Hello fellow readers.

I know this showed ended already, but I was always sad that Leo and April had to end. I was glad they didn't have her jump right back into a relationship with Dominic though. This little plot bunny hopped around in my head until I finally typed it out. I watched the show on netflix and saw an opportunity for an AU.

Disclaimer: I only own my new character, none of the show's events or lines are mine.

Just to clarify, April's book and writing are in italics while the dialogue isn't.

I hope you enjoy and please leave a review if you can!


Leo lay next to April on the hospital bed. Her family was waiting outside. They had been there for the past two days, taking shifts being with April and saying good-bye. Everyone had gotten a one-on-one with April, even Dimples.

Leo knew it was hard on April, trying to be brave for everyone so, when April had asked if she could be alone for a few minutes, he stood up and made sure everyone left.

"Guys, can we give April a few minutes alone?" Leo asked but his eyes made it clear this was not a request.

Sarah had started to protest but had taken one look at April's face and her eyes filled with tears as Uncle George escorted her out before she could burst out sobbing. Emma followed after them, nodding at April.

Beth came and gave her a big hug and tried to smile before gasping and putting her hand to her mouth. She walked quickly out the door.

Natalia made to go with her but stood at the door when April put out her hand and motioned to Brenna.

Brenna was the last to leave and she came and kissed April on the cheek and squeezed her hand before swallowing tightly and walking into Natalia's arms as they left the room.

When Leo turned to face the door, she grabbed his arm and tried to pull him back down but was too weak. She said quietly, "I didn't mean you."

"Oh, of course not, you need your pillow to stay." He tried to make a joke but was to relieved he could be with her to keep his light hearted tone.

They spooned on the bed for a little while. April was listening to his heartbeat, strong and steady, like he had turned out to be. Leo was listening to April's breathing, treasuring it.

"Leo." April started, turning to face him.

"Yeah?" Leo brushed what little hair she had out of her face.

"Do you remember that day in the funeral home? She asked, still blushing a bit.

"Of course, how could I forget our first time? Both the sex and the fight." Leo smiled teasingly.

April smiled briefly before her most serious expression appeared.

"I tried my best to fight it but it looks like I can't fight it any more."

As Leo opened his mouth, April shook her head and continued. "No, it's okay. I'm….okay with it now, death I mean. Before, I didn't understand what you meant about death on your own terms. But now I do." She smiled and moved closer. Leo tightened his arms and wished that he was still the one with terminal cancer instead of her, she had so much left to do, so many ambitions, so many people that cared about her. He didn't deserve to go on living, not the way that she did.

"I'm sorry." April said, eyes filling with tears.

"What are you sorry for? Oh, your cancer? Please" Leo snorted. "Like I never put you through anything with my coma." He rolled his eyes and nudge her.

"No," April cracked a smile, "I'm sorry I never let you read my book, because it wasn't done yet." Her voice cracked as she started to cry.

Leo hurried to reassure her. "That's okay, it's okay."

"Promise me that you'll read it, okay? You don't have to….to read it right….away. But when you're ready, read it then."

"I promise." Leo kissed her forehead.

"Good" April sighed. "Now I just await the afterlife, heaven or whatever it is that has my name written down as the next entry."

Leo teased "You really hate not being on lists, don't you?"

April smiled."I was born to be a V.I.P."

She kissed him and said "We have to make this kiss last until tomorrow." They kissed passionately and April pulled away and smiled at him.

"I'm just going to close my eyes for a bit."

Leo swallowed hard. "Okay, I'll stay right here." He put his arms around her again.

"I love you"

"I love you too."

A little while later, Leo stopped hearing April's breaths.

He sat up a bit more and moved his hand from her to check her pulse but he couldn't find one.

April was dead.


Flash forward to the funeral.

Leo stood in front of her casket, feeling numb. It was a beautiful day and the pastor was reading some poem but he couldn't see anything besides the casket that now held his wife's body.

Around him stood April's friends and family. Beth and Josh were holding hands. Dimples stood with an older woman, Leo guessed it was his mom but he really didn't care.

How could he care about anything when she was gone?

All day long, people kept saying to him "what a wonderful girl she was".
Leo finally escaped the hordes for a minute and sat down on the couch next to Beth and Natalie.

