Title: Life in Technicolor
Overall Rating: M/NC-17
Rating This Chapter: T/PG-13
Disclaimer: Neither the show or the title song are mine.
Spoilers: Plotlines borrowed from all over the entire run of Grey's, so all 8 seasons to be safe
Overall Summary: A/U but still Grey's universe. Carefree, kick-ass surgeon Arizona Robbins' life is changed when she picks up a gorgeous Latina in a bar and goes home with her. At least, that's where it starts...
Chapter Summary: "Okay, very funny! I was trying to ask you out this morning when your lava coffee burned my throat out, remember?"
Notes: Somehow this part was really long when I was breaking it up into chapters, so it got split into two parts... part two of chapter 3 will be up in a day or two...
***** Chapter 3 *****
Arizona was gone when Callie turned over and she dimly remembered the beeping of a pager earlier in the morning. At least she hadn't been left because the sex had been bad. Stretching as she sat up, she grinned to herself. The sex had been outstanding. Again. And energetic as hell. Callie didn't know what Arizona's middle name was, they hadn't gotten that deep into their getting to know you small talk, but she was going to guess it was stamina.
Then she caught the scent of coffee and she sighed in appreciation. Arizona Stamina Robbins might be the perfect woman. Smart, funny, charming, gorgeous, absolutely amazing in bed, and she made coffee for the morning after? She might need to marry this woman.
On the counter she found the travel mug she'd taken from Arizona's kitchen, a sticky note stuck on the lid bearing Arizona's handwriting. 'We haven't unpacked yours yet, so you can keep borrowing mine. Hope I see you around the hospital today. And not just because you have my favorite coffee mug. Last night was awesome.'
Scrounging up clothes from a still packed box in the corner of her bedroom, Callie dressed and crossed the street to the hospital, sipping coffee from Arizona's mug for the second day in a week. Even taking the completely cutesy mug into consideration, it was a habit she wouldn't mind getting into. In her locker she found a muffin from the cart on the first floor. Three guesses where that came from, she reflected with a smirk. She still ate it, though. She'd never gone out with someone so…cute before. If going out was the right term for what they were doing. Two nights of sex and some unpacking… She was counting it as a point toward a date that they hadn't been drunk the night before. It had just been lust.
One of the residents who showed up for her rounds, a Dr. Karev, gave her a knowing smirk as they walked toward her patient's room. "Do I know you?" she questioned. "Because you're smirking at me like you know something, but I'm pretty sure I've never met you."
Alex chuckled, hands tucked in the pocket of his lab coat. "I think you know my attending."
Callie arched an eyebrow curiously, surveying him. "You're in Peds?"
"You're not denying you know Dr. Robbins?"
"Is there a reason I should?" Callie asked, frowning. "We went out." Her expression shifted to a grin as she remembered the untruth of that statement. "We meant to go out anyway. We stayed in, actually." He quick-stepped to get in front of her long stride, stopping her in her tracks and the interns filed past them when he pointed them toward the patient room. "Okay, what's your problem? I just moved here. She was helping me unpack."
"Dr. Robbins is my boss, but she's my friend too. She's stuck her neck out for me and she's taught me a lot. She's the only one who's ever gone to bat for me." Alex's arms crossed over his chest, his expression serious. "We watch each others backs. When she meets someone, I look out for her. And she likes you. So don't screw it up."
Callie blinked. "You do know I'm an attending too, don't you? First week or not, I outrank you, Dr. Karev."
Alex nodded, still serious. "I know. We're just talking, that's all." Turning on his heel, he preceded her into the patient's room, the little girl she'd worked with Arizona to heal her first day. "Hey, boss," Karev greeted Arizona with a grin.
"Dr. Karev," the blonde greeted him with an amused tone, eyes not lifting from the chart. "Do you want to present, or…" she looked up, smiling when she noticed Callie standing behind him, "Dr. Torres," she said warmly. "Good morning."
Callie rolled her eyes, smiling back at her helplessly. God, but she was adorable. "Morning." She sipped her coffee from Arizona's mug pointedly and the blonde's blue eyes narrowed at her. "And how are you feeling today, Haley?"
"My leg hurts, Dr. Torres!" the little girl complained.
