It was almost morning by the time Erica pulled into her driveway. She was exhausted and extremely unhappy that there were loose ends to tie up. Surprisingly, Webber had not berated her about bringing such a problem child into his hospital and his program. Instead his anger had been directed at Presbyterian. Apparently he had been hearing rumors that they were more than happy to see Gretchen finish out her residency with Seattle Grace, which had him thinking they knew about her little problem with drugs.
They were meeting with Presbyterian tomorrow to explain what happened and decide on next steps. Presbyterian would want to hear her recommendation, Webber had informed her, which meant she had to think about what she wanted to say. She knew drug abuse was not that uncommon among physicians and residents. It wasn't surprising, high stress jobs pushed people beyond their limitations and it was very tempting to use drugs or alcohol to cope with the stress and pressure. Gretchen was a skilled surgeon, but if she put her patients at risk by taking dangerous substances, she was not a good physician period. She would recommend that they kick her out of the program. The lawyer told them they probably wouldn't, but she would say it anyway. Someone had to. She turned onto her street and started switching gears. She didn't want to think about Gretchen anymore. Gretchen was not going to invade her home again. She saw Callie's car parked in her driveway and smiled. There was something about knowing that Callie was here that lit her up from the inside.
She parked and made her way to the house. It was 3am and everything was still dark. She saw jackets thrown haphazardly on the couch and added hers to the pile before proceeding upstairs. She checked Allie's room first and found the bed empty. She frowned and then went to Lucas's room. Empty. Trying to quell the panic welling up inside, she made her way to her own bedroom and opened the door. It was dark, but after a few seconds she could just make out the outline of Callie's body surrounded by two smaller lumps. She breathed deeply trying to get as much air into her lungs as possible and willing her heart to slow down the pace at which it was pumping blood into her body from the panic she had started feeling.
Once her breathing returned to normal, she shook her head at the scene in front of her and then headed quickly for her bathroom not wanting any of the bed's inhabitants to wake to some faceless shadow standing over them. They had been through enough tonight. She closed the door before turning on the light and went through her nighttime rituals all the while thinking about the three people in her bed, and wondering where the hell she was supposed to sleep.
She ended up on the couch. It was too dark and she had no coordination left to search out pajamas or try to find a place on the bed without waking everyone, so she made her way downstairs reluctantly. She picked up the blankets Callie always used for her morning naps and laid on the comfortable sofa.
She was nudged awake an hour later by a persistent whispering in her ear.
She opened her eyes, rubbing the sleep out of them before she could make out Callie wearing one of her pajama tops.
"Callie? Everything okay?" she asked.
Callie was kneeling in front of the couch, one hand on Erica's stomach, the other near Erica's head twirling her blonde hair.
"No, everything is not okay. We are upstairs and you are down here. Not okay." She smiled. "What are you doing down here?"
Erica sat up taking Callie's hand with her and pulling her onto the couch. "I didn't want to wake any of you. And there was no room up there for me."
Callie made herself comfortable on the couch, tucking her legs under her and laying her head on Erica's chest. She sighed happily as Erica's arm settled around her back, rubbing lightly.
"Of course there's room. You have a king sized bed, Erica."
"I didn't want to scare anyone. It's been quite the night."
"Yeah, Lucas was pretty freaked out. He didn't really want to sleep on his own."
"I can certainly understand that," said Erica yawning. "How are you feeling? How's the hand?" she asked picking up the hand in question and examining it.
"Hurts a little, some soreness, but generally okay, so what happened with Gretchen?" asked Callie.
"Methamphetamines. We found the pills in her locker. The Chief had to rouse one of our lawyers out of bed. Those guys do not operate as well as we do in the middle of the night and they absolutely do not want to answer direct questions without research. They would never survive as doctors."
Callie smiled. "That's probably why they're lawyers, honey."
"Anyway, there is some good news. Gretchen is apparently Presbyterian's problem."
