A/N: A one-shot set sometime briefly after White Wedding. Summary pretty much explains what's going to happen. Alex, Meredith, Cristina, Jackson, and Lexie do some snooping on April when she starts acting funny. Fluffy fanfic, told from the gang's perspective (mostly Meredith). April/Stark.
We need more humorous moments of the gang together on the show, I think.
Alex walked into the kitchen that morning expecting to see a normal sight: Meredith and Derek at the table with breakfast and the newspaper, or Jackson and Lexie bickering playfully, or April meticulously making coffee for herself. He was greeted with none of these scenarios, however, and sat down at the kitchen table with a scowl. Jackson and Lexie sat on opposite sides of the table, irate with each other over something. The tension was so thick that Alex only bent his head toward his newspaper, and began to lazily read the latest college football scores.
Silence was all that filled the room, if he didn't consider Lexie chewing her cereal or Jackson flipping the pages of a medical text noise. The quiet was deafening, Alex realized, and he missed the mornings where Derek and Meredith would talk about their dream home; it created noise, pleasant noise that reminded him of a home he never had. A home, that if he thought about it, he had now because Meredith was the closest thing to real family he'd have. Hell, Jackson, Lexie, and April were some of the closet people he had.
Alex snorted. How sad was that? The woman he had slept with, her pretty-boy boyfriend, and a girl he had tried to deflower were all his "family." Well, he thought sourly to himself, it was better than the family back home in Iowa. This house and silence was definitely better than an abusive father and mentally unstable mother, not to mention his schizophrenic brother who had tried to kill his sister. Though right now, he mused, the table felt like a battle zone with the dark glares fixed on Jackson and Lexie's faces.
Not wanting to take any more of this, Alex folded his newspaper and set it down gently on the table, so not to disturb his companions and give them a chance to glare at him, which he was certain he'd return with a snarl of his own. Gently scooting his chair out, Alex stood up. He didn't get very far, however, because April came bouncing into the kitchen, humming a soft tune to herself.
The action surprised him, not because it didn't hold her normal perkiness, but she seemed too happy as she glided toward the coffee maker. Frowning, Alex looked to Jackson and Lexie for support, who both seemed stunned by her recent, excited entrance. "Hey, April?"
She turned around, smiling, as she poured herself a cup of coffee. "Yeah?"
"You just get off work?"
"No," she answered, chipper, with a shake of her head that made her auburn curls bounce. "Why?"
"You're wearing the same clothes as yesterday," Lexie commented with her own frown to match Alex's. "Did you even come home last night?"
April paused to think, her eyes darting at each person before she settled on the coffee mug, which now steamed in both her hands. "I did come home last night, but then I left."
"Where'd you go?" Jackson questioned, his tone light and curious as he hinted a small chuckle. "That you were gone all night?"
April only shrugged and answered vaguely, "Out."
"Where's out?" Alex asked, mimicking Jackson's smirk when she took a sip of her coffee with a slight, devilish smirk of her own. When she didn't answer, he asked, "April?"
She shrugged again. "Doesn't matter." Setting her coffee mug down, she told them, "Well, I better get upstairs and take a cat nap before work this afternoon. I'll see you guys later!"
The three of them returned her cheerful farewell. Once she left, Alex turned back to Jackson and Lexie, who held no animosity toward each other anymore because they were too curious about April's behavior, and wondering where she had gone and what she had done. More important than any of that, however, was who she was with. The "what" and "where" didn't matter so much as the "who," a topic she was unwilling to cover as she skipped away.
Frowning, Alex commented, "That was strange."
"Yeah," Lexie agreed.
Jackson scowled. "You think she had sex last night?"
All three met each other's gaze and collectively answered, "Nah," even though none of them completely believed it. That certainly was strange, Alex pondered to himself, and he'd make sure to watch her closely the next couple of days for any odd behavior or repeat of clothes. Where the hell had she been, and why the hell was she so happy?
Meredith frowned as Cristina barked the surgeon's name from the nurse's station. "Cristina, she's no where around here. What are you doing?"
Cristina scoffed her off with a wave of her arm. "She'll come running. She always does."
Meredith waited, and sure as Cristina had promised, April rounded the corner moments later. She only shrugged when Cristina gave her an "I told you so" stare before turning to the younger surgeon.
"You called?" April chirped in question, a smile on her face.
"First off," Cristina used a pen to point at April's face, "lose the smile. You're too perky for me this morning."