Beth asked, "Can we help with anything?" Her eyes were gentle and full of pain and love.

Natalie followed up. "Do you want us to get anything else from your apartment?"

Leo swallowed hard. "Yeah, I just...I can't go back there. It was the last place she was healthy and I ...yeah."

Natalie gave him quick hug. "That' okay, we can box up whatever you need for now."

Then, Meg and Julian walked up.

"It was a beautiful service Leo, April would have love the passages you picked out." Meg said.

Julian nodded and said "I'm gonna miss her."

Leo reached out and shook his hand. "Me too buddy."

Julian smiled sadly. " She was a wonderful girl."

Leo faked a smile.

Meg continued. "If you need anything, we're here for you. Maybe we'll see you at support group, when you're ready?"

Leo nodded. "Sure, maybe." He didn't want to upset his cancer friends but going back to support group was not going to happen. So many memories of April were associated with it. And he hadn't gone by himself since before his surgery to remove his tumor.
How could he go alone, especially now that he was cancer free?
No, he couldn't face everyone, more friends with expiration dates.

Leo grimaced. "You know, I thought I had finally come to terms with the awkward cancer sympathy after all this time but this is a whole new level, someone else's funeral and death, and not just someone from group, but April-" Leo choked saying her name.

"It'd be better if everyone would quit following the same stupid rule book. Seriously, everyone says "What a wonderful girl she was" even if they barely knew her. April was definitely a woman!" Leo sighed. " I even got one "Heaven needed another angel. And one "things happen for a reason". He said with air quotes.

"That sucks." Brenna said as she at down beside him while Natalie nodded and pursed her lips in agreement. Leo put his arm around her, glad for the presence one person who was hurting almost as much as him.

Just then a random co-worker walked up and said. "I'm uh, very sorry for your loss, Leo. She was a -."

"Wonderful girl. Thank you." Leo interrupted curtly and faked a smile.

The idiot kept talking though. "You're being so brave."

With that, Leo snapped. "No, I am not actually being brave. I just suppressing all my real emotions about my wife that died of cancer to make everyone else comfortable and not awkward, unlike myself, because I am feeling very awkward since I survived my terminal cancer. Excuse me."

He stood up quickly and the man backed away but Leo just headed out for the door. "I'm going to get some fresh air."

He wondered around for a while until he ended up back at his parents' house.
He knocked on the door and the housekeeper let him. She said nothing, just left him in the hall.

Soon his mother and father entered and Leo just looked at them. He used to resent them for being selfish and not caring about him.

But he could hear April's voice in his head, saying how that they loved him.

His mother held open her arms and Leo walked into them and broke down sobbing. His dad patted him on the back.

Leo spent the night at his parent's house, thinking that April had been right when she wrote that article about how his dad left the debate because he was a father, not for the ratings.


"April?" He questioned, when he first woke up, expecting her to be there.

It took him a minute before he wished he hadn't gotten up. The weight of his grief hit him once more but his numbness was gone.

He jumped up and throw on some clothes before heading out the door. He needed to be numb again.

He wound up at one of his old bars, from the days before April, before his tumor, before Paris even.

He was sitting at the bar, nursing a bottle of scotch when he noticed some guys getting high on ecstasy in the back room.

He looked at them and then back at his drink. Despite being half way through the bottle, he didn't feel numb enough.

He got up and started to walk over to the guys.

"Hey, mind if I join you?" He asked with an attempt at a smile. The cash in his hands, however, never failed to work as they pulled out a chair for him and handed him a pill.

Then, he remembered April's disappointment the last time she found him doing drugs and the huge fight they had.

He heard April's voice echoing in his mind.

"Oh, that's right, just keep sabotaging yourself and pushing people away because you're romanticizing some downward spiral."

He stopped and sat there for a minute, staring at the pill. April was gone, but that didn't mean that he could go back to who he was.

She had changed him and he would be the worst person if he just forgot about everything, his cancer, her cancer, and their marriage and went back to the Old Leo, the one who slept with his best friend's girlfriend, the one who was going nowhere fast, the one who nobody would be surprised, died from overdosing on pills and alcohol.

Leo stood up and walked away ignoring the questions of the guys at the table.

He walked to the Carver house and knocked on the door.

Sarah opened it and after looking at him, invited him and gave him a hug.