Nodding sympathetically, Callie said, "I know, sweetie. I'm sorry." Her gaze shifted to Haley's mother. "But the bone was reset cleanly and she'll be back on her feet, with crutches, in a few days."
"Alex, if you'd outline the rest of the case for Mrs. Fairbanks," Arizona spoke up, letting her student take the lead. He did just that and quizzed the interns about possible treatments and various possible complications. "We'll keep an eye on everything, of course, but Dr. Torres performed a beautiful surgery and everything went very smoothly so nothing we've just outlined is very likely. Do you have any questions or concerns?"
When they were finished, Karev left to prep for his next surgery, his interns trailing after him and leaving Arizona and Callie to themselves.
"Thanks for the coffee this morning," Callie offered as they walked through the Peds wing, both of them the picture of professionalism. "You didn't have to do that."
Arizona's eyes rolled up toward the ceiling as though she was thinking hard. "I seem to remember finding fresh coffee in my kitchen after you left me naked and alone," she mused, her tone decidedly unprofessional, despite her appearance. "Fair's fair, Dr. Torres."
"Oh, really, Dr. Robbins?" Callie sent back in a hissing whisper, looking around to see if there was anyone close enough to hear them. "Because you're the one who kicked me out to leave you naked and alone!" she reminded her, keeping her voice down as Arizona pushed the button for the elevator, tucking both hands behind her back as she waited. Callie shot her eyes sideways at the politely smiling blonde. "Do you think we're ever going to wake up together after a date?"
"I certainly hope so," Arizona agreed earnestly. "And speaking of a date…" The elevator doors opened and she walked on, Callie following a half-step behind her. The doors slid closed behind them and Arizona dropped one hand to her side to bump against Callie's free hand. "I checked the schedule in the Chief's office and you're off on Tuesday."
Callie raised an expressive eyebrow. "And?"
"And I'm off on Tuesday," Arizona continued.
The blonde scoffed in frustration. "Are you really going to drag it out of me like this?"
Callie just sipped her coffee. "I think so, yes. It's fun."
Arizona abruptly snatched the coffee mug from her hand. "Be that way. This is mine!" She chugged the last of the coffee but coughed, surprised by the heat of it that burned her mouth. "Hot! That's hot!" she wheezed, choking.
Callie took the cup back from her, shaking her head. "You forgot that I live across the street and I just got here. There's no time for my coffee to get cold." She leaned over to look into Arizona's watering eyes. "Are you okay?" Her concern was genuine, even if there was an amused smile on her lips. The blonde nodded, wiping her streaked face. "Okay, good. Could I see you on Tuesday? Maybe breakfast? Or brunch if you like to sleep in…" She got another nod, Arizona choking out an affirmative. "Great."
The elevator slowed to stop and Callie took a step toward the doors only to have Arizona grab her wrist. "Lunch?"
"On Tuesday? Sure. Do you want to call me or I could pick you up…?"
A low blonde ponytail swung from side to side. "No, not Tuesday. Today. Lunch today. Will you eat with me?"
Blinking in surprise and understanding, a smile broke out on her face. "Oh. Oh yes! That would be great. It won't hurt your rep to each lunch with the new kid?"
Arizona rolled her eyes, scoffing hoarsely. "The insanely hot new kid, you mean? Hell no it's not going to hurt my reputation!" She smirked. "There'll be people lining up for you," she declared, voice sounding more normal. "Fortunately for me, I jumped the line early."
"You're a moron," Callie commented, though the vaguely insulting response was tinged with almost affection.
Arizona shrugged, pleased with her victory. "Have fun being a rockstar!" she called over her shoulder as she practically skipped off the elevator. "See you at one!"
A wreck in the pit ate up the time until lunch but Callie found herself in the cafeteria at a few minutes after one. It felt like the first day of school, though, scanning the room for somewhere to sit. Leaving Miami had been a quick decision, leaving behind the only home she'd ever known and the life she'd built there pretty much in the middle of the night and with only a few days of notice that she'd gotten the job in Seattle.
