's tone and Arizona's sudden illness, and headed for the stairs. Callie swallowed hard and turned the stove off before cautiously approaching the bathroom. "Arizona?" Callie asked quietly. The blonde was hunched over the toilet and was trembling violently. "Arizona, are you alright?" Callie said gently, kneeling down and putting a comforting hand on Arizona's back. A few seconds later, Arizona started throwing up again, and Callie reached out, gathering Arizona's gorgeous blonde hair and holding it out of her face. "Hey, it's okay," Callie said, holding Arizona's hair with one hand and rubbing her back with the other. "It's okay." Arizona finished vomiting for the second time and scooted away from the toilet to lean against the bathroom wall. Her eyes were red and puffy and her cheeks were stained with tears. Callie just watched her, not really knowing what to say. Arizona clearly hadn't meant to tell Callie she was gay. "Dr. Torres," the blonde finally croaked out. "You…you can't tell anyone, you can't—" "Hey, hey," Callie said, scooting a little bit closer to Arizona and resting a hand on the blonde's knee. "It's okay. I wouldn't dream of telling anyone." "But, but, my father," Arizona said, tears streaming down her cheeks. "If the press— My dad's career— You can't—" "Arizona," Callie repeated. "I promise. I promise, I won't breathe a word to anyone. Okay? I promise. You can trust me. It'll be okay, sweetheart." Callie just watched as Arizona nodded, closing her eyes and leaning her head against the wall. She just…she couldn't imagine the kind of pressure Arizona was under. Callie was terrified of telling her parents she was bi, and neither of them held a political office. But Arizona's father was the President. And he was anti-gay marriage. She couldn't imagine what that must be like for Arizona, having to hide a secret like that from the world, knowing that if it was revealed, it could have such a dramatic political fallout and effect on her family. "I'm uh," Arizona said after a few minutes. "I'm sorry about your bathroom." "It's fine, Arizona," Callie shook her head, her hand still resting on Arizona's knee. "Don't worry about it." Arizona nodded again and gingerly stood up, taking a deep breath. Callie stood up as well, and before she knew what she was doing, she was pulling Arizona in for a hug. "I'm so sorry, Arizona," Callie said, hugging the blonde tightly, not failing to notice that the blonde felt perfect in her arms. "This must be so hard for you." Arizona just whimpered slightly and clutched the back of Callie's shirt. Callie felt some of Arizona's tears dripping onto her neck. "It is," the blonde said simply. "Yeah," Callie breathed out, continuing to hug Arizona in her bathroom. "Yeah."

*Chapter 8*: Chapter 8
AN: Lol, I feel like a broken record, but...I updated less than 24 hours ago, so make sure you've read chapter 7 first. :D ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona released a deep breath as she continued to wash her face in the sink of Dr. Torres' bathroom. She couldn't believe it. She could simply not believe that she had just told Dr. Torres that she was gay. How had that happened? How had that slipped out of her mouth so easily? It was Arizona's best kept secret, one that she'd been keeping for over seven years. She had always been so careful, so protective of that information. She didn't tell anyone, and she was very deliberate in her attempts to appear straight to the world. She'd had pictures of hot guys hanging in her locker in high school. Her phone background was Justin Timberlake and her laptop background was a shirtless Channing Tatum. And every once in a great while, she forced herself to suffer through a date with a guy, just to keep the press and her parents off her back. She did everything she could think of to look straight. And yet somehow, she'd just blurted out that she was a lesbian to her university professor, a woman that she hadn't even known for three weeks. A woman that she didn't know very well. A woman who she wasn't even on a first name basis with. And a woman that she trusted implicitly. Why did Arizona trust Dr. Callie Torres so much? She knew it didn't make any sense. They barely knew each other. Arizona's relationship with the gorgeous Latina consisted of listening to her talk about financial statements, a few quick chats in her office or at accounting club, babysitting her daughter once, and an hour of event planning. That was it. Dr. Torres knew next to nothing about Arizona as a person. Arizona knew that Dr. Torres was a university professor with a kid. That was it. They were practical strangers. And yet, somehow, Arizona felt like she had known Dr. Torres—Callie, if she was honest with herself about her feelings for the professor—for so much longer. She was simply drawn to the older brunette. Yes, Dr. Torres was hot. She practically oozed power and class, poise and femininity—Arizona's favorite combination in the world. But it was more than that. It was those gorgeous, deep, expressive brown eyes. They spoke to Arizona, let her know that with Dr. Torres, Arizona was safe. She could trust the older woman. She could be herself. Arizona took a deep breath and patted her face dry with a paper towel, throwing it in the trash before timidly exiting the bathroom and walking back into the kitchen. Dr. Torres had apparently elected to skip the dining room that evening, because she and Sofia were sitting at a smaller table located in a sunny, pleasant corner of the kitchen. "Hey," Arizona breathed out, her hands tucked into the pockets of her jean shorts, her posture insecure and frightened. "Arizona…hey," Dr. Torres said cautiously, standing from her chair and approaching Arizona. Arizona was relieved when Dr. Torres didn't hug her, but instead rubbed her arm affectionately. Arizona had loved being hugged by the professor in the bathroom, cherishing the feel of the beautiful woman's body pressed tightly against her own. But she had finally stopped crying, and she was sure that if the brunette hugged her, she would start all over again. "Are um, are you hungry?" Dr. Torres asked. "I wasn't sure after, well…" she trailed off. Arizona just nodded quickly. Her stomach had settled down somewhat, and now it was feeling very empty. "Okay," Dr. Torres said, smiling sadly and tenderly tucking a strand of Arizona's hair behind her ear before heading to the stove to fix another bowl of mac 'n cheese. In the meantime, Arizona walked over to the table and took a seat next to Sofia, who looked like she was on cloud nine because of the cheesy noodles sitting in front of her. "Hi Sofia," Arizona said quietly. "Hi Arizona," Sofia said back. "Sad?" Arizona blew out a breath before nodding in the affirmative. "Yeah, I'm sad." Sofia just pouted and stuck her hand into her bowl, picking up several hot dog slices. "Want my hot dogs?" the little girl offered, like hot dogs were a cure-all for all the problems in the world. Arizona smiled at Sofia and shook her head. Hot dogs probably were the solution to all of life's problems…when you were two. "No thanks, Sofia. Thank you for offering though."

"You're welcome," Sofia said automatically, the polite response obviously drilled into her head by her parents. She dropped the hot dogs back into the bowl and then climbed down from her booster seat. "Cuddles?" she asked, holding her arms open. "What?" Arizona asked, her brows furrowing. Sofia just looked a little confused. "Mommy sad. Cuddles." Arizona looked up as Dr. Torres returned to the table, setting a warm bowl of mac 'n cheese and hot dogs in front of her. "When I'm having a bad day, Sofia snuggles with me to make me feel better," the professor quickly explained, giving her a playful wink. "Works like a charm." "Oh," Arizona said, smiling at the thought and at the wink. Then she turned back to look at Sofia, who still had her arms offered up to Arizona. The girl was only two-and-a-half years old, but she had clearly inherited every ounce of caring and empathy that belonged to her mother. That empathy just happened to come in the form of hot dogs and snuggles. "Yes, Sofia," Arizona nodded, lifting the little girl up and setting her in her lap. "I would love some cuddles." Sofia smiled widely and wrapped her little arms around Arizona's neck, giving the blonde the biggest hug she was capable of. Arizona instinctively placed a hand on Sofia's back to ensure that the little girl wouldn't fall and then closed her eyes, letting herself soak in the comfort the toddler was offering. Arizona loved pretty much every kid she'd ever met— even the bratty ones. But as Sofia was hugging her and murmuring for her to "be happy," Arizona was pretty sure that Sofia was her new favorite kid in the world. Apparently Callie Torres wasn't the only Torres woman who had a strong effect on the blonde. "Thank you Sofia," Arizona whispered quietly into the toddler's ear after a few more moments. "You give very good cuddles," Arizona said, setting Sofia on her feet and allowing her to climb back into her booster seat. "I know," the little girl said casually, picking up her spoon and shoveling some more mac 'n cheese into her mouth. "Mommy said." Arizona smiled at Sofia's confidence and turned to look at her mother. Dr. Torres just smirked back and said, "Someone is very cocky about her snuggle-giving capabilities." "Well she lives up to the boasting," Arizona quipped, picking up her own spoon and helping herself to her first bite of her dinner. The three women ate silently for a few moments, nobody knowing quite what to say. Arizona didn't know what to expect. Was the professor going to try to talk to her about her revelation? Or was she going to pretend like it had never happened? Arizona was just working up enough courage to talk about something casual like accounting class or how the school's sports teams were doing, when she heard the front door opening. "Hey Cal, you home?" called a loud, masculine voice. "Daddy!" Sofia squealed happily, getting down from her chair as quickly as she could and running out of the kitchen. Dr. Torres' brown eyes flashed to Arizona, checking to see if the blonde was okay, before taking a sip of her water and standing from the table. "Hey Sofster!" the voice said again, this time a little more quietly. A second later, Sofia reappeared, being carried back into the room by a tall—and very handsome—man that Arizona assumed was Mark, Dr. Torres' best friend. Arizona instantly felt a little bit of jealousy creep in. This man was an intimate, important part of Dr. Torres' life. And he'd slept with her, was raising a child with her. Arizona suddenly realized that she wanted those things, too. And she didn't just want to sleep with the gorgeous Latina. She wanted to be a part of her life. She wanted to matter to Dr. Torres, to be essential to her. Arizona swallowed at the thought. It was a scary thing to realize. "Hey Mark," Dr. Torres said, quickly walking over to the man. She gave him a tender kiss on the cheek and allowed him to do the same. Arizona felt jealous of that, too. "Hey Cal," he smiled, before his eyes focused on Arizona and surprise registered in his face. "And…Arizona Robbins," he said blankly, just blinking. Arizona gave him a soft smile and wave. "Yeah, uh, Mark," Dr. Torres said, looking a little uncomfortable. "This is Arizona. She was here to go over some event

details for my club. And Arizona, this is Mark, Sofia's dad." "Nice to meet you," Arizona nodded. "Likewise…" Mark said skeptically, a grin that Arizona couldn't interpret slowly appearing on his face. "Arizona," Dr. Torres said, apparently noticing the grin as well. "I'll be right back." With that, the Latina turned Mark around and pushed him out of the kitchen. Arizona just chewed the inside of her cheek for a moment before finishing off her bowl of mac 'n cheese. Did Dr. Torres not want her to meet Mark? Was there some other reason why the professor had removed Mark from Arizona's presence almost the moment he had arrived? The thought made Arizona a little sad, but she decided not to worry about it. Dr. Torres and the man raised a child together—they could have any number of private things to talk about that had nothing to do with Arizona. "Sorry about that," Dr. Torres said, walking back into the kitchen a few minutes later and sitting back down at the table. "Oh it's no problem," Arizona said, feeling a little uncomfortable now that she was alone with the professor. The mood instantly seemed more serious. "Where's Sofia?" "She's gonna hang with her dad for a bit," the brunette replied. "I thought that might be best if you uh…if you wanted to talk." Dr. Torres paused for a moment. "Do you?" she asked. Arizona looked down and started to chew her bottom lip, unknowingly crossing her arms in a defensive posture. She didn't know the answer to that question. She didn't know if she wanted to talk. "Dr. Torres," she finally said. "If…if this got out, the ramifications for my family and for the country and for me would be…" Arizona trailed off, failing to come up with an adjective for how devastating it would be. "I know, sweetie," Dr. Torres said softly. "And I meant what I said. I would never dream of telling anyone." Arizona nodded, not able to make eye contact with the brunette. "Does anyone else know?" the professor asked. Arizona shook her head. "Just Alex." "Your mom doesn't?" "No," Arizona said. "No, she can't know." Dr. Torres sighed and stood up, moving to the chair directly next to Arizona so she could place a hand on her shoulder. "Honey, do you have anyone you can talk to about this?" Arizona sniffled a bit, still feeling too uncomfortable to look at the professor. "Alex." "He's a good friend to you, isn't he?" Dr. Torres asked. Arizona nodded. "Yeah, he's the best." "Well," Dr. Torres breathed out. "I know I'm just your teacher, and you probably think I'm some lame old woman, but…if you ever need someone to talk to besides Alex, I'm here, okay? For whatever you need, I'm here." Arizona's eyes finally flashed up to Dr. Torres', and she quickly wiped a tear or two out of her eyes. "I…I don't think you're a lame old woman," she said quietly. "I think…I think you're beautiful, and kind, and inspiring. You have this amazing career and this amazing little girl and…" Arizona shrugged. "And I really admire you." Dr. Torres squeezed Arizona's shoulder gently. "Well um…thank you, Arizona," the brunette replied, smiling a little uncomfortably. Arizona knew that was a rather strange thing to confess so openly, but she didn't care at that moment. Apparently this was her night for awkward admissions. "So you really mean it?" Arizona asked after another moment, looking into those gorgeous brown eyes. "I can really talk to you about this if…if I need to?" "Yeah," Dr. Torres nodded. "I mean it." "Thank you," Arizona said sincerely. Having another person—another woman—to talk to about this meant a great deal to

her. "You're welcome," Dr. Torres said simply. "And Dr. Torres?" Arizona said. If she was going to be open and awkward that night, she figured she might as well go for what she really wanted. Well, at least for part of what she wanted. "Yeah?" "Could we…" Arizona paused. "I know that you're a professor, and I'm a student, so this is a little weird. But…well," Arizona sighed. "I really like you, and I really like your daughter, and so I, I guess I was wondering if we could maybe be, well…friends. Would that be okay?" A gorgeous smile appeared on Dr. Torres' face, and Arizona couldn't help but smile softly in return. "Sure, Arizona," Dr. Torres nodded. "I would love to be your friend." "So we could like…hang out sometimes?" "Yeah, that sounds fun." "Okay good," Arizona said, feeling almost giddy at the thought of hanging out with the beautiful Latina. "Arizona?" the professor asked. "Yeah?" "Can you do me a favor?" "Anything," Arizona nodded. "When we're not at school, could you call me Callie?" Arizona smiled in earnest at that, her dimples popping instantly. "Sure," she said, her heart fluttering in her chest. "Sure, I can do that." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "Hey Blondie, grab me a beer!" Mark called from the family room. "She has a name, Mark," Arizona heard Lexie scolding. Arizona smiled to herself and opened the fridge, grabbing a beer in addition to the soda that she'd initially been seeking. It was late in October, more than a month and a half after she'd inadvertently come out to Callie, and she was just hanging out at the Torres residence, enjoying a viewing of "Monsters, Inc." with Callie, Sofia, Mark, and Lexie. While Arizona still couldn't believe that she'd outed herself to the brunette, she was now quite happy that she had. Because despite the horror she had felt initially, it had led to Callie and Arizona becoming friends. As the keeper of such a sensitive secret, Callie had naturally become Arizona's confidant about other things as well. So Arizona spent a lot of time with the older woman, simply talking and relaxing. Everything just felt right with Callie, and Arizona had never bonded to someone so easily in her life. When Arizona needed someone to talk to, she now sometimes sought out Callie first, instead of Alex or Teddy. "Thanks, Blondie," Mark said, smiling warmly at her as she handed him his beer. Arizona just snorted and rolled her eyes at the nickname before reclaiming her seat on the couch next to Callie. As soon as she sat down, Sofia scurried into her lap as always. Arizona had quite the bond with the miniature version of Callie, as well. Mark's smiles at Arizona hadn't always been so warm. At one point, they had been suggestive and lecherous. He would often tease her and make little jokes to Callie about her when he thought she wasn't listening. But one night, when he'd clearly crossed the line, Callie had stood up and pulled him roughly out of the room. They'd returned a full twenty minutes later—Mark looking like a wounded puppy—and he'd been on his best behavior ever since. But still, it made Arizona wonder. Callie had never actually said that she was interested in women, but some of Mark's jokes had been highly suggestive of that very thing. And then there was the nature of Arizona's relationship with Callie—it was…flirty. A little too friendly. Callie looked in Arizona's eyes a little too long. Her eyes studied Arizona's breasts a little too intently. She touched Arizona's body a little too personally. It wasn't anything too serious—just some suggestive jokes and compliments, some hugs that lingered a little too long, some mostly innocent touches on Arizona's arms, legs, and

hips. But it was always there, hanging in the air, and Arizona didn't know what to make of it. She and Callie had an undeniable chemistry, and while Arizona had never experienced sexual tension before, she was pretty sure that that was the perfect label for the angst she was currently experiencing. It was just…complicated. Even though she couldn't be one hundred percent sure, Arizona was fairly certain that her physical attraction and emotional feelings for Callie were mutual. They were reciprocated. But what were they supposed to do about it? Arizona was twenty. Callie was thirty-three. Arizona was a college student—Callie's college student. Not to mention that Arizona couldn't be in a relationship if she wanted to—as long as her father was president, she wasn't willing to be open about her sexuality. And it was all getting to be too much for Arizona to handle. Her entire body felt on edge as she sat next to Callie, Callie's adorable toddler in her lap. Callie was just a few inches away, but to Arizona, it felt like miles. She wanted to rest her head on the brunette's shoulder, feel Callie's arms around her. She wanted to reach out and hold Callie's hand, run her fingers up and down Callie's gorgeous thighs. She wanted to just…just sink her body into Callie's, bury her face in Callie's neck, breathe in Callie's intoxicating scent. But she couldn't. She couldn't do any of that. So while being Callie's friend was awesome, and Arizona wouldn't trade it for anything in the world, it was also incredibly painful. Because it meant that she was around Callie all the time, but she couldn't touch her. She couldn't tell her or show her how she really felt. There were too many obstacles in the way. And that was hard. "Okay, Sofia, time for bed," Lexie said as the credits started to roll. Arizona smiled at the petite brunette as she stood up and started walking towards her to collect the toddler. She liked Lexie. She was nice, polite, and considerate. Arizona knew they weren't going to be best friends anytime soon, but their relationship was pleasant and enjoyable. "Nooo, Lexie!" Sofia whined. "Sof, it's eight o'clock," Lexie countered, scooping Sofia out of Arizona's lap and settling the girl on her hip. "That means you've already gotten to stay up past your bedtime." "But I wanna play with Arizona!" Sofia cried grumpily, trying her best to squirm out of her step-mom's arms. "Nope, sorry," Lexie said firmly. "Bedtime." Arizona stood up and leaned down to place a quick kiss on Sofia's cheek. "I'll come back really soon, okay, Sofia?" Arizona said happily, trying to cheer the little girl up. Sofia just pouted for a moment before looking up at Arizona hopefully. "Bedtime story?" Arizona quickly looked to the three parents, silently asking their permission. "Sure," Lexie sighed. "If Arizona doesn't mind." "Oh, not at all," Arizona smiled. She loved reading Sofia her bedtime stories. "Mmk," Lexie said, leaving a smooch on Sofia's head before transferring her to Arizona's hip. "Night, sweetheart," she cooed. "I love you." Sofia smiled back. "I love you too, Lexie." Mark then walked over and kissed his daughter as well. "Sleep well, kiddo," he smiled. "Night, daddy." Mark and Lexie quickly said their goodbye's to Callie and Arizona, telling Arizona that it was nice to see her as always. Then they retreated to their side of the duplex, leaving Callie, Arizona, and Sofia alone in the family room. "Well uh," Callie said. "Do you mind getting her into her pj's and having her brush her teeth? I think we'll skip the bath tonight because it's so late." "Sure," Arizona nodded. "Thanks," Callie smiled. "I'm gonna clean up everything in here," she said, indicating to the various pizza boxes, paper plates, and half-empty cans of soda and beer scattered in the room. "And then I'll be up to say goodnight." "Sounds good," Arizona said, adjusting Sofia on her hip and silently making the trip upstairs. She had watched Sofia several times in the past several weeks, so Sofia's bedtime routine was pretty much automatic. Arizona was now trusted enough to help Sofia with bath time—Sofia had specifically requested it—and that was usually the best part. Sofia

absolutely loved playing with her bath toys, and Arizona had a blast teasing the little girl with one of the small, remotecontrolled boats. But they weren't doing bath time that night, so it was simply a matter of helping Sofia with her pj shirt and then making sure she didn't miss any spots while brushing her teeth. And then it was time for snuggles and a good book. "Hey Sof, do you wanna read "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" tonight?" Arizona asked hopefully as Sofia settled into her bed. "No," Sofia shook her head. "Hungry Catpill." Arizona sighed. "You want "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" again?" Sofia had been absolutely obsessed with the book lately, and Arizona was getting bored of it. She could only imagine how sick of it Callie, Mark, and Lexie all were. "Yes," Sofia said, nodding insistently. "Hungry Catpill." Arizona just exhaled in defeat and grabbed the book off the shelf, automatically sliding under the covers with Sofia so Sofia could have her snuggles just how she liked them. "Okay," Arizona breathed out, mentally preparing herself to read the book for what had to be the ten thousandth time. "In the light of the moon a little egg lay on a leaf…" The very hungry caterpillar, who Arizona thought would be more aptly described as the very annoying caterpillar, had just finished eating through four strawberries when Callie entered Sofia's room carrying a laundry basket. She grinned at the sight of Arizona and Sofia in the little princess bed. "Hungry Catpill again?" Callie smirked at them, using Sofia's version of the title. "Yup," Arizona said, plastering an annoyed grin on her face to share a private joke with the mother. "Oh, you can't complain," Callie said, shaking her head in amusement and putting some clean laundry in Sofia's dresser. "You only have to read that when you're over here. I have to read it about twice a day." Arizona just grimaced at the thought. "Mommy, snuggles!" Sofia chirped out happily, reaching her arms out for her mom. "Sof, Arizona's snuggling you right now," Callie said, continuing to empty the laundry basket. "Both!" Sofia said, continuing to gesture for her mother. Arizona swallowed and looked around the bed. It was barely big enough for Arizona and Sofia to read the book comfortably. There was no way Callie could sit on the bed as well, unless they were all willing to be smushed together. Arizona was certainly willing—cuddling with both of the Torres women sounded like Heaven itself. But she was pretty sure that wouldn't exactly be appropriate. "Baby, there's not enough room," Callie said simply. "Here, Sofia," Arizona said, starting to move from the bed. "I'll let your mom snuggle with you—she can finish reading the book." That seemed like the best solution at this point—it avoided a potentially awkward situation, and Arizona would be able to escape the ravenous jaws of the excessively hungry caterpillar, who always seemed to be hungry again the next day, no matter how many times he turned into a butterfly. "Nooo," Sofia whined, latching onto Arizona and preventing her from getting up. "Both!" Arizona looked from Sofia to Callie and shrugged at the older Latina, letting her know she didn't know what else to do. "Arizona…" Callie said cautiously. "Do you mind?" Arizona's eyes widened. "Uh, no," she said, feeling a little dumbfounded. "I don't mind if you don't." "Okay," Callie smiled nervously. "Why don't you scoot over then?" Arizona nodded, moving to the far edge of the bed, right up against the wall. Callie gingerly laid down on the bed next to her, and Arizona's entire body went on alert. Realistically, she knew that nothing would happen. They were reading a children's book to Sofia. But that didn't change the fact that she was lying on a bed next to Callie Torres. And that filled her with all sorts of crazy feelings. At first, Arizona's attraction to Callie had been purely sexual. Callie had a beautiful face and a gorgeous figure, and

Arizona had wanted to simply enjoy the physical pleasures that the brunette's body could offer. But that attraction had deepened and changed over time. Yes, Callie Torres was still as sexy as she had ever been—perhaps more so. But now Arizona trusted her. Now Arizona felt emotionally close to her. Now Arizona was attached to her. And so her desire for Callie was so much more than simply physical. She wanted to be close to Callie in every single way. "Okay," Callie said, a little bit of nervousness laced in her voice and her face flushing. Apparently Arizona wasn't the only one who was affected by their close proximity, by the way their hips were pressing intimately against one another. "On Friday, he ate through five oranges, but he was still hungry…" ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "Thanks for that," Callie said quietly as she and Arizona left Sofia's room, Arizona pulling the door shut behind them. "She really loves it when you read her stories." "Oh I'm happy to do it," Arizona smiled, following Callie down the stairs. "I really love your daughter. And if spending time with her means reading that book a million times, then I'll read that book a million times." Callie smiled at her once they had reached the first floor again. "Well she really loves you, too," she said, looking Arizona straight in the eyes. Arizona's breath caught in her throat slightly. She knew…she knew that Callie was talking about Sofia. She was saying that Sofia loved her. But…there was something else there. There was something in those dark brown eyes, pupils dilated because of the low lighting. Arizona didn't know if Callie was even trying to communicate that "something else," but it was there all the same. And Arizona knew it wasn't wishful thinking. Arizona had feelings for Callie, and Callie had feelings for Arizona. It was right there, shining out of those wonderfully expressive eyes. Arizona swallowed, resisting the urge to close her eyes, resisting the urge to take a step forward, to pull Callie into her arms, and to kiss those full, red lips that she dreamt about kissing every night. "So um," Arizona exhaled forcefully, unconsciously licking her lips and making herself snap out of it. She could not kiss her professor. That was not allowed. That was not appropriate. "I uh," she stuttered. "I should probably get going." "Yeah," Callie said, "Yeah, probably." The brunette looked as disappointed as Arizona felt. "Okay, well I left my bag in the kitchen," Arizona said, nodding her head in that direction. "Right," Callie nodded. "So…I'm gonna go get it now," Arizona said, still unable to break contact with those gorgeous brown orbs. "Okay," Callie nodded again. Arizona took a deep breath before tearing her eyes away from the brunette and retreating to the darkened kitchen, not quite sure if she was happy or sad about the fact that Callie followed right after her. She slowly approached the chair where she had left her bag, and gently placed it over her shoulder, excruciatingly aware of the fact that Callie was standing directly behind her. She took yet another deep breath and carefully whirled around, clenching her fists in order to retain control of her body. She almost lost it the second they made eye contact again. Callie was looking at her so intensely, longing and desire pouring out of her eyes. "So um," Arizona swallowed. "Thanks for the pizza. And the soda. I mean um, thanks for having me." "You're welcome," Callie said, continuing to look miserable with want. "I uh, I really like coming here." "Well we really like having you." The two of them fell silent for a moment, just staring at each other, both of them unable to move. Arizona felt like her entire body was on fire. She needed to get out of there as soon as possible, or else she was going to explode. "So yeah, um, I…I," Arizona stuttered, forcing herself to look past Callie to focus on the fridge instead. "I still have to finish the homework you assigned for tomorrow, so uh, so I should really be going," she said lamely. It was a lie. She always did Callie's homework right away, and she always did it perfectly, not wanting to do anything incorrectly for the beautiful professor. Though when she did get points taken off, it didn't escape her notice that Callie drew little sad faces next to her mistakes, whereas Alex's and Teddy's assignments were free of any superfluous decoration. "Right, yeah, okay," Callie nodded, backing up a little bit. "I'll see you tomorrow?"

"Yeah," Arizona smiled. "I'll see you tomorrow." "K," Callie smiled, stepping a little closer to Arizona again. Arizona's heart felt as though it was beating a million beats per second when Callie reached her hand out and cupped Arizona's cheek, gently caressing Arizona's face with her thumb. Arizona couldn't help but close her eyes and gasp softly at the sensation. "Goodnight, Arizona," the brunette said sadly. Arizona just swallowed. "Goodnight, Callie."

*Chapter 9*: Chapter 9
AN: You guys are awesome! Thank you for all of your comments/reviews and for your passion for this story. It makes it much more fun for me to write. Sorry that this update took longer than usual (but really, people...it's been like THREE DAYS lol), but hopefully its length makes up for it! Updates are gonna be a little slower because I am in the middle of studying for comps. If you don't know what that is, it's a several-day exam and the only guidance I'm given is to study everything I've learned in the first two years of my PhD program lol. So um…yeah, I'm gonna be studying pretty solid for the next four weeks. So don't expect daily updates or anything. But my goal is have this story done within that time period as well, because right after comps, I'm going to visit my family for more than a month. And I know you'll all go insane if I make you wait a month :P Anyways, thanks for bearing with me! ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie smiled as she and Erica wheeled their suitcases into O'Hare International Airport. Callie couldn't wait to go home. She couldn't wait to see Sofia. It was the Friday before Thanksgiving, and the two accounting professors had been in Chicago since Tuesday to present a paper of theirs at a conference. It had gone very well—Callie was sure that it would be published in an A level journal before too long. Another line to add to her impeccable resume. "Excited to see Sofia?" Erica asked as they made their way over to a self-check-in station. "Yes!" Callie answered emphatically. "Are you kidding me? I don't think I could stand another day apart from her." Callie wasn't exaggerating. This was the longest she'd ever been away from Sofia, and it was wearing on her. She knew it didn't make any scientific sense, but she felt an almost physiological need to hold her daughter. Erica just chuckled at Callie's anxiety and started checking in. "Um, Callie?" she said, her brow furrowing and a slight frown forming on her lips. "It says our flight's been cancelled." Callie's eyebrows shot up. "What?" she asked, immediately stepping beside Erica to see the screen. They'd been out late the night before with colleagues, and they'd come to the airport straight from the conference breakfast, so she hadn't thought to check-in online like she usually did. "How is it cancelled?" She started to feel a little panicky—she needed to get home. Mark and Lexie had dropped Sofia off at daycare that morning, and were currently in the air, headed to Seattle to visit Lexie's family for Thanksgiving. If Callie wasn't back in D.C. to pick up Sofia that afternoon, it would be a problem. "I don't know," Erica shrugged. "Let's ask at the counter?" Callie huffed and marched over to the airline employees, muttering to herself that they better have a damned good reason for why she wouldn't be there to pick her daughter up from daycare. "How can I help you, ma'am?" the man behind the desk asked her, a polite smile on his face. "Yeah um," Callie said. "We're trying to get to D.C., but it says our flight has been cancelled?" "Yes, ma'am," the man nodded. "All flights to D.C. have been cancelled due to weather." Callie raised an eyebrow. It was the middle of November. "Weather?" "They're expected to get a blizzard, with up to three feet of snow accumulated by this evening." Callie just groaned and rubbed her temples. Perfect. "Well I need to get to D.C.," she said after a moment. "What's… what's the closet airport to D.C. that's still open?" The man looked down and entered a few things on his computer before looking back up at her. "I can get you to Norfolk, ma'am." "Richmond isn't open? What about Baltimore?" The man shook his head. "Sorry, ma'am, the flights have all been cancelled." Callie just growled before nodding her head. It was about a three hour drive from Norfolk to D.C. in good weather, so she had no idea how long the drive would actually take. But with a little bit of luck, she figured she'd be able to make it to D.C. by late evening. She would just need to see if Arizona could watch Sofia for a little while. "Okay, I'll take your earliest flight to Norfolk." The man nodded and started typing again.

"Erica, you wanna come, too?" Callie asked, turning to look at her blonde colleague. "Or are you gonna wait until tomorrow?" "I'll come with you," Erica shrugged nonchalantly. "You shouldn't make that drive by yourself in a snowstorm." "Okay, thanks," Callie smiled. "I appreciate it." After waiting a few minutes for their new boarding passes to Norfolk, Callie and Erica made it through security and sat down at a coffee shop. They had about an hour before they needed to go to their gate, so Callie took the opportunity to book a rental car and figure out what she should do about Sofia. Sofia had never been picked up from daycare by anybody besides Callie, Mark, or Lexie, and Callie didn't think the little girl had ever gone more than nine hours without seeing one of her parents. But Mark and Lexie had dropped her off at six-thirty that morning in order to make their flight, and Callie had no idea when she'd make it home. Which meant that Sofia was in for a very long day. On top of that, Callie had pried it out of Mark that Sofia wasn't reacting well to Callie's extended absence. He hadn't wanted to tell her at first, not wanting her to feel guilty about doing her job—travelling for conferences was just part of being an academic. But he'd eventually caved and admitted that Sofia had been upset and asking for Callie almost nonstop. Callie sighed before taking another sip of coffee and picking up her phone, Erica busying herself by reading the newspaper. In a situation like this, Callie's usual first instinct would be to call Meredith so Sofia could be with family. But even though Meredith meant well, she worked all the time and didn't have a terribly close relationship with Sofia. No, Callie realized, Sofia would much prefer to be with Arizona than Meredith, so she tapped on "Dimples" in her contacts. Callie did feel a little guilty about dumping a despondent Sofia in the young blonde's lap, though. "Hey Callie!" Arizona answered after a ring or two. Callie couldn't help but smile the instant she heard the blonde's voice —she was impossibly cute. But Callie did find it alarming that after Sofia, she missed Arizona more than anyone else in D.C., including Mark and Lexie. "Arizona, hey!" Callie said. "How are you?" Across the table from her, Erica sighed and rolled her eyes. Callie frowned slightly—what was her problem? "Oh, I'm awesome!" the blonde chirped happily. "Our classes are cancelled all day for the weather, even though it's b arely started snowing yet. How's your conference?" "Uh, good, good," Callie said, still a little distracted by Erica's reaction. "We presented our paper yesterday, and we're headed home today." "Oh, I b et Sofia's excited to see you," Arizona said pleasantly. "Oh hey!" Arizona said excitedly, as though an idea had just popped in her head. "My parents are gone until Sunday. Would you and Sof wanna come over tomorrow? We could take a picture of her sitting at my dad's desk!" "Oh um," Callie said, surprised. They always spent time at Callie's house—Arizona had never invited them over before. The idea was intriguing—few people got an insider's tour of the White House. But it wasn't exactly a conversation Callie wanted to have in Erica's presence. "I'll uh, I'll have to think about that," Callie said, trying to avoid the question. "But speaking of Sofia, I have a favor to ask of you." "Sure, what's up?" "Well," Callie sighed. "I was supposed to be in D.C. with plenty of time to spare before her daycare closes. But my plans got all shot to hell because of the weather, and I don't think I'm gonna make it." "You want me to watch her?" Arizona asked, anticipating Callie's request. "Could you?" Callie asked. "Her daycare closes at 6:30, so you could wait until then. And then just hang out at my place for a while? I'm really not sure when I'll get there. I'm sorry, I know it's a lot to ask." "No, it's fine!" Arizona said. "Would it b e alright if I just picked her up now? I got up and ready b efore I knew it was a snow day, so instead of going b ack to b ed, I already did all my homework for the weekend." Callie had to resist snorting at the idea—Arizona Robbins really was a bit of a nerd when it came to school. All of her assignments and tests were nearly flawless. "Are you sure you want to get her now?" Callie asked. "I mean, I'm sure she'd prefer that. But it's only," Callie looked down at her watch, "noon your time, so that could be quite a long day for you."

"Oh, I don't mind," Arizona responded. "Can I b ring her here for a few hours when I get her though? I'll have the chef make her whatever she wants, and then I can put the b umpers up in the b owling alley." Callie smiled brightly at the idea. She had never taken Sofia bowling, but she was sure that her daughter would love it. And it meant a lot to her that Arizona was thoughtful enough to want to make the day special. "Sure, that's fine, Arizona," Callie said. "I trust you. You can do whatever." "Okay, great!" Arizona said happily. "I'll head over right now. And you'll let the daycare people know I'm allowed to take her?" "Sure, I absolutely will. Thank you so much, Arizona." "No prob lem ," the blonde responded. "This'll b e fun." "Oh," Callie added, before hanging up. "Mark said she's been a little down the past couple of days, so I'm sorry if she's cranky." "Well I can definitely understand that," Arizona said, a playful tone in her voice. "I haven't seen you since Monday either, so I'm a little cranky, too." Callie swallowed and chuckled nervously at the statement. She and Arizona flirted pretty ridiculously when they were alone, despite Callie's best efforts not to. But Callie had the distinct feeling that Erica was listening to every word she said, so she bit back her desire to flirt in return. "Well I'll see you tonight, Arizona," Callie said, trying to sound friendly but detached. "Thanks again." Callie blew out a puff of air as she put her phone down on the table and took a sip of her coffee. She felt grateful for Arizona's presence in her life—Becca would have never volunteered to watch Sofia for so long, and on such short notice. "Seriously, what the hell is going on with you and her?" Erica said out of the blue, causing Callie's eyes to flash up to the blonde in surprise. "What?" "Callie," Erica said, a scolding tone in her voice. "What?" Callie repeated. "You still expect me to believe that she's "just another student" to you? What, are you banging her on the side?" Callie's jaw clenched involuntarily. No, she was not "banging Arizona on the side"—and she was painfully aware of that fact. "Erica," she said calmly after a moment. "What exactly are you insinuating?" "That you and she are a thing." "Erica," Callie said, exasperated. "She's my kid's babysitter! And we've become friends! That's it!" Callie scolded herself internally for allowing herself to become frustrated by Erica's questions. Denying Erica's accusations so vehemently would probably cause the blonde to believe her less, not more. "Geez, she's my student, Erica." "So?" Erica said. "I've seen the way you look at her." Callie raised an eyebrow, trying to look surprised and skeptical. "The way I look at her?" "Yes," Erica nodded simply. "You look at her like you want her." Callie rolled her eyes and huffed. "Okay, fine," Callie said. "She's beautiful, and I'm not blind." "Uh huh," Erica nodded in satisfaction. "But seriously, Erica? We're "a thing"? Erica, she's twenty years old! And she's straight. Her father's anti-gay marriage, so I'd be willing to bet you that she's a raging homophobe." "Fine, fine!" Erica said, holding her hands up defensively. "Sorry I asked." Callie just rolled her eyes before standing up and chucking her coffee cup in a trashcan. "I need to use the ladies room," she said before grabbing her phone and walking away. "Watch my stuff."

As soon as she was out of Erica's view, Callie sat on a bench and slumped over, her face resting in her hands. She didn't know what to do. She just did not know what to do. Ever since that night in late October, where she had almost kissed Arizona in the kitchen, it had been getting harder and harder to stay away from the college student. Every time she saw Arizona, it was all she could do to stop herself from taking the blonde in her arms and dragging her into the bedroom. Arizona was just…perfect. Callie did her best to not talk about anything too personal with Arizona, but that was challenging. Because it was easier for Callie to talk to Arizona than anyone else in her life, including Mark and Aria. The blonde was mature beyond her years, yet somehow always held onto a youthful energy, hopefulness, and optimism. She was polite, easy-going, undemanding, and simply pleasant to be around. And she was great with Sofia, always finding a way to make Sofia laugh. Sofia adored Arizona. And so did Sofia's mother. Callie sat up, leaning into the back of the bench and sighing. She did. She adored Arizona. Everything about Arizona. Arizona just made her happy. And Callie had never wanted someone so badly in her entire life. She wanted to spend every possible moment with Arizona. She wanted to do her work with Arizona. She wanted to do chores around the house with Arizona. She wanted to cook dinner and goof off and just hang out with Arizona. She wanted to make love to Arizona every night, and then hold her until morning. But she couldn't. It wasn't an option. And even though she'd been fighting it since August, Callie still hadn't found a way to make her feelings go away. But she needed to find a way soon, because Erica clearly knew something was up, and that wasn't good. It wasn't good for Callie's career, and it certainly wasn't good for Arizona. If people caught on to their attraction? If it somehow made it to the press? Callie shuddered at the thought. She couldn't let that happen to Arizona. She loved her too much. Callie's eyes widened as the word "love" ran through her mind. It was the first time that had happened. Love? Did she love Arizona? No, no, no, Callie told herself. You are not allowed to love her. It is just not allowed. You cannot love her. No. No. No. Callie stood up abruptly, needing to distract herself. She quickly called Sofia's daycare, giving them her password and authorizing Arizona to pick her daughter up. The worker had been suspicious—the daughter of the president didn't typically pick children up from daycare. But Callie had assured her that it was no joke, and after a few minutes and a chat with a supervisor, everything was squared away. So Callie used the restroom and then walked over to where she'd left Erica. Erica just nodded a greeting at her and offered her the business section of the newspaper. "Don't they have like…entertainment or lifestyle?" Callie asked, scrunching up her nose at the business section. She'd just spent the past few days buried in research. She wanted something fun. Erica just smirked and reached into her purse, pulling out a copy of the National Enquirer and tossing it on the table. "Oooh!" Callie said, excitedly grabbing the tabloid. Fake entertainment news—even better. That would distract her. But then Callie flipped it open, and her eyes fell on the perfect set of dimples that she loved. Arizona Robbins was inescapable. And apparently, Arizona had been dating the blonde guy from One Direction, but she had dumped him and was now dating Justin Bieber. They even had a picture of the young singer with Arizona—apparently he'd performed at the White House. Callie just snorted and rolled her eyes. Arizona didn't even like Justin Bieber. And then Callie grimaced slightly. She was crushing on a woman young enough to be dating Justin Bieb er. Even though Callie would have been content to just stare at the picture of Arizona for the rest of her time at the airport, Callie forced herself to turn the page, instead busying herself by reading about some fantastic new diet. But she wasn't really reading it. Her eyes looked at the words, but they didn't register in her brain. All she could think about were those adorable dimples. Those blue eyes, filled with a childlike joy and mischief. Callie took a deep breath and tried to focus. She could not love Arizona. She couldn't. She just couldn't. An hour later, Callie and Erica were getting settled in for their flight to Norfolk, and Callie reached into her bag to retrieve her phone and turn it off. She noticed that she had a text from Arizona, and she mentally cursed when her heart skipped a beat as a result. Dammit. Callie growled at herself and opened up her messaging app, expecting it to just be a confirmation that Arizona had Sofia. But it wasn't. It was…it was the most adorable, heart-warming picture she'd ever seen. Arizona and Sofia were in the Oval Office, Arizona sitting in the chair behind the desk, and Sofia sitting in her lap. Arizona was cuddling Sofia tightly, and they both had happy, excited grins on their face. Sofia looked like she was having the time of her life—no trace of the grumpiness Mark had described. Beneath it was Arizona's caption: "You'll have to get your picture tomorrow. Sitting in my lap is optional but highly recommended ;)"

And that was it. Callie loved her. She could deny it until she was blue in the face, but it didn't make it untrue. She loved Arizona. She wasn't supposed to. She wasn't allowed to. She didn't even want to. But she did. That woman—that adorable, perky, blue-eyed girl who was happily holding her daughter in the Oval Office—was the love of her life. Callie just gripped the armrests of her seat and focused on breathing in and out. She loved Arizona. At the moment, breathing was all she could handle. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona held tightly to Sofia and tried to keep her head down as she entered the combination that would open Callie's garage door. It was snowing like crazy—she could barely see five feet in front of her. She and Sofia had spent most of the day at the White House, Arizona allowing Sofia to run around and explore the massive building. They'd gone bowling, Sofia squealing with delight every time she knocked down a single pin. Then Arizona had taken Sofia to the little putting green. That hadn't been as big of a hit, Sofia lacking the necessary motor control to be very effective. But then Arizona had shown Sofia the kitchen, and she'd swiped a few plain vanilla cakes and allowed Sofia to decorate them to her little heart's content. All in all, it had been a very good day, and Sofia had been all smiles and giggles. But now Sofia was very tired and very cranky. Arizona had forgotten that Sofia usually took a nap just after lunch. Both the toddler and the babysitter wanted nothing more than a quick bath time followed by bed, hold the story. Once inside, Arizona peeled their soaking winter coats off of them, hanging them on some hooks to dry. Then she carried Sofia upstairs, heading straight for the bathroom. "Hey, Sof, brush your teeth," Arizona said, quickly putting toothpaste on the brush and handing it to the toddler. The little girl complied without a word and Arizona started filling the tub with water, the exact temperature that Sofia liked it. Once Sofia had finished brushing, Arizona bathed the little girl. Sofia didn't even ask for any bath toys. "You want a book, Sof?" Arizona asked as she finished putting Sofia's pajama shirt on and tucked the little girl into bed, baby blanket in place. Sofia just shook her head and burrowed into her pillow, her little eyes refusing to stay open. "Want Mommy," she pouted, her lower lip quivering and some tears spilling from her eyes. "I know, honey," Arizona said. "She'll be here soon, okay?" "Now," the toddler whined. "Oh, Sof," Arizona sighed, sitting on the bed and stroking the little girl's soft brown hair. "The sooner you fall asleep, the sooner she'll be here, okay?" Sofia continued to pout and cry, but after a moment she nodded. "Okay, sweetheart," Arizona smiled, leaning down to place a soft kiss on Sofia's cheek. "I love you, Sofia." "Love you too," Sofia yawned. Arizona sat on the bed for a few minutes more, gently caressing Sofia's back and arms until she stopped crying and fell asleep. Then Arizona tiptoed out of the room, closing the door softly behind her. She winced guiltily when she looked at the clock and saw that it was only 6:30. She'd tired Sofia out so much that the girl had gone to bed a full hour early with no complaints. Oops. After casting a glance at the door that led to Callie's bedroom—she'd never been in there since the very first time she babysat—Arizona descended the stairs and headed to the kitchen. Once there, she raided the freezer before plopping herself on a couch in the family room to enjoy her massive ice cream sundae. She picked up the remote, figuring she would watch some Netflix to kill time, but then dropped the remote back on the couch. She supposed a few minutes of silence after spending the entire day with a toddler would do her some good. And as they always did when Arizona let her mind wander, her thoughts turned to Callie. Arizona closed her eyes and smiled at the thought of the sexy brunette. Things were good between them. Still incredibly tense at times—Arizona was sure they'd come close to kissing on several occasions—but good. Arizona knew she was being a little reckless when it came to Callie. She flirted with the Latina relentlessly, and she still wasn't sure to what end. What could possibly happen? Arizona supposed that if they were very careful, they could be together. But would Callie really be open to a relationship with Arizona if they had to keep it a secret? Arizona doubted it. Plus, while Arizona knew that the older woman was attracted to her, she still didn't know to what extent. Did Callie just have a little crush? A lust-fueled infatuation? Or did she feel something more? Did she feel what Arizona felt? Sexual

desire mixed with true, deep-seated feelings? Physical attraction mixed with respect, care, and understanding? Arizona didn't know. She couldn't be sure. But she did know that she was going insane. She understood that Callie might not want a relationship. But what about sex? Could Arizona offer sex, no strings attached? Would Callie be alright with being friends with benefits? What that even possible? Arizona had never had sex—her father's career made that somewhat impossible. But she'd heard that it was difficult to maintain that type of friendship without getting feelings entangled. And deep down, Arizona knew she'd have a hard time sharing Callie. Arizona wanted to be the only person to touch Callie. She wanted exclusivity. She wanted commitment. But what if Callie couldn't give that to her? Was no sex better than heartbreaking, complicated sex? Arizona didn't know. All she knew what that she wanted to hold Callie's soft, naked body tightly against her own. She wanted it so badly. Arizona exhaled in frustration and picked up the remote again, flipping on the TV. Before too long, she was dozing off, dreaming of making love to Callie on the couch. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "Arizona wake up!" Arizona groaned at Cristina's stern voice and the feeling of someone roughly shaking her shoulder. "Unngh, what?" Arizona grumbled, sleepily swatting at Cristina to make her go away. "We have a situation," the Secret Service agent responded seriously. "I have orders to take you to Camp David immediately." Arizona frowned. "Wha—why can't I just go home?" "I have direct orders from your father to take you to Camp David. There are some credible threats and he wants you out of D.C." Arizona's mind broke out of its sleepy haze when she heard the words "credible threats," and she snapped to attention, quickly sitting up and getting her bearings. "Sofia's asleep," Arizona said, objecting to the idea of leaving. "We'll leave an agent here to make sure she doesn't kill herself until Social Services or whoever arrives to take her," Cristina said, clearly not caring about the little girl and urging Arizona to get on her feet and start moving. Arizona's eyebrows rose at Cristina's statement. Sofia hadn't seen a parent since very early that morning, and she'd been crying for Callie before she went to sleep. There was no way Arizona was leaving her with someone that she didn't know and trust. "Grab the car seat out of the white Audi," Arizona commanded, abruptly standing up and charging towards the steps. "What?" Cristina asked. "Get Sofia's car seat!" Arizona ordered, rushing up the stairs. "And grab her coat, hat, and mittens." "Arizona, there's no time!" Cristina called up after her, but Arizona ignored the agent and opened the door to Sofia's room. After grabbing a small tote from the closet, Arizona opened Sofia's dresser and packed a change of clothes for the little girl. Then she grabbed a few books from the bookshelf—"The Very Hungry Caterpillar" among them—and packed those as well. "Sofia, honey?" Arizona murmured, kneeling next to the bed and gently encouraging the little girl to wake up. "Mommy home?" Sofia asked hopefully. Arizona shook her head. "No, not yet, sweetheart. But we're gonna go on an adventure!" Arizona smiled and tried to look excited. Internally, she was a little worried—the Secret Service didn't mess around, and she knew something serious had to be happening. But she didn't want to frighten Sofia. "Really?" Sofia asked skeptically. "Uh huh," Arizona smiled. "So let's go!" She scooped Sofia up and settled the little girl on her hip. She made sure to grab

Sofia's baby blanket and throw it in the tote as well. "But I want Mommy," the little girl said sleepily. "I know, honey," Arizona said, making her way back down the stairs. "We're gonna see her as soon as we can, okay?" An annoyed-looking Jackson and a stern-looking Cristina were waiting for them at the bottom of the steps. Arizona quickly threw her coat on and then bundled up Sofia, putting on the girl's coat, hat, mittens, and boots, and throwing her snow pants in the tote in case she spent the entire night and wanted to play outside in the morning. Then they headed out the front door and into the waiting Secret Service vehicle. Arizona was usually driven around in a limo or a town car, but the vehicle waiting for them was a beefy-looking SUV, plus several escort vehicles. She tried to hide Sofia's eyes when she spotted a few agents with assault weapons instead of their normal side arms. "Cristina," Arizona muttered as they slid into the car and started moving. "Is she in more danger with me?" Cristina shook her head. "We're moving you out of precaution." "So what's going on?" Arizona said quietly, making sure Sofia was comfy in her car seat and giving the little girl her baby blanket. Sofia fell back asleep almost instantly. Cristina looked from Arizona to Jackson and then back again. Arizona immediately felt worried because of the look on her agents' faces. "Guys, what is it?" "Arizona," Cristina said calmly. "Before I tell you this, I need you to know that everything is fine." That just made Arizona feel more anxious. "Cristina, I swear, if you don't tell me right—" "There were shots fired tonight when your father was leaving his dinner. The president and first lady were not injured." "What?" Arizona said, her eyes widening and her heart racing. "Who—? What—? Why—?" Cristina just shook her head. "We don't know any details as to the shooter or motive." "But my mom and dad are okay?" Cristina nodded. "Was anyone else hurt?" Arizona asked. Cristina shook her head again. "I don't know." "And there are threats against me?" Jackson leaned forward and answered that question. "Arizona, there are always threats against you because of who you are. Cristina and I haven't been briefed on whether the shooting tonight is in any way related to any outstanding threats against you. But you don't need to worry. You are safe, and we're taking you to a secure location." "Yeah, about that," Arizona furrowed her brows. "Why exactly can't we go to the White House? I can't imagine that Camp David is leaps and bounds safer than home." Jackson and Cristina just exchanged a knowing look before Jackson answered Arizona. "I think your father is…alarmed," he said, choosing his words carefully. "And so he would just be more comfortable with you outside of D.C." Arizona just slumped her shoulders and gave Jackson a look that screamed "Really?!" Her father freaked out, overreacted, and ordered her to go sit in the middle of the wilderness for absolutely no reason? Perfect. "Is there even a point in calling him to see if he'll change his mind?" Arizona asked, already pretty much knowing the answer. Her father was very protective of her. "I don't think so," Jackson smiled, leaning back in his seat. Arizona just muttered to herself and pulled out her cell phone, needing to call Callie and let her know what was going on.

~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie couldn't help but smile as she stepped out of the Secret Service SUV that Arizona had had waiting for her at her house when she'd finally made it back to D.C. It was well past midnight, and Callie was exhausted after what felt like the longest drive of her life. But it had finally stopped snowing, and Camp David looked like a winter wonderland. It was gorgeous. When Arizona had called earlier, Callie had been incredibly relieved that Arizona had chosen to bring Sofia with her to Camp David. After the less than ideal day—with Callie not being able to pick up Sofia as promised—being woken up in the middle of the night by strangers would have been rather traumatic for the little girl. Callie was glad that Sofia was with someone she knew. Someone who had had the thought to grab Sofia's baby blanket. The girl couldn't sleep without it. When Callie had gotten home, she'd gone to pack a few more things for Sofia—clothes to play in the snow, as well as Sofia's favorite books—only to find that Arizona had already packed them. The blonde was so thoughtful, so on top of things when it came to Callie's daughter. Callie felt so grateful for Arizona. And so there Callie was, carrying her own small overnight bag and stepping into the country retreat of the President of the United States. She felt a certain sense of giddiness as she looked around. The general public could tour portions of the White House. But hardly anyone got to step foot in this building. "Ma'am?" Callie's eyes flashed to Cristina, Arizona's omnipresent Secret Service agent. "Hey Cristina," Callie said. "I believe Arizona took your daughter to bed with her. It's up that staircase, third room on the left." "Okay," Callie smiled, heading towards the staircase after she kicked off her snow-covered boots and hung her coat up. "Is there a guest room I should use? Arizona said I was free to sleep here but she didn't say—" "She hasn't specified your sleeping arrangements, ma'am," Cristina said. "You'll need to ask her." "Alright, thank you," Callie said. She nodded at Cristina and then climbed the stairs, slowly opening the door the agent had told her to go through. Callie couldn't help but smile wider when her eyes fell on Arizona and Sofia in the large bed. Yes, the snow-covered wilderness was beautiful. But this? This was perfection. Arizona and Sofia were both lying on their side, facing the same direction. Sofia's back was pressed tightly against Arizona's front, and Arizona's arm was wrapped protectively around her. It wasn't unlike how they had looked the first time Arizona had watched Sofia, save for the fact that Sofia wasn't actually on top of Arizona. And Arizona had left the light on in the bathroom and left the door open a crack, well aware of the fact that Sofia didn't like to sleep in complete darkness. Callie's eyes didn't leave the two sleeping beauties as she set her bag down on an armchair. Of course she was more excited to see Sofia—the little girl was the light of Callie's life, and always would be. But Callie was struck by how happy she was to see Arizona as well. She'd only known the blonde for three months, and yet she already felt incredibly attached. She never wanted to know what life was like without Arizona, not ever. Callie finally tore her eyes away from the beautiful sight to change her clothes. Her two loves were sound asleep, and there was more than enough room for her in the bed. She figured she'd just slip in quietly without disturbing them. So Callie quickly stripped off her sweater and bra, replacing them with a simple black t-shirt. Then she kicked off her jeans and pulled her favorite pair of sweatpants on over her panties. When Callie turned around, she was startled to make eye contact with Arizona, and she swallowed hard when she saw the unabashed lust raging in the gorgeous blue orbs. Callie felt her cheeks flushing a little bit—clearly, Arizona had watched her changing clothes. And apparently, she had liked what she saw. Without a word, Callie slipped silently into the bed, waving an awkward greeting to Arizona. Arizona just smiled and nodded at her, before nudging Sofia ever so softly to wake her. The little girl's brown eyes fluttered open, and a sleepy smile crossed her face when she spotted her mother. Without a moment's consideration, Sofia abandoned Arizona's embrace and scooted over to Callie's side of the bed, throwing herself into Callie's waiting arms. "Hey sweetheart," Callie cooed, cherishing the feeling of her daughter in her arms again. "I missed you," she said, squeezing Sofia tightly and kissing her on the top of the head. "Mommy," Sofia sighed contentedly. "Yeah baby," Callie smiled, adjusting their positions slightly so they could sleep comfortably snuggled up next to one

another. "Mommy's here." After another moment of taking in the comforting sight, feel, and smell of her daughter, Callie's eyes went back in search of Arizona. But Arizona had rolled over and was facing the other wall, apparently having decided to allow Callie some alone time with her daughter. So Callie just nestled into her pillow and closed her eyes. They would catch up in the morning. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona was the first to wake up, and she couldn't help but think that she would gladly wake up to this view each and every morning. Callie and Sofia were both sleeping soundly, Callie's mini-me nestled safely in her mother's arms. They looked so peaceful and beautiful and perfect, that Arizona reached for her phone and snapped a picture, cursing at how loud the sound effect sounded in the quiet room. But neither of the beautiful Latinas seemed to notice or wake up, so Arizona just leaned back into her pillow and looked at the picture. She wished that this could be her phone background instead of Justin Timberlake. After a few more minutes of just admiring Callie as she slept, Arizona reluctantly slid from the bed and padded out of the room. She was hungry, and she wanted to call her parents. She hadn't been able to reach them the night before. Arizona pulled out her phone and was about to call her mother, when she walked into the kitchen and was surprised to see it staffed. Was it always staffed? Or had they really brought someone all the way out here just to cook for her? Arizona hoped it wasn't the latter. "Good morning, Ms. Robbins," the man said. "Can I fix you anything for breakfast?" "Umm…" Arizona paused. She'd really been anticipating just grabbing a bowl of cereal and a banana. "Sure, yeah. Could you just make an assortment of stuff and send it up to my room? Two adults and a kid." "Right away," the man nodded. Arizona smiled at him. Being the daughter of the president had its perks. "Thank you." Then she left the kitchen and plopped herself down on a couch in the living room, pressing her mom's name in her phone and bringing it to her ear. "Arizona, hi," Barbara Robbins greeted. "How are you, sweetie?" "I should be asking you that question," Arizona said. "Are you guys okay? What the hell happened?" "Language, Arizona," her mother corrected. Arizona rolled her eyes. "We're fine. Everyone's a little shaken up, b ut we're fine. Agent Matthews jumped in front of your father and took a b ullet to the shoulder, b ut he should have a fast, full recovery." Arizona winced at the news that a Secret Service agent had been hit, and she was still feeling anxious that her parents had been shot at. But she also knew that it came with the territory—being the first family meant you were a target. "Do they know who or—" "It was someone protesting you father's Supreme Court nominee." Arizona closed her eyes and felt like she was going to be sick. Her father's Supreme Court nominee was gay. He was conservative, and agreed with her father's policies and worldview, supporting gay civil unions that were essentially equal to marriage, but not called that. He wasn't really considered much of a threat to the anti-gay marriage community. But he himself was gay, and that alone had certain groups in uproar. "Because um," Arizona said, trying to stop herself from seeing red. "Because he's gay?" "Yes," Barbara Robbins said simply. Then her mother sighed. "I told your father not to appoint him—it was just asking for troub le. But he didn't listen to me." Arizona took a deep breath. She knew that neither of her parents had a moral objection to homosexuality, but sometimes they made comments like this one. Comments that suggested that it would be easier for the country if gay people just sat quietly on the sidelines. And that would be easier to handle politically. But it certainly wasn't right. "Yeah, mom, I don't think dad appointed Davidson because he's gay. I think he did it because he has a brilliant mind, an incredible record, and he would do a good job."

"I suppose," was all Barbara said. "Anyways mom," Arizona said, her mood soured. "I think I'm gonna go. I'm glad you guys are fine. Tell dad I love him." "Alright sweetie, we love you too," Barbara said, ending the call. Arizona dropped her phone to the couch in frustration and stood up, approaching a massive window that looked out on an appealing vista. She smiled at the sight. It had snowed a lot. In D.C., the snow would quickly become a disgusting grey color. But out in the country, there was no one around, and the snow was undisturbed. Arizona knew it was the middle of November, but it looked like Christmas. The trees looked beautiful all covered in snow, and the entire scene looked peaceful and tranquil. And Sofia was going to love it. Arizona silently made her way back up the stairs and slipped back into her room. Callie and Sofia were exactly how she had left them. Arizona's eyes fell on Callie, specifically, and she felt a flurry of excitement in her chest. This woman was just so beautiful. Arizona secretly hoped that Callie wouldn't rush home—that she'd be willing to spend the day at Camp David. They could play in the snow, just Callie, Arizona, and Sofia. It would be a perfect day. Arizona grabbed some clean sweats and a t-shirt and then stepped into her bathroom, wanting to get a quick shower before breakfast. She sighed as the warm water washed over her body, her fingers immediately finding their way to her center. She needed some relief if she was going to get through what she hoped would be an entire day with Callie. As Arizona continued to please herself, she imagined a naked Callie, pulling back the shower curtain and slipping into the shower behind her, pressing her warm body against Arizona's. Arizona imagined how wonderful it would feel to just sink her body into Callie's, how wonderful it would be if it were Callie's fingers moving between her legs, and not her own. How perfect that would be. A few minutes later, both clean and satisfied, Arizona stepped back into her bedroom, smirking at the fact that Callie and Sofia still hadn't moved. Apparently they were both deep sleepers. So, nothing else to be done, Arizona climbed back into bed and burrowed back under her blankets, content to watch them sleep until breakfast arrived. A few minutes later, a gentle knock sounded on her door. "Come in," Arizona called, smiling when the wonderful aroma of coffee and breakfast entered the room. The chef and another employee were wheeling in a gorgeous spread of breakfast food. Just looking at it made her mouth water. "Will this do, Ms. Robbins?" the chef asked politely. Arizona just laughed at his question—she couldn't imagine a world in which such a breakfast wouldn't be satisfactory. "Yes, it looks amazing," she smiled at him. "Thank you." "You're welcome," the chef nodded. "Enjoy." And with that, the two employees left the room. Arizona cast a glance in the Torres women's direction, and grinned when she saw that they were an adorable mess of yawns, stretches, and smiles. "Good morning," Arizona said happily. "Mmm, good morning," Callie murmured. "You hungry?" Arizona asked excitedly, going over to the cart and wheeling it to Callie's side. She motioned for Callie to sit up so that she could sit where Callie's legs were currently outstretched. Callie quickly sat cross-legged, Sofia scurrying into her mother's lap. Arizona handed Callie a hot mug of coffee, secretly loving it when Callie groaned loudly in satisfaction. She wished she could do something else that would make Callie groan like that. "Pancakes!" Sofia clapped happily. "Yeah, sweetie, you want some?" Callie smiled. The next several minutes passed quite happily, the three women helping themselves to their feast of a breakfast. Sofia spent most of it in her mother's lap, but did spend a few minutes cuddling with Arizona as well. Callie and Arizona kept making eye contact, exchanging looks of longing and desire, and it was driving the blonde crazy. She was nervous about asking Callie for sex, worried that it would go horribly wrong and threaten their friendship. But she didn't know what else to do. She couldn't go on like this. After they were full, Arizona scooped Sofia onto her hip and approached the window, pulling the blinds so that the little girl could see outside.

Sofia's eyes widened comically at the sight of all the snow. "Mommy, snow!" Sofia gushed excitedly. "Mommy, snow!" Callie chuckled and Arizona groaned internally—why did her laugh have to be so sexy? "Yeah, honey, I can see that." "We go play?" Sofia asked excitedly. Arizona also turned to look at Callie, nodding at the Latina to let her know she was happy with the idea. Arizona prayed that Callie would say yes, that the Latina didn't have a reason to rush back home. "Sure, Sof," Callie nodded, laughing when Sofia gave a small cheer. "Wanna build a snow man?" Sofia shook her head. "Snow girl. Don't like boys." Callie smirked. "You like your daddy, and he's a boy." Sofia thought for a moment, her face scrunched up adorably, before nodding. "Oh, yeah." Arizona set the little girl down on the floor and headed for her closet. She knew she had some snow boots in there somewhere. "Callie, do you have stuff to wear for outside?" she asked, pulling a box down that she was pretty sure contained her boots. "Yeah, I'm good," the Latina responded. "Do you mind if I take a quick shower first? I feel gross after travelling." "Sure." About a half an hour later, they were headed into the yard, all bundled up from head to toe. Sofia squealed and took a running jump, throwing herself into the fluffy white snow. Callie charged right in after her, teasing her daughter by sprinkling a little snow in her face. "Mommy, stop!" Sofia giggled. "Nope, gotta clean your face!" Callie teased. "You got it all messy at breakfast!" "No I didn't!" Sofia squealed, getting to her feet and running away to escape her mother's torture. Arizona smiled at the exchange. Sofia was such a delightful little girl, and Callie was such a devoted mom. It just made her feel all warm and fuzzy inside. The three women got to work fairly quickly after that, ultimately deciding to make three "snow girls" as Sofia called them —two large ones to represent Callie and Arizona, and a smaller one to be Sofia. Callie made fun of Arizona for how intently she concentrated, but Arizona couldn't help it. She was task-oriented, and when she had something to accomplish, she had an insane amount of focus. But Arizona did have to laugh at herself when she tried, and failed, to give the two adults breasts. Snow men were certainly easier to make. Arizona was in the zone, trying yet again to make herself have something larger than an A-cup, when she felt a snowball collide with her back. Arizona whirled around in surprise, not quite believing that her thirty-three-year-old, sophisticated, successful accounting professor had really just started a snowball fight. But Callie was simply standing there, a guilty smile on her face and another snowball in her hand. "Oh no, you did not!" Arizona said, a mischievous grin forming on her face. Callie just stuck her tongue out at Arizona and fired the other snowball, barely missing Arizona when the blonde dodged out of the way. Arizona laughed out loud and reached down, quickly reaching down to gather her own ammunition. She expertly formed a perfect snowball and whipped it at Callie, grinning in satisfaction when it hit the professor square in the jaw. Callie had picked a fight with the wrong person. Arizona was a Robbins. Her father and brother had made sure that she knew how to throw a snowball. "It's on, Torres!" Arizona taunted, quickly making another snowball and chucking it at Callie, this time hitting Callie's butt as she ran away. Arizona ran quickly after her professor, occasionally stopping to grab more snowballs and chucking them at her with perfect aim. Callie was laughing her head off but not retaliating, busy enough just trying to escape from Arizona. Sofia just sat next to the three snow women, apparently undecided about whether she wanted to pick a side and join in. Arizona grinned when Callie finally stopped and gathered some snow, apparently finally ready to fight back. But in the Robbins household, snow fights often turned into wrestling matches. So when Callie left herself open, Arizona didn't hesitate to tackle the professor, knocking her on her back. Callie gasped in surprise and immediately tried to flip them over, but Arizona had superior positioning and fought to remain on top. She gleefully started to gather a massive handful

of snow. Callie protested loudly, but Arizona ignored her, delivering a ruthless face wash, just how her brother had taught her. "Arizona!" Callie gasped, raising her gloved hands to brush the snow out of her face once Arizona was finished. Callie looked shocked, but highly amused. Arizona felt downright triumphant. She had officially won the snow fight. "That'll teach you to start a snow ball fight with a Robbins!" Arizona said smugly, flicking a little more snow into Callie's face. And then, without thinking, she leaned down and kissed Callie right on the lips. It was a light, playful kiss, motivated not by forethought or desire, but only by happiness and victory and spur-of-the-moment childlikeness. But after their lips had been joined for a second or two, Arizona's mind switched on and she realized what she was doing. She was kissing Callie. She was doing what she had been dreaming of doing for months. And instead of panicking, instead of freaking out at how sudden and unplanned this was, Arizona just closed her eyes and lost herself in the feeling. She had Callie pinned underneath her, and she had Callie's warm breath on her skin, Callie's warm lips on her mouth. It was perfect. Even more perfect than she had thought it would be. Arizona groaned at the sensation and reached her gloved hands up to hold Callie's face and neck. She had never kissed anyone before, so she was surprised by the wetness and feel of the kiss. But she found that she liked it. She liked it a lot. Callie moaned into the kiss as well, and Arizona smiled softly when the Latina's hands found their way to Arizona's hips. Even though they were both covered in several layers of clothing, it still felt good to be holding each other this way. After a moment, Arizona deepened the kiss, opening her mouth and preparing to tentatively poke her tongue out. She was more than eager to explore the inside of Callie's mouth, to feel Callie's tongue pressing intimately against her own. But then Sofia came racing loudly over, so Arizona reluctantly allowed Callie to push her off of the brunette's body. "Mommy, what are you doing?" Sofia asked, sitting in the snow next to her mother, who looked quite flustered. "Uh, we were uh, just wrestling, sweetheart," Callie said, her cheeks blushing deeply. "Oh," Sofia said, not seeming to be overly interested. "Mommy, we go sledding?" "Oh um," Callie stuttered, still looking quite rattled. "Arizona," she said, looking at the blonde for a split second before looking down at the ground. "Do you have sledding stuff here? And a hill?" "Yeah," Arizona nodded, feeling a little hurt and confused. Callie had definitely kissed her back, so why was she now avoiding Arizona's eyes? "Sleds are in that shed right there," she pointed. "Yay!" Sofia said, jumping up and running the direction of the shed. Arizona watched her for a second before turning back to Callie, who was already standing to her feet. "Callie…" Arizona said, rising to her full height as well and taking a cautious step towards the brunette. "Arizona," Callie said, holding up a hand to halt the blonde and taking a step back. "Not—just…just not right now." Arizona felt her heart dropping in her chest. What had she done? Had she just ruined everything? "I…I'm sorry," Arizona said, her eyes filling with tears and her voice full of emotion. Callie's eyes immediately softened at the display, and Arizona found herself being pulled into a hug. "Shh, it's okay, sweetheart," Callie said gently. "I'm not mad; you have nothing to apologize for. You just…you need to give me a little space, okay? Or else I'm not gonna be able to control myself. We can talk when she goes down for a nap." Arizona nodded in understanding, smiling a little when Callie took her glove off and wiped the tears from Arizona's eyes. "So you didn't—I wasn't—I'm not bad at kissing?" Arizona asked insecurely. She was feeling mightily unsure of herself. "No," Callie chuckled slightly. "Not at all. Let's just…let's go sledding." With that, Callie started walking towards Sofia, who was struggling to get the shed door open. Arizona took a deep breath, taking a moment to gather herself, and then followed after them. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie swallowed nervously as she closed the door to Arizona's bedroom. The three women had gone sledding and

eaten a simple lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, and Callie had just put Sofia down for a nap. Which meant that it was time for her and Arizona to talk. Time for them to finally, really talk. So it was with dread that Callie descended the stairs and headed for the private, out-of-the-way sitting room where Arizona was waiting for her. Callie looked around the room anxiously as she stepped into it. It was a little dark, given that it was snowing again and the only illumination in the room came from the single light Arizona had turned on, as well as a roaring fire in the fireplace. If she'd been in there for any other reason, Callie would have liked the room—it had a nice, warm, cozy feeling to it. But at the moment, it was the room where she could very well shatter both of their hearts into pieces. Callie sighed and sat down on a couch opposite Arizona, the coffee table in between them providing Callie with a little bit of security. When Arizona had kissed her earlier, Callie's entire body had been set on fire to the point that she didn't trust herself. Kissing Arizona had felt so good, so incredible. It was taking all of Callie's self-control to not just walk over to the other couch, press the blonde's delicious body into the cushions, rip off her pants, and take her right then and there. That was all Callie wanted to do. Would that be so bad? Yes, Callie, that would b e b ad. "So," Callie breathed out, mentally steeling herself for the conversation they were about to have. She really didn't know what to talk about, or where to start. But she knew that Arizona was off limits. They had to somehow figure out what they were going to do. "So," Arizona nodded, fidgeting slightly and chewing on her lower lip. Callie had to close her eyes as she felt a pang of arousal. She wanted to be chewing on Arizona's lower lip. "So uh, you kissed me," Callie said, thinking a recap was a good place to start. "And I uh, I kissed you back." "Yeah," Arizona confirmed. "So we need to figure out what we're gonna do about that," Callie said, still unable to look at the blonde. "Well…" Arizona sighed. "I would really like to kiss you again." Callie's eyes involuntarily flashed to Arizona's at the statement. Arizona was just staring at her hopefully, but Callie could tell the blonde was trying desperately not to get her hopes up. "Arizona," Callie murmured, her voice full of emotion and sadness. "We…we can't." "You…you don't want me?" Arizona asked insecurely. "No, of course I want you," Callie said. That wasn't it at all. "Do you have feelings for me?" Arizona asked. Callie sighed. "Yes, of course I have feelings for you Arizona." I love you, Arizona. "You have no idea." "So then," Arizona shrugged. "Why can't we?" "Arizona," Callie said, her voice sounding much more certain than she felt. "I am your professor. I could lose my job." "Only for a couple more weeks," Arizona argued. "I looked it up—once I'm not in your class anymore, you can't get fired for it." "But it's still majorly frowned upon," Callie said, hating that she felt flattered that Arizona had clearly thought about this. "And I would still be in a position of authority over you. It's wrong, Arizona. It would be unethical, and I would be taking advantage of you." "But I want you!" Arizona exclaimed. "How is that taking advantage?" "Arizona," Callie sighed, shaking her head. She wasn't sure she knew how to explain this. Arizona had likely never been in a position of authority over someone. She couldn't understand that Callie felt responsib le for her. Callie felt responsible for all of her students—she felt that it was her job to help them grow up, help them grow into upstanding young adults. "It would be an abuse of power. It just would be." "So…that's it?" Arizona scoffed. "We have feelings for each other, but because the circumstances aren't one hundred percent ideal, you're not even going to give us a try?" "One hundred percent ideal?" Callie asked incredulously. "Arizona, ignoring for just a second the very serious issue of

you not being out, just…just look at us! You are twenty years old! I'm turning thirty-four a week from Tuesday! I'm a grown woman with a job and a kid and a lot of life experience. You're a college kid. You haven't had a chance to explore the world yet. You haven't had a chance to find out who you are yet." From the way Arizona set her jaw, Callie could tell that her statements had made the blonde angry. "What, so you don't want to be with me because I don't have emotional baggage?" "Arizona, that's not what I—" "Just because I'm young doesn't mean I'm naïve. And excuse me if I don't think that going out and spending a few years getting drunk and sleeping with random skanks is an absolute requirement for figuring out who I am. I already know who I am." "Arizona—" "I'm not a child, Callie! If you don't want to be with me for some other reason, fine. But don't give me this 'you're too young' crap." Callie just swallowed. "And I know that…that my father being who he is and me being not being out is an issue, okay? I get that. But…but if we really care about each other, then can't we get through it together? Love can conquer anything." Callie just laughed mirthlessly and rolled her eyes. "That—right there? 'Love can conquer anything'? Tell me how that's not naïve. Tell me how that's not something that only kids who have no idea what they're talking ab out say." Arizona just shook her head indignantly. "Tell me how you're not completely jaded and cynical, giving up on something special because you're afraid." Callie's mouth fell open and she scoffed at the idea. "I am not afraid, Arizona. I am merely trying to behave like a responsible adult, something that you are clearly incapable of." Arizona looked a little wounded at that statement, and Callie immediately felt guilty. Arizona was responsible. "Arizona, I'm sorry, I didn't mean—" "No, it's okay," Arizona said, looking down and sighing. Callie looked down as well and started wringing her hands together. "So," Arizona said, after a long, tense moment. "What do you think we should do?" Callie just slumped over and rested her face in her hands. "I…I don't know," she said in defeat. "I don't want to lose you," Arizona said quietly. "I don't want to lose you either," Callie agreed. "Could we…" Arizona sighed. "Could we just keep going how we were going and…I don't know? Maybe explore the possibility of us…later? When you don't think I'm such a baby?" "Arizona, I don't think you're a baby," Callie said, lifting her head and giving the blonde a look. "Well then why don't you want to be with me?" Callie's heart ached at the hurt in Arizona's voice. "I do want to be with you, Arizona," she said honestly. "So then why—" "Because it would be selfish!" Callie said. "I would be robbing you of your childhood, your young adulthood. You need to go set the world on fire! You don't need someone tying to down to one spot, Arizona. My life is here. My house is here, my job is here, my daughter is here. I'm settled. But you? Arizona, you need to go get an exciting career. Travel the world, meet new people, have new experiences. Do all the things that I got to do when I was your age. You don't need to be constrained by a woman in her mid-thirties with a kid!"

Arizona just took a deep breath before speaking calmly and quietly. "Isn't that my choice to make?" "Arizona," Callie sighed, just shaking her head. "I don't think you're a baby. But you are young. Too young to be making a decision like this." "It's not like I'm asking you to marry me!" Arizona argued. "No," Callie agreed. "But I don't do the kind of relationships you have when you're twenty. When you're your age, you're not really…you're not really looking for a long-term partner. You're just enjoying each other. But I don't do that, Arizona. Unless it's a one night stand with no strings attached, I really have no interest in just enjoying someone. If I'm gonna be with someone, it's gonna be well, permanent. It's gonna be serious. That person is gonna be a parent to Sofia. It's a b ig deal." "But I love Sofia," Arizona said, looking confused. "And assuming that we're working out, I…" Arizona paused, looking down. "I don't see why we couldn't be permanent." "Arizona, babysitting Sofia, and having fun with her once in a while is one thing. Being a parent is entirely different!" "You think I'll be a bad mom?" Arizona asked. "I think you shouldn't be thinking about being a mom!" Callie answered. Callie groaned internally. Was Arizona hearing herself? Did she hear the way she was basically saying she was ready to throw all the freedoms of youth out the window to be with Callie and Sofia? It was heartwarming that she felt that way, sure. But it just cemented Callie's view on this further—Arizona was not at all ready for the kind of relationship Callie required. She was too young. She had too much growing up to do. Arizona shifted in her seat and started picking at the sleeve of her sweater. "But…but what if we do what you're saying, and by the time you think I'm ready, you've found someone else?" Callie smiled sadly at the blonde. Callie knew that her feelings wouldn't go away. Even if life didn't bring them together eventually, she knew at least a part of her would always belong to Arizona. But Arizona didn't know that she felt that way, and Callie knew that she couldn't say it either. "Arizona," Callie sighed. "When things are meant to be, they have a way of working out in the end." Arizona looked up. "So you think we're meant to be?" Yes. "I don't know, honey," Callie said. "But if we are, then I have faith that it'll work out when it's supposed to. Life is… complicated," she said honestly. "Things don't always happen when you want them to or the way you want them to. But it…" Callie shrugged. "It just has a way of working out. I mean, I certainly didn't expect to become a mom the way that I did. But Sofia is such a gift from God, and I wouldn't change a thing." Arizona just nodded sadly and went back to picking at her sweater. "So what are we gonna do?" Callie blew out a breath of air before sighing. "Well, we've just got a few weeks until the semester is over, and then I'm spending the entire semester break down in Miami. I think…I think it would be good if we took a break. Just get some space from each other, clear our heads. Then we can…when we get back from break, we can figure out if we can handle just being friends." "Can I…can I call you?" Arizona asked. "I don't think that would be good," Callie said. "I think we really need to have no contact with each other for a while." Arizona huffed, but then reluctantly agreed, a few tears falling from her eyes. Callie resisted the urge to go to the blonde's couch to comfort her—she still didn't trust herself not to do something stupid. "I really…" Callie said. "I really am sorry about all of this Arizona. I should have never let things get this far." It was true— Callie shouldn't have let it get this far. But she'd tried everything she could think of. She'd really, really tried to keep things platonic between them. Ultimately, she just hadn't been able to help herself. The blonde was inescapable and irresistible. Callie felt helpless to defend against her. Arizona nodded again, and a sense of finality fell upon the small room. Callie let out a relieved sigh. She was heartbroken, of course. She loved Arizona. But she also felt satisfied. She loved Arizona enough to let her go. She loved her enough to insist on what was best for her. Callie just hoped that the universe would reward her by bringing the blonde back to her doorstep one day.

The two women sat silently in the room for a few minutes, both apparently lost to their own thoughts. But after a while, Arizona looked up at Callie, a dangerous, desperate look in her eyes. Callie immediately tensed as Arizona stood from her couch and headed towards her. What—what was Arizona doing? Callie's eyes widened as Arizona stopped in front of her and then scooted onto the couch, gracefully straddling Callie's hips. Callie immediately started to object, but then Arizona's lips were on her again, and all of her fight left her. Callie felt her hands instinctively go to Arizona's hips, and her head fell back against the couch in pleasure as Arizona started grinding into her and kissing her neck. "Ariz—Arizona," Callie gasped out. Her entire body was screaming at her to shut up and let Arizona do whatever the blonde had in mind. But her mind was still convinced that this wasn't good for Arizona, that this would hurt her in the end. "I want you," Arizona murmured in her ear, her voice low and dripping with seduction. Callie swallowed and fought to keep her eyes open as Arizona lowered her hands to cup Callie's breasts through her shirt. "Oh," Callie moaned. She had wanted those hands on her breasts for so long. Swallowing again, and trying to find her voice, Callie managed to croak out "Arizona," again, followed by a breathless "we—we can't." "I know," Arizona whispered, her hands returning to Callie's face. She pulled Callie back in for a passionate kiss and Callie groaned when she felt Arizona's velvety tongue exploring her mouth and stroking her own tongue. "Arizona," Callie murmured out between kisses. "We can't. We said that—" "Just give me one night," Arizona said, her hands falling to Callie's thighs. "Wha—what?" Callie tried to resist as Arizona grinded even closer into her, but she wasn't terribly successful. The gorgeous blonde vision on top of her was too irresistible, too enticing. "One night," Arizona repeated, turning Callie's head to suck on her ear. Callie's eyes rolled back into her head at the intoxicating sensation. "If I end up going my entire life without ever being with you, without ever having felt you, I don't know what I'll do." "Arizona," Callie said, leaning forward to lay a kiss on Arizona's jawline, her actions contradicting her protests. "We…we can't. We just can't." Callie was feeling incredibly alarmed. She knew this was wrong. She knew she had to get Arizona off of her—and fast. But she just couldn't quite work up enough conviction to do so. This felt so good, so right. "Please," Arizona said, taking Callie's hands from where they were clutching Arizona's hips, and instead resting them on the blonde's full breasts. Both women simultaneously moaned in pleasure, Arizona releasing a throaty one, and Callie's more of whimper. "Please," Arizona repeated, again leaning in towards Callie's ear. "Teach me," she whispered huskily. "Show me how to love a woman. She me how to touch a woman just right. Show me how to please you. I want you to be my first." Callie groaned loudly at the thought and shuddered, a sudden and powerful surge of arousal racing through her body. Arizona was a virgin. Arizona was asking Callie to take her virginity. The thought turned her on to a frightening degree, but it also gutted her at the same time. Arizona had never been with someone. She was pure, untouched, undefiled. No one had ever loved her, no one had ever experienced her. Callie could be the first. Callie could be the one to show her, the one to introduce her to pleasure, the one to bring her to that exquisite high for the very first time. That knowledge made Callie's entire body tremble with want. But it also made her feel guilty. This wasn't—this wasn't her place. This wasn't right. It wasn't right because Arizona was Callie's student, but it also wasn't right for all of the other reasons they had just discussed. If they slept together, if they shared such an intimate experience? Callie knew that they wouldn't be able to stop. They wouldn't be able to stay away from each other. They would be together, in the most meaningful way possible, and that would be it. It would cost Arizona so much of her youth, so much of her freedom. And so although this was what Arizona thought she wanted, Callie knew better. And she knew that Arizona wouldn't stop them. The responsibility fell on Callie to protect Arizona. It was her job to stop them. It was her job to guard Arizona, to make sure she didn't make a commitment that she wasn't ready to make. Callie let go of Arizona's delicious breasts and snaked a hand through Arizona's golden blonde hair, bringing Arizona to her mouth for one last kiss. Callie poured everything that she was into that kiss, taking a long, heartbreaking moment to take in Arizona. To memorize how she felt, how she smelled, how she tasted. What the weight of her body felt like on top of Callie's. Callie kissed her fiercely, to tell Arizona she loved her. To tell her goodbye.

