This is the first time I am entering a contest. To understand the story you must be familiar with Grey's Anatomy. You can find me on fanfiction.net under the same name.
Arizona took a deep breath. She's been preparing for this moment for weeks now. "Joshua," she yelled through the apartment and waited. She counted to five in her head and just when she got to the last number her son appeared. His short blonde curls were messy, and one of his pajama bottoms's sleeves was rolled to his knee while the other was at his ankle. Arizona smiled at him. "Don't I get a morning hug?" Joshua ran to her and hugged his mom.
"I'm going to school today," he said and shot Arizona a toothy grin once he pulled out of a hug.
Arizona felt her heart tighten. She didn't show it though and kept a small smile on her face. "Yes, you are. Are you excited?" She walked to the dining table they had in the corner of the kitchen and set breakfast for him. It was Josh's favorite. Waffles with chocolate syrup and colorful sprinkles along with a glass of milk.
"I don't know," Joshua answered and shoved some food in his mouth. "Will I like school mama?" His cheeks were bulging as he talked and chewed at the same time making Arizona laugh.
"You'll love it," Arizona said honestly. "Now eat your breakfast and don't talk with food in your mouth baby." She went in the kitchen and prepared a peanut butter banana quesadilla for lunch. "Orange juice or chocolate milk?" she asked Josh.
He thought about it for a second and smiled, showing off his dimples. "I want chocolate milk."
Arizona smiled to herself. Of course he wants chocolate milk, she thought to herself. She was having a very bittersweet day with all the memories. "Which lunch box?"
"Cars, cars, cars," Josh replied excitedly and bounced in his chair. He quickly shoved the rest of the breakfast in his mouth and grabbed his plate. He brought it to the sink and put it in. He turned around but felt his mom's gaze on him making him sigh. He washed his hands.
"Thank you," Arizona said and dropped a kiss on the top of his head. "Are you sure you can't stay at home for another few years? Just you and me?" She had to go to work today as well so she knew that wasn't an option even if she wanted to.
"I'm sorry mama," Josh said and hugged Arizona. He noticed how it always made her better when she was sad.
Arizona sighed and pulled away. "It's fine baby. I'm just sad to see you grow up. Now go get ready, school won't wait." Josh ran to his room to get dressed and Arizona cleaned around. Arizona's life has changed a lot in the past 7 years. She broke up with what felt to her was the love of her life, she moved to Africa, she came back, she got through some horrible situations and she got Josh. Sometimes she wished she would have a time machine to go back to when everything was fine. But most of the time she liked her present. She liked being waken up by Josh jumping on her bed, she enjoyed the sound of child's laughter and she learned that she was actually pretty good at cooking once she was on her own.
After Arizona spent ten minutes doing nothing she decided to check on Josh. She made sure he had nothing but the best. She made sure he was happy, healthy and save but still he got sick just a little after he turned 3. Diabetes type one. Arizona as a doctor knew everything about the disease and yet she felt helpless. She came to terms with it that in this case she wasn't a doctor. She was a parent. And she did her best to help Josh understand everything. "Baby what are you doing?" she asked when she noticed Josh was looking out the window. He was dressed in dark jeans and a stripped red and white t-shirt.
"Just watching the school bus," he said and turned to Arizona. "Will I take the bus tomorrow?"
Arizona was taken back by that question. She wanted to drive Joshua by herself for forever. "If you want to," she replied hesitantly.
"Maybe next week," Josh said and picked up his colorful backpack. Arizona was so proud when he picked it out himself. There wasn't much in it, just a pencil case with crayons and coloring pencils, a simple plain notebook and his favorite coloring book.
Arizona bit her lip. He seemed so big to her now. She grabbed his fleece jacket as he put on his shoes. She watched him struggle with his shoe laces a little before he finally tied them together. But they weren't in a hurry so Arizona didn't rush him. She had to be at work in an hour so she had plenty of time. The thought of working again scared her. Not just because it's been a while since she's done it but also because of where she was going to work.
"Look mama, I did it myself," Joshua said proudly and showed her his tied shoes.
"I can see that honey," Arizona replied and smiled. "Come on slowpoke we have to go now or you'll be late for your first day." Arizona made a mental check if she had everything and grabbed her keys. Josh put on his jacket and they walked outside. Arizona locked the apartment and took Josh's hand in hers. When they made it to the car Josh sat in the back and Arizona noticed her hands were shaking when she put them on the steering wheel. "Don't forget th-"
Josh interrupted her. "The seat belt. I know."