The smile vanished momentarily to reveal a slight frown as April asked, slightly irritated, "What do you want, Cristina?"
Cristina nodded as she grabbed a chart off the nurse's station and handed it to April. "I need you to check in on this kid for me. I haven't had time yet, and Altman's all over me with cardio, so I need you to do it."
"Cristina!" Meredith berated.
"She'll do it anyway!" Cristina answered, turning to April. "Won't you, Kepner?"
"Yeah," Cristina answered, holding up a finger when Meredith was about to rebuke the action again. "So, do you want it?"
April shrugged, taking the chart from her without a word.
"Told you she'd do it!" Cristina bragged.
"April, how can you let her do this to you?" When Meredith was met only with a small smile and a shrug, she was even more confused. Never before had April so willingly accepted a patient thrown her way. Normally, she protested fiercely with logical reasons why it wasn't her job and she shouldn't have to do it, but now she caved with a simple command. The action stunned Meredith. What had gotten into the auburn haired woman?
Before she could ask, Kepner walked away with the same tenacity she held when she approached them. Shaking her head, Meredith turned to Cristina, who smiled triumphantly. "Are you proud of yourself?"
"Yeah, that's one more patient who isn't cardio that I don't have to worry about," Cristina answered as she thoughtlessly chewed the back of her pen.
"You don't care that you used her like that?"
"She didn't mind!" Cristina argued with a shake of her head. "Besides, she's been doing it a lot lately. I may as well milk it while I can."
"Wait, she's been taking patients from you for a while now? And she hasn't said anything?"
"Nope," Cristina answered with a happy shrug. "And I'm not complaining! You should try it some time, Mer. You'd be surprised what you can get Kepner to do."
"Don't you think it's odd?"
"No." Cristina scoffed at the thought. "Kepner herself is odd, Mer. We should know not to question things like that. They just kinda…happen."
"How long has she been taking cases from you, Cristina?"
"A couple weeks," Cristina answered absentmindedly before she took in Meredith's appearance. Her hands were on her hips, her eyes wide, like she was a mother scolding her child. "Why? Is that bad?"
"She takes them without a word! Who am I to question that?"
Cristina only shrugged. "Whatever."
Meredith paused to think for a moment before she asked, "So, is she just taking whatever cases you have to give her?"
"Why? You want in?" Cristina knew by Meredith's glare that she was sick of the jokes. Sighing at the lack of fun, Cristina answered lazily, "No. Not just any cases. It's only the ones involving kids."
"Don't you find that odd?"
"No," Cristina answered with another scoff. "Kepner! Odd!"
Meredith only rolled her eyes. Though Cristina couldn't see behind the immediate situation, she could. And there was definitely something off in this situation. Meredith made a mental note to herself to get to the bottom of this, somehow.
Meredith walked into the kitchen two evenings later to find April standing at the island, flipping lazily through a novel. The scene wouldn't surprise were it not for April's constant checking of her phone, as if she was waiting for something important that couldn't come fast enough. Each second must have felt like hours. Smiling gently, Meredith leaned against the other side of the island and asked, "Whatcha reading?"
April looked up from the pages of her book and smiled gently. "The Shining."
Meredith's eyebrows raised in surprise. "The Shining?"
"April, you hate horror books and horror films. What are you doing reading something like this?"
April shrugged and smiled again. "It's something new. I thought I'd give it a shot."
Meredith nodded slowly. "Well…Do you like it?"
"Scares the hell out of me."
Meredith smirked. "So why are you smiling then?"
"It's nice to cuddle up to a horror book sometimes. It's comforting." She shrugged. "I fell asleep reading it last night."
"You fell asleep reading The Shining?"
"Yeah," April answered with a smile. "I was really comfortable, believe it or not. It really is nice to cuddle up with a book sometimes."
Meredith's eyebrows rose suspiciously and she asked, "Cuddle up just with a book?" She continued to smirk when April coyly smiled down at her book. "What's gotten into you, April?"
April simply shrugged once more, her eyes and smirk demure. "Nothing."
"No," Meredith persisted, "I think it's something. You're going around singing, taking cases from people without question, you're reading a horror movie and smiling about it. And I hear you're coming home in the morning wearing the same clothes you wore the day before. No, something is definitely up."
April's head bounced up and she smiled. Grabbing her book, she responded with a perky, "I don't know what you're talking about," and walked away with a spring in her step.