He spent the night in April's old room, missing her but feeling a little better.

The next day, after trying to eat breakfast with the Carver family, he headed over to the apartment, with the intent of finding papers for insurance.

When he first opened the door, he paused, overwhelmed by the memories. He remembered them developing a chore system, swimming in the pool, avoiding his physical therapy nurse, having their own honeymoon in Italy.

He remembered April, smiling and glowing with life and happiness after they made love on the table.

His eyes filled with tears and his throat tightened but he shook his head and started to search for the papers.

Instead, he stumbled across her book, "Chasing Life."

He remembered his promise that we would read it when he was ready. He grabbed it to take with him and quickly left the apartment.


He took care of the insurance and went to the hospital roof and pulled out her book. Leo just stared at the pages for a while, remembering how she told him she was scared to be a novelist after her father discouraged her.

He had been so proud of her for trying to do something she always wanted to, for following her dream.

With that thought, he opened it and started reading. When he got to chapter 2, he smiled and laughed a bit at at the title, "Chapter 2: What it's like having the world's greatest husband".

That day had been a great day, he did feel like a great husband after seeing her face light up when he solved their problem with the chores.

He read the part about their time on the ledge, when April talked out how she learned to live in the now, when the now was all she had.


Flashback to when April realized that chemo hadn't worked the second time

Leo started talking as soon as they reached the roof. "You know, being up here, always helped put things in perspective. What are you scared of?"

April scoffed and said, "What do you think?"

Leo knew she had to admit it to herself. "Say it."

April rolled her eyes and crossed her arms defensively. "Why?"

Leo kept going. "Because you can't keep fighting it. We're all going to die, April" He put his hands on her tiny shoulders

Her eyes filled with tears as she whispered. "I'm not ready."

Leo tightened his grip. "But you have this time to get ready." He was speaking straight from his heart, remembering when he had his brain tumor.

"Most people, healthy people, they spend their entire lives being scared and inert." He thought back to when he had his tumor. " When I was sick, once I accepted the fact that the tumor was going to kill me, that's when I started to live." And it was true, his life as a person instead of a spoiled rich boy began then.

"How did you feel when I asked you to marry me?"

April smiled at him. "Amazing."

Leo smiled too. "And alive."

"Focus on living like that." "Come on." Leo stood up the ledge and looked down.

He held out his hand. "Come on, trust me."

Leo reassured her as she joined him on the ledge. "It's okay."

He supported her and had her look down. "If you were to fall of this roof right now, what regrets would you have?"

As she looked at him, he continued to explain. "I mean at the end of the day, that's the most important thing to focus on." He had come up here with her before to explain this point and faked his death by jumping down on to a lower level. He had done it then to see if she cared about him and to get her mind on the here and now. But now, he had to get her to see that she still had the now to live in.

April nodded. "Live your life like you know you're gonna die."

End Flashback


April wrote, "In that moment, Leo saved me from drowning in fear and doubt and bitterness. I realized that this is my life and I don't want to die and I don't want to stop living my life. I just need to start living it differently."

Leo smiled as she went on to describe how Leo had been the reason she started living in the now, from their first adventure when they stole a car, to sneaking into the children's ward and playing with toys during her chemo to crashing a Greek wedding.

He had his best adventures with April, she made him feel more alive and worthwhile than he had when he helped anyone else fulfill their wishes. With April, he felt like it was his adventure too.

April' next section was all about their wedding. She started it off by writing,"For the first time in a long time, I feel like the luckiest girl in the world"

Leo remembered the night he proposed.


Flashback to Leo's proposal

Leo looked at April, and thought of a way to help her avoid missing out on everything life had to offer. "Let's get married."

April scoffed. "Seriously? Another reality show about weddings? TV sure is trying to trivialize marriage.

Leo swallowed a bit, even though he wasn't surprised she didn't take him seriously, he had never given off the marriage/commitment kinda guy vibe before he had met her.

Still, he wanted her to see that he was in earnest. "No, it's not a show. It's a proposal."

April laughed again and his nerves were almost shot and his confidence was plummeting. "Sure, why not? I've got nothing else going on."

Leo rallied, he had to try to show her that he was serious, that he truly wanted this and he did. He had never wanted anything this much, even for her to get better was below him wanting to marry her.

