DISCLAIMER: I own nothing of Grey's Anatomy, because if I did, Brooke Smith would still be playing Erica Hahn, and she and Callie would still be together. My timelines could differ from yours and could differ yet again from the show's screwy ones. Caution, this is femslash (lite) and there are some bad words and taking of the Lord's name in vain. Do not read it if these things bother you.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Even though it won't happen on the show, I wanted to see if Callie and Erica could work it out, plus I just needed to get some things said, ya know? This story provides both women's points of view, but it favors Erica because I favor Erica. Thanks to my Mighty Editor Goddess, Brenda S., and to Jules 68, who always provides an honest, objective opinion. Thanks to Cabenson for the "Kool-aid" crack. Written in January, 2009. This is my twelfth Grey's Anatomy story.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
As if the twenty-first time were the charm, Callie hit speed dial again and waited as the phone rang and rang, this time not even going to voicemail, which wasn't surprising, since she'd already filled Erica's voicemailbox over the past two hours with twenty similar messages:
Erica, please call me. I just want to be sure you got home all right. I know how upset you were and I'm not talkin' about what I said about what Izzie did. I know you're a grown woman, and I know you'll take care behind the wheel, but I just need to hear your voice.
Callie knew it was lame, a thinly-veiled plea to get Erica to at least call her back, so that maybe, maybe she could begin to repair the gaping wound that had become their relationship.
Hindsight being twenty-twenty, Callie's didn't wait long to hand down its glasses of wisdom (pun and all). In the minutes Callie stood watching Erica storm to her car and drive away, she could see Erica's side with stunning clarity.
How could she have imagined Erica would have any reason to buy into the whole "if you weren't there, you shouldn't judge" argument? From Erica's point of view, with her patient hanging onto his life by a thread (having missed out three years ago on the heart Izzie stole for Denny), the entire incident was Izzie Stevens' fault, and the woman should be reported to UNOS.
But the worst of it wasn't that mess, though that was bad enough. No, the worst of it was Erica's sharp words regarding the two of them:
No, you! I don't even know you!
Again and again in her head, Callie replayed her spiteful comeback when Erica told her she couldn't kind of be a lesbian. Even as it left her lips, she knew it was only verbal warfare, denying for the sake of denying, simply because Erica said she couldn't. It was a survival tactic as dark as her hair, but at the time wild horses couldn't have stopped her from saying it.
Now, cursing the hindsight that would give her no respite, Callie could see that everything she had done with regard to Erica was a sham, and it made her sick inside.
No woman who claimed to love another woman would ever seek out a man for sexual instructions on how to love that woman. What a load of crap! She, Callie, was a woman, and she knew what pleased her in bed, so why wouldn't similar things also please Erica? What possessed her to think she needed Sloan's advice on the matter? It was perfectly ridiculous, is what it was. No wonder Erica said she didn't know Callie. Callie didn't know Callie, and it never once occurred to her the true reasons why she might have run to Sloan instead of asking the woman right in front of her.
Callie punched the speed dial again, determined to spend the entire night doing this if she had to. She had to talk to Erica.
It took every bit of Erica's discipline as a surgeon to keep walking towards her car, though the anger helped. Thank God her keys were wrapped in her fist so tightly she could feel them cutting into her palm because she'd have been unable to deal if her keys were gone as they had been that night so long ago at almost the very same spot
No. No. No. She would not allow herself to remember that time. It was history. Over. The past. Though she half-hoped Callie would come after her, Erica knew she wouldn't. Ha, sweet irony. She just got done claiming she didn't know Callie at all.
Still, the fact remained that she'd been led down the garden path by Callie and the hospital, and the worst of it was, she'd allowed herself to be. She'd gleefully drunk the Seattle Grace Kool-aid, and only just now understood why the damn place was number twelve.
Her true sexual identity having risen like the dawn over Marblehead, she'd come hurtling out to Callie and then watched devastated as the woman had literally run from the knowledge.
She'd seen Izzie Stevens fall apart during Michael's procedure, then rally and save the day, only to learn it was Stevens to blame in the first place.
She'd been shut down by Richard Webber regarding Stevens's illegal actions as thoroughly as if she'd never spoken.
She'd listened with barely a peep to Callie's outrageous explanation of why she'd slept with Sloan, including that nonsense about her being a "whole forest girl." That wasn't an explanation at all, so much as a chickenshit way to tell Erica that while Callie liked Erica and would love to continue sleeping with her, she really didn't like women that way and would be going back to penis once they were through. But she wouldn't cheat on Erica. Any more.
Jesus H. Christ on a raft. It'd be hysterical, the stuff of soaps, if it weren't so damned pathetic.
With her thoughts thusly jumbled, Erica dropped her keys in her attempt to open the car door, and as the keys jangled to the ground, her cell phone rang. Bending to retrieve the keys, she pulled the phone from her coat pocket, flipped it open, and glanced at the screen.
Resisting the urge to look back, Erica snapped the phone shut as tears blurred her vision, giving her a moment's concern that she wouldn't be able to see clearly enough to drive. Finally gaining entry into the car, after another frustrating fumble with her keys, she rummaged in the glove compartment and found an old napkin, with which she dried her eyes sufficiently enough to be able to see and then balled the napkin into her still-bleeding palm.
Her phone rang twice more before she left the lot.
Callie found herself wandering the basement of Seattle Grace, unable to stop moving, but unable to leave the hospital. She wondered if it was because her new place already held memories of her and Erica being together, or if it was simply a desire to go back in time, when things were less complicated.
When it was just work. Just the satisfaction of smashing and setting bones to a hard rock beat, without cause for getting the heart involved at all.
But, no, she had to go and not only get her heart involved, but get it involved with a heart doctor, a female one at that. Oh, the irony. At least with George she could say she had caught him on the rebound of his grief over his father's death, but there was no easy excuse for the way it had gone with Erica.
If it weren't so pathetic, it'd be stand-up funny.
She pressed speed dial again.
At home, Erica spent most of the next two hours under a blanket on her couch, drinking wine and rehashing what was now her final day at Seattle Grace, trying without much success to come up with a way to make sense of what had happened. Oh, she was clear enough about her patient and what Stevens did, but the part that concerned Callie was harder to comprehend.
It didn't help when her cell rang yet one more time. Against her will, her heart had been keeping track of the number of times it had rung so far. This would bring it to twenty-one. Knowing her inbox would hold only twenty messages, Erica wondered if Callie would let it ring this time or just give up.
Callie chose the former, and after the phone rang fifteen times, Erica began to wonder if this could serve as an experiment, because she'd never really learned just how many times the phone would ring once the voicemail box was full.
It could have been the wine it probably was the wine, since it was the same kind she had been drinking with Callie the last night they had spent together but after the twenty-sixth ring, Erica picked the phone from her lap, flipped it open, said hello, and waited.
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