DISCLAIMER: The characters belong to the creators of Grey's Anatomy. I only claim the story and have no intention of making money from it.
SPOILERS: Reference to Season Five episodes and all of Season Six episodes.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
FEEDBACK: To dobbleswobbles@yahoo.co.uk

By Soricha


Part One:

Hi Callie,

I am not in school now because I got sick again. I am in the hospital. It's a big hospital with lots of windows so I can see the rain and there are lots of other sick kids and a big playroom. I like the playroom. Mommy says I need the horrible medicine again because it wasn't enough last time. This means I won't be home for Jenny's birthday. This makes me sad because she is having ponies there. Mommy says I can have ponies for my next birthday party. But I have to wait until July for that. I don't like the medicine but it will make me better. I made you a drawing. It's the tree-house Daddy made me and Leo. It has the tree and me and Leo. He needs help to climb it because he is only small. I hope you are safe and that you are brave.

Love Megan xxxxxx

Callie smiled at the seven-year old's scrawled letter and folded it up putting it into the box under her cot where she kept all the letters she had received. The communication with Megan was purely by accident, but she was glad she did it. It gave her something to smile about when sometimes there was nothing to smile about. A teacher of a second-grade class thought it would be a morale-booster to have her students write letters of encouragement and bravery to those overseas. While most of the letters were read, the contents sometimes ridiculed, they were then discarded and forgotten. This was with the exception of Megan's letter which lay untouched in the hot sands outside the tent. Callie had read it, smiled at the contents and chose to write back. When the little girl replied the brunette was delighted and wrote another. This became a pattern for six months and she enjoyed it. She lay on top of the low cot wondering what illness the child had picked up and that it was nothing serious. She was surrounded by voices of the people she had been living with for the last six months, people she had grown to love and hate, respect and despise people that had become her family. She blocked them out as she pulled up a clean sheet of paper.

Dear Megan,

I am sorry to hear that you are sick. What is wrong? Are the doctors making it better? Do I need to come over and teach them how to be the best doctor like me? Ponies sound like fun. I loved ponies when I was a little girl. When I was ten, I had my own horse. His name was Sherbert and I loved him very much. The tree-house is very cool. I wish I had one but there are no trees here to build one. I will have to wait till I come back home to make one. You are very good at your drawings. I am keeping them and putting them into a book. I hope you are taking your medicine because they will make you better. It is very hot here now and sometimes very scary so I try to be brave. When I am scared, I close my eyes and think of the best place in the world, which is the beach near where I grew up. It had white sand and the bluest of waters, and in the early evening it was so quiet and peaceful. It is my favourite place in the whole world. So if the medicine and the hospital are scary, think of your favourite place in the world. You be good now.

Love Callie xxxxx

The little girl grinned when her father arrived with the new letter. She waited impatiently as he tore it open and handed her the paper that had tiny sand granules attached to it. She smelled the page. She had grown to love the smell of dust and sand that always came with Callie's letters. She watched as her father talked to her doctor and glanced at her mother who was struggling to maintain a strong face. She was sick and she knew it. She read her letter slowly, needing to concentrate on some of the words. When she finished she lay back and shut her eyes tightly, thinking of her favourite place. She fell asleep to the image of her tree-house. When she had woken, she had seen that she was alone. She saw the piece of paper on the table next to her bed. She wanted to write back but she was tired. Her doctor stepped into the room as she struggled to get out of bed to get some more writing paper. The doctor rushed to her side and pushed her gently back on the bed. She asked the little girl what she was trying to do and Megan explained the letters. The doctor smiled a tender smile and climbed onto the bed next to the little pale thin girl. She allowed the child nestle into her, kissing the now bald head that once boasted auburn curls. She offered to write as Megan dictated.

Hi Callie,

I am too tired to write because of the medicine so my doctor is writing for me. She is very nice. Mommy and Daddy say I will be okay but I don't believe them because Mommy cries a lot. I have cancer and it's horrible but I take my medicine and I am being strong. I am too tired to draw a picture for you but I can tell you my favourite place. It's my tree-house but I have another favourite place. It's sitting my Gramma's lap when she is in her rocker. She died from cancer too. But when she was alive and I was scared or sad, she would put me in her lap and sit on her rocker and sing to me. That is my favourite place. I'm trying not to be scared because Daddy says you're in a scary place and I am in a safe place. So I am being good. Do you believe in angels? Because I hope angels are watching you and you're being brave.

I love you, Megan xxxxxx

The brunette felt tears fall as she read the letter over and over. She had initially frowned at the different hand-writing, but the contents were Megan. It was completely Megan and that little girl was being unbelievably brave, making Callie feeling weak. She felt the hot sun beat down on her bare shoulders. The beads of sweat glistening as she wiped her forehead with a rag. She had been busy all morning with injuries that she had temporarily forgotten life beyond this camp, that she was happy to receive the letter. However, reading it she didn't feel better but worse. She wiped her tears aside. She looked up at the chopper that flew over-head, welcoming its loud noise. She took a deep breath before pulling out her notebook to write a letter.

Dearest Megan,

You are allowed be scared because you have a scary sickness but I am sure you have a great doctor there. She has very nice hand-writing so she must be a nice doctor. I think your favourite place is a wonderful place, the best place. I think your Mom and Dad love you so much and they are very lucky to have a strong girl like you. Last night we had a storm here, but it's not like back at home. There's no rain or thunder, just sand. It is like it rains sand, and it is very noisy. It can be really scary, but I just look at these pictures you draw for me and it makes me forget. I don't mind not having another picture as long as you are getting better. Yes, I do believe in angels because you are my angel.

Love, Callie xxxxxx

The envelope lay on the coffee table. The woman looked at it as she placed her glass of wine next to it. She had recognised the hand-writing and didn't want to throw it away. She leant back on the sofa with the envelope in hand. Her fingers trembled as she opened it. She felt her eyes fill with tears as she read the letter. She pulled out a blank sheet of paper and started writing.

Dear Dr. Torres,

I am so sorry to inform you that Megan Leblanc died this afternoon as a result of her leukaemia. She was weak for the last few days, and mainly slept, but come the time she was incredibly brave. She hugged her father, smiled for her mother and kissed her little brother. She talked about you, her brave soldier doctor and she had such pride in the fact that you always wrote back. She showed me your letters with such joy. You, Dr. Torres, gave her such joy and I am glad of this. You are doing something so incredibly brave for your country and you have found time to write to this child. This I find absolutely awesome. I am so sorry that I am giving you such awful news when you are in such an awful place but I imagine that you'd want to know.

Take good care of yourself Dr. Torres,

Dr. Arizona Robbins

Callie saw that the letter was again written by the little girl's doctor. She frowned, the doctor in her knowing that this little girl was not strong enough yet, while the person in her was delighted for the contact. She tore the envelope glancing at the neat hand-writing before reading it. She wept as she read, and saw her tears hit the paper. She saw horror every day here, but never felt grief as she did when she read this piece of paper. These letters were her moments of hope, joy and delight. Her moments of escape. She saw someone approaching her and quickly wiped her eyes, smiling at him. He nodded at her, and saw the trembles and the tear stains so kept walking. She pulled out her notebook and took a deep breath before writing.

Dear Dr. Robbins,


Part Two:

Dear Dr. Robbins,

Thank you for telling me. You are right. I would have wanted to know. I hadn't realised how sick she was until the last letter and I know it's clichéd to say this but I really hope there was no pain. As a doctor, you know that we do everything within our capabilities to ease the pain but as a person I just hope there is no pain at the end. But she was a real spirit.

It is strange to think I could love and miss someone I had never met. I don't even know what she looks like… But I loved her letters. Here, some things are like gold. For some people, it is alcohol, for others it's the chance to use the phone or e-mail, for others it's care packages from home. For me, it's letters. I will miss her letters.

Thank you for telling me,


The blonde doctor pushed a fallen tress of hair behind her ear as she read the short letter again. She ignored the noises outside the Attendings lounge, as she concentrated on the cursive letterings, and inhaled the smell of hot sand from the paper. There was a sense of odd comfort from the scent especially against the background of hospital smells. She was interrupted from her thoughts by an intern telling her the CT scans she had ordered were back. She nodded at the timid young man and placed the letter carefully in her coat pocket. She took a deep breath, smiled and stepped out of the office back to where she should be, helping the sick children.

Dear Dr. Torres,

You said that letters are like gold and I don't know if you want me to write you a letter, but I just had to. I am one of those people who just has to do something. I guess I am a fixer. Not that you need fixing. I mean you fight so I can sleep in my bed at night which is incredibly awesome and brave, so you can't need fixing. It's just you're sad and you should be. You lost someone special. But you're still sad and I want to help. I don't want to be a replacement. I just want to… I don't know… write to you, I guess. If you don't mind.


The brunette smiled at the short letter. She saw that it had been written on official hospital paper but the warmth and softness of the lettering made her forget this. She could sense this stranger's nerves and eagerness and enjoyed the need to make her feel better. She broke into a smile as she read it a second time realising that she wasn't surprised by the doctor's letter. She knew she was going to get a reply. She rolled over on her cot and pulled out a fresh sheet of paper.

Please call me Callie

The blonde smiled a full smile at the short sentence and tucked the sheet in her pocket. She had waited three weeks for one sentence and it made her feel wonderful. She stepped into her patient's room ready to play hide-and-seek with a renewed sense of enthusiasm and elation.

Dear Callie,

Why Callie? What is it short for? I am super happy that you wrote back. I was having a tough morning so it put a smile on my face. I think I like this letter thing. Beats receiving a bill or a take-away menu. I don't think I've ever written a letter. Well, I did try this pen-pal thing for Spanish class when I was in high-school but I guess Jose Gonzalez didn't like my broken Spanglish letters and never bothered replying. Though I partly blame the teacher because all I knew how to say was my favourite subject is science, I have a brother and I like swimming. I'd get bored if I had to read that for the third time.

This morning was a rough one. I have a little girl here who is dying. Jessica. She is a sweet girl and she has tay-sachs. She's a little fighter. She's made it to six but she has nothing left. And her father can't let go. It's the hardest part… letting go. So your letter even if it is just one sentence was a breath of fresh air. And yes that was a subtle hint about writing longer letters.

I've just moved to this hospital. It was a great promotion. I am head of the Peds department which at my age is an awesome achievement. But because the hospital is falling on rankings, everyone is out to prove themselves, so I guess I feel this extra pressure. I mean, the only reason why I got this job was because some one died and no else wants it. So I need to be the very best and I have this doctor I want on Peds, but she doesn't like me. She is kind of scary and she doesn't like my heeleys. But she is very good so am going all out to lure her away from General surgery. It's my new mission. To show her how super Peds is.

What do you specialise in? I know you're a doctor but I know nothing else. Tell me something, or I will subject you to more inane babble.

Take care of yourself,


Callie chuckled at the letter. She could see that Arizona just wrote what she was thinking, a quality she found enjoyable. She grinned at the unsubtle hint her new pen-friend gave her and folded up the sheet of paper with care before placing it in her combats' pocket. She walked over to the medics tent where transport was waiting.

Dear Arizona,

I will tell you my name if you tell me how you got your name. Arizona? Were your parents hippies? And to answer your question, I am an Orthopedic surgeon. I break and set bones for a living and love it. I miss being inside a surgery with its security of time and equipment. Here, everything is fast, everything is quick, and mistakes happen all the time because you have nothing to work with. This morning, I had to amputate a nineteen year old's leg because we didn't have the right equipment to save it. Yes, he is alive and he is being transported back home as we speak but sometimes I wonder why we do it. Now I am being depressing when I know you work with sick children everyday and that can't be easy. And anything has to be more exciting than general surgery. You'll get your surgeon. You sound hardcore enough even if you do wear heeleys. I am not even going to question that even though I really want to.

So how young are you? I have this semi fear that you're a kid… it's the heeleys thing again. I don't think I can let that one go. Next thing you'll be telling me you skip to work.

Do you like Seattle? I only know it rains a lot there. And being from Miami… rain is not my thing. And here, well it never rains. It's hot and hot and oh yeah, hot.

And it's not inane babble.


Arizona couldn't help but display her dimples as she saw the envelope. It had been six weeks since she sent her letter. She had been temporarily worried that Callie had thought her odd. She shoved the envelope into her pocket as she reviewed the x-rays on the wall before looking over at her waiting residents. The letter would wait until she was home. It would take away from the emptiness of her apartment.


You do it for the joy. I know it's hard to believe it sometimes but we do it for the joy. I had a sweet kid today. A neuroblastoma. And I kicked ass on his surgery. And I got to tell his parents he was going to be fine. That joy in their eyes and his eyes… that's why we do it. The joy.

On the other hand I think I am losing my prodigy. The chief bought a surgery performing robot that operates through the belly-button and Bailey, my surgeon has fallen in love with it. It's frustrating but she would be super in peds. But I am still fighting for it. And yes I am hardcore even more so with my heeleys.

Fear not I am not a kid. I am a hot grown woman.

I love the rain. It took a while to get used to. Though I do hate people who don't live here saying that the weather sucks. I'd say you suck but I kind of like being your letter-friend.

Your name isn't Calypso, is it?

My apartment is weirdly quiet tonight. I have music on but it's still quiet. Does that make sense? I think I am still getting used to it. I am always at the hospital, and yes, I will admit I have no life. I had a date recently but she wasn't what I was looking for. She was nice but she was… I guess nice is enough to describe her. And the people at the hospital are so wrapped up in drama that to join in their social circles requires a lot of tequila. I mean, the talk. There is so much talk there. Everyone is talking about everyone. And I don't want tequila tonight. So now I am in my empty apartment and am aware of it. Maybe I should get a room-mate. Now you think I am a miss no-friends.

And because you love it… that was more inane babble a la Arizona.

Take care of yourself


Callie grabbed the envelope. She had no time to read it. The helicopter was landing. It had two injured soldiers on it and she needed to save them. She had already called time on one soldier and she was barely awake. She yelled over the loud roar of the engine. She wanted to save someone today. She wanted to write about something good.

Dear Arizona,

I got your letter four days ago and I couldn't write back because it's been a hard couple of weeks. There's been heavy fighting with the insurgents and we've had many injuries and many deaths. I needed something good to tell you because you're all about joy. It's difficult here because these people need to believe there is purpose to all of this, and sometimes it's hard to find the purpose. Even me, I find it hard sometimes to find a purpose. But this morning, it was a good morning. I woke up to a cool breeze which in itself is different here. It's either hot and dry or a sandstorm. The camp is quiet in a good way. I decided to take a walk. I wanted to feel this coolness. I could hear this shouting from outside the camp and it's a little girl, no older than nine and what I presume her younger brother. They don't speak English and my Arabic is worse than your Spanish by the sound of it. They had an injured dog with them and were begging for help. Now, I am no vet but I know bones. This dog had a dislocated hip. I figured I could fix it, so I got Lokie, a medic I work with to help me. Lokie's a big guy, bald head, tattoos everywhere. Kind of scary looking but as gentle as a mouse. He holds down the dog while I try to get the hip back in place. Next thing I know, there's a puppy. The dog had three pups and the hip was saved. Dog and pups are safe and well, and currently sleeping in our tent, with these two really excited kids watching them and Lokie monitoring them. People ask for the purpose in us being here. It's not about killing the enemy, or bringing our way of life here. It's not religion or culture. It's about making it safe for two kids who have seen horror find those moments of delight in a dog and her pups. It's about the joy that you talk about. I needed to share a moment of joy with you.