And then Callie pulled back, pushing Arizona gently, but firmly, to her feet. Arizona's blue eyes searched for Callie's brown eyes, and Callie looked up at her sadly, shaking her head. "I want to, Arizona. I would love to. But I can't. We can't. It's not right. It's not the right time." Arizona just bit her lip and squeezed her eyes shut tightly. Tears were streaming out of them, and Callie felt absolutely miserable for causing each and every one. She knew that this hurt Arizona deeply—it also hurt Callie deeply. But she also knew it was for the best. It would cause the least pain in the long run. And then someday, when things were different, when they were ready—someday they could try again.

*Chapter 10*: Chapter 10
AN: Hi all! I'd like to apologize for the delay. I'm just really stressed out at the moment, and it's hard for me to write. Writing for me doesn't cause or decrease stress, but I need to be rather low stress to write in the first place. So I'm really sorry, but I'm doing the best I can. That being said, the likelihood of me finishing this story before I go out of town for a month is very low. Because of this, I will *try* to continue writing when I'm at home with my family, but I can't make any promises, because half of that time I'll be travelling with my family or boyfriend. But I'll try. I can't promise fast updates, but I can promise that I will see this story through to its conclusion (I've had it all pretty much mapped out since the beginning), and, as with all of my stories, I can promise a happy ending. My ultimate goal is to write fun, happy, heartwarming stories that give you what you want, but also include enough angst so it's not boring. Anyways, this chapter is rather uneventful. I felt like we needed to see our girls processing. The next chapter will be VERY eventful, I promise lol. But again, I don't know when that update will be. Some of you are leaving me guest reviews asking me questions. I can't respond to you unless you sign in so I can PM you. I try very hard to answer all of my PMs. I'm also attentive to people who send me messages on livejournal (fluffycalzona), tumblr (fluffycalzonafics), and twitter (fluffycalzona). So um yeah, don't be shy. Also, your response to the last chapter was overwhelming! So glad you're enjoying this story. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Aria looked contemplative and blew out a slow breath of air. Then her eyes shifted back to Callie, a mischievous grin on her face. "So you're sure none of those eHarmony matches were good?" Callie just snorted at her sister's attempt to lighten the mood and raised her glass to her lips, taking another sip of the expensive wine. It was the day after Christmas, and she was sitting in her sister's massive living room. Callie made an excellent salary as an accounting professor, and she had dipped into her trust fund to purchase and decorate her luxurious town home, but Aria had a mansion. The elder Torres daughter was a kind person at heart, but she was also a socialite, and she had a definite materialistic streak. And she could certainly afford it. Aria's husband Michael made an enviable salary working for their father, hotel tycoon Carlos Torres, and he was also a very talented investor. Michael and Aria put his salary and their two trust funds to very good use, and the couple continued to get richer and richer, no matter how ridiculous their spending became. Callie generally disliked the social circles that her family moved in, and she definitely thought her parents were a little on the snobby side. But somehow, Michael and Aria remained down-to-earth. Yes, they loved exotic vacations and bought flashy cars way too often, but they were active in philanthropy and giving back to the community, and they cared deeply about their family. Callie didn't have a single complaint to raise against them. And Aria was a truly wonderful sister. She was always there when Callie needed her. This particular evening, Callie and Aria were having some much-needed girl time. Aria and Michael's twins were down for the night, and Michael was watching a kids movie with their daughter and Sofia. Callie had just finished telling Aria the saga of Arizona, and she was now eagerly awaiting Aria's advice. Maybe Aria would know what Callie should do about this horrible aching feeling in her heart. Even though it had been painful, Callie and Arizona had succeeded in mostly staying away from each other for the few last weeks of the semester. They had, of course, needed to speak a few times about accounting club events, and Arizona had come over once because Sofia had been begging for her, but they'd otherwise stayed far apart. But Arizona had called her on Christmas Day, unable to refrain from wishing the Latina a Merry Christmas, and Callie had been happy to hear from her. She missed Arizona. She missed her desperately. The entire holiday season somehow seemed sad and empty without her. And the call had given Callie a chance to ask Arizona's permission to speak to Aria about her. Arizona had been hesitant at first, but after Callie had strongly vouched for her sister's character and discretion, Arizona had agreed. But Arizona had made Callie promise not to talk about it with Mark, and Callie had immediately reassured Arizona that she wouldn't dream of it. Callie loved Mark, and she knew he was trustworthy in general. But he would tell Lexie, and then Lexie would tell Meredith and then…well, Callie just didn't think it would end well. The chances of Arizona being inadvertently outed were simply too high. "But really, Callie?" Aria asked. "You don't want any of them?"

Callie just pouted. "I only want Arizona." She couldn't even stand the idea of anyone else. She wanted only Arizona, and she wanted her all the time. Aria sighed. "Callie, the girl practically offered herself to you on a silver platter. If you want her, you can have her." "Aria!" Callie said. "Have you even been listening for the past half hour? I can't say yes. It wouldn't be right." "Callie," Aria said, popping some Christmas candy in her mouth. "She sounds rather mature for her age, so the age difference doesn't strike me as being an issue. And now that she's not your student…" "Aria, the main problem isn't the age difference or my job. It's that she's twenty. She shouldn't be talking about making this kind of commitment. I'm looking for a spouse and co-parent, not just…someone to have fun with. I'm not gonna steal her young adulthood from her." "Callie," Aria argued. "If she is sure, who are you to make that decision for her?" "No one should be making that decision when they're twenty!" "Callie," Aria said reproachfully. "I think you're forgetting who you're talking to." "What?" Callie asked, her face scrunching in confusion. Aria just gave her a look and raised her eyebrows, waiting for Callie to catch on. "Oh…" Callie said a moment later, taking in Aria's meaning. "Yeah," Aria nodded, a knowing smirk on her face. Aria and Michael had gotten married two days after Aria turned eighteen, only one week after their high school graduation. Michael had gone on to college, but Aria hadn't wanted to, instead throwing herself into philanthropy and learning how to be a corporate wife from their mother. Once Michael had graduated college, they'd tried to start a family, but had suffered through several miscarriages before finally having Maggie. They had immediately wanted more children, but they had had to try for several more years, and endure many more miscarriages, before finally being blessed with their twin boys. And they were hopelessly in love. Even with all the grief and heartbreak and despair over so many lost children, Aria's and Michael's love for each other had never wavered. Instead of being driven apart by their sorrow, they had clung to each other, and they were impossibly close to one another as a result. They were a glaring example to Callie that people could make important decisions when they were young. "Aria…" Callie said after thinking for a few minutes. "You…you've never resented Michael for getting married so young? You never felt constrained? Like he limited your opportunities? Stopped you from exploring and experiencing the world?" Aria just smiled and chuckled. "Callie, not everyone is like you." "What?" "You wanted to go to college. You wanted to explore ancient cities and tropical rainforests and spend semesters abroad and meet all sorts of people. You never wanted to just get married, stay in Miami, and have babies. But I did. I didn't want to do all that stuff." "So you've never regretted it?" Aria shook her head. "Not for a second. My life, here, with Michael? I wouldn't change a thing. He's the love of my life, Callie, and he's worth so much more than…than entries in some travel scrapbook or plaques hanging on the wall." "Plus you two do go on vacation quite a bit," Callie quipped. "That we do," Aria grinned, plopping some more chocolates in her mouth. "And sure," Aria said, her voice a little hard to understand as she munched on the candy, "we could have waited until we were older, but why? We knew what we wanted, and we went for it. And now, I've woken up next to the man I love every morning for almost twenty years, and we have three beautiful children. Marrying Michael was the best decision I ever made, and I was only seventeen when we got engaged." "So…" Callie sighed. "So you think Arizona's more like you?" Aria shrugged. "I have absolutely no idea, Callie. You know her, not me. I'm just saying that your version of what twentysomethings look like might not be the same as hers. And while, yeah, she may still have some growing up to do, that

doesn't mean she's completely clueless about what she wants out of her life." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona sat on the floor of the accounting department hallway, her back resting against the wall next to Callie's office door. It was seven-thirty in the morning on the first day of classes for the spring semester. Which meant that her mandated "time apart" from Callie was officially over, and she could see the gorgeous brunette again. Arizona had checked the class offerings to see when Callie's classes were. The Latina was again teaching all of her classes on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and Arizona knew that on the days Callie was teaching, she arrived between seven-thirty and eight o'clock in the morning. So Arizona had gotten to her office at quarter after seven. She knew it probably looked desperate, but she didn't care. She was desperate. Desperate to see Callie again, desperate to be with Callie, desperate to tell Callie how she felt, to somehow convince Callie to give her a chance. Arizona had never had a more miserable Christmas in her life. She had missed Callie every day, and even though she understood that Callie hadn't been trying to hurt her, she still felt incredibly rejected and dismissed. Did Callie really see her as nothing but a child, incapable of making decisions for herself? Sure, Arizona knew she was young. But that didn't mean she didn't know what she wanted. And the idea that Callie thought she was too immature to commit to something was just...insulting. Demeaning and infuriating and insulting. Arizona sighed and leaned her head back against the wall. If someone had told her just six months earlier that she would want to be in a relationship with a thirty-four-year-old mother, she would have just laughed out loud at them. For starters, Arizona wasn't out. And she couldn't be. Her father was just a few days away from reaching the halfway mark in his first term, which meant that he could potentially be the president for another six years. And Arizona had told herself that she would be a good man in a storm, that she would just put her personal life on hold, that she wouldn't pursue a relationship until he was out of office. But despite that, she just couldn't keep herself away from Callie. And if they were to be together, it wasn't as though Callie would want to go public, either—the brunette would want to keep it a secret because of her job. But even if they didn't have the issue of Arizona's father and Callie's job to deal with, it was still a strange situation. Callie was thirty-four. Arizona was on the verge of turning twenty-one. Callie was a professor with a small child. Arizona was just a college student. Arizona understood that there was quite a large gap, both in terms of actual age and in stage of life. But somehow, it just didn't seem to matter. She could talk to Callie. She could really, really talk to her. And Arizona loved being around her. They didn't even have to be doing something in particular. Arizona loved just washing dishes with Callie, helping the brunette fold her laundry. She loved peeling potatoes in the kitchen while Callie got to work on the other dishes for dinner. It didn't matter what they were doing, so long as they were together. And Sofia? Arizona adored her. And Arizona knew, as Callie had rather insensitively pointed out, that being Sofia's babysitter and friend was drastically different from being her parent. Arizona wasn't stupid. But the idea of Sofia being permanently in her life didn't bother her. In fact, it made her happy. Yes, Arizona knew that she had no experience as a parent. And obviously, she wasn't asking Callie to marry her, and she wasn't asking to become Sofia's third mother. But the idea of doing both of those things, somewhere down the road? Arizona knew it should terrify her, but it didn't. It felt right. It felt like home. Which brought Arizona to the accounting department hallway early in the morning. She had to see Callie. She had to somehow make the Latina see that she was willing to commit—that she wasn't being juvenile or impulsive. She had to make Callie see that she wanted a relationship, and that she had carefully considered it. It was what she wanted, and she was sure. She was ready. Arizona's body tensed and she lifted her head excitedly when she heard the telltale sound of high heels walking towards her. She'd been hoping that Callie would arrive on the early side, it being the first day of classes and all. But her heart, which had been fluttering in her chest, dropped in disappointment when she saw that it was only Dr. Hahn, whose office was one door down from Callie's. It wasn't that she disliked Dr. Hahn—Arizona had liked her class. But she had really wanted those heels to have belonged to someone else. "Arizona," the older blonde greeted, looking at Arizona somewhat skeptically and then nodding a greeting to Jackson and Cristina. "What are you doing here so early?" "Oh um," Arizona covered. "I just have some accounting club stuff to talk to Dr. Torres about." It wasn't entirely untrue— they did need to discuss the regional accounting club meeting. It was that weekend in New York, and Arizona needed to

confirm their travel plans. It was a little more complicated due to the fact that Arizona travelled with a Secret Service detail, but Arizona was pretty sure she had it all set, and she was excited. She had convinced Alex to come with (Teddy had a family engagement), and her twenty-first birthday was Sunday, which meant they could go out on Saturday at midnight. Arizona knew it would take no convincing to get the officers and other students attending to come out with her to celebrate, but she was secretly hoping that Callie would come as well. But talking about travel plans or going out for her birthday could wait. That wasn't why she was sitting outside Callie's door before eight o'clock in the morning. "Well you're certainly a go-getter," Dr. Hahn chuckled, stopping to fish in her purse for the keys to her office. "I think most of your colleagues are still in mourning that Christmas break is over." "Yeah, well," Arizona shrugged, trailing off. Usually, she would have been reluctant for her vacation to be over as well. But this year, the end of Christmas break meant being able to see Callie again. Arizona had been counting down the days until the semester started again. "Did you have a good break?" Dr. Hahn asked, opening her office door, but remaining in the hallway for Arizona's answer. "Yeah," Arizona lied, giving the professor a bright smile. "Did you?" "Oh, you know," Dr. Hahn shrugged. "I went to visit my parents, but that's about it." "That's nice," Arizona nodded, not knowing what else to say. She didn't have much of a relationship with Dr. Hahn, but she was inclined to like her. She knew that Dr. Hahn and Callie were friends. "Well have a good day, Arizona," Dr. Hahn said, nodding politely at her before disappearing into her office and closing the door halfways. Arizona sank back into the wall and blew out a puff of air before checking her phone. It was now quarter to eight. She was really hoping Callie would get there soon. Arizona had been looking forward to seeing Callie again for over a month, and she had gone through so many scenarios in her head. What Callie would look like. What the older woman would act like. Did Callie miss her too? Had Callie changed her mind? Or would she reject Arizona again? Arizona's stomach was in knots. She didn't know what she would do if Callie rejected her again. She kept trying to tell herself that the brunette did have feelings for her, that Callie was attracted to her. She kept repeating to herself that Callie had only turned her down because Callie thought there were too many issues and problems to get through. But it only worked to a certain extent. Part of Arizona still felt unwanted and unattractive. Part of her just felt rejected and cast aside. And Arizona really didn't know what she was going to say when Callie arrived. She'd gone through a million speeches in her head, numerous different approaches. But none of them seemed quite right, and ultimately, Arizona knew that she would just need to wing it, just need to rely on Callie's body language and facial expressions to guide her. And Arizona was fairly skilled at speaking off the cuff—she had inherited her father's talent for spontaneous speeches. Arizona's head snapped back up and her heart started to flutter again when she heard another set of heels walking towards her. And this time, her breath caught in her throat when it was indeed the gorgeous Dr. Callie Torres who walked around the corner. Callie stopped short at the sight of Arizona, clearly surprised to see the blonde there so early in the morning. Callie dropped her mouth open slightly, but then closed it, resuming her walk towards her office as Arizona stood to her feet. Arizona's heart started to ache and beat rapidly at seeing Callie again—she was certainly a sight for sore eyes. The Latina's elegant white trench coat was hanging open to reveal a pinstriped grey pencil skirt and form-fitting black sweater, paired with black tights and black, heeled boots that stopped just below the knees. Callie's signature, silky black hair was wavy and resting beautifully on her shoulders, and Arizona wanted to do nothing more than walk up to her and kiss her square on the mouth. The taste of Callie's lips had been haunting Arizona for weeks. "Hi," Arizona said nervously as Callie stopped in front of the office door. She suddenly couldn't remember how to breathe. "Hey," Callie said back, looking just as nervous. She quickly unlocked the door and stepped inside. Arizona followed wordlessly behind her, immediately closing the door to Callie's office. And then suddenly, as soon as she turned around, Arizona lunged towards Callie, claiming the brunette's mouth with her own and caressing that silky black hair. She couldn't help herself. She couldn't resist. In the many scenarios that Arizona had run through her head of what she should do and what she should say, immediately kissing Callie had not been

among them. But she was simply powerless. She had no choice but to kiss Callie. The brunette gasped in surprise or pleasure—perhaps both. A moment passed, and Arizona was terrified that Callie was going to push her away. But then she felt Callie's strong arms wrap around her, pulling her closer, making the kiss deeper. Arizona groaned at the feeling. She never wanted this to stop. She wanted to kiss Callie for the rest of her life. She wanted to die still kissing Callie, still being held by Callie. Another moment passed, and Callie ended the kiss, pulling the blonde into a tight hug instead. Arizona released a soft sigh of contentment, cherishing the feeling of being held securely in Callie's arms. She'd been waiting weeks to feel that. Then Callie pulled away slightly and rested her forehead against Arizona's. The two women simply stood there, eyes closed, and breathed each other in for a minute. "I missed you," Arizona murmured after a while. "I missed you, too," Callie said, finally released Arizona. She took a deep breath and shrugged off her trench, hanging it on the coat rack. Then the two women settled into their normal places, Callie in her desk chair and Arizona in the chair that Callie kept in her office for students. Arizona swallowed as she nervously searched Callie's face. She couldn't read the Latina's face or body language. Callie looked uncomfortable—which was to be expected. But Arizona couldn't discern the exact source of that discomfort. "So um," Arizona said, realizing that Callie was waiting for her to start the conversation. "I don't want to go that long without seeing you ever again." Callie smiled at that and nodded her head in agreement. "I...it felt weird without you. You've become a fixture in my life, Arizona." Arizona's heart warmed at the thought of that. A fixture. She had a permanent place in Callie's life. But as what? As a friend? As Sofia's babysitter? Or as...something more? "Please tell me you've changed your mind," Arizona said anxiously, gripping the armrests of her chair. She was dreading Callie's answer, but she needed to know. She was going out of her mind not knowing. "Arizona," Callie sighed, leaning back in her chair and shaking her head in frustration. Arizona felt her heart plummeting in her chest. Why didn't Callie want her? Why wasn't she good enough? Arizona felt a stray tear escape from her eyes and she quickly wiped it away. "Why?" Arizona asked desperately. "Why can't we—" "It's just so complicated, Arizona. It would be too—" "I don't care," Arizona interrupted. "I don't care. I want to be with you." "Arizona, I can't, I can't tie you down. It's not fair to you. It's—" "Callie, I want to be with you," Arizona pleaded. "I know I'm young, but I'm not a kid. I'm old enough to—" "I know, I know," Callie said. "My sister—she...she explained all of that." Arizona furrowed her brows, not quite sure what Callie's sister had to do with this or how she had convinced Callie. "But it still doesn't feel right, Arizona," Callie continued. "You shouldn't get involved with someone like me. You deserve to be young and carefree and just...just not weighed down by someone with a job and a life and a kid." Arizona resisted the urge to growl with frustration. Why didn't Callie understand that she didn't see Callie as weighing her down? That Arizona didn't see Sofia as a drawback? "Callie..." Arizona gritted out, trying not to get angry. "I'm not saying never," Callie said. "I'm just saying not right now." "Dammit, Callie!" Arizona exclaimed, losing the battle to keep her emotions under control. "Why can't you just believe me when I say that I don't care that you're older and have a kid?" "Arizona, keep your voice down," Callie hissed. "I know it's early, so there's nobody around, but these walls aren't soundproof."

Arizona huffed, annoyed that Callie hadn't answered the question. "Callie," she said, closing her eyes and speaking more quietly. "If you don't want to be with me, please don't give me all this other crap. Just come out and say it. It would be a lot easier." Arizona heard Callie sighing. "I do want to be with you, Arizona," Callie said. "You have no idea how badly. But I want what's best for you. I want to do what's right. You're too special to me for me to...to take advantage of you like this." Arizona's eyes snapped open and she looked at Callie incredulously. Callie wouldn't be with her because she cared about her too much? "I know you don't understand—" "You're damn right I don't understand!" Arizona said, her voice a whisper but her tone angry. "Why won't you let me making a freaking decision for myself?! It's my job to determine what's best for me, not yours!" "Arizona, my answer is no!" Callie said, finally losing her composure as well. "Okay? No. I'm saying no. But I do want you in my life. Can you do that? Can you be my friend without constantly guilt tripping me about not giving you what you think you want?" Arizona was shaking with anger and hurt and frustration and...and she didn't know what else. She was so furious that Callie wouldn't listen to her, that Callie still clearly saw her as a child. And she felt wounded at being rejected yet again, even if Callie had made it clear that Arizona's affections were returned. But mostly Arizona was just mad. Mad that Callie wouldn't listen to her, and mad that Callie had the audacity to be angry as well. So Arizona just clenched her jaw and stood up, needing to get out of that office. "Of course I will be your friend, Callie," Arizona said coldly, making sure the brunette knew just how pissed she was. "But I'll be your friend starting tomorrow. Today, as far as I'm concerned, you can just go to hell." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie breathed a sigh of relief as soon as Arizona stormed out of her office. She groaned and looked at her watch—two minutes to eight. It wasn't even eight o'clock in the morning, and she'd already had one hell of a day. She'd been expecting to see Arizona at some point, but she hadn't anticipated that the blonde would be waiting for her first thing in the morning. And then Arizona had kissed her. Callie had almost lost all of her resolve right then and there— had almost locked the door and bent Arizona over the desk, giving the young woman exactly what she was begging for. Callie didn't know how she was going to survive being friends with Arizona, not when simply the sight of her made Callie go insane with hunger. But she also knew that the only alternative was not seeing Arizona at all, and that was simply not an option. Callie didn't want to live in a world with no Arizona. And now Arizona was pissed at her. It was the first time Callie had seen the blonde angry, and Callie felt more than a little guilty about how hot she thought angry Arizona was. Arizona was usually so cute, all sunshine and giggles. But angry Arizona was an entirely different ballgame—all fire and heat. The experience had left Callie feeling more than a little aroused. But it has also left her feeling frustrated and angry herself. She really was trying to do the right thing, and it hurt that Arizona couldn't see it that way. Or at least, refused to see it that way. And she knew that Arizona was just hurt and angry, that the blonde would forgive her sooner or later. But her confrontation with Arizona had left a sour taste in her mouth. It wasn't exactly the way she wanted to start off a brand new year and a brand new semester. "What the hell was that?" Callie looked up and turned to see Erica standing in her doorway, looking upset. Callie immediately found herself starting to panic. How much of that had Erica heard? Callie knew Erica wasn't vindictive—if she had overheard that Arizona was gay, she wouldn't leak it to the press. But it was still not ideal. "Uh, what?" Callie asked, trying to play dumb. Maybe Erica had only witnessed Arizona storming angrily out of Callie's office. "Did Arizona Robbins just call you by your first name and tell you to go to hell?" Callie sighed in relief. Apparently Erica hadn't heard anything too sensitive. But she still had to find a way to explain this to Erica—Callie knew that her friend was already suspicious about the nature of her relationship with Arizona, and this certainly wouldn't help matters.

"She calls me Callie off campus, when she's babysitting," Callie explained. That wasn't really that unreasonable. "She must have forgotten to call me Dr. Torres." "Is she allowed to sentence you to eternal damnation when she's babysitting as well?" Erica asked, unwilling to drop it. Callie smirked. "Well if you were listening carefully, I only have to go to hell today. Tomorrow, I'm off the hook." "Callie," Erica gave her a look. Callie sighed. "We...we had a...a difference of opinions, Erica," Callie said. "That's all. She's just mad at me. She'll get over it." Erica looked thoroughly unconvinced. "Callie, I think you are getting too close to this girl. She's your student first and foremost." Callie rolled her eyes, and mentally told herself to keep her cool. "Erica, I've already told you a thousand times that there is nothing going on between us." "You also told me that you're attracted to her," Erica argued. "So what?" Callie shrugged. "She's straight, Erica. I'm also attracted to Sarah Michelle Gellar, another straight, blonde Republican. And she's even age appropriate. Doesn't mean I'm screwing her." Callie smiled at the thought. It had been a few years, but back in the day, she had definitely fantasized about having a threesome with Sarah Michelle Gellar and Freddie Prinze, Jr. "You wish you were sleeping with Sarah Michelle Gellar," Erica said sardonically. "You know it," Callie smiled, sensing that she had successfully distracted Erica from whatever she had witnessed happening with Arizona. "Well just..." Erica said, looking thoughtful. "Just be careful, Callie." Callie gave her friend an awkward smile. She really didn't see how this was any of Erica's business, and she wished the blonde would just leave her alone. Why did Erica even care? Why was she so interested in Callie's relationship with Arizona? Whether or not Callie had a crush on the student had absolutely no effect on Erica. Why was it such a big deal to her? "Erica," Callie said. "There really is nothing going on. You're imagining something that simply isn't there." Erica stared at Callie for a moment, and Callie had the distinct feeling that Erica didn't believe a word she was saying. But thankfully, Erica finally let it be. "So, how was Miami?" Erica asked, changing the subject.

*Chapter 11*: Chapter 11
AN: Okay guys. Sometimes a chapter just comes flowing out, and I can write it rapidly in one sitting. That's what happened with this one (probably because it's been written in my head for FOREVER). And I think this is a pretty good stopping point for the time being. I still have a LOT of stuff planned for this story. But this will probably be the last update for a while, until my life gets more normal. Thank you for bearing with me. x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona tried not to pout as she climbed into her limo, followed by Cristina, Jackson, Alex, and a few other accounting club members. Originally, she had been hoping that they could all take a bus or large van to New York, so that she would be able to sit near Callie during the ride. But Callie has nixed that idea, and instead they were taking several smaller vehicles. Callie, herself, was driving her cute little Audi, and as it only had comfortable seating for two, the professor was driving the entire way to New York with the president of the club. It had Arizona burning with jealousy—the idea that some other student got Callie's full attention for the entire four-hour drive made her insane. Arizona would kill for four uninterrupted hours with the gorgeous professor. It was late Friday morning, and they were leaving with plenty of time to get to the welcome dinner scheduled for that evening. The conference ran from Friday night through lunch on Sunday, and it was a time for all of the accounting clubs in New England to get together, network, learn more about the accounting profession, and share ideas for how to improve club events and policies. Arizona thought it would be mildly interesting, but really she was just going because Callie was going. She didn't want to miss a single opportunity to be with the brunette. The first week of classes had gone by slowly for Arizona. Her anger at Callie was still lingering. In her head, Arizona knew that what Callie was saying made sense, but that didn't help lessen the hurt or longing in her heart. Every time she caught a glimpse of Callie in the hallway or her phone sounded off with Callie's special ringtone or message alert, Arizona felt a paradoxical surge of both joy and despair. She couldn't help but feel excited whenever she had any contact with Callie. But it also hurt. It hurt so very badly. Arizona's entire being was calling out for Callie, and she couldn't have her. Callie wouldn't let her. There were times when Arizona felt so frustrated that she just wanted to scream. But as painful as it was to come in contact with the brunette, Arizona still wanted to see her more. She wanted a lot more Callie in her life than she'd had over the past week. The two women had exchanged a few texts and phone calls throughout the week, and Arizona had stopped by in person on Wednesday to apologize for telling Callie to go to hell and to finalize plans for the conference. But that was it. She hadn't been to Callie's home, and she hadn't seen Sofia, Mark, or Lexie. Thankfully, Callie had forgiven her without question for her outburst on Monday. The Latina was obviously cognizant of the fact that it was natural for Arizona to be upset, hurt, and angry. So that at least helped a little bit—Callie seemed to be sympathetic to Arizona's deeply hurt feelings. So even though Arizona still felt wounded, and she still desperately wanted to be with Callie as more than friends, she was eager and ready to get back to seeing Callie more regularly. She wanted to get back to going to Callie's house a few times a week, just hanging out with Callie and her family, spending time with Sofia. And so she was looking forward to the weekend. She hoped that there would be some down where she and Callie could chill out and get things back to normal. And she was also really hoping that Callie would come out for her twenty-first birthday. But unfortunately, it seemed as though the beautiful professor had other ideas. Arizona couldn't be sure, but she felt as if Callie was deliberately avoiding her. At first it was just disagreeing with Arizona's transportation plans. But then at the welcome dinner on Friday, Callie had seated herself at a different table from Arizona, and didn't seem to look over at Arizona once the entire night. The same thing happened at breakfast and lunch on Saturday, and it seemed like whatever session Arizona chose to go to during the day, Callie always went to a different one. "Dr. Torres, can I speak with you a moment?" Arizona had asked during a fifteen minute break on Saturday afternoon. Goodness, it was painful just to stand that close to Callie. Callie had looked at her, making eye contact for one of the first times that weekend, and had nodded, nervously following her to a quieter corner of the ballroom where refreshments were being served. "Callie, why are you avoiding me?" Arizona had asked, sounding a bit more harsh than she had intended. She was very upset, but she had wanted to keep any sign of that out of her voice. "I'm, I'm not," Callie had replied, shrugging pathetically.

Arizona had rolled her eyes. "You haven't so much as said two words to me since we got here, you won't sit with me at meals, and you always seem to be going to separate breakout sessions. I thought you said you wanted to be friends!" Callie had looked away and sighed. "I do want to be friends, Arizona," Callie had said. "I'm just...I'm just trying to give equal attention to all of the students, that's all. I shouldn't be giving you special treatment." Arizona had just stared at Callie for a moment, and then abruptly walked away, shaking her head in frustration and muttering under her breath. By singling Arizona out to be ignored, Callie was giving Arizona special treatment. She was treating her worse than the other students. Arizona knew that she should just be mature and take it in stride, but it was frustrating, and it hurt. And it stung to hear Callie comparing her to the other students. Arizona didn't want to be just another student, just another kid that Callie was chaperoning. And perhaps that was what was killing Arizona the most. Yes, she wanted to be able to touch Callie's body. And yes, she wanted to have more access to Callie's time. But she also wanted to be Callie's person. She wanted to be special. She wanted Callie to belong to her, and she wanted to belong to Callie. She wanted to be Callie's preferred companion, the brunette's trusted confidant. She wanted for Callie to automatically sit next to her, automatically seek out her eyes, automatically gravitate to where she was. Arizona wanted a much more important place in Callie's life. She wanted the most important place in Callie's life. "Seriously, what the hell, Callie?" Arizona had texted the brunette about a half an hour later, during a particularly boring session on club fundraising. It was irritating her to no end that the professor had blatantly lied to her face. Callie was avoiding her, whether the brunette would admit it or not. "I'm sorry, Arizona," Callie had texted back a minute or two later. "I'm having a hard time keeping the memory of kissing you out of my head. That's why I'm avoiding you. I'm sure it will get easier for me to b e around you with time." Arizona's heart had softened at that reply, and a substantial amount of her anger had drained right out of her. Apparently this was hard for Callie as well. Arizona wasn't the only one struggling with her feelings or the consequences of Callie's decisions. Arizona wasn't the only one in pain when she and Callie were near one another. "Okay," Arizona had texted back quickly. "I get that. But will you please come out for my birthday tonight? I really want you to be there." Callie's text had come back almost instantaneously. "I wouldn't miss it." Arizona had smiled at that. Callie had quickly become one of the most important people in her life. And despite how screwed up their relationship was at the moment, she wanted Callie to be there to share the special night. Plus, it didn't hurt that Arizona had picked out a dress that, if she did say so herself, made her look like a million bucks. She was hoping Callie would appreciate it. She was hoping it would show Callie that she wasn't just a kid. Callie was a very well educated person, but there was something that she still needed to learn: Arizona was a fully grown adult. And when she felt like it, Arizona could be one hell of a woman. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ As soon as Callie got back to her hotel room, she closed the door and then immediately rested her forehead against the cool surface, taking a deep breath to compose herself. It was almost two o'clock in the morning, and she had just returned from celebrating Arizona's twenty-first birthday. The blonde hadn't wanted to stay out too late or actually get drunk—they still had another half-day of their conference the next morning. Plus, if the President's daughter got drunk in public, it would not be good. So at midnight, Arizona, Callie, the Secret Service, and the students who were over twenty-one had headed to a dance club within walking distance of the hotel for a short night of dancing and drinking. But to Callie, the night had been anything but short. They'd only been out for about an hour and a half, but it had felt like an eternity. Callie was pretty sure she hadn't endured a more torturous night in her life. Arizona Robbins had looked like sex itself. Callie's eyes had bulged out of her head and her jaw had fallen straight to the floor the instant she'd seen the blonde. And it had remained there the entire night. Arizona had been dressed in the most deliciously tight dress Callie had ever seen. It was black and strapless, made Arizona's cleavage look like candy, and barely came down past mid-thigh, showing off Arizona's perfect legs and butt. The blonde had worn her hair down, but she had styled it to suggest she'd just had hours of gloriously hot sex. And her makeup had been dark, smokey, and suggestive. The entire ensemble had been completed with a classic black pair of pumps. Callie had salivated at the sight, and she'd been instantly convinced that Arizona Robbins was trying to kill her.

But what a beautiful, sexy, exquisite way to die. Things had only gotten worse at the club. To get things started, they'd all taken a shot of Tequila, and Callie had had to stifle a groan at how sexy Arizona had looked, throwing her head back and pouring the alcohol down her throat, licking her lips when she had finished. And then Arizona had headed to the dance floor, cementing Callie's conclusion that she was, in fact, in hell. The men in the club had flocked to Arizona like maggots, and Callie's eyes had felt like they were on fire. She had been powerless, forced to simply sit at the bar and watch as man after man came up to dance with Arizona, grinding their bodies against the blonde, touching Arizona's sides, waist, back, and thighs, coming dangerously close to grabbing Arizona's breasts and ass. Once in awhile, when a guy was getting a little too handsy, Alex Karev or even Jackson Avery would come over and interrupt, dancing with Arizona for a little while. Those few minutes had been Callie's only reprieve, but they were always over too fast. Without fail, another young man would cut in a moment later, and Callie would again be forced to watch some nameless stranger feel up the woman she loved. And to Callie, it really did feel as though she had been forced. Because as much as she had wanted to look away, she had found that she was absolutely incapable of doing so. Callie had been powerless to do anything but stare at Arizona, willing the blonde to look at her. And Arizona had looked at her. A lot. As Arizona had danced with man after man, as she had let them run their hands all over her body, the blonde had made frequent, intense eye contact with Callie, seducing the Latina from across the crowded bar. And Callie had just sat at the bar, mesmerized by the movement of Arizona's sexy body and the lust pouring out of Arizona's darkened blue eyes. Their eye contact had set a raging fire in Callie's heart, and it had quickly consumed her entire being. She was so sick of telling Arizona no. She was so sick of ignoring her feelings, so sick of ignoring her body's urges. She wanted to be with Arizona, both emotionally and physically. She just wanted all of Arizona. And she didn't want anyone to touch Arizona like those men had been touching her, ever again. Callie wanted Arizona's body to be for her enjoyment only. Growling, Callie pushed herself off of the door and headed to the bathroom, ripping off her cute top and jeans and throwing them carelessly to the floor. Then she stepped into the shower, turning the water on hot and letting it run all over body. She instinctually moved her hands between her legs, but she took a deep breath and paused before she got started. Since meeting Arizona, she had deliberately kept herself from thinking about the blonde while touching herself. She knew that fantasizing about Arizona in that way would only intensify her longing for the blonde, and so she'd done her best to avoid it. But Callie recognized that if she did, in fact, pleasure herself that night, it would be impossible to keep Arizona out of it. Her mind was locked on Arizona for the night. And so, clenching her fists in frustration, Callie took another deep breath and then reached for her shampoo. Her body would just have to calm itself down without her help. A few minutes later, Callie sighed as she sat up in bed. She was freshly shaved and showered, wearing a comfortable tshirt and gym shorts. Her teeth were brushed, her hair was combed, and she was all set for sleep. But she absolutely not tired. Her entire body was awake and alert, and probably would continue to be for quite some time. Callie's mind again drifted towards touching herself. If she just gave her body some relief, some release, she was sure that she'd be able to feel asleep right away. But instead, her eyes searched around for the television remote. She spied it on the dresser, so she threw back the covers and stood up, walking in her bare feet to retrieve the remote. Just as she was about to settle back into the bed, she heard a knock on the door. Callie's brow furrowed and she looked at the clock. Two-fifteen. Callie had, of course, given her room number out to all of the students, in case they needed her. But she really didn't know why they would need her at two-fifteen in the morning. And if Arizona had wanted her, the blonde would have just texted. Sighing, Callie set the remote down on the nightstand and walked over to the door. Her breath caught in her throat when she looked through the peephole and saw that it was, indeed, the object of her affections. Callie's hand immediately went to the doorknob, but she paused momentarily to take a deep breath. She was already feeling weak, and her selfcontrol was already stretched to the limits. She needed a second to collect herself before she could possibly speak with Arizona. After another moment, Callie opened the door, her face immediately turning to a smile at the sight in front of her. Gone was the sex goddess that had been at the dance club, seducing Callie with her eyes. In her place was good old Arizona, looking adorable in her white Georgetown t-shirt and matching grey and navy plaid Georgetown pajama pants. Arizona's hair was wet and neatly combed, and her face was free of any makeup. The blonde had clearly just gotten out of the shower as well.

"Hey Callie," Arizona smiled sweetly. "Hey Arizona," Callie grinned back, feeling a tugging sensation on her heart. "Can I come in?" Arizona said hopefully. "Um, yeah okay," Callie said, stepping back and welcoming Arizona into her hotel room. She knew it was a bad idea, and so she held the door open, inviting Cristina inside as well. But the ever-grumpy Secret Service agent simply shook her head and took up position outside Callie's door. So, unable to do anything else, Callie closed the door and turned around to face Arizona, swallowing hard. It was the middle of the night, and she was alone with Arizona in a hotel room. Not good. "Thanks again for coming out tonight," Arizona said, lifting herself onto Callie's bed and sitting cross legged. "I still think it's too bad you wouldn't dance with me, though," she continued, an adorable pout on her lips. Callie nervously laughed that off and leaned against the dresser, not trusting herself to sit on the bed next to Arizona. Arizona had invited her to dance at the bar, but Callie had politely refused several times. She knew that if she had been in close proximity to Arizona while the blonde had been wearing that sexy black dress, there would have been problems. Millions of Americans would have woken up the next morning to news that Arizona Robbins had been sighted having sex with her female accounting professor in the bathroom of a bar. "Did you have a good time?" Callie asked. Arizona nodded. "I did. It was a lot of fun. The idea of staying out all night and puking my brains out never appealed to me, so this was a nice alternative." "Good," Callie smiled, nervously walking over to her bag and pulling out an unmistakable little blue box. She knew it was a inappropriate—people didn't generally buy Tiffany's for someone who was "just a friend." But she hadn't been able to help herself. She'd been out shopping, and she hadn't been able to resist buying Arizona a little something for her birthday. "I uh," Callie said, turning back to face Arizona, the box in her hands. "I got you a present." "You did?" Arizona said, her voice telling Callie that she was touched by the gesture, and her eyes sparkling at the box. "Yeah," Callie nodded, taking a deep breath and standing close enough to Arizona to hand over the gift. Arizona smiled widely as she accepted the box, and Callie's heart started racing as Arizona began opening it. She really hoped the blonde would like it. Arizona giggled once she realized what it was. It was a silver necklace. An elegant yet trendy-looking chain, with seven silver cubes that spelled "Dimples." And it wasn't the cheap, tacky kind that could be bought at a department store. It was a nice piece of jewelry. Callie was a little embarrassed, and she hoped Arizona didn't know how much it was worth, but the Latina had spent almost $500 on it. That was nothing to Callie—she often splurged on clothing, jewelry, and shoes —one of the few snobbish traits she had inherited from her mother and sister. But it certainly wasn't an appropriate gift. And she knew that she was probably sending Arizona horribly mixed signals. But she had just had to buy it. "Do you like it?" Callie asked hopefully. Arizona responded by springing from the bed and throwing her arms around Callie. Callie just about died when she realized that neither of them was wearing a bra underneath their t-shirts. "I love it, Callie," Arizona said excitedly. "Thank you!" "You're welcome," Callie smiled, loving the way Arizona's blue eyes sparkled and dimples popped as she pulled out of the hug. "Can you help me put it on?" Arizona asked, handing Callie the necklace and then turning around, holding her wet hair out of the way. Callie leaned in, her eyes rolling back into her head at the strong fragrance of a freshly showered Arizona, and quickly secured the jewelry around Arizona's neck. Arizona turned back around, and Callie couldn't resist reaching out to touch the necklace as it lay beautifully on Arizona's breast. Thankfully, Arizona's t-shirt had a crew neckline, so Callie wasn't in danger of touching skin. But they were standing close to each other, and when Callie looked back up from the necklace to Arizona's eyes, she knew she was in trouble. Arizona was looking at her, a dangerous look in her eyes, and all Callie could do was shudder when Arizona reached out and gently caressed her wet black hair. "Callie," Arizona murmured, stroking the brunette's face and leaning in slightly. Helpless, Callie closed her eyes and

leaned in as well, gently brushing her lips against Arizona's. She didn't know what else she was supposed to do. She had tried so hard to get rid of her feelings. She'd tried for the entire fall semester. And then once Arizona had kissed her, she'd done the adult thing—she'd turned Arizona away. She'd sought out council from Aria. She'd tried dating other people. She'd avoided Arizona as much as she could. And it was all futile. She didn't know what else to do to resist the beautiful woman standing in front of her. She didn't know how much longer she could stay strong. She didn't know how many more times she could tell Arizona no. "Arizona," Callie sighed, resting her forehead on Arizona's shoulder and staring at the floor. "We can't." "Please, Callie," the blonde whispered. "Please. Please." Fighting valiantly to collect herself, Callie pulled away from the blonde and walked to the end of the bed, sitting on it and letting her face fall in her hands. She took a deep breath and swallowed. Could she really do this? Could she really give Arizona what she wanted? Was it really okay? She'd been so convinced that she was doing the right thing. That by turning Arizona away, she had the blonde's best interests at heart. But Arizona kept coming back, kept insisting that it was her choice to make, that Callie was treating her like a child. And Callie was just plain sick of fighting it. Her mind had been waging war against her body, but she wasn't sure how much more her mind could take. She only had so much self-control, and Arizona was absolutely relentless in her pursuit. But Callie loved Arizona. Even though it was early, she knew that she could happily spend the rest of her life with Arizona. But what if Arizona didn't feel that way? What if Arizona got bored of her after a while, and went after someone younger, someone who could offer more excitement? How would Callie survive that? At that moment, Callie realized that she wasn't just protecting Arizona. She was also protecting herself. As Arizona had accused her of before Thanksgiving, Callie was afraid. "Arizona," Callie sighed, looking back up. She didn't know exactly what she was going to say, but when she caught sight of Arizona again, she knew that it didn't matter. Because the blonde had removed her shirt. Callie stopped speaking and gulped, startled to find herself staring at perfect, full, creamy-white breasts. Callie's eyes widened, and she knew that that was it. She was doomed. She was a goner. She had fought a battle the best she knew how, and she had lost. "Arizona," Callie growled with desire, standing from the bed, her eyes not leaving the blonde's perfect body. The blonde responded by slipping out of her pajama bottoms and panties as well, and before Callie knew it, she was taking in Arizona's entirely nude form. Callie stepped towards Arizona, her eyes on overload, not knowing where to focus on the gorgeous body that was on display just for her. But Arizona helped her out with that and pulled her close, kissing her neck before standing on tiptoes to reach Callie's ear. "Please, Callie," Arizona repeated. "Please, make me a woman. I want to be with you. I want you to touch me." Callie groaned with desire, and she gently took hold of Arizona's hips and lowered the blonde to lay flat on the bed. She straddled the young woman and then removed her own shirt, her gym shorts and panties quickly following it. Then Callie shifted so she was laying on top of the blonde more fully, their naked bodies pressing against each other for the very first time. Callie passionately kissed Arizona, her tongue eagerly seeking out contact with Arizona's. Arizona moaned loudly as their bodies and mouths connected, and Callie could only smile as the blonde firmly grabbed her butt. "Are you sure about this?" Callie murmured, kissing Arizona's neck and breasts, finally running her hands all over the blonde's delicious flesh. It was pure heaven. She'd been dreaming of touching Arizona this way for months, and it felt so good. Arizona's body was beautiful—her youthful skin flawless and firm, her muscles lean and toned, her curves gentle and pleasing. Callie adored the swell of Arizona's breasts, the way her hips felt beneath Callie's hands, the adorable bottom that was just the right size for Callie to grab. "Yes," Arizona nodded, her breath shallow and labored. "Make love to me, Callie. Please." Lost to the moment, Callie ran her hands through Arizona's hair one last time, kissing Arizona's mouth, and then started to work her way down Arizona's stomach. She finally spread Arizona's legs open and smiled at the sight in front of her. Arizona was ready. "It's alright if I go down on you?" Callie asked, seeking permission one last time.

"Please," Arizona rasped out, her hips lifting involuntarily, urging Callie to get started. Callie closed her eyes and kissed the inside of Arizona's thigh. "Just tell me to stop if you don't like it or you get uncomfortable, alright sweetie?" Normally she wouldn't be so careful and ask permission so many times, but Callie was well aware that this was Arizona's first time. She didn't want to rush things. She wanted to make this as comfortable and pleasurable for Arizona as possible. "Callie," Arizona said, her body squirming in anticipation, at the feeling of Callie's breath on her sensitive skin. "I need you to touch me. Please touch me." Callie smiled and took one last deep breath before she leaned in further, more than happy to give Arizona exactly what she was asking for. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona sighed in contentment as she nuzzled into Callie's neck. She was positively giddy. She hadn't thought it was possible to feel this happy. And she still couldn't believe this wasn't a dream. She was naked, and she was lying safely in the arms of an equally naked Callie Torres. She had just made passionate love to the sexiest, most gorgeous woman on the face of the earth. When Arizona had knocked on Callie's door earlier that night, she hadn't been coming to ask the brunette for sex. She had simply missed Callie, and she hadn't been sleepy, so she'd wanted to check and see if Callie wanted to hang out for a little while. That had been it. She had never intended to wind up in Callie's arms that night. But she certainly wasn't going to complain about how things had turned out. Arizona was absolutely sure that she'd never had a better night in her life. Arizona had, of course, assumed that sex was nice. Everybody seemed obsessed with it, and she'd been touching herself long enough to know that orgasms were excessively pleasurable. But she had not been prepared for what she had shared with Callie. It had completely blown her away. And it wasn't just the earth-shattering climax that Callie had brought her to. Yes, Arizona had come harder and for longer than she ever had before. Callie was amazing. Well, at least, Arizona assumed that she was. She didn't actually know— the only thing she could compare Callie to was her own fingers. But the thing that had Arizona on cloud nine was the intimacy. The closeness. Callie had held her so tightly, so lovingly. There wasn't a single inch of Arizona's skin left untouched, unkissed. And Callie's skin was the same—Arizona had taken her time to memorize, caress, and worship the Latina from head to toe. They had held each other, drinking each other in, letting their verbally unspoken love for one another pour out of their eyes. Arizona had never felt so emotionally close to someone in her entire life, and she was drunk off the feeling. She never wanted to be separated from Callie again. She wanted to be permanently intertwined with Callie until the day that she died. She wanted Callie all to herself. She never wanted Callie to look at another person, to touch another person, to love another person. Arizona wanted to be it for Callie. She wanted to consume the brunette's every waking moment, and she wanted to invade each and every one of her dreams. Arizona sighed again and then leaned up to kiss Callie's lips, loving the way the Latina rewarded her with a sleepy, dreamy smile. "Thank you, Callie," Arizona said, the first words spoken since they had ceased making love. Callie had satisfied Arizona first, and then Arizona had nervously taken her own turn, doing her best to pleasure the older woman. She'd felt intimidated, knowing that Callie had likely had many skilled lovers in her lifetime. But Callie had talked to her reassuringly and gently coached her through it, and Arizona had been relieved that she'd been successful in bringing Callie to release as well. She knew it probably didn't compare to things Callie had already experienced, but well...at least it was something. And Arizona was eager to learn and get better. She was already addicted to Callie's taste, and she wanted more. A lot more. Callie chuckled lightly at Arizona's statement. "You're welcome," she said. "And thank you." "I was...I was...okay?" Arizona asked anxiously. "I made you...happy?" Callie chuckled again and leaned down to kiss Arizona lovingly. "Arizona, when a woman's thighs clamp around your head, her body goes rigid, her back arches off the bed, and she moans your name, it's generally a good indication that you've made her happy." Arizona blushed at Callie's description. "Okay," she murmured happily, snuggling back into Callie's warm body.

"You have a beautiful body, Arizona," Callie reassured. "And you were perfect. Don't let anyone ever tell you otherwise. You deserve nothing less than to be cherished and adored." Arizona looked up and stared deeply into Callie's gorgeous brown eyes. "Callie...I don't plan on ever b eing with anyone else." Arizona felt incredibly vulnerable saying that, especially because Callie had a habit of rejecting her. But it was the truth, and she couldn't not say it. "You mean that?" Callie said softly, stroking Arizona's cheek. "Yeah," Arizona said honestly. "Okay," Callie nodded. "Come here." The brunette opened her arms and motioned for Arizona to cuddle up to her as close as humanly possible. Arizona quickly obliged her, and hummed happily as Callie held her tightly. Arizona desperately wanted Callie to say it back—to say that she didn't ever want to be with anyone else, either. But Arizona also realized that Callie was more guarded, more hesitant, more careful. And so, for now, she was content to just sleep for a few hours in Callie's arms before she had to go back to her own room. Declarations of love and commitment could wait for the time being. Right now, Arizona was finally wrapped up in Callie's arms. Everything was right in the world.

*Chapter 12*: Chapter 12
AN: Hi everyone! I'm still alive! My life is still crazy, and will continue to be for quite a while (one more week til comps and then I'm immediately out of town for a month). But I thought you could use a little something to tide you over! Sorry it's so short, but it's all I could manage. Just a little fluff... ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona frowned slightly when she vaguely registered the voice of her Secret Service agent. She had been sleeping very deeply, and her entire being was struggling to stay that way, to ignore Cristina's insistent voice. And then Arizona remembered where she was, who she was with, and what she had done. Arizona bolted upright with a start, hastily clutching the sheets to cover her still-naked breasts. She was still in Callie's bed, still in Callie's hotel room. She had had every intention of going back to her room after a short nap, but they must have fallen into a deep sleep. And so she and Callie were still naked, tangled up in each other, with their clothes thrown all over the floor. And Cristina was standing a polite distance away, respectfully averting her eyes. Arizona's eyes were wide with panic, and she felt as though her heart was going to burst right out of her chest. Cristina knew. Her secret was out. "Cris—Cristina," Arizona rasped out, desperate to swear the agent to secrecy. The Secret Service had non-disclosure agreements, right? "As I was saying," Cristina said, "I'm sorry to intrude, but you're due downstairs in an hour, and you left your phone in your own room, so I didn't know whether—" "Cristina, you can't tell anyone," Arizona said worriedly, casting a quick glance at Callie. The professor looked significantly less awake, but was leaning up in bed, an alarmed expression on her face. Then Arizona looked back at Cristina, who was just standing and blinking. Her usual expressionless face looked almost...affronted? Cristina cleared her throat. "Two things," she said. "One: As a member of your protective detail and the Secret Service, I signed very stringent confidentiality agreements. Not to mention that when I was assigned to your detail, the President made it expressly clear to me that he would have me reassigned, if not fired, if I ever shared any details of your personal life with anyone—the President and First Lady included—unless withholding that information would endanger your life. Protecting your privacy is part of my job, and I am excellent at my job. Which leads to two: excelling at my job requires vigilant attention and observational skills. So with all due respect, you're an idiot and I'm rather offended if you were under the impression that I was ignorant of your sexuality and your relationship with Dr. Torres until this morning." Arizona just swallowed as the agent finished her little speech. She had never heard Cristina Yang speak for such an extended period of time before. And she was also unaccustomed to being called an idiot to her face—she was the president's daughter, after all. "Oh, I guess it's three things," Cristina quickly added. "I'm also offended if you think I even care enough about who the hell you're banging to tell someone about it. As long as some terrorist isn't capturing you and demanding ransom, you could be screwing the Vice President for all I care." Arizona's cheeks reddened at the suggestion. Addison Montgomery was the forty-something Vice President of the United States, and she was drop-dead gorgeous. Arizona would be lying if she said she hadn't had a dirty fantasy (or two...or three...or more...) about her father's running mate. "Anyways," Cristina nodded after a moment of awkward silence. "Again, my apologies for intruding, but I wasn't sure you were going to wake up. You're due downstairs in one hour." With that, the Secret Service agent turned to go, but paused briefly when Arizona called her name. Cristina turned back to look at Arizona, an expectant look on her face. "Thank you," Arizona said, her absolute sincerity apparent in her voice. Arizona quite literally trusted Cristina with her life, but she'd never before had to trust her with something like this. She was moved and touched by the fact that outing her had never even crossed Cristina's mind. "You're welcome," Cristina nodded, something that somewhat resembled a smile crossing her face.

"And does Jackson know?" Arizona asked. "Well, he's nowhere near as skilled as I am," Cristina said. Arizona was amused to see that Cristina's face and voice were devoid of pride or smugness—her belief in her superiority was apparently just simple fact to her. "But he's not a moron, so I would assume he knows. And I can assure you that he, also, will respect your privacy." Arizona nodded tightly, giving Cristina a thankful smile. Cristina took that as her cue to silently leave the room. As soon as the door closed, Arizona turned back towards Callie and instinctively curled into her chest, burying both of them back under the covers. She knew they had to get up sooner or later, but she wanted to spend as much time with a naked Callie Torres as humanly possible. She was worried that she wouldn't have another chance. Even though Callie had been all smiles and had seemed like she enjoyed herself the night before, Arizona still felt insecure. She was still worried that Callie would see this as a lapse in self-control, that Callie would put a stop to their relationship again. "You okay, sweetie?" Callie murmured into the silence of the room. Arizona cherished the fact that with her head resting on Callie's skin, she could hear and feel Callie speaking. She still couldn't believe that she'd actually slept with Callie. Her mouth had been on Callie's perfect breasts. Her fingers had been buried deep inside Callie's perfect body. She'd felt Callie, tasted Callie, worshipped Callie. In her wildest dreams, she'd never actually expected that she'd make love to such a beautiful, sexy, exquisite woman. "Arizona?" Callie repeated. "Oh," Arizona said, realizing that she hadn't answered her lover's question. "Yeah," she said, her voice a little shaky. "I think I died for a second when I realized she was here, so my heart just needs a minute to calm down." "Mmk," Calle murmured, laying a gentle kiss to Arizona's temple. "Well in that case," Callie said, moving as if to get up, "I'm gonna hop in the shower." "No!" Arizona immediately objected, her hand going to Callie's chest to prevent the brunette from leaving the bed. Callie gave her a weird look, so Arizona softened her voice and snuggled into Callie's body. "I just..." she tried to explain. "If we spent the whole night together, then I want to experience the waking up part, too. I just wanna lie here in your arms." Callie just chuckled and Arizona shyly looked into Callie's deep brown eyes, hoping that was okay. She had dreamed about waking up with Callie so many times, about just sleepily holding each other, getting lost in gentle murmurings and soft caresses. So even though the morning had already been less than ideal due to Cristina's interruption, she wanted to do everything possible to recapture that moment. She wanted to hold onto Callie and never let go. "Okay," Callie agreed. "A little cuddling sounds nice." "Thank you," Arizona said, wrapping her arms more fully around Callie's naked body. She closed her eyes from the sheer pleasure of it all. Callie felt and smelled so good. It was wonderful and terrifying at the same time. Wonderful because Callie's body was perfection, and because Arizona was fairly convinced she was falling in love. But terrifying because she wasn't sure it would ever happen again. She had no guarantees, and Callie had made no promises. Everything was in Callie's control—the gorgeous Latina could either make Arizona's dreams come true, or break Arizona's heart into a million little pieces. Arizona had no say in it. "Arizona?" Callie called out after several (but not nearly enough) minutes of companionable silence. "Hmm?" Arizona responded, not lifting her head from where she'd been laying gentle kisses on Callie's breasts, burying her face in Callie's delicious cleavage. "I really should think about getting in the shower soon. I'm not exactly low-maintenance when it comes to getting ready in the morning." Arizona lifted her head up from Callie's breasts and pouted at their owner. She never wanted to stop doing what she was doing. But then, Callie did look perfect all the time. Arizona should have assumed that a lot of effort went into Callie's hair and makeup each morning. "Okay," Arizona finally sighed, feeling a little annoyed when Callie started laughing at her. "What?" she asked grumpily. "Nothing," Callie chuckled. "You're just freaking adorable." "Oh," Arizona said as she sat up perkily, her grumpiness erased. And if Callie was complimenting her, that was a very good sign. Arizona's eyes widened as Callie slipped from the bed and she got a good, long look at Callie's body. Of course, she'd

seen a lot of it the night before, but never all at once. The sight was dizzying. "Ca—Callie?" Arizona stuttered out, mesmerized by the glorious display of skin in front of her. "Hmm?" Callie asked as she bent over, rummaging through her suitcase. "Do you um..." Arizona asked, feeling both shy and emboldened at the same time. She would never get what she wanted if she didn't ask for it. "Do you know how to have shower sex?" Callie threw a look over her shoulder and raised her eyebrow. "Do I know how to—" "I mean um," Arizona cut Callie off, shaking her head. Of course Callie knew how. And she was probably very experienced at it as well. "I mean, do you want to?" Arizona asked, slipping out of the bed, hoping that if Callie saw her naked, it would get her what she wanted, just as it had the night before. "Would you show me how to..." Callie just smirked and, having gathered what she needed, started to walk past Arizona and towards the bathroom. Arizona felt her heart sinking and her shoulders slumping—Callie didn't want to. Arizona was making it painfully obvious how inexperienced she was, and Callie didn't want her. Callie didn't want such a baby. But just after Callie passed by, Arizona jumped and let out a loud squeak of surprise when she felt an unexpected smack connecting soundly with her bottom. She turned in shock to look at Callie's departing figure. Callie had just spanked her. Arizona didn't know if she should feel offended or aroused beyond belief. She was leaning towards the latter. "You better get that cute little ass in the shower, Arizona," Callie called as she disappeared into the bathroom. "You're getting a private tutoring session, and you know from experience how I feel about tardiness." Arizona shuddered as she felt a wave of heat and arousal surging through her body. Callie was an excellent accounting professor, but if the night before had been any indication, she was just as skilled at teaching the art of lovemaking. So after figuring out how to make her legs work again, Arizona quickly ran after her professor. She had always placed a high priority on education, and she had never skipped a class in her life. She wasn't about to change that. And this form of education was so much better than accounting.

*Chapter 13*: Chapter 13
AN: Hi! I'm back! I passed my comps (yay!) and my family vacation went great! I'm still at my parent's house until August 16th though (with a short trip to see my boy in there too). So don't expect super fast updates as it's hard to write with all the interruptions. But thank you SO much for bearing with my hectic schedule. I hope this chapter was worth the wait. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie blew out a tired breath of air as she sank into her office chair. It was quarter to eight on Monday morning, and her head was spinning. She'd had quite a weekend, and her mind was still trying to grasp what had happened. She'd slept with Arizona Robbins. Not once, not twice, but three times. They'd made love Saturday night in Callie's hotel bed. Then again on Sunday morning in the shower. And then, much to Callie's surprise, they'd had sex again late Sunday night. Callie had spent much of the drive back from New York mentally scolding herself. How could she have done this? How could she have let this happen? It had felt amazing, sure. But it was wrong. On a professional level, Callie had authority over Arizona. And on a personal level? Despite Aria's insistence that Arizona was capable of making her own decisions, Callie still felt bad. She still worried about stealing Arizona's twenties from her, and she still worried that Arizona would grow tired of Callie's stable, unexciting life. That Arizona would get bored and leave. After thinking herself into circles, Callie had eventually given up, telling herself that she would figure it out later. So when she'd arrived back in D.C., she'd spent some time cuddling with Sofia, shared a beer with Mark and Lexie, and then settled into bed and opened her laptop to catch up on emails. She'd been in the middle of answering some questions about an upcoming quiz when her bedroom door had quietly opened. Callie had looked up, expecting to see her beautiful baby girl. Sofia slept through the night most of the time, but it wasn't uncommon for Sofia to get up in the night, asking for a glass of water or needing to be reassured after a bad dream. But it hadn't been Sofia standing in the entrance to Callie's bedroom—it had been Arizona. Callie's brow had temporarily furrowed—Arizona had to have let herself in through the garage, but Callie hadn't heard the garage door opening, and she hadn't thought the music she had on was that loud. But before Callie had had a chance to question Arizona's presence in her home so late at night, Arizona had walked up to her, silently taking her laptop and setting it on the nightstand. Then Arizona had slipped into the bed. And they'd made love again. Without a word of greeting, Arizona had kissed Callie and urged her to take her clothes off, and Callie had wordlessly complied. It just felt so good, so right. Even though it was obvious that Arizona was woefully inexperienced, it didn't seem to matter. Callie felt no impatience, no annoyance with Arizona as the blonde figured out how to please her. Because on some level, it just wasn't about the quality of the orgasm that Arizona brought her to. It was the fact that it was Arizona who was giving her that pleasure, that high. It was Arizona who she held, naked, in her arms. It was Arizona who she was bonding with so intimately, who she was sharing herself with so completely. It was Arizona. It was the woman she loved. And besides, Arizona seemed more than eager to learn. Callie knew it wouldn't be long before the blonde was a skilled and talented lover. And Arizona's body was just so effortlessly perfect. When they had finished, Arizona had kissed Callie passionately. And then she had left as silently as she had came. In fact, sitting in her office that morning, Callie couldn't recall if a single word had been exchanged between the two of them during the encounter, save for their strangled cries and pleadings as they neared the peak of their pleasure. They hadn't talked. And that, Callie realized, was part of the problem. They'd fallen asleep Saturday night. And then, instead of talking about it on Sunday morning, they'd simply had sex again. And what with the conference, and taking separate vehicles on the way back to D.C., they simply hadn't had a conversation. Callie sighed as she checked to make sure she had all of her handouts printed out and ready for her nine o'clock class. They needed to talk. They needed to have a serious conversation sooner or later. But Callie was still at a loss as to what, exactly, she would say. Callie still felt incredibly anxious and unsettled about the dramatic change in the nature of their relationship. There were lots of straightforward consequences—she'd be in major trouble at work if anyone found out. And her parents might

disown her...again. Carlos and Lucia had eventually gotten over the fact that Callie had had a child out of wedlock, and they'd ultimately accepted Sofia as their granddaughter. But Callie didn't think they'd ever get over her being gay. And the consequences would be even deeper for Arizona. It would be all over the news. The paparazzi would hound the First Daughter. It would create turmoil in the President's political career and—more importantly—in Arizona's family. But there were also less clear-cut consequences, even if no one found out. If they continued their sexual relationship, would their different positions create an unhealthy power dynamic? Would they really be equals? And what about Sofia? Callie didn't know how she felt about that, how she felt about her little girl getting attached to someone who might leave. Callie could handle getting her own heart broken. But she'd be damned if Sofia's heart got broken in the process. But even though their relationship was unwise on so many levels, Callie knew in her heart that it didn't matter. There was no going back. There was no possible way they could just be friends after this. Not after they'd gotten a taste of one another, not after they'd shared themselves with each other so intimately. Callie knew that they were either going to be together—in the most significant way two people could be together—or Callie needed to cut Arizona out of her life completely. Close the door. End the relationship entirely. And while a tiny little voice in the back of her head told Callie that ending it was the safest thing to do, was the ethically right thing to do—she knew that she just couldn't do it. She wasn't strong enough. If she was a better person, if her love for Arizona was more pure, Callie would send Arizona away. Send her away with all of her love and the hope that they'd be reunited one day. But Callie wasn't a better person, and at least some of her love for Arizona was selfish. Callie enjoyed Arizona. She liked talking to Arizona, liked hanging out with Arizona. And the thought of regular sex in a loving and committed relationship was appealing. Callie hadn't had any sex, save for the occasional one night stand, in years. It had been a very long time since Callie had been comfortable enough in a sexual encounter to let her guard down, to be herself. Callie flushed slightly as she thought about it. She didn't think she was a terribly kinky person, and she didn't think any of her interests constituted an actual fetish. But she did like it rough sometimes. She liked to dominate another person in bed, to have someone completely at her mercy, completely under her control. And you just couldn't do that during a onenight stand. Doing that required trust. Plus, while Callie wasn't too interested in anal sex itself, she did like to spend quite a bit of time squeezing and smacking an ass when she had the opportunity. And Arizona's ass was just—Callie shuddered slightly as she thought about it—it was just so freaking cute. Callie had never seen a more adorab le bottom on anyone, ever. The things Callie found herself wanting to do to that ass... Callie shook her head and cleared her throat, trying to get a hold of herself—she had an entire work day ahead of her, and fantasizing about a naked Arizona Robbins bent over her knee, ass in the air, was not conducive to getting work done. But yes, part of the reason why Callie couldn't let Arizona go was that she simply didn't want to. She wanted to be with Arizona, plain and simple. She wanted the emotional intimacy that came with an actual relationship, and she wanted the sex. She wanted a sexual partner that she could trust with her less than orthodox urges. And while it was certainly too early for that with Arizona, Callie had no doubt they could get there. The young blonde seemed eager to please. "Hey Callie!" Callie jumped out of her skin and she turned around in alarm when she heard Erica's voice. Not that Erica had any way of knowing, but Callie's mind was still on Arizona's soft skin, Arizona's gorgeous, sweaty breasts, Arizona's cries of ecstasy as she came. Callie was embarrassed to be interrupted in the middle of her erotic daydreams. "Sorry," Erica giggled nervously from where she stood in the entrance to Callie's office. "I didn't mean to scare you." "No, it's my fault," Callie smiled. "I was zoning out." "Tiring weekend at the conference?" Erica mused. "Yeah," Callie nodded, happy to let Erica think she was zoning out from a lack of sleep. Callie hadn't gotten enough sleep that weekend—she'd been too busy having sex with Arizona. But strangely, she didn't feel tired at all. She was energized, excited. "Did you have fun?" Erica asked, leaning against the doorframe. "Yeah," Callie nodded. "I've got a great group of officers this year. And the keynote speaker was actually good for a change." Erica gave Callie a knowing smile. The older blonde wasn't the faculty advisor for the accounting club, but she'd been to a few of the conferences over the years. The main speakers tended to be a little dull.

"And well," Callie continued. "You know me, I'm always happy to have an excuse to go to New York." "Yeah," Erica said, nodding her head. "And I saw that the students hit the clubs for Arizona's twenty-first." Callie looked at Erica in confusion—how had Erica heard about that? "It was all over the internet," Erica supplied, answering Callie's silent question. "A bunch of pictures and a few cell phone videos of her grinding up against practically every guy in sight." "See?" Callie said triumphantly. "Told you she was straight." Erica just rolled her eyes and walked further into the office, closing the door behind her. Callie sat up a little bit straighter in her chair as a result—that was unusual. "So whatcha doing on Friday?" Erica asked. Callie swallowed nervously, not knowing what was going on. But she could tell that Erica was trying to act casual. Without much success—the blonde had always been a little awkward. "Um, I don't think I have anything in particular planned," Callie said, scrunching her face up in concentration as she tried to remember Mark and Lexie's schedule. She was pretty sure they would both be home, so a family movie night was probably in order. Well, family plus Arizona. And that was another thing they needed to figure out—would it even be possib le to hide their relationship from Mark and Lexie? The two surgeons weren't blind, and they also weren't stupid. "Well um," Erica said. "Uh, in um, in that case, would you want to uh..." Callie raised her eyebrows slightly—she had never heard Erica be so incoherent in her life. "Would you uh, want to go out to dinner?" the blonde finally spat out. Callie just giggled slightly—why had that been so hard? "That could probably work," Callie said, grabbing her phone to make an appointment in her calendar. "Which firm wants us?" The local accounting firms—especially the large, international audit firms—were always trying to take the Georgetown accounting faculty out to dinner. The firms all fought with each other for the top recruits, and keeping the faculty happy increased their chances of getting the best students sent their way. Callie couldn't remember the last time she'd actually paid for a steak. "Oh, no, it's not um, it's not work related," Erica said, shifting uncomfortably from one foot to the other. "Oh yeah?" Callie asked, smiling widely. This was good—she often worried that Erica was going to end up single and all alone. The older blonde didn't really have anyone in her life. "You need me to be your wingman? I thought you were going the e-harmony route." "Well..." Erica paused, continuing to look nervous and a little pale. "Actually...I thought maybe we could get dinner...just...you know...socially." Callie just blinked, not understanding. Why was Erica acting so strangely? They got lunch on campus together regularly. It wasn't a big deal. If Erica wanted to have a girl's night out, why didn't she just say so? "Um, okay, sure," Callie said with an uneasy smile. "And actually, I'm pretty sure Lex doesn't work Friday night. So we could make a girl's night out of it." "No, Callie," Erica sighed, looking down. Callie just stared at her friend. What was going on? "Cal, I'm, I'm," Erica stuttered, continuing to look at the ground. "I'm trying to ask you out for dinner on Friday. Like...like a date." At the word "date," Callie's eyes widened slightly. This was...this was...what was this? "Erica..." Callie said cautiously, not knowing what to make of the situation. Erica was kidding, right? This was just a joke, right? But then...why weren't either of them laughing? "I'm sorry, I just..." Callie paused. "Are you being serious?" "What do you mean, 'am I being serious'?" Erica asked, looked back up at Callie. Callie just gaped at her friend, a sense of horror descending upon her. Was this actually happening? Was Erica actually asking her out? "Erica..." Callie said, shaking her head. "Did...did Richard put you up to this?" Their department chair liked a good practical joke every now and then. But this didn't really seem to be quite in line with his sense of humor.

"Callie, this isn't a joke," Erica said, sounding frustrated. "I'm...I'm..." "You're serious." Callie said, still in disbelief. Erica nodded. "I mean...the website matched us, and we have a lot in common, and we already know that we get along well, so..." Callie just swallowed. Erica was being serious. Erica was asking her out of a date. Erica. Well, shit—this was awkward. "Erica..." Callie said, not quite sure what to say. The thought of dating you makes me want to hurl? No, that probably wasn't the best response. "Erica, um...I uh, I don't know if that's the best idea," Callie said, settling on a more diplomatic answer. "I mean, we work together, research together..." "So?" Erica shrugged. "People date their co-workers all the time." "Yeah but..." Callie said, wanting to wince at how awkward this situation was. "But what would we do if it didn't work out? We co-author practically all of our publications. You've published what, two papers without me?" "But Callie," Erica argued, "I think what we have is worth the risk." Callie raised her eyebrows again. "What...what we have?" Callie asked nervously. Yeah, they had similar research interests and they liked to hang out, and she enjoyed Erica's sense of humor, but...they didn't really "have" anything. Erica nodded. "Cal, I know that I should have said something sooner but...I have feelings for you." Callie swallowed. Oh, this was not good. Not good at all. She wanted to crawl under her desk and hide from this conversation. "Said...said something sooner?" Callie asked, trying not to cringe. Erica nodded. "You've...you've felt this way for...awhile?" "Since you started working here," Erica explained. Callie's eyes widened in horror. She'd worked at Georgetown for six and a half years. "You've...you've had a crush on me for...for over six years?" Callie asked nervously, praying that Erica had meant something else. Erica shook her head "no," and Callie was temporarily relieved. She was relieved until Erica opened her mouth. "I don't have a crush on you, Callie. I'm...I'm in love with you." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie sat in her office chair, her aching head resting on her desk. Her sense of energy had completely evaporated. It was not a good day. It had already been terrible when Erica had professed her love for Callie. But then Callie had, for some reason, felt the need to really step in it by informing Erica that her feelings were not, in fact, returned. At all. And then the yelling had started. Callie had tried, really tried, to say it gently. She'd thanked Erica for her honesty. Expressed her admiration for Erica as a person, her appreciation for Erica as a friend and colleague. But then she'd said that she just didn't feel anything for Erica besides friendship. And Erica had gone into a rage, and had blamed Arizona Robbins—of all people—for Callie's disinterest. Callie had tried desperately to talk her down, to direct Erica's anger away from Arizona. For starters, Arizona really did have nothing to do with Callie's lack of feelings for Erica. She'd known Erica much longer than she'd known Arizona, and she'd never felt the slightest hint of attraction for her. But more importantly, it worried Callie that Erica was so convinced that something was going on between her and Arizona. She'd been concerned before, but she was even more alarmed now that it was true. Erica was a good person—Callie knew that she'd never intentionally do something to hurt Arizona. But what if, in Erica's anger, she said something unwise? What if someone overheard?

But Callie hadn't been successful. Despite Callie's protests, Erica seemed absolutely convinced that Callie and Arizona were a couple, and that Arizona was the reason Callie wouldn't date her. And after a sharp tongue lashing on how immoral and ridiculous it was to sleep with a student, Erica had stormed out of Callie's office. A moment later, Callie had jumped at the force with which Erica slammed the door to her own office. Not knowing what else to do, Callie had stood up, wearily closed her own door, and rested her head on her desk until it was time to teach her first class. And now it was quarter after one, all of her classes were taught, and she was back in the same position. Her door was open, however, because she held office hours from one to three. "Hey," came a soft voice from her doorway. A tiny bit of stress left Callie's body at the sound, and she didn't bother lifting her head, just grunting an acknowledgement instead. Arizona would know to come inside and close the door. Callie heard the sound of the door closing and locking, and then a moment later, there were two hands massaging her shoulders and two lips laying gentle kisses on her neck. Callie sighed as Arizona worked the stress right out of her. "You okay?" Arizona whispered in her ear after a minute or two. "Mmm," Callie groaned into her desk. "Bad day." "Not because of me, I hope." "No," Callie said, finally sitting up to smile at the blonde. She was a sight for sore eyes. Callie reached out to grab Arizona's hips and pulled the young woman into her lap, leaning in for a slow, chaste kiss. "No," Callie repeated. "You're good." Arizona smiled at Callie's statement and nuzzled adorably into Callie's neck. Callie closed her eyes and hugged Arizona more tightly. This was comforting, relaxing. Just the smell of Arizona was soothing. "You wanna talk about it?" Arizona asked softly, reaching up to stroke Callie's hair. Callie just shook her head. "Not really." Erica was Arizona's professor, so Callie wasn't sure she should even tell her about Erica's feelings. Callie didn't want to embarrass her colleague and friend, and she also didn't want to influence Arizona's opinion of the older blonde. It wasn't professional. Because having a student sitting in her lap and cuddling in her office was, of course, the definition of professionalism. "Okay," Arizona nodded, thankfully choosing to not push the issue. "How are you?" Callie asked, shifting Arizona out of her lap and into a separate chair. She didn't think she could maintain an actual conversation with Arizona so close to her, with Arizona acting so...snuggly. "I'm good," Arizona said perkily, a cheeky smile appearing on her face. "I got laid this weekend. And she was super hot." Despite her tiredness and rather sour mood, Callie couldn't help but smile at the way Arizona had said that. The look on Arizona's face wasn't unlike the look of joy on the face of a child who woke up on Christmas morning to find a puppy waiting downstairs. As Arizona continued to grin, Callie just shook her head and leaned forward, unable to resist kissing the adorable young woman in front of her. Callie tried to pull away after a second or two, but Arizona's hands stopped her, ensuring that their kiss lasted for several long moments. When Arizona finally permitted her to end the kiss, Callie felt a little light-headed. "So um," Callie said, leaning back in her chair and trying to get a grip. "Arizona, I know that we should...we should talk . Figure out exactly what this," she said, gesturing between them, "...what this is. But..." she sighed. "But I'm really tired right now and—" "It's okay," Arizona nodded. "I get it. And actually," Arizona said, sitting up a little straighter. "I stopped by to ask you if you wanted to go to the game tomorrow with me. We have a box, and Teddy and Alex and probably some staffers would be there, so it wouldn't really be a date or anything, but I thought it would be fun. And you could bring whoever you want." "Oh," Callie smiled, liking the idea. She knew that Mark wasn't working, and he loved a good basketball game. And sitting in a box was always nice. Plus Big East conference play had begun, which meant the games would be more exciting, because they were against better opponents. "And um...the game starts at six, so maybe I could come over at five to eat dinner with you and Sof and whoever, and we could talk then?"

"Sure," Callie nodded. "That um, that sounds like a good plan. And thanks for the invite, too. Basketball's always fun." "Great!" Arizona smiled, looking quite pleased that Callie had agreed to come. "Well then," she said, standing up. "I'll see you tomorrow?" Callie nodded. "It's a date." Arizona walked up to Callie's chair with purpose, and Callie instinctively inclined her head to receive the passionate kiss that Arizona laid on her lips. Callie stopped herself from moaning in pleasure and arousal. Sure, she loved being the one in the physically controlling position. But the way Arizona was towering over her at the moment? That was hot, too. "See you then, Callie," Arizona said, pulling away when their lungs demanded oxygen. And then Arizona opened the door and left Callie to herself again. Callie smiled to herself and opened a file on her computer to get some work done. She no longer felt the need to rest her head on her desk. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona had to keep stopping herself from grabbing Callie's hand as they made their way through the Verizon Center. It struck her as being rather funny, seeing as the two women had never actually held hands while walking next to one another. But ever since making love with Callie, Arizona found herself naturally reaching out for the brunette whenever they were near each other. She was always subconsciously seeking some sort of physical connection with the older woman. And Arizona had never been more confident that the physical connection she craved would be well received and returned. In the past, every time Arizona had tried to touch Callie, kiss Callie, or make love to Callie, she had always been wracked with insecurity. She had always been worried that Callie would push her away, would reject her physical affection. But as she continued walking next to Callie, that insecurity was nowhere to be found. Because Dr. Callie Torres was her girlfriend. It was official, no uncertainty about it. As promised, Arizona had arrived at Callie's home at five. After eating some leftover casserole with Callie, Mark, and Sofia, Mark had gone upstairs to bathe Sofia. It would be over an hour after Sofia's bedtime by the time they arrived back at home, but Callie and Mark had decided to bring the little girl along anyways. So bathtime and story-reading had happened early so Sofia could go to bed immediately after the game. Lexie was unfortunately scheduled to work. As Mark spent a little father-daughter time with Sofia, Callie and Arizona had quickly done the dishes and then settled into a quiet part of the townhome to talk. And Arizona was incredibly relieved about what had been said. Even though they'd had sex three times, and Callie had seemed happy to see her on campus, Arizona had still been slightly worried that Callie would resume her prior stance on their relationship. But thankfully, Callie hadn't. Callie hadn't sent her away. She hadn't told Arizona that she was too young to make a decision. She hadn't tried to end things. Instead, Callie had wanted to set some boundaries, to express some concerns, and to clarify exactly what was going on. All things that Arizona thought were reasonable. For starters, Callie had expressed a desire to keep things strictly professional at school. No more intimate chatting in the middle of the day, no more kissing and touching in Callie's office. Arizona was a little disappointed about that—she had liked their little cuddle session on Monday, and she had come back for seconds earlier that very day. But Callie had insisted that she didn't like the dynamic. At school, she needed to be a professor, and Arizona needed to be a student. Period. Callie had explained that she was worried about the power difference inherent in their relationship, so she wanted to avoid settings, like school, where she was clearly in charge. Arizona didn't see what the big deal was, but it wasn't a serious hardship, so she had agreed to cool it on campus. Callie had also asked if it was alright if Arizona didn't sleep over too often. Callie wanted stability in Sofia's life, and she was concerned about Sofia getting too attached to Arizona too quickly. She didn't want to confuse the little girl by Arizona being there some mornings but not others. Arizona had thought that was reasonable, but she had also been slightly hurt. Where did Callie think she was going? Arizona had no intention of leaving. There was no danger in Sofia getting attached, because Arizona wasn't planning on going anywhere. But part of Arizona also realized that Callie was just being a protective mom. No matter who Callie loved, no matter who Callie eventually married, Sofia was Callie's daughter. Her safety and security and well-being had to come first. And Arizona admired the fact that Callie took her role as a mother so seriously. Plus, Callie's request didn't make much of a practical difference anyways—Arizona could really only sleep over when both of her parents were out of town, which didn't happen all that frequently.

