She just got back from their therapist's office to find her wife in their bedroom, packing the stuff that were still left in their closet during their 30 days break, and transferring them to the guest bedroom.
"I know, it's not ideal, but only until the lease with the couple at Mark's ends. Then I'll move over there. You can stay here, of course. I want you to stay here."
"That's not what I meant. You can't do this. You can't just… leave. You have to talk to me. Didn't you hear any of what I said earlier? I love you!"
Callie sighed. She loved Arizona too, but it wasn't working, it was harder than it should be. Much harder. Couldn't Arizona see that?
"Arizona… we're unhappy."
"Well, I'll also be unhappy without you. So I'd rather be unhappy and at least still have you."
"Listen to yourself! Listen to the words coming out of your mouth! You're willing to compromise for something mediocre. For something that isn't great. This isn't like you! This is not who you are, and that's exactly my point!"
"Are you calling what we have mediocre?" Arizona asked, hurt evident in her voice.
"I'm saying," Callie explained softly, "that we used to be great. We used to make each other feel great. Can you honestly tell me that I still make you feel great?"
Arizona said nothing. She looked down, unwilling to meet the other woman's gaze.
"Exactly. At best, we make each other feel mediocre," Callie said quietly. She took a step forward, put her fingers under Arizona's chin and softly raised Arizona's head to meet her eyes.
"I love you, too," she said sincerely. "I don't want you to doubt that. But if I love you, I can't be selfish. For both our sakes. I love you enough to want you to feel great again, to set you free. Do you love me enough to want me to feel great again?" she asked sadly.
Arizona didn't reply but looked into Callie's eyes.
"It's breaking my heart to realize this," Callie said with a cracking voice, "but I know now that we can't make each other feel great. Not anymore. And that's not fair. Everything we've been through isn't fair. But we can't ignore it any longer. Like I said, I don't want us to be stuck when I know we can do better."
"You do make me feel great," Arizona said quietly, pleadingly.
"Well, now you are just lying," Callie said, not accusingly, still softly. She took a step back in order to keep packing.
"I'm not! Stop telling me what I do and do not mean!" Arizona said angrily.
"Fine!" Callie said, looking up, "I make you feel great. I make you feel so great you keep saying I put words in your mouth. That's how great I make you feel!" She yelled. "So if you're not lying, then yeah, I do make you feel great, just not even half the time I used to make you feel great," she concluded softly.
Arizona looked at her but again, said nothing. She was angry and hurt, and mostly sad, and she didn't know where to go from there.
"This was a bad idea. I'll get a room somewhere. I shouldn't stay here. I'll come back tomorrow so we can decide what to tell Sofia," Callie said.
"No, don't. Stay. It's your house too. I don't want to be the one who kicked mommy out of her own house due to my over clingy feelings," Arizona hissed and left the room.
"Arizona…" Callie tried, but the woman was already out of sight.
Callie sighed and sat down on the bed. This was going to be the hardest thing she had ever had to go through.
Arizona was sitting on the couch, watching Callie as the other woman, who was sat on the floor by the coffee table, was going through a pile of potential sperm donors. Callie was biting her lip in concentration, just barley, and Arizona couldn't help but feeling a bit emotional at the familiarity of the scene.
They've been here before. Sitting together in their apartment, now house, with a glass of wine in hand, and trying to choose a sperm to put in Arizona. As a gold star lesbian, she was somewhat appalled by the idea, but as a mother to be, who was looking at her ex-wife in a soothing nostalgia, she concentrated on the outcome. They've come a long way, and they weren't what they used to be anymore, but that night years ago, when they sat together to pick a donor, was still one of her nicest memories.
Things used to be very different back then. For starters, they were married. And also, while that specific evening was calm and peaceful, they weren't entirely intact.
Yet here they were sitting, nearly six years later, not together, but way more put together.
Arizona looked at the other woman and smiled. Seeing Callie so invested in something they both wanted, agreed on, chose to do together, made her happy.
She loved the other woman. She would always love the other woman and she knew that the feeling was mutual. After all, they were connected through the most important person in their lives, and she realized they've chosen to strengthen that connection, by bringing into the world another person who would have that same title.
