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.
SPECIAL DISCLAIMER FOR CHAPTER 3: Admittedly, this chapter is perhaps too mushy for the Hahn character as we knew her. We never really saw much of Erica's softer side, nor did we learn if her awakening as a lesbian might've immediately affected her outlook (though based on personal experience, I must believe it did). Therefore, I ask your indulgence with this chapter. The pov jumps around, but it's mostly Erica's. I ask your indulgence with that, as well.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.

Unvarnished Truth
By DianeB


Chapter 3

Callie's interpretation of Erica's "please hurry" did not please the city cop, who clocked her, he said, at 20 miles over the posted limit. Callie didn't bother to argue or even to bat her eyes, since she knew perfectly well she had been going too fast (though she had no idea what the posted limit actually was). Any time spent with excuses would only delay her further. Instead Callie humbly admitted her guilt, apologized, accepted the ticket, and pulled away at a much slower rate of speed, knowing Officer Friendly still had his eye on her.

Arriving safely and without further vehicular incident at Erica's front door, Callie experienced a moment of uncertainty. In an effort to ward off the evil spirits of doubt, she placed the ticket between her teeth, struck a pose, and this time did bat her eyes at the peephole. After a second she heard through the door, "Callie, what the hell—?"

Erica opened the door and eyed Callie suspiciously, her arms crossed and brows furrowed in mock perplexity. Callie wiggled her lips, causing the ticket also to wiggle.

Erica reached out and snatched the ticket as Callie walked past her into the apartment, kicking off her shoes on the way. "What's this?" Erica asked, looking at the ticket.

"My speeding ticket," Callie said, turning to look at Erica. "You told me to 'please hurry,' so I did. But the cop didn't care for it so much."

Erica continued to study the ticket, and now her perplexity was authentic. "How fast were you going?"

"I don't know. Pretty fast. Why? Is it a fortune?"

Erica looked up at Callie, shaking her head and holding the ticket out to her. "Not hardly. This ticket is for twenty dollars. Who gets a twenty-dollar speeding ticket?"

"What?" Callie grabbed it and took her first hard look. "Wow! And here I thought he was all Officer Ordinance. Mmm…" Callie raised her head to stare vacantly at the opposite wall. "Even without trying, I still got it…"

Erica huffed in amusement. "Sweetheart, are you kidding me? You could be dead for weeks and still have it."

Callie shifted her eyes to Erica, sharpened her focus and lowered her voice. The air thickened with longing. "You…are so beautiful."

Caught by Callie's torrid look, Erica felt exposed and vulnerable, but the feelings weren't negative or even alarming, just genuine. She hadn't realized until this moment how much in love she was with Callie Torres. Identifying why was problematic, though her sensible brain gave it a shot. Was it her spanking new lesbianism that caused her to respond so physically to Callie, or the fact that they'd weathered their first serious fight, or perhaps some combination of both? Whatever it was, all Erica knew for sure was that she had never felt like this before, and the urge to act was impossible to resist. "Oh, Callie." Erica exhaled profoundly and stepped towards the younger woman. "Forgive me, but I'm about to break the 'no-touching' promise."

Callie wasted no time closing the distance between them, pairing a lusty gaze with a come-hither smile. "You," she whispered, entering the circle of Erica's arms, "are forgiven."

When their lips met, it was at once soft as silk and hot as fire, and neither woman was quite prepared for the sheer potency of these kisses. They were all-consuming and unlike anything either of the lovers had experienced with one another up to this point. Time stopped. Bodies pressed close, tongues engaged with ardor.

When they finally came up for air, it was a literal thing, with both women gasping to fill their lungs.

"Callie, what-what just happened?" Erica inhaled deeply and swayed against Callie. "Wait. I have to sit down."

Callie's language center was a little less accessible. "Yeah…"

Erica kept Callie in her arms as she moved awkwardly towards the couch, unwilling to let go of her long enough to make walking easier. Miraculously, they arrived at the couch without tripping over each other or the coffee table. Once seated, Erica slid away from Callie; or rather she pushed Callie away, which Callie couldn't help but notice.

