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The Hubris Incident

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Six months after the storm, as Callie worked on taking inventory of her department’s supplies, she was also taking inventory of her life. Her wife was adjusting nicely to her new routine of regular therapy and exercise. Arizona had also begun sharing a little bit more of herself with Callie. She was doing so well, in fact, that she was exhibiting a new confidence. She was becoming a little bit more like her old self every day, so much so, that Callie was thankful for that awful dream. It was Arizona’s dream that was ultimately the catalyst for her seeking therapy. On top of that, their daughter was well on her way to being completely potty trained. Yes, Callie Torres was happy. Life was good in the Robbins Torres household.

She moved around the room holding a clipboard and periodically making notes, while unbeknownst to her, a waiting form lurked in the rear of the closet, where the shadows were darkest. Slowly, the figure started to inch forward, into the light... Suddenly, the door burst open and Alex Karev walked in. The figure retreated.

Callie, startled by Alex’s sudden entrance, dropped her clipboard and grabbed at her heart, “God, Alex, I almost died for a second.”

Not really giving her a chance to recover, Alex immediately ripped into Callie, “You have to do something about your wife. She’s driving me crazy.”

Callie instantly replied, “Nope. I’m not falling into that trap. You’re an adult, deal with her yourself.” She bent over, picked up her clipboard, resumed her counting.

“Hey!” Alex shouted. “She’s become abusive. I thought therapy was supposed to help her?”

“What? What do you mean ‘abusive’?” Callie replied, looking around to make sure they are alone. “And ixnay the erapythay talk. You know how sensitive she is about that. It hurts her pride.”

“Right, sorry,” Alex apologized, but carried on anyway. “Look, it’s just… I used to have this special thing I did with the kids, to put them at ease when I’m about to do something painful, you know?” At Callie’s slight nod of acknowledgment, he continued, “I’d tell them to ‘count to three and make a wish,’ but now every time I do that, Robbins smacks me in the back of the head. It’s abusive.”

Callie stopped counting again, and rolled her eyes. “Oh, come on. Man up, Alex. So, she has a thing about wishes now. Come up with a new catch phrase, or whatever.”

Alex and Callie stared at each other for a good thirty seconds before Alex eventually gave in, and looked away first. “I still say she’s bonkers.” He grumbles.

Callie, smiling at her small victory, retorted, “Yeah, well... I still say she’s cute. Get over yourself, and leave me alone so I can finish my inventory.”

Alex left and Callie resumed her task. The lurking figure began to move forward again. This time it was foiled when Callie’s pager buzzed. As Callie exited the supply closet, the figure moved completely into the light, revealing her wrinkled visage.

“This isn’t working! We have to try something else,” Anya, aka, Anyanka, the Patron Saint of Women Scorned, said.

She appeared to be talking to thin air, but a very translucent figure materialized beside her.

The ghost of former plastic surgeon, Mark Sloan, replied, “Yeah, I’m not sure sneaking up on her is the best idea. We should try a more direct approach.”

“I can’t confront her in the open! If D’Hoffyn finds out I’m helping…,” Anya visibly shivered. “Well, let’s just say he is very good at creatively punishing people , even vengeance demons.”

“And she literally can’t see me. I’m a ghost , which is why I called you for help,” Mark’s specter sighed with frustration and threw his transparent hands up in the air.

“OH! I know!” Anya exclaimed. “You have to possess her. Quick. Go… jump inside her body.”

“No way! If I were to go anywhere near ‘inside’ of Callie…,” this time it was Mark who shivered. “Arizona would find a creative way to punish me. She’d probably find a way to resurrect me, just so she could kill me again. Not going to happen. Think of something else.”

“It has to be her,” Anya argued, “if you possess someone already infected with hubris, that person will die and your soul will be obliterated.”

“What makes you so sure Callie isn’t already possessed by Hubris? She’s pretty full of herself, sometimes,” he said. “One time, when the chief didn’t hire her as an attending, she walked out- telling him he would ‘rue the day’ and that she was a ‘superstar with a scalpel.’ She’s not without ego.”

“Ah, you see.” Anya said, confidently, “I did some research on Dr. Torres. Her middle name is Iphigenia. She’s under Artemis’ protection. Possessing demons wouldn’t go near her. But… Pretty much everyone else in this place is susceptible to his influence, especially the surgeons.”

