A/N: A short little song fic about April/Stark to the song "Somewhere Only We Know" by Keane (made big by Glee, which is my favorite version, and the new Winnie the Pooh movie). Italics are the actual song and POV is in third. I may do more than one chapter, just depending on if I find more songs that I feel suit them.
Time setting is after 7x20 White Wedding where Dr. Stark gave April a recommendation for Chief Resident to Owen Hunt but before she actually became Chief Resident.
Regardless, I hope you guys like it! Reviews, as always, are appreciated! Let me know what you think :) I've never done a song-fic before, so I hope this is all right.
I walked across an empty land, I knew the pathway like the back of my hand, I felt the earth beneath my feet. Sat by the river and it made me complete. Oh simple thing where have you gone? I'm getting old and I need something to rely on. So tell me when you're gonna let me in. I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin.
Stark saw her from across the hallway, and he felt his heart catch by the way she laughed suddenly at what one of the nurses had said. He wished he was beside her, there to hear what it was that made her laugh. But he couldn't go near her because if he went near her...He'd be pulled back in. Besides, he had already begun to re-establish a professional relationship by his snide remarks and terrible behavior toward her. There was no way she'd let him near her without giving him a dark glance, he was certain. But, God, he loved to watch her from a distance, away from where she could hurt him and he could hurt her. There were no violent blows, only a breaking heart screaming for some sort of healing.
Even though he didn't want to admit it to her - let alone himself - he absolutely loved the way she instantly turned back to her work, intent and careful, exactly what she needed to do in order to become Chief Resident. This scene only reinforced to him that she deserved the recommendation he had given to Hunt. And though in the past few weeks he had put up walls around her and been bitter toward her, there was nothing that made him happier than to see her succeed - even if it wasn't happening with him. As he stared at her, Stark remembered a moment in his career when he had been just like her - careful and determined and so willing to sacrifice his heart for a patient. A string of events and lost patients had rocked the last one out of him - as had experience over the years - but watching her...It gave him a new sense that he could accomplish anything. That he could perform any surgery so long as she was there to watch him work.
He continued to stare at her, simply because he wanted to be near her again. Even though they had been on a few dates, he missed her. Maybe, he decided, that was why he had built up such strong and malicious walls around her; the pain was still fresh and he missed her terribly, so he had to put up those walls otherwise he'd never move on. But moments like these when he stole glances from a distance, he wanted back into her life. Stark wanted them to start over again, and hoped that one day she might see him as more than just a friend.
However, his legs and pride wouldn't move him down the tiled floor. With a sigh, he did the only thing he could do to get away from her and focused on the charts in front of him.
I came across a fallen tree, I felt the branches of it looking at me. Is this the place we used to love? Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?
April looked up from her charts and sighed heavily. The race for Chief Resident was eating away at her, only because she figured she didn't have a chance. But screw them. While Alex was working on orphans from Africa and Jackson was completing his diabetes trial and Meredith was doing her Alzheimer's trial and Cristina was doing surgeries, she was focused on the patients. Those were the people who mattered, not impressing Owen Hunt by some grandiose measure. She needed to impress her patients, make sure they were taken care of, before she focused on herself.
But right now she was tired. The post-ops were becoming blurred lines from sleep exhaustion and staring at these things all day. She sighed heavily and rubbed her eyes. If she were a girl to panic - and she had proven herself during a trauma simulation to not buckle under such pressure - she would have jumped at the sight of Dr. Stark beside her. He was like a ghost from out of nowhere, silently moving until he spooked the object of his maliciousness. She only met his stare for a moment, remembering when she had told him off about Asha. "Dr. Stark."
April frowned when he only stared at her. "Do you need something? I'm not on your rotation today, you know."
"No, Dr. Avery is."
She nodded and frowned again at his short response. "So...What can I do for you then?"
He fidgeted slightly. Was he nervous? She instantly flashed back to the moment when he asked her out for the first time, the way he had exposed himself and then looked away from her for fear that she would reject him. April knew he had been nervous in that moment - which had only made it through the first fifteen minutes of their first date before he finally completely relaxed. She was the one nervous on that date, having never been on many dates herself. But this side of him...She wasn't used to this; he was normally so confident and egotistical, at least when it came to surgeries. What did he have to be nervous about? If anything, she decided as she tilted her chin high, she was the one who should be nervous. He had treated her badly and now she wasn't sure what to expect.
