April wasn’t woken by her alarm, like she usually was. She wasn’t even woken by the rays of sunshine lighting her room.
A knock on the door was what made her drift back to reality. Groaning she ran her fingers through her messy hair and tried to make something out of the situation,
Why was she in an one-call room and why was Harriet with her?
Then it suddenly all came back.
It was something that April hated more than the actual pain. The moment after you wake up, when you forget about what has happened and then everything comes back.
It was like being hurt over and over again. It had been the same when they had lost Samuel. So April had stopped sleeping until her body was aching for rest and Jackson had demanded her to go to bed.
She could still remember the terror she had felt about going to sleep. But with Jackson wrapping his strong arms around her protectively, it suddenly wasn’t so scary anymore.
Now it made April just realize how alone she was.
A voice from outside called and the knocking became louder.
“All the other rooms are taken and this one has been locked for hours! I just want some rest! We can share if that’s the issue!”
April still was puzzled, but she quickly tamed her hair and put it in a messy ponytail.
Then she collected her few belongings and shoved them into the bag.
She still didn’t have any idea what time it was, but the daycare was always open so she would bring Harriet over before figuring out the rest.
Grabbing the bag and lifting up Harriet on the other arm, she went to unlock the door.
She nearly collided with the person on the other side. He seemed to need the bed really urgent.
“You wanna share?”, he asked and although April didn’t think he meant sharing one bed, she still felt creeped out.
“No, thanks”, she waved it off and pushed past the young surgeon, who only shrugged before disappearing into the room.
Jackson was early to work, something that barely happened. He felt surprisingly wake, considering he had spend hours of tossing and turning, trying to shush his thoughts.
Now he was on his way to the ER, hoping to be able to start his shift early. To his surprise a certain redhead was already leaning against the counter, filling out some paper work.
He didn’t know what to say, but he knew that he needed to speak to her, check on her, so Jackson slowly made his way over into her direction.
“Hey”, he greeted her and April lifted her head from the pages. “Oh hi”, she answered before turning her attention back to the paperwork.
“Can I talk to you?”, Jackson spoke, signaling her that it required her full attention.
“Isn’t that what you’re doing already?”, April commented, before looking up to him with a sigh.
“Sorry, I just really need to finish this.”
Jackson nodded, before trying to collect his words.
But April was quicker. “About yesterday”, she began and a frown was covering her face.
“I shouldn’t have called, I know it was stupid. So could we please just forget about it?”
Her tone was formal, but friendly. “Oh, sure!”, Jackson agreed, but he didn’t want to let it go this easily.
“But are you okay? I mean, why did you call me in the first place? Did something happen?”
His brain was firing questions and Jackson gave it his best to sound casual. “Everything is fine”, April responded with a smile that was a little too bright for him to believe her.
“It was just some stupid thing that happened. Nothing worth talking about. By the way while we’re speaking, could you check on Mrs. Sullivan in 354? I don’t like how her burns look today.”
Jackson didn’t like that she had changed the topic, but maybe she was right and he needed to let it go. If he would question her further, she would just get mad and he didn’t want nor need that right now.
So he just mumbled an “On it!” and walked away from her, not satisfied with their conversation in the slightest.
After spending hours in the ER, assigning and treating patients, April finally got a break. Normally she would use her spare time to eat something in the cafeteria along with the others, but right now she didn’t feel like eating at all.
So instead April made her way over to the restrooms to get a quick look at herself in the mirror.
She had expected to look tired maybe stressed, but the reflection that stared back at her was worse. The woman’s hair was messy, her eyes bloodshot and her skin pale. Luckily there was no sign of a bruise. Thank god for that!
Hoping to make herself look a little more presentable until the shift was over, she splashed cold water in her face.
Then she started to braid her hair and pinched her cheeks to make her face look a little more colourful.
At the end of the braid April realized that her hands were shaking. Maybe she shouldn’t have skipped dinner and breakfast. She still had some time to grab lunch, but the thought of meeting the others in the cafeteria, where they had time to ask plenty of questions was holding her back.
The vending machine would have to do it.
April just wanted to leave the restroom when the door flew open and Meredith walked into the room.