She'd been searching for jobs, quietly, for months, and the job at Seattle Grace had seemed too good to be true - Ortho attending position, more money, prestigious teaching hospital, and best of all, it was on the other side of the country from Florida. She'd wanted to get away and Washington was about as far as you could get and still be on the same continent. So when she'd gotten the call from Chief Webber that she'd gotten the job, she'd hired movers that day and booked a flight for the next morning.
Spotting Arizona's wave from across the room, she started in that direction, grateful that she wouldn't be sitting alone or being hit on incessantly while she ate, noticing Mark Sloan's chipper wave as she passed his table. Arizona was sitting with a group and Callie couldn't help smiling when Dr. Hunt stood up as she joined them.
"Dr. Torres," he greeted her politely, sitting down as she did. They'd already met, a lot of her cases coming into his ER.
"Oh, right, everybody, this is the new Ortho attending, Dr. Callie Torres. Callie, this is Dr. Owen Hunt, Trauma God, who I guess you already know, and my best friend, Dr. Teddy Altman, Head of Cardio." She gestured toward a thin Asian woman who was already rising from her seat to join an ash blonde who was walking by and waved. "And these two are Cristina Yang and Meredith Grey. They're fifth years."
"And we have surgery. Later Torres," Cristina interjected brusquely, throwing a wave over one shoulder as she left the table.
"Nice to meet you," Meredith threw in, tone more friendly than her friend. "Hope you like Seattle!"
Callie waved back. "Thanks. Nice to meet you all."
"Cristina's married to Owen. And she's Teddy's prized student," Arizona leaned over to tell her.
Callie smiled, bumping her with an elbow. "Thanks for the rundown. Being the new kid sucks."
"That's why you've got me." Arizona's dimples popped when she smiled. "I've got your back."
Blinking at her, Callie couldn't help laughing. "Funny you say that. Your boy Karev gave me a similar attitude about you earlier."
Arizona's mouth dropped open and Callie sipped her soda while she watched the blonde squirm for a second. "He didn't… Calliope, I-"
"Don't worry about it," Callie cut her off, stealing a fry from the basket on Arizona's tray. "He cares about you. It's sweet. And getting tough talked on my fourth day? Not intimidating at all. New job, I didn't already have anything to be nervous about…"
"You get nervous?" Arizona questioned, gently sarcastic. "I don't think I believe you. Everything I've seen has been badass Dr. Torres." A smirk made her dimples pop again. "And sexy as hell Dr. Torres," she continued under her breath so only she and Callie could hear it. "Do I need to talk to Karev? I'll yell if I have to."
"Nah. It was cool. Now I know who to watch for on the chance I screw this up." She wasn't sure if this whatever they had going was a thing she could screw up, but she knew that, either way, this wasn't the time or place to talk about it so she leaned back in her seat, grateful that the rest of the group was paying them no attention, distracted by a discussion of Cristina Yang.
"We're being rude," Teddy interjected, taking a bite of her salad.
Owen scratched at his beard, nodding. "Sorry about that, ladies. Dr. Torres, how are you liking Seattle? Florida doesn't get rain like we do here."
"Nowhere gets rain like we do here," Teddy agreed fervently. "It's why I stayed."
Callie smiled. "It's killing my hair, but I love the rain. I'll probably miss the sun sooner or later, but it's only a few days into my move so I'm still loving it. How long have you two been here?"
The pair exchanged glances and Teddy smiled at Callie and Arizona's side of the table. "I got here about a year ago. Owen's been here longer."
"By about six months," he clarified. "I came here and suggested she join me in the rain and all the green. It's a nice change from the sandbox."
"So what brought you to Seattle?" Teddy questioned, friendly and polite and clearly trying to change the subject.
If only she could oblige the other woman, but the story of why she left was not one she was going to share with these people, potential new friends, her fresh start, and most definitely not with Arizona sitting right beside her. The truth would come out eventually, she knew, but not yet and not now. So she hedged.
"Oh, you know, change of scenery and all that. I've lived in Miami my whole life and when I finished residency, it was past time for a change of location," she explained vaguely. "Plus, this is pretty much my dream job." She shrugged. "Had to take it."
"Well, we're glad you're here," Owen said genuinely. "And I'm sorry to have to rush off, but I've got a few post-op patients I need to check on. I'll see you ladies later, I'm sure."
