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Guardian Angel

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"So who is this mysterious guy April is dating for 3 months now?”, Jackson asked Arizona, who only shook her head and sighed.

“I can’t tell you. I haven’t met him yet. Also you dated Pierce so why do you bother?”
The blonde raised her brow at him.

“I don’t bother”, he responded with a frown. “I just want her to be happy that’s all”, he added more quiet.

“Well, she is very happy. So maybe you should get over her too”, Arizona suggested while continuing to fill out patients papers.

“As if it were that easy”, he scoffed. “You are barely over Torres.”
The second the words left Jacksons mouth he already regretted them. “Sorry, I am sorry. I shouldn’t have said that.”

“Yeah, you shouldn’t have”, Arizona huffed annoyed and left. Sighing Jackson stared after her. That was defenitely not how he had wanted this conversation to go.

Since Maggie and him hadn’t worked out, he found himself troubled over what to do. He didn’t want to go on tinder again when the woman he truly wanted was right in front of him.

If he had just realized this earlier everything could have been different. But now April was dating another guy and he had to admit she really seemed to be happy.

So how could he be so selfish when he only wanted the best for her? Maybe he wasn’t good for her and he needed to accept that.

-

“I have to leave for work now”, April called into the apartment. Her boyfriend, Paul, came out of the kitchen and kissed her. “I can’t wait to have you back”, he grinned and April chuckled.

“I didn’t even leave yet and you already miss me?” Paul smirked and hugged her tight. “What if you just skip work and stay here?”, he suggested, but April shook her head.

“You know how important work is”, she scolded him with a smirk. He sighed and gave her a kiss on the cheeck. “I know. But I just can’t get enough of you.”

April laughed and opened the door. “Love you.” “Love you too”, he called. Then she left.

At work she was confronted with a hit and run victim. The woman was in her early 40s and was married. She had a 7 year old son and a 5 year old daughter.

“I need more 0 negativ”, April exclaimed, pressing with her full force against the big abdominal wound. “Come on, hurry up! She’s bleeding out”, she called out.

The heart monitor started to beat drastically and she shot it a frantic glance. “You”, she pointed at one of her interns, “take over!” The man rushed over to her in excitment.

“Press against the wound with all your strength!”, she instructed him and he nodded determinded. April hurried to the other side of the table.

“Starting cardiac massage”, she declared and pushed down in rythm. “Come on”, she mumbled over and over again. A thin line appeared on the monitor and April stopped what she was doing.

“Damn it! I need the paddles.” She fixed everything and took a last glance at the monitor. “Load at 200″, she ordered. “Clear!”

The womans body rose up until it collapsed on the table again. “April”, she heared Owens soft voice. She didn’t know when he had entered the room, but now he was standing right in front of her. “No, we’re not losing her!”, April furiously yelled.

“Load at 300!” Another time the womans body shot up and fell down. April stared at the monitor, which still showed a thin line.

“Damn it!” Frustrated she kicked against the table. “Time of death 4:31pm”, she mumbled and rushed past Owen out of the room.

This was the second patient she had lost today and this time she had to tell a husband, who was sitting in the waiting area, promising his children that their mother would be fine.

April took off her coat and leaned against a counter. She ran her fingers through her hair and took a deep breath.

“Rough day huh?” Jackson had come over to fill in his patients discharge papers. “Yeah”, April replied quicky.

“Maybe you want to watch my surgery later. I will build a newborn a new nose”, he told her. She smiled.

“Thank you, but I have to tell the family now.”

With that she left, leaving Jackson with a worried frown on his face.

Chapter Text

April hadn’t visited Jacksons surgery. Although he hadn’t expected her to show up he still felt a little disappointed.

Maybe he really should stop his efforts and let her be.

-

April was opening the door to her and Pauls shared apartment. Putting the keys onto the table she called out for her boyfriend, but she was greeted with silence. He didn’t seem to be home yet.

Sighing she put off her jacket and put away her bag. A glance on the clock told her that it was indeed early so she let herself sink onto the couch, trying to silence the thoughts in her head.

The next hour just didn’t seem to pass. She probably should have joined Jacksons surgery. A distraction would be nice.

So April started to clean the apartment, but it didn’t take her long, since she tried always tried to keep it as tidy as possible.

Then she dedicated herself to laundry, but even that didn’t took her long enough and 20 minutes later she was walking around the living room, unsettled and restless.