Callie was her best friend. Arizona was so hurt when they just separated. She felt like she was abandoned in the battlefield, betrayed. She felt like Callie was jumping ship. Another decision was made for her. But then time passed and she realized that Callie was right, that a weight was lifted and something within her changed.
Arizona, a woman who would easily admit that she'd always turned to sex upon singleness or in bad times, needed to take some time to mourn the greatest love of her life. Even in their first separation, she found some physical release in the form of Leah Murphy, but this time around, she couldn't. Her soul was healing, and that soul wasn't ready for her to share her body with another person. With someone who wasn't Callie. When she realized that, she also realized she was maturing. It wasn't about her previous patterns being right or wrong, it was about feeling like making a different choice. That's how she knew it was maturing, and that's when it hit her – Callie was right. As sad as it was, their breakup turned Arizona into a version of herself she liked better, and though it was a weird thing to be indebted about, she knew she owed it to Callie.
Which is how they managed to drift back, slowly but surely, into the friendly terms that eventually led to their best friendship status. A healthy place that also allowed her to gain other sorts of intimacy with other people again. It's not like she waited two years before she was seeing other people, but things just felt more at ease in general when they became friends.
So yeah, she could have a glass of wine and appreciate the adorableness of her best friend, as said friend was making serious decisions, thank you very much.
Was she afraid of having Callie back at the house? Probably somewhere along the lines of terrified. Mostly, she figured they found such a great balance over the past couple of years, and she was afraid of losing that, of losing Callie and the part she played in Arizona's life.
What did this mean for any romantic relationship either of them might pursue in the following months? What did it mean in terms of Sofia's long term feelings?"
A conversation needed to be had, she knew that much. They've already done a lot of talking and layouting since they decided on moving forward with this adventure, but they had to talk some more. The topics at hand were complex, but they've been through so much together, she knew that they were finally at the point of being able to talk about everything. The weight of the martial responsibility wasn't a factor anymore, and it left room for complete honesty. It was sad, but also liberating. And it promised a brighter future between two people who finally knew better.
And if she was completely honest, she knew she'd love to have someone around the house during her pregnancy. Someone who cared for her and she cared for in return. Someone who will look after her and that baby and share the joy. Someone who would get her fish sticks at 3 AM if the mood strikes. Someone like Callie, whom she trusted completely.
And if she was doing a bit more of that honesty thing, she'd also admit she was quite excited about the idea of Callie moving back in. And she wasn't the only one.
"Sofia is so excited," she said, finally breaking the comfortable silence. "She wouldn't shut up about you moving in. And to be honest, I'm excited too! It's gonna be like a very long slumber party."
"With morning sickness, and midnight cravings, and mood swings," Callie said sarcastically. 'Also, a stage of horniness,' she thought to herself but didn't voice that particular thought. She was trying to not think about the fact that she was technically there to take care of all of Arizona's needs. 'We'll cross that bridge when we get to it,' she figured, even if it means being a wing lady to her ex-wife. She was committed to the idea of being there to help Arizona.
"Do you think we handled the telling her part okay?" Arizona asked and pulled Callie out of her thoughts.
"I think so. The kid is eight. Soon enough she'll be smarter than us," Callie said with a smile and Arizona nodded.
"I'm just afraid that this will be confusing for her and cause damage in the long run," Arizona explained.
"Well, we clarified where we stand. We told her it's only temporary. Mostly I think she's just gonna miss the big TV screen at the apartment," Callie teased.
"Well, maybe you should just move it here," Arizona offered without thinking.
"You think so?" Callie asked in surprise.
"Yeah, I mean, I know how much you love your TV shows, and you're gonna be here for like, what? At least nine months?"
"And then we'll see if maybe a major part of the first year of the baby's life," Callie added, reciting what they agreed upon in advance. They made sure everything was clear so there will be no bumps in the road, other than Arizona's baby bump, that is.
"Right. So that's a nearly two years commitment right there. I say – bring your screen over, Calliope."
"Done!" Callie said excitedly and after a moment added "now I'm thinking this is just your way of upgrading your living room."
"First an Harper Avery, and now a huge TV screen? I'm shameless," Arizona said seriously.
"You are," Callie agreed and they fell into a comfortable silence again.
"Should we sign a contract or something?" Arizona blurted suddenly, breaking the silence once more.
Callie was looking at her intently, trying to measure what was going on in her head.