I am not usually this preachy by the way and I am actually against army and war and stuff, but I needed to be here. Even if it is to be a temporary vet.

Fight for your surgeon. Show them you're hardcoreness. And yes that is not a word. I remember hospital gossip, you're fired, pregnant, sleeping with the boss and the janitor and dead all within an hour. Don't feel so bad about the friends thing. You're new in town and work does absorb you that unless you're part of a clique or sleeping with someone of the clique it takes sooooo much energy to feel included. I know this from my ex-husband. His friends hated me and did nothing to make me feel welcome. It was when we divorced that I found friends… and I had been at the hospital longer than him. Anyway, over that now… now onto you.

So SHE was not exciting enough to please you and you're hot… I could read so much into this.


P.S. No, my name is not Calypso, and I am still waiting for an explanation for your name.

The blonde tucked a loose tress of hair behind her ear and ordered another drink from the barman. She didn't want to be alone tonight. She had a case that she could not understand and she was hitting against walls trying to get the right equipment to deal with it. She smiled at Callie's letter as she read it, ignoring the bustle surrounding her. She was invited to join a table of doctors. She knew them as colleagues but not as friends. She nodded at them as she joined them. She smiled as she tucked the letter into her purse.

Dear Callie,

I've had a few drinks tonight. I am making friends. One of whom, Owen, was a trauma surgeon for the army. He doesn't talk about it. I think he is damaged. I worry now that you will be. When do you come home?

Do you still have the dog? I want a puppy but when will I take care of him? Darn the needs of tiny humans. Our chief is making life difficult. I have this kid and I can't figure out what is wrong with him and the chief won't let me do a 3-D MRI. Something about money. Who cares about the pain of the kid when money is at stake? Stupid money! Now I am crying! The chief makes me cry. I have authority issues. I so think I need to write this letter sober.

But you're right everyone is sleeping with everyone here. It's hard to keep up. You were married. I'm learning stuff about you now, except your real name… What is it? Oh, and my parents are most definitely not hippies.

Yes, I am gay and yes, I am hot. Even you would find me hot,

Take care of yourself,


I almost mailed this with my drunken admissions. I now have a hangover and am feeling sorry for myself. But I found a doctor to help me with this kid. They call him McDreamy and I really can see why. His hair. He has weird hair. Okay, I am going to mail this. You might as well witness all of me.

And to put you out of your misery. My father is Col. Daniel Robbins of the Marine Corps. He named me after a battleship.

Callie chuckled at the misspellings and scrawls. She had grown to love the babbling of her new friend. She pulled out her notepad and grinned widely. She only had one thing to write.


The blonde smiled widely as she read the one word.


Part Three:


That's such a beautiful name. Why such shame in it?

It's pretty chaotic here at the moment. The chief has just announced he is merging with another hospital to save money. Stupid Money! So now everyone is killing themselves, each other or patients to try and save their jobs and mistakes are happening. Luckily in Peds, the mistakes haven't killed anyone but its still crazy insane and can you tell? I've had a bad day today. I'm not going to bore you about it. But I don't have any inane babble for you because the hospital truly has sucked me in like a maniac and hasn't eased up yet.

When do you come home?

I want to take you for a drink.

Take care of yourself,


Callie frowned as she read the short note. She ignored the jeers from the soldiers playing soccer as she sat down on the chair to write back.


I hate my name but I forgive you for using it. Is your job secure? You seem to be holding out on me. Tell me about your day, good or bad. I don't mind. I like hearing from you and everything you have to say. As you once said I might as well witness all of you. And I want all of you.

Now, that sounded dirty. You can ponder that.

I extended my tour a few months ago, because I had nothing to come home to. I know that sounds depressing. But I had just gotten out of a really bad relationship. Not my ex-husband but the one that came after that. It was confusing and became messy and I screwed up and became lost. I enlisted as a medic to escape life. It was selfish I know, because I am surrounded by honourable men and women. But I was falling apart, almost losing my job, my mind even. Now I am here, I wasn't ready to leave when my tour was finished so I stayed. I love the guys I work with. They're sexist, chauvinistic and crude, but at the same time sweet, considerate and they always have my back. And I have theirs. I can't leave them. But when this tour is up, I will come home. And you can take me for that drink. You're buying.

So a battleship… much better than the state. A good conversation starter too. Much better than having a mother obsessed with Greek mythology.

When I was kid, was this really geeky kid. I was the girl that chewed my hair. Anyway, and the other kids would pick on me, and so I would come home crying. I'd tell my mother about it and she always told me that they were jealous because I was named after Homer's muse. I'm pretty sure the other kids didn't give a damn about the Odyssey and the Iliad. And I told my mother just as much. So she told me this story about how Calliope was the daughter of Zeus, but was forgotten about because she wasn't all lightning bolt throwing and wave crashing like the other Gods, but when all hell broke loose and the those Gods caused chaos and heartache, Calliope would hide in a tree or a cloud and sing to block out the noise. Anyway, everyone would stop and listen because she had this beautiful voice, and as such she became the muse for poetry and verse. She was loved and lived happily ever after. And Calliope means beautifully-voiced. I rather think I have a sexy voice though.

Now you get honour and nobility and battleship for your name which is quite hardcore and I get soppiness for mine and I like being hardcore, hence the Callie and not the Calliope. I'm hardcore. A rock-star surgeon.

I don't know why I told you that story but I haven't thought of that in a really long time. And I know that my mother adapted the myth to make me feel better and weirdly, it worked.

Okay, before I tell you any further embarrassing stories about myself I'm going to end this letter.

As you said I am your letter-friend… hell, I am your friend. I'm there.



The blonde smiled as she lay in bed reading the letter. She had a long day and just wanted to sleep but she couldn't wait to read this letter. She snuggled further into the sheets, feeling small against the large bed. The room only dimly lit by the night-stand lamp. She was exhausted before she started reading and now had a new sense of energy to write.

Dear Calliope,

So you want all of me. Hmmm. I am pondering that.

I'm okay now. I've made the residents see that I am not a walk-over. I had this resident latch onto peds because she thought it was an easy way to save her job. Now she is talented and all but she hates kids. She lied to me but I know why she did it. Desperate to keep her job. My job is safe. This resident had a point; no one gets rid of the doctor who saves the tiny people.

I loved that story about your name. It's full of warmth and joy whilst I was named after the battleship my grandfather was killed on. Actually, I wouldn't change it for the world. He died after saving nineteen men. How can one not feel honoured to be named after such a man? But my dad is not a man of fluffiness and warmth. Less so now. My mom is though. Thank God! In fact, I think it's my mom that is the colonel of our family. She is the decision maker in the house. But she makes my father a better man. He bends for those he love. Which as you probably know is not easy for an army man to accept a lesbian as a daughter. So I think my mom had something to do with that. I speak to them everyday which some people find really sad, but I think it's lucky. To have that sort of relationship with your family where you can talk to them everyday. How many people can say they have that? Are you close with your family?

I figure now that we have moved from letter-friend to friend I can ask these questions.

The merger has happened. And they put the new doctors in orange scrubs. Way to segregate. Everyone here is doing the 'I hate the enemy dance' but I actually like most of them. They're doctors and they're in it for the same reasons we are.

However, my favourite scrub nurse was fired today which really sucks because she was a single mom supporting her kids alone and also she synchronised with me. I really hate this merger. No one is happy. This is the first night this week I've slept in my own bed. My apartment looks more like a hotel which is actually making me consider moving into a hotel. Because at least that way I get food cooked for me. My cooking skills are rather limited. I can make spaghetti and eggs, though rarely together. Now I am hungry. I was all set to sleep a while ago and now I want food.

Am in my kitchen eating pop-tarts. I've put the stereo on and think I may have woken the entire neighbourhood. Stupid volume switch. I personally blame the Casper the friendly ghost. He must have done that. Not very friendly I might add. It is currently playing Gomez. What music do you like?

I get moving away from relationships. I did it when I came here. It wasn't that it was a bad relationship. It just went in different directions and my direction was not her direction. It made me the bad guy in the end because I did the ending, and so I lost friends as well. That's the worse thing about ending relationships, friends choose sides. So I ate a lot of donuts and moved to Seattle. It was a good decision in the end.

I think I may drop dead from exhaustion now.

Take care Calliope,



Callie pulled the envelope out of her pocket. It had bloody fingerprints on it. Her bloody fingerprints on it. It was a difficult morning and the letter had been forgotten in the chaos. She gingerly pulled out the letter and couldn't help but let the tears fall as she read the familiar hand-writing.

Dear Arizona,

I miss pop tarts. I miss food. And I can't believe you can't cook. I so need to teach you how to cook. In fact I will cook for you. Chicken Piccata. Anything but spaghetti though I really would love eggs. Little Pieces is a good track. I love music that I can dance to. Must be the Latina in me but I love to dance.

My father is definitely the head of the household. He makes all the decisions but he does it for his family. He gives us everything we could ever want or need. When I told him I had enlisted he hit the roof. Went completely nuts. Banged on about how it was a man's job. When he finally realised I wasn't changing my mind he then proceeded to find bodyguards for me. I mean the man is overbearing sometimes but he is my father. It took the army to talk him out of the bodyguards.

Families are a strange bunch.

We lost three soldiers this morning. I get my father's fear. I knew one of the soldiers. He was a friend. He drank with me and would tell me about the girl he was going to marry and the carpentry shop he was going to open. I lost my friend this morning.

I'm sorry for being so… we're all morale boosters here.

So you've been in Seattle for a while now, why aren't you dating? And don't say the hours because I know the hours. Then again I have yet to have a successful relationship.

Gee, this is a cheerful letter.

I really want a bubble bath. It's the little things. And today's little thing is a bubble bath.



Arizona watched the bath fill with water, watching the bubbles hit the top of the bath. She skimmed her fingers over the top of the bubbles before resting her glass of white wine on the side. She slipped off her robe and slid into the bath, sighing as the warmth of the water engulfed her. She closed her eyes.

Dear Calliope,

I am so sorry to hear about friend. I really wish I knew what to say or do. I found the flaw in being letter-friends. I can't comfort you. I hate to think you sad so I am going to tell you a joke my patient told me today.

A bacon and a sausage were put into a frying pan. The sausage looks at the bacon and says "It's hot in here". The bacon thinks "Oh my God, it's a talking sausage."

Okay that one was a bad one. But he was five. Yesterday's joke was

What's brown and sticky?

A stick

And the one before that was

What's the difference between snot and broccoli?

Kids don't eat broccoli

Tell me one of them made you smile or I am so firing my joke-master. He is a sweet kid though. Am hoping to discharge him soon. I wish I could say that for all my patients. There was a hotel fire last night, and this teenager got really badly burned. He was in town looking at colleges. It's the worse type of case and you never can escape it. It's when you have to really be the doctor and not the person. Ignore the smell and the screams and find ways of convincing this person to fight on. He is still battling on and I really think he will make it, but you don't forget those cases. You don't forget any of the cases. It's when you do start forgetting them that you need to stop being a doctor. When it stops affecting you, you need to step away. I know you have those days but that's what makes you the great doctor you are.

I worry about you now. I didn't when we first started writing but now I worry about you. I don't watch the news because I just can't. I can't know what is happening there. But I really do think what you do is awesome. It's incredibly awesome. I am bad at this morale boosting thing.

If you cook dinner I will cook eggs for breakfast. How was that for subtle conversation change?

When I was a second year resident, I had this patient. Really good kid. She was about eleven, and was an up and coming gymnast. She loved it but she got tumours in her bones. She would never be able to do gymnastics again. She would never be able to do what she loved and it was horrible having to tell her this. So we told her and do you know what she said. She said that it was okay because she could still do it in her mind. She is the reason why I got into peds. That sort of immeasurable strength and undying hope. My point is this. No matter how screwed up life gets and unbearable days become, in our minds we can do anything, be anything. I don't think I am saying this right, but when you are feeling bad and you have no donuts just be where you want to be in your mind.

Take care Calliope,



P.S. I never got to ask. Calliope means beautifully-voiced. Can you sing?

Callie smiled as she put the letter back in the envelope and slid it into her pack with the others. She rolled over on the cot and having found a cool spot on her pillow, she closed her eyes thinking about where she wanted to be. She couldn't help smile as her thoughts drifted there.

Dear Arizona,

Your letters always makes me feel better. Donuts? Really?

You're a mysterious woman with heeleys, donuts and a penchant for the word awesome. Not usually my type so you better be hot.

I am involved in building a clinic for women here. Just basic female healthcare but it feels good to do it. It feels that we're finally getting somewhere. I am just teaching the nurses here and they are so eager to learn. Kind of reminds me of interns in their first week before we stamp on their spirit and crush them. But these women despite everything, they're learning. They're doing something they never were able to do before. Something we take for granted. It's pretty amazing to be a part of that.

I did a tour with the Peace Corps in Botswana. That is what got me into medicine. And it was the polio cases that got me into Ortho. I had a case years ago with this Indian guy. He had severe polio and I promised him that I could make him walk again… and because I am a rock-star I did. I actually miss those cases. Those crazy ass nearly impossible cases. Here, it's fast and you don't see the results, because we bandage them up and send them to bases in Europe or back to the States.

So you're going to make me breakfast… oh the implications! Better be great chicken piccata.

I really miss food, and a soft bed and air conditioning, and real coffee. And sex. I miss sex. Really miss sex. And I miss grass and trees.

The jokes were terrible. I shared them with everyone here and they didn't go down well. Well except, Trader, but he has the mentality of an eight year old boy sometimes, so I guess that would be why. Seriously, he has one of the most dangerous jobs here and he finds snot jokes hilarious. He disarms explosives. He has requested more, so you can keep your jokemaster.



P.S. Are you hoping I serenade you with song one day?

Arizona blushed as she read the letter. It was not a good idea to read the letter in the viewing gallery. She ducked her head and was relieved that the surgery was distracting heads from her. She shoved the letter back into her coat pocket that rested on the chair next to her. She took a few deep breaths as she tried to regain her composure ignoring the raised eyebrows from one of her colleague.

Dear Calliope,

Don't mock the donuts! They're loyal friends in times of need.

It's weird that you talk about those nearly impossible cases because we've had a few lately. The other week, one of our technicians Isaac had a tumour embedded in his spine. An impossible surgery one would say, in fact that's what we all said, but Derek Shepherd a.k.a McDreamy believed it could be done. He even went rogue to operate on it, getting us all to cover for him. I even yelled at the chief and told him to stop being a bully. I stood up to the chief which is scary considering I have authority issues. Darn my father! Of course I cried afterwards, but I was so proud of myself. He did it. Removed the tumour without even cutting the cord. It was incredible. I think the clinic sounds great, and it's true we do take it for granted, the simple things. To think if we had been born in another country we would not be writing these letters.