Her only ray of hope was for Paul to come home, so he could put his strong arms around her and let her forget the rest of the world.

“Babe, I’m home”, a voice suddenly rang through the flat and April couldn’t help but smile in relief.

She made her way over to the door and put her arms around Pauls torso from behind. “Let me get undressed first”, Paul snarred while pushing her arms away forcefully.

Caught off-guard April let her arms fall to her sides and took a few steps back. This was not what she had expected.

“I’m sorry”, she mumbled in confusion while Paul continued to put off his clothes. When he reached for his ziper April let out a sound of protest, which made him stop.

“What?”, he hissed.

“I thought we could just talk”, April stated, a little annoyed that he only thought about one thing.

“I had a bad day at work”, she added, hoping he would get the hint and comfort her instead, but Paul only groaned.

“I had a bad day too, that’s why I need you now!”

April was taken aback another time. Paul had never talked to her like this and she felt uncomfortable.

He knew that sex was something special for her she didn’t just want to do just because.

“I am not in the mood for this”, she declared and turned around to walk into the living room again, letting herself fall onto the coach.

“Maybe we could watch a movie?”, she suggested instead, hoping it would calm him until he was back to being his normal and relaxed self.

“I don’t want to watch a movie, April!”, Paul snorted and clenched his jaw.

April tried to look anywhere but Pauls already naked upper body, feeling the sudden urge to leave the room. She didn’t want to argue with him, not after today.

“You know what? I am tired anyways so I will just go to sleep”, she announced and walked past Paul, who grabbed her wrist, twisting her around.

“You really are a disappointment”, he spit and let her go, walking to the fridge to grab a beer.

April needed a second to process his words before making her way to the bedroom, where she closed the door and let herself sink to the ground.

He had just said this, because he was stressed and had a crappy day.

April was sure of that, but the words still stung.

No one ever had called her a disappointment right into her face, let alone her boyfriend.

Although Jackson and her realtionship hadn’t exactly ended on good terms, he had never went this far, not even in a heated argument.

I should have just gone to that stupid surgery, April thought.

Chapter Text

When Paul had joined her in their shared bed later, she had still laid awake, not beeing able to distract her thoughts from his harsh words.

She tried to forget about his odd behaviour and pin it on him having a bad day, but the uneasy feeling in her stomach didn’t go away.

What nearly bothered her the most was how she was still comparing Paul to Jackson.

Even after 3 months of dating she couldn’t help herself but compare her new relationship to her last one.

She decided that it was the case, because it was the only relationship she had every really had. Sure, there had been Matthew as well, but she still felt ashamed thinking about how things had ended with him.

April fell asleep late that night.

She didn’t like how Pauls back was facing her, showing her that he was still mad at her. She felt so alone laying like this. It reminded her of when Jackson had started a relationship with Maggie and she had been alone at home.

The worst days were when she didn’t have Harriet.

The little girl brought so much joy in her life that she felt like a part of her was missing something when she wasn’t with her.

But it was the best like it was.

Jackson was a great father and she didn’t need to worry about her little angle when he was with her.

-

“What’s up with you, Kepner?”

April glanced up from her papers, surprised at hearing Owens words.

“Nothing, I’m just tired. I haven’t slept well”, she brushed it off while continuing to take notes on her ipad.

“Well then I don’t have good news for you.”

Owen gave her an apologetically smile. “We have an injured hiking group coming in”, he claimed and she sighed.

“Maybe a distraction is what I need right now”, she tried to convince herself and walked over to grab a coat.

“How’s Amelia?”, she asked the redhead while putting on the material.

“Better”, he smiled and followed her through the exit.

“We have talked it out and agreed to stay friends.”

“I’m happy to hear that!”

April gave him a bright smile and impatiently waited for the ambulance to arrive.

They were joined by other doctors including Dr. Grey, Dr. Sheperd, Dr. Pierce and Dr. Avery, as well as Webber and some interns.

“Seems like a big one”, someone murmured and finally the vehicles arrived.

A babel of voices, which wasn’t uncommon for big cases, errupted and April headed for the second ambulance.

“Male, 52, complains about pressure in abdomen and thorax.”

“Take him here”, April adviced and pulled the stretcher inside.

-

5 hours later and April had taken care of 4 patients, only one of them needing surgery.

The rest of the group was aided as well so she could take a break and relax a little before checking on her patients again.