Meredith pursed her lips together as April walked past Alex, who walked in the kitchen with Cristina, Jackson, and Lexie not trailing far behind. They all stopped to stare at April, however, as she sauntered away before joining Meredith in the kitchen. "Hey guys."
"Hey," Jackson greeted. He pointed back toward April, who had rounded the corner up the stairs. "Did you guys she what she was wearing?"
"Definitely not a lounge around the house on a Friday night kind of outfit," Lexie commented.
"She actually looked hot," Alex chimed in, smiling when Lexie glared at him.
"Maybe she's going speed dating," Cristina commented.
Alex shook his head at the thought and asked Meredith, "What's she so dressed up for, Mer?"
"I have no idea," she answered with a shrug. "But I think we should find out."
Moments later, she watched as April hopped down the stairs, stopping to slip on a pair of flats before she attempted to make her way out of the house without leaving a trace. Calling out, Meredith asked, "April, where are you going?"
"Out!" April called, her voice trailing as the door closed behind her.
Meredith frowned as the group turned to her, expecting some kind of answer. Instead of telling them she didn't know, she offered, "Are you guys thinking what I'm thinking?"
"We tie her down and torture it out of her?" Cristina asked.
"I think she wants to follow her," Jackson told her, shaking his head when Cristina glared at him.
"I'm in!" Alex responded. "Let's jump in the car with a pee jar and we're good to go!"
Lexie scowled in disgust. "I'm not sitting by you, Alex."
"Well come on!" Cristina exclaimed as she stood up. "If we want to follow her, we have to hurry!"
"Ugh, I'm bored!"
Jackson rolled his eyes from the scrunched back seat that fit himself, Lexie, and Alex. "We've only been in here for five minutes, Cristina."
"She's not doing anything!" Cristina whined as she munched on a pretzel. "All she's doing is sitting in that damn car!"
Meredith smiled gently. "You want me to turn on the radio?"
"We should listen to country," Alex offered.
"No rock," Jackson countered with an elbow against Alex's chest for good measure.
"I'm good with pop!" Lexie chimed in.
Cristina rolled her eyes and took control of the dial before Meredith could grab it. "I'm picking what we listen to."
"Why do you get to pick it?" All three collectively bemoaned from the back seat.
"Because I'm up front," Cristina answered as she turned on a pop station. "Deal with it." Gently, she began to bob her head gently at the sound of the music. Were they at home, she was certain she'd dance it out with Meredith in the living room. Cristina smiled when Meredith, too, began to bob her head slowly to the music.
"Hey, look! She's getting out!" Alex commented moments later.
Meredith fixed her eyes on April's small little car. Indeed, the lights had gone on and April was in the process of getting out. Squinting, Meredith tried to peer closer but found it hard to see in the dark. "Who's that car beside her?"
"I don't know," came the collective response behind her. "We can't see him."
It didn't help that when April met up with her mystery date, he stood in the shadows so they couldn't see his face. Turning toward the gang, Meredith asked, "Should we get out and follow them?"
Cristina's face contorted in a frown. "Do we have to move?" Before anyone could answer, they all had left the car and, attempting to remain stealthy, walked over to April's car carefully as she and her mystery date walked away, into the night.
Somehow they had managed to stay hidden through most of the chase, as difficult as it was to keep five people quiet and swift in their movements. Eventually, the group rounded a corner with enough time to actually see who her mystery date was.
Cristina, whose head peeked out past the brick, made a gagging noise as she told the cowards who decided to hang back, "She's on a date with Stark!"
"What?" Jackson asked, stunned. "I thought they broke up!"
"Apparently not!" Meredith commented as she summoned the courage to peer out into the street. They had stopped in front of a bookstore to stare at the display, and she smiled as she told the group, "Well, it definitely looks like they're an item now."
"Why do you say that?" Lexie squeaked from behind even Alex or Jackson, farthest away from the scene in case she needed to sprint away.
"Why don't you stop being a coward and come find out for yourself!" Cristina whispered harshly back before she quickly turned to continue her wonderful spying techniques. If she didn't make it as a cardio surgeon – which wasn't possible – she knew she'd have an excellent career as a private investigator.
Ignoring an ensuing argument between Cristina and Lexie, Meredith answered, "She has her arm around his and they look pretty close. Like, he's actually making her laugh and…God is he smiling?"