The two women had also discussed who would know about them. Both Aria and Alex already knew that they were somewhat involved, so they'd agreed that it was alright for Callie's sister and for Arizona's best friend to know the full details—they both recognized that they needed to have at least one friend who knew, one friend they could talk to. And Callie had expressed a need to inform Mark and Lexie as well. Arizona had objected to that, but Callie had just shaken her head, telling Arizona that they would find out eventually—they would figure it out soon, if they hadn't already. So even though Arizona wasn't thrilled with the idea, she had agreed that they needed to sit Mark and Lexie down and talk about it. Callie had volunteered to just tell them herself, but Arizona wanted to be present—she needed to personally explain to Mark and Lexie just how serious this was to her, just how much damage outing her would cause. The only real hiccup in their conversation had come when Arizona had asked Callie if they were girlfriends. At the question, Callie had immediately looked uncomfortable and defensive. She had asked why it mattered—it was just a label, and nobody would know about them anyways. Rather hurt at Callie's reluctance, Arizona had asked if Callie had feelings for her, if Callie planned on having a sexual relationship with her, and if they were exclusive. Callie had immediately answered "yes" to all three questions. "Well then aren't we girlfriends by definition?" Arizona had asked. "Well, I just—" Callie had hesitated. "I just don't see why we need titles. Isn't it good enough that we know what we are to each other?" "Callie, why won't you be my girlfriend?" Arizona had pressed, not buying Callie's explanation. "I told you," Callie had offered lamely. "I just don't think—" "Cut the crap," Arizona had interrupted, "and tell me the real reason." Callie had sighed and looked down at her lap in defeat. "I still...I still feel uneasy about all of this, like I'm behaving unethically, like I'm abusing my power. And...and I guess part of me thinks that if we don't have the 'girlfriend' label, then...then..." "Then it's not real?" Arizona had finished for the brunette. "Then it doesn't really count?" Callie had shrugged her agreement. "Callie," Arizona had sighed, standing from her chair and seating herself next to Callie on the couch. "I want us to be real," she had said, linking her hand with Callie's. And then Arizona had lifted Callie's hand, had placed it directly over her heart. "This is real," Arizona had said. "This isn't a game to me, Callie, and I know it's not one to you either. It's real. And you need to acknowledge that." Callie had nodded, and then slowly looked up into Arizona's eyes. "So...so I'm your girlfriend?" she'd asked. Arizona had smiled and given Callie a firm nod. "You're my girlfriend." And so there Arizona found herself, walking next to her girlfriend, as she was escorted by the Secret Service to her father's box in the Verizon Center. The President himself rarely attended sporting events—he was generally too busy with running the country. But he kept a box that his family and staffers could use whenever they wanted, and Arizona took advantage of it regularly. She hadn't missed a home game yet, and she always used the private box, enjoying the comfy seating and free snacks. Teddy and Alex usually came as well, and that night, the party consisted of Arizona and her two friends, plus Callie, Mark, Sofia, Press Secretary Derek Shepherd, the President's Aide George O'Malley, a few Republican Congressmen, and some other assorted White House staffers. As they settled into their seats, Arizona immediately scooped Sofia off of Callie's lap and into her own—if she was going to have any success in not touching Callie, then she needed something else to occupy her hands. And though Sofia was a pathetically poor substitute for Callie, she was the next best thing. She smelled like Callie, loved Arizona, and was impossibly cute. And Sofia didn't seem to mind at all. Indeed, Sofia had made it very clear at dinner that she had missed Arizona's presence over the holidays. "So uh...you gonna tell me why Dr. Torres is here?" Teddy murmured in Arizona's ear as the game got underway. Alex had been seated next to Arizona, but he'd gotten up to grab some beers. Teddy had taken the opportunity to snag his seat and chat with Arizona. "We're friends," Arizona said simply, giving Teddy a nonchalant look. "You know that I babysit for her." "Yeah..." Teddy said hesitantly. "But it's a little weird to be like...friends friends with her, don't you think? I mean, she's really old."

Arizona quickly looked down at the toddler in her lap and the professor seated to her right to ensure that neither of them was listening before looking back at Teddy. Assured that Sofia was distracted with a toy and Callie was talking to Mark, she turned back to her friend. "You should talk , Teddy," Arizona teased, trying to look as casual as possible. She didn't want to tip Teddy off in the slightest. "You're the one who's constantly pining over thirty- and forty-year-old staffers. And being friends with someone in their thirties is a hell of a lot better than wanting to b ang one." "But I never actually bang them!" Teddy argued adamantly. Arizona relaxed, happy that she'd gotten Teddy off the subject of Callie, and just leveled a stare at her friend. "Deputy Communications Director Henry Burton," she said firmly. Teddy turned red at the name. "That was one time," Teddy said defensively. "Teddy," Arizona said, a bemused look on her face. "The man is forty years old." "So?" Teddy mumbled, shrinking in her seat. "He's hot." "I'm just sayin'..." Arizona shrugged, a teasing smile on her face. Teddy made a face at Arizona and Arizona just giggled as Alex returned to their seats, a trayful of beers in his hands. "Dude, Altman," he said, "move your ass." "Alex," Arizona hissed, placing her hands over Sofia's ears. "Language!" "Whatever," Alex said, shrugging and reclaiming the seat next to Arizona that Teddy had just vacated. "Torres doesn't seem to care," he said, indicating towards Callie. Arizona looked over at her girlfriend and found that she was still in a conversation with Mark and oblivious to what was going on with the college students. Arizona found that to be a little annoying—she wished Callie was paying attention to her. But she knew that it was probably for the best—it wouldn't even occur to anyone watching that she and Callie were anything but friends. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona smiled to herself and leaned back in her seat as the second half of the basketball game began. Sofia was sound asleep in Callie's lap, and after Callie's initial conversation with Mark, she had paid Arizona plenty of attention. So overall, it was a good night. More than anything, Arizona wished that she could just scoot closer to Callie, throw her arm around the brunette, and cuddle like any other couple in attendance. But that wasn't exactly an option. So simply sitting next to Callie and enjoying a game would have to do. "So what classes are you taking this semester?" Callie asked softly, careful not to wake Sofia. Arizona smirked at Callie's efforts—if a loud sports arena wasn't enough to wake the toddler, she didn't think talking at a normal volume was anything to worry about. "Uh, for accounting," Arizona said, "I have Advanced, Cost, and Tax. Then I have Business Law 2 and a French Lit class." "You have Hahn for Cost?" Callie asked, a slight look of discomfort crossing Callie's beautiful features. "Yeah, why?" Arizona asked, frowning slightly at Callie's unusual expression. "Just wondering," Callie shrugged. "Do you like her?" "Yeah, she's good," Arizona said, continuing to frown in confusion. What about Dr. Hahn was bothering her girlfriend? But before Callie could respond further, the crowd erupted in cheers and Arizona instinctively looked to the jumbotron to determine the cause. On the giant screen was a live feed of Arizona and Alex, framed by a computer-generated heart. Apparently the kiss cam had started...and she and Alex were on it. And before Arizona had a chance to really react, Alex was leaning in and capturing her lips in a flirty and intimate kiss. It was entirely for show. Both Alex and Arizona knew that. At the beginning of their college career, knowing that she would be a frequent target of the jumbotron operators, Arizona had instructed Alex on how to behave. She generally tried to leave her seat as soon as the kiss cam started, but just in case they were caught on it, Arizona had made Alex promise to kiss her. She'd known that it would be good for PR, and that it would go a long way in keeping her sexuality a secret. But when she had given him those instructions, she had never dreamed that she would have a girlfriend during college. It had never occurred to her that kissing Alex could get in the way of a relationship. So as Alex kissed her for an

appropriately long amount of time and the crowd went nuts, Arizona started to panic. Alex and Arizona knew it was for show. But did Callie? As soon as the kiss was over and the camera was off of them, Arizona chanced a glance at Callie. And she felt her heart tightening in her chest as she looked at Callie. The Latina was trying to look calm, and was gently stroking Sofia's hair in an attempt to look busy. But from Callie's body language, Arizona could tell that Callie was upset. She was rigid and tense. "Come into the box where they can't see us," Arizona said quietly, murmuring into Callie's ear. Then she stood from her seat and went further into the private box, praying that her girlfriend would follow. "Cristina," she said to the Secret Service Agent who stood guarding the door. "Are there any cameras in here?" "No, you're clear," the stern woman answered. "Would you like me to step into the hall for a moment?" "Thank you, that would be good," Arizona nodded, casting an anxious glance back towards the arena. Thankfully, Callie was standing up, and was in the process of handing Sofia off to Mark. Arizona swallowed nervously as Callie exited the publically-viewable portion of the box and entered the more private sitting area. Arizona couldn't quite read her—she didn't look angry, but she did look visibly upset. "Callie—" Arizona started, moving to stand close to her girlfriend. "Don't—" Callie interrupted, stopping short and holding a hand up to halt Arizona. "Callie, please—" Arizona tried again, quickly checking to make sure no one was watching. Alex was thankfully working hard at distracting Teddy, and the rest of the group seemed interested enough in what was happening on the court. "No," Callie said forcefully, not allowing Arizona to touch her. "But I—" "Arizona, you need to give me a minute," Callie growled, sitting down on a sofa and holding her face in her hands. Arizona just watched anxiously as her girlfriend sighed loudly in frustration. When she couldn't stand it any longer, she gingerly sat herself down next to Callie on the couch. "Callie, it wasn't real," Arizona said quickly, needing to get it all out before Callie cut her off again. Callie made a noise of annoyance and finally looked back up. "What do you think I am, an idiot, Arizona?" "What?" Arizona asked, confused. "No, of course—" "I know it wasn't real, Arizona," Callie interrupted again. "I know that you're gay. I know that Alex was just covering for you. That doesn't mean I have to like it when some guy sucks your face off!" Arizona opened her mouth to argue. She hadn't enjoyed kissing Alex at all, but she thought the kiss had been rather tame in the grand scheme of things. "He wasn't sucking my—" "You're not supposed to kiss anyone but me!" Callie exclaimed. "I know," Arizona said apologetically. "I know, I'm sorry. It happened so fast, and Alex was just—" "I know!" Callie cut her off again. Arizona grimaced at Callie's tone and leaned away slightly. She wasn't used to Callie being so upset and short with her. "I'm sorry," she said softly after a few moments of quiet. Callie took a big breath and then slowly exhaled, apparently trying to calm herself down. "It's okay," she said finally. "I know that you didn't have much control over that situation." "No," Arizona apologized. "I should have...I don't know, I should have pushed him away or something." "No, you shouldn't have," Callie said. "He was trying to help you out, and if you'd pushed him away, it would have been embarrassing for him and would have created even more of a headline. You did the right thing." "But you're upset," Arizona said quietly.

"I am," Callie nodded. "But it was still the right thing. You're in a really hard position, Arizona." Arizona sighed but then nodded in agreement. The nation watched her every move. It sucked, but it was reality. "Well I'm still sorry," Arizona said. She quickly checked to make sure no one was watching and then leaned forward, placing a whisper of a kiss on the corner of Callie's mouth. Callie responded by giving her a playful scowl. "Now I have Alex cooties," the brunette complained, a pout on her face. Arizona giggled and then leaned in again, this time capturing Callie's lips more fully. "Hey Arizona?" Callie asked after a moment, pulling out of the kiss. Arizona wanted the kiss to continue, but she knew it wasn't the best idea. Anyone in the box could turn around at any given moment. "Hmm?" "Do me a favor?" "What?" "From now on, don't kiss anyone but me?" Arizona smiled broadly and then squeezed Callie's hand. "Done." And then she lifted Callie's hand to her mouth, sealing the promise with a gentle kiss.

*Chapter 14*: Chapter 14
AN: Sorry for the slow updates. I'm still here, and still committed to this story. It's just a very busy and complicated summer for me. Thanks for bearing with me. Things really get put in motion this chapter...lol. Also note that there has been a three month time jump. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie smiled at the sound of her garage door opening. It was late on a Wednesday evening, Sofia was sound asleep, and Callie was getting caught up on work in her home office. In the three months since Arizona Robbins had become her girlfriend, the blonde had been in Callie's home too many times to count. When Arizona was coming over to spend time with Sofia and the family, or to eat dinner, or to just hang out, she would always call ahead and make plans. But Callie knew from experience that when Arizona came over uninvited, late at night, it meant just one thing—Arizona was coming over for sex. And Callie couldn't get enough of it. It was a strange noise to be her favorite, but the sound of the garage door opening had become Callie's favorite sound in the world. Callie's body tingled with anticipation as she waited for Arizona to climb the stairs and make her way to Callie's office. Callie was always working at this time of night, and Arizona would know exactly where she was. It was their little routine. A few nights a week, Arizona would show up unannounced, interrupt Callie's research, and blow Callie's mind. As far as Callie was concerned, somewhere between losing her virginity in January and where they were now in the middle of April, Arizona Robbins had graduated from sex school with the highest honors. Summa cum laude, valedictorian. The blonde was insane. It was obvious that Arizona wasn't naturally as adventurous as the brunette—the blonde had a clear preference for slow, steady, traditional lovemaking. But she was also incredibly open-minded and always willing to try whatever Callie asked for. Callie had never had a better lover in her life. And of course, their relationship was far more than just sex. Callie was head-over-heels in love with Arizona, and while they hadn't yet expressed that love verbally, Callie knew that Arizona loved her back. It was there, shining out of Arizona's gorgeous blue eyes every time they looked at one another. They were each other's best friend, each other's partner in life and in love. But Callie wasn't too focused on the emotional part of their relationship as she heard Arizona making her way up the stairs. She was getting sex in about thirty seconds, and the thought of that was all-consuming. Arizona was going to walk into Callie's office and take all her clothes off and they were going to make passionate love to one another. Life was good. Callie's brow furrowed slightly when a soft knock sounded on the door to her office, which had been left partially open. Arizona never knocked. "Uh, come in?" Callie called. "Dr. Torres?" Callie's eyes bulged out of her head as Arizona walked shyly into the room. Holy. Shit. Standing in front of her was her girlfriend. And Arizona clearly had plans for the night. Arizona's golden hair was braided into pigtails that were tied off with little white bows. She wore a white t-shirt that was gathered and tied to the side to reveal several inches of toned, tanned stomach, and her cute little ass was covered with impossibly tiny navy shorts. The look was completed with pink and blue tennis shoes and a backpack. Arizona had come over to play. "Uh..." Callie let out, her eyes on overload. Arizona always went along with things when Callie wanted to try something out of the ordinary, but this was the first time Arizona was the instigator. Callie found it incredibly hot. "I was wondering if we could talk about my last test?" Arizona asked, approaching Callie's desk. She waved a piece of paper in the air that had a big, red "F" on the front. "Uh, uh," Callie stuttered, distracted by how innocent and perky Arizona was acting. Callie knew she was supposed to play along, but shit, this was hard. She felt as though her brain had completely fallen out of her head. "I just don't know what to do," Arizona sighed adorably, pulling up a chair and sitting inappropriately close to Callie. "I calculated my grade, and I just don't see how I can pass your class. Could I do anything for extra credit?"

"Well uh," Callie said, trying desperately to get in character. All she could think about was the insistent throbbing that had started between her legs. "I've said very clearly in my syllabus that I don't give extra credit." "I know," Arizona said worriedly. "But I'll be in really big trouble with my dad if I don't pass this class." "I'm sorry, Ms. Robbins," Callie shrugged carelessly. "There's not a whole lot I can do. Rules are rules." "But I'm desperate, Professor Torres," Arizona pleaded. "Please, I'll do anything you want. I'd be so grateful." Callie couldn't help but lean back and smirk at Arizona's performance. Her girlfriend was acting like a helpless, adorable airhead. And she was really good at it. In general, the power dynamic between the two women was very good—Arizona never showed any indication that she thought of herself as anything but Callie's equal. But at the moment, she was definitely proving that she knew how to make Callie feel in complete control. "Anything?" Callie said after a few moments, raising an eyebrow seductively and assuming a confident and dominant body posture. "Anything," Arizona said wide-eyed, earnestly nodding up and down like an eager puppy. "Close the door," Callie said simply, casually gesturing towards the entrance to her home office. Arizona dutifully stood up and closed the door. "Now lock it," Callie commanded. Arizona did so. "And now take off all your clothes." Arizona whirled around and looked shocked, and Callie struggled to stop herself from laughing. Arizona was acting wonderfully innocent and naive. "Wha—what?" Arizona stuttered out. "You heard me," Callie said. "You...you want me to do that?" Arizona asked, looking aghast. Callie merely nodded. "But...but..." Arizona started to protest. "Do you want that extra credit or not, Ms. Robbins?" Callie asked, trying to sound commanding and impatient. Arizona swallowed nervously and looked down, starting to fidget. "I really need the extra credit, Dr. Torres," she said. "Then strip," Callie said coldly. Callie couldn't help but smile broadly as Arizona kicked off her shoes and then shimmied out of her shorts and top. She couldn't remember ever feeling this aroused and excited. This was the best thing ever. "I believe I said all of your clothes, Ms. Robbins," Callie said after a moment. Arizona had left her bra and panties on. It was a matching set—pink with white polka dots. Arizona's eyes were wide with horror, and Callie had the passing thought that if accounting didn't work out, Arizona would make a good actress. Or porn star. "I have to get all the way naked?" Arizona asked shyly, looking embarrassed. "You're failing my class miserably, Ms. Robbins," Callie shrugged. "You need a lot of extra credit." "Yes, Dr. Torres," Arizona said defeatedly, finally completely undressing. Callie licked her lips at the sight. She was well accustomed to seeing Arizona naked—she had memorized every detail of Arizona's wonderful body. But the sight of Arizona's nude form never ceased to send arousal and desire surging through her entire being. She momentarily contemplated standing up and just taking Arizona against the door. "Okay, and now come back over here," Callie commanded, beckoning the blonde by curling her index finger. Arizona reluctantly walked back over to where Callie was seated at her desk. Callie reached around and gave Arizona a hard smack on the ass, and Arizona jumped and squealed in surprise. Callie's shuddered in pleasure. Arizona always did that when Callie spanked her out of nowhere. Callie loved it. "Sit on my desk," Callie ordered, quickly pushing papers aside and patting a clear portion where Arizona could be. Arizona gingerly sat herself down on the desk. "And now lean back," Callie said, smiling like an idiot when Arizona did as she was told. Callie positioned her desk chair so she was directly facing the desk, and then she grabbed each of Arizona's legs,

thrusting them open and placing a foot on either arm rest. The sight made Callie's head spin. Arizona was lying on her desk, legs open, completely exposed. Holy shit. "And now touch yourself," Callie commanded quietly, barely able to believe this was happening. "What?!" Arizona squeaked, leaning up to look at Callie. "Touch yourself for me," Callie repeated. When Arizona just gaped at her, Callie broke character for a second and just sniggered. This was so awesome. Clearing her throat and shaking her head slightly, Callie gathered herself again and said, "You heard me. You want extra credit? Then you're going to touch yourself." Arizona made a little pouting, whiny noise, but then laid back down, her hands moving into position. Callie's eyes widened as Arizona got started, and she was pretty sure she had just died and gone to heaven. Resisting the urge to immediately help Arizona out, Callie took a deep breath and then settled into her desk chair, forcing herself to enjoy the erotic display right in front of her eyes for a few minutes. She knew it wouldn't be long before she broke down and her tongue joined Arizona's fingers. Oh, and then Arizona was going to get one hell of a spanking. She was being a naughty, naughty girl. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona slowly drifted back to consciousness and hummed in pleasure at the feeling of Callie laying gentle kisses on her neck and shoulders. Her entire body felt so exhausted, yet so utterly satisfied. And her heart was perfectly happy— she had gotten exactly what she'd wanted that night. Arizona had been in a rather good mood, so she'd decided to give her girlfriend a thrill. Arizona didn't quite get it, but she knew that Callie loved getting a little kinky, so Arizona had had the feeling Callie would enjoy playing teacher/student. And from Callie's reaction, "enjoy" had been a major understandment. And after the somewhat humiliating show that Callie had requested, Callie had proceeded to spank her. Arizona still thought that was incredibly weird, but she didn't really mind it, and it never failed to get Callie incredibly turned on. So even though Arizona didn't at all understand the enjoyment Callie got from bending her over her knee and smacking her bare bottom, Arizona always let her. She didn't care either way, and it made her girlfriend happy. Callie always seemed to have the longest, hardest orgasms after spending a little time with Arizona's ass. And then—after she'd had to touch herself, and after Callie had spanked her—Arizona had gotten what she loved most in the world: slow, luxurious, tenderhearted lovemaking. Arizona couldn't quite figure it out—maybe it was because Callie felt more loved and accepted for who she was, or maybe it was because Arizona had made herself more vulnerable— but after letting Callie dominate her, the brunette always took such good care of Arizona. And it wasn't just their normal, bread and butter sex—Arizona got plenty of non-kinky sex on a regular basis. It was beyond that. After indulging her girlfriend's less than orthodox desires, Arizona always felt as though she got all of Callie. And Callie got all of her. They poured everything they were into one another, memorizing every moment, cataloguing every single sight, sound, smell, taste, and touch. It was the deepest, most perfect form of intimacy Arizona had ever experienced. And while the physical pleasure was wonderful, Arizona couldn't even bring herself to care about it. The only thing that mattered was that in that moment, she and Callie were perfectly bonded to one another. And Arizona had gotten one of those moments that night. Life was good. "Wake up, sleepy-head," Callie murmured quietly. Arizona just groaned in response, refusing to wake up completely, as she snuggled more closely into Callie. Callie chuckled and wrapped her arms tightly around Arizona, squeezing her gently. Arizona didn't know what it was— Callie was always good to her, always sweet and loving. But after they made love so perfectly, Callie was always even more so. The brunette's every caress was filled with adoration and absolute devotion. "Come on, sweetie," Callie tried again, kissing the bridge of Arizona's nose and softly playing with Arizona's golden hair. "It's one." "Mm-mm," Arizona shook her head slightly in disagreement. On nights when at least one of Arizona's parents was in town, Arizona would leave Callie at one in the morning, not wanting to risk the questioning that would follow if she was out all night. It was frustrating—Arizona wanted nothing more than to spend every night in her lover's arms. But it was necessary—she needed to go home.

"Arizona..." Callie sighed. Arizona just shook her head again and burrowed her face into Callie's neck. She knew that Callie didn't want her to leave, either. She knew Callie wanted more cuddling time as well. But she also knew how this would end. They went through this several nights a week. "Come on, honey," Callie said a little more forcefully. Arizona let out an annoyed whine as Callie sat up, dragging Arizona into a sitting position as well. "I don't wanna go," Arizona argued, knowing it was futile. "I know," Callie said, leaning in and kissing Arizona's neck. "I know. But you have to—" Callie stopped short and automatically pulled the covers up to cover their naked bodies at the sound of the doorknob turning. "Mommy?" Arizona froze as Sofia opened the door and walked sleepily into the dimly lit room. In all the nights that she'd come over after Sofia had fallen asleep, this had never happened—Sofia had never been alerted to Arizona's presence in the home —in Callie's b ed—so late at night. Arizona swallowed nervously. While her relationship with Callie was healthy and happy, things with Sofia weren't always as easy. Arizona still adored Sofia, and the now three-year-old still adored Arizona. But Sofia had entered a somewhat bratty stage, and the unusual circumstances of Callie and Arizona's relationship sometimes led to temper tantrums. The two women were rather careful around Sofia—limiting their physical affection to the bare minimum when the little girl was around. And Callie had never explained to Sofia that Arizona was her girlfriend. But on some level, Sofia definitely knew. She knew that her mommy and Arizona weren't normal friends. She knew that in some special way, they belonged to one another. She knew they were a unit, a pair. They went together like her daddy and Lexie went together. And it frustrated the little girl. Because she didn't want to go to the zoo or to the park with just Callie or just Arizona. She wanted to go with b oth of them, because they were supposed to go places together. And she also didn't understand why Arizona couldn't do things spontaneously—why the blonde couldn't just take her to the mall like her mommy or Lexie could. And because Sofia lacked the communication skills to express her frustration and confusion, and because she couldn't entirely understand her mother's explanations, she threw tantrums. And then there was the issue of "parenting." In the beginning, when Arizona had been a babysitter, plain and simple, she'd been allowed to tell Sofia what to do. Callie hadn't minded one bit if Arizona gave Sofia instructions or administered timeouts. But ever since becoming Callie's girlfriend, Arizona felt as though all of her authority when it came to Sofia had been taken away. Callie claimed it was because she wanted to protect Sofia. She didn't want Sofia getting attached to Arizona in a parental role, because Arizona wasn't her parent. Arizona was Callie's girlfriend, and that didn't make her Sofia's mom. And while Arizona understood that and knew that Callie wasn't lying about her intentions, it still hurt. Didn't Callie realize that Arizona was serious? Didn't Callie realize that Arizona wasn't going anywhere? That Arizona would never, in her wildest dreams, do anything to hurt Sofia? And Arizona's lack of authority led to problems with Sofia. Sofia still loved Arizona, but she was smart. She'd noticed that Arizona no longer seemed to be in charge of her, and so Arizona felt as though the little girl respected her less. Sofia seemed to deliberately misbehave for Arizona, testing her limits, and Arizona felt powerless to do anything about it. She wanted to respect her girlfriend's wishes, completely understanding that Callie was Sofia's mother, and was therefore in charge of anything and everything having to do with the little girl. But she also felt as though Callie was inadvertently preventing her from having a healthy relationship with Sofia. And whenever Arizona tried to talk to Callie about it, Callie never seemed willing to make any changes. It was the only thing they ever fought about. And so Arizona felt a sense of dread settle on her. She and Callie had just shared a wonderful, perfect night, and she was worried that it was about to end on a sour note. "Uh, hey, sweetie," Callie said nervously, pulling the covers up even higher. Sofia's eyes shifted confusedly from her mother, to Arizona, and then back again. "Arizona's here?" she asked simply. "Um, yeah," Callie nodded, clearly not knowing what to say. Arizona remained silent, letting Callie take the lead.

"In your bed?" Sofia asked. "Yeah, honey," Callie said. "We were um...we were just snuggling." "Forgot jammies," Sofia said, noticing both of the women's naked shoulders. Arizona felt herself blush, and worried about how Callie was going to explain this to her three-year-old. But thankfully, Callie's mothering instincts seemed to kick in at that moment. "We did?" Callie said, her expression animated. She quickly looked down at herself and then over at Arizona, looking surprised to see that they were naked. "Well isn't that silly?" Callie asked her daughter. Sofia giggled and nodded. "Arizona, can you believe we forgot to put our pajamas on before we started snuggling?" "No!" Arizona said, playing along. "Well Sofia," Callie said. "Why don't you go get back in your bed. Your silly mommy will put her jammies on and tuck you in in a sec, okay?" "Okay," Sofia nodded. "Arizona, too?" she asked hopefully. "Arizona, too," Callie smiled. "Good," Sofia grinned. "Water?" she asked. "Sure, we'll bring you a glass of water." "Thank you," Sofia said, scurrying out of the room. Arizona breathed a sigh of relief as soon as the three-year-old was gone. Callie had handled that well. "Sorry," Callie cringed. "No, no, it's fine," Arizona said, squeezing Callie's hand under the covers. Callie snorted. "Oh sure," Callie said, leaning in and kissing Arizona's cheek. "You come over for amazingly hot, hot sex with your girlfriend...and you get interrupted by her daughter." Arizona smiled and gently rubbed her nose against Callie's, hoping that Callie's kiss meant the brunette wasn't angry, that their night wasn't ruined after all. "Well at least she didn't interrupt the really good part," Arizona said seductively. "We were finished." "I know," Callie sighed, standing up and starting to get dressed. "But I was enjoying the snuggling." Arizona got aroused all over again at the sight of Callie's naked body, and pouted as that glorious body was quickly covered up. But knowing that Sofia was waiting for them, she slid out of the bed and began futilely searching the floor for her clothes. "They're in my office," Callie said quickly, knowing what Arizona was looking for. "Right..." Arizona blushed, a series of images flashing through her mind. After Callie had helped Arizona finish her little show on top of Callie's desk, they'd clumsily made their way to Callie's bedroom for round two. Which meant Arizona's clothes were still in Callie's office. "I'll get them for you," a grinning and fully-clothed Callie said, heading out of the bedroom. "So you're not mad?" Arizona asked, not able to be completely at ease without some kind of verbal confirmation from her girlfriend. Callie turned around in the doorway and gave Arizona a quizzical look. "About Sofia catching us?" Arizona supplied. "You're not mad?" "No," Callie said, approaching Arizona again and gently kissing her on the lips. "Not at all."

"You're sure?" Arizona asked. She didn't think Callie really had a reason to be angry with her, but the brunette had been so particular about Sofia lately. "Arizona," Callie exclaimed incredulously. "She didn't see anything, and it wouldn't have been your fault if she had. And besides," Callie added, smirking darkly, "after what you pulled tonight, I don't think I'm capab le of being angry with you, even if you burned my freakin house down." "Okay," Arizona smiled, sufficiently reassured that their perfect night was still intact. She leaned in for one last tender, lingering kiss. "Now go get my clothes. Sofia needs snuggles." ~0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "Arizona?" Arizona whined in confusion at the sound of her mother's voice. Her bedroom was dark, save for the light filtering in through the open door, and she felt as though she had just fallen asleep after her perfect night with Callie. Turning over wearily, she glanced at her clock, and was immediately alarmed. It was quarter to three in the morning. Why in the world was her mother coming to speak with her in the middle of the night? What was wrong? Was her father okay? Had there been an attack? "Mom?" Arizona said, rubbing the sleep from her eyes and sitting up in her bed. "What's wrong? Is dad okay?" "Yeah, honey, everyone's safe," Barbara said, stepping cautiously into the room. Arizona swallowed nervously. Whatever her mother needed to tell her was bad. Barbara looked incredibly uncomfortable. "Well what is it, then?" Arizona asked, anxious for her mom to get to the point. She hated waiting for bad news. It was easier to just get it over with. "Arizona," Barbara said, making her way to Arizona's bed and sitting down beside her daughter. "Before I say this, I need you to know that your father and I love you very much. We love you and accept you and nothing could ever change that." Arizona swallowed again and began to feel a sinking feeling in her heart. We love you and accept you and nothing could ever change that. That sounded like...like her mother knew. Knew about Callie. "Mom..." Arizona said slowly. "A um," Barbara said, looking pained. "A video has surfaced online. Of you and um, of you and a woman..." Arizona's stomach immediately turned into knots. No, no, no, no, no, that wasn't possible. That just wasn't possible. "Me and a woman...?" Arizona questioned, hoping against hope that her mother wasn't talking about that kind of video. "Of you and a woman," Barbara continued, "um...having...physical relations." Arizona just swallowed and stared at her mother. She had never had an out of body experience, but she was pretty sure what was happening to her was similarly disorienting. The emotions and questions and thoughts slamming into her were too intense and varied to discern. Her heart felt like it was pounding in her ears, her chest felt like something heavy was pressing on it, and her stomach was threatening to violently empty itself. There was a tape. There was a tape of her having sex. With a woman. And it was online. Arizona felt herself collapsing into her mother's waiting arms. "I'm so sorry, sweetie," her mother was saying. "Why didn't you tell us? All those times I tried to set you up with young men—why didn't you tell me? Oh, honey." But Arizona wasn't listening. She couldn't listen. She could only think about one thing. Callie. She could have, in that moment, been horrified that there was a video of her online. Anyone in the world could watch her in the middle of an incredibly intimate moment. Anyone could see her naked, could see her panting and squirming, could watch as she tumbled over the edge. Her privacy was gone. She also could have been concerned about how it would play in the press. She was always watched because she was the president's daughter, but this was something else entirely. She would be hounded for weeks. There wouldn't be a

single other story on the news. Everybody would be talking about how the president's daughter had been carrying on a secret lesbian affair with her college professor. And then there was her father, her family to consider. Would this ruin her father's political career? His hopes for reelection? Would the religious right turn against him knowing that his daughter was a lesbian? Would he maintain his position on gay marriage? Would he change it? But Arizona couldn't think about those things. She would, eventually, of course. But at that moment, all she could think about was Callie. How could Callie have done this to her? Had the brunette been playing her from the start? There had to be some other explanation, but Arizona couldn't think of one. They only ever had sex in Callie's home. Only people they trusted knew about them. So if there was a tape, then it must have been filmed in Callie's bedroom. Which meant Callie had filmed it. Which meant Callie had betrayed her. Arizona hugged her mother as tightly as she could at the thought. Maybe Callie had been right after all—maybe Arizona was too immature for a relationship. Because Arizona hadn't guarded herself. She hadn't taken measures to protect herself from Callie. She'd given herself to Callie entirely. She hadn't held anything back. She'd naively and idealistically put her complete trust in Callie, believing that love was real. Believing, like a child, that the world was good, that people were good. That Callie was good. And Callie had played her. Callie had taken that trust and broken it. Arizona had believed that Callie loved her. But now it seemed as though Callie was just using her. Using Arizona as a quick way to achieve fame, a quick way to make a buck. Arizona's stomach churned at the thought. Callie would probably write a tell-all book, would go on talk shows. Would brag about how gullible Arizona had been, how easy it had been to make Arizona fall in love with her. Arizona started to sob into her mother's neck. She wanted to die. Just dig a hole, curl up in a ball, and die. "I'm sorry, mom," Arizona managed to squeak out after a few minutes, but Barbara just hugged her tighter. "You have nothing to apologize for, Arizona," her mother reassured, kissing her on the cheek. "We love you, Arizona, and we'll get you through this. I'm just so sorry this woman hurt you." "But...but Dad's career, and, and the press," Arizona sniffled. "Shh," her mother said, shaking her head. "Don't you worry about that." "But—" "That's what your father's staff is for, honey." Arizona nodded slightly and tried to catch her breath. But it was just too much. All she could do was cry. All she could do was feel anguish and horror and pain. How could Callie do this to her? She had given Callie her whole heart. And in return, Callie had ground it up into a million little pieces and held it up for the world to see. Arizona immediately reached up behind her neck, hastily removing the "Dimples" necklace that Callie had given her three months prior, and threw it across the room. Realization dawned on Barbara's face—Arizona had told her parents it was a gift from Alex—but the older woman remained silent. "Can I see it, mom?" Arizona asked after a few minutes more. She didn't want to see it. But she needed to. She needed to know exactly what was on that tape, exactly what she was dealing with, exactly what everyone would be talking about. Barbara nodded and, to Arizona's surprise, produced a flash drive out of her pocket. "Have you watched it?" Arizona asked in alarm. "No," Barbara responded. "Nor am I going to. Same with your father." "Okay," Arizona nodded, accepting the flash drive from her mother. "Can you um?" Arizona asked, nodding towards the door. "Yes," Barbara said, standing up from the bed. She leaned down to place a kiss on the top of Arizona's hair, murmured that she'd be back soon, and then left the room.

As soon as her mother was gone and the door was closed, Arizona took a deep breath and then warily reached for her laptop. She really didn't want to view the contents of the flash drive, but she had to. And as soon as the video started playing, the pressure in her chest and the nausea in her stomach seemed to intensify exponentially. Arizona would later come to be thankful that the video wasn't of one of their more adventurous lovemaking sessions—it just showed some rather ordinary, regular sex. But at the moment, Arizona could only think of how awful it was. She was naked. She was vulnerable. The entire world could watch her do something incredibly private. It was horrible. And she needed to talk to Callie. She needed answers. She needed to know why. She needed to know how Callie was capable of doing something so terrible. But that was just it. Arizona wasn't convinced that Callie was capable of it. She didn't know who else could have done this. And all signs seemed to point to Callie. Arizona knew it was probably stupid and naive to even consider that mayb e Callie hadn't done it. But she was considering it. If Callie had just been playing her, then why had she fought so hard against having a relationship in the first place? And why would she have waited so long? And why would she act so wonderful and loving towards Arizona? It just didn't add up. It was incredibly out of character for the brunette. Incredibly unlike Callie to do something so awful. Pausing the video, Arizona reached for her phone and tapped on "Caliente" on her favorite's screen. Her nickname for Callie suddenly seemed so stupid and childish. "Arizona?" At the sound of Callie's voice, Arizona felt gutted, like someone was stabbing her with a thousand knives. "Arizona, it's...it's three in the morning. Why are you calling?" Arizona opened her mouth to speak, but she couldn't find her voice. She didn't know what to say. "Arizona, are you there?" Not able to do anything else, Arizona just started to sob. Why was Callie acting so confused, so innocent? Didn't she know why Arizona was calling her? "Sweetie? Honey, what's wrong? Arizona?" "HOW COULD YOU DO THIS?!" Arizona finally cried out in anguish, her voice bitter and angry and despondent. "CALLIE, HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!"

*Chapter 15*: Chapter 15
AN: You all have no idea how happy all of your reviews made me. Thank you so much for all the comments! Glad to see you guys are excited. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie jerked awake, startled by the loud blaring of "Cause I'm A Blonde"—Arizona's ringtone. She sat up, disoriented, and groaned when she saw that it was three o'clock in the morning. Why in the hell was Arizona calling her now? She knew Callie had to get up in just a few hours. "Arizona?" Callie croaked out, her voice thick with sleep as she answered the phone. Callie waited for her girlfriend to answer, but Arizona was silent. "Arizona, it's...it's three in the morning," Callie said. "Why are you calling?" Callie waited another couple of beats, but Arizona had yet to respond. Had Arizona somehow dialed Callie's number in her sleep? "Arizona, are you there?" Callie asked, trying again one last time before she hung up and went back to sleep. But then Arizona started crying. And it wasn't just normal crying. Arizona wasn't simply upset. She sounded absolutely devastated by something, like she was in complete and total anguish. Callie sat up a little straighter, her heart starting to race. What had happened? Why was Arizona sobbing? "Sweetie?" she asked. "Honey, what's wrong? Arizona?" Arizona continued to cry, and Callie was beginning to wonder if Arizona was even capable of telling her what was wrong at the moment. But then Arizona finally formed words. And her volume was such that Callie had to hold the phone away from her ear. "HOW COULD YOU DO THIS?!" Arizona cried bitterly. "CALLIE, HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?!" Callie's mouth dropped open, completely taken aback and confused. What was her girlfriend talking about? She'd just kissed Arizona goodnight two hours prior, and then she'd gone to sleep. What could possibly have happened in that timespan? "Sweetie, I..." Callie paused. "Arizona, I don't know what you're talking about," Callie said honestly. "I gave you my whole heart," Arizona sobbed into the phone. "I gave you everything, Callie. My heart, my b ody, everything. I trusted you." "Wha—what?" Callie asked, bewildered. Arizona was acting as if Callie had horribly betrayed her somehow, but Callie hadn't done anything. "Arizona...I...I don't know what—please tell me what's going on," Callie said, trying desperately to catch up to what Arizona was talking about. "Turn on the news," Arizona said coldly. So Callie reached over to her nightstand and grabbed the television remote, flipping the TV on and switching to CNN. And then Callie felt as if time slowed, and as if the floor fell out from under her. A reporter was speaking, but Callie couldn't hear what he was saying. All she saw were the words "Arizona Robbins Sex Tape" written in bold, with a subtitle of "Her Shocking Lesbian Love Affair." Callie swallowed as her mind tried furiously to wrap itself around the situation. There was a video. Someone had taped her and Arizona having sex, and had released it. Their secret was out. Arizona's sexuality, their forbidden relationship— all of it was out. Callie's mind started to race, a million thoughts slamming into her at once. Someone had been in her house. Her house where her three-year-old daughter slept. Was Sofia safe? Richard, her department chair, would find out as soon as he woke up. How would he react? What would happen to her job? And even if she wasn't fired, how could she possibly regain the respect of her colleagues and students? And, goodness, what would her parents think? Would they ever speak to her again? Would they completely wash their hands of her? But although her mind was being bombarded by too many concerns at once, one overriding thought rose to the top— Arizona. She had been outed. She had been outed in a horribly humiliating way. This was Arizona's worst nightmare.

And she thought Callie was responsible. She thought Callie had done this. "Arizona, NO!" Callie blurted out just a few seconds after she had seen the headline, immediately after her mind had rapidly processed what it needed to. "No, no, no," Callie repeated. "Sweetheart, I did not do this." How could Arizona even think that she would do this? Did she not know Callie at all? How could she possibly believe that Callie was capable of such a thing? The thought made Callie angry. How could Arizona have so little trust in her? She deserved better. "Callie, it's in your b edroom!" Arizona argued. "Well then someone broke into my house, Arizona!" Callie exclaimed, her volume rising. She knew she shouldn't yell at Arizona—the young blonde was understandably upset. She knew that this was just a moment of panic, a knee-jerk reaction on Arizona's part. She wasn't thinking clearly. But it still hurt. It still devastated Callie that Arizona could think—even for a moment—that she had done this. "Callie..." Arizona whimpered. "Arizona, I didn't do this, I swear!" Callie said, hastily getting out of bed. How could Arizona not believe her? "But who else could have—" "I don't know, Arizona!" Callie said, tugging on some sweatpants. "But it wasn't me. Arizona, I would never—how could you think I would do this?" "Callie...I...I —" "Arizona, I'm coming over," Callie said, putting her phone on speaker so she could continue getting dressed. This wasn't a conversation she wanted to have over the phone. If Arizona could just look into Callie's eyes, she would know. She would know Callie was telling the truth. "What? Callie, it's—" "I'm coming over," Callie repeated, leaving no room for arguments. "Call the front desk or whoever it is you call, and tell them to let me in." "Why?" Arizona asked ruefully. "Why should I let you in?" Callie froze where she stood, in the middle of putting a sweatshirt on. Was her girlfriend being serious? "Arizona—" "Callie, I —" "Arizona," Callie interrupted, in utter disbelief, "Five minutes. You need to give me five minutes. If you want me to leave after that, fine. But you're giving me five minutes." There was silence for a few long moments, but then Arizona finally responded. "Okay. Five minutes." With that, Callie ended the call and then let out a loud growl of frustration. Yes, this was unbelievably awful, and yes, it was three in the morning. They were both tired. But this was something that they needed to face together. She didn't need Arizona doubting her. Callie quickly tucked her phone in her pocket and walked down the hallway to her daughter's room. She took a deep breath to calm down before she entered the room—she didn't need to alarm Sofia— and then she opened the door. "Hey Sof?" Callie called out quietly. "Sof?" Callie repeated, kneeling next to the bed where her little angel was sleeping. Callie's heart felt heavy with guilt as she watched Sofia begin to stir. This would turn Sofia's world upside down as well. "Mommy?" Sofia asked. "Hey, sweetie," Callie cooed, running a hand through Sofia's soft black hair. "I'm sorry to wake you." "S'okay, mommy," the little girl said sleepily.

"Mommy has to go somewhere," Callie said apologetically. "Can I take you over to daddy and Lexie's?" Thankfully, Callie knew that Lexie wasn't scheduled to work at all that night or the next day. And while Mark was on call, there was a good chance he was home as well. "Yeah," Sofia said, clearly not caring. So Callie scooped her daughter up, grabbed Sofia's baby blanket, and carried her down the stairs and into Mark and Lexie's half of the spacious town home. After settling Sofia in one of their guest rooms, Callie knocked gently on the door of the master bedroom. "Mark? Lex?" "Callie?" came Lexie's reply a few moments later. Callie took that as her permission to enter, so she opened the door just a crack. Mark and Lexie were huddled together in the bed, Mark still asleep, but Lexie in the process of waking up. "Hey," Callie cringed. "I'm so sorry to wake you guys up, but I need to go take care of something. I just put Sof down in one of your guest rooms. Is that okay?" "Yeah, of course," Lexie nodded. "Is everything okay?" "Not really," Callie answered honestly. "Turn um...turn on the news if you want. And I'd keep Sofia out of daycare today if you can. But I've really gotta go." "Okay," Lexie said, clearly confused, but getting the message that Callie didn't want to talk. "Thanks, Lex," Callie said, giving Lexie a quick wave and then closing the bedroom door. As she made her way to her garage and fired up her Audi, Callie silently prayed that Arizona had kept her word—that Arizona had called the right person to grant Callie access to the White House. Callie knew that her entire life was about to be turned upside down. Her family life, her work life—everything was about to be disastrous. But before she could deal with any of that, she needed to see Arizona. She needed to convince Arizona that she had had no part in this. She needed Arizona to believe her. If, after all was said and done, Arizona need to take some time, needed some space to deal with everything, Callie would understand. She would be devastated, but she would understand. But there was no way in hell that Callie was going to let Arizona—the woman that she loved—go on believing that Callie had betrayed her so completely. There was simply no way Callie could allow that to happen. And as Callie sped down the streets of the nation's capital, she decided that it was finally time to tell Arizona that she did, in fact, love her. Because if Arizona thought there was even a possibility that Callie could do this, then she clearly didn't know. She didn't know that Callie loved her, that Callie lived for her. And she needed to know. If Arizona was going to survive the road ahead, she needed to know. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona laid in her bed, curled around a pillow, and cried. Alex had called her four times, but she hadn't answered. Her mom had texted her to ask if she could come back yet, but Arizona had replied that she needed more time. She was waiting for Callie. She didn't want to see Callie, and yet, she didn't want to see anyone b esides Callie. She felt so lost, so confused. Callie had sounded genuinely clueless and innocent on the phone. And she'd insisted so adamantly that she wasn't the source of the tape. So Arizona didn't know what to think. She wanted to believe Callie. She desperately wanted to believe Callie. That would mean that she hadn't been wrong to trust Callie so completely, that she hadn't so grossly misjudged Callie's character. That would mean that the woman she loved, she woman she had given her heart to, hadn't betrayed her. And even though everything else would still be blown to hell, it would mean that Callie would be there for her, would stand by her side, would love her through it somehow. But if Callie hadn't done it, then who? They had been so careful to hide their relationship. They had taken every precaution. And no one knew. Besides the two of them, the only people who knew were Mark, Lexie, Callie's sister, and Alex...and the Secret Service. That was it. And none of them had any incentive to make a sex tape of them. None of them would gain anything from it. Arizona froze as a soft knock sounded on her door. "Arizona?" called a voice a moment later. Arizona closed her eyes tight shut. It was Callie. She wasn't ready to see Callie. She didn't feel prepared to do this. But she had to.

"Ye—yes?" Arizona stuttered out, giving Callie permission to enter. Arizona swallowed as she heard the door open and then close again. But Arizona couldn't turn over, couldn't roll over in her bed to face her lover. She was too afraid of what she'd learn. Too afraid that her worst nightmare would be confirmed. "Hey," Callie said softly after a few moments. "Hey," Arizona called out into the dark. She listened as Callie fumbled for a lamp, and then squinted as a dim light filled the room. "Arizona?" Callie called gently. Arizona felt the bed dip slightly as Callie sat down, and then she shuddered as she felt Callie lay a hand on her shoulder. "Honey, can you look at me?" Arizona reached up to wipe some tears from her eyes. She honestly didn't know. She didn't know if she had it in her to look at Callie. "Arizona," Callie said again, gently pulling on Arizona's shoulder, rolling Arizona to rest on her back. Arizona kept her eyes shut, and she whimpered when she felt Callie's warm hand cupping her face, Callie's thumb wiping at her tears. "Baby, look at me. Please," Callie whispered, her voice sounding desperate. So, mustering her courage, Arizona took a deep breath, and finally locked eyes with Callie. And it was Callie looking back at her. It wasn't some horrible woman who would do something so unbelievably cruel. It was the wonderful woman that Arizona loved. The amazing woman who treated Arizona with love and kindness, and who's beautiful brown eyes were currently staring into her own eyes, soothing her soul, silently reassuring her that everything would be okay. And she knew. She knew Callie wasn't responsible for the video. She wasn't responsible for any of it. Those big brown, wonderfully expressive eyes didn't lie. "Callie," Arizona sobbed out, immediately sitting up and falling into Callie's arms. "Arizona," Callie said, "Sweetie, I didn't do this. I would never do this. You have to know that—" "I know," Arizona cried softly. "I know. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry I accused you of—" "It's okay," Callie reassured. "It's okay. As long as you know." "I know," Arizona sniffled, pulling away slightly so she could look in Callie's eyes again. "I'm sorry. I freaked out. I'm sorry." Callie nodded. Arizona could tell that her accusations had deeply hurt the brunette, but Callie seemed to be willing to forgive her. Arizona hung her head in shame and rested it on Callie's shoulder. How could she have ever doubted Callie like that? How could she have— "Arizona?" Callie said quietly, interrupting Arizona's thoughts. "Yeah?" "I need to tell you something." "Okay," Arizona sniffled, wiping a few more tears out of her eyes. "And I know it's not the most..." Callie shrugged. "The most opportune or romantic moment to tell you this. But you need to know. And I'm sorry that I didn't tell you earlier." Arizona's brow furrowed—what was Callie talking about? "Um...okay?" Arizona said, not understanding. "What is it?" Callie took a deep breath and then exhaled. "I love you, Arizona," Callie said simply, looking into Arizona's eyes and squeezing her hand. "I love you very much." Arizona swallowed. She didn't know what she had been expecting to come out of Callie's mouth, but that had definitely not been it. So Arizona just gaped at her girlfriend. And for the first time since her mother had woken her up, Arizona's heart felt a flicker of lightness, a flicker of hope. If Callie loved her, then maybe, just maybe, she didn't have to crawl into a hole and die. Maybe she could survive this. "You...you do?" she said after a moment. Callie was right—this was a strange

time to tell her that. But it was still an absolutely wonderful thing to hear. "I do," Callie said, nodding her head and looking at Arizona with nothing but love in her eyes. Arizona smiled and reached her hand out, gently stroking some of Callie's silky black hair. "I love you, too." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie lay flat on her back, staring at the ceiling of Arizona's bedroom. After telling each other that they loved one another, Arizona had immediately bolted out of her bed and retrieved something from the floor, and it had gutted Callie to see that it was the necklace she'd given Arizona for her birthday. As far as Callie knew, Arizona had never once taken it off, so it stung to know that Arizona had removed it that night, and had flung it carelessly across the room. But when Arizona had hung her head in shame and sheepishly asked Callie to put it back on, Callie hadn't refused. She'd silently put the necklace back where it belonged, and had then obliged Arizona when the blonde had motioned for her to climb into the bed. And they had just laid there, Arizona crying and saying over and over again how sorry she was for not trusting Callie like she should have, and Callie resting Arizona's head on her breasts, caressing Arizona's face and hair as she sobbed. Arizona was now sleeping soundly, her head still on top of Callie's chest, her arms still wrapped around Callie's middle. And Callie was thinking. Erica had called her phone multiple times, but Callie had ignored her. And there were several text messages asking for Callie to call her back. Callie thought it was ridiculous. Their friendship had healed somewhat since Callie's rejection of her, but it hadn't gone completely back to normal. And Callie really didn't know what Erica wanted. Did she want to gloat? To say that she had known all along that Callie and Arizona were a couple? And why was Erica up in the middle of the night anyways? And Aria had also called, leaving a voicemail. Apparently someone had called their parents, and their parents had called Aria. Aria hadn't gone into much detail about what the elder Torres' had said, but Callie had gathered that it hadn't been good. Aria had ended the message telling Callie that she loved her, that she and Michael were praying for Callie and Arizona, and that Callie shouldn't hesitate to call if she could do anything to help. Callie had made a mental note that she had the best sister ever. Callie knew it wouldn't be too long until her phone exploded, until the press figured out who she was. Then things would get really interesting. And she was still wracking her brain, trying to figure out who could have been in her house, thinking about whether she needed to call the police to report a break-in. But mostly, Callie was just thinking about Arizona. Arizona had apologized for accusing Callie of making the video, of not giving Callie the trust she deserved. And Callie had immediately forgiven her. But it still hurt. And even though it hadn't been intentional or deliberate on Arizona's part, Callie still felt angry. But she knew that she had to put that hurt and anger aside. It was excusable for Arizona to have moments of immaturity. She was young and inexperienced, and this was scary. But it wasn't excusable for Callie. So Callie knew she needed to just suck it up, put it aside, and move forward with the knowledge that Arizona trusted her now. Callie shifted a little bit in the bed, careful not to wake the slumbering blonde. And then she took a deep breath. She didn't know how they were going to get through this. It was all about to get so complicated. But at least they had verbally confirmed their love for one another. That had to be worth something. Callie shifted again, finding it difficult to find a comfortable position with the weight of Arizona directly on her chest. But she didn't want to wake Arizona up—it would be good if at least one of them was well rested. But a minute later, Callie's efforts to keep Arizona asleep proved futile. Because Arizona's bedroom door opened, and the First Lady of the United States walked in. Callie's heart started to race as Barbara Robbins made her way into the room, stopping short when she saw her daughter resting in Callie's arms. The First Lady's gaze immediately hardened. "Get out of my daughter's bed this instant!" Arizona's mother hissed at Callie, her eyes shooting daggers. When Callie froze and didn't know how to react, the First Lady added, "I mean it! Get your hands off of her right now!" Clearly, Arizona hadn't been the only person in her family to immediately assume Callie was the source of the video.

"Mrs.—Mrs. Robbins," Callie said, wide-eyed. She was glad to sense Arizona stirring in her arms—she needed backup. "I, I—" "GET OUT!" The First Lady barked, causing Callie to jump slightly. "If you don't get out now, I'm going to have the Secret Service drag you out of here!" "Mom?" Arizona said, now awake. "What's—" "Arizona, you know I don't want to yell at you right now," Arizona's mother said, "but how could you let her in here? "Mom, no," Arizona said groggily, sitting up in the bed. "Callie didn't—" "CALLIE?!" Mrs. Robbins exclaimed incredulously. "This is...this is Dr. Torres? Your professor? The woman you b ab ysit for?" "Yes, and she—" "How dare you!" the First Lady snarled, shifting her focus away from Arizona and back to Callie. "How dare you take advantage of my daughter like this!" Callie swallowed nervously at Arizona's mother's tone. On The View, Barbara Robbins had seemed sweet and docile. But in real life, she was downright terrifying. "Mom, Callie didn't make the video!" Arizona blurted out quickly, so quickly that the older woman couldn't interrupt again. "Arizona, this woman is a predator!" the First Lady argued. "And sweetie, I know that you're young and somewhat naive, but can't you see that she's using—" "She's not using me mom," Arizona defended, standing up from the bed and placing herself in between her mother and Callie. Callie wasn't exactly glad to be in this situation—this was not at all the way she wanted to be introduced to the woman she hoped would one day be her mother-in-law. But on a certain level, this was nice. It was nice to see Arizona defending her so adamantly. It was nice to see Arizona stand up for Callie and their relationship, especially after Arizona had doubted her so horribly earlier that very night. "She's not using me," Arizona repeated. "She loves me, mom, and she would never do this." "But earlier," Arizona's mother shook her head, looking confused. "You said—you ripped your necklace off—you were—" "I know," Arizona said, holding up a hand to pause her mother. "I know. But I was wrong. And..." Arizona took a deep breath. "And I know that this is a lot to handle. Especially because you just found out that I'm gay. But I love her, mom. And I know...I know that she's a lot older, and she's a mom, and she was my professor. I know. But it is what it is. And I need for you to like her." The First Lady's eyes travelled skeptically from her daughter to Callie, and Callie found herself sitting up a bit straighter and offering an awkward smile in response. After sizing Callie up for a moment longer, the elder Robbins turned back to face her daughter. "Arizona..." she sighed. "Sometimes when a young person is being abused or controlled by a person of authority, they don't see it for what it is. They mistake control for love. They—" "Mom, it's not like that," Arizona interrupted. "I need you to trust me. And besides—Callie didn't even want to be with me. I pursued her, mom. And she rejected me several times before I finally wore her down. She's not controlling at all. She's never done anything that would suggest that she's using me for—" "Okay!" the First Lady exclaimed, instantly shutting her daughter up. "Okay," she repeated, her voice softer. And after taking a deep breath, she leveled her gaze on Callie again. Callie was relieved to see that the fire had left the Arizona's mother's eyes. "Dr. Callie Torres," she said simply. "Yes ma'am," Callie nodded. "You are...are...my daughter's...?" "Girlfriend, ma'am," Callie supplied. Callie couldn't recall the last time she'd called someone "ma'am," but the First Lady was incredibly intimidating. And in this situation, she figured being overly polite couldn't hurt. "And you are not the source of this video?"

"No, ma'am." "And you don't know who is?" "Correct." "And you love my daughter?" Callie turned to give Arizona a soft smile, feeling a soft flutter when Arizona smiled back at her, and then turned back to face her mother. "Very much so, Mrs. Robbins." The First Lady took a deep breath and then slowly exhaled, apparently trying to compose herself. "Well okay, then," she said finally. "If you two will come with me, I think we should join the staff meeting in the Oval."

*Chapter 16*: Chapter 16
AN: Wow, thank you all so much for your comments/reviews! I'm so happy this turn of events has gone over so well :) This chapter is a little shorter, but I thought you would prefer a faster update to a longer chapter. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "Callie, you look fine." "Arizona, I'm about to meet the President of the United States, in the Oval Office, and I'm wearing sweatpants." "So am I." "You're his daughter, Arizona. He's seen you in sweatpants before." "Well, if it helps, I bet most of the people in the Oval right now have already seen the video, which means they've seen you naked." Callie stopped short and just gave her girlfriend a look. "How exactly is that supposed to help?" Arizona shrugged sheepishly. "Sweatpants are an improvement over being naked?" Callie just stared blankly at Arizona. "Well that's a really comforting idea, thank you, Arizona." With that, Callie turned to open the door that Arizona had stopped in front of. "Whoa, whoa, wait," Arizona said, quickly stilling her girlfriend's hands. She had asked for her mother to go on ahead of them, feeling the need to prepare Callie for the kinds of issues that could potentially be discussed with her father's staff. And they were now in the West Wing, standing just outside of her father's secretary's office, which led directly to the Oval Office. "We should probably talk for a sec before we go in." "About what?" "About...things..." Arizona said vaguely. "Things?" Callie said, raising her eyebrows. Arizona sighed. She'd grown up the daughter of a prominent military officer. An officer who had become a senator and then the president. She was used to being in the spotlight. She was accustomed to her privacy having its limits. She was used to the fact that her personal life was an open book. She didn't like it, but she was used to it. Callie, however, was not. Arizona took a deep breath and then reached for both of Callie's hands, giving them a soft squeeze. "They're going to ask you questions," she said. "Personal questions." When Callie didn't respond, Arizona took that as her cue to continue. "They're going to ask you if you have any skeletons in your closet. Anything that anyone could use against us. And I know it's embarrassing, but it's better to tell them now. My dad's staff is on our side. And the more they know, the better they can defend us." "Arizona," Callie shrugged. "I don't have anything to hide." "I'm not saying you do," Arizona replied. "But I would imagine they're going to ask questions that you'd prefer not to answer. Questions about things that usually aren't anyone else's business." "And I should just answer them?" Callie asked. "Yeah," Arizona nodded. "And um...if...if there's anything that you're not comfortable saying in front of me...something that I don't need to know, then I can just leave the room for that part." Callie swallowed nervously. "So..." she said, her eyes shifting nervously to the door. "So basically I'm gonna get interrogated in there?" Arizona nodded regretfully. "I think we both are." Callie was silent for a moment, and then muttered, "So I'm getting interrogated in the Oval Office...in sweatpants." "Yeah," Arizona confirmed.

"Perfect." Arizona smiled apologetically and stepped forward to hug her nervous girlfriend, holding Callie gently in her arms. "I"m sorry about this, Callie." Callie sighed and sank into the hug, her arms wrapping around Arizona's middle. "It's not your fault, sweetie," she murmured into Arizona's neck. "Yeah," Arizona agreed, pulling out of the hug to look into Callie's eyes again. "But it still sucks." "Mmm," Callie nodded in agreement, before leaning in to capture Arizona's mouth in a tender kiss. Arizona responded by deepening the kiss—pulling Callie's body flush against hers and sucking gently on Callie's lower lip. She was about to insert her tongue into Callie's delicious mouth when she heard the office door open. "Oh!" exclaimed a startled Barbara Robbins, emerging from the secretary's office. Callie immediately flew off of Arizona and Arizona swallowed, turning towards her mother. "Hey mom," Arizona cringed. "Arizona," Barbara nodded, clearing her throat awkwardly. "I was just coming to find you two." "Yeah, well," Arizona said, glancing to the side to ensure her girlfriend was still breathing, "we're here." Barbara just glanced between an embarrassed Arizona and a mortified Callie and quietly muttered, "How you were ever able to keep your relationship a secret in the first place is beyond me." Then she turned to walk back into the office, motioning for her daughter and Callie to follow. Arizona took a deep breath and then reached for Callie's hand, sending her girlfriend what she hoped was an encouraging smile before following after her mother. As she was about to cross the threshold of the Oval Office, Arizona felt a sharp tug on her hand, pulling her back into the secretary's office. "Callie, wha—" "Don't let go of my hand in there," Callie said. "What?" Arizona said, confused. "Just...just don't let go of my hand." Arizona took a moment to study her girlfriend, and was immediately filled with compassion. Callie looked scared. And it was something Arizona had never seen before. Arizona had, of course, come to realize that Callie wasn't the perfect, god-like creature that Arizona had thought she was at first. She was human, and Arizona's idolization of the Latina had matured into love. But despite the fact that Arizona no longer felt the urge to kiss the ground Callie walked on, she was still very much accustomed to Callie acting cool, calm, and in command. Callie was an educated, sophisticated, cosmopolitan professional, and she almost always carried herself with complete and utter confidence. But standing just outside her father's office, Callie looked afraid, and it tugged at Arizona's heart. "Hey, it's gonna be okay," Arizona whispered, taking a step towards Callie so she could kiss her girlfriend's cheek. "I'll be right next to you the whole time." Callie nodded vigorously, and Arizona could tell that she was trying to collect herself. "And I promise," Arizona said, looking deeply into Callie's big brown eyes. "I promise that I'll never let go of your hand. Not now, not ever." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie took a big breath and tried to remember how to walk as she nervously followed her girlfriend into the Oval Office. The Oval Office. "But you are not going to carry them again if you reverse your position on gay marriage," a red-haired man was saying to the president. "In fact, you're going to see a drop in your numbers in those states if you don't come out publicly condemning your daughter, and you barely even got them the last time around!" "Alright!" President Daniel Robbins said, raising a hand from where he was leaning against his desk. His eyes drifted towards Arizona and Callie. "Let's table the politics for now. The girls are here—let's talk damage control."

"But Mr. President," the red-haired man spoke up again, "how we control the story in the press will affect our numbers, and—" "That's enough, Owen," a short woman spoke up, immediately shutting the man up. Callie recognized her from the news as being Miranda Bailey, Chief of Staff. "Everyone," Arizona said from where they stood near the entrance to the office, "this is my girlfriend, Dr. Callie Torres. Callie, this is my dad's staff. Um...you know Derek." Callie nodded as Arizona indicated Derek Shepherd, the president's press secretary. She had met him while attending a Georgetown basketball game with Arizona, and they had gotten to chatting during halftime. She'd even gone so far as to set him up with Lexie's sister Meredith, and according to Lexie, they were still seeing each other. "And this is Henry Burton," Arizona continued, "Deputy Communications Director. Um, then we have Larry Jennings, his boss, plus Deputy Chief of Staff Owen Hunt," she said, indicating to the man who had been speaking earlier, "and Miranda Bailey, Chief of Staff." Callie nodded a polite greeting at each White House staffer as Arizona introduced them. It relieved her slightly to see that most of them weren't formally dressed either—probably because they had been called into work in the middle of the night. But she still felt incredibly uncomfortable to be standing in the Oval Office in sweatpants. And it also didn't help that she knew for a fact that she was the only Democrat in the room. "And um," Arizona said, tugging on Callie's hand and leading her towards the president's desk. Callie immediately felt her heart race. "This is my dad." Callie nervously extended her hand, but the president did not immediately shake it. Instead, he skeptically looked her up and down, and then turned towards his daughter. "Are you alright, sweetie?" Callie heard the man say softly. "Yeah, I'm...I'm okay," Arizona responded, keeping her volume low so the conversation could only be heard by the two women and Arizona's father. "I don't know what to say about this, Arizona," Daniel said. "This would...this would never have happened if I hadn't—" "No, dad," Arizona shook her head quickly. "It's...it's part of being a public figure." "No it's not," Daniel said. Callie couldn't quite read Arizona's father, but he almost seemed...remorseful. "Not like this. Not such a gross violation of your privacy." "Dad, I..." Arizona said. "I'm so sorry if this is going to cause problems with—" "Let me handle that," Daniel said firmly. "Honey I..." the president paused. "Why didn't you tell me?" "Dad..." Arizona sighed. "How could you let me—" "Because I wanted you to get elected," Arizona interrupted. "I believe in what you do in this office!" "But...but to not let my own daughter get married!" "Dad..." Arizona looked down. Callie couldn't quite tell, but it seemed as though Arizona was struggling not to cry. "I love you, and I respect you so much. But yesterday, it was millions of other people's sons and daughters you wouldn't let get married. Today it's still those millions, plus just one more. Why do I matter more than them, just because my father is the president?" At this point, Callie's jaw was hanging open, absolutely stunned by the interaction she had just witnessed between Arizona and her father. On television, Daniel Robbins had always struck her as arrogant, stuck up, and heartless. But there he was, standing in front of her—with tears starting to brim in his eyes—as his twenty-one-year-old daughter respectfully admonished him. And he stood ramrod straight, still in command, still presidential. Yet humble, and willing to listen. So unlike Callie's father. "Come here," Daniel said, opening his arms. Arizona hugged him without hesitation, and Callie heard him murmuring, "Your mother tells me you love her?"

"Yes, dad." "And she loves you? "Yes, dad." "Okay," he nodded, releasing his daughter. Then he turned to Callie, and instead of accepting the hand that she reextended, he pulled her into a hug as well. Callie's eyes widened and her entire being felt as though it froze as she felt the president's arms around her. This was incredibly weird. She was standing in the Oval Office in the middle of the night. She was wearing sweatpants. And she was being hugged by the President of the United States. "It's good to meet you, Dr. Torres," he said politely as he released her from the hug. "Uh, uh, it's an honor, Mr. President," Callie mumbled out, inwardly cursing herself for sounding like a moron. "Why don't you two have a seat," Daniel said, nodding towards one of the couches in the room. Callie dutifully followed Arizona to the designated couch, sitting next to her girlfriend and feeling incredibly awkward. But she'd never in her life been more grateful for the presence of Arizona's hand in hers. "Alright," Miranda Bailey said, seating herself in an armchair. Her deputy pulled up a chair next to her, Arizona's parents and Derek seated themselves on the other couch in the room, and the two communications officers pulled up chairs as well. "Our goal here is to learn as much as we can about you, Dr. Torres," Bailey nodded in Callie's direction, "as well as your relationship in general, so that we can get ahead of any stories that might be coming out in the news. We don't want any surprises." Callie nodded her understanding. Arizona had explained as much before they'd come into the meeting. "And because of the uh...nature of the uh...incident," Bailey said, looking rather uncomfortable (and less than pleased) to be participating in the present conversation, "we're going to have to cover some topics that might make you a bit squeamish. You're just going to have to deal with that." Callie nodded again, somewhat surprised that the Chief of Staff was basically instructing her to suck it up. But Arizona had also explained that they would almost certainly get into uncomfortable territory, so Callie knew that she would just have to play ball. "Okay," Hunt chimed in. "Mrs. Robbins has informed us that neither of you knows the source of the tape. Is that correct?" Both Callie and Arizona nodded. "Okay," Hunt said. "I can assure you that we have our best people working on it. I can't imagine that it will take them long to determine how exactly this got out. But in the meantime," he said, "let's just get to know you." The two women nodded again. "Alright," Derek Shepherd spoke up, pulling out a pad of paper. "So you are a Georgetown professor, Dr. Torres?" "Yes," Callie confirmed. "And you met Ms. Robbins because she was a student of yours." "That's correct," Callie nodded. It didn't escape her notice that Larry Jennings, the Communications Director, had an especially sour look on his face. "And when did your relationship with Ms. Robbins expand beyond the classroom?" Derek asked, continuing his interview. "Um..." Callie shrugged, trying to think. "Just shortly after meeting her. She babysat for me." "Wait, you have a child?" Jenning spoke up from his chair. "Yes," Callie nodded. "Sofia. She's three." "Did you and a former partner use a sperm donor or...?" Jennings asked. "Oh um," Callie shook her head. "No, I um...she was conceived the uh...the normal way."

Jennings cleared his throat. "So...um..." he shifted in his chair. "Is this...lesb ian thing recent?" Callie opened her mouth to speak, but no words came out. She didn't know quite what to say. She had started out life believing she was straight, yes. But she'd begun experimenting with women in her mid-to-late twenties. Did that count as recent? And what exactly did he mean by "lesbian thing"? "I um..." Callie shook her head, still not knowing what to say. Arizona just squeezed her hand a little tighter and started to lightly caress her wrist. "What I mean to say is," Jennings said, "is Ms. Robbins the first woman you've slept with, or have there been others?" Callie swallowed uncomfortably. "I...I...I don't see how that's...relevant." "It's relevant because if you've been straight for your whole life and you suddenly became gay when you met the president's daughter, that's not gonna go over too well with the press." Callie closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Suddenly b ecame gay? "Larry," Arizona spoke up. "Could you tone it down a little? You're coming across as rather confrontational." "I'm sorry, I just—" "And no, I am not the first woman that Callie has slept with," Arizona cut off the communications director. "She has identified as a bi-sexual woman for quite some time now." "And do you have any ex-lovers who would have a reason to hurt you now?" Jennings asked, again directing the question towards Callie. "I...I really don't think so," Callie shook her head. "I haven't really um," Callie said, doing anything possible to avoid looking at Arizona's parents. "To be honest, everyone in the past...I don't know...six years?...has been a one night stand." Still avoiding looking at the President or First Lady, Callie glanced at Arizona. Arizona just squeezed her hand and gave her a reassuring smile, letting her know that everything was okay. They had talked about Callie's past, and Arizona generally seemed like she understood. But Callie still felt somewhat guilty when she talked about it. Arizona was so pure, only ever having slept with Callie. It sometimes made Callie feel like damaged goods. "One night stands?" Jennings asked. "Oh, that's just great. I'm sure the press will have fun rounding up all of your—" "Larry," Daniel spoke up. "That's enough. Derek, why don't you get back to your—" "Right," Derek nodded. "So at what point did your relationship become romantic?" "Mr. President, if I may?" Jennings spoke up again. Daniel huffed in annoyance, but then nodded. "The child's father?" Jennings asked Callie. "Mark Sloan," Callie said, feeling guilty that Mark and Sofia were being dragged into this. "He's a surgeon at the university hospital." "And was he a one night stand as well?" Jennings asked with disdain. Callie swallowed. "Um...well..." she hesitated. "He's been my best friend since college. But uh, yes, we only had sex the one time." "Alright," Jennings said, nodding at Derek to indicate he was finished. Derek cleared his throat. "And when did things turn romantic?" he asked again. Callie opened her mouth to answer, but Arizona beat her to it. "Well we had romantic feelings for each other for a while," the blonde said. "But I'm assuming you mean physically?" Derek nodded. "Well," Arizona said, "I kissed her at Camp David, the day after the shootings. And that needs to be strictly guarded information, because I was technically her student at the time." Derek nodded again and jotted something down. "And the first time you had sex?" "Um, my birthday," Arizona answered. "In New York."

"Wait," Barbara Robbins chimed in. "Dr. Torres, weren't you...supposed to be chaperoning that trip?" she asked. Callie shifted uncomfortably at the question. Yes. She was supposed to have been chaperoning that trip. And instead, she had slept with a student. "Mom," Arizona said, shaking her head, begging her mother to drop it.. "What, honey?" Barbara said defensively. "That just seems incredibly irresponsible to—" "Mom, you aren't supposed to be my mother in this meeting," Arizona argued. "This is a business meeting. You are not allowed to judge Callie and me." "I wasn't judg—" "Yes, you were!" "Ladies," the President interrupted, touching his wife's wrist and holding a hand up to his daughter. "Let's just let my staff do their job." Arizona scowled and sulked back into the couch, and it didn't at all escape Callie's notice that Barbara had the exact same look on her own face. But of course, this wasn't the best time to inform her girlfriend of the similarity. "Alright," Derek said, appearing suddenly nervous. Callie was rapidly filled with a feeling of dread. The Press Secretary hadn't looked at all uncomfortable in the meeting thus far, but at the current moment, he looked almost sick. "So um," Derek said, shifting in his seat. "The uh," he sighed. "The video that was released is rather tame in what it depicts, so that's good." Callie swallowed. Where was this going? "But it's possible that whoever released the tape has more footage of...well, of other things." Callie started to panic. No, no, no, no, no, this cannot b e happening. "So...so we need to know if there are any...other things that we should be prepared for." Arizona's brows furrowed. "What do you mean?" the blonde asked, apparently not understanding. "Well um," Derek said, looking pained. "Any kind of illegal activities, such as drug use. Or um, um...any kind of..." "He wants to know if we have kinky sex, Arizona," Callie finally blurted out, unable to leave Derek in his misery. "Oh," Arizona said, realization dawning in her eyes. "Oh!" "Yeah," Callie said, nodding at her girlfriend before staring at the floor, wishing it would open up and swallow her whole. Or maybe she could convince one of the Secret Service guys outside the office to shoot her. Yeah, that might work. "Um, um," Arizona stuttered. "Mom and Dad? Could you guys...could you guys maybe leave for this part?" "Arizona!" the First Lady gasped. Callie couldn't resist looking up at the tone of Barbara's voice. Her face had paled considerably and she looked completely taken aback, completely aghast at the idea that her darling daughter participated in anything but the most vanilla sex. Daniel looked similarly uncomfortable. "Ms. Robbins," Derek said to Arizona, looking incredibly apologetic. "I know it's unpleasant, but the President is going to be integral to the way we handle this entire story in the press, and so..." Callie just went back to staring at the floor, struggling to retain her composure. She knew it wasn't funny, but she was on the verge of laughter. There was a video of her having sex. On the internet. Anyone could see it. And she was in the Oval Office in sweatpants, the details of her sex life about to be revealed to the President of the United States, the First Lady, and the White House senior staff. It was just too much. "Okay..." Arizona sighed, taking a deep breath. "Do you need like...particular details, or just...?" "General terms will be fine," Derek replied. "Okay, well um," Arizona said uncomfortably. "I guess um...well..." Arizona paused, finally working up the courage to speak. "Callie um...Callie likes to spank me sometimes."

And that was all it took. Callie likes to spank me sometimes. Completely losing it, Callie snorted, released Arizona's hand, dropped her face into both of her own hands, and starting laughing uncontrollably. Callie couldn't believe it. Sure, her life hadn't always been super straightforward and normal, but in the past few hours, her life had somehow turned into a complete and utter train wreck. And as Arizona leaned in and whispered, "Callie? Callie, what are you doing?", all Callie could do was laugh harder, all of the stress boiling over in a series of uncontrollable giggles. Callie likes to spank me sometimes. Oh, goodness, Arizona's mother had heard that. Yeah, this was what Callie got for having sex with her student. This was what she deserved. Boy, Karma sure was a bitch sometimes.

*Chapter 17*: Chapter 17
AN: I am a terrible person. Lol. I apologize for the delay in updates. Life is just busy and my boyfriend is no longer long-distance, soooooo….. I really do want to update as often as possible for you guys (I love how passionate some of you are about this story!). It's just hard to find the time to write lately. Also, I recently wrote a canon one-shot, so feel free to check it out. And for those of you who asked me to continue that one...sorry. It's a one-shot. I don't like writing canon. But it means a lot that you liked it! But after this story is complete, Calzona Seaside is up next. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona took a deep breath as she let her girlfriend into her bedroom, her worried eyes tracking Callie's shaking body as the she sat herself down on the couch. "Callie..." Arizona murmured in concern, quickly approaching the cream-colored sofa. Callie's face had fallen into her hands, and she was trembling violently. "Callie," Arizona repeated, reaching out to touch her girlfriend's shoulder. But Callie bristled at the gesture and Arizona was shrugged off immediately. "Arizona, just—" Callie growled, causing Arizona to be taken aback. "Just give me a minute." "Sorry," Arizona muttered, swallowing uncomfortably. She didn't know what to do. Callie was clearly upset—who wouldn't be after the conversation they'd just had?—and Arizona wanted to comfort her. But she didn't know how to do that if Callie didn't want to be touched. "Callie..." Arizona tried again, sitting gingerly on the couch next to her girlfriend. "Callie, I'm so sorry." The discussion in the Oval Office had been challenging, awful. And while it had been hard on both of them, it had been harder on Callie. Sure, Arizona was massively embarrassed to be talking about her sex life in front of her parents and her father's staff—especially because Owen and Henry hadn't been too successful in their attempts to hide their aroused grins. But for Callie, it had been worse. The first time Arizona had ever seen a hint of insecurity, a hint of embarrassment in Callie's beautiful brown eyes, had been when Callie had asked if she could watch Arizona touch herself. And then the same hesitation had shown up a few days later, with Callie asking if she could dominate Arizona, if Arizona would be willing to keep her hands on the headboard and let Callie have complete control. And then gradually, little by little, Callie had asked for other things— permission to spank Arizona, permission to be a little rougher, permission to leave marks on Arizona's body, permission to play games like doctor/patient or master/slave. And while some of those activities struck Arizona as being a little...unusual, she had always been keenly aware of how embarrassed and vulnerable it made Callie feel to ask for them. Arizona knew that Callie felt incredibly self-conscious about her sexual desires, and that it took a lot of trust on Callie's part for her to bring them up, even to Arizona. And now people knew about them. Now Arizona's parents knew about them. So Arizona could only imagine how completely humiliated and violated her girlfriend felt. Her heart felt so heavy for Callie. "I'm so sorry," Arizona repeated. "I know that—" "Your parents must think I'm a total freak !" Callie interrupted, sitting up suddenly. Her voice was unsteady and full of emotion. Arizona felt a tug on her heart when she saw tears streaming down her girlfriend's face. All she wanted to do was kiss those tears away. It was the first time she'd ever seen Callie cry. "Callie, no they don't," Arizona shook her head, trying to be encouraging. In reality, she wasn't so sure. Her parents were rather old-fashioned people, and she doubted that they understood at all. They probably were wondering just who in the world their daughter was involved with. "Arizona," Callie argued, her nose starting to run. Arizona reached over and grabbed a box of tissues off of her desk. "I...I came across as...as controlling, and ab usive and—" "Callie, no, no," Arizona said, daring to scoot just a little bit closer to her girlfriend. She held the tissue box out and Callie reluctantly took one and blew her nose. "I told them everything was consensual. I told them nothing we did could be construed as violent." "But your mom," Callie said, struggling to breathe as she cried, "already accused me of taking advantage of you, and—" "Callie, you know that's not true, and I know that's not true," Arizona said firmly. "So if she's under that impression, I will

explain it to her. Let me handle her. And…" Arizona hesitated, always a little bit embarrassed to talk about sex, "and don't you think for a second that I don't enjoy...what we do." Sure, Arizona didn't quite "get" the spanking. And Callie was almost always the instigator when it came to things besides slow, gentle, tender lovemaking. But while more straight-forward sex would likely always be Arizona's favorite, it didn't mean that she didn't enjoy Callie's adventurous side. She liked their playful little roleplays. She found it thrilling when Callie was rough and aggressive. And she loved it when Callie left marks on her skin. A little love bite here, a little mouth-shaped bruise there—it was like her body had been claimed by Callie Torres. And she loved being claimed by Callie Torres. "I know you like it," Callie said, shaking her head dismissively. "But your mom—your parents," she sobbed. "Arizona, they probably think that I just keep you as...as my own private love slave." Arizona smiled softly at the description, thinking that there were far worse fates than being held captive as her girlfriend's love slave. "Callie," Arizona sighed, again scooting just a tad bit closer. Now she was only a few inches from reaching her objective, a few inches from being able to hold Callie and comfort her the best way she knew how. "I know this is so embarrassing, and not at all the way you wanted to meet my parents, but..." Arizona trailed off as Callie continued to cry. The brunette's eyes were red and puffy, and her breathing was getting worse. It was clear they weren't going to get anywhere by talking. "Callie, come here," Arizona said firmly, changing her gentle tactics and not giving Callie the chance to brush her off again. She quickly closed the gap between them on the couch and hugged Callie fiercely. Then she settled back into the sofa, pulling Callie with her so that Callie could lean in and comfortably rest her head against Arizona's neck and chest. "I love you, Callie Torres," Arizona said softly, cradling her openly weeping girlfriend in her arms. Callie didn't respond verbally, instead burrowing deeper into Arizona and continuing to sob. But that was okay; Arizona knew that Callie loved her back. And so Arizona just held Callie close, gently stroked her gorgeous black hair, and let her cry until no more tears would come. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie closed her eyes and took a deep, calming breath as she entered the business building. She could still hear the reporters clamoring, could still hear the crowd shouting her name. "Dr. Torres, have you slept with any other students?" "Professor Torres, how long have you been seeing Arizona Robbins?" "Did the president's daughter receive preferential treatment in exchange for sexual favors?" "Dr. Torres, are you in love with her?" After exhaling, Callie swallowed and then re-opened her eyes. The press hadn't been at her house—yet, but they'd been waiting for her the second she'd shown up on campus. And she was immensely relieved that they weren't allowed inside the academic buildings. After having that horrific discussion in the Oval Office and resisting the temptation to ask a Secret Service agent to pull out a gun and end her misery, Callie had followed Arizona back to the blonde's bedroom. Callie hadn't been able to keep herself from crying, and despite her protestations, she hadn't been able to keep Arizona from pulling her close. Callie hated crying. She hated showing weakness. She wanted to be the strong one. She wanted to be the tough, dominant one who did the comforting. She didn't want to be the weak, emotional one who needed the comforting. And yet...being held by Arizona had felt nice. Just letting go—crying into Arizona's chest while Arizona stroked her hair—had felt nice. Callie couldn't remember the last time she'd had that. She was so used to being alone, so used to being strong for herself and for Sofia. It was scary and yet...wonderful...to have Arizona there, to have Arizona taking care of her. It was wonderful to have someone to lean on for a change. After Arizona had held her, soothed her, and kissed her tears away, Callie had gone home to shower, talk to Mark and Lexie, and get ready for work. Arizona was planning on skipping her classes and staying safely inside the White House all day, but Callie knew she needed to be on campus. She knew she needed to face Richard. She needed to know if she still had a job. And so there she was, standing in the lobby of the business building at half past seven, with Cristina Yang. Callie had rolled her eyes when Arizona had insisted on loaning her the talented Secret Service agent for the day, but after the walk

from the parking structure that she'd just experienced, she was grateful for Cristina's presence and for her girlfriend's foresight. Reporters had attempted to swarm her the second she had stepped outside after parking her car, and without Cristina, Callie doubted that she would have made it to her building. She had needed Cristina there—the ever-vigilant Secret Service agent had simply put an arm around Callie and led her through the crowd, pushing people away when necessary. After throwing one last anxious glance at the press who were still swarming outside, Callie made her way through the lobby and approached the elevator. At that moment, all she wanted to do was go home and hold her daughter. Mark, Lexie, and Callie had done a quick sweep of the house, making sure that whoever had been in the home to install the camera hadn't broken a window or door without their noticing. And then Mark and Callie had both left for work, leaving Lexie to stand watch over Sofia, all window shades drawn to keep the press at bay. But even though Callie knewSofia was secure, she just wanted to go home. She knew Sofia was safe, but she wouldn't really feel it unless her daughter was in her arms. Callie was at work because she had to be, but the only thing she wanted to do was hold Sofia and find some way to shelter her from all of this. Nothing else really mattered. Callie sighed as she waited for the elevator to arrive, feeling grateful that the lobby was fairly empty. She knew that in just a few minutes, the students would start arriving for their morning classes. And she knew it was likely that most, if not all, of the students would have heard about her and Arizona. But for now, the coast seemed clear. At least, the coast seemed clear until the elevator arrived and the doors slid open. Standing inside was one of her students, George O'Malley, and he was distracted by watching something on his phone. Normally, Callie wouldn't have thought twice about that—students were often watching funny youtube videos on their phones. But then Callie realized that the sound on the video wasn't muted, and she heard someone moan in pleasure—someone who sounded a lot like Arizona. Callie's eyes widened in shock just as George finally realized that the elevator doors had opened. And in what seemed like slow motion, they made eye contact. Callie felt horrified—horrified that any of her students could just whip out their cell phones and watch her pleasuring her girlfriend. But the horror that registered in George's face was almost comical. It briefly occurred to Callie that he looked like he was about to lose his breakfast. Callie cleared her throat awkwardly, and George jumped straight into the air, his phone flying out of his hands and falling to the floor with a clatter. So Callie just swallowed, trying to breathe normally and not melt into a puddle of humiliation as he hastily bent down to get it. She had understood the concept in theory. She had understood that there was a video out there of her having sex. That people could watch her having sex. But "people" had been so much easier to swallow. It was an entirely different matter that George O'Malley had seen her having sex. George O'Malley, this rather dorky-looking kid who got B's and C's on her tests, played tuba in the pep band, and warmed the bench for his intramural lacrosse team, had seen her having sex. This normal kid had seen her naked, had watched her being eaten out by her girlfriend, and, in all likelihood, would use the video while pleasuring himself later. An actual person, not just "people" had seen it, and that made it so much more personal, so much more real. So much more awful. "Sorry, Dr. Torres," George croaked out, shoving the phone in his pocket and scurrying out of the elevator. Callie could do nothing but close her eyes as another moan—this one belonging to herself—sounded out of his pocket as he ran away as quickly as possible. Was it really too much to ask to turn the damn thing off? Callie took a deep breath as she entered the elevator and pressed the button for the correct floor. She chanced a glance at Cristina, fully expecting the Secret Service agent to be amused by the incredibly awkward encounter. But to Callie's surprise, Cristina looked apologetic and sympathetic. Maybe beneath that cold, calculating demeanor, Cristina was a human being after all. Callie tried to muster a grateful smile for the agent. And as the elevator travelled upward towards the accounting department, Callie tried to mentally steel herself. She knew she was just going to have to suck it up and get used to this. She hadn't wanted to watch the video herself, but Arizona had informed her that it was pretty bad—they both were completely nude and they both were shown going down on each other, both shown with their fingers buried deep inside. So Callie knew that she was going to have to simply adjust to the idea that most—if not all—of her students and colleagues would, within the next couple of days, have seen her in an incredibly compromising position. George O'Malley was just one of her students. He was the quintessential college student—a little rough around the edges, but full of earnest, eager-to-please potential. And she couldn't blame him for watching the video. She knew that if one of her professors had been involved in a scandal like this when she was in college, she would have probably watched the video, too. After exiting the elevator, Callie slowly made her way towards the hallway that housed the accounting department. She just wanted to get to her office, lock the door, and rest her forehead on her desk. She felt so humiliated, so embarrassed.