A glance on her phone told her that she had 3 missed calls, all coming from Paul. There was also one message reading: “Need 2 talk. Will be home by 8.″

April exhaled reliefed. Paul wanted to talk, which meant that he wasn’t upset anymore. Maybe he would apologize and they could talk it out.

She put away her phone and pulled her hair into a loose ponytail.

A familiar face caught her attention and she jumped up from her sitting position.

“Hey Jackson”, she called and the man immediately turned around after hearing his name.

His face lit up when he saw the redhead waving at him and he casually walked over to her.

“Hey, what’s up?”

“I just wondered if you could take Harriet tomorrow night as well. I know it’s my turn, but Paul and me wanted to go out for dinner and it’s his only free day.”

Jackson felt disappointed at her words, but he didn’t let it show. “Sure”, he gulped and gave her a small smile.

“Thanks”, April grinned in excitement and he felt his heart ache even more.

He loved to see her happy, but he didn’t like the thought that another man was the cause. It felt wrong, somehow.

But April seemed to have moved on, so why couldn’t he too? After all he had been the one to start a relationship with Maggie first.

He had thought that it was a good way to get over April, but after a few weeks he knew it was wrong. It didn’t feel right being with Maggie, not like it felt with April. And he knew the woman deserved someone better as him, who wasn’t over his ex yet.

“How was the surgery yesterday?”, April woke him from his thoughts and he needed a moment to realize what she was talking about.

She seemed so relaxed leaning against the counter and doing casual smalltalk that it nearly made him forget about all the fights they had the last months.

“Oh that- pretty good”, he stated, covering up that he was disappointed over her not having been there.

“I have to keep going”, April announced and gave him a brief smile before turning on her heels and walking towards the elevators.

Jackson stared after her for a second before walking off again, deciding that it was the best to get back to work.

Chapter Text

After April had had checked on her patients again and said her goodbyes she made her way home.

She had mixed feelings towards seeing Paul again.

Although she was happy to make it up to him and enjoy his presence, she was also a little afraid of what would follow.

She didn’t want this to lead to another fight.

She just wanted Pauls company and forget about her lost patients for the evening.

Despite it being a normality to lose patients, she would never be able to deal with it easily and just move on.

She couldn’t stop caring. That was nothing one could turn off, even if it would make things sometimes much easier.

Paul was already home when April unlocked the door to the apartment. He was sitting on the sofa, reading what appeared to be a science magazine.

“Hey”, he greeted her while glancing up from the pages.

April gave him a quick smile and started to put away her belongings as well as her jacket and shoes.

Then she made her way over to him, sliding down next to him on the couch in uncertainty.

Paul had put away the newsletter and turned his whole attention to her. He put her hands in his and took a deep breath.

“I’m sorry for what I said yesterday. I had a bad day, but I didn’t mean to snap on you”, he started and April felt a weight being lifted off her shoulders.

She had been right, he wasn’t mad at her anymore.

“I’m sorry too”, she stated and gave him a smile, which he reciprocated. “Then let’s forget about it”, Paul grinned and leaned forward to kiss her.

She didn’t mind at all and relaxed into the gentle kiss. The first seconds the kiss was soft and innocent and April felt herself melting into it, but it quickly turned into a full make-out session.

“Wait”, April whispered breathless after a few moments

She put her hand on Pauls chest and carefully pushed him away so she could look into his eyes.

“I talked to Jackson today and he will take Harriet tomorrow night so we can go out”, she told him excited and he smirked.

“That’s great. I can’t wait to see you in your new dress.”

“My new dress?”, April frowned.

Paul pulled her up from the coach and led her to the bedroom, opening the wardrobe while wearing a mysterious smile. “It’s a surprise”, he announced and grasped into the wardrobe.

April giggled in excitement while imagining what dress he could have picked for her.

“You will be the most gorgeous woman in the room”, he promised and revealed a short red dress with thin straps. It seemed to be tight as well and April felt herself blushing at the thought of actually wearing it.

She liked the color, but the rest was too much for her to feel comfortable. She had never worn something like this before nor even considered it.

“Do you like it?”, Paul beamed and April felt herself snap out of her gaze. She didn’t dare to tell him that she didn’t want to wear this, because they had just ended a fight and she didn’t want to start another one.

So April faked a smile and nodded, trying to cover up her shock and disappointment. She had never considered Paul being into clothes like this.

