They didn't have much time to discuss everything that was said in the session. As a matter of fact, they had to go back to work right afterwards. Callie finished before Arizona and wanted to wait for her, but Arizona sent her home.
Which is where Callie was now, pacing, waiting for Arizona to come in. She had been pacing since she got home, which was two hours prior, but she was trying desperately to sort her thoughts, to find what to say.
On the surface, things seemed positive in their session. The general outcome, the things that were said, pointed towards mutual understanding. Still, Callie couldn't help but feel like Arizona was keeping something from her and that feeling terrified Callie.
Living in the black and white areas of life is very complicated. Everyone dips into the gray every now and then, nothing is absolute. But Callie had a feeling that unless they will be absolutely honest, they will fall right back to where they were before.
Callie was wondering what could she do to prevent just that, as the door opened and Arizona walked in.
"Hey," she said softly and her genuine smile made Callie's nerves ease somewhat.
"Hey," Callie said weakly, trying to smile, but she was still in distress and she wasn't doing a very good job in masking it. Maybe she didn't want to mask it. Maybe masking was one of the problems.
"Callie, are you okay? You seem a bit pale," Arizona asked in concern, dropped her bag, and went straight to put her hand on Callie's forehead to check her temperature.
"I can't lose you again, Arizona," Callie blurted. It's not what she was planning to say, but she was getting so far ahead of herself with over thinking, that she couldn't help herself. Truth be told, she still didn't know what she was going to say, anyways.
"What?" Arizona asked in confusion.
"I… I'm sorry, I didn't mean to sound so needy. God."
"No, Calliope, it's okay. Talk to me, please," Arizona pleaded realizing that something serious was going on.
Callie sat down, and gestured Arizona to sit as well. She knew Arizona started to have back pain earlier in the week.
"Are we okay?" she asked. "Because, at the beginning of our session today you said you felt liberated… I though you meant that I make you feel liberated…" she said in pain, "but then you seemed more hesitant, and I know you said it was because you were scared ,but… did I make you not want to try this?" Callie said and the more she spoke, the more her fear grew.
"Callie, it's not…" Arizona started and sighed. "You do make me feel liberated. That's why I'm scared. It feels so good to be with you, it makes me terrified," Arizona admitted. "And you didn't make me not want to try this. Everything you said today… it's exactly what I wanted to hear. It's just…"
"What? Arizona, what is it? Tell me, so maybe I can do something about it," Callie pleaded. Was it ending before it even started?
"I wanted to hate you," Arizona said suddenly. "I tried to. I knew it would make things easier... But I couldn't," she admitted. "I never could."
"Is this what this is about?" Callie asked. "The past?"
"I told you it left a scar," Arizona said and smiled sadly. "Trust me. I don't want to feel this way. It might be something I have to work on by myself. It's about my feelings. It has nothing to do with you and how you're behaving towards me," Arizona said, "you've been nothing but amazing to me since we started all of this."
"Arizona, of course the way you feel has to do with me. You don't trust me. I mean… you do. You trust me with Sofia, and Tamara and technical stuff like... paying the bills and picking you up from work. But you don't trust me with your heart again," Callie said, sadly, yet in understanding.
"Don't be silly. We've been in a great relationship for a couple of years now!" Arizona objected.
"It's not the same. You could always keep a certain part of yourself out of my reach when we were friends, but now…"
"I guess we both bail. You used to say it's something that you do, but I bailed, too. Whether I was right to leave or not, it doesn't change the fact that at one point, you stayed, and wanted to fight for us, and I didn't anymore. I bailed. I get it."
"Why are you telling me this?" Arizona asked, the pain evident in her expression and voice.
"Because I get it. I'm saying – you don't trust me yet, and that's okay. But that's not for you to deal with alone, it's also on me."
"And sex is part of it. We shouldn't go there before you trust me completely."
"Callie, stop it, I trust you. I just… I'm so tired, can we please talk about this tomorrow?" Arizona said in exhaustion. She wanted to talk, she did, but it was getting overwhelming and she was already a hormonal mess.
"You know I'd do anything for you, right?" Callie asked, but Arizona averted her gaze.
