**** Well, I obviously lied, since I said 'one more' at 3 and this is 5, there are going to be more chapters than I thought. And this one is decidedly 'M'. At least one more chapter is still tumbling around in my head, I didn't wrap some things up that I intend to. Though it may be awhile before I have it up, the next two weeks are finals. Yes, two weeks, not one. It's a long, heartrending story, but not the one you all are interested in. ;)

I also want to recommend another song from one of April's scenes in that same episode, just because I like it and it took me forever to find. ( watch?v=WTtPRTxgqlE )

Is it over

Or has it begun

Do you wonder

What will we become

-Lightsick, by Zola Jesus ****



April was feeling a little disturbed. He'd taken off their outer layers of clothing, and tumbled them onto her bed, and she'd tried to feel ready for what was coming next. But then...that curve, that shadow, of the light fixture had caught her eye, and she'd gotten distracted. Just for a moment, as she had remembered all the events in the past two weeks, all seeming to end with her in this bed. So many things were the same as before all of this started - she still lived at Meredith's, Jackson was still her best friend, she even still worked at Seattle Grace - and yet, everything had changed.

She finally dragged her eyes away from the ceiling to find that he was contemplating her carefully. "Oh, hey," she murmured, caught off-guard at the intensity of his concentration.

He grinned slightly at her. "Forget I was here?" he teased softly. She blushed, but smiled as she shook her head, not knowing what to say.

"You okay?" he asked more quietly, lifting his hand to brush his fingers across her cheek.

She nodded, but when just he traced her jaw with his thumb and waited, she sighed, and spoke. "So, you really think you're in love with me?" she asked dryly, meeting his eyes. She was tired of being the naive, under-experienced girl, maybe for awhile she could pretend to be unfazed.

His lips quirked upward. "Yeah," he said, keeping his voice nonchalant too, as if she'd asked him if he liked the color blue.

"Oh," April said, nodding a little and trying to look unconcerned, as if this were merely an interesting development. "So..." but she couldn't figure out what to say next.

He smiled again, but his voice was less impassive. "You don't have to say it back." A beat, and he added, "I mean, if you do, you could," sounding, for only the second or third time in her memory, a little spooked. "But you don't have to."

She gazed at him, seeing him anew. His face looked relaxed, but that was just the result of years of practice and control. Avery discipline, she thought. But his eyes were tense, and she watched, fascinated, as his larynx dipped in his throat.

"You're nervous," she realized, surprised.

He leaned forward over her, inching slowly closer, until her breath quickened and her pulse skittered in her veins. "Well, yeah," Jackson said, a smile and some triumph in his voice, "so are you." His tone lowered as he added, "I mean, it's not every day you make love to your best friend for the first time."

She wondered at the "for the first time" bit, but took as calm a breath as she could and asked shakily, "is that what we're about to do?"

He reached over, ran his hand down her far arm, and kissed her gently. "Maybe," he said, looking at her thoughtfully. "If you want to." As if it were just one option, as if she could say no, and they'd watch a movie, or find something else to do.

She hesitated, and to her dismay, though his arm still stretched across her stomach and his hand never left her elbow, he rocked back on his side, giving her space. She rolled up onto her hip, chasing him, and studied his face. "I - I think I do."

He grinned, suddenly looking younger than his twenty-eight years. "Yeah?" he said casually, but his palm tightened briefly where it had shifted to her upper arm.

"Yeah," she said slowly, the speed of her voice disagreeing with that of her heart, beating wildly as she stared into his eyes.

He rolled towards her again, his hand moving down to the swell of hips. He kissed her, long and smooth, before pulling her closer, sliding his other arm under her side and around her. The hand on her hip moved down to her thigh, and he whispered in her ear. "Whenever you want, we can stop, slow down...whatever, whenever you want." His breath tickled her neck, warm and wet. Her own breath was catching, so she just nodded, knowing he would feel it.

He pressed his lips to the sensitive skin on the side of her throat, and she exhaled softly at how good it felt. His hand slid lower on her thigh, finding bare skin, and she inhaled a little faster than usual. Jackson pulled his face away from the crook of her neck, and studied her. She gazed back with eyelids that felt suddenly heavy.

Just as she started to wonder what he was looking for, he was using the hand on her thigh to brace both of them as he rolled them to pin her on her back. Settling over her so that he was directly on top of her but not resting any real weight on her, he slid his other hand up her side, to the bottom of her ribcage, and then his mouth found hers.

His kisses weren't exactly gentle, this time, though they were still slow and soft. His lips did more than lightly graze hers, they teased and slid, damp and smooth, back and forth, and in and out. She surprised herself by responding to him easily, eagerly, and winding her arms around his neck.

He just kissed her for a long while, his thumbs making tiny, seductive circles at her hip and her lowest rib, a little detail that she hadn't noticed the other times. She shivered as she realized that this was the first time she'd known she was about to have sex and been able to feel nervous about it. The first time, she'd been filled with the kind of courage that only comes from mixing a little bit of alcohol and a lot of adrenaline. The second time, it had been too surreal - the men's room, of all places - and had happened so fast.

Jackson shifted, pressing a little more weight into her, and she realized with a start that she didn't really feel nervous. Even in her fantasies, where she'd tried to be realistic, she'd imagined feeling awkward and insecure, but with him, she didn't. She felt herself growing warmer and looser as she thought about how real this all felt - he was so solid on top of her, and the scent of his cologne was so close, and he was doing wonderful things to her with his mouth.

And then his hand was inching back up her leg, catching at the hem of her dress and then slipping under it as she gasped. His fingertips paused halfway through traversing over her inner thigh, and he broke their kiss long enough to murmur again, "whatever you want, or don't". She just nodded again, trying to get her breath back, and after a moment his hand slid even higher, much more slowly, until he cupped her center, making her feel needy and wanton.