At first, she'd just been so focused on ensuring that Arizona knew that she hadn't been the source of the video. And then all of her attention had been centered on that awful conversation in the Oval Office. But now that those things were taken care of, and things were squared away with Sofia, the fact that she was in a sex tape was finally sinking in. So she needed to be in her office, drink a massive cup of coffee, and just...sit for a minute. But when Callie turned the corner to her hallway, and her office was finally in sight, she stopped in her tracks. Because she couldn't go her in office. Because Erica Hahn was camped right outside of her door, obnoxiously blocking her way. Callie groaned out loud and clenched her fists. Hadn't she already had enough for one day?! "Oh, for the love of—" "Callie, I need to talk to you," Erica hastily interrupted Callie's exclamation. "Erica, I'm just a little busy!" Callie snapped. Callie knew Erica was probably pissed that Callie had lied to her regarding Arizona, but was this really necessary? Would it kill Erica to let Callie have a moment's peace before launching into a lecture? "No, Callie, really," Erica pleaded. "Oh come on!" Callie muttered, rolling her eyes. "Okay, fine!" she spat out harshly, throwing her hands up in agitation and getting right in Erica's face. "Yes, I lied to you. Yes, Arizona Robbins is my girlfriend. And yes, I am sleeping with her. Are you happy now?" Not waiting for an answer, Callie roughly shoved Erica out of the way so she could unlock the door to her office. "Callie, that's not what I wanted to—" "Then what?" Callie barked in annoyance, angrily looking back up from her door to her blonde colleague. And for the first time, Callie really looked at Erica, and was surprised to see that Erica looked positively miserable. "Erica, what?" she said, her voice softening in tone and in volume. Despite how annoyed she was at Erica for calling her incessantly and harassing her the second she showed up at work, she felt concern mounting for her longtime friend. "Erica, is everything okay?" "I…" Erica said, looking nauseated and apologetic. "I did it." Callie's brow furrowed in confusion, not following her friend's meaning. "You did what?" she asked. "The video," Erica explained. "I did it. I'm so sorry. I never meant for—" "YOU WHAT?!" Callie yelled. Erica jumped slightly and cringed at Callie's volume, but otherwise stood her ground. "You...you what?" Callie repeated again, her voice only slightly quieter. Callie was so incensed that she was barely able to stop herself from pouncing on Erica and knocking the blonde to the floor. But on the other hand, she couldn't quite believe it. Sure, Erica had always struck her as being a little socially awkward, something of a loner, someone who wasn't quite normal. But it had never occurred to her that Erica was capable of something like this. Break into her home, install a spy camera, and leak a sex tape online? No, that was something sociopaths did. And while Erica was a little unusual, Callie knew that she wasn't insane. "Callie, I'm so sorry," Erica repeated. "I'm so sorry, I never, never meant for this to—" "Why?" Callie interrupted, her heart and mind racing. This just didn't make any sense. "Why would you—how could you —" she stuttered in disbelief. "What the hell, Erica?" "This wasn't supposed to happen! I never meant—" "If it wasn't supposed to happen, then why are you saying you posted—" "I didn't!" Erica said, looking on the verge of tears. Callie just gave Erica an incredulous look. First Erica was responsible, and now she wasn't? "Okay. Did you do this, or did you not do this, Erica?" Callie asked, feeling bewildered and incredibly confused. Erica took a deep breath. "When I told you that I loved you," Erica started. "And you turned me down and insisted that it… that it wasn't because of her," Erica said, showing deep displeasure to be mentioning Arizona, "I just...I felt so hurt and angry and jealous and I needed to know if you were lying to me, or if it was just all in my head." Callie gaped at Erica. She had done this out of jealousy? She had humiliated Callie, publicly outed Arizona, and

potentially ruined Arizona's young life and the president's career out of petty jealousy? Callie's hands instinctively curled into fists. This woman had hurt her. And more importantly, this woman had hurt Arizona. "And so, one day when you had mentioned dropping Sofia off at daycare, I knew Mark and Lexie wouldn't be home, and so I went over there, and—" "How did you even get into my house?" Callie asked through clenched teeth. "Your garage door," Erica answered. "You gave me the code once when your babysitter bailed and you needed me to watch Sofia, and—" "Okay," Callie nodded in comprehension. She normally would have been unnerved that Erica had remembered a code that she'd used once more than two years earlier. But at the moment, she was too angry to notice. "And so I set up the camera," Erica said, staring at the ground and continuing with her story. "And...and I realized what a freak I was a few hours later, so I went right back over there and removed it the next time I knew no one would be home. It was like the next day or the day after." Callie slowly exhaled, trying to maintain control of herself. All she wanted to do was reach out and throttle the woman standing in front of her. "Erica...was it...was it just the one time on that video?" she asked, praying Erica would answer in the affirmative. After how humiliated she had felt in the Oval Office, Callie didn't know how she would live if any of her and Arizona's less than orthodox activities surfaced online as well. "Yeah, that was it," Erica nodded. "And…" Callie said, taking another deep breath. "And you've had it three months, but you've just decided to upload it now?" "Cal," Erica said, her eyes flashing back up to meet Callie's. "You know how my car got stolen a week ago?" "Yeah?" Callie responded, confused. "My computer was in my car." Callie's jaw dropped in realization as Erica's story sunk in. She was still shocked that Erica would install a camera in the first place. And she was still so, so pissed at her friend for getting her in this mess. But at least...at least Erica hadn't put the video online. At least Erica hadn't intentionally outed Arizona to the entire world and humiliated both her and Callie so publicly. "Cristina," Callie said softly, knowing that the Secret Service agent was likely standing close behind her. "Can you...can you call whoever it is you need to call and tell them all of this? So they can start looking for Erica's car or…" "Yeah," she heard Cristina respond, followed by the the sound of the agent walking away to place the call. "Callie, I'm so, so, unb elievab ly sorry," Erica said, apparently done with her explanation. "I never meant for this to happen. I love you, and I would never—" "Do not say you love me," Callie snapped, holding up a finger in warning. "Don't you dare." "But I—" Erica said, taken aback. "No," Callie said, her eyes shooting daggers at the blonde. "If you loved me, you would not have trespassed in my home and spied on me. And if you loved me, you would have told me the second your laptop was stolen." "But I—" "Erica!" Callie exclaimed, losing control of volume again and yelling at the woman standing just a few feet away. "If you had just told me about the tape, we could have prevented this! We could have gotten your car bumped up on the police's priority list. Hell, I bet the Secret Service or the FBI or whoever the heck handles this stuff would have helped the cops! They would have found your car in three seconds if they had known that there was a tape of the president's daughter in your trunk!" "But there was a chance that whoever ended up with my computer would wipe the hard drive!" Erica argued. "And I had it password protected." "Erica, you teach Accounting Information Systems!" Callie scoffed, her voice angry and incredulous. "You know how easy

it is to crack passwords! You know that just because a hard drive is wiped, it doesn't mean things are permanently gone!" "I know, but I—" Erica sighed. "There was a chance it would never come to light. And that way I'd never have to tell you. That way you'd never know that I—" "This is exactly why you don't love me!" Callie said angrily, her voice back to speaking loudly instead of yelling at the top of her lungs. "Love isn't selfish, Erica! Love is taking care of that other person. Love is making sacrifices for that other person. Love is doing what is b est for that other person, even if it makes the other person think you're the bad guy. Love is..." Callie trailed off as her own words sunk into her own mind. This situation—the sex tape, Arizona being publicly outed—this was one of the reasons why she had resisted a relationship in the first place. She had been doing what was best for Arizona, and then out of her own selfishness, out of her own desire to be with Arizona and to enjoy Arizona's beautiful body, Callie had given in. So Erica wasn't the only one who loved less than perfectly. Erica wasn't the only one who didn't always do what was best for the other person. And the cost was so high. Callie had failed Arizona and the cost was unbelievably high. "Don't you tell me I don't love you," Erica snapped back, pulling Callie's attention away from her guilt. "I have loved you for almost seven years. And then this tiny little...princess," Erica said with disdain, "comes along and…" "Shut the hell up!" Callie said, her voice back to a yell, louder than ever. "Don't you dare criticize Arizona! Don't you dare even talk about her! Not after the way you have just ruined her life!" "Ladies!" Callie froze at the sound of her boss's voice. She swallowed hard and then turned around slowly, bracing herself to face what she was sure would be an enraged Richard Webber. "Does someone want to explain to me why two of my associate professors are screaming at each other in my hallway?" "Richard, I'm, I'm assuming that you've heard about…" Callie said, not quite able to say the words "sex tape" to her boss. "Of course I've heard, Torres," Richard said, "which is why you're going to march your sorry ass into my office this instant." Callie glared at Erica one last time and then hung her head, reluctantly making her way toward the department head's office. She really didn't want to talk to Richard, but it was why she had come into work that day. She didn't even teach classes on Thursdays. "And as for you," Richard said, speaking to Erica. "I don't know what you're upset about, and I don't care. You will start behaving like a professional. Teach your classes. Do your research. Don't have screaming matches in the hallway." "Right," Erica said, her voice still revealing her agitation. "Sorry." "Okay then," Richard said, following Callie into his office and then closing the door. Callie gingerly sat down in one of the chairs in front of Richard's desk. She was really in for it now. "Richard, I…" Callie started, too nervous to let silence fill the office. "I don't even know what to say, Callie," Richard set, settling into his chair. "I can explain, I—" "You slept with a student!" Richard hissed, his eyes filled with fire. "I know," Callie nodded apologetically. "I know, I just—" "Please tell me you didn't sleep with her last semester." "I didn't," Callie said quickly, shaking her head. "Because if you did," Richard warned, "then you are gone. You are through." "I didn't," Callie repeated. "We did not— Arizona and I—" Callie took a deep breath, trying to gather herself. When she felt a little more in control, she spoke up again. "Arizona Robbins and I did not have sexual relations with each other until this January, when I no longer possessed any grading authority over her."

"And that's a fact?" Richard asked, seeking confirmation. Callie nodded. "I give you my word." "And have there been any other students?" "What? No!" Callie exclaimed defensively. Sure, a few of the reporters she'd encountered that morning had asked if she loved Arizona, but the vast majority had asked about other students, and had implied that she was using Arizona, that she was some kind of predator. And now her department chair, a man that she had a good working relationship with, was asking if she made a habit of sleeping with her students? Why was the entire world assuming that her intentions were sinister? How had she so quickly become the bad guy, the professor who preyed on innocent students? "Torres, I need you to be straight with me here," Richard said, a serious look on his face and a warning tone in his voice. "I am being straight with you!" Callie said, upset that Richard was insinuating otherwise. She didn't deserve this. She was a valued and well-respected member of the faculty. She deserved the benefit of the doubt. "So there have been no others?" Callie just took a deep breath and exhaled sharply. "No," she said firmly. "Arizona is the only one. And I'm not sleeping with her as a part of some nefarious plot," Callie said, her agitation revealing itself in her voice. "I…" Callie paused for a moment. "I love her, Richard," she finished sincerely. "I'm sleeping with her because I'm in love with her." Richard studied Callie's face intently for a few moments and then slowly nodded, leaning back in his chair. Callie took that as a good sign—that Richard believed her—and she sat back in her chair as well. "I don't think I need to tell you how bad this looks," Richard said, his voice lacking it's previous fire. Apparently he was finished being angry and he had moved onto business. "An affair between a teacher and a student is bad enough. But a sex tape?" Richard raised his eyebrows for emphasis. "I know," Callie nodded. She did know. This was incredibly damaging to the university from a PR standpoint. And she knew that her own personal career would likely never recover. "And not to mention the gay thing." "Why should that matter?" Callie said a bit too harshly, feeling rather defensive. "It shouldn't," Richard said. "But it does. And the fact that you've also slept with men in the past just makes it worse. People don't look fondly on bisexuality." Callie just swallowed. "Richard...are you...are you asking me to apologize for my sexuality, because…" "Accusing me of being a bigot is not something you want to do right now, Torres," Richard said, a hint of anger reentering his voice. "Sorry," Callie said quickly, shaking her head. That wasn't fair. She knew Richard was an open and accepting person. "I shouldn't have—" "I'm just saying it's bad," Richard continued. "And you have tenure, and if you didn't sleep with her when she was in your class, then your job should be safe. But I would kiss any dreams you have of making full professor or becoming department head goodbye. You have just royally screwed over your career." "I know," Callie nodded. "The university is not going to be happy…" "I know." "And you know I have to give you bad preps, make you teach over the summer, put you on way too many committees…" "I know," Callie repeated for the third time, hanging her head. She was relieved to hear that she wasn't going to be fired. But that didn't mean her work life was going to be fun anytime soon. She was certain she'd be teaching night classes and serving on time-consuming (and pointless) committees for years as a result of this. "Alright," Richard sighed. "I would plan on being in several more meetings with the dean and provost, maybe someone from legal."

Callie nodded. She was also well aware of the fact that her tongue lashings didn't end with Richard. The list of people who were going to yell at her was long and varied. "But I'm not going to suspend you or anything," Richard said. "I've got no one else to teach your classes, so I expect you to be here bright and early tomorrow, lecturing as usual. I don't care how embarrassed you are." "Yes sir," Callie said dutifully. She figured being as polite as possible wouldn't hurt in this situation. "Alright, Torres," Richard sighed. "I think that's it for now." "Thank you sir," Callie said, standing up. "Oh and Torres?" Richard said, catching her attention just before she walked out the door. "Yes, sir?" "I uh...I know this is bad timing. But…" Richard's face softened significantly. "Does she love you back?" Callie just blinked in confusion. Why was he asking this? "Well uh...yes sir, she does." "Good," Richard said softly, nodding his head ever so slightly. "I'm happy for you, Callie. You...you deserve to be happy." Callie's mouth opened in surprise. Her boss had just yelled at her and now… "Um...thank you, sir," Callie said sincerely. "She um...she makes me very happy." "Well I'm glad to hear it."

*Chapter 18*: Chapter 18
Arizona's brow furrowed slightly as Alex walked out of the bathroom. She'd heard the toilet flush, but she hadn't heard the sink running. "Alex," she said, looking at her best friend skeptically, eyes narrowed. Alex immediately held up his hands defensively. "Sorry, sorry!" he exclaimed, heading back into the bathroom to wash his hands. Arizona pouted in disgust. Why did boys have to be so gross? "So you really didn't watch it?" she called out a moment later from where she was sitting on the couch. "Arizona, why on earth would I watch it?" Alex responded from the bathroom. Arizona was pleased to hear the sound of Alex pumping soap into his hands and washing them vigorously. "I don't know…" Arizona said, looking at her best friend when he plopped back down onto the couch, hands clean. "I mean...you've mentioned watching lesbian porn before." "That's because two chicks screwing each other is hot," Alex said simply, offering up a shrug. "But if one of those chicks is your freaking sister, then it's really not hot." "Okay," Arizona said, feeling relieved that Alex hadn't watched the video of her and Callie. She really didn't want Alex to see her naked—the thought of it made her crinkle her nose and shudder. "So you...you promise not to watch it?" Alex just scowled, looking absolutely grossed out. "Arizona, I'm not gonna watch it. That's just nasty." "Okay, okay, okay," Arizona said, finally convinced that Alex would steer clear of the video. "Thank you." Alex chuckled and then said, "No problem." "And thank you again for um, coming over," Arizona added. "You didn't have to." "Of course I had to," Alex said, looking at her like she was crazy. "And I'll camp out on this couch for a month if I have to." "No," Arizona argued. "You have a Supply Chain test this afternoon—you've been studying for it like crazy all week." "Whatever," Alex shrugged. "Maybe my teacher will let me make it up later. Most people know I'm friends with you. Being here is a valid excuse, considering what just—" "Alex, I am not gonna let you miss your—" "I'm not gonna leave you here alone, Arizona!" Alex interrupted, his tone telling Arizona not to argue. Arizona just rolled her eyes, torn between being annoyed at Alex for being stubborn and being grateful to Alex for being such a wonderful friend. When Callie had left for work, Arizona had quickly called Alex, not wanting to be alone. He'd come over immediately. Deciding to drop it for the moment—she'd figure out a way to get him to his test eventually—Arizona shifted awkwardly in her seat. There was something else she wanted to ask Alex, but she was nervous. It was an uncomfortable situation, and she was afraid of what his answer might be. "Alex…" Arizona spoke up hesitantly after a few moments. "Have you...have you heard from Teddy at all?" Unlike Alex, Teddy hadn't called her. No call, no facebook message, no text—nothing. And Arizona didn't know how to interpret that. She'd always been afraid that Teddy wouldn't accept or approve of her homosexuality, and so now that she was out, Arizona didn't know what to make of Teddy's silence. Was it possible Teddy hadn't heard? Had she heard and was she just trying to give Arizona space to deal with all the headaches? Or...or had she heard, and was she never going to speak with Arizona again? Did she think Arizona was some kind of sexual deviant, and that Arizona's relationship with Callie was disgusting? Because Arizona had no doubt that Teddy's father thought that. At Arizona's question, Alex looked immediately uncomfortable. And that just made Arizona feel more anxious. "Alex, just tell me," Arizona pleaded, mentally steeling herself for bad news. If Teddy hated her, she just wanted to know. "She texted me and asked if I had known you were gay," Alex replied simply.

"And what did you say?" "I said yes," Alex responded. "I...I figured that I should just tell the truth, now that you're out and everything." "And what did she say after that?" Arizona asked. Alex shook his head. "She didn't text me back after that." Arizona just swallowed. That wasn't a good sign. "Z, you should just call her," Alex encouraged. "Alex…" Arizona protested. "I'm serious," Alex said. "I mean, I know her dad's a jerk, and you've always been nervous that maybe she's the same way. But you would feel better if you found out instead of just sitting here and over-thinking it." Arizona sighed and Alex just picked up her phone, holding it out to her and raising his eyebrows expectantly. Reluctantly, Arizona took the phone and called Teddy's cell. Alex was right—if she had just lost one of her very best friends, it would be better to find out than wonder. Arizona's breath caught in her throat when Teddy answered after the third ring. All that Teddy said was "Hey." "Um, hey," Arizona replied sheepishly. She didn't know...she didn't know what to say. How did you ask someone if they hated you now that they knew you were gay? Arizona waited for Teddy to say something, but the other blonde was silent. She swallowed hard. Apparently Teddy was going to let Arizona take the lead in this discussion. "So um," Arizona said, looking at Alex for a little moral support. He nodded at her encouragingly and reached out to grip her free hand. "Soooo I'm assuming that you've...um...heard about...it?" "Yeah," Teddy responded, not offering anything further. Arizona closed her eyes. This was so painful. She didn't know how to deal with the fact that the young woman that she'd been friends with for years probably hated her. "And um…" Arizona said, struggling to keep her voice even. "And um...how do you...feel about...things?" The other blonde sighed loudly before answering. "I'm really mad at you, Arizona. I feel really...really b etrayed." Arizona swallowed again and Alex gently wiped a stray tear from her eyes. She'd always been terrified of this happening. And now it was happening. "And that fact that I'm pissed makes me feel like a total ass." Arizona's face scrunched up in confusion at Teddy's statement. Wait, what? "Because here you are," Teddy continued, "in the middle of this horrib le situation. And I should b e there supporting you and making sure you're okay. But instead, I'm just sitting here b eing all b utt hurt and angry." "Teddy," Arizona said. "I...I don't understand. If...if you're not mad at me for being gay, then why are you upset?" "Because you didn't tell me, Arizona!" Teddy exclaimed, her voice sounding agitated and accusatory. "Because you thought there was a possib ility that I would b e mad at you for b eing gay. What kind of person do you think I am?!" Arizona's mouth dropped open slightly as realization sunk in. Teddy was upset with Arizona for not trusting her. She didn't care two cents about the fact that Arizona was gay. She cared that Arizona hadn't told her. "I, I thought," Teddy continued. "I thought we were friends, Arizona. Best friends. I mean, you're one of my b est friends in the whole world, and I didn't even know you were gay. I didn't know you had a girlfriend. How could you...how can you not trust me enough to tell me such a b asic fact?!" "Teddy…" Arizona breathed out, feeling slightly bewildered. "Teddy, I'm sorry, I didn't realize that—" "And see, this is why I feel like a total, self-ab sorb ed ass!" Teddy interrupted. "Because you shouldn't have to b e dealing with my hurt feelings right now. I should just get the hell over it. I mean, you're in a freaking sex tape, Arizona!"

"No, no, Teddy," Arizona said, sitting up and shaking her head. "No, your feelings are your feelings. You're entitled to them. And...and you're right," she shrugged. "I, I should have told you. You've been nothing but a good friend to me, and you're right—you deserve more trust than I gave to you. I'm...I'm really sorry." The line was silent for a moment, so Arizona just looked at Alex and gave him a hopeful shrug. If Teddy wasn't going to end their friendship over Arizona's homosexuality, and if she could eventually get over her hurt feelings, then things were good. Then Arizona hadn't just lost a close friend. "Okay," Teddy finally said, sighing. "Okay?" Arizona said. "You...you'll forgive me?" "Yeah," Teddy said, her voice sounding a little congested. Arizona felt a small pang of guilt at the idea that she'd made Teddy cry. "Yeah, I can forgive you, Arizona. It's...it's okay." A relieved smile spread across Arizona's face, and she nodded happily at Alex, letting him know that everything was going to be okay. He looked pleased, nodding in approval, releasing her hand, and leaning back into the couch. "So uh, um…" Arizona said. "Do you wanna come over? Alex is here and he's gonna stay until he has to leave for his Supply Chain test. We could, I don't know—have an "Arizona's Life Sucks" party?" Teddy chuckled slightly, and Arizona was relieved to hear her friend sounding happy again. Yeah, everything would be okay. "Sure thing, Arizona," Teddy replied. "I'll b e right over." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona took a deep breath as she timidly walked past her mother's secretary and opened the door to the First Lady's office. It was early afternoon, just after lunch, and Barbara had asked her to drop by to talk. Arizona didn't really feel like talking to her mother—she was still feeling rather humiliated after being interrogated about her sex life in front of her parents—but it was good timing. She'd finally convinced Alex to go take his test, and Teddy didn't seem to mind doing some homework by herself in Arizona's bedroom. "Oh, Arizona, come in," Barbara said as soon as Arizona stepped into the entrance of the office. Arizona quietly padded further into the room, and was embarrassed to see Vice President Addison Montgomery sitting on one of the sofas. "Hi Arizona," Addison said warmly, rising from the couch. "I just stopped by for a visit, but I'll give you ladies some time to talk." "Oh, um, okay," Arizona said, her cheeks reddening when Addison walked past her, giving her a comforting squeeze on the shoulder. "See you later, Addy." Arizona's eyes automatically tracked the gorgeous Vice President out of the room, causing her to feel even more embarrassed. She'd always had a thing for Addison Montgomery, ever since she was a young teenager. And so even though Arizona was (very happily) in love with Callie, she still noticed Addison whenever they were in the same room. And when Arizona thought about it, she realized that Addison actually shared a lot of the more superficial qualities that had attracted Arizona to Callie so much in the beginning. Addison was older, powerful, cosmopolitan, and sophisticated. She filled out a power suit fantastically well, her legs looked absolutely killer in heels, and she made Arizona feel small, girly, and intimidated. Not that it mattered. Sure, Addison's glasses gave her the sexy librarian vibe. But Callie had the sexy Latina lover thing down cold—well, hot, actually—and that was way better. Nothing would ever beat Callie whispering Spanish in Arizona's ear while looking at her with those soulful brown eyes. Just the thought of it made Arizona's head spin. "Would you like something to drink, sweetheart?" Barbara spoke up from where she stood, pouring herself a glass of water. "Oh um, no, I'm fine," Arizona said, breaking out of her daydreaming. She made a mental note to ask Callie to speak Spanish to her sometime soon, and walked over to her mother, taking a seat on one of the sofas. "How are you holding up?" Barbara said, sitting across from Arizona and taking a sip of her water. "I'm okay," Arizona nodded. "Alex and Teddy have been keeping me company."

"Oh, Teddy's been over?" "Yeah." "That's good," Arizona's mother smiled softly. "Governor Altman hasn't um, well...um…never mind," Barbara shook her head. Arizona just sat quietly. Teddy's father had already made a public statement calling for the president's condemnation of her relationship, and she was relieved that her mother didn't seem too keen to talk about it. "So um…" Arizona's mother started again. "I've been told that it was actually another professor who made the video?" Arizona nodded in confirmation. That particular fact was still hard for her to wrap her head around. Callie had called her earlier that day to let her know that she hadn't been fired and to inform her that Dr. Hahn—a professor that Arizona really liked—was responsible for the video. Arizona's initial instinct had been to direct her anger towards Callie. Apparently Dr. Hahn had done it out of jealousy because she had feelings for Callie. And it just didn't sit well with Arizona that Callie had known about Dr. Hahn's feelings, but she hadn't told her. As Callie's girlfriend, didn't Arizona have a right to know? Shouldn't Callie have told her? But instead of biting Callie's head off and jumping to conclusions, Arizona had done her best to remain calm. Arizona had already deeply hurt Callie that morning by jumping to conclusions and assuming that Callie had made the video, and Arizona really didn't want to make the same mistake twice. So as Callie had explained about Dr. Hahn and the video, Arizona had just taken a deep breath and trusted that Callie had had a good reason for not telling her about the older blonde's feelings. "And uh," Barbara continued, "according to Cristina, this other professor was um, harboring feelings for Dr. Torres?" "Yeah," Arizona nodded. "And mom, you can um...you can call her Callie. She's my girlfriend." "Right," Barbara said, looking a little uncomfortable. Arizona looked down and bit her lip anxiously. Disapproval and disappointment were coming off of her mother in waves. "Arizona," Barbara spoke up again, taking a deep breath. "I have some concerns about your relationship with this woman." "Mom…" Arizona sighed. She was really not in the mood for this. "I mean, if you're going to be a lesbian, couldn't you at least date someone…younger?" Arizona's eyes flashed back up at her mother, and she exhaled slowly, choosing to ignore the "if you're going to be a lesbian" comment. Arizona knew her mother meant well. Barbara was trying to understand. So Arizona could put up with some unfortunate phrasing. "Mom, believe me, I know," Arizona said. "It's weird. She's a lot older than me, and she's my professor, and she has a kid, and that just makes things...complicated. I know it's not ideal." "Sweetie, I just…" Barbara paused. "I'm just concerned that...that you're confused. That...that Dr. Torres is exciting, and her interest in you makes you think you're a lesbian." "Mom—" Arizona began to protest. She had known she liked women a long time before she even knew Callie Torres existed. "Because apparently a lot of young women your age experiment," Barbara continued on. "My staff gathered some very helpful articles for me on how college girls—" "Mom, I'm not experimenting!" Arizona snapped, immediately regretting the fact that she'd allowed agitation to enter her voice. Even though her mother was dead wrong, she was still her mother. And Arizona fiercely respected her parents. She never wanted to raise her voice to them. "But Arizona, how do you know that you're not just—" "Because I have always been this way," Arizona explained, forcing herself to assume a more respectful tone. "It's not an experiment. It's not a phase." "But—" "Mom, Tim knew!" Arizona said, emotion creeping back into her voice. "Tim knew," she repeated more softly, struggling

not to cry at the mention of her brother. Barbara looked similarly affected—nobody in their family could talk about Timothy without crying. Which was why they rarely spoke of him. "Mom, he even froze his sperm for me before he was deployed," Arizona added, her voice barely above a whisper. "This...this isn't something new. I've known for a while." "He...he what?" Barbara asked gently, tears brimming in her eyes. "He was the first person to point it out to me," Arizona said, looking down. "He knew before I did. And...and when he was about to be deployed, he…" Arizona took a deep breath and then looked back up at her mother. "Well, he knew that someday I might want to have a kid that looks like both me and my partner, and so…" "So you…" Barbara said, a tear or two escaping and streaming down her cheeks. "You might have…" "Yes," Arizona nodded "Yes," she said. "I might...I might raise Timmy's kid someday." "With Dr. Tor—with Callie?" Arizona exhaled thoughtfully. She and Callie had never discussed having children—it was simply too early for that. Plus, Callie seemed so afraid of forcing Arizona to settle down too early, that even though Arizona would be open to having that discussion, she knew Callie wouldn't be. Callie would think Arizona was too young to be thinking about having kids. Even though Arizona thought about having them all the time. "Um," Arizona said, clearing her throat. "It's a little early for that. Callie and I have not discussed it. But...yeah," she shrugged. "If I married Callie and we decided to have children together...I...I guess I like the idea of at least one being Callie's and Tim's. That way it would look like both of us. And...and Tim would live on...in a way." "And you…" Barbara said, wiping her eyes dry and trying to compose herself. "And you think...you think you might...you might marry this woman?" Arizona hesitated for a moment. She had also never discussed marriage with Callie because she knew it would freak Callie out. But again, that didn't mean she hadn't thought about it...a lot. "Again, mom," Arizona said, "we haven't talked about it. But yes. I would love to marry her someday. She's the love of my life." Barbara's eyebrows rose at such a candid confession, and Arizona felt more than a little vulnerable at the way her mother was looking at her. Her mother was looking at her like she was a child. "Arizona, you are very young." "I know," Arizona sighed. "And...and I can see how this woman may have cast some kind of spell on you. She's—even when woken up in the middle of the night, she's...well she's quite stunning, Arizona." "Mom…" Arizona groaned, closing her eyes in annoyance. Why couldn't her mother just accept that she loved Callie? That this wasn't some schoolgirl crush? Callie was not an infatuation, and her feelings for the older woman were based on so much more than the fact that Callie was the most gorgeous woman on the face of the earth. "And the power dynamic in your relationship seems quite unhealthy," Barbara continued. "Sweetheart, the things she makes you do sexually—" "Okay!" Arizona interrupted, immediately holding a hand up to pause her mother. "I'm gonna stop you right there." "But—" "Callie does not make me do anything," Arizona said firmly, making it clear to her mother that it was her turn to talk. Barbara looked annoyed and opened her mouth to speak again. But then she exhaled and nodded her head slightly, indicating that Arizona could continue. "Thank you, " Arizona said, grateful for her mother's efforts. She knew that this was all incredibly new and confusing to her very traditional mother. "Mom," Arizona said, shifting in her seat. "I...I know that...that some of the things we talked about this morning sound strange."

"Well that's the understatement of the year," Barbara quipped. After receiving a look from her daughter, Barbara just shrugged. "Well it is." Arizona just bit her tongue and tried her best to ignore her mother. "Okay," Arizona said, trying to figure out the best way to explain it. "I...I...okay, yes, in our sexual relationship, Callie is often very dominant, and I am often very submissive. But we both enjoy it that way." "But honey, she spanks you?" "Mom…" "And you...you pretend to be her sex slave?" "Mom…" Arizona groaned, her face falling into her hands. This was impossibly embarrassing. "Arizona, it's b izarre." "So what if it is?" Arizona asked, looking back up at her mother. "It's my sex life, mom! If I'm enjoying it and Callie's enjoying it, then it doesn't matter! And it's really none of your business! I don't mean to be disrespectful, but—" "I'm just concerned that you let her walk all over you because she's—" "Mom, our relationship is very equal. In bed, yes, she's dominant. But not anywhere else!" Arizona exclaimed. "She doesn't treat me like a kid. She doesn't try and force her opinions on me. I mean, yes, there was this one day where she gave me quite the earful about me being pro-life and I seriously thought she was going to break up with me over it, but…" Arizona shrugged. "But we're equals, mom. And on rare occasion where she does slip up and start treating me like a kid, I throw a fit. I absolutely do not tolerate it. And she apologizes." Barbara just blinked. "Arizona...she's...she's a Democrat?" Arizona's brow wrinkled in confusion. At this rate, who cared if Callie wasn't a Republican? "You said she didn't like the fact that you're pro-life," Barbara said. "So I'm assuming...she's a Democrat?" Arizona rolled her eyes. She'd only brought that up as an example—was this seriously going to be an issue? "Yes mom," Arizona said, releasing an exasperated sigh. "I am dating my thirty-four-year old bisexual accounting professor. She's an unwed mother, and she's a Democrat. I know. Okay? I know. I am dating a PR nightmare. I'm sorry. I should have considered all of this and run it past Derek before having the audacity to have feelings for her." "Arizona," Barbara scolded, clearly not pleased with Arizona's sarcastic tone. "Mom, what do you want from me?" Arizona asked in frustration. "I love her! It just happened! I couldn't help falling in love with her!" "Sweetie," Barbara said, giving Arizona a reproachful look that made Arizona shrink in her seat just a little. "I am just concerned. I want you to be in a healthy relationship—" "Mom, we have a healthy relationship," Arizona said quickly. "—and I can't help but feel that you are simply captivated by this woman because she's in a position of authority over you and she's clearly very educated and sophisticated and she's very beautiful, and she's—" "Mom!" Arizona groaned loudly, collapsing back into the couch and staring at the ceiling. This was going nowhere. And she didn't want to be angry with her mother—Barbara had good intentions and was only trying to look out for her. But it was simply exhausting. "Honey, I just—" "Can we talk about this later, mom?" Arizona muttered, still staring at the ceiling. "I'm just," she said, shaking her head. "Can we just talk about this later?" ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "So what's your whole take on this, Sue?" "Well Bob , I think it's simple. Arizona Rob b ins is an inexperienced, impressionab le, vulnerab le young girl. A powerful

and glamorous and interesting older woman in the form of Callie Torres targeted her, and she was simply caught up in the excitement of it all. I think over the next few days, we're going to see that Arizona Rob b ins is not truly gay, and that the professor was taking advantage of her for fame and fortune." "Mmm, I think you're right Sue. Well folks, we're going to take a quick commercial b reak, and then we'll b e right b ack to discuss the political ramifications of—" Arizona scowled and switched the television off, angrily chucking the remote control at the screen. At this point, she didn't care if she broke it. "Arizona..." Callie said reproachfully from where she was seated next to the blonde. "This is ridiculous!" Arizona said, standing up from the couch in her bedroom and pacing angrily over her floor. "How can —how can people even think that?" "Sweetie…" Callie tried again, her voice calm and cautious. "It's not fair!" Arizona said loudly, her hands curling into fists. Her emotions had been all over the spectrum that day— devastated, embarrassed, frustrated. But at the moment, Arizona was just mad. "I know it's not fair, but—" "And if anyone targeted anybody in this relationship," Arizona interrupted, "it was me! You told me no several times and I just kept coming, Callie! Hell, I even came into your hotel room and took my clothes off!" "Arizona—" "No. You know what? Derek wants me to do some damage control interviews, and my parents said it was up to me. I'm gonna do it. I'm gonna go on Diane Sawyer or whatever and tell them that you are not this horrible, terrible person who—" "Arizona," Callie said, finally standing from the couch and approaching her, pulling the blonde into a hug. "I don't want you to do that. You have been through enough and I don't want you put through all the stress of an interview. It doesn't matter. You shouldn't have to defend our relationship. It's nobody's business." "How can you just be okay with the press thinking you took advantage of me?" "I'm not okay with it," Callie said, shaking her head as she held Arizona in her arms. "But I'm also not okay with you having to go through that for my sake. I've already caused enough damage in your life." Arizona's forehead crinkled in confusion and she looked up at her girlfriend. "Callie, what? What are you—?" "This is all my fault, Arizona," Callie said. "If I had just...if I had just had more self control and done the right thing for you, we wouldn't be in this situation. I have no business being with you, Arizona. And I knew that, but I—" Arizona clenched her jaw and placed both of her hands on Callie's face, forcing the brunette to look deeply in her eyes. "Don't you dare start spouting off that crap again, Callie." "Arizona, I—" "No!" Arizona said emphatically. "I don't want to hear it. You have this...this ridiculous sense of nobility in your head, and I love that about you. I love that you care about doing what's right. But Callie," Arizona said, shaking her head. "No. Please. Please don't tell me that I'm too young and that being with me makes you selfish. It doesn't. And...and I understand that being with me is questionable because of your job, and I'm grateful that you care about me enough to be concerned about stealing my twenties from me, but no. Just don't. You are not hurting me by being with me. I love you. You are making me happy by being with me. You are good for me." Callie just looked at Arizona for a few long moments, and Arizona did her best to keep herself from panicking. Arizona knew how conflicted Callie had felt in the build-up to their relationship, but she had thought the brunette was past it. She had thought those issues were resolved. But now they were bubbling up again, and the possibility that Callie still felt she was doing something wrong by being with Arizona was absolutely terrifying. "Callie," Arizona spoke up again. "So help me, if I lose you over this stupid, psychological crap, I—" "You're not gonna lose me," Callie said softly, leaning down and nuzzling into Arizona's neck. "But if you're still struggling with those issues…"

"I haven't been for the most part," Callie shook her head. "It just came back up today. If I hadn't allowed our relationship to continue, none of this would have happened." "Okay," Arizona agreed. "Sure, the sex tape wouldn't have happened. But Callie, you're discounting a lot of good things that also wouldn't have happened." Arizona took a deep breath and lifted Callie's head up so she could see her eyes. "Our love wouldn't have happened," Arizona said softly. "I wouldn't have had the chance to fall in love with you. I wouldn't have had the chance to make love with you. I wouldn't have…I wouldn't have had the best three months of my life." Callie nodded almost imperceptibly and leaned into Arizona "Please don't tell me you regret loving me, Callie," Arizona said, kissing Callie softly and whispering the words against Callie's lips. "I don't," Callie said quickly, again resting her head on Arizona's shoulder. "I don't. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to freak you out." Arizona released an anxious breath and wrapped her arms back around Callie. "It's okay," she comforted her girlfriend, feeling relieved at Callie's words. "It's been a rough day." Callie chuckled mirthlessly in agreement, and Arizona gave her a tight squeeze before leading them to sit back down on the couch. "Did you ever get a chance to talk with your parents?" Arizona asked after they were seated, their arms wrapped comfortably around one another. Callie just shook her head. "I didn't...um…I didn't try to call them. I was too afraid that they wouldn't answer." Arizona frowned in sympathy and laid a gentle kiss on Callie's temple. She couldn't comprehend what Callie was feeling. Sure, Arizona's parents were thrown off by the news of their relationship. And yes, Arizona's mother in particular had been frustrating. But her parents were talking to her. They were actively trying to comfort her and understand her. Everything they were doing was driven by love for her, by a desire to accept her and support her. So Arizona didn't doubt for a second that her parents loved her unconditionally. She knew it would take some time, but eventually they would also understand, and things would be fine. When the time came, they would welcome whoever she married into their family with open arms. But Callie didn't have that guarantee, and it was clearly weighing on her. Arizona couldn't fathom what that must feel like. "Did you at least call Aria back?" Arizona asked softly after a few moments. Callie nodded. "Yeah. Yeah I talked with her for quite a while after my meeting with the provost." "And what did she have to say?" "Well…" Callie sighed. "Aria and Michael are being wonderful, but that's not a surprise. Apparently Michael tried talking to my dad a little bit. Aria's only spoken with my mother." "And…?" Arizona asked, wanting to know the general attitude of Callie's parents. "And they're pissed as hell," Callie shrugged helplessly. "Apparently my mom told Aria that she's never gonna speak to me again." Arizona heart fell at her girlfriend's words, and she pulled Callie more tightly into her arms. "I'm so sorry," she murmured. It felt like such an empty, worthless thing to say—it wasn't like Arizona feeling bad for Callie was worth anything whatsoever. But Callie nodded and readily accepted Arizona's physical comfort, burying her face in Arizona's neck. "Is there anything I can do?" Arizona asked a few minutes later, after several moments of sad, thoughtful silence. "I mean, should I get my dad to call them, or…" "No," Callie shook her head, which was still resting on Arizona's shoulder. "No, I'll um...I'll figure something out." "Okay," Arizona nodded, concerned, as Callie sat up and starting drying her eyes. "Anyways, um," Callie said, trying to compose herself. She stood up and starting searching for something, presumably her purse. "I should probably head out. I uh, I haven't seen Sofia all day." "Oh um, okay," Arizona said, still sitting on the couch. She really didn't want Callie to leave, but she didn't exactly have a

compelling reason for the brunette to stay. What she really wanted to do was take Callie to bed, to lose herself in her girlfriend and find refuge in her body. Words could only comfort so much. "Is that okay?" Callie asked, apparently noticing Arizona's reluctance to say goodbye. "Yeah, it's…" Arizona nodded. "it's fine. Unless um...well...would you wanna stay for just a while longer?" "I could," Callie shrugged. "I just thought…" Arizona swallowed and swept her eyes up and down Callie's gorgeous body. Was she being selfish to want Callie to stay and make love to her? Callie had other responsibilities. Mark and Lexie and Sofia. But sex didn't take that long. Callie could still get home at a good time. "I um," Arizona said, standing up and approaching her girlfriend. She figured she could at least ask—if Callie really had to leave, she could always say no. "I…" Arizona leaned in and kissed Callie hungrily on the mouth, pulling Callie's body in close and firmly gripping her hips. Asking with words would just be awkward at this point, so she chose to ask with her body. In response, Callie dropped her purse back on the couch and wrapped both of her own arms around Arizona. As Callie automatically deepened the kiss, Arizona felt her body starting to switch on, starting to warm up. So she grabbed Callie's hands and led her over to the bed, relief washing over her as Callie gently laid her down on top of it. Apparently Callie was saying yes. "Callie, are you sure you can stay?" Arizona asked, even as Callie removed Arizona's shirt and bra and starting running her hands all over Arizona's newly revealed skin. Callie didn't respond to the question verbally, instead just removing her own clothing and exposing those full, perfect breasts for Arizona. "Thank you," Arizona said sincerely, her lips and hands automatically beginning to pleasure what Callie had just offered up. And as Callie continued to undress them, as the two women continued to touch one another, to hold one another, the stress of the day began to slowly fade away. Sure, that stress would be back tomorrow—there was still so much to deal with. But at the moment, none of it mattered. There were no humiliating sex tapes, no unaccepting parents, no angry bosses, no jealous co-workers, no strained friendships, no lying reporters, no unrelenting paparazzi. It was just them. There in that bed, it was just the two of them, sharing and reaffirming their love for one another. It was only Callie and Arizona, only their love. And it was exactly what both of them needed. Together, if only for a few moments, the world outside didn't exist. All that existed was the acceptance, comfort, and love that they found in one another's arms. The world consisted only of Arizona's bedroom, and it was warm, quiet, and happy.

*Chapter 19*: Chapter 19
AN: Thanks to those of you who are still sticking around and reading this story! I just wanted to give you a little update on where we are in the story. We are almost through the immediate fallout from the video. There's one more thing that's gonna happen that I classify as "drama drama drama," and then the story is going to start winding down, tying up loose ends, setting our girls up for their happily ever after (and I don't consider it a spoiler that you're getting a happy ending. I don't write unhappy endings). We are at least 2/3 of the way done (probably more, but who knows...I know what's going to happen, but sometimes it comes out in more or less words than I think it will). Also, a big thanks to emmer23 who helped me with some legal details. I had absolutely no idea what about whether what Erica did was illegal/not illegal, and she gave me some tips. And go read her fics-they are fantastic. And if I got my legal facts wrong, it's totally me, not her! Also I've gotten a few questions regarding who put the video up if it wasn't Erica. That's not really a part of this story. Some random person stole Erica's car, and then some other random person bought the stolen laptop. It's not some other Grey's character or anything like that. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie gasped in concern when Sofia slipped and fell on her bottom, but that concern quickly turned to amusement when the three-year-old started celebrating wildly. Apparently running too fast and falling over was a good strategy in bowling, because somehow, Sofia had managed to get a strike—no bumpers necessary. "Wow, great job, sweetie!" Arizona said excitedly, those perfect dimples flashing as she gave the little girl a high-five and helped her to her feet. "You're a better bowler than I am!" "You see?" Sofia asked happily, pointing to where the automatic pinsetter was replacing the pins that Sofia had just cleared out. "I did see," Arizona nodded encouragingly. "That was super!" Callie's heart warmed as she watched her daughter and her girlfriend interact. Sure, Sofia was still in a major tantrumthrowing phase, but she'd been well behaved so far that day. And Arizona really was a natural with children—a seldom few people could make Sofia smile as widely as the blonde did. It was late in the afternoon on Friday—almost supper time—and Callie, Arizona, and Sofia were hanging out at the White House. Callie had gotten through her first day of teaching since the sex tape—she'd survived all the stares, whispers, and giggles—and she was now more than ready for the weekend. Though she knew she wouldn't be able to completely ignore what was going on, she was hoping to lay low and at least have a little time to relax. And the White House seemed like the best place to hide, especially because her own house really wasn't an option. The street outside the spacious townhome she shared with Mark and Lexie was a constant traffic jam, and the press was camped outside of the house at all hours of the day. She couldn't go anywhere without being photographed, and driving was pretty much impossible. She had attempted to get herself to work in her Audi that morning, but eventually she'd just given up and called Arizona. A Secret Service vehicle had shown up shortly thereafter to escort her to campus. So in an effort to have a little peace and quiet—not to mention a sense of safety and privacy—Callie had asked Arizona if she and Sofia could sleep over. It would be good for Sofia, who hadn't been out of the house since Wednesday, and it seemed like the best option. Sure, Callie wasn't exactly thrilled at the prospect of running into the President and First Lady again so soon, but it was better than sitting in her house with the shades drawn all weekend. And Arizona had assured her that the leader of the free world and his wife were relatively easy to avoid. Apparently, Arizona had wanted to live in the dorms during college, but her parents had said no because of safety concerns. But they had understood Arizona's desire for independence and the freedom to be an adult, so she'd been given quite a bit of privacy. The White House had been remodeled to give Arizona her own separate living space, and she wasn't required to ask permission before throwing parties or having overnight guests. According to Arizona, her parents more or less left her alone, and she often went a couple of days without seeing them at all. "Alright, Callie, come on," Arizona called out from where she was still hugging Sofia in congratulations. "You're up next." "Well I don't know how I can follow that! Sofia did such a good job, I'm gonna look bad," Callie said with an exaggerated pout, before smiling and sending a wink at her daughter. And then she also winked at her sexy girlfriend for good measure. Sofia smiled widely at her mother's praise, whereas Arizona only blushed and looked a little uncomfortable. The blonde

had never been completely at ease flirting in front of Sofia, which Callie found hilarious. She simply didn't see what the big deal was—especially because when she did flirt with Arizona in front of Sofia, she did it in ways the little girl wouldn't notice. But Arizona got red every time. And that only encouraged Callie to do it more. As Callie leaned over to retrieve the ball she'd been using, Sofia loudly screamed "Arizona!" out of nowhere, causing both Arizona and Callie to jump in surprise. "Sofia, volume!" Callie automatically scolded. "Sorry mommy," Sofia said quickly, before turning around to face the blonde. "Guess what else I do?" she asked excitedly, bouncing up and down. Callie rolled her eyes and snorted, now knowing exactly what had Sofia so animated. Her daughter had a new accomplishment, and she was so proud of herself. Arizona's eyes flashed quickly to Callie, seeking out some explanation for why she was so amused, before looking down at the little girl. "What, honey?" But instead of responding verbally, Sofia just started tugging on her shirt, removing it completely. Callie couldn't help but snigger as Arizona's eyes grew wide. "Sofia, sweetie, we don't take our clothes off in public," Arizona reminded, attempting to put the shirt back on the little girl. "No, no," Sofia said, swatting Arizona's hands away. "I do it!" And after that declaration, Sofia demonstrated that she now could, in fact, successfully put her own shirt on. "See?" Sofia said, placing her hands on her hips triumphantly. Arizona's dimples popped again as she leaned down to give Sofia another high-five. "That is so awesome, Sof!" Arizona encouraged, beaming at the little girl before looking up to share a knowing smile with Callie. Callie couldn't help but wish she could go back to the days where getting dressed filled her with a sense of accomplishment, and she could tell that Arizona was currently experiencing the same sentiment. Kids had it so easy. "Lexie taught me how!" Sofia said proudly, still bouncing with excitement. "Well that was nice of her," Arizona nodded happily. "They were stuck at home and uh...ran out of things to do," Callie explained to her girlfriend. "So Lexie sat her down and showed her how it's done." "I see," Arizona nodded again. "Well, Sofster," she said, looking down at Sofia again, "I'm very proud of you. Putting on clothes is a good skill to have." Callie bit her lip mischievously before sending Arizona a sexy smile and adding, "Taking off clothes comes in handy, too." Callie's comment was met with a look of disbelief from Arizona, followed by a glare that screamed "Cut it out!" But Callie just smirked at Arizona and picked up her bowling ball, getting into position at the end of the lane. And apparently, it was just a good night to be a Torres, because Sofia's perfect strike was immediately followed up by a spare from her mother. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona looked up in confusion when she heard a soft knock on her bedroom door. And then, as it slowly opened to reveal her father, she remembered it was Saturday. Which meant breakfast with her parents. Shit. "Hey, dad," Arizona said softly as a shy Sofia instinctively curled into her chest. Sofia had woken up freakishly early as usual, so in an effort to let Callie get some much needed rest, Arizona had been cuddling the little girl on the couch and watching "Tangled" for the ten-thousandth time. But apparently what was supposed to have been a relaxing morning was about to get stressful. Because now that Daniel knew Callie and Sofia were there, they were sure to receive invitations to breakfast as well. Mandatory invitations. "Sorry, I forgot all about breakfast," Arizona said to her father. "That's okay, hon," Daniel said, adopting Arizona's quiet volume in respect of her girlfriend, who was slumbering in her bed. "Is this um…?" he gestured at Sofia, who was sitting in Arizona's lap and hiding her face from the strange man. "Yeah," Arizona nodded, casting a quick glance over at her bed to see if Callie was still asleep. Callie was still laying on her right side, facing the wall. So either she was actually asleep, or she was awake and wanted Arizona to handle this situation on her own. "This is Sofia," Arizona said, introducing Callie's daughter. "Sof," she murmured, encouraging the

little girl to look at her father, "this is my dad. You don't need to be scared of him—he's very nice." Sofia looked up at Daniel—her hands still holding onto Arizona with a death grip—and considered him skeptically. "TV," she finally said. "What?" Arizona asked, looking down at the little girl. Sofia pointed at Daniel and spoke up again, "On TV." "Ohh," Arizona said, understanding Sofia's meaning. The little girl's language skills seemed to be improving every day, but she was still rather shy and quiet around people she didn't know. "Yeah, my dad's the president, so he's on TV a lot. You must have seen him when your parents were watching the news." Sofia just nodded at Arizona's explanation and continued to eye Daniel warily. Daniel seemed rather amused by the three-year-old's suspicion. "Sof, do you know what the president does?" Arizona asked gently. Sofia just shook her head "no." "Well…" Arizona paused, trying to figure out how to explain her father's job in terms a small child could understand. "You know how your parents are in charge of everything that happens in your house? Or how Heather is in charge of everything that happens at daycare?" Sofia nodded that she did and cuddled closer to Arizona, still apparently under the impression that Daniel was scary. And Arizona couldn't entirely blame Callie's daughter—the president was a retired Marine. He stood tall and proud, and Arizona herself found him to be quite intimidating at times. "Well," Arizona continued, giving Sofia a reassuring squeeze, "the president is in charge of the whooooole country." Daniel chuckled at that explanation and muttered, "If only that was true." Arizona looked up from Sofia to smirk at her father. She knew that as powerful as her father was, he was still a politician. No matter what he tried to accomplish, there was always someone who stood in opposition. So Arizona was sure that, on most days, Daniel felt as though he was anything b ut "in charge." "Anyways, Arizona," Daniel said after a moment's pause, "it's time for breakfast. So I'll see you all downstairs in a few minutes?" Arizona swallowed uncomfortably and then nodded. She knew that her girlfriend would not be pleased by this. But Arizona had learned long ago that these traditional Robbins Family Breakfasts were non-negotiable. And her father had said "see you all," signaling that Callie and Sofia were expected as well. Arizona didn't really see a way out. "Okay," Daniel said, smiling at Arizona and Sofia before offering a polite nod and leaving the room. Arizona sighed in resignation as soon as her bedroom door was closed, and she turned to look towards her bed. "Callie?" she called out. "Are you awake?" "Unfortunately," came Callie's grumpy reply. Grumpy, but not groggy—Callie sounded wide awake. "Mommy!" Sofia squealed in pleasure, scrambling out of Arizona's lap and bounding towards the bed. Arizona couldn't help but smile as the little girl pounced on Callie, delivering what looked like a near-fatal cuddle assault. Callie initially let out a low grunt at being jumped on, but then welcomed her daughter into her arms, squeezing her tight and placing an affectionate kiss on her cheek. "Good morning, baby girl," Callie cooed happily, her grumpiness completely cured by Sofia snuggles. "Hi mommy," Sofia smiled back. Arizona felt a strange, tightening feeling in her chest as she watched the mother and daughter interact. She wanted this. She wanted Saturday mornings with Callie and Sofia. And she wanted to be a mom herself. She wanted to have a little son or daughter who adored her so much that they were filled with joy to see her in the morning. She wanted to be woken up by having a tiny body pouncing on her, tiny little arms wrapping around her neck and cuddling her into consciousness. She wanted it, and for the first time, she felt like she wanted it soon. And that fact scared her. Because she'd always assumed that she'd have her first child in her late twenties or early thirties. But now...now she wasn't so

sure she wanted to wait that long. "So do we really have to get breakfast with your parents?" Callie asked, pulling Arizona out of her somewhat alarming realization. Arizona swallowed, caught off guard by the fact that Callie was now sitting in the bed, looking up at her expectantly. "Yeah," she nodded. "I'm sorry, I forgot. And we've gotta be down there in like...five minutes." Callie huffed and looked down to examine herself. "Arizona, your parents are going to think I exist only in sweatpants. That's not even enough time to take a shower!" "Callie, you look and smell fine," Arizona said, her tone apologetic. She really did feel bad that she hadn't anticipated this. "And besides, you took a shower right before bed." Arizona would know. She'd been in that shower. After bowling and eating dinner, Arizona had made up a comfy bed of blankets and pillows on the couch for Sofia. They'd read her several books and then tucked her into bed. And as soon as it was clear that Sofia was fast asleep, Callie and Arizona had retreated to the bathroom for some alone time. And what had started out as slow, sensuous caresses in a candlelit bathtub had somehow turned into frenzied, aggressive sexcapades in the shower. So yes, Callie had most definitely bathed sufficiently the night before. Callie smirked at her devilishly at the mention to the shower, and Arizona blushed uncontrollably. Callie had reduced her a helpless pile of mush in that shower, unable to stand, breathe, speak, or think. And the look Callie was giving her at the moment told Arizona that her girlfriend was feeling mighty proud of herself as a result. "And I really am sorry," Arizona said, choosing to ignore Callie's sexy smile for the time being. If Sofia hadn't been there? Sure, Arizona would have already been halfway through ripping Callie's clothes off in attempt to remove that stupid smirk from her face. But Sofia was there, and, well…they had a breakfast to get to. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie chewed at her bottom lip nervously as she followed her girlfriend into the casual, home-style kitchen. Apparently, while the White House was equipped with the grandest of everything, the First Family preferred to eat their Saturday morning breakfast in a laid-back, comfortable environment. But that did little to lessen how self-conscious Callie felt, yet again encountering Arizona's parents in sweatpants and a messy ponytail. "Hey guys," Arizona greeted her parents brightly. The President was sitting at the table, reading the newspaper, and the First Lady was standing at the counter, pouring some coffee. Callie was surprised to see that they both appeared somewhat...well...normal—Arizona's father was wearing a pair of jeans and a Georgetown sweatshirt, while her mother was wearing jeans and a casual pink sweater. "Sofia," Arizona said softly to Callie's daughter, who was resting on the blonde's hip, "these are my parents. You already met my dad, and this is my mom." Arizona paused briefly as Sofia shyly waved at Arizona's parents. "And mom and dad," she continued, "this little cutie is Callie's daughter, Sofia." The President merely nodded his greeting, having already met Sofia a few minutes earlier. But the First Lady's face had paled somewhat at seeing Arizona carrying Sofia, and she swallowed heavily before offering a soft and polite "Hello." At the First Lady's reaction, Callie felt a pang of guilt. Based on where the older set of blue eyes were focused, Callie had a pretty good idea of why Arizona's mother looked so uncomfortable—because Arizona looked anything b ut uncomfortable with Sofia perched on her hip. Arizona carried Sofia so effortlessly, so naturally, that it looked as if they'd been made for each other. And Callie knew it was probably incredibly unnerving for the First Lady to see her daughter in such a...a motherly stance. Callie knew that Barbara Robbins couldn't be thrilled that her daughter was dating a woman, and she also couldn't be happy that she was dating a much older woman. But Callie was fairly certain that the thing that made Arizona's mother most uncomfortable was the fact that her twenty-one-year-old daughter had essentially inherited a three-year-old child. And Callie completely understood that. She wasn't exactly thrilled about it, either. It wasn't that she thought Arizona would make a bad parent, or that the blonde would be a bad influence on her daughter. On the contrary, Callie thought Arizona was excellent with children and was a fantastic role model for Sofia. And though she would never dream of putting pressure on Arizona, and they hadn't talked about it, Callie was really hoping that she and Arizona could give Sofia some siblings someday. But someday was the operative word. Because Arizona was twenty-one years old. She was much too young to be a mother, and Callie felt bad that Arizona was stuck with a woman who already had a kid. Arizona didn't deserve that burden at such a young age.

And Callie had done her best to lessen that burden as much as she possible She'd tried to take any parenting or disciplinary responsibilities away from Arizona so that Arizona could just focus on being friends with Sofia. And yes, she'd done it to protect Sofia from getting too attached in case things didn't work out, but she'd also done it to protect Arizona, to delay Arizona being a parent for as long as possible. For some reason that was beyond Callie, Arizona seemed upset by this. She seemed to resent Callie's protection, like she almost wanted to be responsible for Sofia. But Callie just shrugged that off, knowing that she was doing what was best for both of her girls. Arizona didn't have to like it. But Callie knew, as Barbara Robbins apparently did, that Arizona eventually filling a more parental role was unavoidable. Callie had a child. A wonderful, perfect little girl who filled Callie's life with joy and who, unfortunately, also made Callie's relationships infinitely more complicated. It was just reality. Callie and Sofia were a package deal. So if Arizona really wanted Callie, well...then she got Sofia, too. And that morning, the First Lady seemed very uncomfortably aware of this fact. "Callie, do you wanna…" Arizona said, nodding to a chair at the table. Callie took her eyes off of Arizona's concerned mother and sat down in the indicated seat, surprised to see Arizona settling Sofia into a high chair. Apparently, Callie's three-year-old daughter wasn't below the notice of the President of the United States, and in the few minutes that had passed since he'd left Arizona's room, he'd managed to have a high chair placed in his kitchen. That was...surprisingly considerate of a man that the press portrayed as a cold and ruthless Republican overlord. "It's uh, it's nice to see you again, Mr. President," Callie said politely, coaching herself to remain calm. She knew that this was just supposed to be an intimate, casual family breakfast, but she was sitting across the table from the leader of the free world. The leader of the free world...who also happened to be her girlfriend's father. It was intimidating as hell. "Likewise, Dr. Torres," the president nodded, offering her a warm smile. "What would you say to you calling me Daniel, and me calling you Callie?" Callie's eyebrows rose at the president's offer. She had no first hand knowledge to go off of, seeing as pretty much everything she knew about the president's job came from watching reruns of "The West Wing"—but she was pretty sure that being given the privilege of calling the president by his first name was a b ig deal. Arizona's father was clearly offering her his approval and respect. "Oh um," Callie stuttered, "that, that would be nice. Thank you." Callie turned to look at Arizona when she felt the blonde squeezing her hand. Arizona nodded at her and smiled, confirming that yes—this was her father's way of making Callie feel welcomed. "Dr. Tor—um—Callie," the First Lady called, causing Callie to turn back to face Arizona's mother. "How do you take your coffee?" "Oh um, just black would be fine," Callie said, feeling much less comfortable with Arizona's mother than with Arizona's father. "Thank you." The First Lady nodded curtly and finished pouring the coffee, carrying over a tray of four steaming mugs and handing them out. "And you can call me Barbara," the older woman said in a somewhat cold, civil tone. "Thanks," Callie nodded, accepting her coffee. She had the distinct feeling that while Daniel actually wanted Callie to call him by his first name, Barb ara was just following her husband's lead, and was much less as ease with the whole arrangement. But from Callie's conversations with her girlfriend, she knew that Arizona's mom wasn't trying to be judgmental or prejudiced. Arizona swore that she just needed time. She was thrown off by everything that had happened, and she just required some time to process it all. And really, Callie didn't feel like she had anything to complain about when it came to Arizona's parents. Unlike her own parents, Arizona's parents were actually speaking with her. They were supportive, and they were doing the best they could to be accommodating. "So," Daniel said after they had begun eating their breakfast—pancakes, eggs, bacon, and fruit. "Arizona says that you'll probably be meeting with White House counsel in the next couple of days?" "Um yeah," Callie nodded, wiping a bit of maple syrup off the corner of Sofia's mouth. "We uh, we need to sit down and have a meeting with Sofia's dad and stepmom first, because we really haven't had a chance since all of this happened, but then we're going to figure out our legal options." "But you are going to pursue this?" "Yes, I intend to," Callie nodded. "I think um, it'll end up with criminal proceedings against Erica for trespassing and making the tape. And then as to the person who bought her laptop and put the video online, I think we have to pursue that through civil law. And we might have a civil case against Erica, as well."

Daniel nodded in understanding. "Well my legal staff is at your disposal, and if there's anything you need…" "Thank you," Callie smiled. "I appreciate it." "You uh," Barbara spoke up just as Callie was about to take a bite of her eggs, "you mentioned Sofia's other parents?" "Mom, let her eat," Arizona said gently, apparently trying to stop this breakfast from turning into another interrogation on the subject of Callie's personal life. "No, babe, it's okay," Callie said, setting down her fork and patting Arizona's thigh under the table. As long as they weren't talking about Callie's somewhat adventurous sexual tastes, she didn't mind sharing some details of her life with Arizona's parents. After all, she was dating their daughter. It was only natural to be curious. "Um, so," Callie said, sitting up a little bit straighter. "Sofia's dad is my best friend, Mark Sloan. We've been friends for...oh, I don't know, more than a decade. And her other mom is Lexie Grey. They're both surgeons. Mark is the head of plastics at the university hospital, and Lexie is just finishing up her residency." "And how long have Mark and Lexie been together?" Barbara asked. "Uhh…" Callie said, doing a quick calculation in her head. "About five years and a half years, give or take. And they got married about a year ago." Barbara's face paled so dramatically at that statement, that Callie started to panic. What had she said? "But Sofia is three," Barbara said, looking incredibly alarmed. Callie's eyes widened and she gasped ever so slightly when she realized what Arizona's mother was thinking. "Oh, no, no, no," Callie said quickly. "I mean um, they, um, uh, they—" "Breathe," Arizona coached calmly, her hand going to the flat of Callie's back. Callie took a deep breath, per her girlfriend's instructions. It helped...slightly. "What I mean to say is um, Mark and Lexie," Callie began again, "have been together on and off for about five and a half years. And um, when Mark and I…um…" she paused, looking over at her daughter (who appeared to be in a bacon-induced state of bliss), "well um, when Sofia, uh...was conceived," she continued awkwardly, "they were um...well they were really off. Like...really, really, really, really, really off." "I see," Barbara nodded, her facial expression a complete mystery to Callie. Callie couldn't tell if Arizona's mother was horrified or not, whether she disapproved or not. It made Callie feel incredibly nervous. She was usually so confident about her little family. Sure, they were a little unorthodox, but they were a family. Her family. And she was proud of them. But she was getting the feeling that Arizona's mother looked down on the life she had built with Mark and Lexie. And that bothered her more than she would have liked to admit. Callie shifted a little awkwardly in her seat. Did Barbara object to the idea that Callie had intentionally slept with Mark when he was on a break from a woman that he knew he would eventually get back together with? A woman who was also Callie's friend? Would it help to know that both she and Mark had been absolutely plastered when it had happened, to the point that Mark had no memory of it whatsoever, and Callie only had a few vague images? Or would that just bother Barbara more? "It um, well it happened this one night when they were on a break," Callie started, deciding that the fact that it was a drunken mistake would probably make it more excusable, "and um—" "Callie," Arizona spoke up, firmly grabbing Callie's bicep and shaking her head rapidly and waving her off. Callie's mouth immediately snapped shut. Arizona knew the details of this story. So if Arizona was making it that clear that Callie should stop talking, well...then...Callie would stop talking. "So um, yeah, they uh, they were on a break," Callie repeated, this time ending her statement with a tone of finality, indicating that that was all she had to say. "I see," Barbara said again, her expression still unidentifiable to Callie. Callie just swallowed. "So um, mom and dad," Arizona said a little too perkily, clearly eager to change the subject. "Did you guys know that Callie is all Ivy League? Yale, Princeton, and Harvard." "Really?" Daniel said with a smile, apparently in cahoots with his daughter to cut the tension hovering in the room.

"That's quite impressive." "Thank you," Callie smiled. "I've been very blessed with opportunities." "Where did you go to high school to get into schools like that?" "Um, an all-girls Catholic school in Miami," Callie responded. "Our Lady of Lourdes Academy." "Mmm," Daniel said, nodding in recognition. "Yes, I've heard that's an excellent school. And uh, you must have liked that," he said, winking at Arizona. "All girls." "Dad!" Arizona exclaimed indignantly. Callie felt her cheeks reddening and she busied herself by encouraging Sofia to eat her eggs, which were so far left untouched by the little girl. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Daniel said good-naturedly, chuckling softly and holding up his hands in surrender. "It was a joke. I promise, it was a joke." Arizona huffed in annoyance, but her body, which had immediately gone tense, relaxed back into her chair. And then she started muttering under her breath, something Callie couldn't quite make out. But Callie was getting the feeling that the president was something of a tease, and that he made a habit of embarrassing her daughter and her friends. And that didn't exactly bode well for Callie. "So Callie," the president said, sitting up in his chair and looking at her head on. "I was uh, I was wondering if I could get your opinion on the topic of child discipline." Callie just blinked at the president. After ensuring that Sofia actually swallowed the scrambled eggs instead of spitting them out, she turned to look at her girlfriend for a second to see if she was missing something. But Arizona shrugged, indicating that she was just as lost as Callie was. "Um, uh, okay," Callie nodded at Daniel. That was a rather abrupt and random change of topics, but she could go with it. "Well the reason I ask," Daniel said, "is um, from our prior discussion the other night." Callie just furrowed her brow in confusion. When had she discussed discipline with Arizona's father? They'd been so focused on dealing with the sex tape and discussing… "Because you know, a lot of people are against it these days," Daniel continued, his face completely serious, "but you seem like such a strong advocate of spanking." "Daniel!" "Dad!" Callie just closed her eyes and swallowed as Barbara and Arizona simultaneously (and loudly) scolded their husband and father. She just...she just had absolutely no idea how to respond to that. Of course, she knew Daniel was joking. He had to be. But...but wow. That was not the kind of humor she was expecting from the President of the United States. Not at all. "Sorry, sorry" Daniel laughed out. Callie could tell by the tone of his voice that he thought he was pretty freaking hilarious. "Too soon?" "Yes!" mother and daughter immediately replied in unison. "Daniel, that was not funny," Barbara said, her voice thick with shock and strong disapproval. "And it will never not be too soon!" Arizona added, sounding as if she was beyond humiliated. "Alright, alright, alright," Daniel said, clearly outnumbered. "I'm sorry." Both of the Robbins women just huffed, apparently unconvinced of Daniel being sorry at all. Callie finally opened her eyes, but kept them focused on her plate. She didn't think she could look at Arizona at the moment, much less her parents. "I'm really sorry about him, Callie," Arizona whispered in her ear, leaning over and throwing an arm around the brunette. "He's just—" "It's okay," Callie sighed, her disbelief and embarrassment starting to fade away every so slightly. It really was pretty funny

when she thought about it. And once she was finished being embarrassed, she wouldn't be surprised if she even laughed at it. But for now? For now she was content to just sit there and stare at her plate. That seemed like the safest course of action.

*Chapter 20*: Chapter 20
AN: Massi17_ on twitter made some wonderful art for this fic. I can't post links because this site is evil, but it's on both my twitter (fluffycalzona) and my tumblr (fluffycalzonafics). And I CAN put links in my profile on this site, so the URL is there as well. AN2: This chapter sucks. I apologize in advance. I didn't know how to write it, but it's necessary to get the rest of the story into motion, and it sucks. Please don't abandon me, I'll make it better soon. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona nervously picked at her fingernails as she sat on the sofa, continuing to listen to Mark and Callie argue. Was that the right word for what her girlfriend and the plastic surgeon were doing? Arguing? Because they weren't being openly hostile towards one another, and their volume wasn't terribly high. But agitation was apparent in both of their voices, and they were both coming off as moody and defensive. "So you're saying you don't want me to sue Erica?" Callie asked, setting down her glass of wine on the coffee table. It was Saturday night, Sofia was asleep, and Callie, Mark, Lexie, and Arizona were having a "family meeting." But that meeting mainly consisted of Callie and Mark having a heated discussion, while Lexie and Arizona fidgeted next to their respective partners "I'm asking you what the point is!" Mark exclaimed. "It's not like we need the cash. You're independently wealthy, I make a shit ton of money, and as soon as Lex finishes up, she's gonna be rolling it in, too." Arizona's eyes flashed over to her girlfriend. They'd never exactly had the "where does all of Callie's money come from?" conversation, but Arizona had at least figured out that her girlfriend was loaded. As in, "doesn't actually have to work a day in her life if she doesn't want to," loaded. "Mark, it's not about the money," Callie countered. "It's...it's about the fact that she should pay for what she—" "But by making her pay," Mark interrupted, "you're making us pay. You're making Sofia pay. If you could just let it go, we could all move past it." "But Mark—" "And I don't want you to turn our lives upside down even more than you already have because of an unnecessary, and very high-publicity, legal case!" "I didn't turn our lives upside down!" Callie said indignantly, her tone becoming more agitated. "Erica did!" "Yeah, and by dragging her to court, you're—" Mark stopped abruptly and just clenched his jaw. It looked to Arizona as if he wanted to say something, but he wasn't sure that he should. "What, Mark?" Callie asked, clearly annoyed. "What?" Mark exhaled sharply, apparently deciding to go for it. "Can you stop thinking about yourself for two seconds, and think about Sofia? Remember her? Your daughter?" At Mark's question, Callie's mouth dropped open slightly and she just stared at her best friend in disbelief. Apparently his insinuation that she wasn't concerned about Sofia had rendered her speechless. "Mark, she's—" Arizona spoke up, feeling the need to come to her girlfriend's defense. Callie did nothing b ut think about Sofia's well being. "Stay out of this, Blondie," Mark interrupted harshly, sending a quick glare in Arizona's direction. Arizona was taken aback and simply raised her eyebrows in response, not used to Mark being anything but kind to her. "Mark," Lexie spoke up softly, placing a hand on her husband's upper arm. He glanced over at her and she shook her head slightly, encouraging him to calm down. But Mark didn't seem to be in any mood to back off. "Callie, did you even bother to think any of this through before you started screwing her?" Mark asked. "What might happen to our family if people found out that you were banging the—" "I am not just screwing her, Mark!" Callie exclaimed, finally losing control and starting to yell.

Arizona swallowed anxiously, not knowing how to respond at all. She'd seen Callie upset, sure, but never...never enraged. All of Callie's skin was flushed, and she looked as though she was about ready to murder someone. And Arizona couldn't really blame her. She had some choice words for Mark herself. "Okay," Lexie spoke up again, looking rather terrified. "Why don't we all just take a deep breath and—" "And if you have such a problem with me being in a committed relationship with Arizona," Callie continued, completely ignoring Lexie and emphasizing to Mark that their relationship was far from casual, "then why the hell didn't you say something three months ago? We specifically sat you down and told you about—" "Because I never thought it would last this long!" Mark said incredulously. "I mean, come on, Callie! You're dating a kid!" "Hey, I am not a kid!" Arizona exclaimed defensively, sitting up on the couch and assuming an aggressive posture. If one more person suggested she was too young for all of this, she was going to— "Sweetie, let me handle this," Callie said quickly, her eyes still focused on Mark. She placed a hand on Arizona, attempting to push the blonde back into the couch and into a less hostile position. But Arizona wouldn't have any of that—because in her mind, Callie trying to take her out of the conversation only proved Mark's point. And the way Callie had just pushed her back into the couch? That was the way you restrained a child who wouldn't shut up. "Mark, you know me," Arizona said, sitting back up and pushing Callie's hand away. "Do I really strike you as a—" "All I know," Mark interrupted, "is that my family is getting death threats and worse because the two of you are having this ridiculous fling!" Arizona's shoulders sank and some of the fire went out of her as Mark explained himself. He had looked angry for the past few minutes, but at the moment, he just looked scared. And Arizona realized that deep down, that must have been what this was really about. Callie had been receiving threats. Threats against her, threats against Arizona, and threats against Sofia. And it was scary. It didn't excuse the hurtful things that Mark was saying—not by a long shot. But it made his behavior understandable. "Mark," Callie sighed, a newfound understanding apparent in her voice. "Callie," Mark said, his voice softer as well. "There are people who are saying they're going to kill you. Saying they're going to kill Sofia to teach you a lesson. Saying they're gonna kidnap her and…" "Mark, they are just threats," Arizona said calmly. "And we've forwarded them all to the Secret Service, and they are staying on top of it." "I know," Mark said, hanging his head in frustration. "But...but if the two of you would just...take a b reak , then it would all go away." "But Mark," Callie said, "that's exactly what they want." "So give them what they want!" Mark exclaimed, looking back up. "It's our job to keep Sofia safe." "But then they win!" Callie argued. "Then nothing changes! Then people think they can just bully us into doing whatever they want!" "So what?" Mark shrugged. "Why do you have to be the one to stands up to them? Let someone else deal with it. Someone who doesn't have a three-year-old daughter." "Mark," Callie said calmly, "I am not breaking up with Arizona. I love her. That is not an option." "And that's why I'm questioning how much you really care about Sofia," Mark said coldly. "Because you're threatening our daughter's life in order to play out some ridiculous teacher/student fantasy with a kid. A kid," he said, pointing at Arizona, "who's gonna realize, sooner or later, that instead of screwing a thirty-four-year-old mother with sippy cups and trips to the zoo, she could be screwing twenty-year-old cheerleaders with perfect asses and perfect tits." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "So would you and Sofia want to come over tonight after dinner?" Arizona asked over the phone. "I talked to my mom a

little more, and she's...she's really trying. She suggested having a movie night, just the girls. Oh, and Lex could come too if she wants." "Uh, I guess," Callie said as she turned off the main road and into her neighborhood. She was headed home from work on the early side because Mark had called her and said that they needed to "talk." But she didn't have any specific plans for the night. A movie night could work. "I'm not so sure that Lexie would want to come though. Mark and I haven't exactly been speaking to each other, and she's been trying really hard not to take sides." "He's still mad?" Arizona asked. "He's not the only one, Arizona," Callie muttered. "But it's b een three days, Callie," Arizona said. "You guys have to make up at some point…" "Well I'm certainly not going to apologize first!" Callie said defensively. "He was the one acting like an absolute bastard!" Arizona just sighed into the phone and remained silent. Callie knew that, yes, she was being a little immature. But she didn't really care. What Mark had said the other night had gotten way, way, way under her skin, and she wasn't going to forgive him lightly. It bothered her that Mark had been disrespectful to Arizona. And it really pissed her off that he thought so little of their relationship, that he thought she and Arizona were just casually fooling around. But more than anything, it really upset Callie that Mark questioned her love and care for their daughter. Callie lived for Sofia. Every decision that she made, she ran it through a filter of how it would impact her daughter. She gave blood, sweat, and tears for that little girl, and there was no limit to what she would be willing to do to protect her. How could Mark not see that? How could Mark not see that she would lay down her life for Sofia without giving a second thought? And yes, when the threatening emails and letters had started coming in, Callie had momentarily freaked out. She had wondered, fleetingly, if she should end things with Arizona on account of her daughter's safety. It was a thought that had absolutely devastated her, but...but it was a thought. Yes, Arizona was the love of her life, and Callie doubted that she would ever be happy without her. But Callie was a mother before she was a woman, and Sofia's security was more important than Callie's happiness. But when Callie had told Arizona about the death threats, Arizona had immediately sprung into action, bringing the Secret Service in on it and making sure everything was taken care of. So Callie had realized that she didn't have to choose—she could keep Sofia safe and she could be with Arizona. It wasn't one thing or the other. She just had to find a way to make Mark see that. "Anyways," Arizona spoke up after a few moments of quiet. "Would six work? I don't want to run too far past Sof's b edtime. Or else...if Mark or Lexie could watch her, we could just do it me, you, and my mom. Plus that way, we wouldn't b e relegated to Disney movies. But I'm not watching anything with a sex scene in front of my mother." Callie opened her mouth to let Arizona know that whatever was fine with her, but then she squinted as she saw flashing police lights coming from the front of her house. And as she got closer, she could see that a large crowd was beginning to gather. A crowd in front of the townhome wasn't terribly unusual since the sex tape, but it struck Callie as being larger than it had been the past few days. And the police cars, well...well that was definitely strange. "Hello? You still there?" "Arizona," Callie said, her heart starting to pound, "I uh, I'm gonna have to call you back." "Why, is something—" Callie hung up the phone and parked her car in the middle of the road—her driveway was completely blocked by cars and a ticket was the least of her worries at the moment. As soon as people spotted her, they all started to push towards her, calling out all sorts of question that she couldn't comprehend at the moment. All she could do was force her way through the crowd. She needed to get inside. She needed to know what was going on. "I'm sorry, miss," a policeman said, stopping her when she tried to go in the door. "We can't allow—oh! Sorry," he said, his eyes widening in recognition of who she was. "You can go on in." Callie hastily walked in her front door, her eyes scanning her home for signs of trouble. But everything looked okay.

Everything was neat, and exactly how she had left it that morning. "Mark?!" she called out, wondering what the hell was going on. "Mark are you—" "Upstairs!" came the worried voice of her best friend. So Callie bounded up her staircase, her chest tightening when she realized that all attention was focused on her daughter's room. An instant sense of dread and panic filled her entire being, and she walked like a zombie towards Sofia's room, terrified of what she might find. Callie's heart felt like it stopped when she finally saw the interior of Sofia's room. It looked as if...as if a tornado had been through it. The dresser was smashed, all of Sofia's clothes torn up and strewn about the entire room. The bed was also in sorry shape, Sofia's little princess balcony and slide damaged beyond repair. Most of Sofia's toys seemed to be broken, the stuffing ripped out of several stuffed animals, and there were children's books, torn to shreds, thrown everywhere. And as Callie's eyes finished surveying the damage, she noticed that some very not nice things were spray-painted on the walls. "Mark, is she?" Callie asked numbly. "She's safe," Mark said quickly, his arms pulling Callie into a tight, bone-crushing hug. "Lexie's got her." Callie started to sob as a wave of relief washed over her. She held tightly to Mark, their fight seeming entirely irrelevant at the moment. "And has she...has she seen—" "She was the one who discovered it." Callie swallowed and buried her face in Mark's neck. She was so grateful that Sofia was okay, but...but seeing the room like this must have been...well Callie couldn't comprehend how that must have been for her three-year-old. It was bad enough seeing it herself. "How did she...is she okay?" Callie asked quietly, still clinging to Mark. "She was um...she was kind of hyperventilating and having difficulty breathing," Mark explained. "So Mer came and took them to the hospital, just in case Lexie can't get her to calm down on her own." At that, Callie just hugged Mark impossibly tighter. Sofia was in the hospital. Someone had...someone had done this to Sofia's bedroom, and her baby was so terrified that she was in the hospital. "Callie...they left a note," Mark said after a few minutes, after Callie had had a chance to compose herself. Callie swallowed and finally willed herself to release Mark from the hug, and she was startled by actually looking at him for the first time. Callie had never seen Mark cry, not once in the many years they'd been friends. But his eyes were full of tears, and he looked terrified. Her strong, arrogant, ever-confident best friend had been reduced to a scared little boy. "What did um...what did they say?" she asked, dreading the answer. "That...that this is a warning," Mark said simply. "That if you don't end things with Arizona and start dating men again, that...that they're gonna take her. Because...because she shouldn't be raised by…" Mark trailed off, apparently unable to repeat whatever they had called Callie. But Callie had a pretty good idea, based on what was painted on the walls. Callie closed her eyes and shuddered, leaning back in to hug Mark. She needed the physical comfort, and she was relieved when his arms went automatically back around her. "Callie," he said gently, not an ounce of anger or disrespect in his voice. "I...I'm sorry for what I said the other night. It was wrong of me to suggest that you don't truly care about Arizona, or that you're not a good mom. But…but…" "But I need to break up with her?" Callie asked softly, tears streaming down her cheeks. Mark didn't say anything, and instead just pulled Callie closer, cradling her in his arms. But Callie knew his answer. It was the same as hers. And it broke her heart. Callie loved Arizona with every fiber of her being. And the thought of being apart from her made Callie want to die inside. But she just didn't see any other options. She had thought that it would be okay, that Sofia would be safe, that Mark was just overreacting. But if someone could do this? If someone could break into her home, destroy her little girl's special place, and land Sofia in the hospital without even laying a hand on her? Then Callie didn't feel like she had any other

choice.