"Hey," Callie said, "I love you. Do you believe me?" Callie asked as if her life depended on the answer. Trust issues, she could work with, but if Arizona didn't even believe…
"Callie…" Arizona tried.
"There's only one answer to this question, Arizona."
"Yes," Arizona said, "and I love you too," Arizona said sincerely. Loving Callie was the easiest part in all of what was complicated around them.
"Did you not want to sleep with me because of everything we said in the session today, or because you weren't certain how I felt?" Callie asked softly. She could see this conversation was taking a toll on Arizona, she wasn't going to push much further tonight. But if Arizona eased some of her nerves, the least she could do was try and ease some of Arizona's.
"I think maybe a combination of everything," Arizona admitted.
"But are you certain about how I feel now?"
"I am," Arizona said.
"Okay, good. So, not yet on the sexy times," Callie said and took Arizona's hand. She wasn't mad, and she needed Arizona to know that.
"Callie… you know we can, if you want to," Arizona said. She wasn't entirely sure what was going on in Callie's head, but she also didn't want to disappoint her.
"We're not gonna do this because I want to. We're gonna do this because we want to," Callie said and squeezed Arizona's hand.
"Callie, of course I want to, I want you, I didn't mean…"
"We're gonna talk some more, you're gonna be completely certain, and then, we're gonna do this."
"I am certain, Callie," Arizona said. Her attraction to the other woman was really not the problem.
"Yes, you are, about some of this, and yet, here we are, not tearing each other's clothes, but instead, talking about it."
"I'm sorry," Arizona said on the verge of tears, she knew it was true. If they both really wanted to get to that point already, there would be way less talking and way more tearing.
"Please don't be," Callie said and laced her fingers with Arizona's. "I don't feel ready knowing you don't feel ready. We haven't done anything wrong yet, and I want us to keep it that way. We don't need to rush this. I'm good just sitting here with you and watching a movie for another year if that's what you need. But not tonight, because you are exhausted," Callie said and put her hand on Arizona's cheek.
Arizona nodded and put her hand over Callie's hand.
"I missed you this afternoon," she said softly, tenderly.
"God, I missed you too. It's been seven hours. We are sickening," Callie said lightly and Arizona chuckled, breaking the tension that was in the air since the moment she walked into the house.
"Come hold me until I fall asleep?" Arizona asked hopefully.
"Always," Callie promised.
Dr. Dawson didn't say much. She just watched them having a go at it. It's what she's done mostly since they started coming to sessions again. Assessing, she called it. "Assessing has ass in it," Callie would joke at home.
Truth was, she didn't feel she had to intervene much. Yes, she could guide, but when Callie and Arizona came to her four years prior, they hardly let each other finish their sentences. This time, they were nothing but patient, even if frustrated.
They thought that their disagreements meant they weren't making progress. What they didn't realize was that even their way of disagreeing has changed and matured. It was never about disagreements, people are bound to disagree, bound to feel insecure. It was about mutual respect, about feeling like conveying one's fears wasn't going to be met with ridiculing and belittling.
It was also about the way they made each other feel. In the past, it seemed like what was causing each woman's distress, was the other woman. Now, as they kept taking turns in apologizing to one another, it seemed like the distress originated in each one's fear of the inability to make the other woman feel good. It came from more of a selfless place.
"And it's a mess," Callie explained, "I mean, one of us can start the conversation as the reassuring side, then by the time we're done talking, the roles have reversed and the other person is doing the comforting. It's very confusing! Not to mention occasionally alarming."
"Because we keep raising more and more points as the conversations progresses," Arizona explained.
"Yeah, but doesn't it drive you nuts? Like, you're sure, and feel certain and then…"
"And then you don't. But that's normal? Isn't it? I mean, one word can change your entire perception of a situation."
"But you are scared of me, and I don't want you to be scared of me, and I definitely don't want you to feel like you need to protect me from the truth, when you're the one who is scared. It's not fair to you. You shouldn't do the protecting."
"What about you?" Arizona asked.
"What about me?" Callie replied in confusion.
"You just said, you need reassurance too," Arizona explained.
"Yeah, but, not about you and how I feel about you. I need reassurance of how you feel about me. Or, more accurately, around me. I need to know that you're not scared of me."