"Jackson," she breathed against his lips, and she felt him smile.

"April," he whispered back, and he gave her a deep, lazy kiss, as she tried not to squirm and rub herself against him. Shifting again, his fingers stroked her vulva through the thin fabric as he moved the bulk of his weight to the elbow of his other arm, and transferred the attention of his lips to her neck.

She sighed in contentedness and pleasure as he fell into a rhythm, his hand rubbing against her pelvis and his lips brushing against her skin, and then she moaned in surprise and desire when he used his free hand to cup her breast in the curve between his thumb and his forefinger, the heat and pressure of his hand going right through the fabric of her dress and her bra. He lifted himself higher at the shoulder and kissed her again, but a moment later, he was nibbling on her neck again, and then pushing aside her underwear, and his fingers tentatively explored her without that barrier in the way.

His touch was tentative, sliding up and down so gently that she felt like she was melting into him. She hummed in pleasure without really thinking about it, and Jackson turned his head up towards her ear, his voice a raspy whisper. "Spread your legs a little. Please." She did what he asked without a second thought.

One of his fingers slid upward against her slit, until he found the bundle of nerves at the top, and she shuddered in his arms as he stroked it, wondering how she could possibly feel this good still fully clothed. He switched from just up and down to a slow circling motion, making the pressure suddenly feel much more intense, and she cried out, her raw voice piercing the quiet air. He lightened his touch in response, and embarrassed, she whispered, "sorry."

He raised himself higher on his elbow again, hovering just inches over her and looking down. "Don't be sorry," he murmured, his eyes dark and serious. He held her eyes, and swept a thumb across her breast once, watching as she whimpered softly. His hand never breaking its rhythm between her legs, he did it again, kneading her rounded flesh underneath the thin fabric softly, and again, dragging the tip of his thumb over her hardening nipple, until she was trembling in his arms.

She lifted shaking hands to his shirt, quickly undoing the top button, and fumbling with the next. But he leaned in and kissed her, preventing her from making any more progress, too close to her for her hands to be able to do anything but press flat against his chest. "Not yet," was all he whispered, and then he kissed her again as his hand dipped lower, following her wetness to its source.

She whimpered and shuddered in his arms as he slipped inside of her with one finger, and then two. He was watching her, his gaze steady, and she closed her eyes, feeling abashed. Maybe he knew, because he murmured, "you are beautiful, you know," as his fingers reached higher, making her stretch and squirm.

A moment later, his fingers curled and hit a spot that sent a jolt of electricity through her, and she gasped, her eyes snapping open in shock. His eyes were still on hers, dark and serious, but now a wicked grin was playing around his mouth. He pressed that same spot again, experimentally, and satisfaction flitted across his face as her hips jumped forward a bit out of her control.

Her breath came faster, heavier, as he found a rhythm again, a different one this time, with his hand sliding in and out and back in between her legs, over and over, until she was dizzy and felt herself starting to spin out of control. "Jackson," she cried softly, "I can't - not -" She broke off, feeling a tremor of pleasure, as his fingers thrust deeper into her.

"Good," he whispered, his voice ragged. His thumb slid, up, finding that bundle of nerves again, and begin to circle it slowly, still massaging that spot deep inside her, as she shuddered. "Good, don't, god...god, you're so -"

So what, April didn't hear, because she was breaking, like an earthquake, falling apart, a rumble and rush rising up to fill her ears. Her eyes closed as waves of pleasure tumbled and crashed over her, and she heard herself cry out, distantly, as if she were far away, dimly marveling at her sudden visceral understanding of the philosophical definition of 'ecstasy', from the Greek, to stand outside oneself.

Slowly, the noise faded, and she was returned to the quiet present, Jackson's fingers still stroking, shallowly, slowly, inside her, just enough movement to cause her to still tremble, caught in aftershocks. She opened her eyes, feeling suddenly vulnerable in the dark, and saw that Jackson was gazing at her, his eyes hazy.

His fingers stilled inside her, then eased out, drawing her panties back over her wet and sensitive flesh. His eyes never left hers as he smoothed her skirt back down, then reached up to cradle her jaw. He leaned down, his thumb on the side of her chin, and gave her a warm, caring kiss. He leaned back a little, hovering over her as he asked, quietly, "you okay?"

April felt a rush of security at his words, as she heard the echo of how many times he'd asked her that before leaving her hotel room. Just after they'd finished, he'd said, "You glad we did that?" And she'd assured him, in no uncertain terms, that she was. But he knew her - almost better than he knew herself - and he asked again, and again, not quite believing her answer. "I'm great."

It wasn't the right response now, either. "I - I've never - felt anything like that," she admitted, breathless.

"Yeah," Jackson said, his eyes dark and disapproving. "Well, you should have. But, at least this time, I got it right." He paused a beat. "Sorry," he added.

April laughed a little at that, her body still tingling and buzzing. "Don't be sorry," she said, throwing his words back at him.

"Fine," he said, grinning at her, his eyes lightening. "But you're really okay," he stated, and she felt a rush of affection as she saw the concern that was drawn in the lines on his face.

"Yes," was all she murmured, but her tone was confident, sure this time, and she didn't look away. "Although...I would be happier if..." April let her voice fade off.

Jackson drew his eyebrows together, looking troubled, and she continued, coyly, looking pointedly at his half unbuttoned shirt. "...if you would let me finish what I started."

His face cleared, and a little grin escaped him as he leaned into her again, his eyes dark and his breath hot. "I suppose I could allow that."



**** The last two chapters were incredibly difficult to write. This one especially, erotica is so tricky; the line between too much and not enough is so faint and smudged and it probably lies in different place for everyone. I appreciate honesty no matter what you thought. Please please review. ****