DISCLAIMER: Watch out, this is femslash (lite). Don't read it if you're not into this sort of thing. I own nothing of Grey's Anatomy. I'm only having fun with the characters I'm fast becoming obsessed with.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: It's just me again, wringing out every last cc of Hahn/Torres UST from the Season 4 finale. This is my fourth Grey's Anatomy story. Written in June, 2008. A gigantic thank you once again to my Mighty Editor Goddess, Brenda S. (who makes me sound way more profound than I actually am), and to Jules68, for her continued insight into the tiny details of Grey's Anatomy.
ARCHIVING: Only with the permission of the author.
Uno, Dos, Tres
Erica Hahn couldn't remember feeling this jumpy over a woman since her high school days, when she had fallen for Anna Marano, the captain of the cheerleading squad, of all the clichés. Anna was an Italian beauty with incredible muscle tone and legs up to there, and though they may not have applied the term "stalker" to Erica, that's exactly what she was. She had memorized Anna's schedule and had taken to following the girl around, occasionally being late to her own classes, just so she could be in the hall when Anna passed by, usually surrounded by her entourage of fellow cheerleaders and football players. Once or twice, Erica had even managed to walk by the girl's house. Anna never gave her a second's notice, but that didn't stop Erica from filling her lonely teenaged life with images of a love she couldn't have.
Callie Torres was of Mexican descent, but as far as jumpy went, that's where the differences ended. Still, Erica told herself sternly, she was much older now, wiser, and not so dreadfully shallow, more in control of her feelings. All of which was perfectly true.
Except for that part about being more in control.
Here in the crowded trauma room, working on Andrew Langston for hours in such close proximity to Callie, her heart threatened to leap from her chest every time she brushed by the younger woman. Being a trained professional, Erica was able to safely divide her concentration between Andrew and these feather-light contacts, but she continued to torture herself by brushing by Callie as often as she dared without being obvious. Sloan saw it, though, especially when she leaned awkwardly between Callie and the cement-encased boy, and he made that crack about enjoying a good game of Twister.
Utterly frustrated by her body's stubborn refusal to stop acting like a damn schoolgirl's, even in the midst of a trauma she had never before seen, Erica fell back on a well-worn technique to keep people at arms' length, one she had developed after Anna Marano moved away and had honed to perfection over the ensuing years: sharp words delivered in even sharper tones.
She knew it would work, at least to a degree.
The human nervous system is made up of more than a hundred billion neurons, and to Callie Torres, it felt as though each and every one of hers was having a field day at the firing range.
Working on this boy, this poor, frightened boy, who might die without getting his chance to kiss a girl who didn't deserve it, was not at the forefront of Callie's mind. No, at the forefront was her cursed neurons and the way they hissed and spit like drops of water on a hot skillet every time Erica came into contact with her. Unbidden, Mark's filthy talk played in her head:
"It's just you and me and Erica and we're grabbin' you, rippin' off your clothes, and then you're naked you're so hot you're naked and then Erica starts kissing you and Erica's kissing you like you need to be kissed"
If it weren't for the facts that not only did this young man need her, but also that she could do this particular work with one eye closed, she might have asked to be excused, though she knew explaining why would have been a bit troublesome.
And then to make matters worse (as if), when Erica reached between her and Andrew, and Callie caught the scent of citrus shampoo, she thought wildly that the woman had done it on purpose. But Erica's accompanying harsh words, spoken in a tone that brooked no back talk, put a swift end to that idea. Mark's smart-ass Twister comment didn't help, either, and Callie thought it bordered on insubordination. But since everyone else, including the boss, was rightly focused on getting Andrew out of the cement, Callie was sure she was the only one who'd heard it.
She sighed and wrested her mind back to the very bad leg she was examining, trying without much success to calm her jangling nerves and racing heart.
Mark Sloan was convinced he could taste the pheromones, even through the miasma of vinegar and damp cement that filled the room and permeated his every pore. Okay, he knew humans didn't secrete pheromones the way, say, bees did, but that didn't mean humans were completely without. No, every time he stole a look at Erica or Callie, he swore he could see a huge cloud of the stuff suspended in the air around them. He marveled at how they could keep from jumping each other right there on the pile of discarded cement, but quickly conceded that was probably just him.
Though Sloan wasn't really sure of the substance at work here, he was sure of one thing: no one had ever had that kind of chemistry with him.
Erica Hahn couldn't wait to get out of Seattle Grace. She'd had an unbelievably complex and difficult day, and that was putting it mildly. She was tired to the bone, upset more with herself than with the Chief for the dressing-down he'd given her about her teaching methods, pissed at Yang for all manner of reasons both petty and just, and, of course, tied up in mariner knots over Callie.
But walking down the stairs, she decided she was getting too old for this and she was done. Done with flirting, done with "Sapphic salads," kisses in elevators, and crap about "the love that dare not speak its name." She would wait, just wait even if it killed her for Callie to make the next move. If Callie never made that move, then it was not meant to be and that would be that. She would deal.
At the front doors, Erica reached into her bag for her keys, expecting them to be there as they always were. But they weren't, and it threw her. Where the hell were her keys?
Callie Torres was astounded on two levels. First by Mark's unselfish direction that she finish what she had started with Erica, not him, and second by the fact that she knew he was right, knew his comments in the break room about her feelings for Erica Hahn were bang on, no matter how vehemently she denied it or how much of his rotten dirty talk filled her head.
Looking over at Erica, who was standing in front of a bench just outside the hospital entrance, pawing around in her bag, Callie knew it was now or never.
And she didn't want it to be never.
After one more verbal nudge from Sloan, she left his side and walked as if on eggshells toward the blonde woman. She didn't have a plan, per se, but she knew she was going to take to heart the very advice she had given to Andrew's friend, Lola.
It's better to be honest.
Reaching Erica, Callie realized she was nervous, but not afraid.
Mark Sloan, watching Callie walk toward Erica, could hardly believe he'd let her go, knowing no one else would believe it, either. But a few moments of soul-searching revealed no trace of jealousy. He'd meant it when he told Callie he was "growing." Oh, he wasn't kidding himself; he knew he'd probably retain a bit of his "man-whore-ness" till the day he died. But for now, for right now, he felt better about himself than he had in a very long while.
Watching as Callie stepped toward Erica, cup her face, and kiss her, he realized he was happy, truly happy, for them. If they could make it work, amid having to deal with the trials that came with a relationship conducted outside society's norms, then he figured it would mean he had a chance at a stable relationship some day, too.
And things can never go badly wrong
If the heart be true and the love be strong.
For the mist, if it comes, and the weeping rain
Will be changed by the love into sunshine again.
-- From the poem "Sweet Peril," by George MacDonald
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