She had believed that he thought dresses like this one were cheap and degrading, but he had proven her wrong.

But what if she was the real problem here?

Maybe this was normal and she overreacted. Maybe women wore something like this nowadays and she was just being prude.

She would have to ask Arizona some time, if she was still the same old prude girl she tried to forget.

“You’ll look stunning”, Paul smirked and kissed her. “And you will be all mine”, he whispered into her ear before leaving towards the living room.

April stood alone for a few seconds and tried to sort out her feelings. Normally his words would have turned her on and made her proud, but in this moment the words had the exact opposite effect.

She only felt ashamed and lost, wondering when things had gotten so complicated.

-

"Arizona!"

April practically sprinted towards the blonde doctor, who turned around in confusion.

"I need to talk to you", April demanded and the other woman could sense that it didn't have time to wait.

"I'll be right back", she told the nurse she had previously talked to and followed the impatient trauma surgeon.

"What's going on? Did something happen?", she questioned when they had reached an on-call room.

"No- well yes- I don't know", April spluttered out, running her fingers through her wild auburn hair.

"Paul bought me a dress and he wants me to wear it tonight."

"Tonight?", Arizona wondered, recalling if she had forgot about an important event.

"We'll have dinner in this expensive restaurant down the street", April explained and fiddled with her fingers.

"But the dress is a nightmare!", she called out, the blonde doctor trying her best to follow her words.

"Maybe it's fine and it's just me- I don't know."

April let out a sigh and gazed at her friend in expectation.

"Do you have a picture of it?", Arizona asked and she nodded, reaching for her phone.

She quickly opend the photo she had took last night while Paul had showered, handing Arizona the phone.

"Maybe I'm just being prude", April suggested, trying to make sense of the situation.

Arizona would probably tell her now that she overreacted, like she always did. She only wished she could turn it off, but she didn't know how.

"What do you think??"

April began pacing the room up and down.

"Defenitively nothing I would wear", Arizona reflected, giving her the phone back. "Maybe it doesn't look as bad when you wear it", she suggested, but her friend didn't seem convinced.

"I can't wear that!", April exclaimed, pacing the room in quicker steps. "What if someone sees me? Someone I know..a patient or a doctor or my parents or Jackson..", she trailed of.

"What does Jackson has to do with this?", Arizona wondered.

"Nothing, it's just- I don't want someone to see me wearing something like that. It's degrading", she quickly explained, wondering herself why she had added Jacksons name on the list.

Maybe because she wanted to be respected from him and if he would see her, it would be horrible.

"What am I supposed to do?", she urged, stopping her pacing to look at Arizona.

"Why don't you just talk to Paul? If you explain him everything, he will surely understand it", she recommended, but April shook her head.

"It would lead to another fight and I have had enough of that for the last days."

A beeping sound filled the silence and Arizona gave her pager a frantic gaze.

"I have to go, but we will figure something out", she promised, giving April a convincing smile before leaving.

But she barely believed that they would find a solution. So she shot the photo of the dress one last glance before putting the phone away and deciding that she didn't have any other chance as to do what Paul wished her to.

Chapter Text

“Hey Jackson!”

April jogged over to the surgeon, who turned around in surprise.

“Hi”, she smiled, a little out of breath. “I just wanted to make sure that you remember taking Harriet today.”

“Actually I wanted to talk to you about that”, Jackson said and April frowned.

“I’m sorry, but I forgot that I have already plans for today”, he explained, the lie slipping from his lips easily. Too easily.

“Plans?”, April stuttered, her voice low. “Yeah, yeah”, he stumbled over his own words.

His mind was racing. Why was he lying to her? “ I have a- a date”, he lied again and his heart raced even more.

“A date?”, April seemed genuienly shocked, but she regained her posture quickly.

It just made sense that Jackson would go on dates again. She had moved on, so why did she felt so hurt that he was doing the same?

Jackson nodded, giving his best to hold eye contact with the redhead. She had told him once in an argument that she had discovered when he was lying by the way he gazed to the side and he tried to break the habit.

He didn’t know why he had lied in the first place, but he couldn’t take his words back now.

“Yeah”, he muttered, shifting uncomfortably. “I’m sorry.”

“Oh, well, have fun then!”, April stammered, faking a smile before turning around to leave.