"Hey, what? What's wrong?" Callie reached out and ran her fingertips along Erica's hairline, drawing back dampness. "You're sweating. Tell me."

Erica's only response was a trembling lower lip. She shook her head violently and looked away, blinking back tears.

Now Callie was visibly upset. "Erica, please! What's wrong? Don't cry. I can't make you cry again! What did I do?"

Erica held up a hand in a classic stop gesture, again shaking her head. "You didn't do anything, or you didn't do anything wrong. No, no, you did everything right. God, I…look at me! I'm forty-one years old, a cardiothoracic genius, for God's sake. I do not cry!" Erica punctuated these remarks with a bark of derisive laughter, and then swiped her nose with the back of her hand. "Ew. I need a tissue."

Callie leaped up and ran for the tissues on the bookshelf, returning with the whole box. She pulled out two, handed them to Erica, and put the box on the coffee table. Cautiously, she resumed her seat next to Erica and waited while Erica dried her eyes and cleared her nasal passages.

Erica offered a weak smile, wadding up the tissues and tossing them onto the coffee table next to the box. "Sorry about that, Cal, but I'm exhausted and I've had a very hard day. I'm overreacting because I'm tired and I haven't eaten in I don't know how long. And I broke the no touching promise right off the bat, which was bad."

Callie cocked her head and returned a small smile. "Yeah, well, I think we agreed on the 'no touching' thing, but I didn't exactly stop you, did I? Besides, it has been a hell of a—"

But Erica cut her off, reaching out and taking Callie's hands in both of hers. "No, Callie, wait. We have to, er, no, I have to...no, uh…Christ!" Erica rolled her eyes to the ceiling and then down to their hands. "Listen to me, would you? Calliope Torres, I swear, you tie up my tongue in more ways than one—"

"Nice poetry there."

"Excuse me?"

"'Tie up tongue, more ways than one'?"

Erica's courage emerged. "Shut up! I have something important I want to say." Erica successfully kept her voice steady and her eyes dry, noting how effective that was in capturing Callie's undivided attention.

"Okay. So say."

At Callie's rhyme, Erica was tempted to stall with another wisecrack about poetry. She had never said these words in this context to anyone in her entire life, and it was scaring her. Two seconds ago her courage reigned; now it had vanished. The tumble of emotions dumbfounded her. Was this lesbianism or just plain old love?

Meantime, Callie became fearful again. She reversed their hands' positions, surrounding Erica's slim fingers with her sturdier versions. "Erica? Would you talk! You're freaking me out here. And your hands are like ice!" Callie raised their hands and blew a hot breath on Erica's fingers.

The moment of unvarnished truth had arrived, and while Callie's breath blew warmth onto her cold hands and calm to her pounding heart, Erica took a breath and said it. "I love you."

Now it was Callie's turn to experience lungs suddenly void of air. Struggling for breath, she shook her head and managed, "Erica, no, I-I don't expect you to say you love me just because I said I loved you. I know it doesn't work that way, that you don't work that way. We still have shit to work out, it's complicated, you said so yourself, right?"

Erica smiled, reversed their hands' positions again and brought Callie's to her lips, placing a kiss in the center of each palm. Looking up into Callie's obsidian eyes, she said, "Yes…yes, I did say that. But here's the thing. I do love you. And at the risk of sounding like a fairy tale, I believe the rest will come in time. Think you can live with that?"

Callie freed one hand to splay her fingers against Erica's cheek, an intimate gesture that was becoming familiar to both of them. Pulling Erica to her, Callie said simply, "Yep."

This time, their kisses were more about patience than passion, measured and unhurried. Carefully shifting positions on the couch, they ended up stretched out against one another, all the while exchanging tender kisses that barely caused their lips to part.

It was here, in a relaxed state between kisses, that exhaustion finally claimed them. They fell asleep, still fully clothed, tangled in each other's arms.

Now Love, bittersweet, limb-dissolving, irresistible
Love makes me tremble once more.

-- Sappho, 630 B.C.

Part 4

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