A/N: loosely inspired by one of my fav otp’s Jim & Pam.
Arizona’s shoes were nearly floating over the ground beneath her as she ran to her designated OR. “I’m really sorry I wasn’t able to fly out this weekend, sweetie.” her voice was rushed and she struggled to catch the phone that slipped from her hands after running into the the swinging door to the washroom. After her moment of clumsiness, she handed her phone off with a smile to the nearest nurse and proceeded to wash her hands.
“It’s okay, mommy.” Sofia said.
Scrubbing at her arms fiercely, Arizona turned her head in the direction of the nurse holding the only connection to her whole world when what sounded like candy wrappers rubbing together boomed from the speakers. “Callie?”
“Sorry, Sofia dropped the phone. She’s quite excited.”
Arizona couldn’t help the smile that came upon her face at hearing Callie’s voice, blue eyes returning to her task at hand. “Did you make sure she remembered the move I taught her? The cute spin-“
Callie sighed. “The cute spin with the wink, yes. We went over it a hundred times.”
Turning the water off and drying her hands, the blonde grimaced at Callie’s irritated tone. “I just…I want everything to be perfect.”
At the sound of children laughing and squealing, Arizona’s heart began to race. She felt guilty for missing this moment, for physically missing the moment of her daughter showcasing her talents in an incredibly cute second grade talent show. She had skipped Sofia the previous day, watching her super adorable, tiny human prance around in her costume and couldn’t help but praise her. She was perfect; the most precious human. She had seen thousands of kids in her life, though, she knew that Sofia—even if she was quite biased—was the most beautiful, talented, brilliant child she knows.
“I know you and technology aren’t best friends but, please tell me you figured out how to work your phone’s camera?”
“Arizona,” Callie tsked. “I’m an orthopedic surgeon, the best in my field. I have built legs like god, created cartilage out of thin air-“
The blonde laughed, slipping into the OR with a smile on her face. “Yet, before you left, it took me about an hour to get you to figure out how FaceTime works.” she went on to mumble. “Which I had no idea was possible.”
“Did you say something?” their bantering caused a few of the scrub nurses to laugh lowly, not wanting to be caught listening to Arizona’s conversation.
Pink lips twisted into a grin. “Nope.” knowing that she had to hang up to talk to her patient, Arizona sighed. “I have to go, Callie, but tell Sofia I love her. And thank you.” she added, knowing that a small task such as recording the event meant everything to Arizona.
The heels of her boots slapped against the wet concrete. Arizona searched for her phone in her purse, the pre dawn air taking her hair by the ends and guiding it through the wind. After finding the device, she unlocked it and dialed a familiar number.
“Hello?” the voice was coated with sleep, Arizona just realizing that it was Saturday morning. She knew that Callie was most likely hudled under several layers of blankets, hair probably in a massive disarm while tan hands ran through the thick locks to clear her vision.
“Crap, I’m sorry, I didn’t realize what time it was…”
“No, no, I was already up.” the lie was smooth on her tongue. “What’s up?”
Arizona hopped into her car and let her body fall back into the plush, leather seat. Her feat were aching and a dull throb was beginning to spread across her head. “How did the recital go? Did you get the video?”
She turned the key into the ignition, the lights above her head turning on briefly to highlight the exhaustion under tired blue eyes. She needed some good news, the little boy she had just spent hours operating on dying on her table. She was used to this, used to the pain that accompanied such a loss, but it still hurt and made her stomach churn.
She could hear Callie shuffling in the background followed by a door shutting, her voice dropping to a whisper. “About that…I sort of didn’t get the video.”
“Are you serious?” she tried to keep calm, her teeth grinding together harshly and the ache in her head increasing. “Callie, I thought you said-“
“It was an accident! I got a phone call right before they started and I guess I thought the video would still record after the phone call. But…”
Arizona’s grip on her phone tightened, stands of blonde hair covering her vision until it was all she could see. “You said you would do this for me.”
“Arizona, I’m sorry, I tried.”
“Maybe you didn’t try enough. Maybe all of this was a mistake.”
A dry laugh. “Oh, yeah? What does that mean?”
“You know what, I don’t want to talk about this.” Just as she was about to pull out of the parking lot, Callie continued.
“No, tell me. Just say it.”
Arizona slammed on the brake, a dry, soundless sob hitting her full force. “I’m missing everything. It feels like I’m missing every moment with her! And for what? So you can be happy with her in New York? I’m missing her life, Callie!”
Silence for the slightest moment. “You said you were okay with this! That you wanted both of us to be happy…” she was at a loss, the sudden anger Arizona directed at her unexpected. She thought that they were past this, that they understood what the other wanted and needed at this time of their lives.
“Well, I’m not. I…I just wanted that goddamn video, and you took that away from me! You took her away from me, Callie!” her words were a blubbered mess, tears rolling down her face, sinking into her cheeks, her neck, falling onto her tongue until her rant died at her lips.
