"Arizona, will you just…"
"Callie, I'm fine!" Arizona said and kept walking with purpose.
"I'm just worried!" Callie said, trying to catch up.
"But I'm fine!"
She was 34 weeks pregnant, and they were shopping for baby necessities. They had a lot of things left from Sofia, but they wanted Tamara to have new things, and they had to set up the nursery as well. Arguably, they should have done this weeks ago, and not when Arizona was getting exhausted so fast and needed pee breaks every twenty five minutes. They just neglected this whole phase of the pregnancy amidst the craziness that was their lives. Many things distracted them as of late, many things, like sex, for example.
But no more. Arizona planned the whole day. They had an afternoon appointment with a lawyer to discuss Callie's parenting related paperwork, and Arizona was adamant that they spend the morning and early afternoon putting a check mark on the baby products task. She knew there's no way they'd have the time and energy to do it more than once, not when she was nearly nine months pregnant, so it all had to be done today. If not by foot, then later, by Amazon.
"Arizona, I'm not saying we should stop, I'm just saying let's take a little break."
"We have four more stores to go to, Callie. We didn't even get a crib yet, nor did we get the paint we need for the nursery."
"Arizona, relax," Callie said and put a soothing hand on the small of Arizona's back.
"Yes, your tone is suggesting just that. Hey, there's a diner over there, right next to the store," Callie pointed. "I'm thirsty. Have a milkshake with me?"
"Fine," Arizona said through gritted teeth.
She wanted that milkshake. Heck, she wanted Callie's milkshake and mostly, she wanted the bathroom the diner had to offer.
"Thank you, I'm really parched," Callie said in gratitude.
"Thank you," Arizona said quietly.
"What for?" Callie said and took Arizona's hand in hers.
"For pretending like we're doing this for you."
Callie smiled and leaned in to kiss Arizona on the cheek. "It's my pleasure."
"I'm just worried we won't get everything we need, and then the lawyer…"
"Could be rescheduled if we're not done," Callie said simply.
"No, Callie, this paperwork is more important than anything."
"I beg to differ," Callie said, "yours and Tam Tam's health are more important than anything. I can meet him on almost any other day, heck, I can go alone if need be."
"No, I want to go with you," Arizona argued.
"Great, then we can go sometime when you're not exhausted from walking all day and when we already know we got everything we need," Callie said as they entered the diner and chose a table. "But we won't have to, because we're gonna be fine today. We're just resting for a while."
"But what if we don't get everything today?" Arizona asked. She was tired, and sore, and she was starting to freak out.
"Hey," Callie said and took Arizona's hand in hers over the table. "What you can't do, I'll do, remember?"
Arizona nodded. "But I don't want you to have to do this alone and carry things around."
"Look, our next stop is the crib, and then the following one is the paint shop. All the rest can be done on line. We managed quite a lot this morning," Callie said calmly.
"Yeah, we did," Arizona agreed and started to visibly relax.
They took a peek at the menu and ordered their milkshakes.
Arizona didn't even realize that Callie hadn't drank hers. She just pushed it towards Arizona after Arizona finished hers.
"Hey, mind finishing this?" Callie asked gently.
"Aww, but you wanted a milkshake," Arizona said and pouted.
"It's too condensed," Callie said, as if Arizona would be doing her a favor by finishing it.
"What are you talking about? It's delicious!" Arizona argued then started sipping Callie's milkshake.
It happened quite often. Callie knew Arizona wanted to eat more, but felt too self conscious, so Callie would order something and let Arizona finish for her, letting Arizona feel like she was helping Callie out. Arizona didn't notice most of the time. Or so Callie thought.
The truth was that Arizona knew exactly what Callie was doing and those small gestures of love drove Arizona's hormones mad. She wanted to rip Callie's clothes off right there and then. They always had a healthy sexual relationship, but since Arizona gave the go-ahead for them to start sleeping together again the month before, she couldn't get enough. She didn't know if it was the pregnancy, or the lost time, but she wanted Callie, almost constantly, and Callie didn't complain. It didn't matter that it was getting harder and harder technically. Where there's a will, there's a way. And if there was one thing they weren't lacking these days, it was will.