You're full of surprises. Botswana? That sounds awesome. I've never done anything like that. What made you do it? I travelled a lot though. Joys of being an army brat. I love to travel but I don't like doing it alone. I haven't had the chance to do anything like that is what seems like forever.

I went into medicine because when I was little I got sick. I was in hospital for a long time and I loved it. How wrong does that sound? But I loved the toys, the instruments, the doctors, the nurses… I knew this was where I was going to end up. Speaking of which I have rounds to make, tiny people to save.

Oh I nearly forgot. For your friend Trader, a joke:

What do you get if you cross a pig with a naked person?

A streaky bacon.

Our joke-master has since been discharged but I will start auditioning for another one. Got to keep you popular. My mother wants me home for Christmas but I don't want to go. Does that sound wrong? You won't be home for Christmas, will you? Will home still be Miami? Which hospital do you work at? And look at me with the thousand questions.

Take care of yourself Calliope,



P.S. I've never been serenaded before.

The brunette lay in the sand staring at the stars. She had shoved the letter in her shorts and left the tents. She wanted to be on her own.

Dear Arizona,

I hadn't even thought of Christmas. I guess I won't be back until next year. It's weird but when I enlisted, holidays, birthdays and such occasions never came into my mind. If I were home, I'd be in the Torres household with all the relatives. That's 36 cousins, 13 second cousins, 9 aunts and 7 uncles and their better halves and my grandmother. It's chaotic and there's always a fight. And every year I tell myself never again, but I am a glutton for punishment.

When I get back I want to leave Miami. I love my family but they're incredibly overbearing and I don't think they get me anymore. I phone my family on Sunday and usually talk to my dad, but since the divorce I haven't really told him about my life. I think he is ashamed of me… he is Catholic, really Catholic and so divorce is a big no no. What I've learned here is that I need to be myself. I need to get away and grow up I guess. I am very protected. Even here I am protected. All they guys are watching my back.

We were playing some ball last week, and clumsy me fell over. And before I even hit the ground, the whole troop are there with their "oh shit" faces. Once they knew I was fine they teasing began. I went from one large family straight into another. Yeah, I am moving once I get back.

The surgery sounded really hardcore. And I am very glad you're facing your authority issues. What's that about anyway?

That joke was the worse one yet. Even Trader thought so. We're hoping for improvement on the joke front.

We need jokes around here. We had a reporter in the camp wanting to do a segment of some sort. I'd call her nice if she wasn't such an insensitive bitch. She doesn't agree with why we're here which is an opinion she is entitled to, but she felt the need to continuously to tell us this when she interviewed us. Made me really angry.

You've never been serenaded and I've never serenaded before. That could be a new experience for us both. I am not much of a wooer though. I have terrible lines. One of which was "Hi, you have nice braces" when I was fourteen. How I never lived that one down for the rest of high school. Even now I cringe when I think of it. As an adult not much better, my ex-husband walked in on me dancing around in my underwear and not seductively either.

Okay, I have to get back to work. Am in a fight for more supplies and am hoping today is the day they arrive.



P.S. Hi, you have nice hand-writing

The blonde smiled softly as she read it. It was the first genuine smile for a few days and she was glad of it.

Dear Calliope,

I've had a few bad days. I had this kid, Wallace. He had short-gut syndrome and I had been with him since the beginning. His parents donated $25 million to the hospital because I kept him alive for several birthdays but I couldn't keep doing it. He got worse and I was pushed into doing another surgery on him… so much for standing up for myself. I should never have done it. He died because I am gutless. I'm sorry for spilling this onto you. I never meant to write about it, but I've got to say it to someone. I should have never done that surgery. The chief said the parents would have gotten the surgery in another hospital if I chose not to do it. That's probably true but I just wish I had stuck to my instincts. He was such a great kid. He's one of those you don't forget, one of those whose white coffin you can't help think about. He died on his birthday which was also my birthday and this resident who always means well threw me a surprise party and I just broke down. I broke down in front of my peers. How embarrassing and unprofessional and weak is that? I just broke.

I'm okay now. I know that Wallace was going to die but that doesn't make it any easier, does it?

I know I am supposed to be all light and happy and rainbow talking but I just needed to tell someone that. I like talking to you. I really like talking to you.

I get what you mean about taking things for granted. Trust me when I say I don't take what you do for granted. I get it, I really do. I think what you do is awesome. You make it possible for me to sleep safely. I could never take that for granted. Only because sleep makes me one happy woman. I am a cranky hag when I don't get sleep and end up depending on an overdose of caffeine which causes hyperactiveness and crashes on heeleys. I crashed into the board rep yesterday, making him spill his coffee… which between you and me I secretly enjoyed. He kisses ass so much that it makes me want to put a dirty diaper on his bald head. Now you have been introduced to my slightly psychotic streak. I should end this letter now…

I have no new joke-master. I'm sorry and I really am bad at remembering jokes. I am at home watching movies. I like the old movies. And just by chance there is one on TV. To Sir with Love. Now that's a classic. Do you like movies?

I am thinking of painting the apartment. I gave up the quest for a room-mate. When do I have time to even look? But I don't know what colour to paint it. Am thinking warm colours. I like warmth. My authority issues are from my father. He being high up in the marine corps, makes you somewhat hesitant to stand up to him. He is a good man, but I can honestly say that though I respect him and love him, I am still slightly scared of him.

You think are bad with lines. Try this for one. I never had a relationship until I reached college. I had no clue to approach girls. I had no experience. There was this girl I liked. Joanne. My brother told me just use the Robbins dimple charm but I was too shy for that. So I would just do that stalker/avoider thing. Anyway, I was cycling to class and I saw her and she saw me. She smiled at me and I just thought oh shoot she knows I am a stalker. So I thought Robbins dimple charm. I am so busy concentrating on my best smile that I cycled straight into the fountain. When she came to see if I was alright, my line… this is cringe-worthy. My line was "You owe me a new front tire."

Actually, it worked. We dated for about a year.

Okay, need sleep. Sidney Poitier is leaving the screen.

Take care of yourself, Calliope,



P.S. You should know that this hand-writing is just for you.

Callie chuckled and blushed slightly. She stroked the lettering softly, seeing a couple of stains that were once tears. She ignored the conversation as she closed her eyes, allowing herself to pretend she was closer than sheets of paper.


Part Four:

Dear Arizona,

All surgeons break at some point. If we had no breaking point then we would have no business being in this career. It's okay to break. I broke before I came here. Erica had just left me. There was this case, a homeless guy whose legs had been crushed in a dumpster truck. I was convinced I could rebuild his legs, and I did. I built the man new legs but his heart gave out. He died. And all I could do was break in the surgery. It was a really low point for me.

When I told my dad I was going to be a doctor. He gave me this book of quotes. One such quote was a George Bernard Shaw quote. I don't remember it all but I remember how it ends: "Remember that I too am mortal." He is referring to the doctor. Basically we are people too. We make mistakes, and we feel guilt. We are human and we are allowed to break. At least you didn't break in the actual OR like I did. Nothing screams embarrassment like falling to your knees hyperventilating and crying in scrubs and a paper hat.

I like comedies. I like to laugh. My favourite movie is actually an old one. It's Some Like It Hot. I absolutely love that movie. A film that ends with 'Nobody's perfect.' I love that. So many moments in that movie that make me laugh. Jack Lemmon was great. In fact, when I first get back, I want to watch that movie. With popcorn, snuggled up on the couch. There's a cheap date.

Happy belated birthday. I am sorry it wasn't a good one. If I had known I would have given you a box of donuts.

I get the dad thing. My father commands fear too. He throws men against walls. Everyone is an enemy when it's about his daughters. He is a good man, but sometimes I wish he would loosen his leash a bit.

I still can't wrap my head around the heeleys. Do you know how many bones get broken with those things? Yet, weirdly enough, they seem very you. I usually find perkiness annoying but with you, it seems to be the norm. It makes you you and I find it endearing. I imagine you must be fantastic with the kids and they must adore you.

I am working in line with the local hospital to help them with their wounded. There was a suicide bomb in the market. It killed 24 people and injured dozens. I don't get why they do. Why kill their own people? When its soldiers that get killed you hate it but you get it. We're the enemy but when it's the local civilians, you can't fathom it. Makes me really frustrated. Anyhow, it's pretty tough, because their equipment is rather dated and we don't understand each other. But I love a challenge. I had this boy, maybe seventeen years old, who had shrapnel in his leg. The surgeon there was all set to amputate, but I knew I could save the leg. Arizona, nothing beats that feeling of watching someone smile when they walk again. All hope is taken from them and then we give it back. That kid's smile made my day. I have no idea where his life will take him, but right now he is happy. And I feel like I have it back. I am that surgeon again.

So no room-mate then? There are many pros to that. You can decorate as you want. You can dance around. You can always choose what to watch. You can leave the dishes until the morning which I think it's gross. I like cleanliness. And of course, you can be as loud as you want without ever having to be considerate. An even bigger bonus, you're not confined to the bedroom.

I hope you're feeling better. Remember this, you are great.

Trust me, I know stuff,


P.S. I am glad it's just for me. I'd hate to be competing with other letter-friends.

The letter lay on the coffee table. She pulled her knees up to her chest and rested her chin on them, hugging her mug in her hands. She glanced at the letter again before looking back at the television where Jack Lemmon was dancing the tango.

Dear Calliope,

You're right, we all do break, but we like not to admit it. The requirement for a surgeon: don't admit weakness.

I can't understand violence no matter what the situation is. I see kids suffering abuse and I don't get it. I don't get the bombs or the guns or the knives. And if I think about it too much I get angry. I am not a good angry. Is anyone though? I get what you say. Nothing beats that smile. When you have made a difference. It's the most awesome feeling in the world, and I am so glad you had it. And for the record, I don't think you were ever not that surgeon. Maybe you needed to step back to see it for yourself, but you are always that surgeon. And I know this because I am always right.

We just had a new surgeon join us. She is also an army vet like Owen, but she isn't in the same mindset as him. She seems collected and together. She is actually quite cool, and very adept at surgery. She is in cardio-thoracic, and she saved my patient's life on her first day.

Was Erica your first? What happened? I remember when I fist slept with a woman, I wanted to relish it. After Joanne and I broke up, I experienced women. Not a great number before you start dreaming up names for me. But I wanted to explore and experience. I was a newborn. It's a great time. You're the newborn now and should explore and experience.

I am going to a dinner at Derek's house for Christmas. It's going to be the usual suspects that have nowhere to go. I guess we're our own family who get each other. I am actually really looking forward to it.

I hope you have a good Christmas, and remember this next Christmas you will be home.

I have a tree. It's standing in the corner, still undecorated. I haven't had time to do it yet, but then it's the first tree I've ever had on my own. I want it to be special, magical even. I might throw a bag of glitter over it and call it fairy dust. Last Christmas I worked and the year before I worked. In fact every Christmas for the last three years I've worked. And before that I was with my family. That was a really special Christmas. I just want the tree to be special.

I better get back to work,

Take care,



The brunette frowned at the letter. She shoved it into her pocket as she watched the helicopter land. She would be happy to be in the field and not have time to think.

Dear Arizona,

Christmas was Christmas. There were songs, drinks, and dancing. Well, more like falling and shaking. I bet you made a beautiful tree. We made a tree. We used old equipment and a lot of duct tape. It looked terrible but it was in the name of festivity.

Are you worried that I will be messed up when I get back? I can't guarantee that. I've seen some seriously messed up things here, but I like to think I am stronger now than I was before I came here. I don't know how I will adapt when I get home, but I know that I'm not coming back. The Army hasn't won me. I'm coming home. I promise I will come home

Erica? I know I didn't deal with it well but please don't judge me. She was a thing, a big thing. And I wouldn't change it for anything. And yes it was an experience. But it wasn't a sexual experience or an experiment. It was an experience self-discovery. Confused me, I won't deny that. You spend so long convinced you like men, and then suddenly you realise that's not the case. But I am not an experimenter. I will admit I treated her badly in the end because I simply couldn't get my head around it. Not in her timeframe. Instead of coming to terms with these new feelings and thoughts, I slept with a man. By the time I realised I wanted her she was gone. I never meant to hurt her. I really didn't. I am not that person. I'm not a selfish person and I hate to think that you think that I am. I know now. It's not about labels. We're so focused on labelling ourselves that we forget that it's simply about attraction and love. So, I've come up with a new motto: I am not a label, I am a lover. Do you like it?

I don't think I'd call myself a newborn. I have experience of life. I've been knocked down enough times to know what I want and I don't want to just flit around from person to person when I get home. I want settled. I want everything that comes with that. I want lazy Sunday mornings, I want arguing over the remote control, I want the snuggles on the couch, I want the cooking meals together, I want the long walks… Actually, I've never taken a long walk in my life… not an out-door type of person.

I am moving base. New army tactics require new locations. We're pushing forward into enemy land. It's a big push and so lots of morale speeches here. It's both exhilarating and terrifying at the same time. It's really weird but you feel like a hero one moment and a villain the next. I don't know how the guys here do it. Confront such intensive reactions everyday. It's different for me because I am rarely in the field.

I should go, have some patients to sign off on.

Take care of you,



The blonde sighed as she folded up the paper. She laughed softly and shook her head. She looked up and saw the sun breaking through the clouds, causing a single beam of light to dance through the eyes. She exhaled loudly.

Dear Calliope,

How can you not be an outdoor type of person? You live in a tent in the desert. That just screams outdoor! A long walk on the beach, sand sifting softly between your toes, the sun setting, the sky red, holding hands with that person that you call yours… how beautiful does that sound? Personally, I've never done the long walk on the beach or anywhere in fact but it always looks so pretty on television. I want to do it now.

Happy New Year! Do you not think it's crazy that they group all the holidays so close together? It makes people poor, buying gifts and food and decorations and everything. Even poorer now that we aren't getting a bonus this year and I've just given away personal savings for surgical tools. Not that I would change that for anything. We had a kid, Nicholas, who had bleeding in the brain, and the only way we could get to it was through the sinus, but being so small there weren't the instruments to reach it. So we gave the money to get the tools, and as the new year arrived, a little boy got to live. What an awesome way to start a year.

I have made some new year's resolution.

I will learn to cook a meal.

I will finish reading Ulysses… that resolution I've made every year for the last fifteen years.

I will keep the Ulysses resolution.

I will go a whole twelve months without a single cigarette.

And now I will take that long walk on the beach.

How do they sound? Do you have any?

I can't help worrying about you. Because if something were to happen to you, how would I know? So I've decided your resolutions for you.

You will not play the hero EVER.

You will come home at the first chance you get.

I hate to think of you in danger. I know that you have a job to do. I get it. Army brat gets it. But seriously, be safe. And I am very thankful that you're not in the field.

