a/n: a little one-shot revolving around an AU where alex&april went to the same high school. just a little experimentation on my part. you probably shouldn't take this seriously ;)
for leeshy :)
DROWNING ON DRY LAND
so here's the thing about april kepner - everything she does, everything she is; it's all perfect. her whole life is planned out on a sheet of paper, and every second of her time is scheduled in that bright pink day planner of hers.
april is neat.
but alex karev is the opposite of neat april; he's a mess, literally and figuratively, and she should be utterly turned off by that, except she's not.
she's drawn to it, like a moth to a flame.
she meets him in biology when she's fifteen. he's indifferent and rude towards her, and when they get their test scores back his are better than hers.
this infuriates her - april kepner is the best at everything she does, and this jack-ass isn't just going to waltz in and steal her spot at the top. classes, schoolwork; it's all she's got.
she can't play sports, can't act or sing, doesn't do newspaper. brains is her thing, and she hates that he can so easily take it away.
her original plan is to tell him to be dumber, but she decides against it because really it makes no sense and he'll just laugh in her face. so she decides to become smarter - she'll study harder, she'll do extra credit, and then she'll be the best again.
she can just pretend she doesn't know him. after all, it's easy for her to ignore people, nowadays.
(especially those who are calling her names - she's used to it).
her plan falls through when she's paired up for a science project with him.
"let's just get this over," she grumbles dejectedly. she should argue with her teacher, but she's april kepner, ms. goody-two-shoes, the resident "teachers pet."
(really she's just too tired to care - she stayed up until two am studying.)
alex shrugs. "i'll meet you at your house after school," he mutters as the bell rings, and is gone before she can ask why they can't do it at his house or how he even knows where she lives.
she spends the rest of the day fighting the urge to be excited that alex karev is actually coming to her house, because a. he's alex karev and he's an ass, and b. she hates him, remember?
when she gets home she clears the kitchen table, shoos her siblings away, and tells her mom and dad she has a project to work on with a "friend," but the word rolls bitterly off her tongue, and she realizes as she says it that even though they aren't friends and she thinks he's an ass, she kind of wishes they were friends.
whatever, she thinks, clearing her head and straightening up her supplies. it doesn't matter.
it doesn't matter.
the words echo in her head, and she even though she denies it venomously, she knows deep down it kind of does matter to her.
he arrives thirty minutes late, reeking of alcohol, only he's sober.
she doesn't ask and he doesn't tell.
they work in silence after she's given him a job, both doing their own thing for the most part.
she spends the next few days observing him out of the corner of her eyes. he catches her several times, but says nothing. he's got a few bruises on his chin and neck, on his wrist under his ridden-up sleeve.
she never says anything about them; only makes small talk about the weather and first period gym (she's never been a good talker). her eyes stay trained on him, though, most of the time they're together.
april kepner isn't stupid; she knows there's something going on there.
or maybe she is stupid, because she promises herself that she'll find out by the time they'd finished this project.
"tell me about your family." she demands of him one day in biology, as she scribbles down the notes the teacher wrote on the board. call her crazy, or maybe just call her lonely, but she wants to know alex karev.
it's stupid, but she can't help it.
alex doesn't say anything for a long time, and when april glances over at him, he's staring at her, as if there's something about her he can't quite figure out.
"i have a brother and a sister," he says finally, and that's the end of the conversation. he doesn't say anymore, doesn't even look at her for the rest of the class, and she doesn't press.
instead, she smiles down dumbly at her notebook.
the next day, after they've finished working on their science project some, april's mom invites alex to stay for dinner.
"we're having chicken," she offers with a smile, but a timer goes off in the kitchen and she excuses herself with a "think about it, alex."
april bites her bottom lip as she collects her papers, placing them neatly in a folder, with alex watching her. "you don't have to, you know - stay for dinner, that is. you can, but you shouldn't feel obligated to." she said, without looking up.
grabbing her pencils and pens, she sorted them out, and then placed the pencils in her pencil case first, before putting the pens in the pencil case.
when she glances up, he's staring at her.