"We should go to the bathroom," Callie said, pulling Arizona out of her reverie.
"Wh…what?" Arizona asked, wondering if Callie could read her mind.
She could. She saw the way Arizona was looking at her, but that wasn't why she wanted to get the other woman to the bathroom.
"I'm gonna put you on the sink…"
"Oh I like the sound of that," Arizona interrupted.
"Arizona," Callie warned, "I'm gonna put you on the sink and we're gonna take your prosthetic off and you're gonna let me massage your leg."
"What?! Callie, no, we don't have time for this nonsense."
"Don't argue with me. You've been limping for the past twenty minutes."
"I have?" Arizona asked in genuine surprise.
"Yes, you have. A nine months pregnant amputee on a shopping spree? What did you think would happen after three hours with no break?!" Callie said, irritated.
"Okay, Calliope, I'm sorry." She knew Callie didn't say all of that in order to make her feel guilty, but so many times throughout this pregnancy she wondered what the hell she would have done without Callie.
"What would I do without you?" Arizona voiced her thoughts.
"You're never gonna have to find out," Callie promised and kissed Arizona's hand. "But, since you're in the middle of a 'let's actually listen to Callie' moment, I need to ask you something and I need you to really consider it."
"Okay?" Arizona said, confused and concerned.
"Stop worrying all the time!" Callie said upon seeing Arizona's expression.
"Stop with the dramatic build ups!"
"Fine! Then I'll just spit it out. I want you to start your maternity leave before the delivery. I mean, I'd even say now but I know you'll put my head on a stick for even suggesting it."
"Of course I would! Because why the hell should I start my maternity leave 5 weeks before the delivery date?!"
"A. Because you can. You have enough days stored up, and B. Arizona, really don't take this the wrong way, but like I said, you're a nine months pregnant amputee. You're big, not fat," she said when Arizona glared at her, "just big. It's becoming a safety issue. You on your legs all day? I don't like it, and you know I'm right. Just… I know it feels early for you but maybe in a couple of weeks?" Callie pleaded.
"Why is this a safety issue?!" Arizona spat. "I don't wanna be stuck at home alone all day when I can be cutting!"
"Just think about it, you'll have more time with Sof which is probably a good thing considering soon enough you'll have a baby to take care of."
"Yeah, but Callie, if you're worried about safety, where's a batter place for me to be? In the hospital, usually in the peds or neonatal department, or at home alone?!"
"At home, where you're on the couch all day, I know exactly where to find you, and you're not standing all day long," Callie stated.
"Is this because of your leg?" Arizona asked.
"Of course it's because of the leg, Arizona! That's what I've been trying to say. It's still experimental!"
"Callie, come on," Arizona said softly, realizing that Callie's own creation was the cause of concern. "It's been doing great."
"Thank you for saying that, but the thing is, those next few weeks are gonna change your balance even more. It's not like I think you, and the leg, can't handed this, but ideally I'd want to develop a series of balance exercises for women towards the end of their third trimester."
"Well, then develop away! I can help!"
"No, Arizona. You know how I feel about using you as a guinea pig, and we've already done that by even letting you use the leg, but it was different when you were in early stages and it was just about you. That was your decision regarding your own body and I respected it. But we're not only messing with your safety anymore and I don't want to risk anything happening so close to the birth. Don't you see that? I haven't said anything, I know how much your independence means to you, but we're so close to the end. Please, let's not experiment on our baby," Callie said vulnerably and Arizona finally understood where she was coming from.
'She's right,' Arizona thought. 'It's not just about my body and how far I'm willing to push it anymore.'
"Okay," Arizona agreed quietly.
"Okay but you're gonna be mad at me later, or okay, I see where you're coming from?" Callie asked in concern.
"Okay, I see where you're coming from and I'm inclined to agree," Arizona said softly.
"Thank you," Callie said and kissed Arizona's hand again.
"And I'll have more time with Sofia that way," Arizona said.
"That's a very good point you're making," Callie replied and winked.