*Chapter 21*: Chapter 21
I just updated twice in rapid succession, so please make sure you've read those first! Just in terms of traffic stats, more than half of you haven't read Chp 20 yet, so please double check! That chapter is very vital to this one lol. Sooo judging by the reviews for the last chapter (at least on FF, not so much on LJ)...I think I pissed some people off. Oh well :/ Going ahead as planned. Anyways, I promised that I'd fix it soon, so here's the beginning of that fixing. And Massi, this one's for you! When I first outlined this story for you so many months ago, the scene that I wanted to write most was contained in this chapter. Hope you enjoy. Hmm….I seem to write fast when things get angsty! lol. Maybe I should be AngstyCalzonaFics? ...nah! ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona threw her bag over her shoulder and sighed as she quietly left her Cost Accounting final. She'd aced it. Even though she hadn't been to class the past few weeks in an effort to avoid the professor—the now infamous Dr. Erica Hahn—she knew she'd passed with flying colors. She'd studied hard on her own, and she'd gotten the notes from Alex, and she knew that she'd done well. Not that it mattered. Normally, at this point in the semester—finals week—Arizona would be feeling a sense of excitement. She paid attention in class and worked hard during the semester, so finals were never a big deal to her. So the week was usually filled with the satisfaction of doing well on all of her tests and the happy anticipation of some time off from school. And Arizona even had fun plans for her first couple weeks of summer vacation—she was going to Paris for some serious shopping and cuisine with the French First Lady, followed by an excursion to the French countryside to relax and unwind. But that didn't matter either. Nothing mattered. Because Callie Torres, this horrible, evil, and...well, wonderful woman had happened to her. Callie Torres was like a plague, and she had ruined Arizona's life. And Arizona was just so furious and inconsolable that she couldn't give a damn. Not about school, not about France, not about anything. Arizona exhaled and punched the button for the elevator, perhaps a little too hard—not that she cared—and then leaned her forehead against the wall. She didn't know how she was going to get through this. She knew she would, of course. But she didn't know how. And she was just so pissed at Callie. That horrible thing had happened, and Callie had freaked out, and before Arizona had even had a chance to do anything about it, Callie had ended things. No ifs, no buts, no arguments. She'd just ended things without letting Arizona get a word in edgewise. Arizona slumped further against the wall as she thought about it. It wasn't that she didn't understand—she did. She had seen Callie that night. The utter devastation on Callie's face, the way she hadn't been able to breathe normally, the fear in her eyes. And yes, on some level, Arizona knew she couldn't totally get it—she wasn't a mother. But she did understand that Callie was frightened. That something absolutely horrendous had happened, that Sofia—Callie's own flesh and b lood—had been threatened, and that Callie was terrified. Arizona got that. Arizona got that Sofia had to come first. She understood that no matter who Callie loved, Sofia would always be the brunette's priority. And Arizona respected that, she encouraged that. She would have had much less respect for Callie if Callie didn't prioritize her job as a mother over everything else. But it didn't have to b e this way. The people responsible for vandalizing Sofia's room hadn't made any threats before taking action, so they hadn't been on the Secret Service's radar. And prior to that day, the Secret Service had determined (correctly) that all of the threats that they had received were empty—just angry people spouting off. So what Callie didn't understand was that now that there were real, credible threats against her family, the Secret Service could do something about it. Arizona had gone to her father about it, and his bodyguards were standing ready to protect Callie and her family. The Secret Service Director had even agreed to Arizona's request that Cristina be assigned to Sofia full-time. Callie and Sofia and whoever else needed protection could have agents on them 24/7. But even that didn't matter, because Callie Torres had unceremoniously dumped Arizona in a ditch. Callie had just freaked out, closed everything off, and refused to listen. And Arizona didn't know what to do. She didn't know how to knock sense into her girlfriend, and it was making her crazy. If Callie would just listen to her for five minutes! Just five minutes, and Arizona was sure it would be okay again.

"That was your last final?" Cristina asked, leading Arizona onto the elevator when it arrived. "Yeah," Arizona nodded, entering the elevator and leaning against the back wall. "You excited to go to France?" the agent asked. "Sure," Arizona shrugged. Cristina had been a lot chattier since the break-up, probably in an attempt to improve Arizona's mood. It wasn't working—nothing could really cheer her up—but Arizona did notice. It didn't happen often, but on occasion, Cristina Yang did reveal some strikingly human character traits. Cristina nodded, and silently pushed the button for the first floor, apparently noticing Arizona's desire to not talk. So Arizona just rested her head on the elevator wall and stared straight in front of her. She'd been hoping to see Callie roaming the halls that day before she headed up to take her final, but she hadn't. Which meant...well, which meant that she didn't know the next time she'd see the brunette. And the thought that it might not be until the fall semester just made her want to curl into a little ball and die. She'd seen Callie at school a few times since the break-up. Arizona had had at least enough restraint to not go to the older woman's office, but she'd seen her by accident in the lobby and in the hallways. And it was just gut-wrenchingly awful every single time. The sheer agony pouring out of Callie's eyes when they looked at each other was staggering, and it just made Arizona want to hold her, to take her in her arms and comfort her. But she couldn't. And she'd also seen Callie outside of school a few times. There had been a few nights where Arizona had been unable to sleep, so completely on edge and enraged by what was going on, that she'd called for a car and gone over to Callie's. Each time, it had been two, maybe three in the morning, and Arizona had let herself in through the garage door and awoken Callie from her sleep. Because if Arizona couldn't sleep, then dammit, Callie didn't get to sleep either. And Arizona had...well...Arizona had made love to her girlfriend. Because even if she couldn't technically call Callie that anymore, that was what she was. So she'd woken Callie up in the middle of the night, and she'd gotten herself lost in Callie's body, grateful that Callie's protests only lasted for the first few minutes. But the night that Arizona had driven over there, only to find that the garage door combination had been changed, had been the worst night of Arizona's life. Because up until that point, Arizona had maintained some small amount of hope. But after that? Arizona hadn't left her bed for days, just crying her eyes out while Alex and Teddy camped on her couch in silent, stoic support. Arizona grumbled and complained internally when the elevator slowed to a stop on a floor that wasn't the lobby. She just wanted to go home. She just wanted to get off this stupid campus and get on an airplane and go to France. Any delay in that plan just irritated her. But then the doors opened. And Callie was standing there. And Arizona didn't know whether she should be happy or sad about that. Callie's gorgeous brown eyes widened at the sight of Arizona, and for a second, Arizona didn't know whether Callie was going to actually get on the elevator. But after a moment's hesitation, Callie stepped in, offering a cautious smile and a quiet "Hey." "Hey," Arizona murmured back, her heart soaring one moment at just a word from Callie, and then plummeting the next when Callie turned and faced the other way. Arizona's eyes drifted sadly all over Callie's body as the brunette stood quietly in front of her. Callie's perfect, silky black hair that Arizona loved to run her hands through. Her beautiful, strong back that Arizona loved to caress and massage after a long day. Her shapely bottom and gorgeous, long legs that looked amazing no matter what the brunette wore. It took everything in Arizona not to take a step forward and wrap her arms around Callie. Just for a second. All Arizona wanted to do was hold Callie, just for a second. "Callie," Arizona sighed desperately. She hadn't meant to say it out loud—she didn't have anything to say. But before she could regret saying it, Callie had turned around, had pushed her into the elevator wall, and had smashed those perfect red lips against her mouth. And suddenly, Arizona wasn't in an elevator. Cristina wasn't there, politely averting her eyes. They weren't broken up, the universe wasn't conspiring against them. It was just Arizona and Callie, just Arizona and the woman she adored. And Arizona kissed Callie back with everything she had, loving the way Callie had wrapped both hands into her blonde hair, loving the feeling of just being close to Callie again.

Callie pulled back for a moment, and Arizona felt as though time stopped as she looked into those perfect brown eyes that she lived for. And then suddenly, Callie was gone, striding out into yet another hallway that wasn't the lobby. And all Arizona could do was slump back against the wall and crumble back into absolute despair. All she could do was watch Callie walk away. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "I...really don't know how you do that," Callie remarked to her sister, grabbing a seat next to Aria on the patio. She had just put Sofia down for the night, and she'd come outside to find her sister breast-feeding not one, but b oth of her sons at the same time. "I mean, I could barely handle feeding one kid." Aria just smirked and adjusted Jimmy ever so slightly. "You were also working full time, Callie. Even with a job as flexible as yours...that makes it a lot harder." "I guess…" Callie said skeptically, continuing to openly gawk at her sister. Aria seriously seemed like Super Woman to her at times. "You know, Callie, in general," Aria said good-naturedly, "I prefer for my husband to be the only person to stare at my boobs." "Sorry," Callie laughed, finding a more appropriate place to fix her gaze. "I'm just impressed." "Well Michael does compliment these girls quite frequently, so I guess it's only natural for you to be impressed by them as well." Callie rolled her eyes and sent her sister a playful glare. "You know what I meant, Aria." Aria just smiled back at her, and the two sisters fell into a comfortable silence, both staring at the gorgeous ocean as the sun set brilliantly behind them. After a while, Callie closed her eyes and leaned back into her lounge chair, simply relaxing and enjoying that wonderful, sea air scent. She loved living in D.C., but Miami also had its perks. "Callie?" Aria asked several minutes later, after both Jimmy and Johnny were tucked safely into the small crib that Aria kept on the patio, just for nights like that one. Aria had always loved rocking her babies under the stars, the sound of crashing waves in the background. "Hmm?" Callie replied, eyes refusing to open. She'd been almost asleep. "When are you going to tell me about what happened?" Any relaxation that Callie had been experiencing was immediately washed away, and her entire body tensed up. "Aria…" Callie said cautiously. "You know what happened." "I know what happened to your house, and to Sof's room," Aria said gently. "But I don't know what happened with Arizona." Callie sighed in frustration and forced herself to open her eyes. Aria was sitting up in her own chair, looking over at Callie expectantly, concern apparent in her eyes. "Aria…" Callie groaned, shaking her head. She just didn't want to talk about it. As soon as Callie had finished administering her finals, she'd packed a bag for herself and Sofia and high-tailed it to Miami. It wasn't the most relaxing place to be—after all, her parents lived there, and they still weren't speaking with her— but it was pretty close. Callie really loved being surrounded by Aria and her happy little family. And the first few days had passed by pleasantly enough—Sofia more than happy to follow around the older cousin that she loved, and Callie enjoying the opportunity to cuddle her nephews excessively. It had been a nice break. But it hadn't been a complete break. Because while Callie could escape some of her circumstances, there was no way that she could escape herself. And inside, in her emotions and in her thoughts, she was absolutely miserable. She simply didn't know how to exist without Arizona. And it was like she was treading water, getting more fatigued with every minute. Pretty soon, her strength would be gone, and she would drown. "Callie—" "Aria, what was I supposed to do?" Callie said, sitting up and turning to face her sister. "I have to protect Sofia. It's...it's my responsibility to make sure that she's—"

"But can't the Secret Service—" "The Secret Service was tracking all the threats, Aria!" Callie exclaimed. "But the people who broke into my house hadn't made any threats prior to—" "Okay, but couldn't Arizona get you actual Secret Service agents? So they're there to stop people who haven't made any prior threats? People who just...show up?" Callie just sighed. That was what Arizona had suggested. That was the suggestion that was plaguing Callie during her every waking moment. "Well can't they?" Aria pressed. "Aria…" Callie sighed. "Callie, your girlfriend's father is the President of the United States! He has the best-trained, most well-armed bodyguards in the world! Let them protect you!" Callie sighed again and let her face fall into her hands. She didn't know how to explain it to Aria. She could barely explain it to herself. Every minute of every hour of every day, she wanted to ask Arizona to take her back. To accept Arizona's offer of more intense Secret Service protection, and to set things right between them. But how could Arizona possib ly forgive her? "Callie?" Aria said when Callie remained silent. "Can't Arizona get them to protect you?" "She already offered that," Callie said, blurting it out to her sister. Aria just furrowed her brow in confusion. "Then what the hell is the problem here?" "I freaked out!" Callie said, allowing her frustration into her voice. "I...I freaked out! She offered and begged and pleaded and I said no! So I…" Callie shrugged. "I can't go back to her now." Aria just blinked at her, opening and closing her mouth several times. "Well what?" Callie asked agitatedly, wishing her sister would just get on with saying whatever it was she wanted to say. "Um...why exactly...can't you just go back now?" Aria asked cautiously, like going back was the most simple thing in the universe. "Because!" Callie exclaimed. "Do you know how many times I have rejected her? How many times I have told her that she's too young or it's not right or...or whatever? How many times she has pursued me and fought for me? I can't just...just go b ack . She's gotta be...just...just...just cosmically pissed at me, Aria!" Aria sighed and was quiet for a few moment. "Callie…" she said, speaking up again a few seconds later. "Does Arizona love you?" "Yes," Callie answered automatically. That was a stupid question. "Then you should go. get. her." Aria said, enunciating each word. "Aria!" Callie groaned, throwing her head back in frustration. It just wasn't that simple. "Callie," Aria said, "are you sure you're the thirty-four-year-old and she's the twenty-one-year-old in this relationship?" Callie just shook her head in confusion. "What?" "Because it sounds to me like she's reacting rationally and proposing solutions, and you're just freaking out and acting like a total moron." Callie opened her mouth to object to her sister's insults, but Aria kept on talking. "And I get it," Aria nodded. "Okay? I've got three kids. And if someone threatened one of them, you can bet your miserable ass that I'd turn into a crazy woman, too. But hopefully," Aria added, "you wouldn't also be crazy at the same time, so you could talk some sense into me." Callie slumped her shoulders. "But how could she possibly forgive me?" she asked, her voice small.

Aria frowned at her in sympathy. "Callie, you're right—she's probably really upset with you. And she has every reason to be. But if she's half as wonderful as you're always saying she is, then she'll take you back." Callie just took a deep breath. Was...was that actually possible? Was she underestimating Arizona? Could the blonde actually forgive her? Because Callie felt like such an idiot. She didn't deserve for Arizona to take her back. "And…" Aria nodded. "It may take some time. You may have to do some pretty serious groveling. And she may have...I don't know...issues that you've gotta work through. But Callie," Aria shrugged, "if she loves you…" Callie swallowed and looked into big brown eyes that matched her own, exhaling thoughtfully. For the first time in a couple of weeks, she actually felt like there was hope. "Mark would kill me," Callie muttered, as a side note. "Oh screw Mark," Aria fired back immediately, her voice dripping with disdain. Callie chuckled slightly at that. Aria had never been a big Mark Sloan fan. "So…" she said cautiously. "So you really think I should go home and...and just ask for her back?" "Well I think you should go to Paris, because according to the news, that's where she is at the moment," Aria said. "But yes, that's the general idea." Callie's heart fell when she heard where Arizona was. There was no way she could up and go to Paris. Mark would immediately object to the plan, and there was no way he or Lexie would be able to get off work at such short notice to watch Sofia. "Aria, I...there's no way Mark would watch Sofia while I go to Paris to get Arizona back—" "So leave Sofia here," Aria shrugged. "Really?" Callie said, perking back up. Mark would probably also object to Callie leaving Sofia with Aria for a few days without his permission, but at the moment, Callie was feeling very unified with her sister's "screw Mark" sentiment. "Really," Aria nodded. "I'm not doing much charity work at the moment because I'm basically a glorified milk dispenser. And Michael and Maggie will help out, and...and yeah, it wouldn't be a problem at all." "So…" Callie said, realizing that this could actually work. "So Sofia can chill with you guys for a few days, and I can grab the first flight to Paris in the morning?" Aria grinned broadly and nodded her head. "That sounds like an excellent plan, baby sister."

*Chapter 22*: Chapter 22
Callie sighed thoughtfully as she glanced around the busy Paris street. She hadn't exactly thought this through. After her discussion with Aria, Callie hadn't felt like waiting. So she'd woken up Sofia, kissed her baby girl goodbye for a few days, and then caught the next flight out of Miami. And it was now mid-afternoon local time. She'd landed at Charles de Gaulle, asked her taxi driver to drop her off at the Élysée Palace, and well...here she was. Callie's first thought had been, of course, to just call Arizona. But the blonde hadn't answered, and considering the circumstances, Callie really didn't blame her. So Callie's next best option was to somehow get inside the Palace, and find someone who could help her. But she couldn't even get near the damn thing! It wasn't like the White House—it was much more private. And she also couldn't seem to find much tourist information on it. How in the world did you take a tour of the French President's residence? So Callie just chewed on her tongue and looked around, hoping to find somebody who was wearing a "USA" t-shirt or something. She knew that a lot of people who lived in Paris spoke English, but she'd also heard that they found it offensive if you didn't at least try to speak to them in French. But all the French Callie knew was "voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir," and that certainly wasn't going to do her any good. "Oh, excuse me!" Callie said, flagging down an elderly couple that struck her as looking rather Spanish. Sure, Central American Spanish wasn't exactly the same as European Spanish, but it would do. "Do you speak English?" she asked. "Or Spanish?" she added in her mom and dad's native tongue. "Yes, both," the older woman answered in Spanish, smiling at her. "How can we help you?" "Thank you," Callie said, adopting the language that was clearly the woman's preference. "Do you know how I could take a tour of the Palace?" "Oh, you can't go inside there," the woman's husband spoke up. "It's not open to the public." "It's not?" Callie asked, surprised. That just seemed odd. "No, sorry, miss," the man said. "Okay, well thank you for your time," Callie said politely, trying not to feel too disappointed. She would just have to figure out some other way of getting in touch with Arizona. "Hey, aren't you that woman who was sleeping with the American president's daughter?" the older woman asked, just as Callie was about to turn away. Callie felt herself blush furiously at the question. She knew she was easily recognizable in the US, but it hadn't yet occurred to her that she was now an international celebrity. "Um, yes, that's me," Callie said, trying to avoid the elderly woman's gaze. Surely, someone that old would not approve. "Well good for you," the woman said warmly, not an ounce of insincerity in her voice. "You sure looked like you were having a good time in that video." "Yes," the man added. "And Arizona Robbins sure is a cute little thing. If I was younger…" Callie just smiled awkwardly, feeling rather horrified that this elderly couple had watched her having sex. But the couple didn't seem to notice, the old woman playfully slapping her husband for his comment, and then the two of them continuing on, waving a friendly goodbye. Callie swallowed. She supposed that the couple's reaction was better than being harassed, but...but eww! Grandparents had watched the sex tape. As soon as the couple was gone, Callie sighed, wheeled her suitcase over to a nearby bench, and sat down. Arizona wasn't answering her calls, and there wasn't an easy way into the Palace. So Callie took a deep breath, knowing what she had to do. All that was left was to call Arizona's parents. But could she even get through to them? She didn't have their personal numbers. All she could do was call the main White House number and ask for the President. Like that would work. But, Callie supposed, it was worth a shot. So she pulled out her phone and called the White House. She didn't really have any other options.

"White House," a female voice answered after a few moments. "Uh, hi…" Callie answered. "Um...uh...this is, uh, this is Callie Torres," she said, rolling her eyes at herself. Could she sound more like a babbling idiot? "This is gonna sound crazy, but...is there anyway I could speak to the President? It's um, it's regarding his daughter." "One moment," the woman replied, before putting Callie on hold. Callie just sat back a little further into the bench, preparing to wait for quite some time. She still seriously doubted this would work, but at least the operator hadn't given her a flat-out "no." "Callie?" a man answered a minute or two later. "This is Derek Shepherd." "Derek, hi!" Callie said, sitting back up. It wasn't the President, but being connected directly to the Press Secretary wasn't too shabby. And she at least had something of a personal relationship with him—he was still dating Lexie's sister. "Thank you for uh, taking my call." "No prob lem ," Derek replied. "Listen, the President's giving a speech in Arkansas at the moment. Is there something that I could do for you instead?" "Oh um," Callie hesitated. Callie didn't really know if Derek had access to the proper diplomatic channels. Could he just call up the Palace and tell them to let her inside? She doubted it. "Actually, Derek, is Barbara Robbins available?" Callie asked. She was much less comfortable with Arizona's mother, but that seemed like a better idea. "I b elieve so," Derek responded. "Would you like me to transfer you?" "Yeah, that would be great," Callie answered. Now she was getting somewhere. "Thanks, Derek." "You b et." Callie closed her eyes and took a deep, calming breath as she waited for Arizona's mom to answer the phone. She had absolutely no idea what Arizona had told her parents about everything. So would Barbara be inclined to help her? Or would Arizona's mother pretty much tell her to go to hell? Callie swallowed when she heard a noise on the line, making her wonder if she'd been connected. This was it. "Callie?" came Arizona's mother's voice a moment later. "This is Barb ara Rob b ins." "Mrs. Robbins," Callie said thankfully, feeling lucky just to be speaking to the woman. But she avoided Barbara's first name to stay on the safe side—she wasn't sure she was still entitled to that privilege. "Thank you so much for taking my call." "What can I do for you, Callie? I'm sure you know that Arizona is ab road." "Uh, well that's actually why I'm calling," Callie said anxiously, unnerved by the seemingly ever-present coldness in Barbara's voice. "I'm um...I'm in Paris, and I'm standing outside the Élysée Palace, and Arizona's not taking my calls, and so…" "She's prob ab ly just distracted at the moment," Barbara informed her. "My daughter would never intentionally ignore your calls. In fact, she very much wants to speak with you." Callie's heart fluttered to hear that—Arizona wanted to talk to her. Of course, it was possible that Arizona wanted to speak with her so that she could tell Callie to go to hell in person. But it was also possible Arizona wanted to talk to her for more agreeable reasons. "That's um, that's good to hear," Callie said, suddenly finding it hard not to cry. Arizona wanted to talk to her. That had to be a good sign. "So I take it you'd like me to get you inside the Palace?" "Would you?" Callie asked hopefully. "That would be...that would be absolutely wonderful. I know that I...that I can't be your favorite person in the world at the moment, but I would be so grateful." Barbara sighed and was silent for a moment before speaking. "Callie, I don't want you to b e under the impression that I dislike you," the First Lady said. "This was just...this was just all a lot for me to take in so quickly. I had no idea that my daughter was gay, and then to find out that she was in a sex tape, and that she was dating her professor, a much older

woman with a child—it was...well, that's quite a lot!" Callie just swallowed, not knowing quite what to say. Arizona had told her as much, but...well it was surprising to hear from Arizona's mother herself. "But I've come to understand that my daughter is very deeply in love with you," Barbara continued, bringing a massive smile to Callie's face. "And so I don't...I don't want you to think I dislike you. I just don't know you." "Thank you, Mrs. Robbins," Callie said, "I entirely understand how—" "But I do want to like you, Callie," Barbara interrupted. "Arizona is...I've never seen her like this, Callie. She's ab solutely miserab le. You're clearly very important to her." Callie closed her eyes at that. On one hand, she was happy to hear that Arizona was so upset, because it meant that the blonde was more likely to take her back. But on the other hand, she never wanted Arizona to be miserable. Not now, not ever. "Thank you," Callie said again. "And I'm really very sorry for making her so miserable. She's...she's very important to me as well." "Okay," Barbara sighed, sounding like she was done with the conversation. "You just stay right where you are, and someone from the Palace will come and find you to let you in, okay?" "Um, uh, yeah," Callie said, blinking. That struck Callie as being a rather abrupt end to their somewhat intimate conversation, but she supposed she could go with it. She was getting what she wanted, after all. "Thank you, Mrs. Robbins, that uh, that would be perfect." "You're welcome, Callie. And it's Barb ara." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona forced a smile and exited the car, nodding her thanks at the servant who held the door open for her. She was used to people being polite to her, and of course the White House residence had employees that kept things going, but the Élysée Palace had legitimate servants, and that still weirded her out every time she visited. Normally, she would have objected to being waited on hand and foot, but she knew that French culture had a different, more lofty view of power than what she was accustomed to as an American. So she didn't cause a fuss. The French First Family had an army of servants, and they would be offended if she refused their services. As she and Gigi headed out of the courtyard and into the Palace itself, Arizona reached into her purse to see if she'd missed any emails. She'd just had a full day of shopping and ridiculously expensive food, and she hadn't been paying much attention to her phone. In general, Arizona wasn't much of a fashionista. But Gigi, the French First Lady and a longtime friend of the family, was certifiably addicted to everything that was elite, expensive, and cultured. So whenever Arizona visited, she somehow ended up getting roped into enjoying the upper echelons of French society with the First Lady. And Arizona had to confess, she definitely didn't mind all the attention and adoration that she got from the French fashion designers in particular. They were all more than eager to dress the American president's gorgeous young daughter, all competing for her attention and favor. And she knew it was a little vain of her (Teddy always gave her a hard time about it), but she was only human. It was hard to resist people telling her she was beautiful and perfect all day long. Even though the one person that she really did want to call her beautiful wasn't there. Callie's opinion of her was the only one that truly mattered, and Callie wasn't there. Callie had abandoned her. After fumbling around in her purse for a moment, Arizona's hand finally found her phone. And as she pulled it out of her bag, she was surprised to see that she'd missed some calls. Arizona's face scrunched up in confusion. Hardly anyone called her when she was in France, and it was still somewhat early for her friends back in the US to be calling her—they were all sleeping in, enjoying their newfound free time now that the semester was over. But when Arizona unlocked the phone, and saw who had called her, she stopped short in her tracks. Callie. Callie had called her. Three times. Arizona just stared at her phone, her hands shaking. Callie had called her. That had to...that had to be good, right? Or was it bad? Had something else horrible happened? Arizona's heart began to race. "Arizona, is everything alright?" Gigi asked in her perfect Parisian French, stopping once she noticed that Arizona was no longer beside her. She could, of course, speak English. But Arizona preferred to only speak and be spoken to in French when she was visiting—it stopped her French from getting rusty.

"I...I don't know," Arizona said slowly, her eyes not moving off of Callie's name. She honestly didn't. "Excuse me, Mademoiselle Robbins?" Arizona looked up from her phone to see a Palace servant approaching her. "Yes?" "I have been instructed to inform you that you have a guest here to see you. Mademoiselle Torres," the servant said, absolutely butchering Callie's last name. "Callie?" Arizona asked in disbelief. "Callie's...Callie's here?" "Yes, mademoiselle," the servant nodded. "Per your mother's instructions, she has been shown to your private suite." "Thank you!" Arizona said, not even bothering to say goodbye to Gigi and taking off at a dead run, bounding up the stairs and towards the room where she'd been staying. Callie was there. In the palace. She'd...she'd come to France to see Arizona. If something was wrong, she would have stayed in the US. Which meant that she'd come for Arizona. Arizona felt on the verge of tears. Callie wanted her back. Arizona rounded the corner at full speed, ready to barge into her suite and collapse into the arms of the love of her life. But when she got to the door, she stopped herself. She took a deep breath, placed both of her hands on the doorframe, and just rested her forehead against the door for a moment. She wanted to go right inside, to hold Callie, to kiss Callie, to feel Callie. But her better judgment was speaking out to her, and telling her that that would not be good. Callie had hurt her. Deeply. And while Arizona wanted to just shrug it off so that things could be better right away, she knew that that wasn't healthy in the long run. They needed to talk. Callie needed to know that she couldn't keep doing this. She needed to know how much pain she'd caused. And she couldn't continue making unilateral decisions about their relationship without listening to Arizona's point of view. She couldn't keep treating Arizona like a child, even if she did it unconsciously. And Callie needed to know that this was the last time. This couldn't happen again. Arizona's heart simply couldn't take it. Callie needed to realize that Arizona wasn't messing around. She wasn't going to leave for some cheerleader with perfect boobs. She wasn't going to suddenly decide that Callie was too old and boring, and that she wanted something else. Because Arizona was all in. She wanted Callie and only Callie. And Arizona was done with Callie not believing her. So, Arizona realized, releasing the door frame and standing up straight, if they were going to do this—if they were really going to be together—then she needed to get a commitment from Callie. She needed Callie's word that this wasn't going to happen again, and that things would be different. She needed Callie's promise that this was it. That they were it. They had found each other, and from that moment forward, there was no backing out. Callie wasn't allowed to question Arizona's level of commitment, she wasn't allowed to believe Arizona was too young to make that commitment, and she certainly wasn't allowed to end things or walk away. There, standing outside her door, Arizona realized that if this was going to work, then she needed Callie to promise her forever. She needed clear confirmation that they were going to be together for life. Squaring her shoulders in resolve, Arizona closed her eyes and took a deep breath. She didn't know if Callie would be willing to commit to that. She thought there was a good chance, but she wasn't sure. All she could do was hope. So after one final deep breath, Arizona reached out, opened the door, and then slowly stepped inside the room. And her heart leapt in her chest when her eyes fell on the other occupant of the living room. Because...well, because Callie. Callie was there. And just the brunette's presence felt amazing. "Hey," Arizona said softly, closing the door and then leaning back against it. It was taking all of her newly-found resolve to stop herself from crossing the room and pulling Callie into her arms. "Hey," Callie replied, just as softly. Callie was sitting on one of the sofas in the living room of Arizona's suite. She looked worried and anxious and fidgety and...and b eautiful. Beautiful as always. Arizona allowed her eyes to wander all over Callie's body, just for a moment. "So um, I'm sorry I missed your calls," Arizona said, not moving from the doorway. Callie seemed similarly frozen, undecided about whether to rise from the couch. "Gigi and I were—" "Gigi?" Callie asked, immediately looking alarmed.

Arizona couldn't help must smile at Callie's reaction. The brunette was clearly jealous. "Gisele Devaux," Arizona clarified. "The French First Lady. She's fifty-three," she added, in order to put Callie out of her jealous misery. "Oh," Callie nodded, looking dramatically relieved. "She actually called that first day," Arizona said, smiling at the memory. "What?" Callie asked, confusion and fear written all over her face. "That first day of class, when I was late," Arizona explained. "You made an example out of me when my dad called, and then Gigi called a few minutes later." "Oh," Callie said, realization dawning in her eyes. "Yeah, I uh, I remember that." Arizona giggled softly, walking a little bit further into the room and sitting on the arm of another sofa. She didn't really know why she was talking about this—it was entirely irrelevant to the conversation they needed to have. But it was nice to recall a happier time when everything was new, full of anticipation and hope. "I was so embarrassed when you answered my dad's call," Arizona said with a wistful smile. "I mean, you were just so hot in that skirt suit, and I felt like such an idiot." "Well, looking back, I was definitely picking on you because you were absolutely adorable," Callie smiled, blushing slightly. "And cute things have a way of getting even cuter when you tease them." Arizona nodded warmly, just taking a minute to smile back at her girlfriend and get lost in those gorgeous brown eyes. "Hi, Callie," she said gently after a few moments. She knew they had a hard conversation ahead of them, but it was just so nice to b e with Callie. "Hi, Arizona," Callie murmured back. "So you um…" Arizona said, clearing her throat, rising from the armrest, and taking a seat on the actual sofa. "So uh, you're...you're here." "Yeah," Callie nodded, looking miserably anxious. Her fear and nervousness were coming off of her in waves. Arizona's immediate instinct was to cross the room and sit next to Callie, to reassure the brunette physically. That was simply how she comforted Callie—by touching her. But she knew that for now, at least, it was better to have some space. "Arizona," Callie sighed, shifting in her seat and sitting up a little straighter. "I um...I made a mistake. I love you. And...and if there's any chance that you could forgive me and, and take me back, I would…" "What made you change your mind?" Arizona asked quietly. Inside, she was doing a little happy dance, but she was careful to maintain a cool exterior. They needed to have this conversation—it could prove to be the most important conversation they would ever have. So they couldn't just skip to the happy ending Arizona was praying for. "It's um...it's kind of a long story," Callie said. "Well as far as I know," Arizona responded, not letting Callie off the hook that easily, "we're both on vacation until midAugust. Sooo..." "Uh, right," Callie nodded. "Well…" she said, apparently not knowing quite where to start. "Well, what happened with Sofia's room, it...it really freaked me out, Arizona." "I know," Arizona nodded in sympathy. That she understood. She understood how terrifying that must have been for Callie as a mother, and she knew it wasn't fair to expect anything b ut an emotional reaction to it. "And I just," Callie continued, clearly searching for words. "I was just acting out of fear and instinct. I couldn't think about anything but Sofia. All I knew was that I needed to get her as far away from danger as possible." Arizona simply nodded again. She truly did understand her girlfriend. She loved Callie. She knew Callie. She understood how Callie's brain worked. "So I freaked out, and I had a knee-jerk reaction, and I...I made the most moronic decision I have ever made in my life. Even though you were offering ways to fix it, and ways to make it better. I just...I just couldn't handle it, Arizona. I freaked the hell out." Arizona let out a frustrated exhale as Callie continued to explain herself. This was the part that was so infuriating to her.

Yes, Callie had a right, as a mother, to freak out when her child was in danger. But Arizona had a right, as her girlfriend, to be listened to. And Callie had summarily denied her that right. "And Arizona," Callie said, shaking her head. "Every single second of every single day since then, I have wanted to call you and apologize." Arizona looked at her girlfriend, pain in both of their eyes. Why hadn't Callie called her? If she had wanted to, what had stopped her? Why had she forced Arizona to be miserable for days on end? "Callie, why...why didn't you?" Arizona asked, her voice small. "Because I've already put you through so much, Arizona!" Callie exclaimed, her voice suggesting that she was holding back tears. "I mean, I've rejected you outright on more than one occasion, but I know that I also shut you down in other ways, and I…" Callie just shook her head and stared at the ceiling. "Haven't you had enough?! You are always fighting for me, and I just figured...I figured that you've had enough." Arizona looked down and sighed. She had had enough. Which was why she was determined that this had to be the absolute last time. But it was so healing for her to see that Callie recognized it without needing to be prompted. That Callie wasn't entirely oblivious. It gave Arizona a lot of hope that they could work through it, that they could get to where they needed to be. "And so," Callie said, finishing up her story. "And so I was in Miami, and Aria talked some sense into me. Said that if you love me, that...that maybe you have it within you to forgive me and um, and take me back." Arizona closed her eyes and swallowed, silently thanking the heavens that Callie had a sister. Aria had done a lot in terms of convincing Callie to give Arizona a try in the first place, and now, apparently, Aria had also had a major role in stitching them back together again. Arizona really needed to meet this woman. "Please Arizona," Callie whispered after several, long moments of quiet. "Please say you'll take me back." Arizona took a deep breath and slowly looked back up at her girlfriend. Callie's voice sounded more desperate than Arizona had ever heard, and there were silent tears streaming down Callie's cheeks. Arizona smiled sadly at the woman sitting across the room from her. Of course she would take her back. She was the love of her life. She really didn't have a choice b ut to take her back. And that thought frightened Arizona. Because even though she was telling herself that she wouldn't take Callie back unless Callie promised her forever, deep down she wasn't sure she could hold herself to that. Deep down, she was pretty sure she would take Callie back no matter what. So Arizona chewed on her lip pensively. That wasn't healthy. She needed to learn to respect herself more. "Arizona, please say something," Callie begged after Arizona remained silent for several more seconds. Arizona released an anxious breath. How did she communicate what she wanted, what she needed, to Callie? "Callie," she spoke up finally, trying to make her voice sound resolute and determined. "I love you. And I want to be with you." Visible relief washed over Callie's face at those words, so Arizona was quick to follow them up, before her girlfriend got the wrong idea. "But I need some promises from you. I need assurance that things are going to be different." "Anything," Callie said immediately. "Arizona, I'll do anything." Arizona swallowed. "Okay," she said, deciding to take Callie at her word. "Then I need you to stop treating me like a kid." "Arizona," Callie said, instantly shaking her head, "I don't—" "You do," Arizona said firmly. "You make decisions without asking me, you try to protect me from things that I don't need protection from, and you act like I'm too young to know what I think." "Arizona," Callie said, trying to disagree. "I know myself, Callie," Arizona said, not letting Callie speak. "Maybe when you were my age, you were out partying, trying to figure yourself out, but I have already figured myself out. And so when I say that I love you, when I say that you are the one for me and that I'm in this, I mean it." "But, Arizona—" "Oh don't even say it, Callie," Arizona snapped agitatedly, cutting off her girlfriend again. "I already know what you're

gonna say. You're gonna say that I only think I mean it, but that I'm too young to actually know that I mean it. And that is just…" Arizona paused, shaking her head in frustration. "That is just absolute b ullshit, Callie! And, and just...just no! You are not allowed to think that anymore. It is against the rules. You don't get to think that, you don't get to say that, and you don't get to act with that as your premise. I will not tolerate it, Callie. It is not allowed." At this point, Arizona was yelling animatedly, and Callie was just staring at her, wide-eyed. "Okay?" Arizona asked, annoyed, when Callie just sat there. Callie nodded ever so slightly. "Okay," Arizona said. "Moving along. Next up, we have Sofia." "Arizona," Callie shook her head, her eyes warning the blonde to leave it alone. "Sofia," Arizona repeated resolutely. Callie was going to talk about this whether she wanted to or not. "I know that I am not her mother. I am not trying to be her mother. She already has two mothers, and that is more than enough. But Callie, it is absolutely ridiculous for a three-year-old to have a relationship with an adult, and for the three-year-old to have all the power in it. She cannot be the one in charge in the relationship. She is three. And right now, she has already figured out that if she doesn't listen to me, nothing happens. Not a damn thing, because I have no authority over her. You have...you have made it so that I am not allowed to scold her. I am not allowed to punish her. If she throws a tantrum? Well," Arizona shrugged, "she throws a tantrum. And she gets to walk all over me, because I'm the stupid grown-up that she has complete control over." "Arizona," Callie objected, clearly straining to keep her voice calm. "I am trying to make it so you don't have to be responsible for—" "I know what you're trying to do, Callie," Arizona interrupted, "and it annoys the hell out of me. I mean, do you really think I'm that much of an idiot?" Callie just looked confused. "What?" "I am in a relationship with a thirty-four-year-old mother," Arizona stated simply. "Do you think that I never stopped and thought, 'Hey! Callie has a daughter. If I'm planning on being in a relationship with Callie for like...ever, I'll probably have to have a somewhat parental relationship with her kid'? I mean, seriously, Callie! Do you think I don't think about these things? My thought processing extends just a little b it beyond what color panties to put on in the morning!" "Arizona, I—" "And I also know that you're doing it for Sofia's sake, so if I were to leave, she'd be losing a friend, and not a parent, and that just…" Arizona growled and curled her hands into fists. "That just really pisses me off, Callie. Because I am not going anywhere. And I don't know how many times I have to tell you that. And not to get all pissy about it, but you are in no position to protect against me leaving because you're the one who freaking left!" "Can I say something?" Callie asked, looking rather peeved herself. "No," Arizona said flatly. "You cannot say something. I am not done." When Callie glared at her, all Arizona did was raise her eyebrows and shrug. It was true—she wasn't done talking yet. "So again," Arizona said, perfectly okay with Callie being annoyed or upset—she really didn't care, "I am not asking to be Sofia's mom. What I am asking is for some basic respect as your partner. Okay? You are her mom. You make the decisions about her health and her education and what values you want to instill in her. You set the rules about what she eats and what TV she watches and when she goes to bed. That is all fine and good, and I am not asking to make those decisions with you. What I am asking you for is the authority to enforce those rules. Because Callie, it is not good for her to have an adult in her life that she can manipulate so easily. And if we have our own kids someday, and they look at their older sister and see her disregarding what one of their mothers says? That is...that is simply notokay with me." Arizona paused for a moment, and Callie just looked at her, appearing rather stunned. "You've…" Callie said, clearly surprised. "You've really given this some thought...haven't you?" "Yes!" Arizona exclaimed emphatically, grateful that Callie was finally beginning to notice that. "I think these things through, Callie! I don't know why you think that just because I'm young and blonde, I'm somehow incapable of having a rational, adult thought!" "I have never said that!" Callie cried defensively. "When did I ever—" "No, you haven't said it," Arizona agreed, "but you've certainly acted like it."

Callie looked taken aback, and Arizona just hung her head, taking a moment to recollect herself. "Callie," Arizona said, her voice much more calm and lower in volume. "I understand that this is challenging, because we do have a rather major age difference. We'd be fooling ourselves if we thought it would never be an issue. And I know that at times, I must seem like a kid to you, because I obviously have fewer life experiences than you, and sometimes I do act immaturely. I am young. But this is not a teacher/student relationship. You are not my mother or my big sister. You are my girlfriend." "Arizona, I know that." "And I know that you know that," Arizona nodded. "And most of the time, it's not a big deal. Most of the time, I do feel like you see me as your equal, and things are fine. But there are these certain areas, like my ability to commit long-term or my relationship with Sofia, where I just feel disrespected." "Arizona—" "And then there are other times," Arizona continued, "where you just...you just ignore me, Callie. You forget that there are two people in this relationship. You start thinking that you're a mother of two daughters instead of one, and you don't listen. And your decision a couple weeks ago, to end our relationship, was one of those decisions. And I just...I just can't be in a relationship like that." "Arizona," Callie said, her voice filled with dread and her eyes filled with fear. "What are you...what are you saying?" Arizona swallowed. This was the part where she didn't know what to say. This was the part where she needed promises from Callie, promises that she really didn't know how to obtain. "Callie, I'm saying that things are going to have to be different." "Okay," Callie nodded. "You're not allowed to leave again." "Okay." "You are not allowed to question my commitment to you, or to think that I'm too young to make a commitment to you." "Okay." "You are not allowed to leave me out of discussions, or quit on me, or treat me like a kid." "Okay." "And you're gonna...you're gonna stick with me forever. We are going to continue to date for an appropriate amount of time. And then you are going to ask me to marry you, I am going to say yes, and we are going to spend the rest of our lives together." Callie's eyes bulged out of her head at what Arizona was asking. So, for good measure, Arizona quickly added, "And I would love to have children with you someday, but I guess that's something we could discuss later." Callie just sat on her sofa, gaping at Arizona from across the room. If Arizona hadn't been so terrified of Callie saying no, she probably would have found it funny. Callie looked like a fish out of water. "Ariz—Arizona," Callie finally breathed out, her shock apparent in her voice. "I know it sounds crazy, Callie," Arizona said. "But I'm serious. You're the love of my life. There is no doubt in my mind that I want to be with you forever. And I just...I just can't take the uncertainty of not knowing whether you are absolutely, one hundred percent in this. Because I am so, so in this. I am so in this that it hurts." "Arizona," Callie sobbed, starting to cry in earnest. Arizona swallowed, not knowing what that meant. Was Callie crying because she was so moved by how much Arizona loved her? Or was she crying because she wasn't able to make such a drastic commitment? "Callie...I...Callie, why are you crying?" Arizona asked softly after a few moments, not able to take it any longer.

"Because I love you!" Callie said, her eyes red and puffy, her face an absolute mess of tears. "So are you...are you saying yes?" Arizona said, feeling hopeful and yet more anxious than she'd ever been in her life. She was essentially asking Callie to marry her. Callie just nodded, tears streaming down her face. "Yes. I love you, Arizona. Yes." Arizona's face broke into a massive grin, her heart feeling like it would burst straight out of her chest. "Well then come here," she said, holding her arms open. And Callie was in them in an instant, the brunette somehow able to get off her own coach and over to Arizona's in the blink of an eye. "I love you Callie," Arizona murmured into Callie's ear, now openly crying herself. "And I love you, too, Arizona," Callie sobbed. "I love you so, so much."

*Chapter 23*: Chapter 23
AN: Warning—I guess? This chapter is like riiiiiight on that T/M border in my opinion. Rather sexual (and more than a little awkward at the end lol), but I'm keeping it at T because I don't go into graphic detail by any means. Also, thank you for such a great response to my update storm this weekend! I am so thrilled that so many of you are enjoying this story, and you have no idea what all of your reviews mean to me. I smile every time that I see I have a reader talking to me, whether it's on FF, LJ, tumblr, or twitter. You guys are awesome! :) ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie smirked to herself as Arizona's voice became more insistent. She had her girlfriend right where she wanted her— writhing and panting and pleading beneath her. "Please, ple-please, Callie," Arizona begged, every word a struggle. "I-I need you to—" Callie bit down gently on Arizona's neck, and then moved her hand to that perfect spot, finally giving Arizona what she'd been asking for. And at that final touch, Arizona's eyes briefly widened in shock before slamming shut, her head being thrown back into her pillow and her mouth opening to release a silent scream. Callie smiled in satisfaction as her girlfriend rode out her high, happy to know that she had caused it. And watching Arizona, soaking in every detail, was the most wonderful privilege Callie could think of—nothing in the world was more beautiful than Arizona in the midst of ecstasy. "Thank you," Arizona murmured several seconds later, as her eyes slowly fluttered open. "Thank you, thank you, thank you." "Mmm, you're welcome," Callie hummed, gently turning Arizona onto her side and then snuggling up behind her. She reached down and pulled the blankets up to cover them, and then wrapped her arms firmly around her girlfriend, nuzzling into her hair and neck. "I love you, Arizona," she said, her voice just a faint whisper. "I love you too," Arizona said sleepily. "Thank you for that...I'm sorry, I know you didn't want to…" "Shh, sweetie," Callie said, her hand reaching upwards to lightly caress Arizona's breast. "It was perfect. You were perfect. Now go to sleep." "Mmk," Arizona responded, her grogginess readily apparent in her voice. It was adorable. And Callie couldn't help but smile when, a few seconds later, she was greeted with the soft sound of Arizona's gentle snores. Apparently Callie had tired her poor baby out. But Callie, unlike Arizona, wasn't quite ready to sleep. She felt wired and disoriented from the travel and the time difference, and her head was spinning from the conversation she'd had with Arizona, from the commitments and promises that they'd made. After Callie had gotten off the phone with Arizona's mother, she had waited patiently on the bench, just as Barbara had instructed. A few minutes later, a Palace guard had shown up and escorted her inside. And Callie had been stunned by what she'd seen. The White House was gorgeous and elegant, to be sure, but the Élysée Palace was just something else entirely. The eighteenth-century mansion was ornate beyond belief, and Callie had felt as though she was inside a museum—afraid to move, afraid to breathe—lest she damage some priceless piece of French history. After being shown inside, Callie had been led to a gorgeous suite, and she'd been surprised to hear that it was Arizona's room, and that she could wait there until Arizona returned. And Callie felt a little guilty about this, but she'd wandered around a bit after the servant had left. Callie had poked around Arizona's bedroom and her eyes had widened at the sheer amount of new clothes Arizona had purchased—apparently the blonde had been trying to numb her pain with retail therapy. And she also hadn't quite been able to resist the urge to snuggle up to Arizona's pillow, relief flooding her senses as she inhaled the familiar scent of Arizona's shampoo. But now Callie didn't have to behave surreptitiously to experience the comfort of her lover's scent, because Arizona was lying in her arms. And Callie didn't even have a choice when it came to smelling that wonderful coconut and lime fragrance, because Arizona's golden blonde hair was only an inch away. Callie shuddered slightly. She couldn't believe she'd almost lost this. She couldn't believe she'd almost given Arizona up for good. As Arizona continued to sleep soundly in Callie's arms, Callie's mind was left to replay their conversation over and over

again. And as she re-experienced every look that had been on Arizona's face, as she re-heard every word that had come out of Arizona's mouth, Callie was left bewildered. How had she underestimated her girlfriend so much? How had she misjudged Arizona's maturity level so grievously? Sure, Arizona had her moments when it was very apparent that she was twenty-one. Storming out of Callie's office after telling her to go to hell and immediately assuming Callie had made the sex tape were two instances that came to mind. But then, didn't Callie have moments of immaturity as well? Didn't everyone? But as Arizona had stood in that living room and lectured Callie, refusing to pull any punches, Callie had been blown away. Arizona loved her. Arizona was committed to her. Arizona had thought seriously about a future with her, and she wasn't fazed in the least. She was absolutely on board with helping to raise Sofia. She was fine with the idea of never experimenting, never being with anyone but Callie. She really did know what she wanted for her life And what she wanted for her life—who she wanted—was Callie. Callie closed her eyes and swallowed at that thought. She couldn't believe it. This wondrous young woman wanted to spend the rest of her life with her. This perfect, dimpled, adorable angel had forgiven her and had just promised her forever. Callie didn't feel like she deserved it—not by a long shot—but she was filled with joy and awe all the same. Arizona was hers. Really, really hers. It felt incredible to realize that. And it felt incredible to just hold Arizona in her arms again. After their tearful reunion on the couch, Arizona had led her to the bedroom and gently laid her down. That in and of itself was unusual, so Callie had had to work hard to restrain herself—usually she was the one pushing Arizona onto the bed, she was the one taking off all of Arizona's clothes, she was the one giving Arizona the first climax of the night. But after the conversation they'd just had, Callie had felt the need to let Arizona take the lead, to let Arizona retain control. So she'd given herself over completely to the blonde, letting Arizona do whatever she pleased. And then when it had finally been Callie's turn, when she had finally been given the opportunity to touch her girlfriend's gorgeous body, Arizona had stopped her from travelling to her favorite destination. Which was why, as Arizona had been drifting off to sleep, she had started to apologize. Because after Callie had sufficiently recovered from what Arizona had so pleasurably done to her, she'd immediately started heading southward. She'd been eager to taste her girlfriend again, eager to get lost between her thighs. But Arizona's arms had brought her to a halt. "Callie, I...I really need you to hold me tonight," Arizona had said. "I just...I just want you up here with me." And so, more than happy to oblige the blonde, Callie had kissed her way back up Arizona's body. She'd gathered her girlfriend in her arms and had cradled her, showering her ears, face, neck, and shoulders in kisses. And as much as Callie was still looking forward to going down on her girlfriend, Arizona's apology and the idea that Callie was disappointed with how they'd made love struck her as ridiculous. She'd loved burying her face in Arizona's neck. She'd loved the feeling of Arizona's breasts pressing intimately against her own. She would never tire of feeling Arizona's legs curl around hers as she held the blonde close. And while her tongue was eager to mimic what her fingers had just done, her fingers would never complain about being buried deep within the blonde. So no, Arizona had nothing to apologize for. And when Callie had said that it was perfect, she'd meant it. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie awoke with a confused frown on her face. She was lying in bed, but her arms were empty. Where Arizona's warm, perfect, naked body had just been, there was an empty space. Callie opened her eyes and looked sleepily around the room. Glancing at the clock, she realized that she hadn't dozed off for all that long—it had only been about forty-five minutes since they'd finished their love-making. And based on that, it wasn't terribly surprising that Arizona was awake—the blonde rarely fell asleep the moment she was done having sex, but when she did, her naps were short. But what was surprising was that Arizona was out of bed. As Callie had learned early on, the young woman was somewhat obsessive when it came to post-sex cuddling. Not that Callie minded. Rubbing her eyes, Callie let out a yawn and then closed her eyes, focusing on whether she could hear Arizona somewhere in the suite. And a few seconds later, she heard Arizona's voice drifting in from the living room. "Hey mom," Arizona said, apparently just beginning a phone conversation with her mother. "Do you have time to talk?" Callie swallowed and felt a little guilty at doing so, but she sat up in the bed, straining her ears to hear what Arizona was saying. She wanted to know what the blonde would tell Barbara about their relationship. And she felt even more guilty when she realized that she could hear Barbara as well—the blonde must have been video chatting with her mom on her laptop, not talking on her phone.

"Of course, sweetheart," Callie could hear Barbara saying. It didn't escape her notice that the elder Robbins sounded much more comfortable and much less cold when speaking to her own daughter. Apparently, Barbara really did still feel uneasy around Callie. "Is Callie there? I hope you don't mind that I got her let into the Palace." "No, mom, not at all," Arizona said. "Well I just wasn't sure what you would want me to do, b ut I didn't want her to have to wander around Paris after such a long flight." "No, it was good that you let her in," Arizona insisted. "I would have come and let her in myself, but I was ignoring my phone. You know how Gigi demands attention." "Oh don't get me started on that woman," Barbara said with disdain. Callie was intrigued by that—what did Barbara have against the French First Lady? "Oh mom, don't hold a grudge," Arizona said in a somewhat teasing tone. "You guys were broken up when he was stationed here. And that was like...a million years ago! He was eighteen!" "Arizona, you try having to b e civil with a person that Callie has slept with, and then tell me not to hold a grudge." Callie's eyes widened and her lips formed an intrigued smile as she listened to the conversation. The President of the United States had slept with the French First Lady way back when? Drama! "Uh, mom," Arizona said a second later. "I think you're forgetting that Sofia's dad lives right next door to Callie. They have a duplex. And it's not a big deal—I don't even think about it." Callie smiled at that, pleased to hear that Mark's frequent presence didn't seem to pain Arizona in the slightest. Because even though Callie and Mark weren't getting along too well at present—and he was sure to be furious with her regarding her latest actions—Mark was Sofia's father. He was part of the package, too. "Oh that's different," Barbara said dismissively of her daughter's argument. "That was a one night stand, and from the look on her face at b reakfast that Saturday, I'm pretty sure she was ab out to tell me it was a drunken one night stand. Whereas your father had a full-b lown love affair! And somehow, she manages to b ring up how fantastic the sex was every time I see her!" "Mom…" "We'd b een dating since we were fourteen years old, Arizona! He b roke up with me when he was deployed b ecause he thought it wasn't fair to me, and what does he do two seconds later? Hops into b ed with some French whore." "Mom!" Arizona scolded. "She's not a whore. She's a kind, caring woman." "Oh, b ullshit. She's an attention-loving, gold-digging little slut is what she is," Barbara countered. "And I just know that she's made you her little pet for the sole purpose of irritating me. Her way of taunting me, as if you were her daughter. Well, news flash to her—you're not her daughter. Daniel is mine, and she can go to hell for all I care," Barbara finished dramatically. "Evil French b itch," was muttered a few second later. Callie smirked and stifled a chuckle. Now she knew where Arizona's spunk came from. And apparently, when speaking with family, Barbara dropped the prim and proper act entirely. "Anyways, mom," Arizona said, attempting to steer the conversation away from the sinister French First Lady and her evil, whoring ways, "thank you for getting Callie inside." "You're welcome, Arizona," Barbara responded, still sounding more than a little bitter. "Is um…" Barbara paused, "Is...well...well, sweetie, how is everything?" Arizona sounded as if she took a deep breath, and Callie found herself taking one along with her girlfriend. She was more than a little curious to hear her girlfriend's take on the whole situation. "Things are um, things are good, mom," Arizona said. "We um...well…" Arizona drifted off thoughtfully. "Well your attempts to get to know her weren't wasted, because she's gonna be sticking around for quite a while." "So you've patched things up?" "Yeah," Arizona confirmed. "I um...well, we had a conversation and I was able to get a lot off of my chest, and—"

"And can I assume from the state of your hair that you've already had make-up sex?" Barbara asked, interrupting Arizona. Callie's eyes went wide. Apparently Barbara really was much less formal once you got to know her. "Mom!" Arizona whined, sounding embarrassed. "What?" Barbara said defensively. "Make-up sex is important." "And also private," Arizona added pointedly. "Okay, fine" Barbara huffed, sounding to Callie like she was a little disappointed. "So you talked?" "Yes." "And you've worked things out?" "Yes." "But Arizona," Barbara said, her voice somewhat questioning. "You're making it sound as if...I mean...things can't just b e b ack to normal with one conversation and a roll in the hay." "Mom…" Arizona sighed. "Well sweetie, you've got a lot of trust to reb uild." "It's not so much trust," Arizona said thoughtfully. Callie sat up a little straighter as her girlfriend began speaking. This was the part she really wanted to hear—what Arizona thought would be necessary to get things back on track. "Because I guess I don't feel like she betrayed me," Arizona continued. "I mean, mom, her daughter was threatened. And yeah, she overreacted, because we obviously can do things to protect Sofia. But I honestly believe she felt like Sofia was in imminent danger. And if someone held a gun to my head and told you to leave dad or I'd be raped or killed or whatever, you'd just leave dad, no questions asked. And dad would understand. I'm your kid. So even though it was awful, I...I never questioned that she loved me." Callie released a shuddering breath as Arizona spoke. She was again stunned by just how well Arizona understood her. And she was also relieved that Arizona knew she was loved. Even with the hell Callie had put her through, Arizona had never doubted Callie's love. And that meant so, so much. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona sighed as she closed her laptop. Her mom had texted her, inquiring about how things were going with Callie, so she'd slipped out of bed and snuck in a quick video chat. And after accidentally riling her mother up about her father's long-ago fling with Gigi, she'd managed to get her mother up to speed on her relationship with the gorgeous professor. She'd explained that she didn't really feel like what Callie had done constituted a betrayal of trust, and that she really felt as though all they needed was time. Arizona had put mind over matter and forgiven Callie, and now they just needed to b e together. Yes, they had things to work on, and yes, she was sure they would both make mistakes. But Arizona sincerely felt like they'd overcome a major hurdle. And she trusted Callie. She knew that Callie would do her best to keep her promises. Callie would be better at not treating Arizona like a child, and she wouldn't ever leave. Taking a deep breath—Arizona still felt incredibly emotionally drained—she rose from the couch and made her way back to the bedroom, letting herself in through the door which she had left half open. And she couldn't help but smile at what awaited her. Callie was just as Arizona had left her, still lying in the bed, still asleep. Except for one thing. Callie had turned over, and was now facing away from the door. And in the process of turning over, Callie must have inadvertently kicked off the covers. Which was why Arizona was smiling—she could now see absolutely every inch of Callie's glorious ass. Her eyes glued to that gorgeous caramel skin, Arizona got back into the bed, careful to be quiet so as to not wake her slumbering girlfriend. But apparently Callie hadn't been sleeping very deeply, because when the bed dipped ever so slightly with Arizona's weight, Callie stirred. "Hey," Arizona said. "Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you."

Callie turned over to face Arizona, her hands reaching down to pull the sheet back up. Arizona was grateful when Callie left the sheet low enough that it didn't entirely hide her breasts. "Hi," Callie greeted, smiling at her. "So um," Callie said, her eyes flashing up and down Arizona's body. "You uh, you had quite a few terms back in there," she said, nodding towards the living room. "So um, so I think it's only fair that I get some as well." "Um…okay?" Arizona said, at a loss as to what Callie would ask for. And why were those brown eyes full of mischief? "Good," Callie nodded, closing the few inches between them and snuggling Arizona close. "In that case, I propose that you never get to put clothes on again." Arizona snorted and rolled her eyes, an embarrassed "oh geez…" escaping from her lips. Callie smirked, looking quite amused with herself, and immediately started undressing Arizona, removing the t-shirt and shorts Arizona had put on in order to talk to her mother. "Mmm, much better," Callie hummed as soon as Arizona was completely naked again. She leaned in and laid a flirtatious kiss on Arizona's lips. "So where were you, anyways?" Callie asked. "What's with the clothes?" "Oh, my mom texted me and—OH!" Arizona gasped in surprise when Callie grabbed her butt. "What was that?" Callie asked innocently, as if she had no idea why Arizona had stopped speaking mid-sentence. "She um," Arizona started again. "She texted me and um…" Arizona drifted off, her eyes rolling back into her head. Callie was now stroking her bottom. And sure, an actual spanking was neither here nor there to Arizona. But this? Callie gently caressing her ass? Arizona was a total goner when Callie did this. "What did she text you about, sweetie?" Callie asked, still playing coy. "She um, um, she….unnhh," Arizona whimpered, burrowing her face into Callie's neck. What Callie was doing was driving her crazy. "Arizona, sweetie, is something distracting you?" Callie said, her voice suggesting that she was trying not to laugh. "Mm hmm," Arizona nodded, her mouth slightly opening against Callie's neck in pleasure. "Really? What's distracting you?" "You're rubbing my butt," Arizona said simply. Duh. "I see," Callie said, again sounding pleased with herself. "And do you like it when I do that?" The answer, of course, was yes. Arizona didn't quite understand Callie's obsession with her ass, but she didn't discourage it. And while she merely tolerated the actual spanking, the occasional, isolated smack was nice, grabbing and squeezing was even better, and this soft, caressing that Callie did? Well...that was just awesome. But Callie was teasing her. So Arizona teased back, and instead of saying yes, she merely shrugged noncommittally. Which was apparently a b ad idea. "What was that?" Callie said, feigning insult, before she mercilessly pinched Arizona's butt. Arizona involuntarily jumped at the pinch, and before she could react properly, Callie was all over her, pinching and tickling. "Stop stop stop stop stopppppp!" Arizona squealed breathlessly, futilely attempting to scramble to the other side of the bed, away from Callie. But Callie had superior positioning, with Arizona now on her back and Callie hovering over her, and the brunette showed no signs of letting up. "What was that?" Callie asked again, now openly laughing. "Ca—Callie! Stop! Please!" Arizona begged, being driven insane by the tickling. Callie seemed to be everywhere, all at once. And she was relentless. "Callie!" "What was that?" Callie asked once again, making her terms for surrender abundantly clear.

"I love it, I love it, I love it!" Arizona gasped quickly, her arms and legs flailing everywhere in an attempt to get Callie the hell off. But thankfully, she had said the magic words, and Callie soon relented her assault. "That's what I thought," Callie nodded smugly, briefly rolling Arizona onto her side, giving Arizona's butt a firm smack, and then positioning Arizona on her back again. Arizona sighed deeply and closed her eyes, attempting to get her breathing back to normal, taking a moment to refill her oxygen-deprived lungs with air. She had always been very ticklish. And thankfully, Callie didn't tend to exploit that fact all that often. But when she did, Arizona was absolutely helpless. "Ugh, I hate you," Arizona muttered as Callie snuggled into her, the brunette resting half of her weight on Arizona's body. Callie snorted and leaned in, asking for a kiss. Arizona rolled her eyes and gave her one. "Still hate me?" Callie asked. Arizona shook her head and leaned in again, this time kissing Callie more deeply. But she couldn't keep a straight face when she rolled on her side and immediately felt Callie's hand on her ass again. "Callie!" "What, I like your butt..." Callie said defensively, attempting to restart the kiss. "I know, but—" "It's so cute," Callie said, beginning to lay a series of short, sweet kisses on Arizona's lips. "All soft and adorable." "Callie…" "Just because you don't like my ass doesn't mean—" "What are you talking about?" Arizona asked, incredulous that she was having this conversation. They'd just finished having one of the most serious conversations they'd ever had (and probably would ever have), and now they were talking about butts? What were they, twelve? "I like you butt, Callie," she said. "I'm just...I don't know," Arizona shrugged. "I'm just more of a boobs girl." Arizona's eyes briefly drifted downwards to the absolutely exquisite pair of breasts that her girlfriend possessed. Yep. Total boobs girl. She reached out and gave one of Callie's breasts a gentle squeeze to reinforce her point. "But, Callie, really," Arizona sighed, reaching around to also give her girlfriend's butt a quick, reassuring squeeze. "I do like it," she said, forcing herself to get over how absurd this conversation was. Callie looked in Arizona's eyes for a moment before nodding. "Okay," she said, apparently convinced. "Okay," Arizona nodded back, pulling Callie back in for a tender kiss. Now that all the silliness was over, she was feeling ready for another round of actual sex. And, apparently, so was Callie. Because after kissing for several more seconds, Callie started to massage Arizona's thighs and tease her breasts. "Arizona," Callie murmured as she kissed her way towards Arizona's womanhood. "Is it okay if I go down on you now?" Arizona nodded. She had felt an emotional need for Callie to hold her the first time around, but now oral sex sounded fantastic. "Yeah," Arizona said, squirming as Callie continued her descent. "I uh, I would definitely be down with that." At Arizona's attempt at humor, Callie froze, all of her movement halted. "What?" Arizona asked, lifting herself up to peer down at her girlfriend. Callie's eyebrows were raised, and she was giving Arizona a less than impressed look. "Really?" "That bad?" Arizona asked sheepishly. Callie nodded. "That was like...the lamest thing I've ever heard." Arizona huffed and dropped her head back down on the pillow.

"I mean, I'm not trying to be critical or anything," Callie continued, "but that was just..." "Oh, will you just shut up and get on with it already?" Arizona interrupted, feeling annoyed and more than a little embarrassed. It had just been a stupid joke; she hadn't been intending to start another discussion. "Yes ma'am," Callie replied instantaneously, apparently sensing Arizona's frustration. And within a second, Callie's mouth was exactly where Arizona wanted it. Arizona suddenly found it very hard to remember what she had been annoyed about.

*Chapter 24*: Chapter 24
AN: To those of you who asked how many more chapters, I'm not really sure. Probably more than 5 and less than 10, but don't hold me to it. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "Sooo…." Arizona said, smirking as she peered down at Callie. The brunette was still lying with her eyes closed, still coming down from her high, still struggling to land safely back on earth. And Arizona wanted her to hurry up with that landing, because she was hungry. And not the sexy kind of hungry, either. They had just had hours and hours of what Arizona was sure qualified as epic make-up sex, and now she wanted food. All the exercise had made her hungry. "Mmm, what?" Callie mumbled, her eyes refusing to open. "Sooo…." Arizona repeated, softly caressing her lover's face. "I'm gonna need some food one of these days. Do you wanna go out? Or you just wanna get something from the kitchen?" Arizona secretly hoped that Callie would want to go out—it was a gorgeous, late spring evening in Paris. It didn't get much better than that. And while the Palace chef was amazing—even better than the White House—to Arizona, there was no way one could possibly improve upon going out to eat in the French capital. Even if it was just to a casual outdoor café. Arizona knew some Americans didn't adore French food as much as she did—Alex referred to the cuisine as "prissy" and "pretentious"—but Arizona could never get enough. "Hmm…" Callie sighed, before finally opening her eyes. "Hey there, pretty lady," Arizona greeted the brunette, welcoming her back to reality with a quick peck on those perfect red lips. "Hey," Callie smiled sleepily. "Soooooo food?" Arizona asked perkily, bouncing ever so slightly and smiling encouragingly at her girlfriend. "Are there any good burger places around here?" Callie asked casually. Arizona just gave her girlfriend a look. One simply did not come to Paris and eat a hamburger. "What?" Callie asked defensively. "A burger, Callie?" she asked. "Really? You're in Paris and you want a b urger?" Callie huffed and shrugged her shoulders, sitting up in bed slightly. "Well I don't want some stupid, snobby, frilly thing made out of snails and frog legs and weird flavors that I've never heard of, if that's what you're asking." Arizona just sighed and rolled her eyes at her girlfriend. Apparently Callie was in the same boat as Alex when it came to French food. She really didn't get why some people had this idea stuck in their heads that French people just sat around and ate snails all day. "Callie, you could just...I don't know, get a croque-monsieur?" Arizona said, suggesting something rather tame that she knew Callie could have no possib le objection to. "A what what?" Callie asked. "It's a ham and cheese sandwich, Callie," Arizona explained, wondering how someone as sophisticated as Callie could be so dumb about French things. "They usually put this amazing Gruyère on it, and you can even get it with—" "Can they make it with cheddar?" Callie asked, making a face. "Seriously?" Arizona asked, raising an eyebrow. Who was she planning dinner with—Callie, or Sofia? "Because if they made it with cheddar, that actually sounds edible." Arizona just sighed, shaking her head at her impossible girlfriend. "I don't know. We can ask. But I'm sure I can find you something that you'd like, Little Miss Picky."

~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie hummed in satisfaction as she took another bite out of her burger. So good. Across the table from her was a scowling Arizona. "I still can't believe you're eating a hamburger in Paris," the blonde sulked. Callie sent her girlfriend another smirk before sticking a French fry in her mouth. "And you said they wouldn't have it on the menu." Arizona rolled her eyes. "I guess I didn't quite realize what these restaurants had to stoop to in order to attract closeminded American tourists." "Hey, you're the President's daughter," Callie teased. "You should be more patriotic. Order a hamburger next time." "Wasn't the hamburger invented in Germany?" Arizona asked skeptically, taking a bite out of Callie-didn't-want-to-knowwhat. "Actually, its origins are disputed," Callie informed her. "But you'd be an idiot to argue that it wasn't perfected in America." "I see…" Arizona replied, an amused look on her face. Callie just chuckled and smiled as she looked at her girlfriend. She didn't actually hate French food—it wasn't her favorite, but she didn't mind it. But the hilariously sour look that had appeared on Arizona's face when Callie had asked for a hamburger had just been too much to resist. From that point on, Callie had been dead-set on a burger. Arizona was so cute when she was annoyed; it was like teasing a baby kitten. The two women were sitting at a quiet outdoor café, not too far away from the Palace. And Callie had to admit—it was the perfect night. The air was warm and the skies were clear, and Paris was living up to its reputation—the atmosphere was decidedly romantic. But even if the weather hadn't been cooperating and they'd been forced to eat inside, Callie would still have been thrilled just to be there—she was so happy to be sharing a meal at a restaurant with Arizona. She was so happy just to be doing something that normal couples got to do. In fact, this was actually their first time at a restaurant together. And while there was a crowd of people steadily growing—a few members of the paparazzi, along with some random passersby with their phones out —the Secret Service was doing a good job of keeping people at bay. Both of them were having a good time. "So um, how long can you stay?" Arizona asked after a momentary, but comfortable, lull in the conversation. "Gigi and I have a meeting with Chanel tomorrow morning, and you would be more than welcome to join us. And then," Arizona said, her eyes starting to sparkle, "we're going to Versailles—Gigi always gets me into the rooms that are closed to the public. But we'll be back by the evening for sure," Arizona said, looking even more excited, "so I could, you know, show off my gorgeous, sexy woman at all of the most exclusive nightclubs in Paris." "Oh, um," Callie said, raising her eyebrows and eating another French fry. She hadn't exactly thought about vacationing in Paris. Her plans had consisted of getting Arizona back, and then...well, she hadn't really gotten any further. "And then, the rest is up to you," Arizona continued on. "I'm here a lot, so I've seen most of the museums. But if you haven't been, I don't mind going again. But if you're up for it, what I'd really love to do is show you around the rest of France. Giverny, which is um, where Monet lived, is so beautiful, and they have this perfect little B&B that I love staying at. And then, depending on how much time you have, we could do the beach at Normandy, Nice, Marseille, Bordeaux, Ly—" "Arizona," Callie interrupted, before the blonde started listing off every French city Callie had ever heard of. "I um, I...I can't stay long," she said apologetically. "I sorta left spur of the moment. Sofia's in Miami with Aria." "Oh," Arizona said, quickly taking another bite of her meal. Callie could tell that Arizona was trying to hide her disappointment, but she wasn't quite succeeding. "I'm sorry," Callie said, feeling a pang of guilt. Arizona had sworn up and down that she didn't mind that Callie was older, had a daughter, and couldn't be spontaneous. And as a result of their conversation earlier that day, Callie was learning to genuinely believe her. But she still felt bad. She still felt like Arizona deserved someone carefree, someone who could just go with the flow. "It's okay," Arizona said, shaking her head and taking a sip of her water. "When um...when do you need to go back?" Callie shrugged slightly. "I don't really know. I uh, I haven't exactly spoken to Mark…"

Alarm registered in Arizona's eyes. "Callie…" she said cautiously. "Does Mark even know you're here? Does he know that you left his daughter with her aunt and spontaneously flew to Paris to get back together with the girlfriend he wanted you to break up with in the first place?" Callie swallowed. When phrased like that, it sounded pretty bad. "Um...no," Callie said sheepishly. Callie had left Miami late in the evening and flown through the night. And even though the day was almost over in France, it wasn't back in D.C. Mark wasn't scheduled to get off work until the evening east coast time, which meant he and Lexie wouldn't be Skyping with Sofia for several more hours. "Not unless he's um...paying attention to TMZ or whatever," she said, nodding towards the ever-expanding crowd. Callie made a mental note that it was a good thing they were finishing up their meal—word must have gotten out that they were there, because the number of photographers seemed to be growing at an increasing rate. "Callie!" Arizona smiled in disbelief, a nervous laugh on her lips. "He's gonna be...he's gonna be really pissed at you!" "Yeah, I know," Callie muttered, eating the last of her burger. Mark was going to be upset with her. But what else was new? He'd been upset with her ever since the sex tape. "So do you need to go home like...right away then?" Arizona asked. "Well…" Callie sighed thoughtfully. She didn't want to be away from Sofia for very long, but she also didn't want to just up and leave Paris now that she had Arizona back. She wanted the blonde to feel loved and special. "I um, I guess we could do the day that you had planned for tomorrow." Callie had to admit, she was a little intrigued at the prospect of getting VIP treatment at Chanel, and she had always enjoyed visiting Versailles when she'd vacationed in France with her parents. And the nightclubs? Well, the thought of that made Callie feel old, but she knew Arizona would enjoy it. And if Arizona was willing to take on the life and responsibilities of a thirty-four-year-old, well then, Callie could survive putting on a skanky nightclub outfit and going out on the town like a twenty-one-year-old. Plus, it wouldn't be a total loss—she was fairly certain that at least part of the night would be spent on the dancefloor with that perfect ass grinding into her. "Yeah?" Arizona asked hopefully. "The nightclubs, too?" "Yeah," Callie nodded. "But um, then I should probably head back the next morning." "Okay," Arizona agreed, looking happy that Callie could stay for the next day. But Callie was certain she could also see some disappointment in those gorgeous blue eyes, sadness that Callie couldn't stay longer. "Arizona, I'm really sorry," Callie said insistently. "I promise, once everything calms down and I have Sofia squared away, I...I promise, I will take you on the romantic vacation you deserve. We can come back here, or Spain, or—" "Mmm, a couple of Sangrias and you in a bikini sounds rather nice," the blonde smiled sexily. "Plus I'd get to hear you speak lots and lots of Spanish." Callie chuckled at that. She didn't get what the big deal was, but it drove Arizona wild whenever she whispered Spanish in the blonde's ear during lovemaking. "But really, Callie," Arizona added a moment later, her face sobering slightly, "it's okay. I'm not upset." Callie sighed, and then nodded in resignation. She really did want to give the world to Arizona. She wanted to shower her with love and attention. But she had responsibilities. She had a job, and a child, and a co-parent who was about to become very angry. She couldn't spend the summer travelling all over the globe like Arizona could. "But um, back to Sofia and Miami," Arizona said, finishing off her last bite of food and waving the server over for the check. "Do you want me to have an agent sent down there right now? Or do you think she's fine until we get there?" "Oh," Callie said, shaking her head in objection to the idea that they were returning to Miami the day after next. "Arizona, you don't have to cut your vacation short. I don't expect you to—" "Callie, I'm coming with you..." Arizona said, scoffing slightly in disbelief and looking at the brunette like she was crazy. "But—" "I only decided to come here after you broke up with me," Arizona explained. "I do usually come here for the first several weeks of summer, but I wasn't going to this year because I didn't want to be away from you."

"Really?" Callie asked, feeling rather touched at how devoted Arizona felt. "Arizona, I have...I have work to do. Research conferences and, and—" "So I'll go with you," Arizona shrugged. "I can take Sofia sightseeing while you're working, and then when you're done with your conference for the day, we can...I don't know...do whatever you want." Callie raised her eyebrows in surprise. Arizona wanted to accompany her to accounting research conferences and watch her kid? How in the world would that be fun for the blonde? How was that worth giving up a vacation in Europe? "Uh, sweetie, you really don't have to do that...I know you must have better things to—" "Stop trying to get rid of me," Arizona said softly, looking down at her plate. "What?" Callie asked. She wasn't trying to get rid of Arizona; she was just trying to preserve Arizona's fun. "No, Arizona," Callie sighed, leaning over the table to rest a hand on top of Arizona's. "I love having you around," she reassured her girlfriend. "I love being with you. I just..I just don't want you to get bored. Not when you could be...I don't know, going to all of those cities you were listing off." Arizona looked back up, those blue eyes intensely connecting with brown. "Callie, when are you gonna understand that I don't think you're boring? That if given the choice between being by myself in France, or with you in a cardboard box, I'd pick the cardboard box? I mean, did you listen to me at all this afternoon?" Callie slumped back in her chair, closed her eyes, and then nodded in silent agreement. She had to start remembering that while sure, Arizona enjoyed some fun now and then, the younger woman had made it clear that Callie and Sofia were her top priority. Callie had to really take what Arizona had said seriously. Starting now. "Okay," she said, opening her eyes and leaning forward to squeeze Arizona's hand. "Okay, well um, I have to go to San Diego in a few weeks, just for a few days. And um, I'm sure that Sofia would love seeing the zoo...if you're up for it?" Arizona smiled at the offer. "I'm definitely up for it. And I'd love to take her." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona sat on the couch, her feet up on the coffee table and her computer in her lap. She was watching her girlfriend, watching Callie pace around the living room, staring at her phone. "He's gonna kill me," Callie muttered. "Please don't take this as me being on his side," Arizona said cautiously. "But he is her father. It prob ab ly would have been good to let him know ahead of time." "Thank you, Arizona, I hadn't thought of that," Callie quipped, her voice dripping with sarcasm, as she continued to wear down the carpet. "Callie…" Arizona warned. She knew Callie was anxious, but she didn't feel like being snapped at. Because yes, she was overjoyed at the promises Callie had made her, but she was still absolutely emotionally fried. She didn't want any more conflict with the brunette, especially unnecessary conflict. And definitely not that night. "I'm sorry," Callie said automatically. "I'm just…" "You're nervous," Arizona said, setting her laptop on the coffee table. "Which is why you should just call him and get it over with!" Callie stopped still and sighed, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath. "Okay," she nodded, picking up her phone. "Do um," she said, looking up from the phone to Arizona. "Do you want me to put it on speaker so you can talk, too? I uh, I want to honor what I said earlier, about um, about not shutting you out of discussions. About being my partner." Arizona sat back ever so slightly in surprise at Callie's question. She'd been expecting to have to suffer through many more future fights with her girlfriend on the subject of treating her as an equal. But here Callie was, making good on her promise. "Uh, yes, that would be nice," Arizona said softly, feeling rather pleased that her message had gotten through to her stubborn girlfriend. "And don't worry, I won't over-step. I know the decisions are ultimately yours and Mark's." "You can still have an opinion, though," Callie said, taking a seat on the couch and then calling Mark, speaker on. "Lexie's pretty much a third and equal parent. And yes, she's been around since the beginning and you haven't. But...but you can still have an opinion."