She didn’t know why, but an uneasy feeling settled in her stomach at the thought of Jackson moving on from her.

It was logical, but had hit her unexpected. Unprepared. And it felt wrong.

At the same time April was relieved. She wouldn’t have to wear the dress today and maybe Paul would forget about it later.

Still, the rest of the day her thoughts circled around Jackson and the feeling of disappointment that he had triggered in her.

Meanwhile, Jackson wasn’t fully concentrated on his work either, which didn’t go unnoticed by one of his long term patients, a woman in her thirties, who suffered under severe burnings.

She wasn’t an easy patient, but fun to talk to and somtimes it scared him how easily she could read him.

“Where are you?”, she suddenly asked while he was treating the burnings on her left arm.

“What?”, he asked surprised, glancing up from his hands.

“I said, where are you?”, she repeated. “You’re not fully here, at least not with your thoughts.”

“Of course I am”, he protested, but she smirked. “I am sure it’s a woman that gives you such a headache”, she stated and her smile grew even wider when she watched his reaction.

Shaking his head he returned his attention back to the work, but he couldn’t ignore the looks the woman was giving him.

“Okay fine, you’re right”, he sighed, hoping that now that she had what she wanted she would leave him alone.

But he should have known better than that. Ruby wasn’t known to be quiet. She loved to read peoples emotions and talk to them about their problems, because it “helped her to distract herself from her own”.

So he couldn’t even blame her.

“What has she done, huh?”, she wondered, her nose wrinkling while she thought about possible scenarios.

“Nothing you need to worry about”, Jackson snorted, but she shook her head.

“Just spit it out or you’ll explode!”

He gazed up to her, weighting his options. Her treatment would still take more than 30 minutes and it might feel good to talk to someone about his thoughts.

But he also had a little pride to keep and he barely knew her to tell her such personal things.

“C’mon! I’m stuck in a hospital bed. You know how boring that is? The most interesting thing is what Jeanie in room 2 will wear today and how much salt they have put into the pudding again”, she snorted, shaking her hair out of her face.

“Just give me a little bit information or I’ll die from boredom!”

She grimaced in pain and he sighed. “At least then I wouldn’t have to deal with you anymore”, he teased and the woman faked a shocked expression before laughing.

“That hurt! Now give me information!”, she grinned and he gave in.

Jackson told her everything, from his lie to the feeling that didn’t let him sleep at night since he had found out about April dating again.

It sounded confusing, saying it out loud, but for the first time Ruby really listened. He had never seen her this serious before. She nodded once in a while to encourage him to go on, before she presented him her thoughts.

“You might not like to hear this, but I think you’re jealous. That’s why you lied. You didn’t want her to spend the evening with her boyfriend. As much as you might want to tell yourself that, but you are not over her.”

“No, you’re wrong!”, Jackson disagreed, but deep inside he had expected these words.

Deep inside some part of him knew that she was right, that he still loved April and that all he wanted was to get her back.

His heart was aching for her to be his, but it was too late. There was no chance for them anymore.

He had screwed it up, again.

“Tell yourself what you want”, Ruby sighed. “But to me it seems that you’re not only lying to her, but yourself.”

Jackson frowned, but didn’t say anything, He didn’t want to argue with her, because she was right and he hated to admit it.

“She works here, right?”, she suddenly spoke up again and he nodded slowly.

“I am dying to know which one it is”, she sighed, gazing out of the room towards the corrior.

“No! I’m not going to tell you that”, Jackson protested and she cracked a smile.

“It was worth the try.”

-

Paul came home just a few minutes after April.

He was whistling and obvious in a good mood, until he saw April with Harriet in her arms.

He froze, his smile dropping. “What is this?”, he spoke up, his voice sharp.

“I’m sorry”, April sighed. “Something got in the way so Jackson couldn’t take her today. But we can still go out”, she tried to calm him, but she saw his anger increasing.

“We can still go out?”, he echoed her voice, his lips in a thin line.

“You know, I’m really making an effort here, but it appears that I’m the only one who does”, he hissed and April shivered.

She had expected him to be angry, but these words hurt. “You think this doesn’t matter to me?”, she stated, her voice growing louder as well.

“Yes!”, he yelled and April flinched. She quickly got up and brought Harriet to sleep in the bedroom, before closing the door and starring up at Paul.

“I can’t believe you think that”, she whispered, her eyes watering from anger.