"i can't quite figure you out." he murmurs as their eyes meet, his eyebrows furrowed. it's the first time he's ever really talked to her like that. before it was always grunts and snide comments and short, unattached sentences.
"i'm simple, really." it's amazing how steady her voice sounds, considering how wobbly her insides are feeling.
still, she doesn't tear her eyes from him, and he doesn't tear his eyes from her; not until her mom comes back in the room, and april moves to take her stuff upstairs.
just as her feet hit the second stair, she hears, "yes, i'd love to stay for dinner."
later, once dinner is over, and they're standing together in the dark on her porch she apologizes for her family's behavior (her youngest sister asked several times if alex was her "booooooyfriend), he shrugs it off.
"they're nice. i like them." is all he says, before he turns to leave.
"alex!" she calls when he's halfway down the walkway, before she can stop herself. he turns to look at her. he doesn't speak but she knows he's listening. "thanks," she says, for staying for dinner, for putting up with my family, for being my kind-of-but-not-quite friend.
their exchange at her house puts her off of her plans to find out just what he's hiding, until a few days later. "we should work on our project at your house," she suggests causally in the middle of bio class.
she frowns. every time she asks him if they can do the project at his house, he says no.
her suspicions only grow as he keeps insisting they do it at her house. he's got a secret, and as the days go by, she finds herself more and more enthralled by him. it's ridiculous, but she can't stop herself.
so she follows him home one day, ducking behind bushes and trees like a stalker, and hey, maybe she is, but she's got good reasoning.
he looks behind himself several times, but never notices she's there. or at least, so she thinks, until he stops in the middle of the sidewalk and turns around.
"i know you're following me, kepner." his voice isn't harsh, more amused and a bit tired than anything.
a flush paints her porcelain cheeks and she comes out from behind a tree. the sidewalk is wet and she realizes as she's staring down at it that it's raining and she's completely soaked.
her face grows redder at the confession she's just made and she knows how stupid it is of her - he's just a boy - but no matter how many times she tells herself that, she can't stop the feelings she's been growing.
she's horrified to realize a second after she speaks that she maybe, sort of, kind of likes alex karev.
alex rolls his eyes, oblivious to her internal melt down, but there's something about his face - a flicker in his eyes, the way he bites his lip - that says he's not as annoyed as he seems.
"why?" alex demands, moving closer to her.
she finds with every step closer he takes, she wants nothing more than to either turn and run, or meet him halfway and kiss him.
she does neither. she stands still and closes her eyes.
"why?" he asks again, and she shrugs.
april's eyes flutter open and she looks down at his shoes. leather boots. nice choice.
"because," her voice is strong, despite everything. "you've got all these weird bruises, and you never invite me to your house to do our project, and maybe i've just got an overactive imagination, but i don't think that's the case."
for a second she feels his breath on her face and thinks he's going to kiss her, but instead he turns and he walks away with only two words;
but she can't now - she's caught up in all that's alex karev. she's curious and she needs to know more about him, but he's not the type to let people close.
he pretends that she never followed him home in the days that follow, as they draw closer to finishing up their project.
she rambles aimlessly through their work sessions. he says nothing at all.
she can't take it anymore.
"what is going on?" she demands, slamming her notebook down on her table. "you keep saying we can't go to your house, you have all these bruises, and you refuse to let anyone in. and yet, here i am, practically begging for answers; here i am, a person who actually cares, but you're too afraid to speak out."
"you don't care about me, april!" it's the first time he hasn't called her kepner, and her breath catches in her throat. "you care about answers! you care about solving this big mystery; about figuring out the enigma that surrounds jack-ass alex karev!"
"you're so fucking stupid!" she screams, and it's only when she reaches out to shove him away from her that she realizes they're only inches apart.
he catches her hands, and without warning leans down and presses his lips hard against hers.
they fall back against the wall with his hands trailing all over her body and hers pulling him closer.
he makes her feel like she's drowning on dry land, and she kind of likes it.
a/n: idk how i feel about this. jjf;dljflkdf what do you think? review and tell me, yeah? :)