Arizona started to smile, and opened her mouth to express her thanks at being included, when Mark answered the phone. "Hey Cal, what's up?" the surgeon said, sounding rather cheerful. "Hey Mark," Callie greeted. "Are you busy? You have time to talk?" "Sure. Lexie and I just gave this chick a ginormous ass. You wouldn't b elieve it. But yeah, I have some down time." "Okay, because um," Callie said, casting a nervous glance at Arizona. Arizona gave her a gentle, encouraging nod. "Because um, you're on speaker. I'm uh, I'm with Arizona." The line was silent for a little bit too long before Mark spoke again. "Uh, hey Blondie," he said. "I thought I heard on the news you were in France?" "Well um, I am in France," Arizona replied, figuring that she didn't need to hide that fact. Talking about Callie's presence in France, their rekindled relationship, and how things would affect Sofia was the entire point of this conversation. "And um, hi." She probably should have said that first. Mark was silent for another long moment, and Arizona reached out to squeeze Callie's hand, both to comfort Callie, and to comfort herself. "You know, my deductive reasoning skills might not b e the b est, Callie," he said. "But if you and Arizona are in the same room, and Arizona's in France, then—" "Yes, Mark, I am in France," Callie said, sounding annoyed. "Which would mean that…" "Sofia is still in Miami with my sister," Callie answered, supplying Mark with the answer to his question. Mark was quiet again, this time for quite a while, before he finally spoke up again, this time a growled "Callie…." "Mark, I—" Callie tried to defend herself. "Did you learn nothing from what happened?" Mark asked, already sounding agitated and emotional. "Do you not know that the second people find out you went to see her, our daughter is in danger again?!" "Mark," Arizona spoke up this time, "We spoke with the Secret Service right before we called you. A temporary agent is already on his way to Aria's house to be with Sofia for the time being, and once we get back there ourselves, I have every intention of transferring Cristina Yang from my detail to Sofia's. Sofia will always be within like...like ten feet of an armed agent. She will be ab solutely safe." "Arizona, that is just not good enough!" Mark said. "Do you know what you're doing to my family? Do you know that every time Callie and Sofia go out of the house, they're going to b e stalked b y photographers? That you're turning their lives— not to mention my life and Lexie's life—completely upside down?" "Mark..." Callie tried to interrupt, while Arizona just shifted in her seat slightly. It was times like this one that she really hated that she was the president's daughter. She had no desire to turn Callie's life upside down. All she wanted to do was love her and be with her, no fuss. But simply because of who she was, she brought a massive amount of baggage to the relationship. It didn't seem fair. "And for what?" Mark asked, not allowing Callie to speak. "Blondie, I know Cal's pretty hot now, b ut trust me, I know women's b odies. Her b oob s are gonna start sagging b efore you know it, and there's only so much I can do ab out that in my OR. And that's if she lets me." Arizona's jaw dropped open at how...how rude Mark was being, but before she could form the words to argue, Callie beat her to it. "Screw you, Mark!" Callie said angrily. "Arizona is not just in this relationship for my boobs." Arizona quickly nodded in emphatic agreement. (Even though Callie's boobs were fantastic). "And I know that it makes things more challenging," Callie continued, "but she's worth it. We're worth it." "Don't give me a freaking shampoo commercial, Torres," Mark snapped. "And Arizona, this is nothing against you as a

person," Mark qualified, "But Callie, when we had Sofia, you said it was either going to b e casual, no strings attached hook-ups, or serious relationships. Not something in the middle. You said that you were committed to dating only people who could...who could b e like Lexie. Someone who could commit for the long-haul. Someone who could b e a potential spouse, a potential co-parent." "And Mark," Callie said calmly. "That's what I'm telling you this is. Arizona is it for me. She's who I want to spend my life with, and she'll be amazing with Sofia," she said, smiling warmly at Arizona and squeezing her hand. Despite the unpleasant conversation, Arizona smiled dreamily back at Callie, leaning in and leaving a faint kiss on the brunette's cheek. This wasn't exactly a low-stress phone call to have right before bed, but in a way it was nice. It was nice to hear Callie defending their relationship to Mark. It was nice to hear Callie telling Mark that Arizona was it. That Arizona was the one. Even in the midst of a tense conversation, the thought just made Arizona giddy. Less than a year ago, she'd been sitting in class, lusting away after her incredibly sexy (and incredibly off-limits) professor, after this woman who just oozed power and sophistication and sex appeal. And now? Now Arizona was sitting with that incredible woman, hand in hand, and they had sworn to love each other forever. It just didn't seem real. "Oh, please, Callie!" Mark scoffed, dragging Arizona out of her moment of mushiness and back to reality. "She's twentyone! You're gonna let her raise our kid?" "Yes," Callie said simply. "No!" Mark replied immediately. "I'm her father, and I say no!" "Mark, you can't just say no," Callie argued. "The hell I can't!" Mark argued right back. "This is ridiculous!" "Mark," Arizona said, feeling the need to stand up for herself and rejoin the conversation. "I know that I am young. But I love Callie, and I love Sofia. And I am sure that they are what I want. I, I can promise you that I'm never going to walk out. I will always be there for your daughter." "And Mark," Callie added, "I shouldn't have to remind you that I didn't make a stink about Lexie. You got back together during my second trimester, and you made it clear that Lexie wanted to be Sofia's mom as well, and I never objected." "That's b ecause Lexie was—" "That's because Lexie was your girlfriend, Mark," Callie interrupted. "I didn't pick her. I didn't ask for another woman to have a role in raising our daughter. But she's the love of your life. And accepting you means accepting her." "Callie…" "It goes the same way, Mark. Accepting me means accepting Arizona," Callie said firmly. "I didn't cause a fuss about Lexie, so you don't get to cause a fuss about Arizona." Mark was silent for quite some time, to the point that Arizona wondered if the call had been dropped. But then, at length, he spoke again. "Callie," he said thoughtfully, sounding more calm. "You're...you're confident that they can protect her? That it'll b e different with an actual agent on her?" "Mark, yes," Callie said emphatically. "I love Sofia with my life. I don't know how you can question that." "I'm not questioning that, Callie, I'm just—" "You're scared," Arizona finished for him. "But Mark, these are the people that protect my father. These are the men and women who protect him from terrorists and rogue nations and crazy people. They can protect Sofia. Nothing is going to happen to your little girl. And Mark," Arizona said, putting her hand over her heart, even though the man couldn't see her, "I would never pursue...Callie and I would never pursue a relationship with one another if we thought it would endanger Sofia. You have to believe that. And even if you don't know that about me, you do know that about Callie. She's your best friend, Mark. And she's an incredib le mom. She would never put your little girl in danger." Mark was quiet again, and Arizona looked to Callie for reassurance, worried that she had said too much. But Callie just nodded at her, telling her it was okay. Mark sighed over the phone. "Callie, did you have to leave her with Aria? You couldn't have dropped her off here first? I

mean, come on, the woman hates me." Arizona felt confused at the seemingly random change in subject, but Callie didn't seem fazed at all, not skipping a beat. "Oh she doesn't hate you, Mark," Callie said. "She just...she just isn't exactly enamoured with the way Sofia was conceived." "But we were drunk!" Mark argued. "It wasn't on purpose!" "Uh, yeah, that's kinda the part she objects to," Callie explained. "She may be more accepting than my parents are, but she's still a pretty devout Catholic. So she's not a huge fan of drunken one-night-stands that result in illegitimate children." "Umm, can we not talk about this please?" Arizona asked softly. She'd told her mother earlier in the afternoon that Callie's sexual history with Mark didn't upset her, but she'd been lying. It did bother her. It didn't bother her a lot, and it didn't bother her often, but it still wasn't her favorite thing to hear about. She knew that neither Callie nor Mark had much of a memory of that night, but that didn't stop Arizona from imagining Mark's hands all over her girlfriend's beautiful body. And the mental image of that made her feel sick. "Sorry, Blondie," Mark said cheekily. "Didn't mean to make you jealous." "Mark…" Callie warned her friend, Arizona scowling in the seat next to her. "So do I need to go down there and get Sofia, or?" Mark immediately continued on, taking the hint that Arizona was not to be teased about Sofia's conception. "Uh, no," Callie said. "We're going to spend tomorrow in Paris, but then we're flying back to Miami after that." "Alright," Mark said, a tone of resignation in his voice. "I'll uh, I guess I'll see you when you get b ack. And we can um, we can talk some more." "Sounds like a plan," Callie nodded, reaching out and ending the call. Arizona just stared blankly at the phone for a few moments, before looking up at her girlfriend with a confused expression on her face. They hadn't...they hadn't resolved anything. They'd been talking about the issue, and then Mark had randomly started talking about Aria, and then the call had been over. "Arizona, what?" Callie asked as she stood up, apparently noting Arizona's confusion. "We didn't...we didn't decide anything," Arizona said. "He didn't say he was okay with—" "Oh," Callie said, understanding registering on her gorgeous features. "He um, he's okay with it." "He is?" Arizona asked. "Well I mean, he doesn't like it, but he's willing to work it out," Callie confirmed. "That's why he changed the subject to Aria. Because he's...because that part of the conversation was done." "Oh," Arizona said simply. "So..so that's it?" "Yeah, that's it," Callie nodded, extending her hand out for Arizona. Arizona took the hand and stood from the couch. "We'll all have to sit down and...and figure out a routine, and what the ground rules are and everything. But...but yeah, that was him saying 'okay, we can work this out'." "Okay, great," Arizona said, a smile crossing her face. As long as Mark was willing to compromise, she had no doubt they could eventually figure out an arrangement that everyone was happy with. "So uh," Callie said, starting to lead them to the bedroom. "I'm pretty tired, and it sounds like we've got an early morning. Do you wanna go to bed?" "Uh, yeah," Arizona said, "we could. But…" "But?" Callie said, raising an eyebrow. "But there's a jacuzzi in the master bathroom, and a great selection of French wines, and…"

"Say no more," Callie said, changing their course to head to the bathroom instead of the massive bed. Arizona did a little internal happy dance as they entered the bathroom, immediately pushing Callie against the closed door and crashing their lips together. And after a long, passionate kiss, Arizona started to fill the tub while Callie began to light candles and pour wine. And after that, it was just a matter of undressing each other, getting into the jacuzzi, and basking in the warmth and pleasure of their love. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie breathed out a tired sigh as she exited the bathroom stall and approached the sink to wash her hands. This was certainly the nicest club bathroom she'd ever been in—each stall it's own room, and the entire thing clean and pristine. But then, Callie figured that she really shouldn't have been surprised. This was a much more exclusive club than she could have ever hoped to get into by herself, despite her millions. Freaking Natalie Portman was out there. Callie had even danced with the A-lister for a minute or two. As Callie let the warm water wash over her hands, she took a minute to examine herself in the mirror. She felt out of her element. Sure, once she had gone to clubs regularly, dancing and drinking the night away. But that felt like a million years ago. And she was feeling inadequate. Arizona was still going strong with the dancing, looking like sex itself. And while the blonde had had no shortage of compliments for Callie's appearance, Callie just didn't feel as sexy as she used to. And Mark was right—her breasts were going to start sagging long before Arizona's. Callie knew that she still looked good—great, even. But Arizona was in her early twenties, while Callie was in her mid-thirties. Her skin wasn't quite as tight as it had once been, she had stretch marks from carrying Sofia, and if she looked really closely, she could see a little bit of cellulite on her thighs, right where her dress stopped. And Callie knew she was being ridiculous—Arizona certainly loved her body, cellulite and all. And it wasn't like Callie was old. But Arizona was perfect. She was twenty-one. Young and fresh, without a single flaw. And while Callie was having a fun time at the clubs, she was definitely feeling a little on the older side. She wanted to keep up with Arizona, but she just couldn't. She wanted to go to bed. But it had been a perfect day. The people at Chanel had absolutely fawned over her, waiting on her hand and foot, dressing her in all sorts of fabulous clothes. And then they'd made the short trip to Versailles. Callie had enjoyed getting an inside look at the rooms of the palace that were usually off-limits, but her favorite part, as always, was the little village that Marie Antoinette had loved. There hadn't been very many people there, so Callie had felt free to openly hug Arizona, wrapping her arms around the blonde from behind and resting her chin on Arizona's shoulders. She'd always found the Queen's Hamlet to be incredibly peaceful. And Gisele Devaux, or "Gigi" as Arizona called her, was wonderful. Callie knew that Barbara had a right to feel a little uneasy around the woman, but after getting to know the French First Lady, Callie felt like Arizona's mother's bad opinion of her was unwarranted. She was delightful, easily engaging Callie and Arizona in conversation, and it was obvious that Arizona was very dear to her. She struck Callie as being as close to being a fairy godmother as humanly possible. And upon their return to Paris after their little excursion, Arizona had surprised Callie with a private dinner cruise down the Seine. Callie had joked that it was Arizona's way of forcing her to eat actual French food—Arizona had set the menu— but it had been perfect. It was a beautiful, private little ship—just the pilot, the chef, and the two women—and Arizona had clearly gone to great effort to make it special. Callie had loved all of the food, and she'd loved the opportunity to take in the beautiful sights of Paris without having to deal with the crowds and ever-present photographers. The two had enjoyed an excessively romantic meal, and hadn't felt the need to hide their longing looks or physical gestures of affection. And kissing Arizona on the deck of a ship sailing through the heart of Paris? Well, it didn't get much better. And ever since then, they'd been clubbing at some of the hottest clubs in Paris. Thankfully, for Callie's tired feet, Arizona had promised that this one would be their last. Callie's eyes scanned the crowded room as she exited the restroom, her eyes landing on Arizona at the bar, apparently ordering another round of drinks. So Callie headed that way and tried not to flip out when she saw someone who looked suspiciously like Johnny Depp out of the corner of her eye. But she felt alarmed when a gorgeous young woman with darker blonde hair walked up to Arizona. And because Cristina did nothing to stop the young woman's approach or restrain her from hugging Arizona when Arizona turned around, Callie's interest was immediately piqued. Arizona knew this gorgeous girl. "Lauren!" she heard her girlfriend saying. "I didn't know you were in France!" "That makes two of us," this woman, apparently named Lauren, replied. "It's nice having you back on the correct side of

the Atlantic." Callie couldn't quite place the woman's accent—something from the north of Europe?—but she definitely didn't like the way she was looking at Arizona. Her eyes were running all over Arizona, up and down the blonde's gorgeous body, like she owned her. Feeling a need to defend her territory, Callie accelerated her pace and was at Arizona's side a moment later, clearing her throat to make her presence known. "Oh, Callie," Arizona smiled, immediately linking hands with the brunette. "This is my friend Lauren, Princess of Denmark. And Lauren, this is my girlfriend, Callie Torres." Callie's eyebrows raised involuntarily as she tensely shook Lauren's hand. This girl was a princess? Perfect. "Oh, Callie," Lauren smiled in recognition, clearly intrigued. "From the video." Callie swallowed at the mention of the sex tape. Normally, when it came up, she felt embarrassed and was reluctant to admit that yes, that was her. But at the moment, because of the way Lauren was clearly attracted to her girlfriend, Callie felt like saying, "Why yes, that is me in the video, making passionate love to Arizona. So you can back the hell off and get your dirty eyes off of her body." But instead, she settled for "Uh, yeah, that's me." "Well I have to offer you my congratulations, Callie," Lauren said with a smile that didn't seem quite genuine. "I'm pretty sure that every straight man and gay woman on earth is jealous of you for sleeping with Arizona here." Arizona laughed and scoffed loudly, but Callie just retained eye contact with Lauren. There was a silent, arrogant challenge being raised in those eyes. A challenge that Callie intended to win. "But seriously, Arizona," Lauren said, breaking eye contact with Callie and turning her attention back to Arizona. "Why didn't you tell me you were gay? I know we had fun last summer, but we could have been having an entirely different kind of fun." "Lauren!" Arizona giggled, clearly not believing Lauren was being at all serious. "I wasn't out then." Lauren just winked at Arizona seductively. "I would have kept your secret." At that, Callie dropped Arizona's hand and instead stepped close to the blonde, putting a possessive arm around her waist. This Lauren bitch needed to take a hint and leave. "You guys uh, hung out last summer?" Callie asked, immediately angry at how insecure her voice sounded. "Yeah," Arizona nodded. "She was my travel buddy. We hopped all around Europe together." "Yeah it was a blast," Lauren nodded. "But hey," she said, steering the conversation back to Arizona's relationship with Callie, "I thought I heard you guys broke up." "Oh, um," Arizona said awkwardly, turning to share a quick glance with Callie. Callie quickly prayed that Arizona would find some way to minimize the breakup. "We uh, we just needed a little time to sort some things out. It was complicated...with the press and everything." Callie breathed a quick sigh of relief at Arizona's explanation. Short and vague. That was good. "So you got back together…?" "Yesterday," Arizona nodded, quickly answering her friend's question. "Callie uh, Callie came to Paris to come get me," Arizona smiled, leaning up to leave a quick kiss on Callie's cheek. Callie was happy to receive the kiss in front of Lauren, but she couldn't quite make out its motive. Either Arizona was incredibly naive and was kissing her just because, or Arizona had wisened to Lauren's true intentions and was declaring her loyalty to Callie. Callie hoped it was the latter, but she was getting the distinct feeling that it was the former. "Yesterday?" Lauren asked, the damned smile back on her face. "So I missed being able to sleep with you by one day?" "Lauren!" Arizona scolded with a giggle, a smile on her face. Yep, Callie's girlfriend was just naive. Great. "I mean, Callie," Lauren said, turning to face Callie again, "If you could just like, delay getting back together until tomorrow so I could give your girl a quick lay, I would very much appreciate it. Or maybe a threesome?" "Lauren, you are drunk!" Arizona scolded again, a smile still on her face. She was apparently finding this all quite amusing. Although, Callie supposed, Arizona was well on her way to being drunk herself. And Callie had only seen Arizona drunk once—Mark had tricked her into drinking a few too many beers one night—but she'd been excessively

giggly that night, laughing at things that weren't funny by a long shot. "Yeah, I probably am," Lauren giggled back, taking a sip from her drink and then setting it on the bar behind Arizona. "Anyways," she said, extending a hand to Arizona, "dance with me?" And before Callie could say anything to object, Arizona was gone, being pulled to the dance floor with Lauren. Callie's jaw just dropped open. What? What the hell had just happened? Arizona hadn't even...hadn't even glanced at her to make sure it was okay. Wasn't that an unwritten rule? That before you danced with someone else, you got silent permission from your girlfriend? Well if it was a rule, it was a rule that Arizona was apparently ignorant of, because as soon as Lauren found them an open spot, the two blondes were tearing up the floor. "Cristina," Callie growled to the Secret Service agent beside her. "Yes?" "How long has Arizona known this Lauren?" "A few years at least," Cristina replied. "Longer than I've been on her detail, which means longer than President Robbins has been in office." "I see…" Callie muttered. "And has Lauren always looked at Arizona like...like that?" Callie tore her eyes away from Arizona for a moment to look at the Secret Service agent. Cristina just nodded, her eyes sparkling with amusement. Apparently she found this all quite entertaining. "Pretty much." Callie pursed her lips at Cristina's answer and looked back at her girlfriend, her eyes boring holes into Lauren's hands, which were now on Arizona's hips. She wanted those hands off. Now. Callie took a deep breath and leaned back against the bar, her eyes never leaving her girlfriend. She knew that this was probably harmless. Arizona clearly had no idea that Lauren actually wanted her, and Callie doubted that Lauren would try anything so long as Arizona remained under Callie's watchful eye. But that didn't stop the entire thing from irritating the hell out of her. Callie was tired, and she wanted to go home, and now she had to deal with this...this Danish Princess hitting on her girlfriend. A couple of minutes later, the song changed, and so did the dancing. And Lauren's hands started to drift, started to move away from Arizona's hips. Those hands were moving up and down Arizona's thighs, stomach, and sides, getting altogether too close to Arizona's breasts and bottom. And her lips were way too close to Arizona's neck for Callie's liking. So, deciding that she'd had enough, Callie pushed herself off of the bar and walked onto the dance floor. "Mind if I cut in?" Callie asked politely once she reached Lauren and Arizona, in no mood to cause a scene. Arizona apparently thought nothing of it, smiling brightly at Callie's arrival and immediately moving as if to dance with Callie. But Lauren seemed to have an objection, because her hands went back to Arizona's hips, and she pulled Arizona close, not allowing Arizona to go to Callie. "Nah, we're not quite done," Lauren said with that same, fake smile. "But I know this is probably quite a late night for a soccer mom like yourself, so feel free to grab a seat at the bar." Callie just raised an eyebrow. Yes, she was tired. And yes, she wanted to go home. But she would never be too tired or too old to let someone else claim what was hers. "Excuse me," Callie said a little more forcefully. "But I would appreciate it if I could dance with my girlfriend." "Yeah, Lauren," Arizona said gently, looking a little confused, "let me go. Callie wants me to—" "I said we're not quite done," Lauren repeated, not showing any signs of releasing Arizona. "She told you to let her go," Callie said angrily, stepping forward in an attempt to force Arizona free. She was willing to remain civil up to a certain point, but Lauren refusing to release Arizona after Arizona had asked her was well beyond that point. But before Callie could get that woman's hands off of her girlfriend, there were hands on Callie, forcefully dragging her away.

"Wait, no, guys!" she heard Arizona calling. "She's my girlfriend, she's—" Callie looked to her side in fear, alarmed to see that a very strong and very serious man was restraining her. "Callie, she's a princess," Arizona was calling out. "You can't grab her, they'll—" Shit. Callie had made an aggressive move towards a royal, and now the Danish version of the Secret Service was all over her. Shit shit shit. "Hey boys, give her to me," came the voice of Jackson Avery. "She didn't mean any harm, and she's one of mine." Callie was relieved when she felt Jackson's hands wrap around her and pull her from the Danish security's grasp. A moment later, Arizona appeared by her side, flanked by the ever-watchful Cristina Yang. "Callie, what were you thinking?" Arizona asked. "She's a princess, you can't just—" "She was all over you, Arizona!" Callie argued, her eyes leaving Arizona to ascertain what was happening with Lauren. Thankfully, it appeared as if Lauren's own security team was escorting her from the club. "Callie, we were just dancing," Arizona exclaimed. "I've danced with a bunch of people tonight." "Not like that," Callie said, shrugging off Jackson and grabbing Arizona's arm, leading her to a more private area of the club. "Callie, I don't understa—" Arizona stopped short when Callie pushed her into the wall. And those blue eyes that Callie loved immediately darkened. They always did when Callie pushed her against something and hovered over her. Arizona loved an aggressive Callie and Callie...well, Callie loved being aggressive. "She was all over you," Callie repeated, her lips brushing against Arizona's neck and her hands going to Arizona's hips. And she loved the way Arizona was shuddering, her breath rapid and shallow. "I...I'm sorry," Arizona stuttered. "I...I di-didn't realize." Callie leaned in and claimed Arizona's lips hungrily, her jealous need to reclaim Arizona overpowering her sense of propriety. Arizona's arms wrapped around Callie's waist, either out of affection or a need for support—Callie didn't really care—and Callie deepened the kiss, plastering Arizona even further into the wall. "Ca-Callie," Arizona rasped out after a moment. "Not...not here." Callie groaned in frustration but then relented, pulling away slightly. She opened her mouth to ask Arizona if they could leave, if she could drag Arizona to their car so they could get back to the Palace and have sex as soon as humanly possible. But then she remembered the bathroom. Those clean stalls that were more like individual rooms. Without a second thought, Callie grabbed Arizona's hand and pulled her towards the bathroom, weaving her way through the crowd as quickly as she could. And when they reached the bathroom, she kicked open a stall, roughly pushing Arizona into it and locking the door. "Callie!" Arizona exclaimed, wide-eyed as Callie made her intentions clear. "Is there a problem, Arizona?" Callie asked, again pushing Arizona against the wall and kissing her hungrily. "N-no," Arizona said, her hands again going to Callie's hips. "Good," Callie growled, pulling at the bottom of Arizona's dress and lifting it up past the blonde's waist. In response, Arizona quickly kicked off her heels and slid her panties down her legs. Callie smiled as she leaned back in and reclaimed Arizona's lips. She grabbed Arizona's naked thighs and roughly pressed herself against the blonde. "Who do you love?" Callie whispered in Arizona's ear. "Y-you," Arizona answered weakly.

"Say my name," Callie ordered. "Ca-Callie," Arizona corrected herself. "Callie Torres," the brunette said, wanting to hear her full name. "Callie Torres," Arizona responded automatically, knowing the role Callie needed her to play. "And who makes you feel good?" "Callie Torres." "And who do you belong to?" "Callie Torres." "And who does your b ody belong to?" Callie asked, needing to hear Arizona say it. Needing to hear Arizona reconfirm that there was no one but her. "Callie Torres," Arizona responded breathlessly. "And does anybody else get to touch you?" "No." "Who's the only person who gets to touch you?" "Callie Torres." "That's right," Callie responded, at last allowing her fingers to reward Arizona for her correct responses. "There's nobody but me. I'm the only one." "No one but you," Arizona agreed, whimpering softly into Callie's neck. "I love you, Arizona," Callie said a moment later, whispering tenderly in Arizona's ear and stroking her hair, changing the mood. Her jealousy was satisfied, Lauren was no longer on her mind, and now she just wanted to love Arizona, now she just wanted to make Arizona feel good. Arizona sighed, her eyes still closed, her arms still wrapped tightly around Callie, her entire body still given over to whatever Callie wanted. "I...I love you, too, Callie," she breathed out, her face still buried in Callie's neck. "Only you." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Those of you who had requested some Callie jealously...hope you liked it ;)

*Chapter 25*: Chapter 25
AN: It's looking like five or six chapters after this one, including an epilogue. AN2: I had one reviewer requesting for Sofia to eventually call Arizona "Mama." FYI—that is not going to happen in this story. Sofia calls Lexie "Lexie," and Lexie has been there since Sofia's birth. Arizona will come to love Sofia as one of her very own, and Sofia will definitely think of Arizona as another mom. But she's gonna call her "Arizona"—if she called her "Mama" it wouldn't be fair to Lexie. Lexie is not the focus of this story, but she is very much Sofia's mother. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "Oh, will you put that away?" Callie said moodily, leaning over to snatch Arizona's cell phone right out of her hands. "I'm sorry," Arizona giggled, barely able to contain her laughter. "Just...just the look on your face when her bodyguard—" "Yes, yes, I know," Callie huffed, tossing the phone to the empty seat across from them. The two women had just landed at Miami International Airport, and Arizona had been highly amused to discover that someone had recorded and uploaded the confrontation between Callie and Lauren in the nightclub. Arizona thought it was perfectly harmless—the person, clearly one of Lauren's friends, had initially been recording only Arizona and Lauren dancing. But they had also captured Callie's ill-advised aggressiveness towards the Danish princess, and had then proceeded to follow Lauren outside the club before stopping the recording at Lauren's request. Arizona had been watching the video non-stop during their ride to Aria's house, but Callie didn't seem to be too fond of it. And she also didn't seem too happy about how amusing Arizona thought it was. "Oh come on," Arizona said, linking her hand with Callie's and giving the brunette a smile that told her to lighten up. "You have to admit—being restrained by a princess's security team because you didn't like the way she was dancing with your girlfriend? That's pretty funny." Callie looked sternly at Arizona for a moment, but then shrugged her shoulders and rolled her eyes in reluctant agreement. "Mmm, and I can't argue with the results," Arizona said, moving to straddle her girlfriend in the privacy of their limo. In general, there were numerous things that Arizona disliked about being the president's daughter, but riding in limos was not one of them. She and Callie had had sex in their limo on the way to the airport in Paris. So Arizona was definitely in favor of the limos. Arizona smiled darkly and started to grind herself into her girlfriend, hoping for a repeat, before leaning down to whisper in Callie's ear. "You were so impossibly hot last night." And as far as Arizona was concerned, "impossibly hot" was the understatement of the millenium. Being dragged into a bar bathroom and pushed against the wall was just...well, the memory made Arizona shudder. And the way Callie had spoken to her, the intense possessiveness that Callie had demonstrated, the way Callie had dominated her very existence—Arizona was pretty sure they'd never had hotter sex. And, just as she did every time Callie was dominant, Arizona had gotten her perfect, tender, emotional sex later in the evening. All in all, a truly stellar night for Arizona Robbins. "Hmm, you liked that, did you?" Callie asked smugly, her arms going around Arizona's waist and her lips pressing against Arizona's in an intimate kiss. Arizona smiled and nodded her agreement before leaning back in for another kiss, this time both of her hands tangling in Callie's hair. "I should make you jealous more often," Arizona said after a few moments, continuing to grind into Callie. If that possessiveness came out of Callie when Callie got jealous, then damn, Arizona wanted Callie to be jealous all the time. But when Arizona leaned in to continue the kiss, both of Callie's hands went to her sides, and she was firmly held back from her intended destination. The grinding stopped, blue eyes flashed up to brown in confusion, and Arizona was surprised to see that Callie looked less than pleased. "Callie, what—" "Arizona, I did not enjoy that last night," Callie said, a hint of anger shining out of those eyes that Arizona loved. "I mean,

yes, the sex part was nice. But I did not like standing there and watching that woman—" "No, Callie, I didn't mean…" Arizona paused, deciding from Callie's mood that it would be best to climb down off of Callie's lap and instead sit beside her. "I...I wasn't trying to make you jealous," Arizona said, a hand on Callie's forearm to at least maintain some physical contact. "Please don't think that I would ever—" "You just said you should make me jealous more often," Callie said pointedly. Arizona sighed. "I…I didn't mean…" Arizona took a breath, and nodded, understanding how her girlfriend might have interpreted her statement. "Callie, all I was trying to say is that you're really hot when you're jealous. I didn't mean that I would ever try to make you jealous on purpose." "Okay," Callie said softly, looking down, her eyes avoiding Arizona's. "Callie?" Arizona asked softly, leaning down so she could re-establish eye contact. "Callie, did you think I was trying to make you upset last night? Because I…I still don't quite get why it bothered you so much. I mean, I danced with a lot of people last night, and—" "Arizona, it wasn't just about the dancing," Callie said, a hint of impatience in her voice. "Then what was—" "Did you not hear the things she was saying at the bar?" Callie asked, her head snapping back up. "About wanting us to break up again so she could sleep with you?" "Callie…" Arizona scoffed, shaking her head. The things Lauren had said had clearly been outrageous. Lauren had been drunk and off-the-charts flirtatious, but she couldn't possibly have been serious. "Callie, she was joking." "Well I don't think she was," Callie said, looking down again, her voice small. "Callie…" "It was like she was challenging me for you, Arizona. And...and you're supposed to be mine," Callie added, sounding as insecure as Arizona had ever heard her. Arizona's brow furrowed in confusion—had the previous night affected Callie that much? "Callie, I am yours," Arizona said, gently lifting the brunette's head. Hadn't they established as much in that nightclub bathroom? "I love you. Okay? I don't...I don't want Lauren or anybody else. Just you—I'm entirely yours. You don't need to worry about other women." Callie nodded and sighed deeply. "I know," she said simply. "Well then what is this about?" Arizona asked, still feeling rather concerned. If Callie knew that, then why was her body posture so small? "Mark is right," Callie exclaimed, looking back up and shrugging, but avoiding Arizona's eyes. "Arizona, I'm thirteen years older than you. My, my boobs are going to sag, and I have cellulite and stretch marks and—" "Callie!" Arizona interrupted, needing to stop her girlfriend right there. Callie was b eautiful, and Arizona didn't care about the age difference. As far as she was concerned, a thirty-four-year-old Callie Torres was way hotter than any twenty-oneyear-old on the planet. "And you're...you're perfect," Callie continued right on, not allowing the interruption. "And you can go out to nightclubs and stay up all night and not feel tired, but Arizona, last night was exhausting! Sure, once in awhile maybe, but if you're expecting that to be a regular thing, then—" "Callie," Arizona said, looking directly into Callie's eyes so the brunette would know she was sincere, "I'm expecting our 'regular thing' to be making dinner together and playing with Sofia. And after she goes to bed, maybe a TV show, a glass of wine, and some sex." Callie looked down again, so Arizona scooted a little closer and wrapped her arms around her girlfriend. "And Callie," she started again, "I think you are absolutely beautiful. Okay? To, to the point that I don't know exactly what you see in me. Because sure, I'm not b ad, but...but you're just the most gorgeous woman, the most gorgeous person, in existence. You walk in a room, and everyone turns to stare at you. And, and they all start salivating. Because you just

have this...this...this sex aura about you." "Oh please, Arizona," Callie rolled her eyes. "I'm serious!" Arizona exclaimed, needing Callie to know that she actually felt this way, that she wasn't just heaping on phony praise to soothe Callie's self-esteem. "Callie, my eyes bulged out of my head the first time I saw you. And I didn't catch a sentence of that first lecture, because I was too busy staring at your body and wondering what it would be like to sleep with you. Do you know how hard I came that night?" "Arizona," Callie smiled softly, blushing like crazy. "Do you have any idea how many times I touched myself while thinking about you?" Arizona asked. She was a little embarrassed to talk about it, but it was the truth, and she knew Callie might benefit from hearing it. "Callie, I was obsessed with you! You're sexy as hell!" Callie took a deep breath and finally looked back up at Arizona. Arizona was relieved to see a little more confidence in her girlfriend's eyes. "You still feel that way?" Callie asked. Arizona smiled widely and nodded, leaning in to kiss her girlfriend softly. "I do. And I'm always gonna feel that way. Okay?" Callie nodded and then nuzzled into Arizona's neck. "Okay," she murmured. "You may be older than me, Callie," Arizona sighed, rubbing Callie's back tenderly. "But it really doesn't show. And if you felt like you couldn't keep up with me last night, well...well welcome to the club," Arizona smiled. "Because I can't keep up with you in bed. You are...you are absolutely insatiab le." "Mmm, only when you're on the menu," Callie said, gently kissing Arizona on the mouth. "And I don't know what you're talking about," she added. "You keep up just fine." Arizona raised her eyebrows in response to that. Really? "What?" Callie giggled slightly. "You do. You're perfect in bed" Arizona just rolled her eyes. "Callie, what does that even mean? You said I was 'perfect' after my first time. And I clearly wasn't." "Yes you were!" Callie argued. "No I wasn't!" Arizona countered. "Callie, I was awful! I totally sucked!" Callie smirked devilishly. "Well you did suck," she said, scooting in a little closer, eyeing Arizona's body lustfully. Arizona huffed at Callie's flirtiness. She had not meant "sucked" in the sexual sense, and her girlfriend obviously knew that. "Callie," she said sternly. "Oh, come on, you walked right into that one," Callie laughed. Arizona just scowled "But I'm serious, Arizona," Callie said a moment later. "Has your...I don't know even what to call it...has you 'skill level' increased since then? Yes. Of course. It takes time and practice to figure out what makes a person feel good. But now you are just...off the charts incredible, no comparison—I've never been more sexually satisfied in my life than I am with you. But that doesn't mean that I didn't still love our first time. It was still wonderful, Arizona." Arizona smiled at Callie's words and snuggled more closely into her girlfriend. "It was a pretty nice birthday present," she said softly. "Better than this?" Callie asked, fingering the necklace that hung, as always, from Arizona's neck. "Way better," Arizona nodded. "Even though I do love the necklace." Callie exhaled thoughtfully and leaned back against the seat, positioning Arizona and herself so that they could comfortably rest against each other. "I loved you then, you know," Callie spoke up quietly, after several minutes of companionable silence.

"What?" "In New York. Our first time. I loved you." Arizona sat up a little straighter, pulling out of Callie's embrace so she could see Callie's eyes. "You...you did?" she asked, feeling confused. She had had absolutely no idea that Callie had loved her that early on. Callie nodded, getting a somewhat nostalgic look in her eyes. "I did. Actually, that night I came to Camp David, when you texted me that picture of you and Sofia sitting behind your dad's desk? That was...that was the moment that I knew you were the love of my life." A wondrous smile crept onto Arizona's face as her heart rate began to speed up. Callie had loved her that soon? She'd always assumed that the brunette's feelings had lagged behind her own. After all, Arizona had very much been the aggressor at the start of their relationship. She had been the one in relentless pursuit of Callie, not the other way around. And Callie had rejected her more than once. "Callie," Arizona said in disbelief. "If...if you loved me, then how did you possib ly turn me down that night at Camp David? I wasn't exactly shy about how much I wanted you to make love to me." "No you were not," Callie gave her emphatic agreement. "Which made it even harder for me." Arizona smiled brightly and leaned in close to Callie, leaving a long, luscious kiss on those perfect lips. "Do you know when you fell in love with me?" Callie asked a few moments later. Arizona frowned slightly and shook her head. She didn't. It hadn't been a bright, shining moment of realization—it had happened much more gradually. "Callie, I...at first I just idolized you. You were this perfect, stylish, powerful, independent woman with all this authority and all this sex appeal and this really cool house and this really sexy car and…" Arizona trailed off, chuckling softly at how superficial her feelings had been at first. "And so I think I had to...I had to get over that a bit. I had to realize that despite how amazing you are, you're also human. And...and so I think my awe of you more gradually turned into love for you. And I can't point to any one moment in time that I knew. I'm...I'm sorry, I…" "You don't have to apologize," Callie smiled sincerely. "That makes sense. Even if your initial impression of me sounds fairly hilarious." "What?" Arizona laughed defensively. "You're a very impressive woman, Callie Torres. I deserve to be a little awe-struck by you." Callie chuckled and shook her head, and leaned in to place a soft kiss on Arizona's temple. "And you, Arizona Robbins, sure are something else." Arizona smiled and leaned in to kiss Callie again, but something caught Callie's eye, and the brunette craned her neck to see out the window. "Oh, we're here!" Callie smiled broadly, a surge of excitement shining out of her eyes. Arizona grinned in response, not at all annoyed at her failed attempt at a kiss. She knew that Callie was dying to see Sofia. And while to Arizona, it didn't seem like Callie had been away from Sofia for very long at all, she knew that it felt very different to her girlfriend. Callie had once told her that Aerosmith's "I Don't Want To Miss A Thing" had been written about Sofia. And when Arizona had pointed out that the song had been written long before Sofia had even been conceived, Callie had politely instructed her to shut up, because the song was prophetic. Arizona had just rolled her eyes and told Callie she was nuts, but she did have to admit—it was pretty cute. And Arizona never ceased to find it heartwarming how much Callie loved her daughter, and she loved seeing how much joy Callie derived from simply having the little girl around. It made Arizona anxious to get started on family life with Callie and Sofia, and anxious to have her own kids in the not-too-distant future. "So I really don't need to be worried about meeting Aria?" Arizona asked nervously. She'd only ever heard positive things about Callie's older sister, but she was still a little anxious. This was Callie's family, after all. "No, you'll be fine," Callie replied as the car came to a stop at a gate. Arizona's eyebrows rose a little bit—she knew Callie's family was rich, but they had a gate with an intercom and everything? "She's a little annoying sometimes, but I really couldn't have asked for a better sister," Callie continued, apparently oblivious to Arizona's surprise at her family's wealth. "And she's got the kind of personality where she's going to go out of her way to be extra nice to you. Seriously,

she just wants you to be comfortable and have a good time." "Okay," Arizona nodded. "And um...does uh...does Sofia know about me? About the fact that I'm gonna...well...be around for the rest of my life?" The car started moving again, and Callie smiled at Arizona's question. "I haven't talked with her about that yet," the brunette explained. "But if it comes up before I get a chance, you don't have to pretend otherwise. You can...you know, try to explain a little." "Okay," Arizona nodded again, feeling much more relaxed. She'd been concerned that maybe Callie wanted to keep their commitments to each other a secret for awhile, but apparently Callie was on-board with telling her family. And if Callie was prepared to inform Sofia that Arizona was staying for good, that meant it was settled in the brunette's mind, that Callie had no doubts. She wouldn't let Sofia get so attached if she wasn't absolutely sure. "And have you heard from—" Arizona fell into an abrupt silence when Aria's house came into view. It was massive. And while Arizona currently lived in one of the nicest houses in the world, she was well aware that it was "The White House"—it was the President's residence, it was supposed to be a symbol of the President's power, and it wasn't really hers. But this house was...amazing. Arizona didn't know the real estate market in Miami, but as they neared the house, she wouldn't have been at all surprised to hear it was worth upwards of $20 million. "Callie, um," Arizona swallowed, wide-eyed as she took in the mansion. "Um...how rich are you?" "Well, um, Aria's richer than I am because Michael works for my dad and he's a genius at investing," Callie said, sounding more than a little uncomfortable to be discussing her finances. "But um...I'm pretty rich." Arizona tore her eyes away from the mansion and looked at her girlfriend. "Could you buy this house?" Arizona inquired. Callie just looked down. "Uh…" "I'm sorry," Arizona said quickly, shaking her head. "This is really none of my business, I'm just surprised that—" "No, it's okay," Callie said softly. "You're my...you're my partner now," Callie said, emphasizing the fact that they weren't simply girlfriend's anymore, not really. "So we can, we can discuss anything. We should be open with each other about money." "But I don't need to know," Arizona said apologetically. She was burning with curiosity, and she was certainly hoping that Callie would tell her. But she didn't want to be too pushy. "It's okay," Callie said, looking back up. "And um, yeah. If I liquidated some of my assets, I could uh, I could buy this house." Arizona just blinked as the car stopped, feeling incredibly confused. "But you don't live like that at all," she said in disbelief. "I mean, yeah, a couple things suggest you have money beyond a professor's salary, but for the most part…" "I know," Callie nodded. "I generally live off of my salary, and I reinvest a lot of my other income and give some to charity, but um...I just...I'm just not comfortable throwing my wealth around, you know? It alienates people." "I guess," Arizona breathed out, still feeling rather shocked. She definitely came from a privileged family—the Robbins had some old money passed down through the generations. And when Daniel had been elected President, her parents had established a trust fund of about $100,000 for her. The intent had been for the interest to provide her with a few thousand dollars of spending money each year, seeing as it really wasn't practical for the First Daughter to have a parttime job. But this—this mansion—was way outside Arizona's experience. She had known Callie was loaded, having enough to maintain a comfortable lifestyle without working. But she had never even conceived of the full extent of her girlfriend's weath. It was a little unnerving, if she was honest with herself. "Is that um...is that a problem?" Callie asked several moments later, as Arizona just continued to gape at her. "No," Arizona shrugged. "I just...I'm just surprised." "Okay," Callie grinned nervously, moving to get out of the car when Cristina held the door open. Arizona just exhaled, grabbed her phone from the seat it had been banished to, and then stepped out after her girlfriend. The house looked even bigger now that she was outside. "Ms. Torres, welcome back," greeted a well-dressed man who came strolling out the front door. Arizona wondered for a second if this was Michael, Aria's husband. But then she dismissed the idea—Michael would use her girlfriend's first

name. "Hey Manuel," Callie greeted him with an easy smile and a hug. And then she started speaking in rapid Spanish that Arizona couldn't possibly hope to understand. But she heard her name in there a few times, and Callie turned at one point to indicate towards her. "Ms. Robbins," the man said a few moments later, happily striding up to Arizona and shaking her hand. "Welcome to Miami. I am Manuel Rodriguez, the butler. Anything at all you need, you come find me." "Uh thank you," Arizona blinked, swallowing in surprise when Manuel nodded and then headed towards the car, presumably to get their luggage. "Come on," Callie smiled, reaching for Arizona's hand. "I wanna see my baby!" "Uh, okay," Arizona nodded anxiously, following quickly after her girlfriend. She didn't know exactly what she'd been expecting, but a security gate, a mansion fit for a king, and a butler certainly hadn't been among the possibilities. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie sighed and smiled in relaxation as she sank back into one of the comfy lounge chairs on the deck of her sister's yacht. She was feeling a little disoriented from all of the rapid time changes—though she supposed Arizona was worse off because she'd been fully adjusted to French time—but it felt so nice to just hang out. Callie and Arizona had caught a very early morning flight out of Paris, and with the difference in time zones, they'd arrived in Miami late morning. Callie had been a little jealous to see that Sofia seemed more excited to see Arizona than Callie herself, but Callie supposed that was only natural—she was expected, but Arizona was a very welcome surprise. She hadn't wanted to tell Arizona, because she didn't want to make the blonde feel bad for something that was entirely not her fault, but Sofia had asked for Arizona numerous times during their short-lived breakup, and the little girl had thrown several temper tantrums in response to Arizona's sudden absence. But now Sofia was asleep—along with her three cousins—and it was time for some wine and adult conversation aboard Aria and Michael's massive yacht. Much to everyone's surprise, Arizona had never been on one before, so they'd quickly decided to take the boat out overnight. And Callie had noticed that the servants made Arizona uncomfortable, so she'd campaigned to take the boat out without any. Aria had been bartered down to only two: one to pilot the boat, and another to tend the bar. The party had set out mid-afternoon. They were, of course, escorted by several secret service boats, and they had promised to stay within a certain number of miles from the shore, so that a helicopter could quickly reach them. When dinner time had rolled around, Michael and the bartender had whipped up some traditional Mexican food—Callie's parents and sister's family rarely ate anything else—and then they'd gotten in some swimming before the sun began to set. And hot. damn. Callie knew it was a little strange that she'd never seen Arizona in a bikini before, but she hadn't. And the blonde looked incredib le. Aria's eyes had certainly widened in surprise at how well Arizona wore that itsy bitsy blue suit, and Callie's jealous eyes had spotted Michael, the pilot, and the bartender all gazing in Arizona's direction a little too frequently and with a certain lust-filled sparkle in their eyes. And Callie...well, when Callie had seen how good Arizona looked, she had about said, "to hell with swimming!" and dragged the blonde below deck so she could get her hands all over that perfect body. Which confused Callie to a certain extent—she was quite accustomed to seeing Arizona entirely naked. What was it about the bikini that made Arizona look even more delicious than usual? Thankfully, after swimming was over, Aria had volunteered to watch the kids while Callie and Arizona showered. Callie had sent her sister a smile of the sincere gratitude, and she'd quickly hopped into the shower with her girlfriend, finally getting to touch Arizona the way she wanted to, finally getting her hands on the body that had been tormenting her for hours. And now the sun was setting majestically, she had just snuggled her perfect little daughter to sleep, she was lounging next to three of her favorite people, and the bartender was handing her a fresh margarita. Life was good. "Thanks," Callie smiled at the bartender, who just nodded politely and walked away. "So uh, what have you guys been talking about?" Callie asked. She'd left Arizona alone with her sister and brother-in-law for a good twenty minutes. And while Arizona would never leave Callie alone for that long with her parents, Callie felt comfortable doing it with Aria and Michael. They were about as kind and easygoing as people could get. "Politics," Michael informed her with a knowing smirk.

"Oh geez…" Callie groaned, taking a sip of her drink. At home, Arizona was outnumbered three-to-one against Callie, Mark, and Lexie. But here, with her staunchly Republican family members, Callie was the one at a disadvantage. "We can be done talking about that," Arizona smiled at her sympathetically, reaching over to hold Callie's hand. "Thank you," Callie said honestly. Every time she discussed politics with Arizona or her family, it turned into a fight. And all she wanted to do was have a happy, relaxing evening with absolutely no conflict. "So Arizona, you're going into your senior year, right?" Aria asked. Ooh, good—school. Callie was always happy to talk about school. "Yep," Arizona nodded. "And I actually have to take a class in the fall that only Callie teaches. I don't know how in the world that'll work." "Consolidations?" Callie asked. Arizona nodded in the affirmative. "Yeah, I spoke with Richard—Dr. Webber—about that," Callie said. "You can do an independent study with him. And obviously if you ever need help with homework," Callie smiled broadly, "I may know of someone who could tutor you." Arizona blushed furiously at Callie's comments. To Michael and Aria, that probably seemed like an innocent-enough statement. But to Callie and Arizona, the word "tutor" conjured up images of Callie screwing Arizona while Arizona was helpless, bent over the desk in Callie's home office. "And do you have any idea what you want to do after college?" Aria asked. "Oh Arizona wants to go to law school and be a tax attorney," Callie answered automatically. Early on in their relationship, before they were a couple, Arizona had frequently made up excuses to stop by Callie's office hours. And showing up for "career counselling" had been a fairly regular excuse. "Oh yeah?" Michael asked, that apparently piquing his interest. "Corporate tax or individual?" "Well um," Arizona said, sending an uncomfortable glance in Callie's direction. "I'm uh...I'm actually not really thinking of law school anymore." "You're not?" Callie asked, rather surprised. "But you said that—" "Law school was more something that I mentioned when people asked me that question," Arizona explained. "It was...it was...I mean I was considering it, sure. But it was also sort of my way of giving them an answer besides 'I don't know.'" "Oh," Callie said. She'd never picked up any uncertainty in Arizona's voice when she'd talked about law school. "And um...and now you're thinking something else?" Arizona just nodded, looking away. Callie's brow furrowed and she glanced at her sister and brother-in-law. They looked just as clueless as she felt. "And…that other thing is…?" Callie asked when Arizona remained silent. "We really don't have to talk about it now," Arizona said dismissively, still looking nervous and uncomfortable. "Arizona," Callie said softly. "Sweetie, I'm not upset with you. You can be whatever you want." And Callie really meant that. She wanted the world for Arizona, and she would be supportive of whatever career path Arizona chose—even if it was something completely unrelated to Callie's beloved accounting. Arizona was brimming with talent and intelligence, and Callie was fully prepared to make some changes and adjustments to her life in order to make Arizona's career work. "Callie…" Arizona said, just shaking her head. "Arizona, just say it," Callie said, choosing to ignore Arizona's body language, body language that clearly said the blonde would rather not discuss it. "I don't…" Arizona paused and took a big breath, exhaling in frustration. "I need you to take me seriously when I say this," she said. "Okay…" Callie said, feeling confused. "And I need you to remember that you promised to respect my choices and to not automatically conclude that I'm too young to make up my mind."

"Arizona…" "And I also need you to know that I've been thinking about this for a while, and certainly for longer than I knew how much money you have—we could certainly have afforded this with just your salary." "Wait, what?" Callie asked, again glancing at Michael and Aria. Now she was really confused. What did Arizona want—for Callie bankroll her career as an artist, so she could be a starving artist who didn't actually starve? Arizona sighed, and appeared for a moment as if she was giving herself a mental pep talk. And then she spoke calmly and quietly. "I wanna have kids. And...and stay at home." Callie just blinked. She could not have possib ly heard that right. "Uh...what?" "I want to be a stay-at-home mom," Arizona said, more firmly this time. Callie just gaped at her girlfriend. "And it would work out really well," Arizona suddenly burst out, speaking rapidly. Apparently, Callie's non-reaction was making her even more nervous. "I mean, after this next school year, I could stay home with Sofia, so she wouldn't have to go to daycare anymore. And then, um, I could carry all our other kids, so you wouldn't have to miss any work. And I could take care of all the household chores and stuff so when you got home, you could just relax, and—" "Arizona!" Callie barked out, louder than she had intended, and held up a hand to halt her babbling girlfriend. Arizona's mouth immediately snapped shut. Callie closed her eyes for a moment, just taking a few second to collect herself. "Arizona," she said, her voice much more calm. "It is the twenty-first century. You do not have to sacrifice your career to have children. We can make it work. You can have whatever job you want, and we can make it work." "But Callie," Arizona said softly. "You don't understand. I don't...I don't want that." Callie's eyes popped back open. Aria and Michael looked a little uncomfortable, but showed no signs of leaving. And Arizona looked a little scared, but also determined. "You don't want what?" she asked her girlfriend. "A career," Arizona answered simply. "It...I don't see it as sacrificing a career. I want to stay home full-time. I...I think there is value in a parent staying home if they choose to, if they want to. My...my mom stayed at home with me, and dedicated her whole life to supporting me and my dad, and...and it was awesome." "Arizona, that is not awesome!" Callie cried incredulously. "What is this, freaking 1950?! Arizona, you cannot stay home with our kids! My wife cannot be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen!" "Callie…" Aria butt in. "Stay out of this," Callie commanded, not even bothering to look at her sister. "Callie," Aria said more firmly, forcing Callie to give her some attention. "Do you remember a certain conversation that we had last Christmas? About how not everyone wants what you want? About how Arizona gets to be the authority on what Arizona wants?" "Aria…" Callie complained. Why did she get the feeling like her sister and girlfriend were teaming up on her? "And can I also mention that I am a stay-at-home mom?" "Aria…" Callie warned. "And can I also just take a moment to point out how hilarious it is that progressive, feminist, you-can-have-it-all, girlsshould-rule-the-world, Calliope Torres has fallen madly in love with with a conservative, anti-abortion, somewhat "traditional" woman who has no career aspirations, wants to stay home with the kids, and has a Republican Overlord for a father?" "You are excused now, Aria," Callie growled at her sister. Aria smiled in resignation, having said all that she wanted to say, and got up from her chair, pulling her husband along with her. Arizona just glanced over at Callie after they were gone. "Now do you see why I didn't want to talk about this?" Arizona asked, a somewhat amused smile on her face. Callie laughed mirthlessly at that and nodded her head. "Uh huh," she agreed.

"Callie, I…" Arizona paused. "I know that...that this is not something that you would ever want to do, or that you would ever pressure me to do. And while I do want to support your career, and I have a desire to make your life easier for you, that's not why I want to do this. I don't just want to be your housewife. I want to stay home because I want to raise my children, and I want to do it 24/7." Callie considered Arizona's face for a moment—Arizona looked incredibly serious, like her mind was very made up, like she had already carefully considered this. And then Callie exhaled, putting her face in her hands and giving herself a chance to think. Her immediate response to Arizona's desire to stay at home was to reject it outright. The entire idea rubbed Callie the wrong way. And at that moment in time, Callie really hated some of the promises that she'd made in Paris. She didn't want to take Arizona seriously. She didn't want to respect Arizona's choices. She wanted to tell Arizona she was too young to make such a weighty decision, and that she was insane if she thought Callie would allow her to throw away such a brilliant and promising future. But Callie had given her word to Arizona, and she'd just been reminded of that. So she kept quiet, holding her face in her hands and thinking. "Arizona," Callie sighed, sitting back up after a few minutes. Arizona was watching her patiently. How was Arizona so calm? How did someone so young seem to have such a firm understanding of what she wanted? "Arizona I...I just...I'm just concerned about you making this decision now. Why not work for a few years, see if you like it, and then decide?" "Because that's not what I want," Arizona said simply. "Arizona," Callie tried again. "Do you not think we can handle two careers and a family? Is that it?" "No," Arizona replied just as calmly. "I know we could handle two careers and a family." Callie just stared at her girlfriend. If Arizona knew that Callie wasn't pressuring her into this, and she knew that she could have a career if she wanted one, then why on earth did Arizona want to stay at home? "And you know that...that I would support whatever career, you wanted, right?" Callie tried, grasping at straws. "I know, Callie," Arizona nodded. "I do know that." "Then...then why?" Callie asked, feeling absolutely bewildered. "Why in the world do you think you want to—" "Because the thought of it makes me happy," Arizona answered her. "So unbelievably happy. And sure, I do like accounting. And a law career probably wouldn't be bad. But I'm not passionate about that. And I never inherited my parent's love of politics, or public service, or the military. And I just…" Arizona shrugged. "I'm not ambitious in the same way you are, Callie. I don't have this...this need to prove myself or climb to the top. And I'm getting the feeling that it seems backward to you, but I really do want the wife and the kids and the dog and the house with the white picket fence." Callie just looked at Arizona contemplatively for a moment, and the blonde quickly added, "But maybe not the dog, because the smell and get hair all over the place." Callie grinned at that—she'd never been much of a dog person herself. "Callie, I love hanging out with you and Sofia," Arizona said, continuing on. "And sure, cruises down the Seine and VIP nightclubs are fun, but...but my happiest times are when we're just together. Snuggling with Sofia and reading a book. Playing hide-and-go-seek, even if she hides in the same damn spot every time." Callie grinned at the description. Sofia was a generally intelligent child—probably ahead of the curve in areas that would help her in school. But she still didn't quite grasp the strategy of hide-and-go-seek. "And we really haven't had many chances to spend lazy days together, just the three of us. But I loved waking up with you at Camp David, and again a few weeks ago when you guys slept at the White House. I wanna wake up with you and our kids every morning, and be able to cook breakfast and pack lunches and...and just take care of you guys. I want that. I want to be able to chaperone field trips and pick up the kids in the middle of the day when they're sick, and have afterschool outings instead of putting them in daycare, and—" "Arizona, I—" Callie nodded, softly, holding up her hand again. She'd gotten the picture, and Arizona was beginning to sound like an infomercial for stay-at-home moms. "I get it." "You do?" Arizona asked skeptically. "Because you don't look like you—" "I do," Callie confirmed. "I still...I still would like you to keep an open mind about this, because this isn't something that has to be set in stone this early…"

"Okay," Arizona nodded. "But...but if that is truly what you decide that you want, and...and come graduation, you still feel this way, then...well then I guess we can take Sofia out of daycare." Arizona smiled broadly and leaned over to place an excited kiss on Callie's cheek. "Thank you," she said. "Uh huh," Callie nodded. Her head couldn't quite wrap around it yet, but she was going to do her best to try. But it just seemed weird that her very young girlfriend wanted to stay home and take care of her daughter. "And um...and you've mentioned other kids," Callie said cautiously. "Do you...do you have a particular timeline in mind?" As long as they were talking about the subject, Callie figured, why not ask? Arizona just looked amused. "Callie, are you sure you want to talk about that now, too?" Callie just chuckled. "We might as well. Just get it all out now so we don't have surprises later." Arizona shrugged. "Okay," she nodded. "I uh, I want kids soon. Like maybe we could try getting pregnant a year or two after I graduate." "And...and you realize that you'll be 23 or 24 at that point?" Callie said. The idea of wanting kids that young struck Callie as being insane. But she was now almost certain that Arizona was, in fact, absolutely bonkers, so she supposed that it fit. "Yes, Callie, I am aware of how old I am," Arizona said, a teasing smile on her face. "Okay…" Callie said. The idea of having more children so soon was certainly surprising, but not exactly unwelcome. She'd rather have more kids while she was still somewhat young—the idea of becoming a mother again in her forties was a little scary. "And I can carry them," Arizona mentioned again. "But could...well…" Arizona sighed and looked down. "Sweetie, what?" Callie asked, noticing that Arizona looked much more somber than she had just a few seconds earlier. In fact, Arizona's entire body had tensed up to a somewhat alarming level. "Timmy," Arizona said softly. "You want to name a son after your brother?" Callie asked gently. She was very surprised to hear that name—Arizona had never spoken about her brother, not once. Callie only knew about Timothy Robbins' death because their family was famous. A son who had given his life in service to his country wasn't something people ignored during a presidential election, even though the Robbins campaign had repeatedly asked people to respect it as a private family matter. And Callie had tried to gently bring Tim up on more than one occasion, but had always offered Arizona an obvious way out of the conversation. A way out that Arizona had always immediately taken. Callie was pretty sure this was the first time Arizona had ever uttered her brother's name in her presence. "Arizona, of course we can do that," Callie said quietly, careful to be extra sensitive. "No, I...well, yeah, I do want to name a son after my brother, if we do have a boy. But.." Arizona took a deep breath, clearly very uncomfortable to be talking about this subject. "Tim froze his sperm for me, before he um...uh...well before he..." Arizona swallowed, clearly not wanting to say the word "died." Callie nodded encouragingly, letting Arizona know she could take her time. "So anyways," Arizona said, apparently deciding to just avoid finishing that sentence entirely, "could I...could we harvest some of your eggs, and...and use his sperm? So my brother um, has a legacy?" "Arizona," Callie sighed, her heart touched by how vulnerable Arizona had looked while asking. "Sweetie," Callie said, transferring herself to Arizona's lounge chair and pulling her girlfriend close. "Of course we can. I think that would be really special." "Thank you," Arizona said, mumbling the words into Callie's neck. Callie took a minute to just hold Arizona, to rub her back reassuringly and silently comfort her. Arizona seemed grateful for it, clutching the loose fabric of Callie's shirt and letting Callie take most of her body weight. "But Arizona," Callie asked after a few quiet minutes, after her girlfriend seemed much less tense. "Why don't we just use a turkey baster? Let me get pregnant one more time? You've got way more years left than I do." Arizona looked up in surprise. "Really? You...you want to be pregnant again?" "Sure," Callie shrugged. "I loved being pregnant with Sofia."

"But won't that interfere with your work?" Arizona asked with concern. "Well we can try and time it so I'm due in spring. That way, I'd have the whole summer off to recover. And if not, well, I can take maternity leave." Arizona just looked at Callie in disbelief. "So you're...you're actually open to this? You're open to the idea of me staying at home, and...and having my brother's kid?" "Yeah," Callie smiled, brushing a strand of golden hair behind Arizona's ear. "Well then can I ask one more thing?" Arizona asked, a little bit of mischief in her eyes. Callie just snorted. At this point, she didn't think Arizona could possibly surprise her. And she was happy to see some light back in Arizona's eyes. "Hit me." Arizona smiled. "So um...Aria called you 'Calliope.' Is that your real name?" "Ugh, yes," Callie groaned. In addition to their continuing silence ever since the sex tape, her name was even more evidence that her parents hated her. "Well then, can I um...can I call you that?" Callie sent a teasing glare at her girlfriend and pointed a finger at her face. "Do not push me, Arizona." Arizona just smirked and swatted the finger away, leaning in for a slow and tender kiss. "I love you, Calliope."

*Chapter 26*: Chapter 26
AN: Thank you all so much for your continuing support of this story! All of your reviews mean so much to me :) ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "Alright, cutie-pie, time to get out," Arizona said cheerfully, standing from the stool that sat next to the tub and grabbing Sofia's towel off the rack. "But I don't wanna," Sofia said, still splashing around and playing with her "The Little Mermaid" toys. "I know," Arizona nodded in sympathy, throwing the towel over her shoulders and reaching her hands out for Sofia to grab. "But it's time for bed." Sofia just pouted and let of a high-pitched whining noise. "Sofia, come on," Arizona encouraged. "You've had a very long day, flying home and then going to the park with your daddy and Lexie. Now you need your rest." Sofia's pout just deepened and she crossed her arms over her chest in defiance. "Sofia, if you don't get out of the tub right now," Arizona said sternly, "then we're not going to have time for your story." That seemed to get the little girl's attention, and after a quick glare, she growled and then reluctantly extended her arms, allowing Arizona to help her out of the tub. Arizona tried not to smile in amusement as she wrapped Sofia up in her towel and gave her a quick kiss on the top of her head. As long as Callie's daughter wasn't throwing an all-out tantrum, Arizona usually thought Sofia was cute when she was grumpy. Probably because she resembled a grumpy Callie. "Alright, can you put your jammies on and brush your teeth for me?" Arizona asked once Sofia was dry. Sofia nodded her head, now able to handle both tasks without supervision. "Okay," Arizona nodded. "I'm gonna go neaten up your room a bit." Arizona sighed softly to herself as she headed down the hallway to Sofia's room. She was actually feeling a little jealous of the little girl, because unlike herself, Sofia actually got to go to bed. Whereas Arizona had a conversation with Callie, Mark, and Lexie to get to—a conversation that she knew would be anything but relaxing. Arizona really wished that they could talk some other time—a time when she wasn't feeling jet lagged and exhausted from travelling—but Mark had asked to sit down and talk as soon as possible. So as soon as Sofia was all tucked in, she knew she had to head downstairs. Would it be so bad if she "accidentally" fell asleep in Sofia's bed? "Okay, ready!" Sofia said, appearing in the bedroom a minute or two later. Arizona had never seen the bedroom in its torn-up state, but it looked much different than she had seen it before. Gone was the princess bed with the balcony and slide; in it's place was a more grown-up bed that had much more room. There were fewer toy boxes than before— probably because Callie had only replaced the toys that Sofia currently played with, and not the ones she had long outgrown—and there was now a kid-sized table where Sofia could color or do other crafts. Essentially, Callie had stocked the room to suit Sofia as she transitioned from a toddler to a kindergartener. But it still felt very happy, very kidfriendly, and very Sofia. "Alright, baby girl," Arizona smiled, switching off the main light so the room had a more relaxed feeling, but still offered enough illumination to read. "What book do you want?" "Purple crayon?" Sofia asked hopefully, hopping into her bed and sliding close to the wall so Arizona had lots of room. Arizona chuckled and then grabbed the book from Sofia's half-unpacked suitcase. Apparently "Harold and the Purple Crayon" was the little girl's latest obsession, and Arizona had already read it to her three times during their stay in Miami. "Okay," Arizona said, lifting Sofia's covers and snuggling up next to Sofia in the very comfortab le new bed. The temptation to "accidentally" doze off with the three-year-old was even stronger now. "Here we go," she said, holding the book out in front of her and opening the cover. "Arizona?" came Sofia's small voice before Arizona had a chance to read the first line. "Yeah baby?" Arizona said softly, turning to look into those adorable brown eyes that looked just like her girlfriend's.

"Why did you go?" Sofia asked. "Why did I go where?" Arizona asked, not understanding what Sofia was asking. "Away," Sofia responded simply. "When the bad people were mean to my room." "Oh," Arizona breathed out, surprised that Sofia was asking her, and not quite sure how to respond. They hadn't ended up having the "Arizona is staying forever" conversation in Miami, and Arizona wasn't exactly sure how Callie had explained their break-up to the three-year-old. "Well um," Arizona sighed, setting the book on Sofia's nightstand and then turning on her side so she was facing Sofia. Arizona took a deep breath. "Sofia, you know how sometimes your mommy or daddy or Lexie make you do something that you don't want to do?" Sofia nodded. That was a very regular occurrence in the little girl's life. "Well…" Arizona said. "I didn't want to go away, but I had to. I didn't have a choice." Sofia just stared at her with those beautiful brown eyes, looking uncertain. "Are you going to go away again?" Sofia asked softly. "No baby," Arizona shook her head. "No, I'm gonna stay." Arizona smiled and reached out to stroke Sofia's soft brown hair. Simply being around the little girl for the past few days had felt strange. Arizona had always known that there was a possib ility that she was going to be in Sofia's life for good, but knowing it with certainty was an entirely different feeling. And even though Sofia wasn't exactly her daughter, Arizona knew that she would eventually come to love Sofia that way, and it was unavoidable that she'd be filling something that resembled a parental role in the little girl's life. Arizona was cognizant of the fact that Sofia already had two mothers, but if she was going to be Callie's partner, Callie's wife, then there was no avoiding the fact that Arizona would be mothering Sofia, at least to a certain extent. Arizona was going to be raising this little girl. And she was trying not to get her hopes up, but she was secretly hoping that she would get to be Sofia's mom as well. "You won't leave again?" Sofia asked, looking sad and afraid. "No, Sofia," Arizona shook her head, her heart breaking slightly at how insecure Sofia looked. "I'm never going to leave again. I'm gonna be here for your first day of school, and for all your birthday parties, for your first date, for your college graduation, for your wedding, for everything. I'm staying. I'm never leaving again." "I missed you," Sofia said, snuggling closer to Arizona and burying her face in Arizona's chest. "Oh, sweetheart, I missed you too," Arizona said, feeling close to tears. She had missed the little girl. Sure, Callie had been the one to break her heart, but Arizona had definitely missed them both. "And I thought about you every day. I love you so much." "I love you too," Sofia murmured against Arizona's t-shirt. "Arizona?" she asked a few moments later, pulling away and looking back up at Arizona's face. "Yeah?" "You love mommy?" "Yeah," Arizona nodded, unable to stop a wide grin from spreading across her face. "Yeah, I love your mommy very much." "Like daddy and Lexie?" Arizona nodded again, fondly running a hand through Sofia's hair. "Yes. Your mommy and I love each other just like your daddy and Lexie love each other." Arizona smiled when Sofia just stared at her quizzically. "Is that okay with you?" Arizona asked. Sofia crinkled up her nose a little bit. "Do you kiss like daddy and Lexie do?" she asked, looking disgusted. Arizona giggled at the horrified look on Sofia's face. She and Callie tried to be somewhat physically discreet around the little girl, to the extent that Arizona couldn't remember a time she'd kissed Callie in front of Sofia, save for that very first kiss in the snow. But she supposed that that level of caution would soon be a thing of the past—she doubted that Callie would shy away from chaste kisses in front of the little girl, now that things between them were...well...permanent.

"Yeah, Sofia," Arizona informed the girl, "I kiss your mommy on her lips." "But it's so gross!" Sofia whined. Arizona again chuckled at Sofia's reaction but then shrugged unapologetically. "Sorry, sweetie." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie watched silently from the hallway as Arizona snuggled in bed with her daughter, reading Sofia's favorite book of the month. She had come upstairs, intending to join the pair for story-time, but had stopped short when she'd heard Sofia questioning Arizona about the blonde's recent absence. Callie had immediately felt a sense of panic, but then...but then Arizona had handled it wonderfully. She'd explained it in a way that Sofia had been able to understand, and she'd done an excellent job of soothing the three-year-old's fears and concerns. Callie wasn't sure she could have done it any better herself. And that was why Callie was currently in the hallway, watching Arizona and Sofia instead of joining them—because Arizona was amazing with kids, and Callie simply had too much to think about. Callie released a tired sigh. So much had happened in such a short period of time. She'd flown to Paris to get Arizona back, and just a few days later, here they were. They'd promised forever to each other. Callie had committed to doing a better job of listening to Arizona. And then...then they'd talked about having kids, and about Arizona's desire to stay home with them. It still just struck Callie as weird, almost inconceivab le, that Arizona wanted that. And there was still that small voice in her head—a voice that she was actively trying to shut up for good—that told her she was unfairly stealing Arizona's youth from her, and that Arizona forgoing a career just made it worse. But there was another voice in her head—one that sounded a lot like Aria—that pointed out that this had always been a weakness of hers. She'd never been very good at understanding other peoples' perspectives, at stepping into to other peoples' shoes. She had a very clear idea of how the world worked, and she'd always had a hard time realizing that not everyone saw the world exactly the way she saw it. People were different from her, and that was okay. Arizona was different from her, and that was okay. And it wasn't that Callie looked down on stay-at-home moms. Yes, her initial reaction was to be a little squeamish about the concept—it struck her as being a relic from the past, from a time when women were expected to be domestic. But she realized that if someone wanted that, if someone freely chose that, well then...who was she to argue? But she just couldn't personally understand why someone would want that. But even more importantly, she didn't want Arizona to have any regrets. She didn't want this adorable woman that she loved with everything she had to ever regret their life together. She didn't want Arizona to regret bypassing the freedom of her twenties. She didn't want Arizona to regret essentially becoming a mother at the tender age of twenty-one. She didn't want Arizona to regret not travelling the globe, not experiencing the freedom of being single, not having a fabulous and flashy career. Callie's worst nightmare was that one day, ten years from now, Arizona would wake up next to a forty-four-year-old Callie and realize that this wasn't at all what she wanted for her life. And Callie didn't know what was more frightening—the possibility that Arizona would leave (which she knew would never actually happen—Arizona was too duty-bound for that), or the possibility that Arizona would stay. Callie didn't know how she would live with herself if Arizona felt trapped, if Arizona came to regret the heavy commitments she'd made in her youth, and if Arizona spent the rest of her life bitter, resentful, and depressed. Callie was so afraid of ruining Arizona's life. Because Callie had lived. Callie had experienced. Callie knew exactly what she wanted. Did Arizona? More and more, Callie was coming to the conclusion that Arizona did know what she wanted. It was a difficult thing for Callie to grasp, because she, herself, had been such an idiot at Arizona's age. But Callie was slowly understanding her young girlfriend more and more. And it was hard, because Arizona's thought processes just seemed so foreign to Callie, but Callie was gradually coming to see that Arizona was very self-aware. And Callie hated to admit it, but she was almost to the conclusion that Arizona was more self-aware at twenty-one than she was at thirty-four. It was a rather humbling thought. And as Callie continued to watch Arizona animatedly reading out loud to Sofia, she couldn't help but admit that Arizona simply had a way with kids. She had Sofia's rapt attention; the little girl was hanging on Arizona's every word. And it was apparent, just from their body language, that Arizona and Sofia absolutely adored one another. Callie knew that the

blonde would be an incredible blessing in her daughter's life, and in the lives of any other children that might one day fill their home. Arizona was going to be a great mother, and it didn't at all escape Callie that if a person of the caliber of Arizona Rob b ins was pouring herself into their kids, day in and day out, then their kids were going to be fantastic. Their kids would have an amazing, happy childhood, and they would grow into incredible adults. "Hey, you two," Callie said softly, finally entering the room when she recognized that Arizona was nearing the end of the book. She'd promised her daughter that she'd be up to say goodnight, and now seemed as good a time as any to make her presence known. "Hi mommy!" her baby girl chirped happily. "Hey," Arizona said, greeting her with a warm smile. "You're just in time—we've only got a few pages left." "Mommy, Arizona says you kiss gross like daddy and Lexie," Sofia murmured quietly, as Callie sat on the lower half of the bed, just below where Sofia's feet stopped. "Oh yeah?" Callie asked, affectionately grabbing Sofia's foot through her comforter. "Like this?" she asked, leaning over to press her lips ever so softly against Arizona's. "No! Don't do it!" Sofia complained loudly, lifting her covers over her head. "But why not, baby girl?" Callie teased, her eyes still on a smirking Arizona. Callie loved the way those blue eyes sparkled in the dim light. "It's grossssssss!" Sofia exclaimed, peeking her head back out from under the covers to see if the coast was clear, and leaving the covers down when she saw that Callie's face was again nowhere near Arizona's. "Hmm, you just remember that for when you're sixteen, okay?" Callie asked. Sofia just scrunched up her face in confusion. "Anyways, Sofia," Callie chuckled slightly. "Let's just finish your book. And then it's sleepy time." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "Cal, you want a beer?" Mark said, standing from the couch in Callie's living room, where he and Lexie had been watching a baseball game. "Uh, yeah," Callie nodded in agreement. "And I bet that Arizona would probably like one too, if you asked her," she said, nodding to the blonde standing right next to her. They had just returned to the first floor after giving Sofia her goodnight hugs and kisses. "Yeah a beer would be good," Arizona smiled timidly. "Thanks, Mark." "Oh...she's staying?" Mark asked Callie, cautiously eyeing Arizona. "Well you could stop talking about her like she's not here," Callie said, sounding annoyed. "But of course she's staying. You said we needed to have a talk about Sofia." "Yeah," Mark nodded. "But I meant the three of us...you know, Sofia's parents." "Oh," Callie said. "Well, yes, she's staying. She gets to be a part of this conversation." Arizona swallowed hard as she observed Sofia's biological parents. She knew that things had been strained between them lately, and she really hated that she was the cause of that. Mark was, in general, an amazing friend to her girlfriend. And he was always an excellent father to Sofia. She wanted them to get along with each other again. "Callie," Mark sighed, "I really don't think that's a good—" "I'm not arguing this with you, Mark," Callie huffed, reaching for Arizona's hand and leading the blonde to the couch opposite the one where Lexie was still seated, looking a little uncomfortable from the tension in the room. "Go get us some beers," she said with a wave, impatiently sending Mark off. "Fine," Mark sulked, exiting the living room and heading for the kitchen. A sheepish looking Lexie grabbed the remote to turn off the game. "Arizona," she said apologetically, "I'm sorry about

him. He...he really does have a good heart, deep down. But he can...well he can be a jerk sometimes." "It's okay, I know," Arizona replied, sending Lexie a soft smile. "I've met him." Callie snorted at that and then settled into the couch, putting her arm around Arizona's shoulders, helping Arizona to relax slightly. "Are you sure you're up for this, sweetie?" Callie asked quietly, so only Arizona could hear. "You just look really worn out, so if another night would be better, we could—" "No, it's okay," Arizona shook her head, forcing a smile. She was worn out, but she knew it would be better to have this conversation sooner rather than later. "Let's just get it over with." "Okay…" Callie said, looking less than convinced. "If you're sure…" Arizona just nodded that she was, so Callie sighed and sat up a little straighter as Mark walked back in the room. "Here," he said grumpily, offering a beer to both women. Then he a took a seat next to his wife, who immediately placed a calming hand on his knee. "Okay, so—" "Actually, Mark," Callie interrupted the man, "I need to say something first. Okay?" Mark just sighed in annoyance, but then nodded, taking a sip of his beer. "Okay," Callie said, squeezing Arizona gently before removing her arm from the blonde's shoulders. She leaned forward and set her own beverage on the coffee table, clasping both hands together and assuming a firm and determined posture. "When we were in Paris," Callie started out. "Arizona and I made some commitments to each other. Now…" Callie sighed. "We are not engaged yet, but we are going to be married eventually, and we are going to be spending the rest of our lives together. So I know that some of your concern is how badly Sofia could be hurt if Arizona has a big role in her life, and we break up, and Arizona walks away. And I'm saying that that's not going to happen. Arizona is here for good. She is not leaving. And that does not need to be any part of what we talk about tonight." "But Callie, how can you say that?" Mark argued. "You can't guarantee that you'll be together forever." "I can guarantee it just as much as you can guarantee you'll be with Lexie forever," Callie argued right back. "Mark, nothing in life is certain, but this is as certain as it gets." Arizona couldn't help but wrap her arms around her girlfriend and lean down to place a soft kiss on her shoulder. She had certainly been expecting Callie to be "on her side" during this conversation, but it meant so much to her that Callie seemed intent on defending her so adamantly. Everything from Callie's posture, to the tone of her voice, to the look on her face, said that Arizona was not to be messed with. Callie squeezed Arizona's thigh in acknowledgement of Arizona's affection, but kept her eyes trained on Mark. "Okay?" Callie asked when Mark remained silent. "Can we take Arizona's permanent presence as a given in this conversation?" "Fine," Mark sighed after a while. "And I need to say something, too. And...and that's that, Arizona," he said, looking directly at the blonde. "None of my concerns are...are about you as a person. I like you, I really do. And you make Callie happier than I've ever seen her, and that means a lot to me. I know I probably come across as an ass, but I'm just trying to protect my kid." "I know," Arizona nodded agreeably, but Callie rolled her eyes. "Mark, apologizing for being an ass does not give you free rein to just go ahead and be an ass," Callie said flatly. As Arizona took a drink of her beer, she eyed her girlfriend and couldn't help but smile internally. Sassy Callie was hot. "Can we just like...all take a breath?" Lexie spoke up, smiling nervously. "Turn it down a few notches?" Callie and Mark huffed simultaneously, but then nodded—first Mark, and then Callie. "Great," Lexie nodded. "Let's just remember that we all actually like one another." "So, moving on…" Mark started. "We need to figure out what our life looks like with four adults living here and raising Sofia, instead of three," Callie said.

"Alright, fine," Mark nodded, "so—" "Wha—wait. What?" Arizona spoke up. Three sets of eyes turned to look at Arizona, but Arizona was only looking at Callie, feeling absolutely caught off guard. Had Callie said "four adults living here"? When in the hell had that happened?! "What's up?" Callie looked at Arizona expectantly, as if she had no idea why Arizona was interrupting, why Arizona was confused. And Arizona felt way more than just confused. "Uh, wha—wa—uh," Arizona stuttered out, entirely unable to form words. "Di—did you say, that I'm...that I'm living here?" she finally managed to say. "Yeah," Callie answered easily, looking as though she didn't understand what the big deal was. Arizona just raised her eyebrows and opened her mouth slightly. She didn't know how to respond to that. Of course, sure, she was assuming that she would live with Callie at some point—she was planning on living with Callie for the rest of her life. But it was definitely news to her that Callie expected her to move in soon. "Callie um…" Arizona said, glancing nervously at Mark and Lexie before looking back and her girlfriend. "I...I don't remember having this conversation…" she said apologetically. Had Callie asked her in bed, and she'd replied in her sleep? But when she finished saying that, Callie's eyes immediately registered alarm, and Mark just scoffed, "Well I'm glad you two are so prepared for this conversation!" "Mark," Lexie quickly quieted her husband. "Arizona, I…" Callie said, swallowing and then also casting a nervous glance at Sofia's other parents. "Guys we'll be back in just a sec," Callie said, grabbing Arizona's hand and pulling her out of the room and into the dining room. Callie closed the door behind them and then took a deep breath. "Callie, I—" "Arizona, I just...I just assumed, that since..." Callie started, her anxiety coming off of her in waves. "I, I mean, if you don't want to, then of course, you don't have to. I never meant to imply that you...if you're not ready...I just...I just assumed that…" Callie exhaled and shook herself slightly. "Wow, I am such an idiot. Please don't think that I— " "Callie, Callie, Callie," Arizona said, approaching her girlfriend and gently grabbing both of her shoulders. "Calm down, it's okay. I'm not upset. We just clearly didn't communicate here. It's okay." "So I'm not being pushy and overbearing?" Callie asked, her eyes fearful. "No, not at all," Arizona smiled. "I mean, I'm the one who basically told you that you have to propose to me." Callie slowly exhaled and closed her eyes, apparently trying to calm down. "I'm sorry for freaking you out," Arizona laughed softly, pulling her lover into her arms. "And I'm sorry that I didn't even think to ask you if you wanted to move in," Callie said. "Do you?" she asked a moment later, pulling out of the hug far enough to see Arizona's eyes. "Do you want to move in?" Arizona swallowed and then nodded tentatively. She was...well, she was a little blindsided by the offer—it hadn't been expected. But of course she wanted to. Of course she wanted to fall asleep next to Callie each night and wake up next to Callie each morning. In her mind, there wasn't anything better. "Yeah?" Callie asked hopefully. "Yeah," Arizona nodded. "Your parents wont…" "They'll be a little concerned," Arizona nodded. That was a bit of an understatement—she assumed that her mom in particular would think they were moving too quickly. But she didn't want to alarm Callie. "Didn't they make you live at home?" Callie asked. Arizona sighed. "They...they very strongly expressed their desire for me to live at home, and…"

"And you're not the type to disrespect their wishes, even if their wishes aren't technical commands," Callie finished for her. Arizona nodded—Callie had a pretty good understanding of Arizona's relationship with (and respect for) her parents. "And this is actually better for you guys in terms of security," Arizona shrugged. "Yes, there are international terrorists who want me dead, and not just homophobic jerks, but...but the Secret Service will have the whole b lock locked down if I live here. I mean, you'll order something from a store, and it'll be late, because they'll have inspected it for chemical weapons." "Oh that'll make me real popular with the neighbors," Callie smiled. Arizona smiled sheepishly. "Sorry." "And they won't…" Callie said. "Your mom won't think that I'm trying to control you?" "I'll...I'll talk with her," Arizona said. "You don't have to worry about her, I'll handle it." "Okay, so," Callie said, nodding her head towards the door. "We should probably get back in there?" "Yeah," Arizona nodded. "But wait," she said when Callie immediately began walking towards the living room. Callie turned back around and Arizona smiled dreamily at her. "Calliope, we're moving in together," she said, grinning widely. Callie immediately smiled to match and then walked back towards Arizona, her arms immediately wrapping around the blonde's slim hips. "We're moving in together." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "Alright, sorry about," Callie said, walking back into the living room, her knees still a little wobbly from the passionate kiss she and Arizona had just shared. "Just a um...a minor miscommunication." "So Blondie's gonna be living here?" Mark asked as the two women sat back down on the sofa. "Yes I am," Arizona nodded firmly. "You're sure?" Mark asked. "You two don't need to go have another break-out discussion session?" "We're sure," Callie nodded, wishing Mark would wipe that smirk off his face. "Okay, because you also said you were sure about the fact that Arizona's sticking around, but if you're not on the same page—" "We're sure, Mark!" Callie snapped. She knew that he did have a reason to be poking fun at them at the moment—it was pretty bad that she had thought they'd be living together while Arizona had been clueless about it—but that didn't mean she appreciated Mark rubbing it in. "So," Callie said, sitting up and clearing her throat. "Like I said earlier, we need to figure out exactly how things will work with four adults here instead of three." "Alright," Lexie said, speaking up immediately. It didn't escape anyone's notice that she was doing so only to prevent Mark from speaking further. "Callie, what do you suggest?" "Well…" Callie said. "Obviously, this is a little unconventional. Sofia already had a dad and two moms. And I need to make it clear that Arizona has not been pressuring me at all to become a third mom, but...but I think that's essentially what she needs to be. If we have different levels of authority, then we're going to have different levels of Sofia's respect, and I just don't think that's healthy, especially when Sofia starts getting siblings." "And what would happen if we disagree on something as parents?" Lexie asked calmly, again speaking up before Mark could jump in. Callie shrugged slightly. "Basically what happens now." In general, Callie, Mark, and Lexie were all on the same page when it came to parenting. They each felt free to make in-the-moment, low-importance decisions when it came to their daughter, and if a major issue ever arose, they sat down and talked about it. And when it really came down to it, Callie and Mark made the final call. But they always presented a united front to their little girl. Arizona was the next to speak up. "I know that 'custody' is like…a really, really bad word in this type of discussion," she said quietly, "and obviously I can't forsee anyone in this room ever initiating a custody battle, but um...just so I know...what is Sofia's custody arrangement?" "Uh, Mark and I share legal custody of her," Callie explained to her girlfriend. "We've done everything we can do for Lex as

a stepmom, which really isn't that much. But she has a Power of Attorney and she's a Health Care Surrogate, and she'd get guardianship if something happened to Mark and me. And um, I have sole physical custody." "And in this scenario you're proposing," Lexie said as Arizona nodded her understanding, "Arizona would be another stepmom? Both in terms of legal stuff and decision-making?" "That's um, I think that would be best," Callie agreed. "Callie, you can't be serious," Mark said, his voice less confrontational and sarcastic, and more calm and thoughtful. Callie took a deep breath before responding, careful not to snap at her friend. "What about that do you object to?" she asked. Mark looked at Arizona for a moment, and then back to Callie. "You're asking for me to let you give a twenty-one-year-old a Power of Attorney for my kid?" "Mark," Callie sighed in annoyance. "You know how it works. If for some reason, b oth you and I were unavailable, her decisions would fly. But if you disagree, your opinion automatically trumps hers. There's no legal way around that." "Arizona, do you even want this responsibility?" Mark asked next, turning to look at the blonde. "I mean, you're just a kid yourself." Callie opened her mouth to defend her girlfriend, but then closed it. Mark hadn't mean that as a dig. And it was a fair question—a question that Callie had repeatedly raised to Arizona herself. "Mark, it's not...it's not so much a matter of wanting it," Arizona said. "It's a matter of...being ready and willing to accept it. And I understand that being with Callie means raising Sofia. So yes, it's a responsibility I'm willing to accept. And I'm...and I'm not ignorant of what a…" Arizona just shook her head, apparently searching for words, "...what a phenomenally serious responsibility and commitment it is." "I just...I don't know," Mark sighed. "Well what else do you suggest, Mark?" Callie asked. "Arizona's gonna be around for...for good. She needs to have a well-defined role in Sofia's life, and...and I don't see why she should be any different from the rest of us." "But Cal, you and I are her parents," Mark said. "And Lexie's been here from the beginning." "Mark, 'Lexie got here first,' is a pretty weak argument." "But Sofia has never known life without Lexie, whereas Arizona is still somewhat new." "But Mark, seriously," Callie argued. "How much of your life as a three-year-old do you remember? It's not gonna be very long until Sofia doesn't remember life before Arizona. And I, uh," Callie said, exhaling thoughtfully, "I wouldn't be surprised if she already doesn't remember it." "I guess, but—" "And honestly, that's even more reason why Arizona needs to start acting like a mom as soon as possible," Callie interrupted. "Because then, Sofia could very well have no memory of Arizona being anything b ut her mom." Mark sighed and nodded his agreement to that argument. "But Callie," he spoke up a moment later. "And again, Arizona," he said, looking at the blonde, "this isn't anything against you personally. But…" he sighed, looking back at Callie, "but I'm just concerned about someone so young making parenting decisions. I mean, Arizona's b rain isn't even gonna be fully developed for another four years!" "That's actually true," Lexie spoke up. "Her prefrontal cortex is likely not done developing, and that can affect impulse control, planning, anticipating consequences…" "Okay, guys," Callie interrupted, "Arizona is not your patient, and I'm not concerned about her decision-making capabilities" she said, reaching over to pat her girlfriend's thigh in sympathy. The blonde's shoulders had sunk at the news that she didn't possess a fully adult brain, and there was now an absolutely adorable pout on her lips. Callie couldn't help but chuckle softly and leave a kiss on top of her girlfriend's poor, not-quite-fully-developed head. "And Mark," she said, looking back over at her friend, "come on. She's not going to be parenting in a vacuum. I'm here. You're here. Lexie is here. And again, for any kind of major issue, we'll sit down and talk about it together. But she needs to be able to sign a medical form for school, and give Sofia a time-out, and...and...and just do those everyday things that parents do.