“I did so much for you, how can you just ignore that? This is not my fault!”, she defended herself.

“Yes it is!”, Paul yelled, his jaw clenching in anger. “All of this is your fault!”, he added, stepping closer so he was only inches away from her.

“Yeah sure, because I could know that Jackson would cancel”, she rolled her eyes.

“I don’t know, maybe you did!”, he spat, his eyes thin lines. “What’s that supposed to mean?”, April wondered, throwing her hands into the air.

“It’s always him- always Jackson, Jackson, Jackson”, Paul called out, making April flinch back in surprise.

“He is the father of my baby”, she defended, wondering how Harriet could still sleep during the noise they were causing.

“I think he is more than that to you”, Paul insisted, stepping closer again. April shifted uncomfortably, trying to hold back her tears. The anger was boiling inside of her and she felt the urge to kick something.

Of course he had to bring up Jackson, he always did.

“He has nothing to do with this!”, she yelled back. “It’s not my fault that you feel threatened of him!”

The second the words left her mouth she realized that she had made a big mistake. Paul was raging. She could see it in his eyes, the way his hands balled into fists and how he gritted his teeth.

Then suddenly, from one second to the other, all emotion left him. His face was just blank before his hand reached out and slapped her right across the cheek.

Her head flew to the side and the tears spilled out of her eyes.

Aprils hand held her cheek, slowly turning back to the man she loved. The man, who had hit her. The man, who was not the Paul she knew.

For the first time in her life she was unbelievably scared of him.

“All of this is your fault!”, he hissed before turning around, grabbing his keys and leaving the apartment in a hurry.

April stayed back, tears falling from her eyes while the pain slowly started to reach her.

A million thoughts were running through her head and her heart was beating fast.

The next thing she knew was that she was reaching for her phone, dialing Jacksons number.

Chapter Text

It took Jackson a few seconds to realize that it was his phone ringing. He reached for it in his jacket and saw a photo of April pop up along with her name.

He was undecided if he should take it. For all she knew he was having a date, but there he sat, all on his own in a bar.

He waited a few more seconds, but whatever she wanted to talk to him about seemed to be important. So he sighed and accepted the call, not knowing what to expect.

“Jackson?”

Her voice was quiet, accompanied with little sobs. He immediately tensed up, pulling the phone closer to his ear. “Hey”, he greeted her, his voice as gentle as possible.

“I just-”, she stuttered a little and he knew she was trying to cover up her crying. It didn’t work.

“I just wanted to hear your voice”, she confessed and Jackson frowned. He felt his lips curl up in a smile and a warm feeling flooded him, but at the same time he was mad. She couldn’t just do that, call him and tell him something like this.

Not when he was trying to move on. She was giving him hope, but he had to remind himself that there was no chance for them. She was in a relationship for gods sake!

If she wouldn’t have cried he would have told her that she couldn’t do this, but he couldn’t be harsh on her.

Not when he didn’t know what was going on. But why had she called him? Why not Arizona? Maybe she needed him, maybe she still felt the same as he did.

No- he couldn’t allow himself to think like that.

“April”, he sighed, not knowing what to respond. “I know, I know, I shouldn’t have called”, she stammered and he felt a clenching pain in his chest.

He wanted to ask her what was going on, why she was crying, but at the same time he was afraid to expose her.

“Oh my god you have a date”, she suddenly realized and his eyes widened a little. “I am so sorry I interrupted you!”

A second later she was gone, not giving him time to respond. Jackson slowly put his phone back into his pocket, his mind trying to make up anything from their conversation.

It had been so quick and unexpected, over before he had been able to comprehend it.

He felt helpless, worried for her and guilty, because of his lie. Nothing seemed to make sense anymore.

Jackson starred at the table in front of him before ordering another drink and downing it with one shot.

Aprils words had triggered something in him and he felt sick. Sick of his undeniable feelings for her, sick of that she was out of his reach, sick that a few words could throw him off course so easily.

He had planned not to think about her, maybe even to go home with someone else, but all of that wasn’t possible anymore.

Not when April was poisioning his thoughts and the worry for her left him uneasy.

He downed another drink, welcoming the burning sensation that filled his throat.

The rest of the evening wasn’t spend any different.

-

April paced up and down. The tears had stopped spiling and with every step she seemed more contained, more determined.