Teddy turned to watch him leave and Arizona cleared her throat pointedly, drawing the other blonde's eyes to her. "Come on, Teddy. I thought you were over the Owen thing."
"I am! He's with Cristina and they're married and happy and I'm fine with it," Teddy stated, insistent. "Callie, you seeing anyone? I don't see a ring…" The Latina glanced sideways at Arizona, biting her lip without answering. "You're kidding me! Arizona? Robbins, she's been here, what, like five days?"
"She's been here five days and we met at Joe's five nights ago," Arizona explained, grinning without embarrassment. "Tequila has always been a good friend to me."
"I hate you," Teddy grumbled, thumping the heel of her hand against her temple. "I really hate you. I've been here a year and have the Owen thing shoved in my face every day and you just meet a new girl on her first night in town and take her home! Unbelievable!"
"Hey, we're dating," Arizona protested. Off Callie's surprised blink, she corrected herself, "Or something. We - um - well we went on a date…"
Callie laughed, clarifying, "She came over and helped me unpack."
"And you bought food! It counts! And we have plans on Tuesday!"
"I hate you," Teddy growled at Arizona, dropping her head against the table. "And Callie, nothing personal since I just met you, but I kind of hate you too a little bit."
Callie shook her head, spearing a piece of tomato in her pasta. "Hate away. Happy people suck." She clinked her plastic cup against Teddy's when the heart surgeon lifted her head and toasted. "What?" Callie questioned when Arizona shot her a look. "They do."
"So we qualify as happy people but we suck because of it?" Arizona asked her, arching an eyebrow at her.
The brunette nodded matter-of-factly. "Yes. Single people hate dating people. And happy dating people are the worst! How do you not know this?"
Teddy rolled her eyes dramatically. "Arizona hasn't been single for more than two weeks since I met her," she confided, narrowing her gaze at her friend. "How do you even find so many lesbians? Seattle is not that big, woman!"
Callie's eyebrows went up. "Interesting," she said, leaning forward on her elbows with a smirk. "Tell me more, Teddy."
"Shut up, Teddy," Arizona interjected immediately. "That makes it sound like I'm a slut! I'm not a slut!"
"Who said slut?" Teddy grumbled. "I said you date. That's not untrue."
"And do you take all of these dates home?" Callie asked, turning onto one elbow so she could face Arizona. "And for the record, are we also dating other people?"
Arizona glared across the table at Teddy as the other blonde straightened up, listening curiously and obviously interested in the new line of questioning. "Do you want to date other people? Did someone else ask you out?"
"Did you ask me out?" Callie answered teasingly. "No, Arizona, no one else asked me out. I guess that Mark guy tried," both blondes' faces screwed up distastefully, "but I don't even know anyone else here." She snapped her fingers. "Unless, Teddy, what are you doing tonight?"
Arizona huffed, the sound drowning out any answer Teddy might have made. "Okay, very funny! I was trying to ask you out this morning when your lava coffee burned my throat out, remember?"
"I can speak for myself," Teddy interjected. "First of all, I would suggest not going out with Mark Sloan, personal experience suggestion. Second, sorry, Callie, but I have plans tonight."
"Not with Owen, right?" queried Arizona anxiously.
Teddy ignored the question. "And Arizona's normally pretty chaste on the first date. A kiss is the usual. But she hasn't had many lately that go past the second date."
"Okay, since when did you start paying so much attention to my dating?" Arizona's voice was confused. "I don't like it. You can stop now."
Teddy ignored her again. "So what's the plan for the third date?"
"Oh my God," muttered Arizona, head thumping against the table as she crossed her arms over her head.
Callie and Teddy exchanged grins. "Is this technically the third date? Drunken hook ups don't count as a first date, do they?"
"They do when they're that awesome, Calliope," Arizona's muffled voice declared from underneath her arms.
Shrugging, Callie laughed. "Okay, then. We have plans to do breakfast or brunch on Tuesday since we're both off," she answered Teddy's question.
"And will this breakfast or brunch take place after sleeping together the night before, or will one of you be picking the other one up?" Teddy questioned.
"Hey! You were a surgeon in the Army, not an interrogator!" Arizona reminded her sternly. "And if your big mouth ruins my chances of getting laid on Monday night, I'm going to kick your butt! You were in the Army but my brother is a Marine! I could totally do it!"