She needs to feel the freedom to teach Sofia right and wrong, and to encourage good behaviors while sanctioning bad ones. She needs to b e ab le to parent." Mark sighed again. "I just…" "Seriously, Mark," Callie pushed. "What else do you suggest? Arizona is going to be here, in Sofia's life. She is my partner. She is going to be my wife. In terms of Sofia's feelings of stability, and security, and knowing what to expect from the adults in her life, what else do you suggest?" At that, Mark just leaned back against his couch, staring at the ceiling and exhaling slowly. Callie swallowed, her entire body feeling excited, but her brain trying not to get her hopes up. But she could sense it. He was about to give up. She was about to get what she wanted. "Fine," he finally breathed out, not even bothering to sit up, his eyes still boring holes in the ceiling. "Fine?" Callie asked. "Fine," Mark repeated. "Lexie?" Callie asked, looking at Mark's wife for her agreement as well. Lexie nodded. "Works for me." Callie's face broke out into a huge smile as she did a little internal happy dance. That had been easier than she'd anticipated. "Well congratulations, Arizona," she said turning to face her girlfriend, who also had a bright smile on her face. "You're gonna be a mom." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona took a step back to survey the closet, thoughtfully chewing on her bottom lip. Yep, everything fit okay. She hadn't been expecting Callie to give her any closet space. She would have been perfectly happy to use a dresser and closet in one of the spare bedrooms. But Callie would have none of that, and had insisted that they could rotate which clothes would go in the master bedroom's closets based on the season, and that that way, they could both have their clothes in one bedroom. And while Arizona didn't require that consideration, it felt nice to have it. Callie was making a point of making her feel welcome, of making her feel like this was her home, too. It had been about a week since she had agreed to move in with Callie. A very, very stressful week—Arizona's parents had not been pleased. At all. Her father hadn't been too happy from a security perspective, even though really, the Secret Service could ensure her safety in the townhome just fine. But their real concern was that Arizona wasn't making wise choices. And Arizona really couldn't blame them. It still had only been a matter of weeks since the sex tape had been released. And Arizona, in her parents eyes, had gone from being their straight, drama-free, academically successful daughter to being...well...in a lesbian sex tape. To them, it seemed like all of a sudden, Arizona was gay and madly in love with not just an older woman, but an older woman who spanked her and who also happened to be her professor. And then to complicate things even further, she and this older woman had broken up, and now they were back together, and suddenly Arizona was moving in with her and agreeing to parent her three-year-old daughter. That was a lot. It sounded like something out of a soap opera, and she understood why her parents were still trying to find their balance. But what had made it a truly stressful week for Arizona was that her parents had forbidden her from moving out. They hadn't asked her not to; they had told her not to. And she was twenty-one—they really didn't have any legal say. But it absolutely killed Arizona to go against her parent's wishes. They had given her so much, and she had nothing but respect for them. And they had very stronglyobjected to her moving plans—their reaction had been much stronger than Arizona had been anticipating. So Arizona had shed more than a few tears that week, knowing that she was acting in direct opposition to what they wanted. And it also raised her stress level to know that this would not at all assist in strengthening the relationship between Callie and her parents. Daniel and Barbara had made it clear that Arizona was still expected at all Saturday morning breakfasts, and they had strongly encouraged her to bring Callie as well. Both she and Callie were dreading that upcoming Saturday, just a few days away. But, Arizona supposed, at least they were speaking to her. At least they were still open to getting to know Callie. At least

Arizona knew that no matter what she did, her parents' love for her was absolute and unconditional. Callie didn't have that. Callie's parents still hadn't spoken to her since the sex tape had come out. And Arizona's girlfriend had all but stopped trying to call them. "Hey, everything fitting okay?" The sound of her girlfriend's voice pulled Arizona out of her thoughts, and she hastily wiped a stray tear out of her eye before turning around. "Yeah," she said, forcing a smile. "Thanks again for making me some closet space." Callie just chuckled and approached Arizona, pulling her into a hug. Arizona closed her eyes. Callie's arms around her felt so good, so comforting. "I still think you're crazy for suggesting that you use a closet in a guest room. This is your bedroom now, too." Arizona just smiled softly as she continued to press her body intimately against her girlfriend's. That was still a weird thought. She could still remember that first night, babysitting Sofia. The little girl had run into Callie's bedroom in search of her baby blanket, and Arizona had stood in the doorway, her eyes looking longingly at Callie's bed. And it had been several months now since Arizona had been invited into that bed. But now it was her b ed. Now she shared a bed with Callie. Now she was going to share a life with Callie. "I still can't believe I'm with you," Arizona murmured. She was living with Dr. Callie Torres. She was going to marry Dr. Callie Torres. How was that even possible? How had she ended up with such a magnificent creature? "What?" Callie asked. Arizona blushed slightly—she hadn't realized she'd said that out loud. "Nothing," she said, shaking her head. Callie pulled out of the hug, kissing Arizona's temple, before grabbing Arizona's hand. "Come on," she smiled. "I've got a surprise for you." "Okay…" Arizona said cautiously, nervously following Callie out of the bedroom. She really didn't like surprises. Callie laughed at the anxious tone of Arizona's voice. "You'll like this surprise," she said, stopping in front of one of the spare bedrooms. Maybe Arizona was going to get more closet space after all? Arizona just looked at her girlfriend skeptically. Were people going to jump out at her as soon as she opened the door? "Go on," Callie chuckled, gesturing towards the door. Bracing herself for impact and taking a deep breath, Arizona opened the door and stepped into the room. And a massive smile spread across her face once she saw what was inside. It was no longer a spare bedroom. It was an office. The focus of the room was a large, gorgeous wood desk. It was modern and elegant, yet comfortable—fitting in well with the decor of the rest of Callie's home. Within easy reach of the beautiful desk chair was a tall, sturdy bookcase. Closer to the window was a table and some chairs—which would be perfect for studying with Alex or Teddy. And finally, there was a leather loveseat, a footstool, and a decently sized TV, items that would come particularly in handy when Arizona needed a study break. "Calliope…" Arizona breathed out as she surveyed the room, not knowing quite what to say. "I thought you might need your own place to study," Callie said, hugging Arizona from behind and resting her chin on Arizona's shoulder. "It's perfect, Callie," Arizona smiled. "You even thought about people coming over for group projects." "Yeah, well, I know how hard it can be to find a decent table at the library," Callie said softly, kissing Arizona on the cheek. "And well…" Callie said, turning Arizona around in her arms. "I know that...that we'll probably get on each other's nerves once in awhile. So I thought...I thought it might be nice for you to have a place that's just yours. And I've already told Sofia that this room is off limits." "Thank you," Arizona said sincerely, leaning in to capture Callie's lips in a long, loving kiss. "You're welcome," Callie said, reaching up to run a hand through Arizona's hair. "I love you so much, Arizona." Arizona grinned widely. "I love you, too."

"And uh, plus," Callie said, moving further into the room and plopping herself down on the couch. "After you graduate, I'm sure you'll end up needing a desk for...I don't know...paperwork or whatever. And I hereby nominate you to do our taxes. As soon as I passed the REG section of the CPA, I promptly forgot everything I ever learned in tax." Arizona laughed out loud at that, though she figured she shouldn't be surprised. Callie exclusively taught financial accounting, and it was not at all uncommon for accountants who worked on financial statements to despise tax accounting. They were two different beasts entirely. "I'm serious!" Callie smiled. "And you've certainly had tax class way more recently than I have." "We'll have to see about that," Arizona said, walking over to the couch herself. "But don't you mean that after I graduate, I'll need a desk to study for law school?" she teased. "I mean, if you're so convinced that I'm gonna change my mind…" "Hey!" Callie argued playfully. "I'm trying here!" Arizona giggled and leaned in to kiss her girlfriend again. "I know you are, Callie." They had had a few more conversations about Arizona's desire to stay at home, and Arizona knew her girlfriend was working very hard to understand where she was coming from. "And I'm very thankful for that." "Good," Callie nodded. "So uh…" Arizona said, eyeing her new desk, a very naughty thought entering her mind all of sudden. "Sofia will still be with Lexie for another hour at least, right?" "Mm hmm," Callie nodded. "Well then," Arizona smirked devilishly, a little scared at how emboldened she was feeling about what she was planning —it was definitely new territory. "What do you say to uh...b reaking in my new desk?" A smiled immediately popped onto Callie's face, and the brunette quickly stood from the couch. "Sounds like a plan," she said, tugging Arizona up as well and positioning the blonde in front of her, ready to bend the blonde over the desk as usual. "Ah, ah, ah!" Arizona objected, turning around and waving a finger, dismissing Callie's plans. "This is my office, Calliope." Callie's eyes widened comically and her mouth opened slightly. "You mean…?" Arizona nodded darkly. Callie gulped audibly but then nodded in submission, her hands going to her gym shorts, dropping them to the floor along with her panties. And then when Arizona gestured, Callie removed her shirt and bra as well. "That's more like it," Arizona said, licking her lips in approval of her girlfriend's naked body. On the outside, she was trying to mimic the dominant behavior that Callie so often demonstrated, trying to replicate that calm, commanding sense of control. But on the inside, her heart felt like it was going to beat right out of her chest. She had never come close to anything that resembled dominant behavior with Callie, and she found it incredibly nerve-wracking. But trying to swallow her nerves, Arizona pushed Callie closer to the desk, trying to bend Callie over her desk just like the brunette did it—forcefully, but in a way that didn't cause pain. And then she thrust Callie's legs wide apart, remembering to give Callie's naked ass a firm, hard smack. Callie moaned loudly against the desk. "Calliope, am I doing this right?" Arizona asked a second later, her nerves finally getting the better of her when Callie moaned. She couldn't tell if that had been a moan of pain or of pleasure. "Shit, yes, Arizona," Callie rasped out, her arousal apparent in her voice. "But don't ask that. You need to act confident, even if you don't feel confident." "Okay," Arizona nodded. "And I'm not hurting you?" "No, not at all," Callie replied. "But stop asking. And holy hell, Arizona, hit me again. Please, please, please, please, please hit me again."

*Chapter 27*: Chapter 27
AN: The email alert for the last chapter I posted weirdly ended up in my gmail spam folder...even though normally it goes straight to my inbox. And I know other people experienced this same problem, so please do me a favor and make sure you actually read chapter 26 :) AN2: Also, a shout-out to cycworker for letting me bounce ideas off of you for this chapter. And also for your very thoughtful reviews :) AN3: Okay. Grey's starts back up again tonight. I am not delusional enough to think I'm going to remain spoiler free, but I'm not watching Season 10. This isn't me boycotting Shonda or anything, I still love the show and it has my full support. I just can't handle Calzona right now lol. If it takes, say, 14 episodes before they're finally reuniting and moving forward, then I don't want to have to live in that angst for 14 weeks. So what I'm doing, is I'm waiting until they are OK, and then I'm gonna watch all the episodes over a very short timespan. That way my angst is condensed :D So anyways, you can talk to me about S10, and I may have a *general* idea of what you're talking about, because let's face it—I'm not going to be able to completely avoid twitter AND tumblr AND livejournal. But yeah, please forgive my ignorance, because I probably won't be on top of things. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ "So which animal was your favorite today, Sofia?" Arizona asked, waiting for the answer she'd been conditioning the little girl to respond with. "Tigers," Sofia replied correctly. "And when your mommy asks you what tigers are, what are you gonna say?" "Kitties with...with orange and black!" Sofia answered, causing Arizona to grin and nod. Arizona didn't know why, but she'd always loved tigers as a little girl. So she was actively trying to get Sofia to like the felines as well, because it would give Arizona an excuse to buy tiger stuffed animals...and books...and...well, whatever other tiger-themed items they made for children these days. "That's right!" Arizona chirped, hitting the button to open the automatic door so she could push Sofia's empty stroller outside. "And honey, are you sure you don't want a ride?" Arizona asked as she and the little girl walked out of the building, trailed by their Secret Service detail. "It's a long walk back to the entrance of the zoo." "No, I can do it," Sofia replied, which made Arizona cringe a little internally. It was rather late in the afternoon, they'd been at the zoo for hours, and she could tell that the little girl was getting tired. Distracting her by quizzing her on animals helped to a certain extent, but Sofia had started to get cranky about fifteen minutes earlier, and Arizona estimated that it was still a twenty minute walk out of the zoo. That wasn't exactly good. "Are you sure, baby?" Arizona asked again. "It's pretty far away, and your little feet have already walked a lot today." "I'm not little!" Sofia said, a whiny edge entering her voice. "I can do it." "Okay…" Arizona sighed, mentally cursing herself for allowing Sofia to talk her into that one last exhibit. It was the second week in June, and they were in San Diego, accompanying Callie on her business trip. Arizona had been hoping to return to the hotel that evening with a happy Sofia, because Callie had been scheduled to present her paper at the conference that day, and Arizona knew it would be rather stressful for the brunette. So she really didn't want Callie to have to deal with a cranky three-year-old that evening. She wanted that night to be fun and relaxing. According to Callie, presenting papers wasn't usually all that stressful. It wasn't a speech, really—it was more of a discussion amongst colleagues. But this presentation had been causing the brunette anxiety for some very specific reasons: one, it was her first presentation since she'd become an instant celebrity because of the sex tape, and two, she was presenting the paper alongside its other author, Dr. Erica Hahn. The knowledge that Callie was presenting a paper with Dr. Hahn just made Arizona grip the stroller's handlebar more tightly. She really hated the fact that her girlfriend still collaborated with that woman. And Callie said that she hated it too, but that it was unavoidable. The kind of research that Callie did took time—years, usually—and Callie had been understandably reluctant to throw all that work away. So while it made Arizona crazy, she had grudgingly given Callie her blessing to keep working on this one last paper with Dr. Hahn. All of their other projects had been in the early stages of the research process, so the two professors had been able to divvy them up—Callie would be the sole author on some, and Dr. Hahn would take over the others. And Callie had promised Arizona that she and the older blonde were no longer friends in any capacity—all of the work they were required to do together was handled through detached, impersonal

emails. So while Arizona didn't like it—at all—she could live with it. She could tolerate it. At least until this final stupid paper got published. But overall, Erica Hahn-awkwardness aside, Callie, Arizona, and Sofia were having a fun time in San Diego. Sure, it was a bummer that Callie had to attend the conference during the day—that was the point of the trip—but Arizona and Sofia had played during the days, and all three of them had had fun in the evenings. Arizona supposed that one of Sofia's Secret Service agents, the reassigned Cristina Yang, wasn't having quite as much fun, however. Cristina had strongly objected to being put on the three-year-old's detail—she claimed that it was a demotion, and that she wasn't good with kids. But Arizona had insisted on the best possible protection for Callie's daughter, and that was Cristina Yang. The grumpy agent now went everywhere Sofia went, and Callie and Arizona had managed to convince her to "babysit" while Sofia slept at night in the hotel. That way, Callie and Arizona could enjoy a few hours to themselves each night, exploring San Diego without a child in tow. Cristina hadn't wanted to agree at first, but then Arizona had promised the holy grail—a presidential detail. Everyone in the world knew that after Daniel Robbins' time was done, the next Republican candidate for president would be Vice President Addison Montgomery. And everyone in the world also knew that Addy would win. She was a moderate Republican, meaning she would carry quite a few independents. And as she was decidedly progressive on women's issues, she stood a good chance of taking a ton of votes away from the Democrats in the form of female voters. It was time for a female President, and everyone knew it would be Addy. And when that happened, in exchange for playing nice with Sofia, Arizona would see to it that Cristina was on her detail. Cristina had immediately shut her mouth and agreed to babysitting when Arizona had offered that, which was no surprise. A presidential detail was as good at it could get for a Secret Service agent, and female agents were usually stuck covering the First Lady, or the president's kids. But a female president would surely have at least a few female agents, and Arizona had enough pull to make sure Cristina would be one of them. Arizona could tell from the moment she'd offered it that Cristina had mentally begun counting down to the moment when Addison became president. And Arizona couldn't blame her; she was counting down until then as well. Addison Montgomery was crazy hot as the Vice President, but as the actual President? The thought made Arizona a little weak in the knees. A gorgeous, intelligent woman in a pencil skirt and heels, leading the free world? Yes, please! In her late teen years, Arizona's go-to fantasy had been President Addison Montgomery, having an illicit affair with an intern, or a senator, or whoever the heck Arizona had felt like being on any given night. So Arizona couldn't wait for Addison to be president, either. Not that anything would ever actually happen—Addison was straight and Arizona wasn't going to be her intern or a senator. And now that she was with Callie, Arizona wouldn't sleep with the gorgeous red-head, even if she had the chance. But she still wanted Addy to be president. It was still hot. And who wouldn't like seeing their teenage dreams on TV every night? So once Cristina had been bribed into babysitting, Callie and Arizona had enjoyed some evenings out in San Diego. And after those evenings out, the pair had returned to their hotel, happy to enjoy the private bedroom that came with the suite Callie had booked. Arizona really wasn't sure what she would have done without that private bedroom. Sure, shower sex while Sofia was sleeping would have been an option if their beds were all in the same room, but when it came down to it, nothing could replace plain old vanilla sex—in a b ed—for Arizona, and she did not like the idea of having to go without. Family vacation when they had multiple kids was going to be...interesting. "Hey Sof," Arizona said, once they were about halfway back to the zoo entrance. "Why don't you hop in the stroller now, huh? It'll be really fun!" she said, nodding encouragingly and making sure her dimples popped. "I'll push it really fast!" "No!" Sofia said grouchily, her little feet stomping next to the stroller. "I said I can do it!" "Sweetie, I'm not saying you can't do it," Arizona said gently, trying to sound as understanding as possible. "I just thought you might want a ride." When the little girl just shook her head angrily, Arizona sighed and kept walking. She wished Callie was there. The brunette surely would have just told Sofia what was what, and things would be fine. But Arizona wasn't as comfortable being authoritative. She preferred to negotiate with children, to help them understand why her way was best. Whereas Callie didn't really care about whether Sofia agreed or not, so long as Sofia ob eyed. For the most part, things had been going well with Sofia. Arizona had lived with Callie and Sofia for about a month now, and Arizona relished all the time together. True, it was a little annoying how the three-year-old woke up at the crack of dawn each morning, hindering her ability to sleep in with her girlfriend. But Arizona still felt a sense of euphoria waking up next to the gorgeous brunette, and on occasion, Sofia would simply crawl in their bed and snuggle with them, falling back to sleep. And that was heaven. Lazy mornings, all cuddled up with her girls in bed. There was simply nothing better. Arizona started to relax as she sensed that she and Sofia were nearing the zoo entrance. Soon they'd be in the car and Sofia would be off her feet. And then they could get dinner with Callie, the little girl would get some more energy, and

they'd have a fun evening. "Arizona, train!" Sofia suddenly called out, abruptly trying to change their course. "What?" Arizona asked, turning her head to try and follow the three-year-old's gaze. "Oh, Sofia, we can't go on the train," Arizona said when she saw the train ride that Sofia seemed intent on reaching. Arizona left the stroller where it was for a moment and quickly caught up to the little girl, grabbing her hand to pull her back in the right direction. "We're gonna go back to the hotel now." "No!" Sofia argued, yanking her hand out of Arizona's. "I wanna go on the train!" And with that, she started stomping towards the train ride again. Arizona raised her eyebrows at Sofia's attitude before following slowly after the little girl. She had several reasons why they couldn't go on that train. First, Sofia was much too tired as it was. Second, they would be late in meeting Callie, as the ride appeared to have a long line. And third, she was fairly certain that the Secret Service wouldn't allow her on the train—they really didn't permit her to be on any moving vehicles that they were not in control of. "Sofia, honey," Arizona said gently, passing the three-year-old and then crouching down in front of her. "We can't go on the train, we have to leave now." But Sofia just made a face and walked right past her. Arizona closed her eyes and took a deep breath before standing up and following after her again. Cristina was right with her, while Jackson and her new agent Leah Murphy, as well as Sofia's other agent Shane Ross, were a few feet further back. "Do you guys need to watch the stroller?" Arizona asked Cristina, not taking her eyes off of Sofia. "That's already handled," Cristina said. Arizona nodded, looking over her shoulder to see that someone else was indeed following after them, pushing the stroller. Arizona was generally only aware of her personal agents, but they were in a public place—of course they had been watched by undercover agents all day long. "Sofia," Arizona tried again, her voice more firm. "We can't go on the train." She caught up to the girl and crouched down to be at her eye level again, but this time, she placed a restraining hand on Sofia's arm, not allowing Sofia to walk away. Based on Sofia's appearance, Arizona knew that the little girl was quickly approaching the danger zone. If Arizona didn't nip this in the bud soon, Sofia was going to have a meltdown. "But I wanna!" Sofia said grouchily, her voice rising in volume. "I know you do, but—" "Lemme go!" Sofia screeched, trying to free her arm from Arizona's grip. "Sweetie, you need to calm down," Arizona said, reaching out to grab hold of both arms in an attempt to hold Sofia still. Incidentally, it also helped her find a little more balance in her crouched position. "No!" Sofia complained again. "I wanna go on the train!" "And I said no, honey," Arizona said, trying desperately to remain calm. Normally she remained perfectly calm during Sofia's temper tantrums—which was what this was quickly becoming—but they were in pub lic. In general, Arizona couldn't think of a more embarrassing situation than publicly struggling to handle a child, and that was b efore taking into account the fact that people would be way more interested because Arizona was the daughter of the president. Add in the fact that the child in question was the daughter of Arizona's girlfriend—Arizona's much older professor with whom she'd appeared in a sex tape—and Arizona was pretty sure that this was as bad as it could get. The media was still very interested in them. Callie's vandalized home had been in the news, and then it had been publicly confirmed that they'd broken up. A few weeks later, the video of Arizona, Lauren, and Callie in the nightclub had sparked rumors of a love triangle, and then the media had caught onto the fact that Arizona had moved in. That had caused things to quiet down a little, people realizing that they actually did love one another, that Callie hadn't simply preyed on a famous student. But people were still fascinated by them, and they were still hounded by photographers. So Sofia throwing a tantrum for Arizona at the San Diego zoo was sure to be a smash hit in the headlines. And Arizona could already sense that she had numerous spectators, spectators who no doubt had smartphones or cameras on them to document the incident—this was a tourist destination, after all. "I WANNA GO ON THE TRAIN!" Sofia yelled, so loudly that Arizona leaned back and cringed out of reflex. Yep, this was now definitely a tantrum. And Arizona didn't know what to do. She knew she had to stay calm, so Sofia wouldn't feed off of her emotions as well. And she knew she had to get Sofia to a quiet place, where Sofia could sit and have a timeout,

where Arizona could help the little girl to calm down and express her feelings more appropriately. But they were in the middle of a crowded zoo. There wasn't a quiet place, Arizona felt as if a million eyes were on her, and she was starting to freak out. She really needed Callie. "And I said no," Arizona repeated, trying to sound in control. "You need to take a deep breath, and calm down, so we can go and see your mommy." "No!" Sofia yelled. "TRAIN!" "Sofia…" "Mommy always lets me!" Sofia whined, her face turning red and tears starting to flow freely. "Your mommy is not here right now," Arizona said. "You have to listen to me, because—" "No I don't!" Sofia argued, on the verge of hyperventilating. "I want Mommy!" "Sofia, honey, you—" "Lemme go!" Sofia cried again, this time yanking hard enough to free herself—not that Arizona had been holding onto her very tightly. "Sofia…" Arizona growled, immediately re-establishing her hold on the little girl before she could get far. In response, Sofia started squirming and flailing wildly, kicking and hitting at random. "Sofia, we do not hit!" Arizona scolded, way more edge in her voice than she wanted to hear. That was not good. Arizona did not want to become angry and frustrated with the little girl. "I WANT MY MOMMY!" Sofia screeched, trying with all of her three-year-old strength to get away from Arizona. Arizona felt tears threatening to spill out of her own eyes. She was not handling this well, and there were so many people there, staring at her, judging her. Arizona's eyes flashed over to Cristina, who looked sympathetic, but otherwise remained where she was. This wasn't the job of the Secret Service. Arizona had to get herself out of this. Why hadn't she just made Sofia get in that stupid stroller when she'd had the chance? "Sofia, listen to me—" "No! You aren't my mommy!" the three-year-old argued. "I want Mommy! Daddy! Lexie!" "Sofia," "I hate you!" the little girl sobbed, pummeling Arizona over and over again. "I hate you! Lemme go!" Arizona blinked rapidly, trying desperately to keep those frustrated tears from falling. She knew Sofia didn't mean that. She knew that the little girl was just over-tired and upset, and a temper tantrum was the only way for her to express her feelings at the moment. But it still hurt to hear. Arizona wasn't expecting Sofia to think of her as a mom anytime soon; it would be an incredibly unrealistic expectation. And Arizona loved Sofia, but she hadn't yet come to see the girl as her daughter. That was the kind of thing that just took time and shared experiences, and there was no way it could be rushed or forced—it had to happen naturally, and Arizona was looking forward to the process. But still, the look of absolute disgust on Sofia's face when she had informed Arizona that she wasn't her mother, and the look of anger and disregard when she'd expressed her hatred—Arizona felt as if someone had stabbed her in the gut. Those words still stung, even if they weren't true, even if they were only being expressed by a tantruming three-year-old. "Sofia, you don't mean that," Arizona said softly, one stray tear managing to make its way out of Arizona's eye. "Yes I do!" Sofia said, still struggling to escape. "Lemme go! I wanna go on the train!" With that, Sofia finally hit with some coordinated strength, inflicting actual pain and causing Arizona to loosen her grip and become a little unbalanced in her crouching position. And then, either because Sofia had an innate talent in martial arts or because the little girl was simply lucky, Sofia pushed Arizona hard. Hard enough for the already unbalanced blonde to fall backwards onto her butt. "Sofia!" Arizona scolded loudly, no longer caring that the last thing she wanted to do in this situation was become agitated. She had just been knocked over by a three-year-old in front of a ton of people. She was frustrated, she was humiliated, and she was pissed. So she pushed herself back on her feet, ran after Sofia, and plucked the little girl up, simply not caring that Sofia started to screech continuously—screaming until she was out of air, taking a breath, and then screaming all over again.

Once Sofia was secured over her shoulder—Arizona holding the girl by her legs while Sofia's fists pounded away on Arizona's back, Arizona started heading again towards the entrance of the zoo. And as she scanned her surroundings, she was disheartened to see that practically everyone in the area was staring at her, numerous people holding up their phones. Arizona stopped momentarily, closing her eyes and taking a deep breath as the little girl over her shoulder kept screaming and hitting. And she swallowed hard. She wanted to go off on these people. She wanted to just yell at them and tell them to leave her the hell alone and to ask them why they didn't have anything better to do than stare at her. And Arizona also wanted to just smack Sofia, which startled her to her core. She didn't believe in corporal punishment, and she was fairly certain Sofia's parents didn't either. But she was just so mad. Sofia wouldn't cease her incessant screaming and hitting and squirming, and Arizona just wanted to make it stop. She just wanted to yell and scream back at Sofia, and that made her even more upset, because she really did love this little girl. She never wanted to hurt Sofia— physically or emotionally. And so Arizona was horrified by her instinct to inflict pain as a punishment and by her desire to verbally berate the three-year-old. Those urges, above anything else, made her feel sick inside. She was the adult here. She wasn't supposed to be feeling this way. "Are you alright?" she heard Cristina say quietly a moment or two later, feeling the touch of Cristina's hand on her arm. "Mm hmm," Arizona nodded, keeping her eyes closed. "I just…" she said, gritting her teeth. "I just…" "Come on, let's get out of here," Cristina said softly. So with one final deep breath, Arizona opened her eyes, and then allowed Cristina to lead her towards their waiting car. And once they were safely in the car, Sofia still shrieking at the top of her lungs, Arizona finally allowed her face to fall into her hands, finally allowed those frustrated tears to come rushing out. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie sighed in relaxation as she stepped out of the shower. She was glad that was finally over with. Being around Erica hadn't been as bad as she had thought it would be. But then, Erica really had been on her best behavior. She'd called immediately after the sex tape had come out, confessing freely, not trying to hide anything. And she'd been fully cooperative with the criminal and civil charges, admitting her fault, and settling everything out of court with penalties, community service hours, and financial damages. Callie had requested that she stay away from her as much as humanly possible, only sending her all-business emails when necessary, and Erica had done so. So Callie could still never forgive Erica for all the trouble she had caused, but she also couldn't fault the blonde for how she'd behaved in the aftermath. The presentation itself, though, had been stressful. Callie and Erica usually drew a decent enough audience at conferences—they were good researchers and prominent names in accounting academia. But the room had been packed. Apparently everyone wanted to see a presentation by not only the professor who had slept with her student, not only the president's daughter's girlfriend, but also by the jealous woman who had made the infamous sex tape. The room had been standing room only, to the point that Callie wondered if anyone had gone to the other concurrent sessions, if any of the other authors presenting at the same time had anyone to present their findings to. And there had been whispers in the audience during the entire presentation, which usually was an indication that people were interested in the research. But when Callie and Erica had opened up for questions at the end, no one had asked any. So Callie just blew out a tired breath as she grabbed a towel and started drying herself off. That was over, their paper was well on its way to getting published, and the conference was now concluded. Just one more night in San Diego with her girls, and then she was headed home. Normally, she would have been up for more travelling, taking Arizona and Sofia to visit other parts of California. But as part of her "punishment" at work, Callie had been assigned to teach summer classes for all of July and August, and she hadn't taught one of the classes in a while. So she needed to get back to D.C. to prepare her syllabus and freshen up on the material. Callie was just reaching up to let her dry hair back down—she'd only taken a quick rinse-off shower—when she heard the suite's door opening. She started to smile—Sofia and Arizona were back—but that smile quickly changed to a concerned frown when she heard her girlfriend yelling. Arizona never yelled, and certainly not at Sofia. "Sofia, no!" Arizona said harshly. "You do not hit me!" "LET ME GO!" Sofia yelled, almost incoherently. "MOMMY!" Callie's eyes widened, and she grabbed her black robe off the back of the bathroom door, quickly securing it around her freshly-showered body and heading into the suite's living room.

Sofia was standing just inside the doorway, both of her wrists restrained by a frazzled-looking Arizona. And it appeared as if Sofia was actively trying to hit and kick Callie's young girlfriend. "What in the—" "Mommy!" Sofia cried out, jerking violently away from Arizona at the sound of her mother's voice. But in doing so, Sofia apparently caused herself a great deal of pain, because a loud wail immediately followed. And Callie knew the difference between her daughter's cry of frustration and her daughter's cry of pain. Sofia wasn't actually injured, but she wasn't faking her hurt. "Sof, I—" Arizona exclaimed, immediately releasing the girl, her eyes widening in concern. "Mommy!" Sofia immediately cried again, running across the living room and into Callie's instinctively open arms. "Shh, baby, I've got you," Callie said, immediately comforting her daughter, kneeling down and gently rubbing her back. "Callie, I didn't mean to hurt her, I swear, I—" "Arizona," Callie cut her girlfriend off with a shake of her head. Arizona's mouth snapped shut when it was abundantly clear that Callie understood what had just happened. "Mommy, she hurrrrttttt me!" Sofia sobbed into Callie's chest. "Here, let me see," Callie said, casually inspecting her daughter's arm. She was fine, of course. "Your arm looks okay, honey." "Mommy," Sofia whimpered, tears streaming down her little cheeks. And the little girl's breathing was very labored— Callie had the feeling she'd been crying for quite some time. "Baby you need to calm down, okay?" Callie asked. "Can you take a deep breath for me? Breathe in," Callie said, taking a deep breath to demonstrate. "And out." Sofia immediately mimicked her mother's actions, and Callie just continued to breathe in and out a few more times, helping her daughter to calm down. "You feel better?" she asked. Sofia just nodded her head. "Callie, I—" Arizona spoke up again. "Arizona," Callie quieted her girlfriend again. She could see that Arizona was very upset, and from the look of things, Callie had no doubt in her mind that Sofia had just given the blonde an incredibly rough afternoon. But Callie needed to deal with her daughter first. Arizona could wait to be comforted, whereas Sofia couldn't. "Sofia, sweetheart," Callie said, looking back down at her daughter. "Arizona was not trying to hurt you. She loves you very much, and she would never hurt you." "But she—" "Sweetie, when you pulled away, your arm got caught. She would never hurt you on purpose." Sofia just looked at Callie with uncertainty, her bottom lip trembling, and her brown eyes threatening to fill with tears again at any minute. "Sofia, you know how I said that if anyone ever hurts you, or touches you where only the doctor's allowed to touch, you have to tell me or daddy or Lexie?" Callie asked. "Well baby," Callie continued when her daughter nodded, "Arizona is also someone you can tell. You can trust her. She's not gonna hurt you. Ever. I promise that she didn't mean to hurt your arm." "But she wouldn't let me go on the train," Sofia said sorrowfully, apparently moving down the list of Arizona's offenses. Callie's eyes flashed up to look at her girlfriend, who was now leaning against the door, looking exhausted and absolutely miserable. Callie swallowed, her heart immediately going out to Arizona. She was beginning to put the pieces together—Sofia had wanted to ride the zoo train, Arizona had said no, and Sofia had had a meltdown. That could not have been fun. "Sofia," Callie gently instructed. "If Arizona says that you can't do something, then you can't do it." "But whyyyy?" Sofia whined.

"Because she's in charge of you," Callie said. "We talked about this, remember? Arizona is Mommy's special person, and she's gonna be with us from now on, and you have to listen to her." "But—" "Ah, ah!" Callie shook her head. "No buts. You need to ob ey her. If she says no, then the answer is no." "But I don't wanna!" Sofia said grumpily. "Well, tough, kiddo," Callie replied. "And you need to apologize to Arizona." "But—" "You need to say you're sorry for disobeying her, and for being naughty, and for hitting and kicking her. That is unacceptable behavior, and you know better." Sofia just crossed her arms defiantly, glaring at Callie. "You're not gonna apologize now?" Callie asked her daughter. Sofia grumpily shook her head. "Alright, then you're just gonna lay down on your bed until you're ready." Callie said. "Fine!" Sofia said crabbily. "Alright, go on," Callie said, standing up to her full height and pointing towards the bedroom where Sofia had been sleeping. Sofia made a face and then stomped out of sight. Callie stood for a moment, staring at the door through which Sofia had disappeared. She didn't know if it was all the travelling, the time change, the newness of Arizona living with them, or simply being three—maybe it was some combination of all of that—but Sofia usually wasn't so defiant after a temper tantrum. She usually apologized, and she usually showed remorse. "Callie?" Callie turned away from the door at the sound of Arizona's wavering voice, and she immediately pouted in sympathy at how small and insecure her girlfriend looked. "Oh, come here," Callie said, opening her arms and beckoning Arizona into them. And just as Sofia had done a minute or two before, Arizona quickly crossed the living room, throwing herself into Callie's embrace. Apparently both of Callie's girls needed to be held that evening. "Callie, I—" "Shh," Callie quieted her girlfriend. "Just give yourself a minute." She kissed Arizona's neck affectionately and then led her to sit down on the sofa. "So uh, can I assume that you said no to the train, and she threw a tantrum right there in front of everybody?" Arizona nodded numbly, silent tears streaming down her cheeks. Apparently both of Callie's girls were going to cry that evening as welll. "But Arizona, what happened?" Callie asked gently. "You know how to handle her tantrums." "I…" Arizona said, hiccuping slightly and raising a hand to wipe away her tears. "I don't know. I just...I...everyone was staring, and I got flustered, and I couldn't calm her down, and—" "Hey, hey, it's okay," Callie interrupted when Arizona's breathing started to become irregular again. "It happens," Callie said. "The first time she threw a public tantrum on me, I definitely cried when I got home. It's not easy with people watching." "Speaking of which," Arizona sniffled, holding up her phone. "Teddy already texted me a youtube link." Callie's eyes widened. She hadn't thought about that—when she'd dealt with a public temper tantrum, she's just been a random mom in a grocery store. Whereas...whereas Arizona was the president's daughter, watching the kid of her scandalous girlfriend. Callie felt a pang of guilt at the thought—Arizona had probably had dozens of people watching her. "Here," Arizona said ruefully, opening the link and handing the phone to Callie. "You might as well see how awful of a mother I'm going to make."

"Arizona…" Callie scolded gently—just because Arizona had had a hard time handling something did not mean she was going to be a bad mother. Callie already had plenty of evidence pointing to the fact that Arizona was going to be a great mother. So Callie didn't really feel the need to watch the video, but she looked down at the phone anyways, wanting to know exactly what had her girlfriend so shaken up. And it was...well, it was pretty bad. Sofia's face was red, and Arizona looked like she was barely holding onto her composure. Which was totally understandable given the circumstances—Callie wasn't sure that she, herself, would have been able to keep her cool in the situation. And then it just got worse—Arizona started to really lose her cool, and Sofia started to physically attack Arizona. And then… "Sofia!" Callie gasped at the words that had come out of her daughter's mouth. How could Sofia have said that to Arizona? The little girl adored the blonde—she did not hate her. And then Callie gasped again when Sofia actually punched and pushed Arizona, knocking Arizona over. Callie just gaped at the screen, her mind a complete blank as she watched Arizona collect the little girl and then forcibly carry her away before the video ended. She felt awful for her girlfriend. Arizona had done nothing to deserve that—she always treated Sofia with immeasurable kindness. Hell, she'd just spent the afternoon taking Sofia to the zoo! "Arizona," Callie breathed out, setting the phone down and looking back up at her girlfriend. "I...I don't know what to say!" Arizona just collapsed back into Callie's arms, sobbing in earnest again. "Everyone was staring at me," Arizona whimpered. "I know," Callie said, tightening her hold on the blonde. "I'm so sorry." "I don't know if I can do this, Callie," Arizona said, shaking her head. "I'm not cut out for this." "Cut out for what?" Callie asked gently. "Being a mom," Arizona replied. "Maybe...maybe I should just go to law school. Maybe Mark's right, and I'm not old enough to—" "Hey, hey, none of that," Callie cut her girlfriend off. "Arizona, I have watched you with Sofia for this past month that you've been living with us. And you are an awesome mom. Okay? And if you actually want to change your mind and go to law school, you're certainly welcome to. But honey, I don't think you want to. I know I wasn't wild about the idea at first, but—" "But I was awful today!" "No, Sofia was awful today," Callie countered. The proof of that was right there on Arizona's phone. "But I should have kept my cool, I should have—" "Arizona," Callie sighed, "no one is perfect. I don't expect you to be perfect, and you shouldn't either." "But I'm just a complete failure!" Arizona sobbed. "No you are not," Callie said firmly, grabbing both of Arizona's shoulders and forcing the blonde to look at her. "You. are. great. Okay? You are a great mom. Could you have handled today better? I don't know," Callie shrugged. "I guess it's theoretically possible. But Arizona, you are great. And great isn't the same thing as perfect." "Callie…" "Arizona, parenting is not sudden death!" Callie exclaimed. "It's not like you get one shot, and if you screw up, that's it, game over. Sofia is not going to all of a sudden develop behavioral problems because you didn't perfectly handle a temper tantrum. And sweetie, I hate to break it to you, but you are gonna fail!" Callie paused to give her girlfriend a sad smile and wipe a few tears from her eyes. "Do you know how many days I've had where I've felt like I've failed as a parent? Do you know how many times I've screwed up? Arizona, you're gonna screw up. And sometimes—not today— but sometimes, you're gonna have to apologize to your kids. You're gonna have to let them know that parents make mistakes, too. It's just part of life." "I wanted to hit her, Callie," Arizona said, her voice a whisper. "What?" Callie asked, caught off guard. "I...she made me so mad, I wanted to—"

"Hey, hey, hey," Callie said, pulling Arizona back into a hug. "I'm a terrible person, Callie," Arizona said, resisting the gesture. "I wanted to hit a three-year-old!" "Arizona," Callie sighed. "Do you honestly think I've never been so frustrated with Sofia that I wanted to smack her?" Arizona froze in Callie's arms. "You..you have?" "Yes!" Callie laughed out. "Arizona, she's a real piece of work sometimes! It's infuriating! I mean, why do you think we decided not to use that as a punishment in the first place?" Callie asked, speaking of the agreement she had with Mark and Lexie, not to ever discipline their daughter physically. "I guess, if you can somehow manage to only do it when you're calm and in control, I suppose it's okay. But we knew we might be tempted to do it in anger, so we decided to just take it off the table entirely." "But—" "Arizona, did you hit her?" Callie asked. "No!" Arizona exclaimed instantaneously, pulling out of the embrace to look at her. "Callie, I would never—" "Exactly," Callie nodded. "That's what's important, Arizona. You would never actually hurt her." Arizona just sighed, still looking like she was consumed with self-loathing. "Arizona," Callie said simply. "I know...I know how...how horrifying it is to realize that you're frustrated enough to hit someone, especially a child. I have been there myself. But you can't beat yourself up about it. You didn't do anything wrong. You didn't hurt her." Arizona shook her head and leaned down, resting her face in her hands. "I just suck at this, Callie." "No you don't," Callie reassured, lightly rubbing her girlfriend's back. "But as a parent, you're just gonna have days that suck. And this was one of them. But what matters is that you love her, you show her that you love her, and you keep trying your best to raise her well, even when it sucks. Sweetheart, that's what good parenting is." Arizona just remained quiet. "And Arizona," Callie added softly. "She didn't mean what she said. Sofia loves you. Very much." "I know," Arizona sighed, nodding softly. "I'm really sorry that she said that," Callie said. "And that she...she hit you and kicked you, and knocked you over," Callie continued. "I know that...that it was hard, but given the circumstances, I think you showed a lot of patience. You can't really stop a tantrum once it starts." "I could have stopped it, Callie, if I had just insisted that she get in the stroller, I could have—" "Arizona," Callie interrupted, not knowing why the stroller was relevant, but knowing that Arizona was being overly critical of herself. "Looking back, you're always going to be able to point to things that you could have done better. But you can't beat yourself up about it. You learn for the next time, and move on." Arizona just nodded again. "And I—" Callie stopped short when she sensed movement to her left, and she turned her head to see her daughter standing sheepishly in the doorway. "Mommy?" Sofia asked quietly, her body posture small and apologetic. That was what Callie had been waiting to see— Sofia had realized that her behavior had been bad, and she'd realized that she hadn't been kind to Arizona. "Yes, baby?" Callie replied. "Can I say sorry now?" "Yes you may," Callie said, patting her lap. Sofia smiled gratefully and scurried into it, leaning against Callie's chest.

"Arizona?" Sofia spoke softly after a moment, looking expectantly at the blonde, who still had her face in her hands. Arizona slowly sat up, wiped a few tears from her eyes, and looked back at the little girl. And when Sofia saw that Arizona had been crying, she transferred laps, curling into Arizona's chest instead. "I'm sorry, Arizona," Sofia said simply, looking between the blonde and her mother. Callie nodded at her daughter to continue. "What are you sorry for?" Callie prompted her daughter. "For being naughty," Sofia said, hanging her head in shame. "What did you do that was naughty, Sof?" Callie prompted again. Her daughter wasn't quite to the point yet where she could deliver a full apology without any guidance. "I hit and kicked and yelled." "And what else?" Callie asked. When Sofia just looked confused, Callie continued, saying, "Did you say something mean to Arizona?" Sofia bit her lip, apparently thinking hard, but drawing a blank. So Callie wondered if her daughter even remembered what she had said in anger. "Sofia, did you tell Arizona that you hate her?" "Oh," Sofia said, apparently remembering, but still looking confused as to why that was bad. Callie thought it should be fairly obvious, but then, Sofia had never done that before, so Callie had never before explained why it was wrong. "Sofia, that really hurt Arizona's feeling," Callie explained. "Can you imagine how sad you'd feel if someone said that to you?" At Callie's question, Sofia's eyes brimmed with tears and she burrowed even further into Arizona. "I'm sorry," Sofia repeated. "How do you really feel about Arizona?" Callie asked. "Do you really hate her?" "No, I love her," Sofia murmured. Callie nodded and smiled in approval. Then she pointed from her daughter to her girlfriend, gesturing for Sofia to say that to Arizona. "I love you, Arizona," Sofia said, looking up at Arizona's face. "I love you, too, Sofia," Arizona said, leaning down to kiss the little girl on the cheek. "And thank you for apologizing. I forgive you." "Thank you," Sofia said automatically, just as Callie had always trained her to do upon receiving forgiveness. And then she curled back into Arizona, cuddling the blonde tightly. Callie smiled softly, sighing as she observed the two loves of her life. She knew that Arizona was likely still in need of encouragement, still in need of reassurance that she wasn't a failure when it came to parenting. And she also knew that she still needed to talk punishment with Sofia. Tantrums were somewhat unavoidable at her age, and Callie usually just administered a timeout. But the level of physical violence Sofia had displayed wasn't typical, and Callie wanted to go after that specifically—she wasn't about to allow her girlfriend to become her daughter's punching bag. But looking at Arizona and Sofia, Callie figured both of those things could wait. Arizona looked relieved to have Sofia snuggling happily in her lap again, and Callie didn't want to upset Sofia further by handing down immediate punishment —that would sour Sofia's mood, and certainly ruin the evening that Callie still had hopes of salvaging. Callie been fully intending on taking Arizona and Sofia out for dinner on their last night in San Diego, maybe even letting Sofia stay up a little past her bedtime. But she now knew that that would be a bad idea—the little girl definitely needed a full night sleep, perhaps even an early bedtime. And seeing as the entire catastrophe was already on the damned internet, Callie doubted that Arizona wanted to be out in public. No, a night in seemed more appropriate. That way, Callie could put Sofia down early. And after getting Sofia to sleep early, Callie could take Arizona to bed early as well. Arizona would probably want to talk about things, but Callie knew from experience that recovering from sucky parenting days just took time and a little peace and quiet. So Callie would indulge Arizona's need to talk for a little while, but then she just wanted to help the blonde to relax. The master bath had a large tub they could soak in, Callie could give Arizona a full body massage, and then they could make love before drifting off to sleep. That would help Arizona way more than talking would. And if Arizona really did need to talk things through, well...they could do it back in D.C., when Arizona wasn't quite so emotionally fried. "So you guys wanna stay in tonight?" Callie asked, pitching the idea to her snuggling beauties. "Order pizza, watch the

disney channel in our pjs?" "Yeah!" Sofia chirped happily, clapping her hands excitedly. Arizona, on the other hand, only nodded warmly in response, her blue eyes showing Callie just how tired the young woman was. Yeah—a bath, a massage, and some orgasms were definitely in order. "Alright," Callie said, picking up Arizona's phone from the coffee table to make the order. "What toppings?"

*Chapter 28*: Chapter 28
AN: Hi hi! I just wanted to again thank you guys for reading my story...I love all of your reviews and the fact that you're enjoying it so much :) Also, I would like to extend a special shout out to Shannon for helping me make sure things were coming across as intended with this chapter. You have been such an encouragement to me while writing this story! Thanks for being such an awesome fellow fangirl. AN2: WARNING: The following chapter could be classified as being overly sappy and sentimental ;) ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona Robbins groaned in annoyance when she heard the blaring noise of her girlfriend's alarm. Six o'clock in the morning. Every single morning. And then she felt her girlfriend's warm, snuggly body start to pull away from her, which was not acceptable. "No, Callie, no," Arizona whined, barely conscious. She instinctively latched onto her girlfriend's body, refusing to allow its warmth to leave the bed. It was late in December, it was freezing, and the heater was on the fritz. So she needed the gorgeous brunette to stay in bed. If Callie got up, she would let all of the warm air out from under their blankets, not to mention that she'd no longer be providing Arizona with any body heat. Callie was not allowed to leave their little cocoon. "Arizona, come on, I have an eight o'clock final to give," Callie said hoarsely. "Mmm, I don't care," Arizona murmured, cuddling impossibly closer to her girlfriend. And squishing Sofia in the process, judging by the squeal that the little girl emitted. Normally the little girl slept in her own bed, but seeing as the entire house was an iceb erg, when Sofia had entered their room at one o'clock in the morning, demanding to sleep in between the two adult women, they'd immediately agreed. They didn't want Sofia to be cold, and hey—she generated some heat as well. "Yeah, well, I'm pretty sure your fellow students do care," Callie said, removing herself from Arizona's grasp and evilly sliding out of the bed. "Shit it's cold!" Callie exclaimed, once her bare feet hit the floor. "Mommy said a bad word!" Sofia tattled, much too loudly for Arizona's liking. "Yeah, baby, I know," Arizona said, wrapping herself around the little girl. "Mommy's mean." She really was. First her stupid alarm woke Arizona up at six o'clock every freaking day, and now she was denying the blonde and Sofia of her body heat. "Ugh!" Callie growled, rummaging through her closet. "It's so cold I can't even take a shower!" "Well you could have," Arizona lectured. "If you'd just listened to me, and let us sleep at the White House last night." "Oh, shut up, Arizona!" Callie snapped. "I didn't think it would get this cold so fast!" "Mommy said shut up!" "Yeah, mommy is being very naughty this morning," Arizona agreed. "I think she should have to go to bed early as a punishment. Callie, your new bedtime is six-oh-two in the morning." "Well Mark said the heater guy promised he'd be here first thing," Callie said, throwing on way too many layers, ensuring that she'd be dripping with sweat while giving her final. Apparently Arizona's girlfriend was too groggy to realize that unlike the townhome, Georgetown University still had heat. "Like that even matters," Arizona complained. "We'll all be gone before it's warm again. The plane is wheels up at four." Callie, Arizona, and Sofia had quite the busy day ahead of them. Callie would be giving her last final from eight to ten. Arizona and Sofia would be doing some last minute Christmas shopping until noon, at which point Arizona would drop off Sofia in Callie's office so she could take her last final from one to three. And then as soon as Arizona was finished, they were heading straight to Andrews Air Force Base, where they would board Air Force One for a short flight to Burlington, Vermont. The Robbins family estate, consisting of numerous acres of woodlands, a gorgeous main house, as well as stables and two smaller guest houses, was then a short drive away. It was at this historical home, passed down through generations of Vermont's foremost political family, that the three women would be spending the Christmas holiday.

Arizona's childhood years had been spent living in the larger of the two guest houses. And "guest house" was a rather misleading term for it—it was a beautiful, yet unpretentious, three-thousand square foot home. Her grandparents still resided in the decidedly more grand main house, and the smaller guest house was actually just that—a guest house. And usually, when Arizona was excited to visit her childhood home, it was because she wanted to see her grandparents, or take one of the horses for a ride, or enjoy the rather gorgeous scenery. But at this point, Arizona was just happy to be going someplace that actually had heat. Callie turned around for a second after Arizona spoke, momentarily halting herself from putting on what had to be her fifth layer of clothing. And Arizona couldn't help but smile at how excited Callie looked at the mention of her father's plane. This would be Callie's first time on Air Force One, and she hadn't stopped talking about it for weeks. And Arizona's smile turned devilish when she thought about what she had planned. It would be a little tricky avoiding her parents, and it had required buttering up Cristina quite a bit, but Arizona was certain it was going to work. Calliope Iphegenia Torres was totally getting laid on Air Force One. "Hey Sof, you ready to get up?" Arizona asked, resigned to the fact that she was now awake, and that she had a full day ahead of her. "Okay," Sofia just shrugged. "And do you mind playing with my mom at the White House for a bit while I take a shower there? And then we'll go shopping?" "Yeah!" Sofia smiled happily, always pleased to spend time with Barbara. In the almost seven months since Arizona had been living with Callie and Sofia, any and all wounds caused by Arizona's move had been healed. And it hadn't taken anywhere close to the full seven months. Callie, Arizona, and Sofia had dutifully attended Saturday morning breakfasts at the White House each weekend, only missing the Saturday after Thanksgiving when they'd been in Miami with Aria and Michael. Daniel and Barbara had soon come to respect her decisions, and even more importantly, they'd come to love Callie and her little daughter. The three women often went to the White House to enjoy a meal or hang out in the bowling alley or movie theater, and Callie had even had lunch with just Barbara on several occasions, taking the time to bond with her future mother-in-law without Arizona present. But unfortunately, the same happy things could not be said about Callie's parents. Callie had still not spoken with them since the sex tape, and Arizona was resigned to the fact that she would never know the couple that had raised the love of her life. And Callie had tried. She'd called them repeatedly throughout the semester. She'd sent them emails and letters. But the only way she'd had any sort of contact with them had been through Aria, who'd had the miserable job of playing mediator. And according to Aria, Carlos and Lucia Torres simply would not budge. They wanted nothing to do with their daughter, so long as she was in a relationship with a woman. And what made matters worse was that through all of this, it wasn't just Callie who had lost her parents, but Aria as well. Because while Carlos and Lucia certainly had no problems with Aria, Aria had problems with them . Seeing them completely disown Callie, refusing to even speak with her, had left the elder Torres sister emotionally shaken up. To Aria, it sent a very clear message: if her parents' love for Callie was conditional, then their love for her was conditional as well. And as Aria saw it, the only difference between her and her sister was that she happened to make love with a man. So Callie's entire family was currently in the process of being torn apart. Michael had quit working for Carlos, and he and Aria were in the middle of relocating their family to D.C. to be near Callie. Arizona generally felt at a loss, not really knowing how to comfort Callie and her sister's family. But Callie assured her that she was doing just fine—just by being present, just by being loving and supporting. And Sofia? Sofia was great. Arizona had a lot of free time as a college student, especially because she couldn't have a part-time job like other students and because school came so easily to her. And though her duties as the First Daughter occupied some of her time—attending official functions, or accompanying her parents on trips here and there—she still had a lot of time left on her hands. And that had given her ample opportunity to bond with the adorable three-year-old. Arizona had no classes whatsoever on Fridays, so she always stayed home with Sofia. And Fridays had quickly become their special day, just Arizona and the little girl. Arizona's cooking skills had improved dramatically under Callie's tutelage, so Friday morning usually began with Arizona preparing a large breakfast with Sofia's "help." After cleaning up the dishes (and the inevitable mess that Sofia made), Arizona usually tried to spend the morning doing something educational—a craft to get Sofia's motor skills more ready for kindergarten the following year, or some sort of game in which Sofia could start to memorize letters and numbers. And then, after Sofia took a short nap at lunch time, Arizona typically took Sofia on some sort of outing. Washington D.C.'s beautiful parks and the National Zoo were their typical hangouts, but sometimes they branched out further, visiting a children's museum or a play geared towards very small kids. And sometimes they

just went bowling at the White House, followed by an afternoon snack with Barbara and a quick trip to the Oval to see Daniel. Sofia still threw tantrums every now and then—though she was rapidly outgrowing them—but it wasn't as much of a problem for Arizona. Arizona still erred too much towards negotiating with Sofia instead of just putting her foot down, but she was getting better at it. She had learned to be more firm, and she'd become comfortable with disciplining the threeyear-old when necessary. And now that Arizona's role in Sofia's life was much more established, and the little girl was much more accustomed to the blonde's constant presence, Arizona's authority was less frequently questioned. Sofia's memory didn't extend very far, so to her, the difference between Arizona and the other three adults in her life was starting to vanish—Arizona was becoming equivalent to Callie, Mark, and Lexie. And Arizona wasn't quite there yet—she still referred to the little girl as "my girlfriend's daughter," not "my daughter"—but she knew she was getting close to that. She knew it wouldn't be long at all until she really felt, deep down, that Sofia was hers. "Actually that's a good idea," Callie spoke up after Arizona announced her intention to shower at the White House. The brunette abruptly stopped dressing—apparently five layers of clothes was enough—and then started putting a variety of makeup and toiletries in a bag. "I'll go shower at the gym on campus." "You don't want breakfast?" Arizona asked, saddened to see that Callie was acting as if she was going to leave as quickly as possible. She liked morning time with Callie, just grabbing a cup of coffee with the love of her life. "No, I don't think I have time," Callie said, shouldering the bag and heading out the door. "See you guys later!" the brunette called from the hallway. Arizona's eyebrows rose in disbelief, and then she sat up in the bed, a small pout forming on her lips. That was it? No "have a good day," no "I love you"? She didn't even get a goodbye kiss? But that pout turned into a smile a second later, when Callie walked right back in the door. "Have a good day," Callie smiled, approaching the bed and then leaning over it. She placed a peck on Sofia's cheek, followed by a more lingering one on Arizona's lips. "Ewww!" Sofia shrieked, eliciting smirks from both adult women. "You, too," Arizona nodded. "I love you." "And I love you." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie took a deep, refreshing breath as she stepped out of the limousine and onto the Robbins Family Estate. She didn't know why, and it struck her as being odd considering that she'd grown up in Miami, but she'd always loved those first few breaths of cold air. And yes, she'd be freezing in no time. But those first few breaths—the contrast between the warm air inside the car and the frigid air outside—they were invigorating somehow. As were her current surroundings. Callie couldn't see very far—the sun set very early in late December—but she could tell that Arizona's childhood home was beautiful. The estate sat on a gorgeous, wooded piece of land, and aside from the sound of other limousine doors opening and closing, all was quiet and calm. And it certainly didn't hurt that a fresh layer of snow was falling softly from the sky. "So, they'll get our bags," came the voice of her girlfriend. "Wanna head inside?" Callie turned to look at Arizona, who had Sofia happily resting on her hip, and nodded reluctantly. She really didn't, to be honest. Arizona hadn't spoken at length about her grandparents—apparently the blonde wasn't terribly close to either of them—but she'd described them as being formal, strict, and old-fashioned. And that knowledge had Callie feeling uneasy. What would they think about the fact that their granddaughter was dating her older, bisexual professor who voted Democrat and had an illegitimate child from a drunken one-night-stand? Callie highly doubted that they would approve. And it didn't help that Callie was just nervous in general. This was her first Christmas with Arizona's family. Arizona had told Callie that everything would be fine. Arizona had assured her that her grandparents knew they were a couple, that they knew she had a daughter, that she should probably just avoid mentioning being a Democrat, and that Callie and Sofia were welcome in the elder Robbins' home. She'd also explained that while her grandparents didn't exactly approve of her sexuality and life choices, she still fully expected them to be polite, warm, and welcoming. But then, Arizona had also suggested that they keep any physical displays of affection to a minimum, which had Callie wondering how welcome she really was. It wasn't as if the two women were excessive with each other in public, but they did show affection. Callie didn't hesitate to gently hug and kiss Arizona in front of Daniel and Barbara, to hold her hand or

have an arm around her waist. Such innocent gestures had to be okay, right? Or had Arizona meant that Callie shouldn't touch her at all? Well, Callie supposed she was about to find out. "Okay," Arizona grinned, linking her free hand with Callie's and then leading the brunette towards the main house. "Wait, I thought you said you lived in one of the guest houses?" Callie asked, wanting to change directions towards the two smaller houses. She'd been assuming that they'd settle in, and then go to the main house for dinner later. "Yeah, but it's several days until Christmas, so my dad and his staff still need to work," Arizona explained. "We're all sleeping in the guest rooms in the main house, so they can turn my old house into temporary office space." "Oh, okay," Callie said, allowing the blonde to pull her towards the most prominent building on the property. She wasn't exactly sure how she felt about that—she'd been counting on having some space. Around Arizona and her parents, she could just be herself. But if they were staying in the main house, then wouldn't they have Arizona's grandparents breathing down their necks? "Well, Callie," Barbara Robbins said, coming up alongside her. Barbara had of course been on the plane with them, but had taken a separate limo to the estate. "Welcome to our home. I hope you survive my mother-in-law." Callie eyed Barbara with alarm as she followed her girlfriend into the house. What did that mean? "Mom…" Arizona scolded as she helped Callie and Sofia with their coats, apparently having heard Barbara's comment. "What, honey, I—" "Merry Christmas! Welcome home!" a male voice interrupted the First Lady's statement, and Callie turned to see Edward Robbins, Daniel's father and the former governor of Vermont, striding towards them. "Hey, Grandpa," Arizona said happily, finishing with their coats and then greeting the man with a hug. "Arizona," the man smiled, returning the hug. "Edward, how are you?" Barbara spoke up, exchanging places with Arizona and hugging the man as well. Arizona returned to Callie's side and gently squeezed her hand. "I'm good," he nodded. "Now what have you done with my son?" he asked, noting Daniel's absence. "Oh, he had to make some call to Pakistan on the ride here from the airport," Barbara said, as if that was no big deal. "I'm sure he'll be along soon." "Uh huh," Edward nodded. "Hey Grandpa," Arizona said, taking a deep breath. "Uh, this is um, this is my girlfriend, Dr. Callie Torres" she said, now holding Callie's hand with both of her own hands. "Callie, this is my grandfather, Governor Edward Robbins." "Um, it's a pleasure to meet you, Governor," Callie said, extending her free right hand. "Dr. Torres," Edward said politely, giving Callie a firm handshake. It didn't escape Callie how the friendly demeanor the man had had when speaking with Arizona and Barbara had absolutely evaporated. "And this is her daughter, Sofia," Arizona said, releasing Callie's hand and crouching down to be at Sofia's level. "Sofia," she said softly. "This is my grandpa." "Hi," Sofia said shyly. "Hello," the man said, offering Sofia a small smile. It wasn't an overly friendly smile, and Callie was almost entirely sure that it was forced. But at least he had thought it necessary to smile at her daughter—that was worth something. "Well, uh," he said, rubbing his hands together and turning his attention back to Barbara and Arizona, who resumed her full height. "Liz is cooking up a storm in the kitchen, or else she would come to greet you herself. Why don't you get settled in, and come down for drinks in a little bit? And I'll have someone bring the girl dinner in her room." Callie felt slightly taken aback at his last comment—Sofia was unwelcome at the dinner table? But Arizona and Barbara simply nodded their agreement, so Callie kept her mouth shut, scooped her daughter onto her hip, and followed her girlfriend and her mother upstairs. She felt that excluding children from mealtime was a little...well...cold and heartless,

but she supposed it wasn't that big of a deal. "Okay, so the room at the end of the hall is usually set up for kids," Arizona said, leading them down a long corridor. "Yep," she said, after opening the door. "Sofia's suitcase is in here. Hey Sof," she said, turning to face the little girl. "This is gonna be your room for a few days, okay?" "Okay," Sofia nodded. "Good," Arizona smiled. "It's got a nice big window for you to watch all the snow. You're gonna have a lot of fun. And I always stay in the room right across the hall, so your mommy and I will be really close if you need anything." "Um, Arizona?" Callie said, ignoring the conversation Arizona was currently having with her daughter. Because right next to Sofia's suitcase was her own suitcase. "Yeah?" "They put my stuff in here too." "Oh," Arizona said, her eyes going to Callie's luggage as well. "They probably just got mixed up," Arizona shrugged, walking over to the bags and picking Callie's up. Callie readjusted Sofia on her hip and moved out of the doorway, allowing Arizona to carry the suitcase into the room across the hall, which did indeed contain the blonde's luggage. And Callie just took a deep breath and swallowed. Sure, it was possib le that the people handling their luggage had gotten mixed up. But Callie thought it was much more likely that they hadn't—she thought it was much more likely that Arizona's grandparents intended for them to sleep in different rooms. And not sharing a room with Arizona was simply not okay with Callie. She felt like she needed to share a room with her girlfriend, for many reasons. The most obvious reason was sex. Unwrapping Christmas presents was fun, sure. But not nearly as fun as unwrapping a delicious little blonde that she knew. And Callie did not want to spend Christmas going without sex with Arizona, especially not after what Arizona had pulled on the plane. Just an hour earlier, Callie had been on Air Force One, minding her own business and chatting casually with her daughter. But then suddenly, Cristina had shown up and offered to sit with Sofia, and Arizona had grabbed her hand and pulled her into a conference room. Callie had felt rather bewildered and confused, but before she'd been able to question what was going on, Arizona's lips had hungrily claimed her own, and Arizona's hands had unbuttoned her jeans and found their way into her panties. Joining the mile high club—on freaking Air Force One—was awesome. Perfect, even. An experience that Callie would never forget. But there was just one problem: Arizona had been in a hurry, getting Callie to that point of ecstasy in record time, and then that had been it. Arizona had lovingly kissed her and fixed her clothing while she'd been coming down from her high, and then the blonde had grabbed her hand and led her out of the conference room. And it was a very good thing that Arizona had done so, because a few staffers had met them on their way out, coming to use the conference room. Apparently Arizona had found a window in the schedule, conspired with Cristina, and given Callie an early Christmas present. And so at the moment, Callie was experiencing a strong desire to share a bed with Arizona, because she was anxiously awaiting her chance to reciprocate. It was important to her to always make sure Arizona was satisfied and taken care of —she didn't want their pleasure to ever be one-sided. And once they'd both had their fill, she liked to hold Arizona, to snuggle with her. But they clearly hadn't had time for all of that on the plane, and the unfinished business had Callie feeling a little agitated. She had what felt like an actual need to please Arizona in return, and she hadn't yet had the opportunity. And if they were prohibited from sharing a room with each other, she likely would have to wait quite some time for that chance. But even more important to Callie than sex was just...just the ability to simply b e with Arizona. Callie was in unfamiliar territory. She was facing potentially hostile grandparents. And the holidays could always be trying—all the togetherness, everyone living in such close quarters. So while Callie felt that alone time with her girlfriend was always important, it felt even more so in her current circumstances. She needed time with Arizona; she needed Arizona's help in navigating unfamiliar family dynamics. She needed for Arizona to be able to explain things to her privately, and the most natural way for that to happen was for them to share a bedroom. They could wake up together, get ready together, steal a few intimate moments throughout the day. Sharing a bedroom with Arizona would help Callie to be calm and comfortable in a situation that otherwise made her feel uneasy. And on top of all the normal stresses of being a guest in a stranger's home during the holidays, she was dealing with so

much pain in her own family life. Pain that was heightened due to the normally joyous time of year. This would be Callie's first Christmas spent someplace besides Miami. This was her first Christmas since being utterly cast aside and abandoned by her parents. So Callie needed quiet time with her girlfriend. She needed Arizona's comfort. Sure, a large portion of the comfort that Callie received from Arizona came from the other reason she wanted them to share a room—their sex life. When they made love, Arizona's adoration of her was clear—every touch showed Callie just how much Arizona approved of her and her body, every caress showed Callie just how much importance Arizona placed on Callie's experience of pleasure, on Callie's experience of feeling safe and loved. And that, in and of itself, was immensely comforting. But Callie also derived significant comfort from Arizona's strong, steadfast presence. From the consistency of waking up next to Arizona each morning, and then falling asleep next to Arizona each night. Callie never felt better, never felt more confident, than when Arizona was at her side. She wanted Arizona with her always. And the conversations they had in bed, just the two of them wrapped up in each other's embrace—those were important conversations to Callie. She depended on those gentle, peaceful moments, on the way she and Arizona reassured one another and soothed each other's fears. She didn't want to go without those moments. The blonde often voiced that she wished she could do more when it came to how awful Callie felt about the loss of her parents, which made no sense to Callie at all. Because those moments—Arizona's tender care, Arizona's calm, steady, and constant presence—those were the very things that were carrying Callie through. And yes, if they had to sleep in separate rooms, they could always sneak off somewhere to have sex, and they could always go for a walk if they really needed to talk. But it wouldn't be the same. It made Callie feel a little silly to realize, but in a way, she treated Arizona a bit like Sofia treated her baby blanket. Arizona felt like Callie's security, her home base. And while Callie wouldn't throw a fit like Sofia did when the three-year-old's blanket couldn't be found, she wouldn't be happy about being forced to bunk separately from her girlfriend. Callie was fragile at the moment, and Arizona was her safe place. "So is this okay with you?" Arizona asked, interrupting Callie's musings. "Us in this room, and Sof across the hall?" "Uh, yeah, that should be fine," Callie nodded, trying to hide her discomfort. She didn't need to bring up her concern with Arizona at the moment—maybe the placement of their luggage was simply a mistake. "Okay," Arizona grinned happily, moving towards the hallway. "Hey Cristina," she addressed the Secret Service agent standing stoically in the hall. "Callie and I are going to go back downstairs, but Sofia's gonna eat up here. Can you help her out?" "Sure," Cristina nodded, easily transferring Sofia from Callie's hip to her own. Callie wasn't exactly sure when in the past seven months Cristina had come to like her daughter, but she had. The agent was still a little surly for Callie's liking, but she couldn't fault the way Cristina interacted with Sofia. They had something of a weird little bond, and it worked. "Baby girl, I'll be back upstairs before you go to sleep, okay?" Callie asked her daughter. Sofia nodded nonchalantly, not seeming to care what was happening at the moment. "Okay," Callie said, kissing Sofia on the cheek. "See ya." Arizona also gave Sofia a quick kiss, and then linked her hand with Callie's, leading the brunette back downstairs. They met a very grumpy-looking Daniel at the foot of the stairs, and followed him into a large sitting room. "So dad, how's Pakistan?" Arizona asked, motioning for Callie to sit down on one of the sofas. "Red?" she murmured quietly. Callie nodded her immediate agreement. "Oh, you don't wanna know, Arizona," Daniel grumbled, plopping himself down on another couch in agitation. "And can you get me a scotch, honey?" Arizona nodded from where she was across the room. "Yep," she said, immediately fixing her father's drink and handing it to him, and then resuming her prior task of pouring a glass of red wine for Callie and a glass of white for herself. "And what did you do with your mother?" Daniel asked. "I'm right here," Barbara said, striding into the room before Arizona could answer. "How's Pakistan?" "Don't ask," Daniel snapped. Callie shifted a little awkwardly at Daniel's tone—she wasn't used to seeing the President in a bad mood. "Okay," Barbara said, not pressing the issue and sitting next to her husband. "Arizona, can I have some of that red wine?" "Sure," Arizona nodded, crossing the room to hand Callie her glass and set her own down on the coffee table, and then

returning to fetch her mother's drink. "Thanks, babe," Callie smiled, bringing the wine to her lips and reclining back into the sofa. She closed her eyes as she swallowed, willing the alcohol to calm her raging nerves. And when Arizona finally sat down after playing bartender, Callie scooted up close to her and rested a hand on her thigh, seeking a physical connection. They were sitting in a beautiful room—a beautiful home in general. It made Callie think of a luxury ski lodge. It was classy and formal, yet it had a woodsy, rustic vibe to it as well. Overall, she liked it, and it would no doubt provide the perfect atmosphere for her first white, wintry Christmas. "So Callie," Barbara spoke up, interrupting the thoughtful silence that had fallen upon the foursome. "Did you enjoy your first time on Air Force One?" "Uh, yes, it was very cool," Callie responded, doing her best to ignore the way Arizona smirked, a proud and smug look on her face. Someone was feeling rather good about herself. "Yeah Callie especially liked seeing the conference room," Arizona said. "Oh really?" Barbara asked, looking confused as to why that would be a highlight. "The entire plane was fun, Barbara," Callie said, trying to get Arizona's mom to simply ignore the blonde's antics. "Arizona's just...being dumb," she finished lamely. "I see…" Barbara said, looking actively between the two women, apparently trying to determine what she was missing. "Anyways," Callie said quickly, poking Arizona in the ribs to tell her to cut it out, and loving the adorable squeak Arizona released in response, "thank you again for inviting Sofia and me to spend the holidays with your family." "Of course," Daniel said, mustering a smile. "We're always happy to have—hey, mom," the man stood abruptly, standing to greet an elderly woman who had just entered the room. It didn't escape Callie's notice that a sour look immediately appeared on the face of Arizona's mother. "Daniel," the old woman said fondly, hugging the President, and then also exchanging hugs with Barbara and Arizona. "Grandma, this is my girlfriend Callie," Arizona said, pulling Callie up from the couch and presenting her to her grandmother. "Calliope, this is my grandma, Elizabeth Robbins." The old woman looked about as pleased to meet Callie as her husband had, but Callie did her best to take it in stride, smiling at the woman and shaking her hand politely. "Thank you for having me in your home, Mrs. Robbins," Callie said. Elizabeth just nodded once and frowned at Callie and Arizona's joined hands, before turning around to face Daniel and Barbara. "I have dinner ready," she announced. "Edward is just carving the meat now. So if you'll all follow me into the dining room?" Callie took a deep breath and held Arizona's hand a little bit tighter as they trailed Elizabeth, Daniel, and Barbara into the dining room. When she was seated apart from Arizona at the table, she was initially even more convinced that she was being deliberately separated from her girlfriend by the elderly couple. But then she realized that no one was sitting next to their partner—Edward and Elizabeth sat on opposite ends of the table, Callie and Barbara sat on one side, and Daniel and Arizona sat on the other. So maybe this was just the way Arizona's grandparents handled dinner parties. Daniel, who sat across from Callie, looked perfectly at ease, aside from his continuing grumpiness over whatever was going on with foreign relations. Arizona looked similarly relaxed, like nothing was amiss. But Barbara looked very tense —as on edge as Callie had ever seen her. And that, combined with the First Lady's earlier comment, had Callie's interest piqued. Did Elizabeth and Barbara have a less than friendly relationship? And if so, how did she avoid getting caught up in that? Callie really wanted to just fly under the radar, and enjoy a quiet Christmas with her girlfriend and daughter. She already had enough family drama of her own. "So Arizona, are you excited to just have one semester left?" Edward asked a few minutes later, once everyone was settled and the food had been served. "Umm...I guess so?" Arizona shrugged noncommittally. "I don't know, my friends are all dying for it to be over, but I kinda like college."

"Well have you thought about continuing on in grad school?" the former governor asked. "I know you mentioned law school to me once." "No," Arizona shook her head and shifted in her chair slightly. "I've decided to stay at home with Sofia instead." "Sofia?" Elizabeth asked. "That's Callie's daughter, mom," Daniel informed her. "I'm sure we've mentioned her…" "Oh, yes," Elizabeth nodded, "I know. But Arizona," she said, turning to look at the blonde, "why on earth would you forgo grad school to watch Dr. Torres' daughter?" "Well…" Arizona swallowing the food in her mouth before speaking, "She's uh, she's kind of become my daughter, too. And I've decided to be a stay-at-home mom. Like um," Arizona shrugged. "Like you and my mom did." Callie braced herself, fearing the worst reaction to that news. But Elizabeth simply adopted a very sour and disappointed look on her face and said, "I see." Apparently Arizona's grandparents weren't the yelling and screaming type. "Speaking of your daughter, Dr. Torres," Edward spoke up, "Is the room we set up for the two of you satisfactory? We didn't know if you wanted to sleep in the same room as the girl, or if you wanted a room of your own." Aaaaand there it was. Arizona's grandparents did intend for Callie and Arizona to have different bedrooms. Callie's hunch had been correct. And on an unrelated topic, why did Edward keep calling Sofia "the girl"? "Grandpa," Arizona said, shaking her head and looking confused. "Callie's staying in my room." From the look on Arizona's face, Callie could tell that it hadn't yet entered her mind that her grandparents didn't want them sharing a room. And strangely enough, that made Callie's heart happy. Yes, Arizona was aware of how Callie had been rejected by her parents, and yes, Arizona knew that they faced discrimination in general. But the blonde had yet to encounter it first-hand. Sure, Daniel and Barbara had had some concerns about their relationship early on, but they'd been the typical concerns of loving, reasonably protective parents. Arizona had never faced a loved one rejecting her because of her sexuality, and so she hadn't yet learned to expect it, to look for it. Because of what Callie had gone through, what she was still going through, Callie had unfortunately started to expect the worst out of people. Whereas Arizona, on the other hand, was still mostly bright and optimistic, expecting love and acceptance. Callie hoped that whatever ended up happening with Arizona's grandparents, the blonde would remain that way. Callie never wanted the weight she carried around to be placed on Arizona's soul. "Arizona," Elizabeth spoke up sternly, "We cannot control your behavior elsewhere, but while you are in our home, you and Dr. Torres will have separate living quarters." Arizona just blinked at her grandmother, and Callie quietly set her fork down, knowing it would be useless to even try continuing to eat. "But grandma…" "This is our home," Edward spoke up in support of his wife, "which means you need to respect our rules." "But Callie's my—" "Mom, dad," Daniel spoke up, sounding more impatient than his usual self—Callie assumed it was probably because his mind was still stuck on international politics. "Don't you think you're being a little unreasonable? Arizona and Callie have been together for essentially a year now, and they've lived together for more than half of that time." "No," Elizabeth said simply. "If you remember correctly, you and Barbara used to sleep in separate rooms as well." "But that was over thirty years ago!" "And thirty years later, it's still our house." "Mom," Daniel tried again, still sounding much more agitated and confrontational than Callie was used to, "I know they aren't married yet, but they're partners. They've made long-term commitments to each other." "Oh honestly, Daniel!" Elizabeth snapped, finally losing her cool. "I raised you better than to support your daughter sleeping with a woman, to support her experimenting like some slutty sorority girl! And I will damned before I have those activities going on in my house!"

Daniel's mouth fell open slightly at that, and Arizona hung her head, shifting her gaze to the plate in front of her and keeping it there. Callie just swallowed. But Barbara, surprisingly, apparently felt emboldened to speak. And what she said made Callie's eyes bulge out of her head, perhaps more so than anything had in her life before. "Oh, please Liz," the First Lady groaned. "You have all these rules, and yet Daniel and I still managed to lose our virginity in this house. On this very tab le, as a matter of fact." Callie's eyes immediately went to her own plate as Arizona dropped her silverware and scooted several inches back from the table. And all Callie could do was continue to stare at her food, too terrified of looking anywhere else. Had Barbara actually just said that? Callie couldn't help but smile as she tried not to laugh. Apparently Daniel and Barbara weren't quite as traditional as Callie had assumed. Losing your virginity on an antique dining room table? That...that took an adventuresome spirit. Way to go, Arizona's parents! Several long, unbelievably awkward moments passed before Daniel finally cleared his throat. Callie still couldn't believe Barbara had said that, her voice full of sass, and the brunette was shaking ever so slightly, struggling to keep her laughter from bubbling over. "Um, thank you for that dear," Daniel said quietly. Callie couldn't see his face, but he sounded mortified. "Well, um…" Edward said, also sounding incredibly uncomfortable. Elizabeth had yet to make a noise, and Callie's desire to see the look on her face almost triumphed over her desire to stare at her plate. Almost. Daniel cleared his throat again. "Mom and dad, you are right—this is your house," he finally spoke up. "And if you won't allow my daughter and her partner to share a room, then we have to respect your wishes." "Thank you," Liz said triumphantly, a smug tone in her voice. "But if that is the case," Daniel continued, "then we will not be staying here." Callie's head instinctively snapped up at those words, her eyes immediately going to Daniel's face, which looked as firm and resolute as ever. "Callie is my daughter's girlfriend, her b est friend," Daniel continued. "She is her confidant, her companion, her coparent, and yes—as you so strongly object to her being—she is her lover. Whether you like it or not, they are in a committed relationship, and my daughter is not experimenting. Arizona has chosen Callie to be her partner. They are sharing a room." "But—" Daniel interrupted his mother before she could get a word in edgewise. "And if you can't agree to that, then Barbara and I will happily host Christmas at the White House. You and dad will be more than welcome to join us there, and we will even extend you the common courtesy of being able to share a room with the love of your life." With that, Daniel picked up his fork and resumed eating, as if nothing had happened. And all Callie could do was stare at him. For a moment, yes, her eyes flashed towards Arizona, who will still sitting with her head down, frozen a few inches away from the table. And yes, Callie's eyes did temporarily flicker between Edward and Elizabeth, taking in Edward's uncomfortable expression and Elizabeth's face full of rage. But after those momentary departures, her deep brown eyes always travelled back to President Daniel Robbins. Callie felt a strange tightening in her chest as she observed him. She'd certainly grown closer to him over the past several months. She still felt a flurry of intimidation when he did something awesome and presidential, but for the most part, he was just Arizona's dad. He was kind and interesting, and she loved his sense of humor. And when he was allowed to be just a guy hanging out with his family, and not the President of the United States, he was very down-toearth, very friendly. Callie liked him, and she was very much looking forward to him being her official father-in-law. In fact, Callie planned on having a very serious conversation with him during their stay, a conversation about Callie's desire to become an official member of Daniel Robbins' family. But while she enjoyed and respected him, she'd never seen him so...so adamantly defend their relationship. She hadn't known that he took her relationship with Arizona so seriously, that he knew how much she and the blonde meant to one another. But clearly he did know, and even more, he approved. He valued their relationship. He valued them enough to take an uncompromising position in their defense, and even though it could have serious repercussions with his own parents, he valued them enough to stand up, and offer his protection.