"Do you feel like we should?" Callie asked softly.
"No," Arizona said, almost immediately.
"As a business man's daughter, I know that it's definitely the smarter thing to do, but, we can maybe…"
"Just trust each other instead?" Arizona asked hopefully, finishing Callie's thought.
"I'm okay with that option too," Callie said quietly, sincerely. They held each other's gaze for a moment and Callie went back to look at the photos while Arizona kept sipping from her wine glass.
'I will miss you, most of all,' she thought to herself, flashbacking to different times.
"Hey," Callie asked suddenly "how was the monitoring appointment this morning?"
"Is this the pregnancy equivalent of asking how my day was?" Arizona asked teasingly.
"I supposed it is, yeah."
"Well it went well. Nothing too exciting. About a week more of injections to go. Or at least that's what he said today. Which means we really need to pick that donor stat."
"Well I went through them all, and I do agree with your top 5," Callie said.
"It's just… my top three order is a bit different than yours."
"You liked number 2 best. Didn't you?" Arizona asked and smirked.
"I did. Sorry," Callie said apologetically.
"Don't be. It was my favorite too. I put him second to keep you unbiased."
"I mean, what's not to like," Arizona said, ignoring the other woman's irritation. "Cuban, so that's great, he totally has your complexion, and those eyes, beautiful. A scientist who's also a chef? That's a winner right there."
"You played me!" Callie accused.
"So what if I did?"
"Meanie," Callie said and pouted.
"Oh, whatever, I'm just glad we got that out of the way, now, poke me," Arizona said with a smirk and took out her IVF syringe to pass it to the other woman.
"Don't mind if I do," Callie said, stood up, took the syringe, and brought Arizona's shirt up, just a little, to reach her abdomen.
"This is way more fun as a group activity," Arizona said jokingly as Callie pushed the needle in as gently as she could, "otherwise I just feel like a junkie."
"A doctor who can't inject herself, ridiculous," Callie said as she pushed the pump.
"We're the worst patients and all that jazz," Arizona countered nonchalantly.
"I never had to go through this process," Callie said quietly as she took the needle out. "It seems… uncomfortable. Want to talk about it? I'm sorry I couldn't be there today. I'll be there next time. Promise."
"Hey, don't worry about it. It's okay. I'm gonna have a couple more monitoring appointments. You can't be there every single time."
"I should. I want too," Callie said.
"I know you do. Thank you. And I just don't have much to say about the subject other then 'gee, I wish I was six years younger, and with no history of a miscarriage and didn't have to do this every single day'".
"It's okay, Calliope, really. I asked to carry, remember? I had a feeling it would come to this. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of sperm, and if it has to go into me eventually, well, might as well already be fertilized when it does."
Callie laughed loudly.
"Your complete and utter gayness is adorable," she said.
"'tis the way of life," Arizona said and shrugged and they smiled at each other silently.
"This is nice," Arizona said. "Sitting at home together, drinking a glass of wine, catching up."
"Well I'm glad you're enjoying yourself. Soon enough you'll have to indulge this every single day," Callie said.
"Oh, the awfulness! How will I ever manage to survive?!" Arizona said in a fake dramatic tone. "And I won't even be able to drink!" she added in horror.
"A very good point and a scandal indeed," Callie agreed.
"So… when are you moving in again?"
"Arizona, I've been here every evening since we decided to do this, I'm practically already moved in."
"Yeah, but you go back to the apartment every night, and it's late, and we need to make things official. Like a mini house warming. With cake!"
"And my big TV screen."
"And your big TV screen!"
"Well, I'll have to check my schedule, but… how's tomorrow?" Callie asked playfully.
"What, that soon?" Arizona asked mischievously.
"I suppose that's okay," Arizona said casually.
"You suppose you don't want to inject yourself," Callie argued.
"I suppose you are right."
"You're a dork. I have a day off tomorrow. I'll pack some stuff…"
"… and your TV."
"…and my TV," Callie said and rolled her eyes, "and I guess if I forget anything I'll just head back after work at some point."
"You know you need a mover or something for that screen, right?" Arizona asked.
"Yes, Arizona. I know. God, you are way too worried about the TV, you know that?"
"Because of Sofia," Arizona explained.
"You are lying," Callie said.
"I suppose I am."