The other two exchanged smirking glances. "I guess that answers that question," Callie said dryly, her shoulders bobbing as she shrugged. "You know, I'm not sure why we bothered unpacking my kitchen if I'm spending every night at your house."
"We were at your place last night, Callie," the buried blonde surgeon countered. "We're alternating."
Teddy rolled her eyes dramatically, winking as Callie laughed. "If you exchange keys within the next two weeks, one of you is dead," she said sweetly, picking up her tray as she stood up, her pager beeping on her hip. "Callie, it really was good to meet you. Welcome to Seattle."
"Thank you. It was really nice to meet you too, Teddy," the brunette replied.
Arizona's head came up fully. "And Teddy, this thing," her finger pointed between herself and Callie, "discrete around the hospital, please?" she requested.
The taller blonde winked reassuringly. "Of course. See you around, Robbins, Torres."
There was a moment of silence as Teddy walked away, Arizona biting her lip. "I don't just take women home, Calliope."
"Except when you're celebrating. I get it. It's cool, really."
"When I'm celebrating," Arizona nodded, "and the woman in question is so completely stunning that I have to talk to her or risk completely losing my buzz," she explained, the small, teasing smile on her lips telling Callie precisely who she was talking about. "Taking you home the other night, that was the best drunk decision I've ever made."
"I would hope so," Callie murmured with a smirk, tone dry.
"Hey, be nice to me when I'm trying to be sweet!" Arizona rebuked her. "I like you, Callie. I really, really like you," she tried a charming grin, "And I wasn't that drunk when I sat down beside you. And from what I remember, you were the one who kissed me first." Callie just smiled without speaking. "I'm not saying this right! What I mean is, I really like you, Calliope. And part of me wishes that we hadn't gotten drunk and screwed the first night we ever met, but only so we could have been sober and remembered it better. But we did and it was awesome. And it was awesome last night."
"And…?" Callie could sense the question behind her ramble. "Is something wrong, Arizona?" The blonde hesitated and Callie leaned forward to get a better look at her. "We can slow down if you want to," she suggested. "We don't have to sleep together…"
Arizona frowned, shaking her head. "Whoa, no! I'm not saying that! I'm just saying, it could have started more slowly. But it didn't and we just have to deal with going straight to the endless sex part of every new relationship."
Callie's eyebrows rose slowly. "Relationship?"
"Dating, whatever." Arizona waved her off. "My point is, it's been five days and I really like you. I'm not sorry about it, but I didn't expect it to happen."
"Okay," Callie agreed, voice soft. They weren't eating, either of them, and anyone who looked at them would be able to see that they weren't just having a mere friendly conversation. "And, what, you're thinking that I don't feel it?" Arizona chewed on her lip and Callie couldn't help reaching for her face, hand firmly holding the blonde's chin. "I feel it, Arizona. It's been five days, sure, but I don't think I've ever liked someone so much, so quickly."
It was more complicated than that, though, but she shoved that truth out of her mind, clinging instead to the simple fact that she liked Arizona. And she was wasn't doing anything wrong, she reminded herself. It didn't stop the almost guilty feeling in her stomach. Sometimes she really hated being Catholic.
Arizona's sigh drew her back to the present. "I wish we weren't in the cafeteria so I could kiss you," she confessed in a whisper.
"We're not doing anything wrong," Callie reminded them both. "We can talk to the Chief, you know?"
"Not yet. It's too soon for that."
Callie nodded amicably. "Sure. Well, if we get to a spot where it's okay, know I'm up for it," she declared.
Unexpectedly, this made Arizona groan. "Now I really want to kiss you," she breathed, leaning her head into the steady hand on her jaw. "You don't happen to have any reason to go to another floor, do you?"
Callie shrugged, smirking. "I could come up with something," she reasoned. She followed Arizona's lead and picked up her tray, both of them crossing the cafeteria to dump their trash. "I thought we were trying to be discrete around the hospital," she laughingly reminded Arizona. "This is not subtle."
Arizona shot her a smirk over her shoulder. "You haven't been here long. This is as discrete as things get at Seattle Grace."
[part 2 of part 3 here]