Calling Jackson had been a mistake, a fault she couldn’t allow to happen again. They were friends, but she couldn’t talk with him about her new boyfriend. They weren’t there yet.

And he was way too protective over her. That’s why he could never find out about this. She knew what he had done was wrong, but it had just been the rage speaking, not him.

If she would give him a little time to calm himself, he would go back to being his sweet-normal self.

It was something that even in this mess and chaos she could be sure of. A lifeline she clung on to.

Harriet was still asleep in her little bed and April didn’t want to risk waking her up, so she went back into the living room, letting herself sink onto the couch.

Her thoughts were circeling around the argument, the words that had been exchanged and eventually the slap.

She still felt the impact as if she was reliving it over and over again.

Suddenly she was afraid that it would leave a bruise. How should she explain that to anyone? And then there was Jackson. He would get behind what had happened.

“Damn it!” April ran her fingers through her auburn hair before covering her face in her hands.

Why was all of this so difficult? Wasn’t she supposed to be out with Paul, dining at one of the best restaurants in the city? But instead she was sitting at home, trying to figure out what on earth this meant.

What if he would come home drunk and be even more angry with her? What if he would hurt Harriet?

It was the last thought that filled her with a wave of anxiety and April couldn’t sit still anymore.

She jumped up and started packing a small bag with things she and Harriet could need for the night.

Then she put on her shoes and jacket, grabbed the keys, threw the bag over her shoulder and made her way over to Harriets bed.

The little girl was still asleep, but as much as she just wanted to let her rest, April knew that she needed to move fast.

She didn’t know what the hell she was doing or where she would go, only that she needed to get out of here as fast as possible.

Her fear had turned into determination. She wouldn’t let Paul hurt her little girl, not when she could make sure he wasn’t close to her.

“Hey little darling”, she murmured and carefully picked the little girl up, placing her into the baby sling.

“We will just make a little trip, alright?”

Her voice soothed the baby and she fell asleep again only a few seconds later.

Meanwhile the doctor cast one frantic glance at the dark and empty apartment before locking the door and hurring towards the car.

Her heart was beating rapidly in her chest while she walked through the corridor and to the car. Every little sound made her flinch and she only waited for Paul to jump out of nowhere and yell at her.

Finally April reached the small car and unlocked it, supressing a sigh of relief. She quickly put the girl in her baby seat and hopped into the front seat.

Only when the doors were locked and they were in the safe environment of the car she allowed herself to breath again.

Paul wasn’t here. They were safe.

The ride to the hospital endured longer when she expected, but eventually she pulled over to the car park.

Carefully she placed Harriet in the baby sling once again, grabbed the bag and made her way towards the back exit of the hospital.

To her luck she didn’t run into one of her friends and made it to the on-call rooms without any incident.

Placing the baby on one of the way too big beds April went to lock the door. Only when she was all on her one in the small room she stopped trembling.

The darkness that was surrounding her felt somehow comforting and the redhead took a few deep breaths before concentrating on making a plan.

Due to the fight and what had happened after, she had lost any track of time. Getting up she longed for her phone on the nightstand, preparing herself for the blinding light of the screen to dazzle her for a few seconds, but nothing happened.

Her phone was dead, she realized. Great, she hadn’t brought a charger with her.

Sighing April crawled back to her seat on the floor and hugged her knees close to her chest.

It was a habit she had adopted since she was a child. Whenever something freightened her or she felt out of control, she would make herself as small as possible. It always reminded her of how little her fear actually was.

Whatever scared her, the world would carry on turning. So she allowed herself a moment of weakness before collecting her thoughts and figuring whatever it was out.

Watching Harriet sleeping peacefully soothed her, but also made her wonder how the little girl could rest so easily in such a terrible night.

She knew that Paul hadn’t intend to hurt her and that he would probably feel quilty about it for months, but it wouldn't undo what had happened.

So how should she face him again?

If one had asked her earlier if she trusted Paul, she wouldn't have to think twice about it, but now after the events of the evening and the fact that she had packed her things and brought Harriet here showed that maybe she had been wrong to confide in him.

Or why had she run?

Her head started to hurt from all the unanswered questions so April decided to try to get some sleep, even if it would only last a few hours.

"We will figure this out tomorrow", she murmured into Harriet's direction before closing her eyes and allowing her mind the well needed rest.

Chapter Text

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.

“Hello?!”

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?”

“Paul.”

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.

-

“I’m home.”

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.