Callie pulled Erica's blanket to her and draped it across them as best she could without moving from her comfortable spot.
"Really?" she asked surprised.
"She's done the bulk of her work with them. Her credentials would have come from there anyway. She was finishing out her residency with us, but regardless of the time she spent at Seattle Grace, Presbyterian is the program responsible for her, so according to the lawyer, she's their problem. We can send her back anytime. It was part of the terms of the original deal."
"Well, that's good for us. So what will Presbyterian do?"
"I don't know. The lawyer says they'll probably send her to rehab."
"Are you freaking kidding me? She still gets to practice?"
Erica nodded. She kissed Callie's head. "Probably. They've invested too much money training her."
"Ridiculous. So she does a few months in rehab and they let her handle patients? They let her prescribe drugs?"
"The lawyer said you could press charges individually, for the assault. Actually they were telling the Chief to offer you whatever you wanted so you wouldn't sue the hospital."
Callie laughed. "Webber already offered me a job."
Erica tried to remain calm. "Really? What did you say? Did you…Do you want to stay at Seattle Grace?"
"Of course. I accepted on the spot. Don't get silly honey."
Erica smiled and then wrapped her arms around Callie hard. She let go after a few minutes. "It's what you want, right? I don't want you to accept if it's not what you want Callie."
"Yes, it's what I want. I'm happy at the hospital, with you, in Seattle, this is a very good thing."
Erica hugged her again. "I would have moved. If you wanted to, we could move."
Callie patted the chest she was resting on. "I'm happy here. Well, actually I'd be more comfortable upstairs. Come on, let's snuggle upstairs," she said putting a hand on Erica's knee to brace herself as she tried to get up.
Erica held her tight. "I don't want to lie down in bed in my street clothes and I don't want to go looking around for pajamas. I'll be fine here. Although I wouldn't mind if you hung out for awhile."
"Erica I left a pair of boxers and one of those sexy sleeveless tanks you like in the bathroom for you."
Erica frowned. "You did? Thanks. I'm sorry I didn't notice them before."
"You're exhausted. Come on get upstairs, change and get in bed with us."
Having run out of excuses, Erica stood up with Callie and they made her way upstairs.
The kids made no sound as Callie moved them toward the right side of the bed next to each other. She settled herself on the left and waited for Erica to join her. This would be the third time her and Erica had slept in the same bed and only slept. That had to change soon. She saw Erica's shadow making its way to her hesitantly.
"Come here honey, the kids are on the other side of me."
Erica slipped into bed next to Callie facing her.
"Thanks for coming to get me," she said as she reached up to caress Callie's cheek.
"This is where you belong, with me and them," said Callie reaching out with her own hand and finding Erica's face.
She followed that up with her lips and kissed her softly. Erica returned the kiss eagerly. Callie had only meant to kiss her goodnight, to assure herself that the things they had said to each other yesterday were still a reality, that they were here as more than just friends. It was silly for her to still have doubts, but some things would take time. She forgot the hair trigger Erica seemed to be on when it came to their kissing, but she remembered now.
Erica's lips and tongue were kissing her deeply. Their bodies gravitated toward each other, bare legs tangling under the covers. Their breathing was getting more and more rapid. She wanted to pull back, knew they had to, but God this woman could kiss. It was Erica that finally pulled back.
"I'm sorry," said Erica through ragged breaths. "Didn't mean for that to happen."
Callie kissed her forehead. "I love that you get like that, makes me feel like the sexiest thing in the world."
"You are the sexiest thing in the world."
"Now you're just asking to get kissed again, but…it's probably not a good idea right now."
"Bad idea," said Erica. "Okay sleeping now," she said as she turned over on her back.
Callie snuggled up to her, laying her head on Erica's chest and starting a gentle rubbing of her stomach. Erica let that go on for a minute.
Callie was getting sleepy again, but heard her name being called. "Yeah?" she said softly.
"The whole rubbing thing, bad idea too," said Erica putting a hand over Callie's and halting her motions.