We all screw up on relationships. I guess I just got thrown by Erica being your first. My ex… I was her first, and she hid me. I let her. That was my mistake. She couldn't cope with the label that came with being with me. It went on for months before I realised that I shouldn't be someone's shame but someone's joy. We ended it and before I knew it she was with another man. That hurt. The idea of being someone's experiment hurt. I guess I judged you because Erica was your first and you've always been with men. I shouldn't have done that. You're not my ex. You're Calliope…

You do have the experience of life, and so much of it. You have done incredible things. Calliope was the muse of epic poetry and you lead an epic life. You are no newborn and I am calling on temporary insanity for making that remark. Forgive me… please, pretty please. Imagine Robbins dimple charm right now… Please forgive me. Seriously, you're getting my best dimples.

I should go and save some tiny people,

Take care of yourself, Calliope,



P.S. There could never be another letter-friend.

Callie grinned widely as she walked through the sand, feeling the warm sand between her toes. She looked up at the sky, a brilliant red sky fighting the dark sky that would come.

Dear Arizona,

What do you look like? All I see in my head is dimples. They're very sexy dimples by the way.

The new base is noisy. It's all trucks and helicopters. It's chaotically busy. I feel like I live in an ER. It's rare to find a moment of peace. Right now, I am hiding so I can actually finish this letter.

You smoke! Yeah, we need to address this. You smoke! Seriously, you're a doctor, a kids doctor and you smoke! I won't lecture you about the health risks because you're a doctor, you know this… but what about the kissing risks? It's not pleasant kissing a smoker. So you have to quit now.

We had a rough few days. Trader tried to disarm an explosive but it misfired. It blew up the square. He was wearing his suit, but didn't stop the fire burning him. He is alive but he will never see again. This guy is such a joker. Never took life seriously, he always found a bright side. His girlfriend just had a baby, which he will never see. It's so unfair. It just makes me angry. He was so close to going home and boom, everything changes.

It's intense here at the moment. We know something is coming, we just don't know what it is. The cities are behind us and there is nothing but desert and a few villages that are not quite villages. The people there hide from us. They don't see us as friends but as enemies. They are being forced to take sides whether they agree with it or not. Whoever is winning is the side they take and right now, it's not our side. So yeah, we're expecting something. I have no intention of playing the hero. I am always a doctor and never a soldier, so don't worry and believe me, I will come home.

I forgive you. You now realise that I am actually a goddess. It takes longer for some people to come to terms with this. It's not your fault you're slow.

I get it. You got knocked back and hurt. I do get that. I am the same. But I am ready to take that dive now.

Ulysses, why are you reading that anyway? I've never read it, but I don't think anyone has including the guy that wrote it. I never get a chance to read. All I seem to read is medical journals. I used to read all the time when I was in college. My mom is big into the arts, culture and tradition. She would expect us to read the mythologies and the ancient books, but I hated them as a kid. I would sneak in comics and magazines. Aria is her daughter, and I am my father's. I like watching football. I like having whiskey. I like being with people. Aria likes culture. She drinks cocktails. She is a snob. We couldn't be any different, if we tried. Maybe my parents got lucky with their kids, they got one each to completely dote on and mould into them. Your inane babbling has become contagious.

I should get back to work, not so tiny people to save,



P.S. I have one more resolution. I will be the one that takes you on that long walk on the beach.

The blonde couldn't help but smile all day as she waltzed her way through the corridors of the hospital. People that worked there never thought anything unusual or new of the young surgeon's smile, but to Arizona it was new. She was happy.

Dear Calliope,

My father loves James Joyce. He always wanted us to read his books, and I have yet to read one. I am going to do it. For him.

I only smoke when I am in trouble which is nearly never. It's a bad habit, but I haven't smoked in months. I promise. And I wouldn't subject anyone to a kiss with a smoker's breath, so don't worry about that.

I am so sorry about Trader. But he doesn't need eyes to see. It is as my grandmother says, "It is with the heart than one sees." My grandmother went blind when I was two. She had tumours on her optic nerves. She would always say that to me when I got sad about the fact she couldn't see the flowers in the garden, or the sunset, or the dress I wore to my prom. But weirdly, enough she could describe everything. She knew exactly what I looked like just by touching my face. Trader will be fine. Trust me. I know things.

My brother was my father's son. A soldier. He died in Iraq a couple of years ago. That is why I appreciate what you do. My brother died because there weren't enough doctors. He had all my father's traits: integrity, loyalty, honour, a sense of humour. He was a gentleman, like my dad. I guess that makes me my mother's daughter; a child at heart.

My microwave just burned my dinner. How is that possible? I followed the instructions on the packet. Put in for five minutes. Turn on. Take out. Let stand. Eat. But it's more of a case of put in. Set on fire. Take out. Extinguish. Throw out! Stupid microwave!

Take out it is.

Tell me you at least eat take out! It's my best home-cooked meal.

I've enclosed a picture of me. I think it shows me at my best. You'd be lucky to have me.

I have a confession to make. I had a date this evening. I was set up on one. She was a nice woman. Nice to look at, nice to talk to… you know nice. That adjective we use to describe someone you can't find anything else to say about them. Anyway, I was being polite and charming but all I was thinking about was you. Writing this letter to you. So I told her I had a headache and left after one drink, and came straight home. To write to you. Do you know what I am saying?

Tom and Jerry is on TV. I loved that as a kid. Always felt sorry for Tom, but as my brother said if Tom won, there would be no show as Tom would just eat Jerry.

I love cartoons, not the new ones, but the old ones. Bugs Bunny, and Daffy Duck and all those ones. I never got the comics though. Spiderman, Superman, Batman… never understood them. I mean, if they were so awesome, why didn't they learn to put their underwear on the inside of their pants?

People do anything to survive, even if it means taking the other team's side. Don't judge those villagers for that. Or hate them. I don't think you could though. You have a big heart, such a big heart. It's one of my favourite parts of you.

I should get some sleep. I hope you like the picture,

Take care of yourself, Calliope,



P.S. You do know what I am saying, don't you?

Callie chuckled as she studied the picture, but not surprised. The picture was obviously the art piece of a very young patient of the other doctor's. The round head was coloured in pink. The lips showed a big smile. The eyes were large and blue while the hair was long and yellow. She also wore a crown. Callie shook her head as she prepared her pen.

Dear Arizona,

You have no nose!!!

I am so sorry to hear about your brother. I am so sorry that you went through that loss. That your family went through that loss. I don't know if this makes you feel better but I am there at the very end for some of these guys and that fight, that honour, that integrity, that belief and strength, it's never leaves. It's always there. Yes, they are frightened, but their passion is so much stronger than that. So much stronger. Brave is such a small word to describe these men and women. An incredibly small word. There is no word… courageous doesn't work, heroic is not enough… lion-hearted.

And you are not only your mother's daughter. You also have your father's integrity and loyalty. And despite your perkiness, there is a sense of humour buried in there.

Now, I have something funny to tell you. Believe it or not… I had chicken pox. I was quarantined with chicken pox. Chicken pox in the desert! And oh my god, were they itchy as hell! I even had gauze paws. And you know what they say about doctors making the worse patients… well, that's true. It also meant that I got to be the butt of jokes for a while. Am fine now, but now I definitely empathise more with little kids. They really are itchy.

So a date… I shouldn't react. We haven't met. We don't even know what the other person looks like. Well, I know that you have a very big head and no nose. We only know each other through words. Yet, I won't deny it… I was jealous, and really glad that it didn't work out. And I'd hate to be described as nice. Tell me that I am not nice.

And don't mock the superheroes. They saved the day. They're worshipped. And the reason for the underwear on the outside was according to Lokie to make their manhood look bigger… super-size it were his words. Fab says it's because it's how they dress in the morning. They put on superhero costume first, then underwear, then street clothes. Apparently it's a philosophical thing whereby the superhero in them is their true identity and so their costume is as close to them as skin is. The street clothes, underwear included is just a civilian thing and is less of a relevance to them. It's just bad luck that in the rush to change into their superhero counterpart that they forget to change their underwear. I think Fab is a weird one. And Mason, the only other woman here, says it's to keep their tights from falling down. You know that question caused a three hour debate here.

I don't hate them… I was so close to it on more than one occasion. I can't deny that. But I don't hate them. I just hate the situation. I hate the violence. I hate the reasons we're here. I hate the hate. And I hate microwaves.

I do like take-outs. My favourite would be pizza.



P.S. I do know what you're saying and I like you too.

The blonde couldn't help but squeal as she read the letter. She blushed when she realised that everyone else in the cafeteria turned to her as they heard her squeal, but that didn't stop her grinning like a Cheshire cat.


Part Five:

Dearest Calliope,

You don't know how much you've just made me smile. I am smiling so much I was asked was I high. My new protégé asked me that. Alex Karev, incredible skills, fantastic instincts, just rude. Not to the kids but to the parents. But I think I could turn him into a great Peds surgeon. I am going to win this one. He saved a kid's life today and then yelled at his parents. He's going to be a lot of work. But I've already managed to persuade him that Peds is hardcore not babysitting. Some people call it babysitting! These kids have so much in them. They are much more resilient than adults. They believe in miracles and magic. How is that baby-sitting?

How on earth did you get chicken pox? Whoever thought of the gauze paws should have their hand shaken? You don't want to scar now. I know they say scars are sexy but not pox scars… all over you arms, face, legs, body… ew, nothing sexy about that, whatsoever.

Your friends may come up with great ideas like gauze paws but they still are crazy. None of those reasons are good reasons to wear underwear on the outside. Superheroes would be taken a lot more seriously if they dressed properly. And how are glasses a great disguise? Explain that one to me.

Things have changed here. Webber is no longer our chief. There is a rumour that he is an alcoholic which is quite sad. Shepherd has taken over. I don't know if this is a good thing or not. He is my friend and colleague and I respect him, so I guess we will have to wait and see how he does.

Thank you for your words. My brother died doing what he wanted to do. He died for country and for men. We are very proud of him. But it doesn't mean I don't miss him and sometimes wish that he was here. I miss talking to him and hearing his laugh. I miss his teasing and his jokes. I miss his voice and I really miss his hugs. He used to give these huge bear hugs. Could make you feel so safe. I miss him. That never goes away.

I finally finished painting my apartment, well the living room. It looks good. Don't know if I am brave enough to do the rest of it yet. But it looks like home now. It actually looks awesome. Just need to find somewhere to hang my Cindy Crawford poster. My first crush.

It has finally stopped snowing. I used to love the snow, but not at three in the morning. I was almost tempted to tie tennis racquets to my feet to stop me from falling again. Does that even work? When it first started snowing, I made a snowman in the parking lot. I couldn't sleep so I went out to make the snowman, and now it has lost its head. It's kind of scary and disturbing to look at. The decapitated snowman! Now it's raining again. Good old fashioned Seattle rain, how I've missed it.

I should get some sleep. I'm on call tonight.

Take care of yourself Calliope,



P.S. I can cook a mean take-out pizza.

The brunette sat in the sand, hiding from the beating sun. Her colleagues were fighting with the gas cooker, trying in vain to get it to work. She laughed as they cheered. Coffee will finally be had. She needed coffee, but not as much as she needed to read this letter.

Dear Arizona,

Cindy Crawford? Really? I don't get it. Really? Was it the mole? My first crush was Patrick Swayze. He will forever be immortalised in my memory for just standing up for Baby.

I have the utmost respect for Peds surgeons for two reasons. One, I want to remain on your good side. I'm owed a pizza. The other reason is because as you say these are kids. And to save a child is so much bigger than an adult, because it's a future you are saving. Adults, there is a life of memories and experiences. The first time driving, the first time buying something with money you earned, the first real argument, the first real kiss, the first love, the first heartbreak, the first sip of alcohol, the first dance… kids they haven't even had that. And you give them that. That in my book is incredible and deserves great respect.

Does that get me dessert after my pizza?

It's still hot here, still sandy, and still so hot. It's fine when you are on base because you aren't wearing your full gear, but in the field, you're wearing everything. And it is a slow form of torture. It really feels like being baked alive. I have yet to get used to it. It makes me look like a fool amongst the toughest people I've met. I'm breaking into buckets of sweat and hyperventilating while the rest of them make it look like a trek in the Siberian desert. I had to go into the field yesterday. There was a roadside bombing which killed an eighteen year old kid. Injured two others who are now on their way to Germany. It was really tense. Imagine emergency medicine in a hot oven with a gun being held to your head. It's scary and exhilarating. There was no gun before you start worrying just tensions. I'm coming home to you and pizza and movies and couches. I promise.

I would imagine that being chief is not an easy job, especially of a hospital that is of that calibre. It must be hard to step down, to pass the job on to someone younger and on the rise. To step away from the job you've worked so hard to get, and it must be harder that those who were once below you are now your peers. Especially when there are rumours. I kind of feel bad for the guy and I haven't even met him.

Yeah, I still can't live down the chicken pox. Be grateful for make-up. I can cover up those scars…

I have decided to ignore the superhero abuse. Am being the grown up here.

Here is a list of instructions:

1. Pour a glass of your favourite wine.

2. Play your favourite song.

3. Look up at the night-sky and watch the stars and the moon.

Now remember I am doing the same thing. I am watching that same sky. Corny, I know but it's the best I can do until I get back. Happy Valentine's Day.

Your Callie


The blonde pulled her jacket closer to her body as she shivered in the cool wind. She nursed her glass of wine as she stared up at the stars. She couldn't help but smile as she raised her glass to the night, the city and the mysterious Latina on the other side of the world.

Dearest Calliope,

It was freezing, and it was the end to a challenging day, but it was the best Valentine's ever. I went to the park and probably raised a few eyebrows with my suspicious bottle of wine and my plastic glass but it's my favourite place in Seattle. There's a fantastic view of the city from the benches. I want to show you when you come here. It's the perfect place for lunch.

I am currently being a matchmaker. Bailey. She may have betrayed peds but she still awesome in a scary kind of way. She has an obvious crush on the gasman who seems to be really nice. But she won't let him take her out and treat her right, so I decided to help him. I believe I've won. She is going to date him. How awesome am I? I just spread the magic. She doesn't think I did anything, but I did. I know I did.

I am now looking for the next person for me to fix. I fix people. I enjoy doing that. Oh, I bought a recipe book and I read it. It hurt my brain so I stopped. Since when do people have time to track down fresh thyme or rosemary? What do they even look like? And why would I buy a fish with his head attached? I don't want to do that. And yes I know I am a surgeon. But their eyes are closed when I am operating on them and more importantly I don't eat them.

I once had a kid who I think was a wannabe cannibal He bit everything and everyone. He had come in with abdominal pains and when I went to examine him, he bit my arm. His father had to pull him off me. I had little teeth marks in my arm for weeks. And I wasn't the only one. He had victimised the nurses, the orderlies, the doctors and even the other kids. It was one of the few occasions where I was so happy that anaesthesia had been invented. That kid was great when he was sleeping but yes we all had to fight the temptation to become dentists and pull his teeth out.

