A/N: So this is my first try at this soooo be nice :) Please and thank you!
Disclaimer: I don't own this...blah, blah, blah.
She was the only person I wanted to see that first night. My eyes had only been open from the first of hundreds of nightmares to come for seconds before I found myself stumbling out of bed and across the hall in a desperate attempt to make sure she was there. That she was safe.
I could've knocked. Thinking back now, I should've knocked. But I didn't. When I swung open the door to her room I was greeted by the sound of April Kepner's startled scream. A scream of terror had never sounded so good. I let out a sigh of relief as I gripped on to her doorframe, trying to attain some kind of hold on reality, something that had been difficult for me since Derrick Sheppard had walked in to the OR that morning and told me there was a shooter in the hospital.
When her swollen eyes adjusted to the light that was streaming in from the hall and she realized who it was standing in her doorway at 4 A.M. her crumpled form just collapsed back on to the bed, sobs racking through her entire body. I let go of the doorframe and ran a hand over my head awkwardly, unsure of where to go from here.
We were friends. That much I knew. She had a puke stain in her car from a night where there was more tequila running through my body than anything else and I am only slightly ashamed to admit to having had to run to the drug store a time or two for "womanly products".. Those kinds of things make us friends. Some would even say best friends. But it was hard to tell where the boundary lines stood between us on a day where our real best friends were lying in a morgue.
I could practically hear Charles' voice telling me to "Go hug her, you pansy ass" in my head as I gaped at April's broken figure from the doorway.
Reed's method would be a little less straightforward. Instead, she'd just stare at me until I started to squirm under the pressure. If that didn't work, well, all she'd simply have to say is "Avery" in that annoying, you-and-I-both-know-what-you-need-to-do-so-just-do -it tone of hers'. It was a voice she'd perfected over the course of our internship. I'd give almost anything hear that tone just once more.
I took in a sharp breath and cautiously entered the room, the floor board creaking slightly underneath the shift in weight. The instant I heard the click of the door behind me, the room went pitch black and I was assaulted with images of the barrel of a gun directed at my forehead. Suddenly, I found myself racing across the room to the safety of her bed.
I thought of Charles. I thought of Reed. And I thought of April. We had all seen the same side of a gun today. Two of us hadn't made it out alive to see past it. When I looped my arms around April's waist and pulled her close to my chest I told myself it was only to make her feel better. Something tugging at me, a twitch deep inside my chest, told me that there was a deeper, more selfish need there but I was quick to shove the thoughts to the far depths of my mind.
She shifted in my arms to look at me and I just stared back down in to her swollen, puffy, red eyes. I set my jaw and averted eye contact, unsure if my emotional mask is finally beginning to crack.
When her hot, constant tears started trickling down my chest I just pulled her closer to me and tucked her head underneath my chin. She pulled her face out of her hands and tilted her head upwards so that she was looking up at me with her glassy, tear filled eyes. No words were spoken but my nod was confirmation enough. She went back to whimpering in my chest and I could do nothing but bite the inside of my cheek to keep from crying with her.
"What are we supposed to do now, Jackson?" I eventually heard her say not being able to keep the fear and sadness from her voice despite her best efforts to keep her voice steady. The words lingered heavily in the dark, still room as I mulled over the question.
"Sleep." I finally mumbled against the top of her head after some deep thought.
She sniffled loudly. "That's not exactly what I meant."
I sighed and kissed her forehead. "I know."
She let out a jagged sigh and repositioned herself on my chest. When she didn't reply I could only assume that meant she had just as few answers as I did.
I don't know how long we laid there. It could've been minutes or hours but at that moment it didn't matter because whatever was outside those doors could wait. I stroked her hair and whispered reassurances in the dark every now and then when I heard her crying start up again. I continued trying to soothe her best as I could but I felt like my erratically beating heartbeat wasn't helping much. I forced myself to take deep breaths in an attempt to return my heart rate to normal and when it finally did I felt April relax completely against me.
Her crying seemed to have finally stopped for now. I wasn't sure whether she was finally feeling a little stability or if it had more to do with the inability to cry any longer. I'd be willing to bet on the latter. Some medical part of my brain told me that she probably could use a glass of water or something but I still couldn't bring myself to move.
Her breathing had just steadied and her shoulders were no longer shaking which could only lead me to believe that, against all odds, she'd found some way to go to sleep. I started to slowly untangle myself from her, if only to turn off my alarm clock in the next room over, when I felt her mumble something against my chest.
"Hmm?" I probed, nudging her slightly hopping to jar her just enough out of her sleep to repeat herself.
She yawned and rolled off my chest, face-first to her pillow, turning her back to me. I ignored the sinking feeling in my chest at the loss of contact and I tried to make out if she had responded. I waited in the beats of silence that followed and just as I began to think that she hadn't heard me I just barely catch her mumbling again.
"Just…don't leave me. Please"
I felt a small smile tug at the corner of my lips. I could practically feel the somewhat conscious part of April tense beside me as she realized exactly what she had said, probably wondering if she had mistakenly crossed one of those unspoken of lines. So this time when I reached out to grab her I knew that it wasn't to make sure that she was safe, or that she was real. This time I allowed myself a second to acknowledge that it was only because I wanted to. I wanted to let her know that this is where I'd always be if she needed me: right by her side.
A/N: Yup. So, that's it As you can probably tell from the multiple grammatical errors that were probably in this thing, this story was done without a beta.
I've never really posted anything on here before but I've written a whole bunch of stuff that I never really finished and this was just something that had been floating around on my laptop that actually was done so I thought, "Why not?" My sudden obsession with the Jackson and April relationship probablyyyy helped a little bit too ;). I just loveloveloveee them! I'm so glad that Shonda gave them a chance because I've been waiting for them to get together for such a long time! But anywhoooo, please review because I'd love to know what you think and if you would possibly want me writing more Japril stuff in the future or if I should just leave it up to the professionals!
THANKS FOR READING!