"But this experiment is something we did together, so later, when we can, I'm gonna put on a fake belly for you and we're gonna simulate together and create a series of exercises."
"Deal," Callie agreed and shook Arizona's hand.
"You are ridiculous," Arizona said, "but also ridiculously hot. And… your brain is pretty."
"That sounded creepy. Dexter kind of creepy," Callie argued but Arizona ignored her.
"I don't think you'll be able to put me on the sink, Callie."
"Hey, these hands break bones for a living, remember? Worst case scenario, we get you a chair. This leg of yours will be massaged," Callie announced.
"You know that I love you, right?"
"Obviously. I am not fooled by your hormonal madness, Arizona."
"Good. Then take me in the… I mean to the bathroom."
It was hours later. They had a crib, they had paint, and lots of other things that were to be delivered to their house in the following days.
They made it to the lawyer on time and Arizona could finally relax for real. Except…
"Don't freak out," she carefully said to Callie.
"I'm not freaking out," Callie replied calmly.
"It's gonna be okay."
"I know it's gonna be okay."
"You have nothing to worry about."
"I know I have nothing to worry about, Jesus, Arizona!" Callie said and stopped walking. "I think you might be freaking out."
They walked out of the lawyer's office with some bad news. Until Tamara was born, Callie couldn't have any legal claim to their daughter. What she needed to file was adoption papers. One can't file adoption papers to a yet-to-be-born baby. That wasn't something they knew beforehand.
Arizona knew how not having sorted paper work, how having your role as a parent being questioned felt. She was saddened on behalf of her girlfriend.
"I… I just remember how it feels to not have any legal claim to your own child," Arizona said and Callie nodded in understanding. "And it's not the best, to say the least. You're really not freaking out?" she asked in concern and Callie sighed.
"Arizona, the whole point was that we wanted to trust each other and we wanted the papers. So we're gonna trust each other now, and do the papers later."
"But what if we don't have the time when Tam Tam is born? What if it falls between the cracks and you'll be mad at me, what if…"
"Arizona!" Callie said and put her arms on the other woman's shoulders to stop her from rambling. "Relax! We're gonna do all the paper work now, leave out the things we don't know yet, and submit as soon as we can once we can fill the rest when Tammy is born, okay?"
"But what if we don't have the time to fill the rest?"
"It's going to be okay. I will personally stay up at night if need be to fill this paper work. I'm not gonna get mad at you. Get this idea out of your pretty head. We are together. We are staying together. We are so staying together that we're gonna go back home now, and put on an ad to rent Mark's place. Okay?
"Are you sure?"
"Did you really just ask me if I was sure? Because it almost sounded like you're expecting me to leave," Callie said and glared at Arizona.
"Well, after a day like today…" Arizona started.
"After a day like today all I want to do is go back to our home, tuck in our daughter, take a long bath in our bathroom, and hold the love of my life in my arms while I sniff her hair like some sort of a stalker," she concluded and started walking towards the car again.
"Who's that person you speak off?" Arizona asked playfully.
"The stalker? Me," Callie said offhandedly.
"No, I meant that love of your life person."
"Just some crazy pregnant lady," Callie said and shrugged.
"Calliope," Arizona said and slapped Callie's shoulder.
Callie chuckled and took Arizona's hands in hers.
"I love you," Callie promised, "I love that kid inside you. She'll be born, and we'll fill the paper work, and she'll be ours, okay?"
"She's already ours," Arizona said.
"I know, honey, I meant legally. Stop worrying so much."
"Okay. Thanks, Calliope. This is all just these crazy hormones."
"Sure it is. It has nothing to do with you also being a control freak. You're on week 34. This girl is popping out any minute. We don't have that much longer to wait to fill this paper work anyways."
"Shit. We need to prepare the nursery," Arizona said, getting all worked up again.
"You mean I need to prepare the nursery and you need to watch me work and not touch anything heavy or power tool-y. Jesus, Arizona, I swear, telling you to relax is completely useless."
"Fine, I'll be quiet. I hate fighting with you."
"Fighting?" Callie said and smiled widely, "this isn't fighting. This… is being domestic."