Callie sighed as she thought about it. Why couldn't her own father be like that? And why didn't her own father love her that much? ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona's eyes fluttered open, but she didn't know why. It was just after six in the morning, and all was quiet and dark. Callie was still sleeping soundly in her arms, the brunette's back pressed tightly against Arizona's front, and over Callie's shoulder and through the window they hadn't bothered to cover, Arizona could see that snow was continuing to fall. That thought made Arizona smile for a moment. Sofia would love all the snow. Arizona sighed and carefully disentangled her arm from Callie, instead choosing to place her hand on Callie's shoulder, and then she slowly moved it along Callie's side until it came to a stop on her hip. Her girlfriend was so beautiful, so lovely. How could her grandparents not see that this was real, that this was serious? She loved this woman. And Arizona knew that her grandparents were old and traditional. She'd known that they weren't happy about the fact that she was in a relationship with a woman. But she hadn't been expecting for them to make a big deal about it. She hadn't been expecting them to openly voice their disapproval. After Daniel's defiant speech at the dinner table, her grandparents had grumbled for a bit, but then reluctantly agreed to allow Callie to stay with her. But while Arizona had certainly been thankful for what her father had said, it wouldn't have changed the outcome—she was going to sleep by Callie's side no matter what, regardless of where they were. If her grandparents had refused to allow it, and Daniel hadn't offered to relocate their holiday festivities, Arizona would have simply taken Callie and Sofia home—where the heat was hopefully functioning again. Arizona leaned in and placed a soft kiss on her slumbering lover's shoulder, her hand moving from Callie's hip and dipping into the front of Callie's pajama pants. She knew not to stroke Callie through her panties—she'd tried that once. Callie had become aroused in her sleep, but Arizona hadn't actually finished her off due to Sofia's arrival in their bedroom, and Callie had felt sexually frustrated all day as a result. So now, on the rare occasion that Arizona woke up first, she would merely cup the brunette through her panties, keeping her hand still. Callie teased her about it—claiming that it was a little weird that she liked to simply rest her hand there. But Arizona had shrugged her off and told her that she really wasn't one to talk—Callie had way more than her fair share of "unusual" sexual appetites. The brunette had quickly conceded the point. And Arizona hadn't told her girlfriend this, but Callie's entire body would relax when she did it. Callie would smile and sigh contentedly in her sleep, and Arizona simply loved it. She loved that she could make her girlfriend feel good while she dreamed. And after the night before, Arizona wanted to make her girlfriend feel good as much as possible. Callie had been worried about Arizona's grandparents, but Arizona had dismissed her concerns, assuring Callie that everything would be fine. But now, Arizona realized that she'd just signed her girlfriend up for a stressful Christmas. After dinner, they'd returned to Sofia's bedroom, wanting to avoid all further interactions with Arizona's family for the night. So they'd spent the rest of their evening with their little family, just the three of them, giving Sofia extra cuddles and reading her way more books than usual. The little girl had drifted off to sleep feeling on top of the world from all the attention, and then Arizona had taken Callie to bed, doing her best to relieve Callie's stress through lovemaking. But sadly, they couldn't just avoid Arizona's family for the rest of their time in Vermont. They couldn't just play with Sofia and have sex when the little girl was sleeping. They needed to suck it up and interact with Arizona's grandparents. Arizona wasn't looking forward to it herself, but she felt worse for Callie. Callie didn't need any more stress at the moment. "Oh I swear, that woman!" Arizona froze as the bedroom door flew open, the light from the hall revealing her angry, pajama-clad mother. "Mom?" Arizona asked sleepily, blinking at the light and wincing when the door slammed back shut, this time with her mother on the inside of the room. Barbara released a loud, agitated sigh and rounded the bed, unceremoniously slipping into bed next to Arizona. And that's when Arizona became aware of the fact that Callie had woken up as well, because she felt Callie's hand gripping her wrist and carefully removing her hand from the inside of the burnette's pajama pants. Arizona swallowed. That was a good call on her girlfriend's part. She really shouldn't have her hand down Callie's pants when her mother was in the bed as well.

"Uh, hi mom," Arizona said cautiously, turning away from Callie to face her mother instead. She was happy to feel Callie snuggle up behind her, the brunette's arms pulling her into a tight cuddle. And she couldn't help but smile when she felt Callie's face burying into her neck. Callie was apparently planning on falling right back asleep while Arizona had a nice little chat with her mother in their bed. "I swear, Arizona, I don't know how he puts up with her." "Mom…" Arizona sighed, well aware of her mother's issues with her grandmother. They had never gotten along. Elizabeth Robbins had wanted Arizona's father to marry Gigi Devaux. "All I did was go downstairs to get a damned cup of coffee, and she corners me in the kitchen—" "Mom…" "—and goes into this full-blown lecture on how if you're a lesbian, then it must be because I didn't raise you right, because we all know Daniel can do no wrong." "Mom…" "Oh, and it's also a mark against my parenting that you had sex before marriage." "Mom…" "Which doesn't even make sense!" Barbara continued to rant. "Because Daniel had lots of sex with lots of different women before we got married. But somehow, that's not her fault. My daughter being a slut is my fault. But her son being a slut somehow isn't her fault. And you're not even a slut! I mean, have you even slept with anyone but Callie?" "Mom…" Arizona tried again. She really didn't need to hear about her father's sex life as a young man. "Oh, and then when I said that I can't be that terrible of a person—I helped my husband get elected President of the United States, after all—she said that he was elected in spite of me, and only because of how she had raised him! I swear, one of these days, I'm just gonna snap and kill your grandmother, Arizona. I don't know how much more I can take." "Uh, mom, are you done yet?" Arizona asked pointedly. Barbara just gave her a look. "Well you don't have to be snippy with me, Arizona." Arizona raised her eyebrows incredulously. "Mom, you just barged in here at the ass-crack of dawn, woke us up, and got into our bed. I'm supposed to be all sunshine and happiness?" Barbara just huffed in annoyance. "Arizona, I just…I mean, do you see how she treats me? Like I'm—" "Mom, yes," Arizona cut her mother off. "I know how she treats you. I've been around the two of you more than a few times in my life." "Well then—" "Have you ever stopped to think that maybe she's insecure?" Arizona asked, quickly checking over her shoulder to make sure Callie was still doing okay. The brunette gave her a soft squeeze to indicate that she was. "Arizona, what on earth do—" "Mom, dad is her only child!" Arizona exclaimed. "And he's been madly in love with you ever since he was a little boy. I mean, yeah, he had a couple random flings with some other women, but none of them really meant anything. It's always been you. Even when he got a little more serious with Gigi, in the back of his mind, it was still always you!" Arizona said, wondering how her mother hadn't figured this out by now. "And he worships the ground you walk on. When people ask him how he does his job, how he's gotten to where he is, he doesn't even mention her. It's always, 'Barbara this,' and 'Barbara that.' Mom…" Arizona sighed. "The way he talks, you are singularly responsible for every good thing in his life. He prefers you to her in every way. And she...she knows that. And for some reason, she's never been able to get past it. So she's a bitch to you because she's jealous of you." Barbara sighed slowly and started to look a little more calm. "I know," she said simply. "Then why are you in bed with me and Callie at six o'clock in the morning?"

"Because knowing why she's a bitch doesn't change the fact that she's just a bitch." "Oh, geez, mom," Arizona sighed, chuckling slightly and reaching out to squeeze her mother's hand. "What am I going to do with you?" "Well hopefully our shopping trip this evening, just the four of us, will be therapeutic." Arizona's brow crinkled. "What shopping trip?" Barbara just gave her a look. "Didn't I tell you?" Arizona shook her head slightly. She couldn't remember being informed about a shopping trip. And she and Callie had already purchased all of their Christmas gifts. "Oh, well, after the mall closes, they're going to hold a few stores open for us, so we can get outfits for the Christmas card. We need to take the picture tomorrow so they can send it out." "Oh," Arizona said simply. She'd forgotten all about the White House Christmas card. It was weird how the daily life of being a member of the First Family seemed farther away when she wasn't living in the White House, right there in the middle of it all. "And if it'll be too late for Sofia, we can just go the three of us." "Wait, what?" Callie spoke up all of a sudden. "Yes dear?" Barbara said, sitting up slightly so she could see the brunette currently snuggled up behind her daughter. "You...you want me and Sof in the official Christmas card?" "Well of course, Callie, you're family" Barbara said, apparently confused as to why there was any doubt. Arizona also turned to look at her girlfriend, not quite understanding why Callie had thought that she wouldn't be in the picture. Callie raised her eyebrows. "Oh. Well uh...oh," was all she said. "Is that okay?" Arizona asked, feeling concerned. Did Callie...did Callie not want to be in the picture? Did she not think they were really family yet? The thought saddened Arizona. Callie certainly felt like family to her. "Yeah, of...of course it's okay," Callie said quickly. "I'm just surprised, I guess. I'm...uh...um...Sofia and I would...we'd be honored to be in the Christmas card." "Okay good," Arizona said, smiling in relief and leaning in to place a chaste kiss on Callie's lips. She would have rather kissed Callie passionately. But, well, Barbara was still in the bed. Arizona paused at that thought. Why, exactly, was Barbara still in their bed? "Hey mom," Arizona said, turning over again to face her mother. "I don't mean to be rude, but um...it's Christmas vacation, and I'd kind of like to cuddle with my girlfriend in our bed. So...could you like…" "Alright," Barbara said, quickly catching on, holding up her hands defensively, and slipping out from the bed. "You girls have fun," she winked, leaning over to leave a quick kiss on each of their cheeks. "But when you're done with your morning sex, please come find me. Otherwise your grandmother might be dead before lunch time." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie smirked as she looked up from the research paper she was reading to see Sofia getting sprinkles everywhere. Callie wasn't much of a cookie decorator herself—she loved to cook, but she found baking to be tedious—so thankfully Arizona had volunteered to oversee the three-year-old's efforts. It was early afternoon on Christmas Eve day, just after lunch, and Barbara, Arizona, and Sofia were making sugar cookies while Callie caught up on some work. They'd now been at the Robbins Family estate for several days, and things were going fairly well. Callie wouldn't have described Edward and Elizabeth as being warm and welcoming, but they were at least civil, which Callie supposed was good enough. And they'd had plenty of fun. Arizona had attempted to teach them how to snowshoe...which very comically hadn't worked out so great with Sofia. But they'd gone sledding, and had built snow forts, and Arizona had even hitched up the horses and taken her and Sofia on a sleigh ride around the property. And there had also been plenty of snuggling, reading, and relaxing next to a roaring fire. It had been, more or less, what Callie had always imagined Christmas was like in places

that actually experienced winter. And Callie couldn't be sure, but she had mayb e, just mayb e gotten a few brownie points with Elizabeth one night, when she'd cooked them all a traditional Mexican meal. Callie could cook anything well, but as her parents had insisted on real Mexican food during her entire upbringing, both she and her sister could turn out high-quality Mexican food with ease. And they were actually a little pretentious about it—shortly after Callie and Arizona had reconciled in France, Callie had been photographed with Sofia at a Taco Bell, and she still hadn't heard the end of it from Aria. "Okay, okay, Sofia," Arizona said to the little girl sitting in her lap, her hands stilling Sofia's motion. "With candy canes, we're supposed to use the red sprinkles in stripes. Not just...not just red sprinkles everywhere." "But I like red," Sofia stated matter-of-factly. "I know…" Arizona said. "But...don't you think red stripes would be prettier?" "No." "No?" "No." "Well um...okay," Arizona nodded, looking rather torn between enforcing red stripes and letting Sofia just have fun with the stupid sprinkles. But apparently Sofia interpreted Arizona's "okay" as permission, because she quickly went about shaking red sprinkles all over an entire tray of candy cane-shaped cookies. Callie just snorted. Arizona had gotten a lot better at putting her foot down over the past several months, but sometimes she just couldn't help being a softie. Callie thought it was adorable. "Well, aren't those beautiful," Barbara exclaimed, accepting the tray of all-red candy cane cookies and putting them in the oven to bake. "These remind me of the ones Arizona made when she was your age." Arizona stuck her tongue out at her mother. "Alright, Sofia," Arizona said. "Which shape do you want next? We have Christmas trees, and stars, and um…" "The girl one," Sofia said, pointing to a massive cookie cutter shaped like a gingerbread girl. Callie could see why her daughter wanted that one—it was very large compared to the other cookies—more room for sprinkles. "Okay," Arizona said, using the cookie cutter, and placing the shaped dough on a tray for Sofia. "Hey Sofia, why don't we decorate this one to look like your mom?" Barbara asked. Only if Arizona gets to eat that one, Callie quickly retorted in her head. She really wasn't focusing on this paper too well, was she? "Okay," Sofia nodded happily. "Which?" "Which what, honey?" Barbara asked. "Arizona, Mommy, or Lexie?" Sofia asked innocently, apparently having meant her earlier question to clarify which of her moms the cookie was supposed to look like. Callie, Arizona, and Barbara all froze at the question, and a wondrous smile crept onto Callie's face as her eyes flashed over to look at Arizona. That was...that was the very first time Sofia had referred to Arizona as her mom , and the look of sheer joy on Arizona's face was one that Callie would remember until the day she died. Callie felt her heart jumping in her chest as she watched her girlfriend struggle not to cry. And those dimples had never looked more perfect. "Sweetie, uh," Callie said, her voice cracking slightly. "Why don't you make it look like Arizona?" "Okay," Sofia said, reaching for the yellow sprinkles, oblivious to what had just transpired. As she got to work on Arizona's hair, Barbara leaned over the counter and placed the gentlest of kisses on Arizona's forehead, her face shining with pride for the young blonde. A laugh of pure happiness finally escaped from Arizona, and Callie found herself starting to cry as Arizona reached up to wipe at a stray tear off of her own face.

"And um, use the blue sprinkles for her eyes, baby," Callie instructed. "I know that, mommy." "Yeah, of course you do," Callie smiled. How could anyone not love those blue eyes? And the way they were currently shining bright, so full of life...Callie felt like she could get lost in them forever. No, could wasn't quite the right word. Callie would be lost in them forever. She already was lost in them forever. Which meant… Callie sighed. She'd been meaning to have a conversation with Daniel during this trip, but he'd been working a lot, Callie felt very anxious about what they needed to discuss, and it had never felt like the right time. But now Callie knew she didn't want to wait a minute longer. She wanted to talk to Daniel as soon as possible. Because she needed to buy a ring. She needed to make Arizona her wife. She needed to make Arizona her wife soon. "Um, do you guys mind if I slip out for a few minutes?" Callie asked, setting her paper down on the counter and sitting up from her stool. "Fine with me," Barbara shrugged. "Yeah, that's okay," Arizona nodded, her eyes still shining with pure joy. Callie wished there was someway, somehow, that Arizona could always look this happy. "Okay," Callie smiled, leaning in to place a lingering kiss on Arizona's perfect lips. Sofia emitted a soft, whiny noise, but was otherwise distracted by working on the Arizona cookie. She still thought their kissing was gross, but she'd essentially come to terms with the fact that her mommy and Arizona kissed all the time. "I love you so much, Arizona," Callie whispered in the blonde's ear. And with another quick peck, Callie left the kitchen and headed out of the main house. She walked rather quickly towards the house Arizona had lived in as a child, spurred on by the fact that she'd skipped putting on her jacket. And once inside, she looked around for someone to tell her where the president was. Seeing as it was Christmas Eve, most of the staff that had made the trip up to Vermont had left, at least getting to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with their families. But there were still a few stragglers, a few unlucky interns and staffers who remained hard at work. "Hey um, is the president available?" Callie asked the first person she found, a young staffer who couldn't possibly have been older than her girlfriend. "Uh, I don't know," the young man said. "Let's go check." He silently motioned her to follow him up a staircase, and he disappeared into a room, instructing her to wait outside. "Okay," he said, reappearing a moment later. "You can go in." "Thanks," Callie smiled, waiting for the young man to be clear of the doorway, and then stepping into the room. Quickly taking in her surroundings, Callie figured that this room had always been a home office, potentially where Daniel had done a lot of work when he'd been a senator. It was gorgeous, very fancy, and had large windows that overlooked a beautiful vista. "Callie, what can I do for you?" Daniel asked from where he sat behind the desk, setting a stack of papers down and looking up at her expectantly. "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to disrupt your workday," Callie said apologetically, filling with nerves at the sight of Daniel, combined with the thought of what she wanted to ask him. She loved Daniel, and she normally felt very comfortable around him. But asking your girlfriend's father for his blessing was nerve-wracking enough. But if your girlfriend's father was the leader of the free world? That just...well...that just sucked. And Callie knew that asking Arizona's dad for permission was a little outdated, and she knew that she didn't actually need his consent—the only consent she needed to marry Arizona was Arizona's herself. But Callie was also well aware of the fact that this was a special family. This was the First Family. Daniel was the president. So she didn't want to do anything that might be interpreted as disrespectful. She wanted to be cautious, and polite, and appropriate. It was a sign of respect to ask Daniel for his blessing. "Don't worry about that," Daniel said dismissively. "I never run out of work, I assure you. My entire life is essentially a disruption of my workday." Callie smiled at that. That was certainly true—Callie may have disagreed with almost all of Daniel's policy stances, but she couldn't fault him on his work ethic.

"So um, really, Callie," Daniel asked again after Callie was silent for a few beats. "What can I do for you?" "Well sir, um," Callie said, not noticing that she'd defaulted to calling Daniel "sir" instead of addressing him by his first name like she usually did. "I uh…" Callie swallowed heavily. "I need to um...I need to speak with you about Arizona." Callie stood awkwardly for a few moments, suddenly not knowing what to do with her arms and legs, as Daniel considered her. And then he surprised her by abruptly standing up from his desk. "Has Arizona given you a tour of this house yet? Shown you her bedroom?" "Uh, no," Callie said, confused as to why that was relevant. "Well come on, then," Daniel said, rounding the desk and motioning for Callie to follow him out of the office. He walked a few yards down the hallway and then opened another room, which was currently occupied by a staff member, sitting at a small desk and working on a laptop. "Give us the room," Daniel said. "Yes, Mr. President," the staffer said, quickly grabbing the laptop and leaving Callie alone with Arizona's father. "Alright, come in, come in," Daniel said, closing the door behind Callie as she stepped into the generously-sized bedroom. She couldn't help but smile softly as she took in her surroundings. It was clearly a room belonging to a young teenage girl, which made sense—Arizona had attended high school in D.C., so Arizona hadn't lived in this room very much past the age of fourteen. As Callie surveyed the posters on the wall, though, her smile became a little sad. There were posters of teen heartthrobs—musicians, athletes, and actors. But they were all male. Callie had had similar types of posters hanging on her wall as a teenage girl, but she'd actually been attracted to the boys on them. But Arizona...even at fourteen and younger, the blonde had felt the need to hide who she was, to put up posters suggesting she liked men. Even so young, Arizona had already decided that she needed to hide who she was for the sake of her father's career. Callie knew for a fact that Arizona had never liked some of the bands that hung prominently on the walls. "So uh, this was her room," Daniel said simply, leaning against the desk and looking around himself. He looked rather nostalgic while doing so. Callie wondered if his thoughts mirrored her own. "It's nice," Callie nodded, giving Daniel a smile. It was a nice room—beautiful view, gorgeous furniture, a nice, cheery atmosphere. And Callie appreciated seeing it. She could easily picture a younger Arizona spending many happy afternoons in such a room. Daniel cleared his throat and pulled out the desk chair, seating himself in it and motioning for Callie to sit on the bed across from him. "So what would you like to talk about regarding Arizona?" he asked, once Callie was seated as well. Callie took a deep breath. From the look in his eyes, Callie could tell that he already knew. And she could also tell that he was trying to take some of the pressure off of her, bringing her to an environment where they were on more equal footing, instead of Callie asking Daniel for his blessing while he sat in a powerful stance behind his desk. "Sir, I…" Callie swallowed. "I love your daughter. Very much." "I know," Daniel nodded. "And…" Callie closed her eyes for a moment, trying to calm herself. "And...I'm always gonna love her, sir. She is...Arizona is the best thing that ever happened to me. And so…" Callie sighed, looking him directly in the eyes. "With your permission, sir, I'd...I'd like to ask Arizona to be my wife." Daniel looked at her thoughtfully for a few moments, considering. "So you're asking for my blessing?" "Yes, sir," Callie nodded. "I see…" Daniel said, his eyes filling with mischief. Callie just bit her lip...what was he doing? "Well, I guess that comes down to who you're voting for." Callie let out an audible laugh before rolling her eyes. "Hey!" Daniel said playfully. "I came around on that whole gay marriage thing."

"Yes, sir, you did," Callie said, agreeing with him. Daniel had initially campaigned as being actively against gay marriage, but in the aftermath of the sex tape, he had publicly backed off that position. He hadn't come out in favor of gay marriage, per se, but he'd said it was a matter that should be left up to the states, and he would therefore veto any federal legislation restricting it. Callie thought that was good enough...for a Repub lican. Not as far as she would have liked him to go, but...well...he had a political career to consider. "So then why not vote for me?" "Oh geez…" Callie laughed softly, looking anywhere but at Arizona's father. Where to begin? Callie was simply not a conservative. She loved and respected Daniel as a person, she really did. But politically, she disagreed with him (and his daughter!) on virtually everything. How could she vote for him? "You know, if Arizona votes Republican, and you vote Democrat, you're essentially cancelling each other out," Daniel said. "Oh, I know," Callie agreed. "And when I suggested to Arizona that we simply not vote because there wasn't a point, I thought she was gonna kill me. She went into this...this...two hour lecture on patriotism and civic duty and wars and people dying and...and I don't even know what…" "Well that's because I raised her right," Daniel concluded simply. "Yes sir, you did," Callie conceded with a smile. Daniel smiled back at her, and then shifted in his chair, resuming a more serious posture. "So why should I say yes?" he asked. "Sir?" "Why should I let you marry my daughter?" "I…" Callie stopped short. She'd expected asking Daniel for his blessing to be nerve-wracking, but she'd also expected him to say yes automatically. She hadn't really thought up of reasons to convince him. But then, Callie knew that he already was convinced. He just wanted to hear what she had to say. "Well, what do your think your responsibility will be to her as her wife?" Callie paused. She intended, of course, to be the best possible wife to Arizona. But she'd never really put into words exactly what that meant. "To...to love her," Callie said simply. "Arizona...Arizona can take care of herself. She is smart, and strong, and capable, and...and she doesn't need anyone protecting her or providing for her. But…" Callie paused. "But I want to do those things. I want to take care of her. And...and even though money isn't really an issue regardless, and she has actual bodyguards looking after her physical safety, I…" Callie sighed, finally really knowing what she wanted to say. "I want to take care of her heart. I want to fill her life with joy, and happiness, and love. I want to ensure that she's never lonely. That she always has a friend. I wanna be on her side, even when she's dead wrong. I...I want to make sure that she always feels loved and cherished and adored. Because that's what she deserves. So, um," Callie said, sitting up straighter and getting around to answering Daniel's initial question. "So you should give me your blessing because I am going to be her home. I'm going to be that safe place where she can rest her heart." When Callie had finished, she just looked at Daniel expectantly, waiting for his answer. And after a few long moments, he just nodded his head and smiled, standing up from the desk chair and instead sitting next to Callie on the bed. Callie couldn't be sure, but she thought his eyes looked a little teary. "She's my little girl, Callie," Daniel said softly. "I know, sir." "She's my only child now." "I know." "And I've spent her whole life trying to do just that—trying to fill her life with happiness, make her feel safe, make her feel loved." Callie nodded again. "I know."

"Of course you do," Daniel smiled. "You've got a little girl of your own." Callie's heart smiled at that—she'd never thought of it that way. She'd never pictured Daniel holding Arizona in wonder after she'd been born, just as Callie had done with Sofia. She'd never pictured Daniel snuggling with Arizona, reading a book. Or Daniel helping little Arizona with bathtime, or with learning how to put her pajamas on herself. She'd never imagined Daniel putting little Arizona to bed early after she'd thrown a temper due to tiredness. The love Callie felt for her daughter, the need she felt to protect Sofia, to ensure that she was safe and happy—there was no way to express those feelings. That need to provide for Sofia, the responsibility she felt to make sure Sofia was okay—it was all-consuming. And, of course, Arizona was grown. She was a mature, adult woman, and Daniel didn't need to take care of her like Callie needed to take care of Sofia. But Callie could still understand how he felt—like Callie was asking him to lay down his job of nurturing and caring for Arizona, and to instead let Callie take over. Callie understood how that could feel like a lot. In marrying Arizona, Callie would essentially be claiming all responsibility for taking care of the young blonde that both she and Daniel loved with their lives. Daniel would need to be more hands off. Daniel would need to entrust his daughter's happiness to Callie. "Sir, I'm…" Callie said sincerely. "I'm gonna take of her. I'm going to take such good care of your daughter." Daniel nodded. "I know you are." He turned to look towards her, reaching out and gently taking her hand in his. "And you have my blessing to marry her, Callie." Callie smiled widely at those words. She hadn't doubted that she would receive Daniel's blessing—he and Barbara had always been so welcoming. But it felt amazing to hear those words. "And Callie," Daniel continued thoughtfully. "Arizona has...well she's mentioned some of...some of what you've been going through with your own family. How it's affected you." Callie swallowed and nodded, looking down. She had a rather hard time discussing her parents' abandonment of her, even with Arizona. "And…" Daniel sighed. "And I just want you to know that Barbara and I love you like a daughter. And that obviously extends to Sofia, as well." Callie closed her eyes, releasing a deep, shuddering breath. Daniel let go of her hand and instead wrapped his arm around her tightly in response. "And I don't know what kind of person can turn their back on their own child, but Callie, we will never abandon you. We love you. And I know that...that nothing can probably ever fill that void, and we would never try to replace what you've lost. That's...I don't think that's possible. But I do want you to know that if there's ever anything I can do, if...if you ever need a dad, I'm...I'm here." At Daniel's words, Callie looked back up, blinking back tears. This man, Arizona's father, the President of the United States, was offering...was offering to love her like a father, to do whatever he could to make up for the failings of her own dad. And before she really knew what was happening, she was crumpling into his arms and crying softly into his shoulder. "And I'm so happy Arizona found you, Callie," Daniel said quietly, continuing to gently hold her. "Because I've spent her entire life just trying to make her smile, but nothing I do holds a candle to what you can do, simply by walking in the door." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Absolutely no offense meant to anybody from Pakistan. I just needed something to make Daniel a little pissy, and I thought a foreign relations thing would make sense, so I just picked a random country that doesn't always have the most lovey-dovey relationship with the US. And just because our governments aren't BFF's doesn't mean I don't like you as people :)

*Chapter 29*: Chapter 29
AN: I have never been more nervous to post a chapter. Here goes nothing. Callie's eyes popped open the instant her phone started to vibrate. She'd hardly slept a wink all night. She was way too excited to sleep, way too anxious. Way too happy. The brunette reached down to shut off the alarm, relieved to see that it had worked. Normally, she set a loud alarm, as it was totally unacceptable for a professor to be late to class. But this particular morning, she wasn't headed to school, and she hadn't wanted to risk waking Arizona up. Thankfully, her sleep had been light enough to be interrupted just by her phone's soft vibration. After switching the alarm off, Callie's wide-awake eyes traveled to take in the sight of her girlfriend. Sometime in the night, Arizona had tossed and turned her way out of Callie's arms, and she was now lying in a messy heap on the other side of the bed. Absolutely adorable. Callie smiled at the way Arizona's face was all smushed against her pillow. And then a wave of giddiness coursed through Callie's entire body. Because she was going to marry this woman. She was going to spend the rest of her life with this adorable creature. At least, that was the plan. Callie still had to ask her, and that was why Callie hadn't slept at all. Today was the day. It was a Monday morning in January, and as it was Martin Luther King Day, both Callie and Arizona had the day off of school. It also happened to be Arizona's twenty-second birthday, the one-year anniversary of the first time they'd made love. And as Sofia was currently out west with Mark and Lexie, Callie and Arizona were childless. They'd spent the entire previous week in D.C. not quite knowing what to do with all of their free evenings, and they'd headed up to Camp David on Friday night to celebrate Arizona's birthday with a quiet, romantic, and sex-filled weekend. They'd even made arrangements for the Presidential retreat to be running with as few staff as possible—the two women hadn't so much as seen another human being since Friday. The Secret Service was present, but invisible, and Callie and Arizona had cooked all their meals themselves to avoid the need for a kitchen staff. Callie was in love with the privacy and solitude. No photographers hoping for a glimpse of them kissing, no Secret Service inhibiting their ability to have a private conversation, no random passersby staring because they were famous. Nobody. And Callie adored her daughter, and was very much looking forward to seeing her again that evening. But not having Sofia around had been a nice, temporary change of pace. Callie and Arizona had been totally uninterrupted. At Camp David, with no one around, they could sleep whenever they pleased, walk around with hardly any clothes on, and scream as loud as they wanted during their lovemaking. It had been a very good weekend. But so far, it hadn't snowed. And that was seriously cramping Callie's style. Thankfully, however, the region had been forecasted to receive several inches of snowfall overnight. So it was with hope of snow that Callie slowly slid out of bed, careful not to wake her sleeping lover, and crept over to the window. The skin of her still-naked body protested against the cooler air next to the window, but a massive smile spread across her face once she saw the yard. Snow, and lots of it. Callie, of course, had backup plans of how to propose, but now they wouldn't be necessary. Now she could proceed exactly as she wanted to. Callie slowly stepped away from the window and then tiptoed to the bathroom, careful to shut the door without making a sound. And then she proceeded to wash her face, brush her teeth, and neaten her hair. She didn't take a shower or put any makeup on—she didn't want to arouse the blonde's suspicion. But she at least wanted to look and smell pleasant enough. Once satisfied with her appearance, she slowly exited the bathroom, pulled back the bedcovers, and gently slipped back into bed. Arizona was resting on her stomach, her arms wrapped around her pillow and her legs sprawled out in either direction. Normally Callie would have been content to watch the blonde sleep for a while, but with the position Arizona was sleeping in, her backside was incredibly vulnerable. So, unable to resist, Callie scooted over to the blonde and lowered the covers. And at first, Callie could do nothing but smile as she marvelled at the sight. Arizona's bottom was just so cute, just so perfect. The blonde made fun of Callie for her obsession with it, but Callie simply couldn't find it within herself to care. How could she not be obsessed with such an adorable ass? But Callie's smile turned to a slight pout when she remembered that there were no spankings in store for that day—Callie knew that her girlfriend merely tolerated the activity, so she generally tried to space it out. And she had most definitely already used up her spanking allotment for the weekend, because at precisely midnight, when it had officially been Arizona's birthday, Callie had bent the blonde over her knee and gleefully administered twenty-two perfect, satisfying smacks. So Callie could look, and Callie could admire, but Callie unfortunately couldn't spank. "Did you just kiss my ass?"

Callie jerked in surprise at the sound of her girlfriend's voice, and her eyes widened at the realization that, somewhere along the line, she had leaned forward and pressed her lips against the smooth, soft skin of Arizona's bottom. Oops. "Uh, uh, uh…" Callie stuttered out, not quite knowing how to respond. She hadn't meant to do that. It had just happened. And shit, how long had Arizona been awake? "You are so weird," Arizona muttered, reaching down to pull the covers up past her waist, and then turning on her side to face Callie, her rear end no longer accessible. Callie frowned at the deprivation. But at least Arizona's voice had revealed no annoyance—only cautious amusement, confusion, and disbelief. "Sorry," Callie murmured sheepishly. After one more moment of mourning the loss of Arizona's ass, she scooted up on the bed until her head again reached the pillows, and then leaned in to place a soft kiss on Arizona's lips. "Great," Arizona said a moment later, her face forming a playful scowl as Callie pulled out of the kiss. "Now I kissed my ass." Callie smiled and shrugged. "It was clean. And happy birthday, baby." Arizona's expression softened and she scooted closer to Callie, nuzzling into her. "Mmm, thank you," she sighed, her arms wrapping around the brunette and her warm breath caressing Callie's breasts. "But you've been saying that all weekend." "Yeah, but today's your actual birthday," Callie grinned. "Which means presents!" Arizona just offered an apathetic shrug. "I think birthdays are ruined for me after last year." "Wait, what?" "I got the best birthday present ever last year," Arizona explained. "Now every birthday is going to pale in comparison." "Oh really?" Callie smirked. "What was so great about last year?" Arizona smiled at Callie's teasing and rolled her onto her back before climbing on top. Callie licked her lips slightly, loving the way Arizona's weight felt on top of her. Her body started buzzing with anticipation. "Last year," Arizona said, her voice low and suggestive. "I lost my virginity to the sexiest woman on earth." "Oh yeah?" Callie said, not bothering to hide her pleasure at being described that way. Sexiest woman on earth? She'd take it. "Was she good?" "Mm hmm," Arizona nodded darkly, leaving a trail of kisses on Callie's neck and jawline. "Although, technically speaking," she added. "I wouldn't really know. I fell madly in love with her, we're still together, and there's been no one else. I have no one to compare her to." "Really?" Callie smiled, loving the reminder. She considered it to be such an exquisite privilege that she was the only person who had ever experienced Arizona. "So she could actually be really bad in bed, and you'd never know the difference?" "Yup," Arizona said, a teasing smile on her face. "But I've got a hunch that I lucked out. I've got a feeling that she's actually fairly incredible." "Is that so?" Callie asked, rolling them over in the bed so that she was now topping Arizona. "Do you want me to show you what incredib le feels like?" she whispered huskily in Arizona's ear, enjoying the shudder that she felt ripple through the gorgeous body beneath her. All Arizona did was nod, her eyes closed, her mouth open. "Okay," Callie said, abruptly sliding off of the bed and assuming a perfectly normal tone of voice. "Well, that'll be on our to-do list for later." After failing to grab onto Callie in time to stop her from leaving the bed, Arizona immediately propped herself up on her elbows and gaped at her girlfriend, her face a mixture of arousal and bewilderment. "Wha—what are you—" "It snowed!" Callie said cheerfully, pretending to be oblivious to Arizona's clear displeasure at the abrupt abortion of their sexy time. "Let's go build a snowman!" Callie turned and walked over to her suitcase to find some clothes, finally allowing herself to snicker at Arizona's annoyance. Nothing was more fun than teasing the blonde—Arizona was so cute when she got flustered and cranky. "But...but...Callie!" Arizona whined.

"What, sweetie?" Callie said innocently, turning back to look at her girlfriend, who was staring at her in utter disbelief. "Seriously?" Arizona pressed. Callie was now on the receiving end of an adorable set of puppy-dog eyes. "What?" "You seriously want to go play in the snow now?" Arizona asked. "You don't wanna like...maybe...come b ack to b ed?" Arizona gestured at the length of her naked body, highlighting the reward Callie would receive for complying with Arizona's request. "No, let's go outside," Callie said nonchalantly, turning back to her bag and again laughing to herself. Of course Callie wanted to have sex. Arizona looked incredib le lying naked in the bed. And much to Callie's surprise, given the fact that she wasn't in her twenties anymore, she rarely found herself "not in the mood" to have sex with the young blonde. Callie didn't know quite what it was about their physical relationship. Things would always start out innocent enough. They would start kissing softly, Callie just enjoying Arizona's soft skin, the sweetness of her lips. But then before they knew it, their mouths would be open, their tongues would be seeking contact, and their hands would be groping at breasts, bottoms, and thighs. They were a little ridiculous with each other. Callie had been expecting things to cool off a bit after a year together, but...well...things hadn't cooled off—they were still as eager as ever for one another's touch. Perhaps more so. But for the moment, Callie had other plans than having sex. Better plans. Plans involving a gorgeous diamond ring being placed on Arizona's finger. So sex could wait. They could have sex later. In fact, that was also part of Callie's plans. Yes, after that ring was where it belonged, after Arizona had agreed to marry her, they were going to have lots and lots of sex. Callie had to stifle her laughter when she heard Arizona release a loud huff, followed by the sound of Arizona's feet meeting the floor and the bathroom door closing. As Arizona freshened up in the bathroom—Callie was happy to hear Arizona brushing her teeth, considering how much kissing Callie planned on doing—the brunette threw on a pair of sweats and a hoodie and then grabbed a similar outfit from the blonde's bag. She'd considered dressing up and looking nice, cooking a romantic dinner. But the more she'd thought about it, the more she'd gotten the feeling that Arizona would prefer a comfortable, casual, and intimate proposal—just the two of them. Just them , no frills, no distractions. Their first kiss had been out in the snow. Their first time had been in Callie's hotel room, no makeup or sexy lingerie in sight. Their first "I love you" had been in the middle of the night, Callie clad in the very sweatpants she was currently wearing. So Arizona was getting proposed to in those sweatpants. And heck, if those sweatpants were good enough for an interrogation in the Oval Office… "Thanks," Arizona said, catching the sweats that Callie tossed her way upon her exit from the bathroom. Callie watched as that perfect, naked body was quickly covered up. But she didn't allow herself to feel sad—if things went according to plan, those clothes would be coming back off soon enough, and her hands would soon be all over every inch of Arizona's flawless skin. "Ready?" Callie asked, extending her hand as soon as Arizona was dressed. "Mm hmm," Arizona nodded, linking her hand with the brunette's and allowing Callie to lead her down the staircase. After sharing a banana—they'd have a real breakfast later—the two women put on their winter outerwear and then stepped outside, loving the rush of cold air and the absolute silence of snow continuing to fall. Callie sighed thoughtfully—if only life could always be so happy and tranquil. "So uh—" "I miss Sofia," Arizona interrupted, a pout forming on her lips as they stepped off the porch and into the snow. "She would love this." "She would," Callie nodded, a smile appearing on her face. She found it incredibly endearing that in the midst of a romantic weekend as a couple, Arizona's thoughts were still frequently on the almost-four-year-old. Callie felt so blessed that she'd found a partner who'd accepted her daughter without hesitation. "But we'll see her tonight." "Isn't it gonna hurt her feelings if we make snowmen without her?" Arizona said, her voice full of genuine concern. Callie chuckled slightly and hugged Arizona from behind, her chin resting on Arizona's shoulder. "Well this snow should be in D.C., too. And their flight lands at five or so, so maybe we can play with her in the backyard for a bit before bed? Plus, she'll probably be up a little later tonight because she's on Seattle time." "Yeah, okay," Arizona nodded. "Can we make three again, though? You, me, and Sofia?"

"Sure," Callie said, her heart still feeling warm at they way Arizona cared for Sofia. Arizona clearly didn't see Sofia as an obstacle to be overcome, or something to get rid of in order to have alone time with Callie. Arizona was truly beginning to view Sofia as her own, and the thought of that filled Callie with joy. Her daughter—their daughter— would have no shortage of love in her life. After pulling at Arizona's scarf and jacket collar enough to reveal skin, Callie leaned down and placed a soft kiss on Arizona's neck. Arizona hummed in approval, turning around and nuzzling their noses together before capturing Callie's mouth in a slow, luscious kiss. "I love you Calliope," Arizona whispered, her blue eyes sparkling. Callie smiled dreamily back at her. "I love you, too." After sending Callie a quick wink, Arizona pulled out of the embrace and got to work, rolling a big ball of snow together that would serve as the base for either the Callie or the Arizona snow-woman. Callie soon joined her, and without a small child to distract them, their progress was fairly rapid, the two women working efficiently together in companionable silence. Once the basic construction was complete, they set out on the details. Callie gathered some sticks that could serve as hair for the two brunettes, and then went in search of some lighter-colored brush to imitate Arizona's hair. And Arizona...well...Arizona was hard at work, breast-sculpting as usual. Callie thought it was hilarious. She loved the way Arizona bit her bottom lip when she concentrated, loved how serious the blonde looked as she attempted to give both adult snow-women ample bosoms. Arizona really was a boobs woman, wasn't she? Callie swallowed as she returned to Arizona and their three creations, having found something that would work for Arizona's hair. This was it. This was the moment. This was how their first kiss had happened. Arizona had been playing plastic surgeon to the snow-women, and then Callie had started a snowball fight. So, setting Arizona's "hair" down on the snow, Callie took a deep breath, exhaled slowly, and then gathered a couple snowballs. This was it. It was time for her to make this woman her wife. Arizona froze at the very moment Callie's snowball collided with her butt. Callie grinned at her aim. She'd been aiming for Arizona's butt that first time, but she'd unfortunately hit the blonde's back instead. This time, however, she was spot-on. And then Callie struggled very hard not to laugh when Arizona slowly turned around, her eyebrows raised, her mouth open, and her blue eyes playfully murderous. "Did you just throw a snowball at my ass?" Arizona questioned. Callie just grinned, nodding her head rapidly. "Oh, it is on, Torres!" Arizona smiled threateningly, stooping down to form her own snowballs and then charging towards Callie. Callie shrieked and started running away, narrowly missing Arizona's first volley. Callie threw her remaining snowball as she retreated, pleased when she landed a blow to Arizona's chest. But then two more snowballs came flying at her, hitting her on her butt and on the back of her head. How did Arizona make those snowballs so fast? Careful not to leave herself open to a tackle—she needed to do the tackling, not Arizona—Callie managed to make one snowball and throw it at her girlfriend, narrowly missing the blonde's chin. And then when Arizona bent down to resupply, Callie found her opening. She charged towards her girlfriend, taking her by surprise, and landed on top of her in a heap. "Gah!" Arizona exclaimed, clearly surprised to find herself in this position, and trying to wriggle her way out from under Callie. But Callie was heavier and stronger than her girlfriend, and after a brief struggle, she had the blonde pinned, breathing heavily beneath her. Arizona's eyes widened as Callie smirked devilishly and reached her hand into the snow. "Calliope, don't you dare, don't you dare—aaah!" Arizona screamed as Callie heaped an ample amount of snow into Arizona's face. "Payback's a bitch, huh?" Callie said smugly, satisfied with the facewash she'd just delivered. Arizona huffed and cleared the snow out of her face, pouting up at Callie once she had finished. But then her expression turned happy and nostalgic when Callie leaned down closer. "Are you trying to re-create our first kiss?" she smiled softly, swooning slightly at the gesture. "Maaaaaybe…" Callie teased, finally closing the distance and kissing those perfect lips. Arizona immediately groaned into the kiss, her gloved hands reaching up to gently caress Callie's face and hair. Callie smiled and then deepened the kiss, pressing their bodies closer together. Because of all their winter clothing, there was definitely more material in

between their bodies than Callie would have preferred at that moment. But it still felt nice, still felt intimate. "Callie?" Arizona asked a few moments later, pulling out of the kiss. "Hmm?" "This doesn't mean you're about to break my heart again in the sitting room, does it?" Callie tried to maintain a normal expression as her stomach started doing somersaults and her heart started beating rapidly. She knew she had to get them to that sitting room—that was the plan. But Arizona innocently suggesting it was even better—the blonde clearly had no idea what Callie was up to. It was as if the universe was finally on Callie's side. Everything was working. Everything was working perfectly. But at that moment, in that split second, Callie realized that the universe had always been on her side. Because the universe had always been pushing her towards Arizona. She hadn't thought so at first. She still remembered entering her daughter's bedroom the first night Arizona had babysat, slumping against the doorway, and feeling absolutely helpless. She'd tried dating to forget Arizona, but when she'd seen how perfect Arizona and two-year-old Sofia had looked, cuddled up in Sofia's princess bed, she'd known it was futile. And she'd questioned what she had done to deserve that, what she'd done to make the universe so angry with her that she was doomed to be in love with someone she couldn't have. Callie still remembered all the longing looks liked they happened yesterday. Staring into Arizona's eyes for way too long, almost kissing her way too many times. Wanting her so badly, scolding herself for wanting her, trying desperately not to want her, and yet wanting her all the same. Torturing herself by turning Arizona away in that sitting room, tormenting herself by rejecting Arizona again in her office. Wanting to murder every young man who had his hands on Arizona's body in that New York nightclub. And then she'd given up. She'd been trying so hard to do what was right, but her desire had overcome her willpower, and she'd given in. She'd allowed herself the indulgence of Arizona. And for a short while, there had been bliss. Callie had begun to wonder if she'd somehow cheated fate, if she'd somehow gotten away with having a woman that she had no business having. But then the sex tape had happened. And then Sofia's bedroom had happened. The universe had caught up with Callie, and she'd been forced to walk away from the woman she loved. And she'd concluded that she just wasn't meant to be happy. At least, that's what she had thought. But now, as Callie finally felt that the universe was on her side, she realized that it always had been, since the beginning. She was so overwhelmingly drawn to Arizona, in every way, because they were supposed to be together, not because Callie was supposed to feel tortured. She'd been unable to resist Arizona, unable to escape her no matter how hard she tried, because they were simply meant to be. And while the fallout from the sex tape and their breakup had been heartwrenching, Callie now saw that good had come out of bad. They'd been able to stop hiding their relationship. Knowledge of that relationship had softened the President's heart, so that millions would benefit. And the door had been opened for Callie to get to know Arizona's parents, two wonderful people that she'd come to love as family. And even though Callie and Arizona's breakup had been excruciating for both of them, it had served as a catalyst in their relationship. Callie had finally seen Arizona. She'd finally realized how serious Arizona was, how committed Arizona was. When they'd reconciled, they'd promised their lives to one another, cementing their relationship for the rest of time. It hadn't been pleasant, but it had bonded them together forever. Their growth had been painful and heartbreaking, but it had been worth it. So worth it. Things would never be perfect, and some scars would always remain. Callie's eyes had been opened to the cruelty parents could show. And receiving threats, her daughter also being a victim of blind hate, had been incredibly disillusioning, incredibly disheartening. But ultimately, on some fundamental level, Callie was happy. She was fulfilled. Yes, she'd had some of her joy taken away, but Arizona had provided her with more than a double portion of what she'd lost. Arizona loved Callie like no one else ever had, like no one else ever would. Callie had a job she loved, good friends, a wonderful sister and brother-in-law, and very accepting and loving in-laws. The universe wasn't against her—it just worked in ways that she didn't expect. She'd never expected Sofia to show up in her life the way that she had, but Callie couldn't feel more grateful for her little girl's existence. And the love of her life certainly hadn't made her appearance in a way Callie had anticipated—to the point that Callie had actively resisted letting Arizona play the role that she was destined to have. Why had she ever resisted Arizona? Why had that ever seemed like a good idea? Callie simply didn't know, but she supposed that it didn't matter. She was done resisting.

"Callie?" "Hmm?" Callie asked distractedly, being pulled out of her thoughts. "Where'd you go?" Callie shook her head clear and looked down at her girlfriend, who was still laying flat on her back in the snow, looking up at her with questioning eyes. "Sorry," Callie smiled. "Just uh, nothing. Nothing. I'm sorry that I...that I ever rejected you in that room, Arizona." "It's okay," Arizona said, reaching up to tuck some of Callie's hair behind her ears. "It all worked out." "Yeah, it did, didn't it?" Callie said, beaming down at her girlfriend. Arizona nodded happily. "And uh...speaking of that room…" Callie said, her voice lowering an octave. "If you wanted to go back there, maybe have a do-over…" Arizona smiled widely and then motioned for Callie to get up. Callie smirked—knowing Arizona, the blonde was probably still horny from earlier. So Callie pushed herself off of Arizona and stood up, helping Arizona to her feet. And then she laughed out loud when Arizona took off at a dead run for the house, their not-quite-complete snow creations entirely forgotten. Someone was eager. Callie quickly followed Arizona inside, smirking at the way Arizona kicked off her boots and didn't bother to stop to remove the rest of her winter clothing—instead choosing to leave her jacket, gloves, and scarf in a trail that led to the sitting room. Callie followed suit, not wanting to fall too far behind her lover. And as soon as Callie got to the room, Arizona's lips were on her, and she felt herself being pushed into the couch, felt Arizona starting to straddle her and take control. "Wait, wait," Callie protested, pulling her face away from Arizona's to interrupt the kiss, her hands going to Arizona's shoulder in an attempt to make Arizona sit beside her. "Callie, come on!" Arizona complained, not allowing her body to be moved and instead launching an assault on Callie's neck, seeing as her mouth was no longer available. "It's my birthday, you're supposed to—" "Just one minute," Callie explained, again attempting to move Arizona off of her lap. "I just wanna talk for a second and then—" "Are you trying to kill me?" Arizona asked as she pulled back to look at Callie, her voice exasperated. "I mean first, whatwhatever that was in our bedroom, and now you wanna talk ? I want my birthday sex, Callie!" "I know, I know!" Callie said, trying not to laugh at how adamant Arizona was. Apparently she wanted sex, and she wanted it now. Which struck Callie as especially humorous because they were actively trying to teach Sofia the value of patience and delayed gratification. Of course, Sofia begged for things like toys or cookies, not sex. But still. "Just, just humor me," Callie asked, nodding her head in thanks when Arizona rolled her eyes and reluctantly scooted off of Callie and onto the couch instead. "Okay what?" Arizona asked in annoyance, her arms grumpily crossed against her chest. Callie had to suppress a grin at Arizona's childish behavior. If she only knew why Callie was delaying her pleasure… "I just wanted to say something." "So say it…" Arizona sighed, her body adopting a more relaxed posture, her normal maturity level apparently finally kicking in. "It's about…" Callie sighed, her entire body starting to tremble. Holy crap, she was proposing marriage! "It's about this room, actually. The...the conversation that we had in here." Arizona nodded, her expression becoming even more sober at the seriousness in Callie's voice. "I was wrong," Callie said simply. "I...I really thought I was doing the right thing, the best thing for you. I didn't realize that...that you really did know what you wanted, that you really were mature enough to make a commitment." "Callie," Arizona said, smiling softly and shaking her head. "I know. We've talked about this. I...I don't resent you for that. You understand now, and that's what matters." "I know," Callie nodded quickly. "But I'm still sorry for causing you so much pain." Arizona's shoulders shrugged slightly. "Calliope, it feels like a lifetime ago."

"I know," Callie nodded again. "But I...I just wanted to apologize for rejecting you, for resisting you so much. I never meant to hurt you, Arizona." "And I never thought that you were trying to hurt me," Arizona said quietly. "I didn't...I didn't agree with you. But I didn't b lame you either." Callie leaned over towards the woman seated next to her and kissed her gently on the cheek. "I don't ever want to reject you or hurt you again," Callie said, grabbing Arizona's hand. "I'm always gonna be here. I'm always gonna love you." "I'm always gonna love you too," Arizona said warmly, squeezing Callie's hand in response. And then a mischievous look replaced her sober one. "So can we have sex now?" A laugh escaped from Callie's mouth, and she joyfully shook her head no. Arizona groaned and fell backwards into the couch, staring at the ceiling and rolling her eyes. "Just one more thing, I promise!" Callie giggled, standing from the couch and going over to the end table where she'd stashed Arizona's ring. Why did her legs feel like butter all of a sudden? "Uh huh," Arizona muttered, continuing to stare at the ceiling. "I have a present for you," Callie said as she retrieved the small box from the drawer, her hands shaking. Then she walked back over to the couch and knelt down in front of the blonde, taking a deep, calming breath. This was it. This was the moment. Callie's kneeling on the floor instead of sitting on the couch caught Arizona's attention, and her eyes left the ceiling. And when those baby blues fell on what Callie held in her hands, Arizona immediately bolted upright. Callie couldn't help but smile at the pure joy that had spread almost instantaneously across Arizona's face. Her eyes were lit up like Callie had never seen before. That super magic smile had made an appearance, dimples and all, and Arizona looked giddy, wonderstruck, and slightly dazed. Arizona was beaming, and she had never looked so in love. "Arizona Robbins, I—" "Yes!" Arizona blurted out, before her hand went to cover her mouth in sheer amazement. "Holy crap, Callie, yes!" Callie blinked at her girlfriend. She hadn't even asked the question yet. After clearing her throat, she opened her mouth to try a second time, but was again interrupted by Arizona. "Yes!" Arizona said giddily, her hand reaching out to accept the box that Callie hadn't even had a chance to open yet. "Wha—" Callie protested, holding the box out of reach. "Arizona!" she scolded. "You have to let me ask the question!" "Sorry, sorry," Arizona laughed out, pulling her hand back in and trying valiantly to compose herself. It didn't look to Callie like she was having much success. Arizona was positively glowing, and it stirred something inside of Callie to know that the thought of marrying her filled Arizona with such delight. Callie sighed and then tried once more. "Arizona Robbins, you are the love of my life. You bring me so much joy, every single day, and I want to spend the rest of my life with you. So would you do me the honor of—" "Yes!" Callie raised her eyebrows incredulously. Seriously? "Arizona!" Callie scolded again, now laughing herself. "Will you freaking let me finish?" "Sorry," Arizona giggled again. "I'm so sorry, Callie. Do it fast, I just can't help myself." Callie shook her head in disbelief at her girlfriend. What a piece of work. "Arizona, will you marry me?" Callie asked quickly, not allowing for any possible interruptions this time. One would think, with a guaranteed answer of "yes," that proposing would be easier! "Yes," Arizona said with finality, beaming at Callie and then leaning forward, capturing Callie's lips in an intimate kiss. Callie kissed her back with everything she had, feeling a surge of happiness that she hadn't felt since the first time she'd held Sofia in her arms. Arizona had just agreed to marry her. Everything was perfect. "Yes, Calliope, yes. I would love to marry you." Callie pulled out of the kiss and instead wrapped Arizona up in her arms in a tight hug, burying her face in Arizona's neck,

inhaling Arizona's comforting scent. She was going to get to do this for the rest of her life. She was going to get to hold Arizona forever. "Thank you," Callie murmured softly, so softly that she wasn't sure if Arizona heard her. After kissing Arizona's cheek softly—a quiet squeal of excitement escaping from the blonde— Callie ended the embrace and opened the ring box, taking out the exquisite diamond ring she had chosen and sliding it onto Arizona's finger. Then she leaned down and pressed her lips against Arizona's hand where the ring sat proudly, her symbolic way of ensuring that it would remain there for the rest of their lives. "Callie, it's...it's gorgeous," Arizona said, looking at the ring and then back up into Callie's eyes. "Thank you." "You're welcome," Callie smiled, scooping Arizona back into her arms and sitting them both down on the couch. "Calliope?" Arizona asked softly, after they'd been just smiling at each other for a few moments, blue eyes lost in brown. "Can I ask for something?" "Anything," Callie smiled. She would do anything for this incredible woman, for her fiancée. Arizona smiled darkly and then gracefully straddled Callie on the couch. "I would really appreciate being able to make love to my future wife. So," she said, giving Callie a look that told the brunette there was only one acceptable response to what she was about to ask, "can we please have sex now?" Callie laughed and was about to agree—she'd been keeping Arizona waiting long enough—but then she smirked devilishly, not quite done with her fun yet. "Yeah, but just one more thing." Arizona groaned and leaned forward to rest her forehead on Callie's shoulder. "Oh, for the love of—" "I just wanna know," Callie teased, "if you'd like to revise your earlier statement—that no birthday could possibly be better than last year's." Arizona giggled and then nodded against Callie's shoulder. "Yeah. I absolutely take that back." "Good," Callie said smugly. "Then it that case, yes—we can have all the sex you want."

*Chapter 30*: Chapter 30
AN: Alright! Here's the next chapter. I would again like to thank you all for reading this and leaving me reviews...I love hearing what you guys think. And I'm so glad you liked the proposal! I was so nervous about that...wanted to get it "just right" :) AN2: Guest reviewer who had questions about what happens to Erica—I'm not planning on going into more detail than what I shared in Chapter 27. She was a good girl and cooperated. ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Arizona shivered as she tiptoed to the couch to retrieve her hoodie and sweatpants. It wasn't that the house was too cold —the room was actually rather warm and toasty thanks to the fire roaring in the fireplace. But being naked in January was generally unadvisable, unless you were still wrapped up in your fianceé's arms, lying in your bed of blankets and pillows right next to that fireplace. Which Arizona wasn't. After one last lingering glance at her fianceé—Callie looked positively angelic in the darkened room, the light from the fire dancing across her face—Arizona left the sitting room and headed for the kitchen. And once there, she grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge, seated herself on a stool at the counter, and released a deep, tired breath. It wasn't that she wasn't happy—she was. She was ecstatic. Giddy. Over-the-moon, heart-soaringly happy. Callie had proposed to her. And while they'd already promised to spend their lives together, getting engaged was still so special, still so exciting. Arizona felt dazed and weak in the knees—she got to marry Callie Torres. She got to marry the most amazing woman she'd ever met. A gorgeous, sexy, unfailingly kind woman who had captured her heart. So yes, Arizona was happy. She had no doubt in her mind that Callie was the love of her life, and she had agreed to marry Callie with nothing but absolute confidence and joy. But now, as Arizona sat at the counter, sipping water and staring at her engagement ring, she didn't feel as perfectly happy as she had before. After enthusiastically accepting Callie's proposal, Arizona had straddled her new fianceé, and they'd simultaneously brought each other to release on the sofa. And then, too eager to continue their lovemaking to make it all the way upstairs to the bedroom, the two women had hastily grabbed some blankets out of the closet, turned on the fireplace, and fallen back into one another's arms. And it had been perfect. Arizona had lost herself in Callie's perfect skin, her perfect mouth, her perfect breasts, her perfect…everything. Arizona's eyes closed and she sighed warmly as she thought about what she had just been doing. She could still taste Callie on her lips. She could still feel Callie's smooth, strong thighs clenching around her head, holding her in place. She could still hear Callie's low, guttural groans, could still hear her own name being repeated over and over again as Callie had screamed her release. Arizona shuddered at the memory. She would never, never tire of making love to Calliope Torres. And after they'd finished, after they'd both had their fill of love, Callie had wrapped Arizona up in her arms, and they'd both drifted off to sleep next to the fireplace. Arizona didn't know how long they'd slept, but she'd awoken before her fianceé. At first, she'd just scooted backwards a bit, eager to be snuggled up as closely as possible to Callie, feeling on top of the world. And then she'd looked at her ring dreamily for a little while, smiling so brightly at how perfect it was, at how wonderfully Callie apparently understood her aesthetic tastes. But then, as she'd continued to examine her ring, and as she'd gradually drifted to a more fullyawake state of consciousness, Arizona's chest had tightened. Because she'd come to realize that it was a nice ring. Too nice. Way too nice. So she'd reluctantly abandoned Callie's arms, gotten dressed, and made her way to the kitchen for a little air, as well as some further examination. Arizona bit her lip and stared closely at the ring on her finger, her worry increasing ten-fold as she looked at it under the bright lights of the kitchen. She'd hardly glanced at it when Callie had slipped it on her finger, too caught up in the moment. And when she'd gazed at it by the fireplace, she'd been half-asleep and not really able to see in the dim light. But now, entirely awake and with plenty of illumination, Arizona's anxiety was skyrocketing. She wasn't a jewelry expert, but she also wasn't entirely uneducated. Like any young woman in love, she'd spent some time poking around the internet and looking at engagement rings, so she had a general idea of what things cost. And the ring on her finger cost a lot.

The ring that Callie had given her had come in an unmistakable red leather box, the name Cartier written proudly in gold. That alone meant it was expensive. And the ring itself was amazing. Judging by its weight, Arizona felt certain that it was platinum, not white gold. Not that much of the platinum was visible—there were numerous gorgeous diamonds set into the band itself, and in the middle of the ring rested a massive center diamond. It was truly beautiful. But it was so exquisite. Not wanting to know just how exquisite it was, but needing to know, Arizona swallowed and then slowly slid the ring off her finger, checking to see if the carat weight was engraved on the interior of the ring. And she closed her eyes and grimaced as soon as she saw what was written there. Four carats. Arizona felt sick to her stomach. Callie had given her a four carat, platinum, Cartier engagement ring. What in the world was she supposed to give Callie in return? Arizona's mind started racing. She had about twenty thousand dollars in her bank account, which she had thought would have been more than enough to buy Callie's engagement ring when the time came—in her world, a very nice engagement ring cost ten thousand dollars, not a hundred thousand! And she did have her trust fund, which contained a hundred grand. But she was fairly certain that her parents would kill her if she liquidated it, and even then, Arizona wasn't sure it would be enough. She couldn't be certain, but there was definitely a chance that the ring she held in her fingers cost more than a hundred and twenty thousand dollars. The ring Callie had given her was potentially more expensive than Arizona's entire net worth. And yes, Arizona knew that Callie wouldn't break up with her if she offered up a less extravagant engagement ring. But Arizona didn't want to do that. She didn't want to receive an incredible ring from Callie, and give Callie just a normal ring in return. Things had to be equal, right? Callie had given her an amazing gift—didn't Arizona have to reciprocate in kind? Wouldn't Callie be deeply hurt and disappointed if Arizona gave her something of lesser value? That was the last thing in the world Arizona wanted. Arizona wiped a stray tear from her eye and slid the ring back on her finger. Then she stood from the stool and made her way to her bedroom to retrieve her phone. She knew she probably shouldn't announce her engagement to anyone before clearing it with Callie, but...well, she needed to talk to someone. "Hey, Z, happy birthday!" Alex said, answering his phone only a few seconds after Arizona had called him. "Thanks Alex," Arizona said, instinctively smiling at her best friend's voice. "I'm still mad at you for going to Camp David this weekend," Alex teased. "Sneaking off with Torres instead of letting me and Teddy throw you a party." "Yeah, well, sorry," Arizona shrugged, not feeling sorry at all. Even in her current state of building panic, she was still incredibly happy about what had transpired earlier that morning. Up until realizing how expensive her ring was, she'd had the most wonderful weekend of her life. "So what's up?" Alex asked after a few seconds of silence. "I'm surprised you're calling me—thought you'd be screwing Torres' brains out a few more times before her little clone gets back from Seattle." "Alex, I…" Arizona trailed off, getting a little choked up. She didn't know how to explain this. "Arizona, are you okay? Is everything alright?" Alex asked, dropping his teasing tone in favor of a more concerned one. "Callie asked me to marry her," Arizona said, trying, but failing, to sound happy and excited. Her voice sounded small and scared and sad instead. Alex was quiet for a moment, before he cautiously asked, "Why don't you sound happy about that? Why do you sound like you're freaking out?" "I am happy," Arizona cried softly, blinking back a tear. "I'm so happy, Alex. I love her." "But…?" Arizona sighed. "But she gave me...Alex, the ring she gave me…" "You don't like it?" Alex asked. "No, I love it," Arizona explained. "It's amazing. But it's...Alex," she sighed, "it is massive. This is like...this is a six-figure ring."

"And you don't have that," Alex said, comprehending Arizona's train of thought. "No," Arizona said woefully, "I don't. Alex, I don't know what I'm gonna do." "Arizona…" "What in the world can I do?" Arizona asked, her heart and mind racing. "I...you're a finance major, Alex. I have control over my trust fund, but my dad's name is still on it, too. Would he find out if I liquidated it? Or, or should I take out a loan? But how would I ever pay it off? I'm gonna be a stay-at-home mom! I'd be paying it off with Callie's money, so she'd be essentially paying for her own ring, which is—" "Arizona!" Alex interrupted, bringing the blonde's panicked rambling to a halt. "I know your parents aren't like...crazy rich, but they have that kind of money available to them. Would they help you out?" "Alex, I could never ask them for that," Arizona replied, immediately shaking her head. Yes, her parents could round up that much money, but they weren't extravagant spenders. Her mother's engagement ring was nowhere near as nice as the one that Callie had given her. They didn't have vacation homes. They didn't drive flashy cars. They had money, but they would think spending six figures on an engagement ring was ridiculous. If she was honest with herself, Arizona thought spending that much money on a ring was ridiculous, too. But that didn't matter—she just didn't want to disappoint her fianceé. The knot, the growing sense of dread and unrest in the pit of her stomach, told her that she had to find a way to give Callie the kind of ring the brunette was so clearly expecting. And that thought just terrified her, because she didn't know how she would pay for it. But she couldn't let Callie down. She would never forgive herself. "Well then why don't you just let me give you the money?" Alex suggested. "It can be a...I don't know, a birthday slash happy wedding slash thanks for being my best friend gift?" Arizona let out a sad whimper at the thought. She adored Alex for even offering, but she couldn't let him do that. She knew it wouldn't put too much of a dent in his bank account—unlike the Robbins', the Karevs were an extremely monied political family, and Arizona knew that her friend's trust fund was much larger than her own. But there was no way she could let Alex pay for Callie's engagement ring. "Alex…" Arizona sighed. "I'm serious, Arizona," Alex said. "Why not?" "Because...because you can't pay for the ring that I'm supposed to give her, Alex!" Arizona exclaimed. "It wouldn't be right. But I do love you for offering." "Well if you change your mind…" "I won't," Arizona said simply. "K." "But do you know about my trust fund? If I liquidated it, would my parents find out?" "I don't know," Alex answered. "It depends on how it's set up." "Okay," Arizona sighed. "Well...I guess I'll call the fund manager and ask. And I guess...if I can liquidate it and it's still not enough...would you maybe loan me some money? Sofia starts kindergarten in the fall, so I could get a part-time bookkeeping job and work while she's in school. It might take me a few years, but I swear I'd pay you back." "Well you really wouldn't have to pay me back," Alex kindly offered. "But yeah, whatever you need." "Okay," Arizona said, exhaling and nodding her head. She was beginning to feel a little more calm about things. She could liquidate her trust fund and borrow anything else she needed from Alex. She could make this work. "And Arizona?" "Hmm?" "Try not to let this hang over your head," Alex said. "You just got engaged to a woman you love like crazy. Try to enjoy yourself." "Okay," Arizona nodded again. "Thanks, Alex."

"And congratulations, by the way," he added. "I know how nuts you are about her." "I really am, aren't I?" Arizona said, unable to keep a grin off her face. She really was insanely in love with Callie, and she had a tendency to gush about the gorgeous brunette to Alex. He would usually roll his eyes and look all grumpy once she got going, turning on his XBox and shooting random people as she rambled on. But at least he half-listened to what she had to say, nodding at all the right times and doing his best to look impressed when she bragged about how impossibly sexy her woman was. He was a good friend. "Yeah, you are," Alex said. "It's gross. I'm looking forward to a few years from now—listening to you bitch about how she hasn't shaved her legs for a few days or that she ate all your cereal will be way way better than all your lovey-dovey, feelings and rainbows crap." "Oh shut up, Karev," Arizona rolled her eyes. "And thanks," she added a moment later, her voice softening. "And um, we haven't told anyone, so can you not—" "My lips are sealed." "Alright, then I'll see you in class tomorrow?" Arizona asked. "See you then." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ Callie felt nauseated as she stood in the hallway, listening to the conversation Arizona was having on the phone. It hadn't been her intention to eavesdrop. But she'd woken up without Arizona lying at her side, and she'd been immediately saddened at the blonde's absence. So after checking the nearest bathroom and the kitchen, wondering if her fianceé was simply seeing to a physical need, she'd headed upstairs. She'd been feeling a little put out, figuring that if Arizona wasn't going to the bathroom or grabbing a snack, that meant that she was showering—without her. But then, as she'd approached the bedroom, she'd heard her fianceé's voice. And she'd immediately felt absolutely terrible. Arizona was on the phone. And the blonde sounded like she was emotionally anguished—upset about how expensive her ring was, and terrified about how she would afford a ring for Callie. And that just made Callie feel awful. Callie hadn't...she hadn't even stopped to think about how much money to spend. As soon as she'd obtained Daniel's blessing, she'd spoken with the Secret Service, asking them how to go about setting up a meeting with the Cartier store in New York without being spotted and having her surprise spoiled. She'd known that she and Arizona were scheduled to be in New York for a few days around New Year's—the First Family had a very fancy ball to attend on New Year's Eve—so she'd arranged for the meeting to take place during their stay. The ball itself hadn't been that much fun for Callie—it had been chock full of Republican politicians and some of their wealthiest donors. But at least Arizona had looked impossibly sexy in her evening gown. And that still baffled Callie. Usually, Callie thought that people could be cute or sexy, not both. It was one or the other. But somehow, Arizona was capable of being cute and being sexy, and sometimes, like the New Year's Eve ball, Arizona pulled off cute and sexy at the same time. It didn't seem possible, but Arizona proved that it was. Ring shopping, however, unlike the ball, had been entirely pleasurable for Callie. The people at Cartier, cognizant of the fact that they were selling Callie the ring that would be on the First Daughter's finger, had treated Callie like a queen. And Callie had simply looked at all of her options and picked what she'd thought Arizona would like best. She hadn't even asked what the price was until it was time to pay—the price didn't matter. But standing in the hallway, listening to Arizona panic, Callie realized that the price did matter. At least, it mattered to Arizona. And Callie felt awful as she listened to Arizona's distress, the way Arizona was talking about liquidating her trust fund, or working for years to pay off Callie's engagement ring. Arizona clearly thought that Callie expected an expensive ring in return. Callie mentally berated herself as she listened. She should have anticipated this. She should have realized that such an extravagant ring would make Arizona feel pressured. She should have known that Arizona would feel a need to reciprocate. Goodness, how could she have been so thoughtless? Did Arizona even like the ring Callie had given her? Did its value make Arizona feel uncomfortable wearing it? Callie closed her eyes and leaned her head against the wall. She had wanted their engagement to be perfect. She had wanted to make Arizona feel happy and special and loved and...and here Arizona was, feeling panicked and inadequate

because she couldn't afford an expensive engagement ring. Damn it. Arizona was in the bedroom, wracking her brain to figure out a way to buy Callie a ring. This was not at all how Callie wanted Arizona to be feeling. This was not how Arizona was supposed to be feeling on her birthday, just a couple hours after getting engaged. "Alright, then I'll see you in class tomorrow?" Callie's eyes immediately widened when she heard that, realizing that Arizona was finishing up her call. So she pushed herself off the wall and started walking down the hallway, back towards the stairs. But she stopped at the end of the hallway, just at the top of the stairs, when she heard her fianceé's voice again. "Callie?" Callie closed her eyes and froze, realizing that she'd been caught. Shit shit shit. Wincing slightly and swallowing in dread, she slowly turned around to face Arizona. Arizona's eyes were red from crying, but anger—not sorrow—was currently displayed in those brilliant blue orbs. "Callie, were you just—?" Calle just looked down, knowing that it was futile to try to hide her guilt. And she jumped a few seconds later when she heard the bedroom door being violently slammed shut. Apparently Arizona was not happy that she'd overheard that conversation. And Callie couldn't blame her—she could only imagine how embarrassed her fianceé felt. Sighing and slumping her shoulders, Callie walked back down the hallway and opened the door a few inches. "Arizona?" she called out softly. After blinking a few times, her eyes readjusting to the dark room, she saw that Arizona was lying on the bed, curled up into the fetal position, and sobbing openly into her pillow. "Oh, honey…" Callie breathed out in sympathy, feeling awful for the young blonde. Callie let herself into the room, quietly closing the door behind her, and then cautiously approached the bed. "Arizona—" "Just go away," Arizona whimpered, her arms wrapping around the pillow. "Sweetie—" "Callie, just—" "Arizona, I'm so sorry," Callie said, gently climbing onto the bed. "I—" Arizona somewhat violently tried to push Callie away when the brunette tried to gently touch her shoulder, but Callie was insistent and held her ground, snuggling up to the blonde from behind. "Arizona—" "Please go away," Arizona repeated, refusing to look at Callie, her face still buried into her pillow as Callie's arms wrapped around her. "No," Callie said softly. "You're gonna be my wife, Arizona. That means I'm never going away, even when you're upset." "Callie…" Arizona sobbed out, the anger that had been shooting out of her eyes now absent from her voice. Arizona's voice and posture were just sad and small, full of anxiety, insecurity, and humiliation. "Arizona, I'm so sorry," Callie repeated, hugging Arizona tightly. "I didn't mean to eavesdrop—I was just coming to find you, but...but I guess I'm happy that I did overhear," Callie said honestly, even though she knew it might make her fianceé upset. "Because I don't want you to liquidate your trust fund or take out a loan or get a job to pay for my ring! Arizona, don't you know that I would never expect you to do that?" "But Callie, I don't have the money!" Arizona wept bitterly, her body shuddering in Callie's arms. Callie just shook her head and leaned forward to kiss Arizona's neck and stroke her hair. "Arizona will you look at me?" Arizona burrowed further into her pillow, apparently unable to comply with Callie's request. "Sweetie, please?" Callie asked, gently pulling on Arizona's shoulder. When the blonde didn't resist, Callie reached out with both hands and rolled Arizona onto her back, her heart breaking at how devastated the blonde appeared, at how Arizona would look anywhere but into her eyes. Callie sighed. "Arizona Robbins, you are being silly," Callie murmured. At that, Arizona's face screwed up again and she tried to roll back on her side, tried to again face away from Callie. But Callie held her in place and put a hand under Arizona's chin, forcing the blonde to look at her.

"Don't you know how much I love you?" Arizona's face registered confusion at Callie's reverently spoken words, so the brunette continued on. "Arizona, you are everything to me," Callie whispered. "You know…" Callie paused, taking a moment to figure out how she wanted to express what she needed to say. "People say that having a kid is like having your heart outside your body, walking around, vulnerable. And that's...that's true," Callie nodded, "I feel that way about Sofia. But I feel that way about you, too. I think you feel that way about anyone that you love, whether it's your kid or your partner. And Arizona," Callie said, reaching out to caress Arizona's face and wipe at a few tears, "when you hurt, I hurt. When you're sad, I'm sad. When I wake up in the morning, if you're not in my arms, I...I can hardly wait to turn over in bed to see you!" "Calliope…" Arizona sighed, her tears stilled at Callie's words. "Arizona, I'm so sorry about this. I didn't even...it didn't even occur to me that you might feel like you had to spend a lot of money on a ring. And sweetie, you do not have to b uy me an expensive ring," Callie said, strongly emphasizing her words. "I know you don't have that sort of money, and that's fine. The ring you give me isn't going to be special because of how big the diamond is or how much it costs. It's gonna be special because it's gonna be from you." "Callie…" Arizona's eyes turned away from Callie's. "I mean it!" Callie said insistently, leaning her head down to reestablish eye contact. "Arizona, I'm serious. Yeah, the hardware is a perk of getting married, but the only thing I really want is you. I love you, Arizona. I love you so much. I'm so happy that I'm gonna get to spend my life with you, and I'm just so…Arizona, I'm so sorry that this stupid ring made you so upset. Do you...do you even like it?" Arizona sniffled a bit and shook her head. "No, I love it, Callie, it's not that." "Okay," Callie nodded softly. She rolled Arizona onto her side and then pulled her into a hug, gently stroking her back. "I just…I would never want you to feel uncomfortable with your own engagement ring." "I'm not," Arizona said, clutching at Callie's back. "But I...Callie, I only have twenty thousand dollars in my bank account." Callie pulled out of the hug slightly and pressed her lips gently against Arizona's forehead before giving her a soft kiss on the mouth. "Arizona, I do not want you to clear out your bank account to buy my ring. I certainly didn't spend my every last penny on yours." Arizona rolled her eyes. "Callie," the blonde muttered. "If you dumped your net worth on a ring, I wouldn't be able to lift my hand." Callie smirked at the thought and nuzzled her nose against Arizona's, pleased that the blonde was at least feeling happy enough to crack a joke. "Just get whatever you think I'll like. That's what I did," Callie said. "And if you want," she shrugged. "I could come with you. Couples sometimes go shopping for rings together." "You would...you would come with?" Arizona asked. "Help me pick it out?" "Sure," Callie nodded, caressing Arizona's hair gently, pleased that Arizona seemed to like the idea. She could make sure Arizona didn't go overboard. "This your way of ensuring I don't do something financially moronic?" Arizona muttered, looking rather ashamed of herself. Callie smiled softly at the way Arizona had apparently read her mind, and then leaned forward to place a peck on Arizona's cheek. She knew Arizona wasn't normally reckless with money—and Arizona was allowed, like any other twenty-two-year-old, to temporarily freak out once in a while. The young blonde was generally wise beyond her years, but Callie knew she had her moments of completely flying off the handle. But it just came with the package—Callie would just have to have a little extra patience and understanding for her fianceé. Callie would just have to expect the occasional freak-out. "Ugh, why am I such a spaz," Arizona groaned, burying her face into Callie's neck. "Honey, you are not spaz," Callie sighed, rubbing Arizona's back gently. "In the future…" Callie paused, wanting to sound as diplomatic as possible, "yes, I would appreciate it if you could just talk to me and let me know when something is bothering you, instead of hatching grand plans that involve liquidating trust funds and taking out loans that you can't

repay. But—" Callie paused and squeezed Arizona a little tighter when the blonde whimpered. "But you are not a spaz. I would not have asked you to marry me if I didn't think you were ready, if I didn't trust you implicitly. I trust you, Arizona, and I know that even if you freak out at first, you're ultimately gonna make the right decision. Whether it's about money or Sofia or whatever," Callie shrugged, "you always make the right decision in the end." Arizona sighed. "I'm sorry, Calliope." Callie smiled sadly and let her hand travel lovingly down Arizona's back, slipping under the blonde's hoodie and caressing the skin she found there. "You have nothing to apologize for, Arizona," she reassured. "You just need to remember to talk to me, and preferably sooner in your thought process than later," she added, knowing her fianceé's tendencies all too well. It was a strength of Arizona's as much as it was a flaw, but the blonde usually thought things out quite thoroughly before acting or sharing how she was feeling. It led to good decision-making—Callie knew that Arizona's better judgment would have ultimately prevented her from doing something financially stupid when push came to shove—but it also led to silence. Arizona was reserved and calculating, and Callie thought it would save her fianceé a lot of time and anxiety if she would simply start a conversation instead of silently processing for days on end. "And you're really...it's really okay with you to not have an expensive ring?" Arizona asked quietly. "You're a multimillionaire, Callie. You won't be embarrassed?" "Sweetie, you could buy me a ring at Wal-Mart, and I would wear it with pride because it was from you." At that, Arizona pulled out of the hug far enough to look at Callie, her eyebrows raised to let Callie knew she didn't believe a word the brunette had just said. Callie's face formed an easy smile. "Okay, please don't buy my ring at Wal-Mart," Callie laughed quietly, conceding Arizona's point. "But the sentiment of what I said is true. And I'm sure that I'll love whatever you choose." ~x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x0x~ An excited smile crossed Arizona's face when she heard the sound of the garage door opening. That meant Mark, Lexie, and Sofia were back from visiting Lexie's family in Seattle. The blonde had missed Sofia like crazy, and she was dying to snuggle the little girl again. It was early in the evening, and Arizona's emotions were much more calm than they had been earlier in the day. At first, she'd felt so humiliated and angry when she'd realized that Callie had overheard her panicked phone call to Alex. She didn't like showing weakness to the brunette, and even though she was far from poor, she was still a little uncomfortable with the sheer wealth that Callie possessed. It made her feel inadequate that she couldn't buy a ring for Callie that was as nice as the one she'd received. But, as always, Callie had made her feel better—Arizona had such a weakness for that woman. Callie had refused to leave Arizona alone, and had gently talked her down, soothing her fears with gentle words, nothing but sincerity and love shining out of those expressive brown eyes. Arizona didn't know what it was, but no one could make her feel safe and loved like Callie could. No matter what was going on, if Callie was there to hold her and reassure her, Arizona felt okay. When their conversation had concluded, Callie had kissed her slowly and continued to run her wonderfully warm hands up and down Arizona's back. And unlike the numerous other kisses that they'd shared over the course of the weekend, these kisses had been devoid of hunger or passion or lust. They had been gentle. Comforting. Reassuring. And then after snuggling for quite some time, face to face with their heads underneath the covers so the world only consisted of them and their little cocoon, Callie had run a bath for them. And again, unlike the other times they had bathed that weekend, this bath hadn't turned into something more. Arizona had been prepared for it to take a sexual turn—and she certainly wouldn't have raised an objection if it had. But a non-sexual feeling of closeness and care had clearly been on Callie's mind, because the brunette had simply washed her body, shampooed her hair, and held her close. Arizona had still felt aroused—she couldn't not be aroused when they were both naked and Callie's hands were on her body. But it had been nice. It was nice to know that Callie still wanted to hold her and care for her and touch her intimately, even if no immediate release was involved. Not to say that Callie had that much self-control when it came to touching Arizona—the brunette had also found the bath arousing, judging by the way she'd pushed Arizona down on the limo seat and had her way with her almost the instant they'd gotten into the vehicle to go home. But the snuggling and the bath had still been nice. Arizona had felt very loved and very pampered. And so, as Arizona followed an equally excited Callie into the garage to welcome their family members home, she felt happy and relaxed. She was engaged to the most amazing woman she'd ever met, her insecurities had been quite literally washed away, and the little girl that she'd missed so much was home. Everything was good.

"Hi baby girl!" Callie cooed excitedly, completely bypassing Mark and Lexie and going straight to the rear passenger door of the surgeons' SUV, opening it and helping Sofia out of her car seat. Whereas Arizona was not allowed to be in a nonSecret Service vehicle, plain and simple, things were a little more relaxed for Callie and the others. Callie, Mark, and Lexie were still allowed to drive themselves and Sofia, so long as they had Secret Service escort vehicles with them. "Mommy!" Sofia chirped happily, throwing herself into her mother's arms when she was free of the car seat. "Did you have a good time, sweetie? Arizona and I missed you sooooo mu