I am staying at the hospital tonight. There was a collapsed roof at a restaurant and all my surgeries have been pushed back, so have a lot of catching up to do. There is nothing worse than telling anxious parents that their child's surgery has been delayed for even longer. It demands real patience and the full use of the dimples. But sometimes that isn't enough. I got yelled at by one of the fathers and called some horrible names. I can stand my own ground but it's still not pleasant to be called such things. I get it. His son's surgery had been pushed back once already. But it isn't life-threatening. If it was it would have been done already. I am not senseless. But this man could not seem to fathom that. He said if his son died, it's on me. I don't need to be told that. I already know this. I already feel this with all the kids here. I know I have their lives in my hands. It just makes me mad that this man doubts me and my intentions… and that he called me really mean names. Its gall stones!!! Okay, I am calmer now. I am sorry for ranting but grrr.

Please be careful.

I sent you some gifts. I figure you need an incentive to remember that promise. And before your mind goes to that dirty place I am not that easy.

Desert? Ice-cream?

Take care of yourself Calliope,



P.S. I can think of better ways to make you sweat.

The brunette's cheeks blushed as she smiled widely. She emptied the contents of the envelope and chuckled as she picked up a pizza menu, a small postcard boasting the images of Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, and finally, a small square of thick red fabric. She held it up and studied it with a slight frown before chuckling.

Dear Arizona,

You are insane, you know that? You cut a piece out of your couch? Only you would do that. I loved it. Really made my day!

I hate to think of people being mean to you. It really got my back up just thinking about it. You are a wonderful person and a great surgeon and I have no doubt in your capabilities. I sincerely believe that you are great. Those who think otherwise send them in my direction because you know, I break bones for a living.

Things are really tough here at the moment. Everything is kind of escalating. We are losing people everyday. We are merged with the British at the moment, and we're both taking a beating but we're still pushing forward. We don't know what is actually happening but we're being told that we're winning. I am not even sure what that even means. What does winning actually entail? It's easy when you're a kid and playing board-games. The winner is the one who gets to the last square first. In chess, you knock over the king. In poker, you win all the money. On a game show, you win if you get the questions right. Hell, even in surgery, you win the life of the patient… but here, what the fuck does winning even mean? It's not a game! These are people. Kids even, that I am patching up and sending back out there just to get injured or killed. These are people I am calling time on and sending back in wooden boxes. But we're winning apparently. I am so sorry. I am trying not to be bitter and angry but sometimes it's hard to walk tall. I am trying. I really am trying. Just some days are tougher than others.

So you're playing the Seattle match-maker. You're a little romantic at heart. So are there other couples you are matching? I miss romance and gossip… how bad is that? I miss gossip. Here, there's nothing to gossip about. Lokie woke up, grunted his way through breakfast, and then groaned through procedures, then returned to grunting and has now settled on a cross between grunting, groaning and swearing. By nightfall, he will have begun forming words… and that is all my gossip. Actually, his wife just had a baby girl. He has four boys already and now has a little girl and to him, that is a complete family. He is over the moon. That little girl hasn't even met her daddy yet and she is already daddy's little girl. She will so have him wrapped around her little finger… But that isn't gossip. That's news.

Gossip… oh, Lokie and I think that Mason and Gregson have a thing. Mason is one of the doctors here. She is also the only other woman I work with. Gregson is a field medic. He is about twenty, which is half the age of Mason. They sneak off together, come back all red-faced and they have a secret speech thing. That is our proof in this bit of gossip. Our only bit of gossip, which we probably have made up just so we have something to gossip about. How sad are we?

I will happily have lunch with you in the park if you let me take you to my favourite place. It's a beach with the whitest sand, the bluest waters and the most beautiful sky during the sunset. I want to take you there. It's weird but the longer I am away from home, the less I can clearly remember. Some things just fade, like the corridors of the hospital I work in, or the colours of the walls of my apartment, and some things just seem to become more unreal the more I try to remember them. But that beach. All I need to do is close my eyes and it's there. I want to share that with you.

I should get back to hell.

Your Callie


P.S. I am coming home in three months. And then I will have to sew this patch back onto your couch. And then you can tell me about the ways you intend to make me sweat.

The blonde yelped and hugged the first person she saw as she left her office. The young doctor gave her an odd look but Arizona just hugged her again. The young resident couldn't help but join in with the smiling and the cheering, even though she had no idea why they were celebrating.

Dearest Calliope,

I swear the couch did not suffer. It was treated humanely and it survived the ordeal and has since made a great recovery.

My father once told me something about war. He said in war there is no winning and there is no losing. There is surviving and there is living. When I was little I was in a running race and I lost. I was five at the time and when I finally understood that I had lost, it broke my little heart. My father was there cheering me on, even after I lost. When I tried to explain to him that I didn't win he was having none of it. He explained to me that life is like war, there is no winning and there is no losing. There are those people who choose to survive and those who choose to live. The survivors quit, resent or become dispirited. Those who live take each new day with a smile and a sense of hope. This was heavy for a five year old, but as a surgeon I now understand. And I know you do too. We take each death as a memory and a lesson, but we move onto the next patient. We don't hide in paperwork or appendectomies. We take the tumours, the blood clots, the breaks and the organ failures. I know it's tough and I know it's hard but you are walking tall. You live life Calliope, you don't just survive it. Your heart wouldn't allow for it.

Yay for Lokie! Every one should have a daughter. And of course she will have him wrapped around her little finger. That's what daddy's little girls do.

You're not very good at the gossiping thing. You need to be back in a hospital. There's an overload of gossip here, and it spreads faster than germs. My resident Karev is dating another resident who broke up with the plastics surgeon but he still loves her and she loves him. The trauma surgeon Owen loves Yang, the blunt cardio resident and he loves the cardio attending who was in Iraq with him. Her name is Teddy which I personally believe is a Peds surgeon type of name. I think I need to make her my new friend. She hasn't made any real friends here, and I know how hard it is to make friends here. I so think I need to invite her to a girls night. Some drinks and some dancing.

Chief Shepherd decided to have talk sessions where we have to tell our peers about our best cases. Webber spoke, and he talked about his first AIDS patient. I tend to forget how difficult it must have been back then, when we treated people with such illnesses as freaks of nature. Now we don't even bat an eyelid when we hear that our patient is HIV positive. It's hard to comprehend that we could have been so mean and cruel.

I never said I'd be the one to make you sweat. I was merely suggesting either a nice morning jog or a day in a sauna. You really do have a dirty mind.

But I will reward you with a kiss after our first date. And I am an awesome kisser. It will be the kiss of kisses. It will be the kiss that deserves background music and fireworks in the sky. It will be the kiss that people dream about, that will inspire poetry. It will be the best kiss of your life and what makes it better is that if you're very good and very lucky, it will be the first of many kisses.

I am so happy that you're coming home. I am so really happy. I am really very happy. And kind of nervous.

I guess I am kind of afraid that this… what we have is only letters. That when we meet there will be nothing there. I know I shouldn't be but I can't help it.

Please take care of yourself, Calliope,



The brunette folded the paper into half and stuffed it alongside the others. She rolled onto her back and closed her eyes, trying to picture life back home with the waiting blonde. She fell asleep with a smile on her face.

Dear Arizona,

We don't only have letters. Trust me. You're my girl.

A girls night. Now that sounds fun, but I am guessing you're not thinking alongside the same lines as I am. And before you accuse me of being dirty minded again I wish to defend myself. Firstly, I am surrounded by horny guys and their bad influences. Secondly, it's been a long time since I had sex. Lastly, I admit it, I am dirty… but in a really, really good way.

There's a poker tournament going on. Fab is on the win. He is playing like a mafia don. I bailed out after four hands. It's so not my game. Apparently I don't have a face of a bluffer. Anyway, they're really tense that it's almost funny, when all they're playing for is pebbles and a reward. The winner gets to decided what the other players will do for him or her. The last time, Frosty won and we lucky losers got to do his laundry. Oh wow, the stink of socks! I swear he wore all of them at once since he got here. They were ripe. Disgusting! We should play Go Fish. I'd kick ass at that game.

We ventured into the village today, checking on the aftermath of the fighting that had taken place over the last few days. It's like a ghost town. Everyone hid behind closed doors. It was just us, derelict buildings and an abandoned goat. It was grey. I always thought that was a special effect on war movies, but the towns do become grey. It's mostly from the dust but it's the weirdest feeling. There's no sense of life, of joy, or happiness, of anything… there isn't even a sense of fear or hate. Just acceptance. We were talking about what happens after we leave. Will the towns be fixed? Will there be colour again? It was the weirdest feeling. I can't even describe it.

Your hospital sounds like it should have its own soap opera with its love triangles and the likes. But then every hospital I guess is like that. You should be glad they're not gossiping about you. Nothing is worse than those stares and the sudden silences when you step into the room. You're almost relieved when the attention is moved onto someone else.

Did you have to talk at this thing? I can't do public-speaking. The very idea of it makes me feel nauseous. I am actually shaking the feeling of me. But if forced to it would be my polio case. What would your case be if you have to do the talk?

I bet you were a cute five year old. My first lesson in winning was from my mother when she told me that someone always has to lose.

I envy you and your girls night of dancing and drinking. I want to take you dancing. To hold you close, touch you, have your body fit into mine, and feel the vibration of the music coursing through our veins as we move together. That is our next date. I am taking you dancing.

I've got to get some sleep.

Your Callie


P.S. The sex must be fantastic if the kiss is that mind-blowing. Can't wait. Am even tempted to say screw the third-date rule.

The blonde couldn't hide the blush as she sat in the bar. She couldn't stop thinking about the letter and its writer. She ordered another round of drinks for her table with a huge smile.

Dearest Calliope,

If you take me dancing, there will be no third-date rule, or any rule of any kind.

We never went dancing… We played softball. I wasn't impressed. Damn the democracy. They voted on softball. I can't hit a ball with a stick but I cheered from the sidelines. I came up with some great cheers. Go Bailey! Hit the Balley! Hit if far away and then run for a day! Yay!

I admit there were beers acting as the muse.

I did not have to do the speaking. Thank God! But if I did, I would choose Jack Horkan. He was seven years old and had three tumours, one on his brain, and two on his spine. We could move the brain one, but the spinal ones were not so easy. We introduced radiotherapy and chemo, but those tumours were being stupidly frustrating. This kid had so much spirit and had a great sense of humour that everyone in the hospital wanted to save him. Everyone, doctors and nurses were working together for a cure. Anyway, we figured we could get the tumours if we cut the cord. So we explained that he would never walk. He was so strong. We went ahead and got rid of the tumours, only to discover he had developed metastasis. It was so frustrating. It was very much, God, give the kid a break! So we closed him up and rescheduled him for another surgery. We were being aggressive. We got rid of as many as we could. But the tumours were eating away at him. I was getting prepared to let go. We had gotten rid of the primary tumours, we didn't know where the mets were coming from. We gave him another CT. There was the tiniest tumour behind the one we had removed. We had missed it because it was so small. We had to push him through that surgery and it was scary for his parents and for him because his tiny body was so weak. But he pulled through. He went into recovery after another bout of chemo. He's a teenager now but still sends me a card once a year, a still tumour free card.

That's why I love kids as patients. They are so resilient that they survive worse and recover faster.

There will be colour again. For centuries we have waged battles on each other, and for centuries we have recovered. The grass grew, the trees sprouted, the sun shone because as my mom always says spring always comes.

By the way, I'd so kick your ass at Go Fish. And I'll play for favours. I so know where your mind has gone now.

I have a play-date with Teddy now. She is my new friend and I am hers. And I am such an awesome friend. I like her. She is very blunt and witty once you get past her longing for Owen. You're right I work in a soap opera hospital. Am thinking of pushing her towards the plastic surgeon. He's good for non-serious relationships and I think that's what she needs. A candy bar.

Anyway, I need to make myself all pretty.

Take care of yourself, Calliope,



P.S. I miss you. Is that strange? To miss someone I haven't even met. But I really miss you.

The brunette sat against the tent's wall. The air was thick with sand. She felt tears in her eyes. She clutched the piece of fabric in her hand, rubbing her thumb over it. She shook her head. It wasn't strange.


Part Six:

Dear Arizona,

You really are on the match-making scene, aren't you? Setting up Bailey and now Teddy, though would anyone appreciate being called a candy bar? I wouldn't want to be a candy bar. I did that once, and got no pleasure out of it. It's fine for a few weeks but then that's all it becomes. Sex and nothing else. I want sex and everything else. I am greedy like that.

I performed a re-attachment today. I am not a vascular surgeon at all, but we needed a save. I don't know if it worked, but fingers aren't blue. The troops found her in the desert. She can't be older than five and she is so dehydrated. She had been hit by a mine and lost her arm. There are no parents, no adults claiming her and the fact she is still alive is in itself a miracle. Lokie, Mason and I did everything to give this kid back her arm, and now it's the waiting game. I think they need her to wake up, they see her as the representation of their child, or friend's child. I think they need her to be their win. Nothing else here is a win. I think I need her to live. And I am remembering what you say, kids are more resilient. I know that's true. She shouldn't be still here and she is.

You play softball. Why can't I see this? Oh, please take me to watch you play softball. I want to see it, and I will reward you with great pleasures. I am not too sure about the cheers though. Were you ever a cheerleader? Tell me you weren't that kid in school. That kid that made my life a living misery when I was in high school. I always thought we'd grow out of those cliques but no, we're still in them. In the hospital, we still want to be with the cool surgeons. We mock the nurses, we ignore the older doctors. We never really grow up. We just have more to worry about.

Your great case makes for a great story. I love those cases. When all hope seems to be lost but determination and arrogance wins. I was told I was privileged and arrogant when I approached surgeries. Yes I am privileged. I never needed to worry about money so I could focus completely on medicine, which I think makes me a better doctor. And I have had incredible experiences which has ultimately made me a better surgeon. I was always insulted by that comment, so I guess I am always proving myself. But arrogance, we're always arrogant. We can't go in to surgery thinking we may be able to do this, we have to go in thinking we can do it. We operated on that little girl today, believing we were Gods. It's before and afterwards that we have doubts and hope and prayers. During, we are Gods. And if that's arrogance, then so be it. I guess I will always be proving myself against that comment. Proving that privilege and arrogance is not a bad thing. It really did get to me.

I can't help feeling slightly jealous of your play-dates. I want to be the one playing with you. I have so many games I want to play with you. And you know I will let you win some.

It's not strange at all. I've never met you and I dream about sharing a bed with you as if it's the most ordinary thing. I miss you too.

I need to go and check on our latest patient.

Am counting the days,

Your Callie


The blonde curls whipped around as the harsh wind raced through the skies. She held her hair in place with one hand as she watched the helicopter land on the roof. She hated this: the shouting, the running and the noise. But it was the one noise she knew she shared with her other half. She smiled at that thought. It felt right thinking it.

Dearest Calliope,

You are no candy bar. You are a never-ending box of chocolates. And I did just do Forrest Gump's voice just then.

The little girl? Did she make it? Is she okay? Have you found her parents?

I was not a cheerleader. I moved around too much to be one. Though I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want to be, but I had no interest in football. I couldn't honestly cheer on something that I didn't get. Throw a ball and kick a ball and charge into each other and knock other people down. What is there to cheer about that?

