DISCLAIMER: I don't own them, and make no money from them. If I did, I wouldn't be doing what I do now.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is the other fic I wrote while I was away; written without having seen any episodes after the season premiere, but based on the discussions and spoilers I found. Thanks as always to rysler, pdt_bear and beccaboo737 for the beta.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
SPOILERS: Seasons 3-5 up to Rise Up
A Life in Numbers
Counting down. That was what Callie's life had turned into. Or maybe it was counting up. Either way, that was her life. 389 days since she got married. In Vegas. In front of Elvis. God, was that a disaster. 360 days since George slept with that blonde bitch. 349 since he told her. 330 since she filed for divorce, and 300 since it was official.
Divorced. Boy, had her dad been pissed about that. Well, actually, come to think of it, he was not as pissed as he was about the marriage in the first place. He was still pissed about the divorce, but she knew he was relieved that George was out of her life. And so was she. Relieved.
Where was she? Oh, right. 305 days since Erica Hahn was hired to replaced Dr. Burke. 289 days since they first went to Joe's and Erica kicked her ass at darts. 270 since they first spent an entire night dancing and went for coffee on the way into work. 260 days since she first talked Erica into trying yoga. At sunrise. 245 since Addison came back to do a surgery and started putting ideas in her head. 243 since Callie had looked back at their table and see the wistful look on Erica's face as she watched her dance. 242 days since she decided that continuing to sleep with Sloan would keep her from thinking about Erica at night. 241 since that failed spectacularly. At 220 days, Erica called her on it, and almost made Callie want to chase after her out of the scrub room. It had only been 202 days since Erica kissed her in the elevator, and 194 since she kissed her back.
God had it only been 180 days since they had agreed to give it a try, and went back to Erica's to celebrate Callie's triumphant, amazing treatment with a bottle of wine and a late movie, just like they used to do? Even though they fell asleep together in Erica's bed, it was just like before, when they did that as friends after a late night out. 169 days since their first official date, where Callie embarrassed the hell out of herself in front of Bailey, and Erica had been so sweet and nervous in her own way as she'd held out a single rose to her after they left the restaurant. She'd hidden it next to her purse on the floor, afraid of being too forward, and Callie's heart had melted a little, right there. It was 160 days ago that they'd given in, after several nights of kissing and touching oh wow the touching Erica had such unbelievably soft skin, and felt so good pressed against her, and Callie couldn't believe it when she locked up.
The next day she went to Marc for help, and cheated on Erica while trying to figure out how to please her. Ambushing her in the on-call room was the only way she could manage to ignore the hurt she'd put in her eyes. 150 days since Erica's revelation, and the second round of cheating, brought on by Erica's certainty and her own fear of being wrong. Again. 145 days since Erica found out about Izzie and Denny. Callie almost couldn't believe that she'd backed the bitch, but at that moment all she could think about was her residency, four months from being over, put in jeopardy if Erica called UNOS and brought on an investigation. The last thing she'd expected was Erica's anger directed at her. Or bringing their fledgling relationship into a work disagreement. Callie even called it a relationship, as short as it had been, and as much as had gone on in the last week. And then Erica was gone.
How many Oh, 144 days since Erica resigned. Mid-morning the chief heard that UNOS was starting an investigation into the events of the previous May for transplant fraud. The program wasn't suspended yet, but until the investigation as over, they were all being watched. Carefully. Izzie was suspended, officially, and Erica didn't return any of her calls or answer her door, and when Callie tried her key, the chain was on. On day 134, Erica's phone had been cancelled, and the locks changed. Callie went home and cried for the first time in 11 days. Four days later, the chief was suspended, and Derek took over. He mentioned off handedly that a couple hospitals had called him that afternoon for a recommendation on Erica, and he'd given her a good one. He at least didn't fault her for what she'd done.
120 days, Callie sent in her final applications for post-residency programs. She got a good recommendation out of Derek without even trying, nor did he try to convince her to stay. Neither did Marc, who'd finally also stopped trying to get her back into bed. 95 days ago, Callie was back in Seattle after flying all over the country for three face-to-face Fellowship interviews. It was nice to be away. Thirteen days later, she got offers from all three, and now she just needed to make a choice. At 58 days, she'd made her arrangements quietly, not that she had done anything loudly in three months. Except for her surgeries, she was a ghost in the hospital, living once again at the Archfield and existing under the radar of the committee that was still monitoring the hospital after all this time.
It's been 35 days since Callie was done. Done with her residency, done with Seattle Grace. Leaving for the final time, she stopped and looked back, expressionless. She was done. 22 days ago, she was all moved into her first actual apartment, an event her dad had come up to help her with. She'd taken the opportunity, the third day, to talk to him. They'd fought, but he came back the next day, hugged her, and directed the movers to take a beautiful new cedar chest into her bedroom. Four days ago, she went out dancing, for the first time in five months. Throughout the night she started to dial the number she'd found =
hunted down= that morning, but in the end she just kept dancing.
Here she was now, once again standing outside a hospital, looking up. She'd come in yesterday to do paperwork, but did not stick around to meet anybody. See anybody, outside of admin. Today would be the day that determined if she had in fact made the right choice, but right or not, she would stick with it. She was nervous, but not afraid. Anxious, but sure. No matter what, this was right. It had to be.
The new chief, Dr. Manders, held a morning meeting every Monday with all the senior residents, fellows and attendings. Callie followed a group in and stood against a side wall where she could watch the people coming in, but not be seen herself. At one point her breath caught and she looked down, afraid all of a sudden that she was wrong, she shouldn't be there. She wasn't ready for this.
The meeting ran quick enough, the attendings summarizing their major surgeries and the Chief reminding them about evals and a staff picnic the next week. Too soon, it was her turn. The chief caught her eye and beckoned her out of the crowd. "I'd also like to introduce our new Orthopedics Fellow, Dr. Callie Torres, who is joining us from Seattle." He grinned and patted her on the shoulder, adding to her, "Welcome to University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. I'm sure you will be a great addition to our team."
Callie was sure she thanked him, but she didn't really see him. As soon as she'd stepped forward she saw her, and bit her lip to keep from saying something. Erica was reading a chart, and Callie watched her stiffen and jerk her head up when Dr Manders said her name. Callie couldn't remember ever seeing the heart surgeon so completely stunned.
Callie was briefly distracted as several people came up to greet her, and her attending set up a meeting in fifteen minutes. By the time the room cleared out, Erica had stood up from the table, gathered her charts in her arms and waited, ten feet away, the shock gone completely from her face. As they looked at each other, Callie's nerves came back, and she shoved her hands deep into the pockets of her lab coat. "Hi," she said after another minute passed in silence.
"What are you doing here." It wasn't really a question, and Callie recognized none of her friend, her lover, in her voice. She tried not to let it phase her.
"I umm I made a choice, when you left." She paused again, as Erica shifted her weight. "It might not matter anymore, but I choose you."
"Oh." Erica said after a moment, glancing at the door. "Ok."
"Ok," Callie echoed, and watched as Erica walked to the door.
She didn't move when Erica stopped in the doorway, and tried not breathe when Erica visibly drew a deep breath and half turned back towards her. "I suppose we should get some coffee later. I have surgery until 1, so 1:30?"
Callie calmed a little at the half smile that was mostly in Erica's eyes. She smiled back, her eyes soft as she met Erica's gaze directly. "1:30."
"Welcome to Pittsburgh, Callie."
Callie grinned widely this time, and looked at her watch. Seven hours to go, and counting.
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