He knew what he had to do. He knelt down on one knee in front of her. "I'm being serious. We both love each other. We've talked before about how our relationship isn't normal, so why follow normal conventions?"
"I'm learning that every day that I have, now it's bonus time. And we don't know what's going happen to either of us in a year or even tomorrow. So, will you marry me?"

He held his breath as he waited for her answer. He knew he had convinced her he was serious as soon as he knelt down. Maybe he should have started with that, but he hadn't intended to propose until he realized that he wanted this time with her, as husband and wife.

She met his eyes and said, "Yes." They both laughed a bit with happiness and he fashioned her a ring out of medical tape.

End Flashback.


April wrote, "Even though I laughed at Leo's first two tries, he kept going. I couldn't believe that I had laughed at my first and only proposal but I wouldn't have any other way."
"From the start, Leo and I had challenged each other, from almost getting run over to trying to get an exclusive to thinking the worst of each as either a spoiled rich boy or a desperate reporter with no ethics, cancer forced us to face the truth." |

"Leo was a good guy, a Robin Hood type of guy that cancer made him become much sooner than if he stayed healthy. As for myself, having cancer forced me to listen to Leo as he showed me how to really chase life, not just the next story or success or control but how to feel joy, how to laugh, how to let go of control and most importantly how to love someone, imperfections, lies, challenges and all. I am grateful I got sick, because it let me meet Leo at a time where I couldn't ignore him or let him go."

"As my grandma Emma says, "Commitment is romantic." Leo and I committed to each other in sickness and in health, till death do us part. At first I was scared Leo was being a Robin Hood and only marrying me because I was sick…."

Leo remembered the morning of their wedding.


Flashback to the morning of their wedding

Leo stood outside April's door and started awkwardly trying to make a joke. "So I heard ah...you and Frankie had the kind of conversation that...rich ladies on reality shows usually have.

April said quietly with a bit of guilt. "We exchanged some words. But at least she told me the truth. Why didn't you tell me you punched Dominic? I'm about to be your wife." She sighed with disappointment.

Leo sighed and shook his head.

"Because Dominic-" He couldn't say it, couldn't let her know that he was scared of Dominic, that he could take April away if Leo screwed up.

"He was drunk, I was drunk, it was just alpha male assertiveness at its worst. I'm...I'm sorry." Leo faltered a bit, hoping she wouldn't pick up on his leaving out something.

"But if we're talking about things we shouldn't do before we get married…" Leo scoffed, still bothered. .

"Why did you visit him last night?" He held his breath, waiting for the doubts to come.

April answered. "I was just checking on a friend."

"Leo...I love you. You're the one I wanna be with." As his heart soared, she continued sadly. "I hate that we're keeping secrets from each other on our wedding day"

"What does that mean?" Her voice was full of worry.

Leo reassured her. "It means we're human. You want honesty? Ask me something, anything" He'd do anything to show her that he was honest, that they could trust each other.

Her voice came out, choking on tears and gasping. "Are you marrying me as a gift? Because I'm dying? Am I one of your Robin hood projects?"

Leo couldn't believe it. "Is that really what you think of me? Of this wedding"

She said very quietly "I don't know anymore." She cried a little.

Leo pinched his nose and sighed, wishing he could just hold her close. "Okay look, couples fight all the time and..and they work through it. This is just a bump in the road, right?"

She sniffed. "Right. A bump in the road"

He said firmly. "I want to marry you, April"

She sniffed and calmed down. "I want to marry you too."

April wrote,"It wasn't until later, when I thought my cancer had ruined our special day by causing me to pass out that I learned my worries and doubts were totally wrong, like many of my attitudes about life before I meet Leo."

April cried. "I'm sorry I ruined our wedding. I'm sorry I'm sick."

Leo reached out to her. "Hey, hey." He dried her tears. "Hey, I do not accept your apology. You asked me today if I proposed to you because I thought you might be dying. I want you to know that the answer to that question is… 'Yes I did'" As her eyes widened with shock, he continued.

"We might have to do things faster than other people...but I'm so madly in love with you and I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to marry you someday. Someday just came... sooner than I thought." It was true, as soon as he meet her in that parking lot, he knew April Carver was the type of woman he would marry someday if he lived long enough.