“You’re picking a fight. You’re stressed and you’re upset, and you’re picking a fight.” Callie hated hearing Arizona sound so vulnerable, sound so hopeless. “You miss her, I get that, but-“
“No, you don’t. You see her every day. You’re with her every day. You get to see her smile and hear her voice and listen to her when she talks about her day. I get moments. I get snippets. I’m missing everything.”
Callie sank to the floor, not knowing what to say. She looked around her surroundings unsure of what to say. “Why don’t we talk after you’ve gotten some rest? Okay? We can talk about her schedule again. We can work this out, just, please. I don’t want to argue anymore, Arizona. I’m sorry about the video. You have to know that I didn’t intentionally do this.”
Arizona needed a moment. She needed something, but she wasn’t sure what. “I’ll talk to you later, Callie.” Arizona hung up without a goodbye and fell back against the passenger seat feeling defeated.
“You did such a great job last night, Sofia.” Callie praised hugging her daughter. Her and Sofia were eating dinner the same day, chicken picatta being eaten quickly.
“I know.” the little girl beamed.
Callie swallowed a particularly hot piece of her meal and winced. “Just like your mother.”
With a wave of her hand, Callie dismissed the conversation and mother and daughter continued to eat. “What do you say you give one more performance tonight?”
Sofia dried a dish carefully and slowly before looking up at her mother. “Are we going back to school?”
“No, we’re staying home.” They cleaned and dried the last dish. “You know your mom really wanted to be there for you last night, right?”
Sofia nodded. “Yeah. She had to save a baby, a baby that needed her cause she’s the only one who can fix them.”
“That’s right.” she chewed on her next words. “She really wanted to be here, and she’s really sad that she missed it. What do you say we surprise mommy? You think you can remember your dance?” she tickled her daughter, the giggles that filled the room music to Callie’s ears.
“I remember all the steps.” She said proudly.
Callie sent Sofia to her room to put on her costume, her stomach filling with butterflies. She hoped that this gesture, this attempt at including Arizona would make up for yesterday. Barely 20 minutes later, the living room was set to look like a diy stage; blankets were strewn on top of chairs and carefully balanced broomsticks, Sofia doing twirls and mumbling counts to make sure each move was perfect.
“Are you ready?” Callie asked pulling out her phone. Without a second thought, Callie whipped her cell phone out and called Arizona. After a mere two rings, Arizona’s face came into a view, a tired look on her face.
“Callie? Is everything okay?”
As quick as she could, Callie switched the camera to direct it towards Sofia, her cheeks burning from the smile that was permanently on her face. “Introducing, the spectacular, amazing, super awesome 2nd graderrrrr!” her voice boomed, Sofia jumping into the phone’s view with her hands on her hips. “Sofiaaa Robbinnn Sloan Torressss!” smashing the play button on the cd player next to her, Sofia’s dance music played.
What was once confusion on Arizona’s face was now pure joy; blue eyes bright and shining as she watched her daughter effortlessly spin and jump. There were no mistakes, dimples popping out proudly as Arizona watched her daughter give her her own front row seat to the best show on earth. Once the younger Torres completed her dance, the cutest of bows was made and Sofia ran up to the camera.
“How did I do? Did mommy like it?”
Fighting her tears, Arizona cleared her throat. “It was perfect, baby girl. You are such a good dancer! I’m so proud of you!” Callie turned the camera so that Sofia could see her mom, but she forgot to switch the camera.
“Callie, flip the camera.” Arizona laughed.
She physically flipped the phone back around.
“No, Callie, flip the phone camera so that Sofia can see me.”
“I just flipped it.”
Arizona rolled her eyes. “Not the phone, the camera button on the screen.”
Being ever so clever, the 8 year old took the phone from her Callie’s hands and talked to Arizona herself. “Hi, mommy!”
Callie went to clean up some of the room while mother and daughter chatted excitedly. The guilt she was feeling for a better part of the day had crumbled and broke away, Sofia jumping around the room and dancing once more for her mother.
The night went on and Callie knew that Sofia needed to start getting ready for bed. “Sofia, say bye to mommy, it’s time for bed.”
Sofia instantly whined. “But mama-“
“Sofia Sloan,” Callie started with a stern look.
“Fine. Bye mommy. I love you.” She waved at the distant blonde and handed the phone back to her mother.
“Brush your teeth, wash your face and I’ll be in soon to tuck you in.”
Sofia bounced out of the room to accomplish her nightly routine, Callie waiting until she was out of sight to look back at the camera.
Arizona smiled. “Thank you, Callie, and…I’m sorry. I’m sorry for what I said earlier.”
“I understand. We all have our days.” Settling onto the couch in the living room, Callie continued. “If you still want to talk about who has her when, I’m open to it.”
“No, we had a deal. We already talked about it. I just miss her.”
Arizona chewed on her lip, I miss you, too, close to slipping out as well. A silence fell between them, neither of them knowing what to say. “I’ll let you get back to Sofia.”
Callie wanted to say something, but her voice was suddenly nonexistent, lodged into a secret crevice she couldn’t grasp. She settled with a shake of her head and hung up the phone. The mess around her was worse than she thought, but she was too lazy to clean up. Deciding to leave this problem for tomorrow, Callie got up to tuck her daughter into bed.