“Hey Kepner”, she greeted and April quickly put on a smile.
“You look like a ghost. Everything alright?”
Meredith and her weren’t close. They barely saw each other at work nor had a conversation, so she couldn’t be more surprised about what the doctor was asking her.
“Rough night”, she only brushed it off, making Meredith grin. “Ah I heared you and your boyfriend were really happy together”, she smirked and April felt her eyes widen a little.
Of course Meredith would assume she was talking about sex. “What was his name again?”
April decided to leave it like that. Correcting her would only make it look suspicious so should the surgeon think what she wanted.
April didn’t care.
Her voice was shaking when the redhead opened the door to Paul’s and her apartment. She was scared; scared that he was at home, scared that he was not, scared that he could hurt her again.
April quietly closed the door behind her. She kicked off her shoes and took off her jacket before slowly walking into the living room.
Paul’s back was greeting her. He was starring out of the window.
April didn’t know what else to say so she only repeated once again: "I’m home”
Her heart was racing and her body trembling, but all of that fell off when Paul turned around.
He was looking at her with a wide smile. Not a fake or sarcastic one, but a real smile.
It reminded her of the day she had agreed to would move in with him. He had picked her up and spun her around and April had felt like the happiest woman alive.
“You look amazing!”, Paul murmured softly and she couldn’t help but feel a little flustered. “Thanks”, she replied, still unsure of how to behave.
Paul stepped closer towards her and for a second April felt panic rising within her, but then she remembered that this was the Paul she loved.
Whatever had been yesterday didn’t seem to matter anymore. It had been a different man. In front of her was the reminder of why she was still here.
“I missed you so much”, Paul whispered and leaned forward to cup her cheek.
“You hit me”, April stated matter-of-fact. It was the truth, there was no denying about it and she knew they needed to talk about it.
Paul let out a sigh, but he didn’t let go off her face. “It was wrong”, he whispered and April tried her best to ignore what his low voice did to her.
Hell yeah it had been wrong.
“I’m sorry”, Paul whispered. “I just love you so much, you know? The thought of sharing you makes me so angry!”
He was still holding her face in his hands and April couldn’t help but lean into his touch. She had missed this Paul so much.
“Do you get that?”, Paul asked and she nodded.
All her anger had vanished. She wouldn’t forget about this soon, but he seemed to regret his actions and also she didn’t want to ruin the moment.
Both of them had been so stressed the past days that she had nearly forgotten what it felt like to be with Paul.
It felt carefree. He made her feel like she was something special. Like there was no one else in the world.
“Can you forgive me, babygirl?”, Paul whispered in a husky voice and April nodded with a smile.
She couldn’t take her eyes off his. They were so gentle, so full of love. But there was also hunger in them.
The tension could have been cut with a knife, but April enjoyed every second of it. There had been many ways how she imagined this evening go down.
But none of them had included falling for Paul all over again.
“I can’t believe you’re all mine”, he whispered and April smiled. It felt good to belong. Not to him, but to belong with him.
He wanted her. He didn’t care about her being overdramatic or insecure or bubbly sometimes. He saw in her what other people didn’t.
And she loved feeling wanted, feeling needed by someone. Someone, who adored her.
April leaned in to kiss him, but Paul moved to the side. “Uh, uh, uh, not so fast. First I want you to promise me something.”
His deep voice and their closeness was driving her crazy. Impatient April waited for him to say what he wanted.
She just wanted to kiss him, passionately, Show him how lonely she had felt and forget about the last evening.
“Whatever you want”, she murmured impatiently, but Paul stayed silent wearing a smirk.
“I want you to promise me”, he began.
“That you are mine only.”
“I promise”, April breathed and finally Paul gave her permission to kiss him.
The kiss was far from insecure. It was full of passion and burning love.
Paul quickly pulled her close and both of them stumbled to the couch.
"I got you", he murmured when they fell down at the sofa and April knew it was true.
Whatever had happened yesterday had been in the past. This Paul was a complete different person, someone who would always her back.
And for a second the thought of Jackson moving on from her didn't seem so scary anymore.