"Well, you did say that you bail…" Arizona said quietly.
"No, no. I said I also bail. As in – it's something we both do. We're both at fault."
"Yeah but I don't do it anymore," Arizona defended.
"And neither am I," Callie said.
"Are you sure?" Arizona asked.
"Of course I am, Arizona, what's going on? You would never ask me that question when we just started this process… wait, is this what this is about?"
"What do you mean?" Arizona asked, avoiding Callie's gaze.
"Oh my god," Callie said. "You think I'm gonna leave you."
"Well, not leave me per se…"
Doctor Dawson was yet to say anything, she kept watching in interest. She thought the women were doing a fine job of addressing the issues at hand.
"Arizona Robbins, are you honestly suggesting that if this doesn't work out I'm gonna leave you alone with a newborn?!"
"Well, are you?"
"Callie, I'm sorry, the fear of being abandoned isn't exactly rational, you know. And all the bailing stuff you said a couple of weeks ago just made me think about it even more. I don't want to think about it even more! "
"I was trying to own up to my mistakes, to say that I can handle things better in the future. It seems to have backfired," Callie said in frustration.
"I know you did, I appreciate it. I'm really sorry, Calliope," Arizona said genuinely.
"No, I'm sorry, Arizona. I don't want you to feel like you need to keep apologizing for something that isn't your fault, and I don't know how to make you not feel this way," Callie admitted sadly.
"We didn't sign any papers," Arizona blurted out and immediately regretted it.
"What?" Callie asked in confusion.
Arizona sighed. It was out in the open now, might as well address it.
"We decided not to sign any papers," she said the exact same thing but knew that this time Callie would understand.
"Yes, because we decided to trust each other!" Callie said and threw her hands up in the air.
"Callie, calm down," the Doctor said. "Arizona isn't blaming you for anything. She's just stating a fact."
"I know that," Callie said in frustration.
"Then take a breath, and tell her what you want to tell her, but use your inside voice," the Doctor said and Callie glared at her. That specific comment made her feel like a child. But she took a deep breath nonetheless, and turned to Arizona.
"Trust works both ways, you know," she said calmly. "I trust you to not run away with my baby and you trust me to be there for you and our baby no matter what!" Callie said in a raised voice again.
"I know, and… I do trust you," Arizona said before the Doctor had a chance to comment on Callie's tone again. She was glad Arizona did. She was reclaiming her strength in a romantic, non platonic relationship.
"It's just… ," Arizona continued, "when we decided this, things were different between us."
"And you trusted me more when I was 'just' your best friend rather than your partner," Callie concluded in understanding.
"It's not like I want to feel this way. My head totally gets that you will never leave, and I love you, I really do, I just feel…" but she couldn't finish this sentence.
"Arizona, I'm never going to leave you alone with a baby to take care of. That's A. B, I'm gonna do whatever I can for us to work because I so want to be with you. I promise you all of this. Okay?"
"I have my faults, but I always keep my word. Especially to you."
"I know that."
"Tell me that you believe me."
"I believe you," Arizona replied immediately, actually absorbing what Callie just said.
"We can go see a lawyer about preliminary adoption papers and the parenting plan, okay?" Callie asked.
"We don't have to. I believe you, I really do," Arizona said genuinely. Promises made huge difference between them. When Callie made her promise to her, Arizona's heart finally caught up with her brain. They had rules.
"I know you do, and you said it before I offered to go to a lawyer, so I know you really meant it and that's all that matters to me. But still, let's go see a lawyer, together, sign some papers, and it's not gonna be a big deal."
"Okay. I love you," Arizona said. She knew Callie was trying to make a gesture, and it definitely made her feel better.
"I love you too. And you know that these papers aren't the reason I'm gonna stay with you. Me wanting to be with you is why I'm gonna stay with you," Callie said softly.
Arizona searched her eyes. She didn't find anger, she just found love, truth, devotion and so much tenderness that her heart started to beat faster.
"You are never going anywhere, are you?" she asked quietly, putting down her last wall of defense.
"Never," Callie said, and to her delight, she finally saw the tension that was in Arizona's eyes ever since that first kiss, evaporates.