I am not arrogant. I am right. I am always right. That's what I believe in order to be a surgeon. I am awesome. This may be code for arrogant but awesome is such a better word to use. But you're right; we can't go into surgery believing we are anything less than awesome. We have no right to hold someone's life in our hands if we believe in anything else. And as for privileged, you're not the only one. I am privileged in the fact that I grew up safe, happy, loved and encouraged. Don't let whoever said that get to you, because that was envy talking. Trust me, I am always right. You are incredible, miraculous even and I love knowing you.

Who needs to grow up anyway? How boring would that be?

I have this kid. He has a head for random facts. Today he taught me a new fact. Did you know that a dragonfly has the lifespan of 24 hours? That got me thinking. What would I do if I only have 24 hours left? I would eat lots of donuts without worrying about calories and obesity. I would throw a brick threw a glass window. I've always wanted to do that. Is that slightly crazy? I would drive a sports-car really, really, really fast. And I would take that walk on the beach. None of that is a grown-up thing to do so why grow up when all the fun things to do in life are not grown-up.

What would you do with your 24 hours?

It's like asking, what you would do if you were invisible for a day. I'd so be Casper the Friendly Ghost. No doubt about it. Move things around. And make a coat appear like it is walking. How much fun would that be!

It's busy here, but it's always busy here. I like the Peds ward. It's light, airy and more inviting than the rest of the hospital, but it's got to be. It's kids after all. But it's the parents that make it difficult. I had a boy who had a ruptured cyst on his liver. It was a simple surgery, but the parents were spending most of the time playing the blame game. The mother is so terrified of hugging him and the father so scared of letting him play. What drives a parent to become that insanely protective? It was a simple procedure but the parents are so panicked that they're afraid to love him and let him be a child. It's crazy. I don't know what pushes people to that sort of mind-state. I believe that I advocate for the patients. Always advocate for the patients. But how do I do it in that case. How do I tell this boy's parents to relax, and just love him and let him be a child? We can't do that. Medicine only allows so much. We fix the problem, we control the pain, we advise on the treatment and we overlook the after-care process. During all that, we let slip personal pieces of advice, like "Talk to him, he can hear you" or "Treat tonight like every other night." But beyond that we can't do anything. So this kid will go home with a father afraid to let him play and a mother terrified to hug him, all because of a cyst. It's frustrating sometimes. Its days like today, when I am happy for Chinese take-outs, white wine and when I am tempted to become a Dermatologist. Okay, the last thing I am lying about. I have no interest in being a dermatologist.

Take care of yourself Calliope,

Missing you,



P.S. What games would we play?

The brunette stretched her back and lifted her arms. The sun danced in the emerging sweat beads on her caramel skin. She emptied the contents of her water bottle with a seemingly undying thirst. She stuffed the letter in her pocket as she heard that familiar noise. She looked up at the horizon. She could see the helicopters approaching. She sighed as she put her hand in her pocket. She felt the small piece of material in her pocket. She took a deep breath and started racing towards the approaching injured.

Dear Arizona,

It's been a rough morning and an even worse afternoon. There was an explosion, and it's just been one surgery after another. The field guys stop the bleeding but we have to start it again to find it. It's very fast and very impulsive. We have to work with our guts and sometimes we're wrong. I hate that. Sometimes we feel powerless. Pull the shrapnel out, tie the bleeder and keep your fingers crossed that he or she will last until they get inside an OR. I lost two guys today.

Mason took me away from it all. I think she was afraid I'd break something. I was so mad. She took me to the local hospital to see Amisha. Amisha is our little girl, out beacon of hope. She is awake and she is wriggling her little fingers. We haven't found her parents but she is alive, awake and smiling. She is joy. And after a shitty day like today, we need that joy.

Casper? Making coats look like they're walking is not something a friendly ghost would do. That's just plain scary. The headless doctor! The headless paediatric surgeon! I now have an image in my head of surgery being performed by pure invisibility. That would kind of rock.

What games would I play? How quick could we get the other naked? How much can we make the other beg? How imaginative can we make the tease? Those kinds of games.

Parents are the strangest of beings. We should know this, we have our own. They do crazy things believing its best for their child and we don't get to judge their actions as we aren't parents yet. But, yeah, some parents are way over-protective while others are just plain stupid. I'd rather the over-protective one to the stupid one. I had a teenager once. He got hurt playing football and all his father cared about was when he would be back playing again. All I thought was how could you? Your kid has torn his knee, busted his clavicle and crushed his elbow and all you care about is the game. It wasn't until afterwards I thought maybe this was also about the kid's future, college scholarship and the such. But still, love the kid first and worry about everything else afterwards. But then you have the even worse of the parents, and those are the ones that don't even care. Don't care enough to come to the hospital, or worse don't even care that they're the ones that caused the hurt or injury. I hate those parents. It's very hard to be professional in those cases. How do you stop hurting the person that hurt the kid? In ortho you see a lot of broken bones, obviously, but you see cases of abuse. And the number of times I've been pulled of because I threatened violence. How can you hurt someone who can't hurt you back?

My point, better be the ridiculously over-protective parent than the really vile one. I'd like to think I would find the balance when I have kids. But don't all people say that before they have kids. I may turn out like my dad, and be ridiculously possessive. Oh God, I will be such a Mama Bear.

But that's the future I dream. The big house with the white fence, the dogs racing around the gardens and the little kids running through the sprinklers. I don't know why there are lawn sprinklers, but in my head that is what I see. It might be a boring dream, but I've learned that there is more than the career, and the ambitions. There is the security of family and the growing old with someone. What is life if you have no one to share it with? Again, what would the last past year have been if I hadn't shared it with you.

What would I do with my 24 hours? Oh that is easy. I would wake up with you next to me. I would trace my finger tips along your skin, studying every niche and nook of your body. I would follow the journey of your spine with my tongue, feel every rib with my finger tips, kiss your clavicle, hold your shoulders as I turned you over, run my hands down your arms until they meet your fingers. Pull you towards me by moving your hips towards mine. I would then map my way down your torso with my tongue and lips, caress your breasts. I would watch your skin become flushed with want, your breathing hasten with need, and your body react to mine. I would touch you where you desperately want to be touch with my fingers, I would taste you with my mouth and I would gaze at you as I take you, kissing you as you moan, and make love to you over and over and over, until the clock struck midnight.

Your Callie


She was relieved to be in the privacy of her own home as her cheeks turned bright red, and her body temperature escalated. She moaned and rolled over on the bed. She switched the lamp off and lay on her back. She exhaled and whispered the name of her lover aloud.


I was very glad to read that last letter in bed. Certainly not the sort of letter one should read before attending the lives of the tiny people. Trust me if you were here we would be making very good use of the on-call room. I can't wait to touch you, to feel you, to kiss you, to taste you. I am blushing now just thinking about it. Am hiding in my office, charting, or so that is what my staff believes I am doing. But to be honest, I haven't even looked at a chart yet. You see how much of a distraction you are.

I am so happy to hear about Amisha. That is really super news. I really hope you find her parents or a happy home. I am discharging three of my kids today, one of whom has been here for six months now. It is always great to be able to say these kids that they get to leave and live happy lives. I get to go in and tell their parents that they get to go home, but I know that worry, that fear, that doubt will be there, sometimes buried deeply, but it will be there. They will be worrying that it will come back; their kid will get sick again. I don't know how parents cope with that fear. I respect them for that, but I'd never choose it for myself. I guess that's the best thing about being a doctor, we get to leave the hospital, its worries, panics, and fears. The parents though, they live with it.

You're right though, better be the parent that is over-protective than the one that doesn't care at all.

I guess you saw the sprinklers on a commercial. That sounds like a commercial. Big house, kids running though sprinklers, big dog running around them. It sounds perfect even.

I think my fantasy comes from commercials too. Lying on the beach in Spain, warm evening sun, sangria in hand, gorgeous woman in a bikini alongside me. That gorgeous woman would preferably be you. That just sounds like bliss to me.

When I was a kid, we travelled a lot but I never got to see the beaches, the museums, and the architecture. I never got to try the cuisines, meet the people and because I was a kid, I never got to try the alcohol. I always regretted that, getting to be to these places and never being able to say "I ate escargots" or "I saw the Kremlin". I want to be able to do that, but I've never had the chance because of my career. And I've never wanted to do it alone, but had no one to take with me. My last ex thought what was the point when we have everything here? She would say we have the restaurants here, the books, the people, heck, even the internet so why waste the time and money leaving. She thought I was too much of a romantic. Maybe I am, but life is short, and it would be such a waste to have only existed in a small square of such a large world.

I am still working on pushing Teddy towards Mark and away from Owen. It's not really working because Mark still loves Lexie and Owen still loves Teddy but he also loves Christina. I always thought we would grow out of adolescent drama, but we obviously don't. I see teenagers come onto the wards with the same stories, she likes him but he likes her and he likes her too, and she kind of like him as well. I feel like I am watching a soap opera but without the bad acting, poor dialogue and long pauses. I never got that about those shows, the long pauses. The camera staying on their still faces etched with shock for a whole minute. How slow would life be if it were like that? An hour long show covers ten minutes of life.

I should go and actually do work. It would look bad if the head of the department does no work.

Take care of yourself Calliope,

Missing you,



P.S. I would never want those 24 hours to end.

The brunette frowned as she tucked the letter back into its envelope. She pushed it with the rest of the letters and sighed as her head hit the pillow. She couldn't stop that sense of panic, disappointment and confusion rise within.

Dear Arizona,

You don't want kids? I never thought I'd hear a paediatric surgeon say that they don't want kids. Especially one that wears wheels on their shoes. I guess I am surprised because you are so in touch with your inner child. I would have thought you as an awesome mother. But I get it. You work with sick kids and you see the worst of it all everyday. I get why you wouldn't want them, but I bet when it's your child you would only see the best in it all.

A beach in Spain does sound heavenly, especially if it is you in the bikini and pouring the sangria. When we were kids, we would visit our roots a lot, so there were trips to Mexico and Puerto Rico on many occasions, but even then it's visiting family and not places. I haven't seen that much and I wish I had. We can go places, you and I. But I am telling you now, I am not ever eating snails. Yuck! You're right, it's a big world. Even here, despite why I am here, is beautiful. The sand changes colours like the waves of the sea. It goes from a soft beige to a dark caramel as the sun shines on it. It ripples like a calm sea, and roars like an angry ocean. It is truly beautiful and it feels historic. You can lie in the sands and imagine ancient worlds, tribes fighting, empires being created, merchants travelling. I don't know if it will work, but I am pouring some sand in the envelope. Put it in the sun and see if you get to watch the changes of the day.

Soap operas are great. I had to do a hip replacement on this old lady. Her family were rarely there so she was lonely most of the time. We would stop in her room and chat to her when we had moments spare, but obviously this wasn't enough. So she would have her soap operas. I had a pretty tough surgery and when we lost the patient, I stopped by her room. I ended up spending four hours with her watching everything from The Bold and the Beautiful to General Hospital. I was engrossed and Joanie, the old woman would tell me everything about the characters. It became our thing on a daily basis. I would stop in her room and we would watch a show together. I missed her when she left, and every time a soap came on, I'd watch it thinking of her and that. It became a comfort thing when things got tough at work.

Now you're judging me for watching soaps. I have my soaps and you have your Disney.

We have had a few quiet days here. It's very much the calm before the storm. That's how it feels, so Lokie and I have been instructed to do an inventory check. And surprise, surprise, we have nothing to actually check, so we're heading up north to get some supplies from them. We say borrow, they'll say steal. I can't wait to be working in a proper hospital and be able to take things like morphine for granted again. Anyway, we're leaving soon so going to drop this letter off and drive shotgun. I miss driving too. I have this beautiful ride waiting for me to take her out. I love that feeling when you drive, that sense of independence and freedom. If you're really brave you can say screw the responsibilities and just disappear. I miss driving.

Missing you more though,

Your Callie


P.S. I am looking forward to starting those 24 hours.

The blonde smiled as she emptied the sand into a glass. She placed it by the window and allowed her fingers sift through the soft beige granules. She heard an intern call her from the door and she nodded. She grabbed her pager off her desk and took one look back at the glass and saw it turning caramel in the sun. She grinned widely.


Part Seven:

Dearest Calliope,

I love the sand. It is in a glass in my office and you are right. I had never noticed before how such a simple thing can be so incredibly awesome and enchanting. It makes me feel closer to you.

I don't get the car thing. I never did. My dad is crazy about them. My brother was. I just find driving a necessity, gets me from point A to point B. I have a boring Ford and it has four wheels and a working engine. What more do I need? Also, the independent, free thing? Where you feel you can drive anywhere? You watch the movies, don't you? The house with the cannibals, the chainsaw killer at the service station, the road that never ends… Not for me.

How can you possibly compare Disney to soap operas? They are far too superior. I love the old ones. The Jungle Book is my favourite. That is how I imagine the jungle, not the ones we see in TV documentaries, but the one with the singing bear and the talking vultures. That would be an awesome jungle. Take me to that jungle. But not to the woods. Disney does not do happy woods. Snow-white gets poisoned there. Bambi's mother… well, we know what happened to her, but they do awesome jungles.

Children never featured much in my life. Ironic? I know. I'm in peds. But in my personal life there were never children. I am the youngest, so never had little brothers or sisters. My cousins were older than me. My brother died before having children. My friends are all career-driven like me. My exes were the same. Children were never a factor. I never needed to think about that possibility. And when I do think about it... I am too selfish to share my life. I like my life as it is. I like my job. I like my friends. I like you. And I like all of them together. I've never considered expanding it more for tiny people before. I love the idea of the house and the dogs, and even chickens, because I kind of like the idea of collecting my own eggs in the morning. After all, I can only cook eggs.

Though I am trying… I have mastered the casserole. Well, it came out unburnt, and it was the right colour. But it tasted really bad. I am now being introduced to the notion of seasoning. Salt and pepper is apparently the key to good tasting food. Who knew?

My brother would try the weirdest thing on the menu, and so escargots, I guess, would be in his honour.

The sand is turning golden. It is really beautiful. It is the most beautiful thing I have ever been given.

Please be careful. It's not even months anymore until you come home. It is weeks. Mere weeks! I am excited and I am nervous. We're so close. So please be careful.

Come home.

Take care of yourself Calliope,

Missing you,



The brunette rubbed her thumb over the imprinted words. She looked up at the silent helicopter. She sighed. The small lanterns lit the camp like a carnival but its atmosphere was the opposite. She stood up and brushed herself off.

Dear Arizona,

We have had our toughest day yet. We lost eleven soldiers in gunfire. They thought they were in a safe zone. They trusted that they were in one. The locals opened fire. It was a massacre. The helicopters never stopped flying to us. The humvees never slowed down. It was a tough day. A really tough day and all I could think about was you. How close I am to you and being with you.

It's strong what we have. Really strong and I am terrified that when we meet it was only strong in our mind and not in reality. My heart tells me not to worry but my head makes me paranoid. I am nervous for my heart, I guess. Maybe it's from the past, maybe it's from being here for so long… maybe, it's just that some things may not happen the way we dream it.