Callie chuckled. "Goodnight honey," she said.
"Night," answered Erica waiting for sleep to claim her.
Erica thought about what lay ahead. She needed to deal with the Gretchen thing again tomorrow but the liability to the hospital was minimal. She was happy to be packing Gretchen off to someone else. She wasn't looking forward to dealing with Presbyterian, but found that it didn't matter. What mattered to her was right here, in this bed with her. And that was the way it should be.
It was surreal how similar this was to the night they had first made love. Callie was trying to not think about it, because thinking about it was causing quite a lot of discomfort in places. It was Saturday, just like last time and they had spent an entire day kissing at every opportunity. The thing with Gretchen had settled down. Lucas seemed to have put it out of his head entirely and was back to his bouncy self. Kids were resilient. Of course having his Moms for two whole days probably helped take the edge off that night. Callie had taken the next day off, wanting to give her hand some time to heal. It wasn't broken just sore. The human head is not really something your fists should meet. Erica had more things to deal with on Friday, but was home early as she had cancelled her surgeries and Webber kindly let her take the rest of the day off after they had handed Presbyterian the whole Gretchen mess. As a result they were both able to pick the kids up from school and had a pretty decent Friday evening.
Friday night of course was torture. Erica's insistence that they work on the emotional parts of their relationship before moving to the physical were driving Callie nuts. Erica put an abrupt stop to their activities Friday night pulling away from their heated kisses on the couch unceremoniously. She had smiled at Callie, said goodnight, repeated her claim that Callie was dangerous and gone directly to the shower. Callie showered in the other bathroom and they had settled in for another night of simply lying together. It was hard at first, but exhaustion eventually took over and they slept.
But Callie didn't think she could do a repeat tonight, not when they had spent the day kissing and touching. The only difference from the other Saturday they had spent doing this was that back then they made sure to limit their kisses to the times when they were alone. Things were different now. They hadn't openly made-out in front of the kids today or anything, but light kisses accompanied by very smoking glances, hand holding and other type of touches that developed into deliberate stroking had been going all day in plain sight. The heavy make-out sessions were saved for when the kids were occupied.
They had just put the kids to the bed and were now making their way downstairs. Callie was feeling the familiar pounding in her heart that was sending way too much blood to other places that were throbbing. She didn't know how much more waiting she was going to be able to do. She followed Erica into the living room and watched her turn around.
"So, what do you want to do now?" asked Erica standing in the middle of the living room. Callie looked at her and began laughing. "You know what I want to do, so stop teasing."
Erica looked away momentarily. "Well why don't we just sit?" she offered, hands in her pockets, eyes pleading.
Callie didn't think that was safe, but she was pretty convinced that anything they did right now would not be safe, so she sat.
"Okay, now what?" she asked looking at Erica who was still standing.
"I guess I could sit too," said Erica slowly.
"Okay, so sit," said Callie patting the seat next to her.
She was sitting sideways, her arm draped causally on the back of the couch. Erica took a deep breath, removed her hands from her pockets and sat in the cocoon created by Callie's body, both hands rubbing her thighs nervously.
"Right, sitting is good." Callie smiled. "Sitting is great," she said letting her hand play with Erica's hair.
Erica turned her head so they were face to face. She swallowed.
"This isn't going to work is it?" she asked.
"What?" asked Callie subtly moving her body closer so that it was grazing Erica's shoulder.
Erica closed her eyes. "Waiting."
Callie wanted to lean in and capture the lips in front of her, but that would ruin everything. This needed to be Erica's decision. Erica knew what Callie wanted, knew that Callie had no problem not waiting. It was Erica who wanted to reconnect emotionally before they initiated a physical relationship. Callie already felt connected to this woman in every way and had no need to re-connect with someone she had never felt unconnected to, but it seemed important to Erica to get it right this time, to not just give in to their base desires, so she didn't push. She just waited.