She cried and asked "You're not just granting a dying girl her last wish?"

Leo laughed. "Marrying you is my dying wish."

April wrote, "When he said that, I knew I had been blessed with Leo's love. He loved me, not cancer me or healthy me or that he was helping me but me. I could trust that Leo would've proposed to me if I had gotten better, if we had both been healthy for years. I knew in that moment that Leo and I were meant to be together, cancer or no cancer. Maybe we would've meet in Paris where Leo had started an orphanage or pastry kitchen for the homeless. Or maybe I would have interviewed him for a story someday. But somehow, we would've ended up together"

April continued the chapter. "I remember I was crying my eyes out, so sad that I was stuck in the hospital, that I had stopped our wedding when Leo left my side.

"Doctor could I speak to you privately for a second?" As they whispered, I continued to cry until Leo came up and said.

"Hey, hey, I will see you in one hour.'

"What?" I couldn't believe he was leaving me.

"Love you." He quickly ran out of the room.

She wrote, "I would soon realize that Leo had found a way to make my wish come true. He found a way to give us our wedding."

"His vows, were a lot like Leo himself. They surprised me and touched my heart and made me value life even more. "


Flash back to their wedding

"When I first meet April, I had a death sentence that I accepted because it was easier than trying to fight. But then I spent some time with April Carver...and everyday she finds new ways to show me how special and important and absolutely mind blowing life can be. Why would I not want to spend the rest of my life with the person who taught me why it was worth fighting for? I love adventures. And I can't think of a better one...than life with you."

Leo looked at his beautiful wife and smiled.

April laughed a bit with joy and started her vows.

"I'm so happy the wedding is in this room. It's in this very place that I tried to hide from my fears. When things got to hard, I ran away. I ran here and here...is where you found me. And you taught me that courage isn't about being unafraid. It's about giving yourself no other option than to face your fears. A brilliant woman once told me that the foundation of marriage is love and the reality of it is commitment. I'm so lucky and so thankful that I get to commit myself to someone who makes me happier and more courageous and more excited about every new minute of my life."

They both had tears in their eyes and they poured their love into their kiss, their first as husband and wife.

End Flashback


April went on to describe their married life, their chore system's failure and how Leo supported her throughout all of the clinical trial failures.

She wrote about how their love wasn't perfect but it was alive, and present and she wouldn't have it any other way. Their love helped her to chase life and feel like she almost caught it.

Leo sobbed as he reached the end, full of love for April and comforted that he had made her happy.

When he recovered and closed the book, a note fluttered out, addressed to him.

It was in April's handwriting.

He opened it, curious as to what it would say that wasn't in the book.

"Dear Leo,

Do you remember that day of Jackson's funeral? Where we went to the strip club and I learned that you paid for my fertility treatments?

Yeah, who would've guessed that the payment wouldn't be awkward to explain to my future husband?

Leo smirked a bit at her joke.

I am so grateful for everything we did together, how you helped me with my list of 37 things to do before I die.

But, Leo, I do have one regret though, but it's one only you can do now, seeing as I am dead if you are reading this note.

Leo wondered what it was, and how he could fix it. He vowed he would do anything to make it come true.

"That we," A wet spot marked the page, April's tears. "That I never gave you any children."

"I know I said that I might not be around long enough to do any of it, and I guess that's true."

"If I were healthy, I would want it with you. But since I can't be there, I don't want you to be alone. I want you to use the eggs I had frozen and have a baby.
Wow, I never thought I would write that or even suggest that. But Leo, I want you to have a baby, our baby, if you can. I understand if it is too painful or too weird. But I think it will help you and that way, you'll always have a piece of me with you. To quote what you said when we crashed that Greek wedding, "Have one of our adventures"

Love,

April

Leo put the note down, his head spinning. He hadn't even thought about the future yet, without April, it seemed even more aimless than when he woke up from his coma.

Her idea was crazy and yet….he couldn't deny that he wanted it. He had wanted children with her. It was a dream that could be possible. Leo knew in his heart, he would do what April asked, he would make her dying wish and his own come true one last time.


Flash forward three years

"Hello campers, and welcome to Camp Hendrie's Adventure! Are you ready for a summer of fun?!" Leo asked.