Maybe, opposites do attract after all. I want kids. I love the idea of sharing my life with a tiny person. It's a dream, a great dream but right now it's a dream. Just a dream. I've learned since being here that everything can end in the blink of an eye. People die and all I have are dreams. The only real thing I've have is you and right now that is all I want. Yes, just weeks to go and then I have to figure out what to do next. Where do I work? Where do I live? Where do I stay? What do I do first? Actually the last question is easy, I come and see you.

And we stay away from the woods. I hate the woods. Filled with bugs and trees. I love trees. But I want them spread out not ganging up on me. I will admit that I do like The Jungle Book. I loved the songs. I used to dance along to them as a kid. I told you I love anything that I could dance to. But yeah, The Bare Necessities! I loved that, and I would start running around the living around, spinning in circles and doing fake ballet jumps whilst screeching the words out at the top of my lungs. It used to drive my mother crazy. But I did that to every single song that came on the radio or TV. There's a picture for you, chubby four year old with uneven pig-tails running around like an unkempt ballerina. I think my mother was so glad to get me into school and have a break from me. And you will also be glad that I am no longer a pig in a tutu. I grew into myself. Thank God!

Seasoning is everything! Add a bit of spice to life. Surely you don't need to be told that! Oh, I'll be the spice to your life. Now there's a corny pick-up line if ever there was one.

I am still waiting for the final date, but the c/o tells me it should arrive in the next couple of weeks… now the time is getting closer, I get that need to stay attitude. I really do. I want to go home so badly. I want the familiar so much. But I want to see this to the end. I want to save these lives here. The only thing that makes me know that home is where I want to be is a tiny piece of fabric that really needs to be sewn back to its couch.

Missing you more,

Your Callie


The blonde ran her fingers along the patch on her couch with a small smile. She took a sip from her glass and listened as Baloo told Mowgli what was needed for a life in the jungle. She chuckled softly.

Dearest Calliope,

I imagine writing this like this letter like it's the last one. It's that close to you coming home. I get that need to stay. The joy of being a military brat… my father always stayed. My brother stayed. It's honourable. It's admirable. But when you talk about such tough days, such tragedies, I don't want you to stay. I don't want you to suffer more of those days. I want you here, safe. I told you. I'm selfish.

I asked Teddy would she go back. She never talks about it. It would be hard to believe that she was even there. She is that awesomely strong as a person. But we had a few drinks, and I ended up telling her about you. She thinks it's highly romantic, as if it is a plot from a 1940s movie. She also did the whole friend thing warning me that there is a possibility that you could be a crazed axe murderer. I told her it's not as if I met you on the internet. But she is right you could be a crazed axe murderer. Are you?

Anyway, I asked her, would she go back and she said that she would miss the rain. That is all she said about it.

It's the little things people talk about. Isn't it? Not the feelings or events, but the little things.

My father would tell me how he wore five pairs of socks everyday. He would tell me how he taught the boys how to play cards.

My brother would tell me how he would set up tricks. He was a big trickster. He would loosen a leg of a chair, or swap the salt for the sugar. He would tie laces together. He was the king of old school tricks and always played them on the others in his platoon.

My grandfather stole his captain's bourbon and replaced it with watered down root beer. And he got away with it. My grandmother always told that story.

He also carried a baseball everywhere with him. That baseball sits in my cabinet. My father got it from his dad. My brother got it from our dad, and I got it when my brother died.

You tell me everything though. You tell me what happens. You tell me what you feel. You tell me what you dream. You let me in completely and I love that. It makes me know it's real. If you choose to stay, it's okay… as long as you tell me your stories.

And you also tell me embarrassing stories about you as a kid. I love that story about The Bare Necessities, and if you makes you feel better. I would act out the whole movie with my teddy bears. What makes this embarrassing though I deny it… is I still do but for the patients. I swear, for the patients.

So where will you work? What will you do? Can I help?

I am nervous too. And for exactly the same reasons. I know it's real but I still doubt it. It's like waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have trust issues. And I know I trust this, I am just trying to trust me to trust this.

I have actually grown to like my couch even more now. I call that empty patch 'Calliope's Square'.

I have rounds to do, and a mass of paperwork and never-ending charts. It never stops around here. I think I am frustrated because I haven't had a great save. I am trying to sound like an awesome person here, but I miss hardcore cases. I miss being really super. It's all laparoscopies and appendectomies.

Missing you,

Take care of yourself Calliope,



P.S. I am real. I am very real and everything I feel is real. And right now is ours

The brunette smiled as she grabbed the envelope. It was a good day and it just got better as she ripped the envelope open. She sat down with her bottle of beer and her girl's words. She couldn't escape that feeling of elation.

Dear Arizona,

I am coming home… four weeks today I will be on American soil. And I am happy about it. I am so happy about this. I don't want to stay. I want to come home. I want to move forward with my life. I want those surgeries, those hard-core surgeries. I want to be the one that tells the families I saved them or I did everything I could to try and save them. I want to be that doctor again.

And I want to sleep in a proper bed and eat proper food with seasoning. Proper seasoning. I want to drink real coffee, and tequila. I really want to have a night out with Jose Cuervas. I want to drive my car and go to a grocery store. I want to eat ice-cream watching bad TV. I want to come home. My need to come home is stronger than my need to stay. Trust me.

It may be just me but Calliope's Square sounds dirty. It really does sound dirty!

I don't know where I will work or where I will live, or any of that. I just know I want to hug my parents, eat some pie, wear proper clothes again, and take a trip to Seattle. I miss the rain too.

So you act out old-style Disney for your patients… again, no longer surprised by anything when it comes to you. You are the zaniest person I know. You must be. I never get to describe anyone as zany. Do you do the voices?

I am not a crazed axe murderer. I get you have trust issues so do I. But I am learning to trust me again. Before I think that was the problem. I couldn't trust me. I couldn't trust me to be honest about my feelings, and to stand up for my heart. Now I do. I trust my heart and my heart trusts you. It wants you.

Lokie has spent his entire time here writing a book for his kids back home. He showed it to me a couple of nights ago. I've never realised that he was such a talented illustrator. Not so good with the words, but the drawings are fantastic… awesome even. He has drawn everything from the last eighteen months. The people, the desert, the villages, the skies, the sand dunes, the animals… everything. It's like elaborate photography. He said he wants his kids to know where their dad has been. He didn't draw any of the bad stuff, just the good stuff. He doesn't talk about tragedies. He never does. Even on a bad day, he finds the bright side. He won't be telling his kids the bad things. He will be telling them the little things. He will be telling them about the dog we saved. About catching a goat in his tent. About the poker games and silly favours which were won.

I don't tell people stuff. Not my parents, not my family, not even my friends… just you. And I love that. I love that I found someone that I can be complete with, true with.

Counting the days now,

Missing you,

Your Callie


P.S. My sister Aria loved fairy tales as a little girl. Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, all those ones. She loved the idea of Prince Charming and happy ever afters. When she met her husband for the first time, she called me. I was still in med school, and she was barely out of school. She called me and told me he was her prince charming. When she married, I was her maid of honour. I asked her was she happy as we reached the church. She had a dreamy smile, and she told me that she had found her happy ever after. I always thought her as corny, but I get it now… no matter what the future holds, for the last year and for this very moment, you are my happy ever after.

A smile crossed the blonde's face as she stepped into her office. The rain had come to a sudden halt as the sun finally won its battle with the heavy clouds, breaking through with one single beam. Its gentle light danced into the glass of sand, turning it golden.

My Calliope,

Is this it? Is this the last letter? If I am really honest, I am actually going to miss these letters. Though the mail-man certainly won't miss me. He thinks me as crazy. I may wheel very fast towards him, squealing 'Mail!' That apparently is off-putting behaviour. I think what makes it worse is that the kids now also squeal 'Mail!' when they see him. Poor guy.

I always wished that I could draw, or sing, or do something artistic. But I can't. I am however skilled at popping peanuts in my mouth and I am pretty good at making card castles, provided there is glue nearby. I can draw happy faces and when pushed to, sad faces. I really wished that I could play an instrument. Drums maybe? That could be cool. My favourite muppet played the drums. Animal. I hated the Muppets but I loved Animal. I could learn the drums, but first I need to move to the middle of nowhere. I don't like being disliked, so can't be disturbing the neighbours with my crash, bang and wallop.

Were you dressed in puffy and meringue or were you sexy or glamorous as a bridesmaid? I've never had that duty… which is a really good thing. I've seen those hideous, meringue dresses. That's not friendship, that's revenge!

I am so excited. I am counting the days with my calendar. I haven't felt like this since I was a little girl and I was counting down the days until Christmas or vacations. I am thankful for Megan… she gave me you. It was through awful circumstances but she gave me you, and I am so grateful for that. It's been a long year, the longest of my life but now that we're so close, it seems to have flown by.

Teddy has asked me what do you look like and I told her that I didn't know. Imagine raised eyebrows. Oh those eyebrows were raised high! I always imagined beauty, awe, wonder, miracles in a Latina's form. That's what I see when I think Calliope. And that is what I know I will see when I meet you. While you are expecting no nose… I will assure you now that I do have a nose. It's in the centre of my face and fits perfectly with the rest of it.

Will you come to the hospital? Do you want to meet in a restaurant or something like that? Or somewhere public where axes cannot be carried… just in case. Or do I fly to Miami? Or do we meet in the middle? It's a big country… wow, this is real now. Do I give you my phone number? I've never done this before… this is very different.

Okay, now you really are thinking psycho… so going to calm down and act like I don't eat Duracell batteries on a daily basis.

I can't wait… I just want to touch you and feel you. I want to hold you and tell you that this is happy and the ever after is still in the happening.

I came to Seattle to start again, to find new adventures, to further my career, to be the best of the best… and I found you on the other side of the world instead. It was my parents wedding anniversary last weekend. Thirty-nine years of marital bliss. They've had their ups and downs, but they're still in love. My father kissed my mother before even learning her name… very rebellious of him. He said he knew he loved her before hearing her speak. I always thought that as impossible but it's not. I am my father's daughter after all. I haven't seen you, heard you speak or even breathed the same air as you and I know.

Calliope, I've fallen in love with you.

Please take care of yourself,

Missing you,



P.S. Sixteen days and counting.

There were panicked shouts, loud engines, sharp snaps of bullets, and roars of helicopters. There were grains of sand circling as wheels ripped through the grounds, tents collapsed. There were yells, screams, and chaos. There was an envelope sitting amongst others, untouched, unread and forgotten.


Part Eight:

Dearest Calliope,

Where are you? You should be back in the States now but I haven't heard anything. I hate to think that you freaked out because of my last letter. Maybe I shouldn't have said it, but we've been honest about everything else so far… it felt right to tell you how I feel. Then I am thinking you didn't get the last letter and so you are reading this one and thinking what the hell? And then I have to tell you again that I love you… or you've read the last one and you've just stopped being freaked out and I've just said it again and you're freaked out again… VICIOUS CYCLE! And I just can't break it…

And then I am thinking maybe you are here, and it isn't real. You realised that it was just words after all. Or maybe you're seeing this large family of yours first. There are so many of them…

Then maybe it's the mail man… maybe, I've scared him off now. He thinks I am stalking him. I am waiting for him by the door most mornings in hope for a letter. I try to be an unobvious stalker but

I am trying so hard not to think about what the other possibility is… I really am trying. I keep thinking I'd know… I'd know if something had happened. But I never knew with my brother… I am struggling not to think this. I can't write it.

It's been raining cats and dogs today. I always thought that a strange expression and slightly terrifying. What umbrella would be strong enough to deflect St. Bernards, Rottweilers, Poodles and kittens? Think of the teeth, claws and tails. That would be one painful storm to be in.

Do you know what other expression I don't get? Until the cows come home. Where were they? Did they go on vacation? Did they bring luggage? Did they sit on a plane? I have an image in my head of cows sitting on a plane in Hawaiian shirts wearing sun-shades.

Oh I could list many… wouldn't say boo to a goose. Why would you want to say boo to a goose in the first place?

It's one of my patient's birthdays today, and so there's a party in the playroom. Kids hyped up on sugar, every pediatric nurse's dream. There is a lot of screaming happening. I am convinced that there is a certain pitch that only a child's voice can reach. I now understand why the paediatric ward is here in the hospital, highest floor, furthest from the exit. Children should be seen, not heard. Another silly expression. But that seems to be the designer of this hospital's attitude. I love that shriek, that giggle, that laugh… what sort of world would wish to have silent children?

Please tell me you are being careful,

Love you,



The blonde smiled as the parents of a healed child hugged her and thanked her. She looked over at her resident who was focused completely on the child. He looked at her and nodded at her with softness in his eyes. She excused herself, stepped outside of the room and took a deep breath.

Dearest Calliope,

I can't concentrate… People are noticing. You'd tell me if it was to be no more. I know you would…

My protégé Karev is proving to be heroic at the moment. He just correctly diagnosed a girl who had been previously diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic and was bound by restraints and medication. He saved her life and all there was to diagnose was SCDS. He saved her life and her future, and I actually doubted him. I almost became that doctor that didn't believe in miracles. Please tell me where you are!

I am trying to be a great doctor, but my mind is going to you. It's hard wearing a mask everyday when I never used to have to. I don't want people asking questions because I can't answer them.

I cracked and turned the news on and learned that a Texan dog had twenty-seven puppies. I don't think it was the right news. But it was enough for me. Actually it was highly disturbing and just reminded me why I don't watch the news.

Please just tell me you are safe,

Love you,

Your Arizona


The blonde slammed the phone down and growled. She barked at an intern before immediately apologising. She ran her fingers through her hair as she grabbed her jacket. She was having a cigarette.

Dearest Calliope,

I cracked. My new year's resolution went to shams. I smoked a cigarette and I still haven't started Ulysses. I smoked.

Just tell me where you are!

I don't care if it was just a phase. I don't care if you were using me for while you were there.

I miss you so much… it's been two months! Where are you? No one tells me anything. The army won't tell me anything. I got Teddy to help and she just hit a brick wall. I can't be honest with them, because of the stupid fucking Don't Ask, Don't Tell. I can't find you in any hospital here, so you aren't working… I am playing the detective and I just swore. You made me curse… now you have to tell me where you are.

You made me fall in love with you. It may not be real for you but it is for me. I always thought you would have the decency to just tell me that it isn't happening. Why would you lead me on and then ignore me. It was just words, wasn't it?

Don't be cruel and make me think you hurt… tell me you just used me, or that it isn't real or that you found a man. Tell me something. Just tell me you're there.


She pressed her forehead against the window as tears fell from her eyes into the glass of sand. She heard someone clear their throat in the doorway. She turned around with some hope in her blue eyes, only to find a nurse. She swallowed hard and smiled weakly.


I am sorry I got so angry. I am just so scared. I am so scared to accept it. I'd rather think you evil than… I can't. I'd know if it were true.

I told my father everything. I have never heard him grumble like that before. He passed the phone to my mom. So I told her. My dad disapproves of how we met, because I may have put your career at risk, but my mom thinks it's really romantic. She has persuaded my dad to use his connections and find something out. Wow, I make my dad sound like the Don of some Mob Party.

You are missing out on some great impersonations now. I have puffed up my cheeks and am pulling off my greatest Brando.