"I'll wait however long you want, but if you're asking me if it's hard, yes waiting is hard." She took a very deep breath and smiled at Erica. "You are incredibly sexy and a fantastic kisser, so yeah, it is very hard to wait," said Callie knowing that talking about it was not making things easier.
Erica opened her eyes. She moved her left hand from her thigh and let it settle on Callie's leg stroking it lightly through Callie's plants.
Yeah, that wasn't helping matters either.
Callie briefly considered stopping her, intertwining her hand with Erica's had to be less stimulating than what Erica was doing, but Erica was moving closer to her and she had more pressing things to deal with, like the beautiful lips that were inches from hers.
She let Erica set the pace. The kiss was slow, so torturously slow that Callie was whimpering by the end of it. They pulled apart unhurriedly, breathing hard. Callie's hand had come to rest on Erica's stomach. Erica's hand had made its way pretty far up Callie's thigh.
"Not...working," Erica whispered as she went in for another kiss.
This one was more insistent and Callie went with it, opening her mouth wider and matching Erica's intensity. The hand on Erica's stomach wanted to make its way further up the body it was resting on, but Callie kept it stationary just stroking Erica's skin through her shirt. She felt Erica's hand reach for her face, pulling her even closer.
I am not going to survive this.
The thought had barely materialized in her head, when she felt Erica's hand snake around her back and waist and pull her around so she had no choice but to straddle Erica.
"You shouldn't have done that…" said Callie.
She tangled both hands in Erica's blond hair, her hips surging forward as she felt Erica's hands on her skin underneath the shirt she wore. She forced herself to pull away, a task made almost impossible by Erica's refusal to detach herself from Callie's lips. She finally managed it and spoke again.
"If you want to wait Erica…we need to stop. Waiting is hard, but this...is impossible."
Erica's lips were on her neck, making their way down Callie's body as hands made their way up her back.
"I've decided…waiting is…overrated," said Erica in between kisses. "I don't want to wait anymore. I want you."
Suddenly Callie's world spun and she was lying on the couch on her back. Erica's mouth found her lips and Callie thought she was going to die from the sheer pleasure of feeling Erica on top of her.
Erica slowed the kisses, pulling herself away for a moment, taking in lung-fulls of air as she stared at Callie.
"You are amazing," she said right before her head descended once more and Callie felt warm lips on her neck making their way down her body.
"Honey, I love what we did on the couch last time, but I'd really like you to…" Erica didn't let her finish, her lips once again on Callie. She pulled away after a few moments.
She removed herself from on top of Callie, pulling her into a sitting position.
"I really want you take my…" started Callie.
Erica didn't wait for her to finish before grabbing Callie's shirt and pulling it right over her head.
"Shirt off," finished a now shirtless Callie. "You were always ahead of everyone in school weren't you?"
Erica smiled. "Always," she said and kissed her again.
Callie was caught between wanting Erica to take her back upstairs - Why did we come down here anyway? - and wanting Erica to continue what she was doing right where they were. Finally they came up for air again.
"I've wanted to take your shirt off for a really long time," said Erica.
Callie smiled and wrapped her arms around Erica's neck. She was practically in Erica's lap. "I want you to take all my clothes off and then I want to take all of your clothes off. We can't do that here, so you really need to take me upstairs."
Erica kissed her again and then abruptly detached herself and got up, pulling Callie to stand with her.
"Why did we even come down here?' he asked as she walked backwards to the stairs pulling Callie with her and somehow managing not to kill herself.
It took them longer than normal to reach the bedroom since they weren't able to stop kissing for more than a few seconds. That and the heated make-out session at the top of the stairs that Erica initiated had delayed the bedroom and the nakedness. Callie's bra almost came off during that session before they both realized that as hot as it was making out in the hall with Callie's back plastered to the wall, there was privacy and a big bed just a few feet away.
But no matter how slow their trek, they made it there eventually. The time for waiting was over; the time to move forward in every way was here.