April decided she wanted to see him smile because then the knots wouldn't be twisting in her stomach. Anything was better than the torture of his blank stare, even though she knew he wanted to say something.
Oh simple thing where have you gone? I'm getting old and I need something to rely on, so tell me when you're gonna let me in. I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin
Stark wasn't sure what had propelled him to walk over here. Somehow his legs had betrayed his heart and moved toward the object of his pain - story of his life - and now he stood beside her, speechless like a little boy. But he wasn't a little boy. He was Doctor Robert Stark, head of pediatric surgery, and he was respected by many of the other doctors in his field. So then why did he feel so young beside her, so reminiscent of the past that he was certain the sweet memories of his time with her was going to kill him? Why was it she gave him the strength to go into another patient's room, to try a little harder during surgery? Maybe it was her optimism and hope, but he wasn't sure and he really didn't care.
All he cared about was standing before her now, not a man who would insult and berate her, but a man who would treat her like she deserved to be treated. It was exhausting, really, to treat her so terribly; it was probably, besides caring for a few patients, the most emotionally draining thing he would ever do in life. And he was sick of it; he was sick of treating her terribly, especially after she stood up to him and showed him a side of her he had never seen before. He loved that side of her, the way she stood up to him. It made him want to go back to the beginning and learn all over again about the girl who had captured his attention, the first person to change his mind in ten years.
He sighed heavily at her confused face before he straightened and crossed his arms.
"What, Dr. Stark?"
Her agitated tone didn't faze him except for making him unfurl his defensive mechanism. Shaking his head, his eyes pleading, he told her, "I'm sorry, April."
"I beg your pardon?"
"I'm sorry," Stark repeated again, throwing his hands up in exasperation as he stared at her fully, so she knew he wasn't lying and running away from his behavior anymore. "I'm sorry for the way I've been treating you. You don't deserve to be treated like that. It's just...That's my way of things, and I'm sorry. All right?"
"Oh-kay." She frowned. "You're really apologizing?"
He nodded, feeling like he had just written the ending to the beginning of their story and they could turn over a new page, start fresh like he had wanted to do for the past few months. But it was too little, too late. "I am."
And if you have a minute why don't we go talk about it somewhere only we know? This could be the end of everything, so why don't we go somewhere only we know?
Was he serious? April wasn't sure of much of anything anymore as she stared, open-mouthed slightly, at him. He, Dr. Stark, had just apologized for the way he had treated her in the past. She was certain that would be the only time in his career he would ever make such a statement. April knew she should have taken advantage of the situation, accepted his apology, and moved on, but her heart had a different plan. "Took you a while, didn't it?"
"I know." There was no smile on his face, but a soft understanding that he had waited too long and made a grave mistake in how he had handled repairing his broken heart.
She sighed before glancing down at her charts again. "I, uh, I don't really have much time to talk. These reports really need to get done."
Stark nodded in understanding. "Well...I'll let you get back to work. I just...I wanted to apologize for the way I've behaved."
"Okay." He fidgeted again before he moved to walk away from her. Stark didn't get more than five steps, however, before he turned around and called her name. When she turned toward him expectantly, her eyes still surprised from his apology, he asked, "When you get down with these post-ops and done with your shift, do you want to grab a quick bite to eat?"
"I don't really think-"
"Just as friends."
His words stopped her. There was nothing more she honestly wanted right now than to be friends with him again - because not only did she not have many friends in this hospital, but she missed his company and conversation. April missed the him only she was allowed to see. With a soft smile, she said, "Okay, Dr. Stark."
He figured now wasn't the time to tell her that he wasn't coming back again next year. His contract, only a year, would expire soon and he was certain Arizona would be put in to replace him. Stark decided now wasn't the time to disclose of that and - maybe - that was why he had taken this leap of faith and suggested a friendship. Because right now, with such little time left, a friendship was a hell of a lot better than nothing.
Stark forced a smile, despite knowing that he would leave soon and that he had to make the most of the time he had with her. "I'll come get you when you're done."
April only smiled and nodded before she turned back to her charts.
Stark walked away with a smile on his face, nodding happily because she was the person he wanted to spend his last moments in Seattle with. And that time would be spent together, in a place known only to them, a place where they could be themselves without the worry of anyone or anything else, where he was Robert and she was April.