"He can smile?" Jackson asked.
"Apparently," Cristina answered with a shrug. "Oh, maybe he's an alien who's come down from space to kidnap her and this is part of his evil ways to lure her into his trap."
"Dude, shut up," Alex told her. He, too, moved out so he could see what was going on. Making a gagging noise of his own, he asked, "God, is he buying her flowers?"
"What kind of flowers?" Lexie asked.
"Roses, it looks like," Meredith answered. "Oh, and she did one of those hit his arm flirtatiously kind of moves. You know, with a coy laugh."
"I think I'm going to be sick," Alex commented as he moved away, not able to bear the sight much longer.
"Does he really think this is going to get him laid?" Jackson asked. "Because it's not."
"You don't know that," Cristina countered. "You've never done a romantic thing in your life, I'm sure."
"He has to!" Lexie supported her boyfriend with a nod. She moved past Jackson, because she, too, wanted to share in the happy moment and see what was going on. As she rounded the corner slightly, she, Meredith, and Cristina collectively pulled away and pushed themselves into the darkness with squeaks of surprise as April turned her head slightly in their direction. "You think she saw us?"
"I don't know!" Cristina exclaimed in a whisper. "Meredith, go check!"
"I'm not checking!" She turned to Jackson. "You check!"
"Move, I'll do it," Alex answered, brazen as he gently shoved Meredith aside so he could have a better view. As he stared, he observed, "They're just facing each other. She's got this stupid smile on her face and he's smiling, too. I doubt they saw us. God, this is so gross."
"Are you just going to keep smiling until I turn my head?" He asked her gently, smirking softly when she continued to smile. Her eyes held embarrassment, which had elicited his smirk. This was more humorous to him than anything else, and her reaction…Well, she was practically livid.
"Are they still there?" She asked through clenched teeth.
"Karev just pulled away and Cristina and Meredith are back," Robert answered with a soft chuckle, thankful he could see them out of his peripheral vision. "How long you think they've been following us?"
"Probably since I left."
He nodded. "Do you want to go somewhere else? We can go get something to eat, if you want to do that."
April paused to think for a moment before her smile turned devious. "No, I think I have a much better idea."
"Oh? And what's that?" Robert asked as he tilted his head slightly.
"Are they still staring?" April didn't want to turn her head, fearing that she'd send them a dark, angry glare.
"Well," she continued to smirk, "why don't we give them something to stare at?"
"What'd you have in mind?"
Gently, she grabbed the lapels of his fall coat, pulling him toward her so she could kiss him, not for the first time tonight, and definitely not for the last.
"What's happening?" Lexie asked from the shadows she had no desire to travel out of.
"They're making out," Meredith answered with a tiny laugh. "In the middle of the street. Just totally making out."
Cristina's eyes were wide with surprise. "Who knew Kepner had it in her? Good God, look at her go!"
Jackson groaned with disgust. "All right guys, come on. Let's go. This isn't fun anymore. We know she's shacking up with Stark. Let's just…Let's go."
"Hold on, hold on!" Meredith persisted, waving him off. "It looks like they're stopping."
"Thank God!" Alex exclaimed. "I'm glad I can't see this. The image would be scarred in my brain forever. I'd have to burn my corneas."
"Would you shut up?" Cristina hissed. "I'm trying to pay attention!"
Jackson stopped Cristina from angrily lunging at Alex with balled fists. He calmed her down by gently nodding; he hoped the moment of peace would quell her fiery eyes. She simply shrugged him off, however, and turned back to the scene in front of her. Normally she hated sappy things, but this didn't bother her. In fact, it was actually kind of sweet and entertaining.
Meredith smiled. "They're cute together."
"Now what are they doing?"
"They're holding hands, and he just kissed her hair and now they're walking into one of the restaurants," Meredith answered with a nod. "They are cute together, I'll give them that."
Cristina made a gagging noise as she moved away from the brick and walked out into the street. "Good for them."
Meredith frowned. "Where are you going?"
"To head into the restaurant and spy on them some more." Cristina answered dryly as she continued to walk down the lighted path. "Duh!"
Jackson, Lexie, Alex, and Meredith all met eyes before they chased after her, laughing. The gang was back, all because April had started up a clandestine relationship with Stark. No, she was not going to live this down. This time, however, they all knew she would back down and beak things off. Her PDA had proven that.
Their year certainly was going to get more interesting, that was for sure.