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Fear of water

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“... uh, I, we might be lesbians.”

Erica had missed Callie. Like really, really missed her best friend. And even though they had only known each other for such a short period of time, not seeing the orthopedic surgeon every day seemed to have been the most unnatural thing about being at Seattle Grace.

So when between all the stutters and false starts Callie managed to reveal the reason for her absence in the recent weeks, all Erica could do was laugh.

At first, Callie awkwardly joined in,but her smile died as soon as Erica’s awkward chuckles morphed into a combination of bitter snorts and relieved gasps.

“Seriously?” Erica wheezed between breaths. “You’ve been gone because you thought I might be into you?”

Immediately, the brunette stiffened. “Wait what? Of course not!”

“Well, why else are you worried enough about your friend’s opinion to completely shut me out for weeks?” Erica shot back, the hairs on the back of her neck rising.

Many scenarios had gone through Erica’s mind when Callie first started avoiding her. Maybe she’d said something or done something to hurt her friend and hadn’t noticed, or they’d run out of things to talk about, or Callie was getting bored of her. Or worst of all, maybe once Callie had Mark, maybe Erica just wasn’t important enough to be a part of the other woman’s life.

“So that’s it,” Erica repeated, a growing pit filling her belly. Whether it was relief, because Callie actually did not hate her, or frustration over the fact that she’d been put through this stress over the other woman’s own insecurities, Erica could not tell. “That’s it. God dammit, Callie, you ditched me. Because someone mistaking us for a couple, as absurd as it is, is so horrible for you?”

“I- I- it’s confusing and I-” The younger woman stuttered for a moment, then took a deep breath.

Maybe Erica just had too much to drink, but for a second, the two seemed to be staring at each other.

And before Erica realized it, Callie had pressed her lips against her own.

At first, the attending had been too surprised to kiss back. She’s always been a private person, and kissing someone, regardless of gender, in public had always sounded unappealing.

But this wasn’t someone. This was Callie, her best friend, the only one she felt like she could truly relax around. So Erica gave in and melted into the brunette’s lips.

It wasn’t until they pulled away, gasping for breath, that they’d both fully registered what happened.

Well fuck.

In a panic, Erica jumped up, grabbed her purse and raced out of the bar, leaving a startled Callie to pay. _________________________________________________________________________

"I’m not gay!”

Erica almost dropped her lunch tray at the almost shrill sound of Cristina’s voice from the lunch line behind her.

“You so are,” Alex Karev retorted, playfully shoving his fellow resident. “You won’t shut up about this Spears chick!”

“Pierce,” Cristina corrected snappily. “And if you actually did your research, you would know that she’s the next cardio goddess, she finished her phD when she was-”

It had taken Erica a solid minute to realize that she was very obviously eavesdropping, and that the younger doctors had definitely noticed. Embarrassed, Erica rushed to the corner of the cafeteria, desperately looking for a seat in the crowded room.

Of course, listening in on a comment about lesbianism had Erica awkwardly shuffling around like a high schooler again.

And also of course, the only free seat within eyesight was at the table Callie and Mark were sitting at. Callie, whom Erica hadn’t heard from in a week. Since the kiss. And the blonde was much too stubborn to contact the ortho resident herself.

Well, maybe she’d been avoiding her. The fact that she’d been taking on as many extra surgeries as she possibly could, pretty much living in the hospital.

(Not that Hahn had anyone to spend time with outside of the hospital. Not anymore, apparently.)

And now, there was Callie, laughing at something Sloan had said to her. Uneasiness spread in Erica’s stomach, twisting her insides and making her suddenly lose her appetite. Swiftly, she emptied the contents of her tray into the trash and headed towards the exit, trying to be as quick and hidden as she possibly could. No need to disturb the lovebirds.

However, the cardiothoracic surgeon didn’t even make it out of the door before she was almost literally jumped by a certain overly eager resident, who had seemed to be lurking at the exit just for this occasion.

Once again, Cristina was rooted in front of her, begging Erica to let her on her service for that night. “- and I know you wanted Karev for this one, but he’s needed in ortho and-”

Ortho. Of course, ortho was gonna steal her resident. Defeated, Erica waved her hand. “Whatever. See you later, Yang.”

So that’s how Erica ended up doing an emergency valve replacement with Cristina Yang at two-thirty AM in the morning.