The ghost of Mark sighed, resigned, “We’ll just have to find someone else. But I’m not possessing anyone less than a doctor. And absolutely no one from derm. I have standards.”

Anya rolled her eyes. “If the rest of the surgeons in this place are as egotistical as you, it’s no wonder a Hubris demon came here. He can hide in plain sight with all the arrogance flying around this place.”

The door to the supply room opened again and intern Heather Brooks walked in. Anya managed to normalize her face just in time.

“Oh, hello. Um, are you lost?” Brooks asked, smile firmly in place.

“Yes, actually… I am,” Anya said. “I’m looking for a… replacement for my… thing, that, um Dr. Torres… said was maybe… in here.”

Mark’s ghost mocked the stuttering demon, “Real smooth. Are you always this clever?”

Mousy looked on expectantly, a giant grin on her face, while Mark talked over her in the background.

“Why is she looking at you like that?” Mark asked, knowing Brooks couldn’t hear him. “What is wrong with her face? Why does she look so… goofy?”

Anya replied through gritted teeth, “Shut. Up.”

Mark replied, “Sorry.”

At the same time Brooks said, “Sorry.”

Anya turned and looked directly at Brooks, and said,  “Oh, not you. I was talking to… myself…,” She side-eyed Mark’s ghost, giving him a warning.

Heather Brooks laughed, “Oh, ok. Heh, it’s no problem. I talk to myself all the time. That’s why a bunch of the attending surgeons here think I’m a weirdo. That’s my nickname. Well, that and Mousy. Dr. Yang and Dr. Grey call me Mousy. I mean… everyone at this hospital is a little weird. I don’t know why I’ve been singled out as….”

“Ok, there is no way this person is possessed by Hubris, she would drive him insane. Get in her now,” Anya said, directed at Mark.

But since Mousy couldn’t see Mark, she thought Anya was talking to her. “What? I don’t understand, what’s… Hubris? Get in who? What?”

“Her? Really? She’s only an intern.” Mark sighed.

“Interns are doctors, right?”

“Yes,” Mousy answered.

“Barely,” Mark replied at the same time.

“Look, you can’t afford to be finicky about this. Just do it,” Anya growled. She was rapidly losing patience with his attitude.

“Will she know I’m there?” Mark finally acquiesced.

“Not if you don’t want her too,” Anya responded. “Just hurry and jump in there before she gets suspicious.”

“Ummm, do what? Suspicious of what?” Mousy asked. Her brows furrowed as she looked around.

“How do I do it?” Mark asked.

“You have to go in through her nose.” Anya answered.

“Ok…,” Mousy said, looking thoroughly confused, “this conversation is getting a little strange… I told you this hospital was...”

Before Heather could finish her sentence, Mark’s ghostly apparition dissipated into a freeform mist and slowly glided into her nose. Her body shook a bit, spun around a couple times, and then finally straightened up. She cleared her throat and….

Mark, now in Mousy’s body, laughed, “Oh, God! This feels so strange. I’m corporeal again!” He started touching things, as well as grabbing things off the shelf and smelling them. “Oh,” he groaned, “I can smell.” Then he reached up and touched his face, his hands sliding down…

“Don’t you dare touch her boobs, Perv,” Anya warned.

“Sorry,” Mousy Mark sheepishly replied.

“So that’s done. Now all you have to do is find Dr. Torres, convince her you’re Mark Sloan - back on a mini-break from the afterlife - recruit her to help you find the Hubris demon, and save Grey Sloan Memorial.” Anya looked at her watch, “And you have three hours to do it. Good luck with that.”

“Wait? Three hours? Why three hours?”

“It’s all the time you have to possess her, if you stay any longer it could cause permanent neurological damage. Just… use these three hours to convince Torres. I’ve told you everything you need to know to defeat a Hubris demon… have her do all the leg work. If you rule out Arizona, have her help, she’s familiar with the Hellmouth, so she should be easy to convince. I’m sorry,” she apologizes, “it’s the best I can do. I really need to go before I get into trouble.”

With that Anya disappeared, leaving Mark – in intern Mousy’s body - standing in the supply room. He looked around for a second, as if to make sure he was alone, and gently pulled the neck of his scrub top out to take a quick peek at the goods.