I am almost tempted to fly to Miami now, but where do I begin? Where do I start first? Do I knock on every door and say 'Hi, does Calliope live here?'

And then I am thinking your friends would know… but Lokie, Mason, Fab… these aren't names to work with?

God! I don't even have a picture to put on a freaking milk carton!

I almost hate you for making me this scared, for making me this worried, for making me cry! You're making me cry, and I am a terrible crier. I blubber… I am not that graceful crier who just have tears rolling down her cheeks and makes no sounds. I blubber. Calliope, you're making me blubber.

Are you even getting these letters?

Please be okay,




The blonde woke with a start. She sighed as she glanced at her pager. She closed her eyes before checking the pager again. She threw the covers off and dressed quickly. She ignored the many letters that papered the floor. She grabbed her car keys from the coffee table before glancing at 'Calliope's Square.'

Dearest Calliope,

It's four in the morning. I was sleeping but then got a 911 page. A preemie with a dissected bowel. He is still fighting. I don't like operating on people that small, that tiny, and that new. This tiny person who has barely taken a breath has already been placed under the harsh lights, exposed to the loud noises, and been cut open to a new world. It is the worse kind of surgery but the most rewarding when they live. When you take away the tubes and the machines, and they open their eyes, breathe in the air and cry for nurture. When you witness that first fight to live, it's magical.

When I was closing him up, it was so quiet. It was just me and the anaesthesiologist. He is Bailey's man, Ben. A really nice guy… anyway, he was reading as I was sewing. And all I could think about was baseball. I asked Ben did he know anything about baseball and Ben chuckled and said that he had followed the game for as long as he could remember. He told me how his father would tell him tales about the times of real baseball, during the 1960s apparently. And how he had a Carl Long signed baseball which he had passed down to Ben, and which Ben will pass down to his child. Ben talked about baseball as if it were part of his family, like I talk about military. I thought it strange at first but as I transferred this tiny person to the NICU all I thought was would he play baseball… and would he get a baseball from his parents, and then I thought who I would give my baseball to…

You told me about your dreams. Your dreams for the future. You shared them with me and I never shared mine. You told me about picket fences, sprinklers and children… I want that but only with you. You are the greatest dream I've ever had, and I am terrified that that's all it was… a dream.

'Dream it and it will be real.' That is what my mom would say all the time. She would say that about anything we thought to be impossible. When my heart was broken the first time, I dreamt that the girl who broke it would be back, and she wasn't. When my grandmother got sick, I dreamt for her to be well again and she wasn't. When my brother went to Iraq, I dreamt for him to come home and he didn't. I stopped dreaming. But then you came along and I am dreaming again. You are my dream and I am waiting for it to be real. So I am saying to you about your dreams. Dream it and it will be real.

Please be real. Please become real… Please!



She placed the letters in a neat pile and wiped her eyes once more. She stored them neatly into a shoebox, and sealed it. She touched her fingers to her lips, tasting the saltiness from her tears. She pushed the box under her bed and stood up slowly.

My Calliope,

It's been almost five months since I received a letter from you. I have tried everything. I got my father to be a bully, Teddy to be a threat and Owen to call in a favour and no one will tell us anything. I know there was an incident. I know people died and I know it was a loss for the American army. I know our own were hurt. But I don't know names. They won't give names to those who aren't family. Never having a name gives me hope. Gave me hope, but it's been five months… and I can't keep doing this to myself.

My life is on pause. I feel motionless. I don't make up stories for the kids anymore. I don't play hide and go seek. I don't tell jokes… I just work, sleep and worry.

My father came to Seattle. He took me to the park. We sat on the same bench I sat on that Valentine's Day. I couldn't stop crying as my dad held me. When my brother died my father packed the car and disappeared for the weekend. He wanted to take my brother on one last fishing trip. I didn't get it. My brother was dead. He wasn't there… but, now I know my dad was saying goodbye.

I need to let go of you. I need to say goodbye. And the only way I can do that is by letter.

Megan was a beautiful little girl and she introduced me to you. She was struggling to write back, kind of like I am right now, so I wrote the letter for her. I can remember it like it was yesterday. She was telling you about her favourite place… her grandmother's lap. My favourite place is this bench. It's away from the craziness that is the city, away from the other people, and on top of the hills, giving a fantastic view of the city. It's quiet and it's mine. I go there when things are difficult, or when I need to think. I go there when I miss you. I am there now. The air is damp. The rain has finally stopped and the sun will break through, giving us a glimpse of what to expect this summer.

You know how much I loved getting those letters. I could never stop smiling when I saw your hand-writing. It was only supposed to be a friendship. But I always got excited. I kept every single one. I felt like I've always know you, that we were connected without even knowing it. I always thought that everything happens for a reason; that sequences of events are put in place for us to be where we are today. I was supposed to be Megan's doctor so I could meet you, but now I am thinking why life would be so cruel to take you from me before I even had you.

Before I could touch you, see you, breathe in your scent, and kiss you… why would life be so cruel to make me fall in love with you.

You made me feel special, unique, one of a kind. You never pushed me. You never mocked me. You never pressured change in me… I am never going to find another you. I never want to.

People say I will meet someone else, but I don't want to. They're worried about me. They say I am depressed. They don't understand… and it can't be explained. But I am getting better. I am getting better at thinking of life without you. Sometimes it's easier to pretend that you were a dream, but if I dream you, I want you to be real.

I always said I hated long-distance relationships, but I wouldn't have changed a single iota of what we had. You were real. We planned dates, we talked about the future, we shared secrets, and we adapted for each other… what could be more real than that?

I thought you didn't want me. I thought you had changed your mind. I thought you had freaked out… but you wouldn't. You wouldn't shut me out… you never did before, so you wouldn't now. I went through the list in my head as where you could be… and I know the truth now. I know you're gone.

And now I say goodbye.

I love you. I love what we had. I love that magic that was us. I love that euphoria I felt when I got a new letter. I love that anticipation, excitement and nerves… I loved everything and wouldn't have changed it.

Thank you for being you, and thank you for making me feel. Thank you for making me dream of possibilities I had never considered. Thank you for being you and being selfless, kind, strong, funny, and awesome… Thank you.

I was hoping not to cry. I imagine your funeral with the flag, those three shots and that bugle… I imagine pride in your parents' stance, awe in your sister's pose, and admiration in your friends' faces. I imagine the sun is shining, and the waves are calm, the sand is a perfect white and the waters are the bluest of blue. I imagine you in your favourite place, at peace and away from danger.

I am not angry anymore; I am no longer feeling raw… I will go into that hospital with a smile on my face. Robbins dimples will play their magic again. I will operate and be a superstar doing it. I will have a drink with my friends and I will raise a glass to what is to come and what was. I will always miss you. The hurt will never go. But now I can wake up and breathe in a new day, because though we have never met, you're everywhere here. You're on my couch, you're in my office, you're in this very park, and you're on my mind. You're here and I never noticed that before… I just wish I had more… Told you, I am selfish.

It's getting brighter out. Is that a sign?

I love you so much. I miss you so much… I wish there was more… but there was enough…

Goodbye my sweet, kind, strong, miraculous Calliope. You are indeed epic.

Your Arizona always


The blonde smiled as she approached the waiting room. The red-head woman seemed to have sensed her arrival and was hitting her balding husband's arm. He grumbled and was on his feet almost as quickly as his wife. They were worried. Their faces were pale drawn and their eyes dim. They were exhausted. Arizona waited until she was in front of them before she spoke.

"The surgery was a success… We removed the tumour from Amelie's bowel and prepared the lacerations. There is some scarring but that will settle as she gets older. She will be sore and tender when she wakes up and she will need some time to recuperate and get her strength back…"

"But she's going to be okay?" The father interrupted.

Arizona broke out into a big grin, "She's is going to be just fine."

"Oh thank you, Dr. Robbins," The woman pulled her into a tight hug. "Thank you so much… Oh thank God for you."

The blonde chuckled as she pulled back, "its fine… Do you want to see her?"

The relieved parents nodded and followed the nurse with exuberance.

Arizona pulled her scrub cap off and shook her hair loose. She stretched her back as she looked out the window. She watched the rain fall with rapid pace. She tied her hair back in a messy ponytail before turning back towards the Peds ward.

She skidded to a stop as she reached the nurse's desk.

"Hey, can I have the Taunton charts please?" she gestured to the middle-aged nurse sitting behind the desk. "Are you arguing with the computer again, Mel?"

The woman looked at her with kind eyes and grumbled, "It tells me to press enter, so I press enter, and nothing happens… so I press enter again, and it returns me to the beginning… whatever happened to good old fashioned paper and pen?"

Arizona swallowed before brushing off that thought. She smiled and took the chart and returned to her office. She looked at the white sand that showed no light in the rain. She sighed and touched the glass lightly before looking up at the grey clouds.

"Rain, rain, go away. Sun, sun come out and play," she whispered as she switched on her desk lamp. She sat down and leaned back, pressing the pen to her lips as her eyes traced the words of the chart.

She sighed as she leant forward, pulling out a file of scans. She muttered as she sorted through them before pulling one out and holding it up to the light. She took her pen, marking a spot on it before returning her eyes to her chart. She lifted the pages until she reached the third page. Her eyes darted through the words quickly before she reached for a notepad. Instead of feeling the hardness of her notebook, she felt a coarse softness. She looked up, her attention no longer on the case. She lifted up the square of red, coarse fabric and her eyes filled with confusion. She pushed aside the scans and files before finding a single sheet of paper.

I've fallen in love with you too

The blonde gasped, and covered her hand to her mouth. Her blue eyes filled with tears as she struggled to breathe. She pushed aside everything trying to find the source of the letter. She jumped up off her chair struggling with her tears. She swallowed hard and looked at the glass before the office door.

She pulled open the door with force, almost knocking down a passing child and his mother. She glanced at them, a brief look of apology flashed across her features before she went straight to the desk.

"Mel, did someone go in my office?"

The nurse lifted her eyes to meet the baby blue ones, and Arizona could see a thought process was taking place.

"Come on Mel, who was it?"

Mel was startled by the impatience in the younger woman's voice.

"I can't remember… I don't think…"

"Karev," Arizona ignored the rambling nurse as the young resident approached. "Did you see anyone come into my office?"

Karev frowned at her, "It wasn't me…"

Arizona was almost in his face, "Did you see anyone?"

"You mean the hot army chick?"

The blonde spun around to newest of residents, Jackson Avery, "Where did she go?"

"She said she was a friend…" Jackson defended nervously, unused to this tone in his senior.

"Where did she go?" The blonde almost shouted.

"You were in surgery…" The tall man struggled and saw impatience in the other doctor's eyes. "Coffee… she said she was getting coffee."

He barely finished the sentence as Arizona ran out of the ward.

She ran to the elevators and slammed all the buttons. She swore as the elevators failed to move as quickly as she wanted.

"Come on!" she hissed before seeing the stairs. "Stairs!"

She raced down the stairs with a disregard for her safety. She ran straight into Mark Sloan who caught her.

"Whoa Robbins! Where's the fire?"

She glanced around the lobby, and saw the coffee cart. "Where did she go?"


"Did you see her? She is in the army." Arizona looked up at the older man, with hope in her voice.

"Oh, the hot Latina! Yeah… she is hot," Mark immediately fell into daydream.

"Sloan! Where did she go?" Arizona snapped

"She was talking to the cute coffee girl…"

Arizona couldn't help but return her gaze to the young girl in the cart with a jealous glare.

"Where is she now?"

"Cafeteria?" Sloan suggested. "Do you have her number?"

Arizona shoved him hard before running towards the cafeteria.

"Wheels! Arizona, you have wheels," She scolded herself as she kicked out the wheels on her shoes, and skated her way to the cafeteria.

It was empty except for two older doctors. She groaned as she halted to a stop. "Dammit!"

She searched waiting rooms, and ignored the surprised and irritated glares of impatient family members. She raced into the gallery and almost tripped over an intern. She raced from on-call room to on-call room, waking colleagues in the process.

She barged into another, disturbing the throes of passion between two of her colleagues.

"Knock much?" Christina barked.

The blonde blushed, "Sorry, I was looking for someone…"

"Unless they're invisible, they're not here." Yang answered as she pulled her scrub top back on. She shoved Owen aside. The red-headed man looked at the worried blue eyes of his friend.

"Who you looking for, Robbins?"

"My friend… she is the army…"

"Oh, the hot army chick?" Yang interrupted.

Owen raised an eyebrow and Christina just shrugged, "I'm not blind…"

"Where did she go?" Arizona demanded with a shout.

"Jeez… outside. She went outside…" Christina answered nonchalantly.

Arizona raced out, ignoring the shouts demanding that she closed the door behind her.

She ran through the hospital, skating before running and running before skating. She reached the doors of the lobby and stepped under the awning. She stopped and gasped, hearing only the rain beating down on the roof.

The blonde felt nervous and awkward almost immediately as she saw the brunette against a pillar watching the rain. It was her. The brunette wore camouflage combat trousers and the tight fitting white shirt. She noticed the crutches supporting the taller woman and stepped forward. The brunette heard the scuffled footstep and turned around. She saw the nerves she was feeling in the baby blue eyes. She studied the blonde standing in her navy scrubs, and watched how the smaller woman pushed loose strands of hair behind her ear with trembling fingers. She watched the red cheeks return to their normal shade. She watched as she was being watched.

Arizona stepped closer, and saw nerves dancing in the warm dark eyes. She watched as the rain trickled its way free from the glorious mane of loose dark hair. She watched as the caramel skin shone beneath the light. She watched as the taller woman stepped closer to her. She could see a hint of a scar peering out of the sleeve of her shirt and she couldn't stop but move closer. She gazed up into the warm, brown eyes and allowed herself to breathe.

Callie lifted a finger to the small woman's cheek and stroked it gently. She could see tears pool in the blue eyes and she smiled widely. The blonde couldn't help but return the smile.

"Calliope," the smaller woman whispered.

Arizona didn't even know she had the moved closer until her lips were against the full lips of the taller woman. The kiss was soft as their lips caressed each other's. The brunette's hands pulled the smaller woman closer, wrapping her hands around the small frame, and held her with strong hands. The kiss deepened without hesitation, their tongues explored. Arizona moaned slightly as she felt teeth tugging her lower lips, before softly kissing them. The kiss was unrushed yet passionate and tender. It was the first kiss of many kisses, the kiss that confirmed what they wanted and felt.

The brunette pulled back as she felt the slow trail of Arizona's tears reach their lips. She kissed them softly before touching her nose with her lips. The blonde couldn't help but smile a dimpled smile.

Callie's grin widened as she stroked the dimples. Her warm eyes met the soft blue eyes and in them she could see pure, unadulterated love. She looked down at the small hand clutching her shirt and she glanced at the other free hand. She chuckled as she reached down and released the object that was being gripped.

Arizona watched as the darker woman pulled the item free and lifted it to her. She had forgotten that she was still holding it. Callie studied the small pen before glancing back at the blonde. She leant forward and kissed her again before looking back at the pen.

"You don't need this anymore," Callie whispered softly as she dropped the pen to the ground and let the smaller woman reach for her again.

The End

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