Arizona took a deep breath and started the car. She couldn't explain how she was feeling just yet. They drove to Joshua's school in silence. Josh was looking out the window and taking in the streets he hasn't seen before while Arizona focused on driving. She tried to keep her thought still but she couldn't. Luckily they got to the school before Arizona's panic could rise even more. She snapped a quick picture of Joshua standing in front of school for the first time, holding his lunch back and with a backpack on his shoulders. He was squinting at school making Arizona laugh. "Come on baby," she said and placed her hand on his shoulder. She's been here before. She talked to Josh's class teacher about his condition. She wanted her to be informed just in case. "There's your class," Arizona said and pointed down the hall. Kids were passing by with their parents.
Josh looked at the opened door and back at his mom. "Will you be here to pick me up?"
"The second you step out of the door I'll be here.," Arizona promised. She bent down and looked in the eyes that matched hers. She gave him an encouraging smile. "You'll have fun, I promise. You'll meet new friends and you will get to play with other kids." Josh still looked a bit unsure but there was a small smile playing on his lips.
"Okay," he said.
Arizona pulled him in a tight almost bone crushing hug. She inhaled the sweet smell of her son. "If you don't feel good don't be scared to tell the teacher. She will know what to do."
"I promise mama," Josh said impatiently. He was ready to go in the classroom now.
"One more hug," Arizona sand and closed her eyes when Josh almost fell in her arms. She held back her tears. "Bye Josh. Have fun." She stood up and watched him walk away and give her one last wave before he was safe in the classroom. Arizona checked her watch and sighed. Some parents were still saying goodbye. She walked past them and back in her car. She took a few minutes to get back in control and started her car. She drove to the hospital. She parked the car and gathered her things. She got a job offer a few days ago and at first she felt rather unsure about it but she accepted it. She needed a job. She worked in a small hospital where she barely got to do any surgeries but she was able to keep her schedule light. Now she was back to being a real surgeon. A one with a pager. Well she didn't get one back yet. Grey Sloan Memorial. The last time she was here it was called Seattle Grace Mercy West. She stepped through the door and went straight to the Chief's office. She knocked twice and waited.
"Come in," a man's voice rang through the door.
Arizona opened the door. "Morning," she said awkwardly. She obviously missed a lot because Owen Hunt was looking at her. The last time she was here Derek was in charge.
"Oh right doctor Robbins," Owen said. "Here's your pager and your ID. The lab coat is already in the attending's lounge. Welcome back."
"Thank you, Chief."Arizona picked up her pager and the ID card. She wanted to ask something but then decided not to. She left the Chief's office. She felt as if everyone was staring at her. And there were people that she didn't recognize. Well obviously it's been years, she thought to herself. She entered the attending's lounge and inhaled sharply. She felt a gaze on her and noticed Miranda Bailey was sitting there.
Miranda gave her a look. "Don't you just stare at me. Get ready for work."
Arizona laughed and looked at her scrubs. Navy blue. Her hands were shaking again. She tried to ignore it and went in the bathroom. She changed and then put on her lab coat. It looked exactly the same way as it did when she left it in a hurry. "It's okay. I got this. Just a day at work," she gave herself a pep talk and looked around the lounge room.
"You talking to yourself on regular bases now?" she heard someone asked.
Arizona turned around with a small smile on her lips. "Hey Teds."
Teddy opened her arms. "What I don't get a hug?" Arizona laughed and stepped forward hugging her friend. It felt good knowing she was accepted by someone.
"How has everything been?" Arizona asked and put her hands inside of her lab coat pockets. She only had a consult on the schedule.
Teddy raised her eyebrows. "You mean your ex?"
Arizona rolled her eyes. "No, I mean everyone." She knew about the plane crash that has happened but she didn't know the details. "I feel like everyone's staring at me."
"Cause they are," Teddy said and chuckled. "How have you been since.. You know everything?" Teddy and Arizona kept in touch but both being doctors they didn't have much time to actually talk.
Arizona shrugged. "I guess I'm good. It's Josh's first day of school and everything is kind of bittersweet." Teddy was the only one who knew about Josh beside her parents.
"I heard Rollerskate girl was back and they were right," Cristina said joining Teddy and Arizona. Meredith of course was right behind her. "Where the hell have you been?"
Arizona laughed. "Just busy. But I'm back." Her pager went off making her grimace. "It's my first day I don't have time for traumas." She made a deal before she came back to work that she would only work long hours if really needed and that on her first day she got off earlier. She didn't say that her reason was Josh. Arizona's pager went off again. "What the hell does this mean?"
"Oh that's Chief's office page number," Teddy said as she checked the number on Arizona's pager. "Just ignore it. He's just testing it."