"Yeah!" The campers screamed out.

"Awesome, good to know, and good to know you all have such good lungs. We have a lot of fun things planned for you here at camp."

Leo gestured, " We have Beth's Arts and Crafts where you can paint, sculpt, or even design your own clothes."

The campers oohed and awwed as Beth waved excitedly.

Leo continued. "We also have a Drama station with Brenna where you can act out plays and movies."

Brenna smiled as the campers cheered.

"If you want to be a rockstar, we have Dominic's Music station where you can learn to play an instrument and write songs." Leo looked over as Dominic raised his head and strummed a few chords on his guitar. Leo still didn't like Dimples but he knew April would have been proud of him for letting Dominic help.

"We also have Finn's outdoor adventures where you can hike or kayak or climb or play fun games till you can't move anymore."

Finn struck a running pose with his running blade and the campers whistled and stomped their feet.

Leo winked. "Don't forget about chief Natalie with camp snacks and any kind of Kool-Aid you could want."

Natalie, wearing a chef's hat and apron, bobbed a curtsy to applause.

"We have Leo's (he pointed at himself and nodded exaggeratedly) climbing wall and zip-line for thrills and a new view on life."

The campers clapped extra hard for the director's' station.

"Lastly, (Leo sighed and smiled) we have the April writing station, where anyone who wants to can try out all different kinds of writing."

The campers grew silent for a moment, in respect of April before standing up and cheering.

"Let's make this the best summer of our lives, alright?" Leo yelled.

"Alright." The campers cheered and jumped around.

Leo smiled widely as he made his way off the stage.

He was happy that he had listened to April when she said, "If you could make people this happy all the time, don't you wanna try?"

Indeed, without her, he would've never agreed to work with his dad and this camp would've been a pipe dream.
Leo was so glad that everyone had helped him make the camp a great place for kids with cancer or who had had cancer.
Sarah provided suggestions for the counseling and mental health aspects while Emma had given him her support found him some donors from her friends and travels around the world. Everyone else had their own station to run.

As Leo looked around at his dream come true, a toddler came running up to him and hugged his legs.

"Whoa there little lady." Leo joked as he grabbed her and lifted her up.

"Hi Daddy!" She said as she kissed him.

Leo had gone ahead despite everyone's (except Brenna who saw why he needed to do the idea and understood his need for a child) protests and created a baby using April's frozen eggs with in vitro fertilization and gestation donor.

"That was always going to be my story." Leo had argued. "The son of a rich dad, who made a mess of his life with money and girls and drugs...until I met April. Her only regret was not having children with me. I intend to make that dream come true, for both of us. I want to live life as though she were still with me, as the man she made me become."

After that everyone, even Sarah got on board with his having a baby.

April's Uncle George had helped him find a surrogate mother. The surrogate had passed away shortly after giving birth but Leo's little girl had been born perfectly healthy.

She had April's dark hair and Leo's eyes. She was just as beautiful as April but her smile was as warm and mischievous as her daddy's. Though preparing for a baby and setting up the camp had been hard, it also helped Leo with his grief over losing April. He had a purpose so he could get through the days when grief overwhelmed him.

Once his little girl arrived, he found himself living in the moment of her every smile and tear and laugh. He named her Robyn, both after himself as Robin Hood and because robins sing before the storm comes and after the storms leave. She was born in April, a fact that made Leo smirk and think that maybe there was a god out there somewhere.

He knew April loved their little girl, from where ever she was in Heaven.

Once Robyn was born, Sarah stopped fighting him and helped him with the first couple of weeks along with Beth and Natalie. Brenna and Natalie had supported him from the start and once Beth had her own little boy with Josh, she gave him lots of advice and helped him find a good day care and balance work with a child.

Beth had married Josh and was well on her way to becoming an iconic name in fashion.

Brenna meanwhile was almost done with college at UCLA and getting ready to make her own Indie film about cancer.

Finn was running track at Stanford and he and Brenna were still happily dating.

"Put me down Daddy." Robyn became to wriggle.

Leo kissed her head and put her down.
"Watch me!" Robyn became to run around and as Leo watched her chase after a butterfly,

As Leo watched her utter joy, he knew that she would chase life, just like him, just like her mother.

Leo smiled and thought to himself, "In the end, we had it all."


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