Arizona wasn't sure if she should trust Teddy. "Are you sure? Because it's my first day and I don't feel like being fired already." She rubbed her forehead. "Anyway I am going to do my consult and well I'll see what will come next. Wanna have lunch with me then?"
"Your office?" Teddy asked understanding that Arizona might want to have more privacy than sit in the middle of the cafeteria where she would be on display.
Arizona nodded. "Yes, please."
Callie checked around the corner to see if the hall was clear. She's been listening to the rumors about a special pediatric surgeon coming back for days now and today the nurses were talking about that surgeon. So Callie was carefully walking around the hospital in case she would catch a glimpse of her ex girlfriend. She knew things have changed and Arizona has probably moved on but she was curious.
April ran after Callie. "Have you seen her? Because I have. She's the same. Just maybe a little older. And even a bit skinnier. But well it's been seven years. You're older too. Not that you're old. Just older," she rambled nervously.
"Kepner," Callie said in a stern voice. "I would really appreciate it if you wouldn't talk about this because I have a surgery and then I have to pick up my daughter from her first day at school."
"Oh Sofia?" April gushed. "School already? It feels like yesterday when she was born. She was so tiny."
Callie rolled her eyes. Somehow April never knew when to shut up. "Yes, she was. Now do you need help with getting back to work or something?" She watched as April quickly walked away. The Latina was quickly paged in the pit and forgot all about Arizona as she got busy with work.
Arizona checked the hospital clock and went in the changing room. She was still amazed at how Alex, her former student, was now an attending with his own interns along with his friends. She had about 40 minutes to get to Joshua's school. She wanted to be early. She changed into her street clothes and when she was leaving the changing room she accidentally bumped into someone else and knocked the person's files on the floor. "Oh my god I'm so sorry," she quickly apologized and bent down to pick the files up. She saw the name on them and her heart stopped. Calliope Torres. She raised her head and her eyes landed on soft brown ones. She felt her breath hitch. Even 7 years after Callie still looked as beautiful as ever. Arizona quickly picked the files up and placed them in Callie's hands. "I really am sorry," she stammered quickly and then almost ran away. Callie didn't say anything. Was she too shocked? Did she hate her for coming back? Of course she did. She would hate herself too. Arizona walked to her car and sat down. She dropped her purse on the passenger's seat. Her hands were shaking again. How was she going to manage any surgery was beyond her. She took a deep breath and started her car.
Joshua was still in class and Arizona had another ten minutes to spend. Her mind kept wondering towards the pack of cigarettes she had hidden under her car seat but she didn't want to. Since she found out about being pregnant with Josh Arizona stopped smoking for the sake of his health. She sighed and looked around. A few parents were there waiting for their kids already. Arizona didn't step out of the car until there was only a minute left. She smiled when a group of young children started running out of the school. She immediately noticed Josh. His bright backpack made him easy to recognize. She knelt down and opened her arms. Josh jumped and hugged her. "Hey baby. How was first day?" she asked and smiled widely.
The smile on Josh's face was contagious. "It was uh-mazing mama," he said excitedly. "I met so many kids and.. and me and the other boy shared this big toy truck and we went outside on the playground and we painted and I got you this," he ranted and then pushed a piece of paper in Arizona's hands.
Arizona looked at it. It was mostly an unrecognizable doodle of a boy in front of the building which Arizona assumed was school. "Is that you on your first day of school?" she tried to guess.
Josh nodded proudly. "So every time I'm at school you won't miss me so much," he replied with a big smile on his face. That kind of smile that could light up the whole world.
Arizona pulled Josh in another hug. "I'm glad," she said. Her eyes scanned the other kids and she noticed someone familiar. Someone too familiar. She gasped quietly. Callie. Callie was there. And she was with a girl. A beautiful, little girl who looked like a tiny copy of Callie. "Are you ready to go?" she asked with a lump in her throat. She stood up and looked at Callie again. And unfortunately for her Callie noticed her gaze and their eyes locked for a few seconds.
"Do I get ice cream?" Josh asked cheerfully, completely oblivious to her mom.
Arizona placed her hand on Josh's shoulder. "I think we can arrange that," she replied in a little too forced cheerful voice but Josh didn't notice. She helped Josh in the car and placed his backpack next to him. He was still holding tightly onto it. Arizona sat in the front and just for another second she looked at Callie again. Her Callie had a baby without her. Well she wasn't her Callie anymore. Arizona realized how stupid she was being. She has a child now too. "To the ice cream we go," she said and checked Josh in the review mirror. "Seat belt," she remembered him and once they were both safely buckled up she drove away from school.