First try at this FanFic thing, so kinda nervous lol. Anyway, since I'm considering this very A/U whatever happens in season 9 won't affect this story. Not a medical expert, so did a bunch of research to try to make the medicine parts sound realistic enough. No idea how long this will be, but I already have a bunch of chapters done. Title comes from the song by The Head and the Heart.
Disclaimer: Don't own Grey's or their characters.
Five months had passed since the plane crash nearly took the lives of Seattle Grace Mercy West's beloved surgeons. The first few months were difficult for Arizona Robbins and Lexie Grey, who both suffered the most injuries from the crash. Arizona was forced to lose almost her entire left leg and needed to learn how to walk on a prosthetic leg. Also, her internal injuries were more severe than she thought, almost dying twice on the OR table. Lexie, having been crushed by a chunk of the airplane, barely made it alive at Boise Memorial and it was a critical week for her in the ICU. Not only that, but her injuries required a double hip replacement as well as a lower left leg amputation just below her knee. The surgeons managed to salvage her right leg. If it weren't for Callie Torres arguing her way into the OR, Lexie would've been a double amputee. Little Grey had a longer recovery period than Arizona, but she was expected to live a normal life again and return for her fifth year of residency the following year.
Mark Sloan recovered from his own injuries. He refused to let Lexie slip away again and proposed to her shortly after they returned to Seattle. They had a summer wedding planned for next July. Lexie hoped the date would give her enough time to learn how to walk without crutches and an obvious limp.
Cristina Yang still had her mind set on the Mayo Clinic for her fellowship, but even all of the incentives being offered from them couldn't get her to ride an airplane. Driving was an option until she learned Owen Hunt fired Teddy Altman while she was stranded in the wilderness. Teddy had been a great mentor and teacher, so she gave her husband an ultimatum: rehire Teddy or she leaves for Mayo. Owen caved in and fortunately, Teddy returned for Cristina.
Derek Shepherd and Meredith Grey stayed in Seattle for a variety of reasons. Meredith wouldn't leave Lexie after the major injuries her sister suffered. Derek's hand required surgery. Since he wasn't in the best condition to perform surgery Harvard pulled their offer, but he wanted to stay for Lexie too. His hand regained 90% of its normal function, which made him apprehensive about performing his first surgery. However, he grew comfortable again with each surgery that came his way.
Alex Karev became extremely guilty about Arizona taking his place on the airplane. He could only blame himself for her losing her leg, so he decided to blow off Hopkins to make it up to her. But the guilt was still there five months later.
Jackson Avery pulled out of his Tulane fellowship a week before he was to move to New Orleans. He didn't feel right about leaving Seattle after the crash almost killed Mark and Lexie. He wanted to be there for them and his best friend, but…
April Kepner went home instead. After everything that had happened, she was still jobless and not a board certified surgeon. She needed time away from Seattle to reassess her options. Jackson didn't stop her, which she hoped he would. They never fully figured out what they were to each other. More than best friends? Dirty study buddies? Whatever it was, they still didn't know.
It was a slow day at Seattle Grace Mercy West, especially in the pit. Only minor injuries arrived through the sliding doors, but none of those patients were required to be admitted into the hospital. The day had suddenly gotten "brighter" when Owen received a call about an incoming trauma. Car accident in downtown. Driver on his cell phone ran a red light, colliding with a taxi in the middle of the intersection. Two ambulances were on their way to the hospital. All that was known was the taxi driver was in stable condition, having suffered minor injuries. The passenger was in critical condition with various injuries that would require serious attention.
Standing outside of the pit were Owen, Derek, Callie, Meredith, Cristina and Miranda Bailey. Owen paged those who were available, along with a few fifth year residents. It was quiet outside until the faint sounds of sirens were earshot. Dressed in their navy blue scrubs, hospital gowns and gloves, they waited for two ambulances to park in front of them.
"Heard there's trauma coming in. Need more hands?" Kevin Banks asked. He was the Case Western Reserve douche April punched at the bar the night before their boards. Unlike her, he passed his boards and opted to work at SGMW instead of Case Western Reserve. He was positive April took his job, so he moved to Seattle when Owen offered him a fellowship.
It wasn't until he arrived that he learned about the plane crash and April failing her boards. He did feel bad about confronting her that night. He was never the nicest drunk. He also didn't know April personally and it wasn't her fault she didn't know he was waiting for the same job offer from CWR. Plus, the dirty looks he received from Jackson dampened his welcome at the hospital. Nobody besides Jackson knew she punched him and he wanted to keep it that way.
"Let's assess the severity of the injuries first, then we can figure out how many hands we'll need," Owen answered.
The first ambulance arrived and a male EMT opened the door. "Harold Whalen, 48-year old cab driver. Possible left fibula fracture. Patient's conscious and stable," he recited as he pushed the gurney out of the vehicle.
"The young woman! Can you please make sure she's alright?" Harold exclaimed as he attempted to sit up on the gurney, though the EMT held him down. "She wasn't responding when I called out to her!"
"Dr. Banks, you've got this patient. Take the residents with you," Owen ordered. He looked at Harold as he passed by. "We'll take care of your passenger, okay? Just relax and stay calm."
The second ambulance arrived and the doctors surrounded the back of it. A female EMT opened the door, appearing slightly frantic. "Caucasian woman, about late 20's to early 30's. Blunt trauma to the left temple. Left compound wrist fracture. Possible left rib fractures. Blood pressure's 80 over 55. Patient's also about 27 weeks pregnant. She's been in and out of consciousness. Couldn't find any ID on her. Taxi collided with another car after the initial hit. It was totaled. We had to pull her out from the rear windshield."
Owen helped the EMT pull the gurney out of the ambulance. Despite the large gauze wrapped around her head, most of the patient's hair and half of her face were covered in blood. Her left wrist was splinted around where the bone was sticking out of her skin. She had an oxygen mask over her nose and mouth. It took a few seconds for Owen to directly look at the patient's face, then his eyes suddenly grew wide open.
"Oh, no," he muttered. It couldn't be. What was she doing here? "Jesus Christ, it's Dr. Kepner! Let's move, people!"
None of the other doctors could stop and stare in shock. They rushed April's gurney into the hospital and ER 1. Callie couldn't help but remember her car accident with Arizona. Pregnant and on the verge of dying, she knew what it was like. She carefully examined April's fractured wrist. "She's going to need surgery on this wrist," she declared.
"Somebody page Dr. Montgomery!" Owen shouted to one of the nurses.
Cristina placed a stethoscope on April's chest. "Kepner's breathing is irregular and rapid. She might have a pneumothorax."
"Looks like a compressed skull fracture with a probable bleed in the temporal lobe," Derek said before he used a small flashlight to check April's pupils. "I need to get in there ASAP before the intracranial pressure becomes too severe."
Addison Montgomery entered the room moments later. She returned to Seattle four months ago to offer moral support to Mark and the others. It was only supposed to be temporary, but she later decided to stay. She quickly wore a gown as she approached April. "What do we have here?"
"April Kepner. She's 27 weeks pregnant," Owen answered her. "We need you check on the baby and decide whether or not it's safe to keep the baby in there. She's got a variety of injuries and we need to get her into an OR soon."
"I'm on it," Addison replied. She set up the ultrasound machine and began searching for the baby's heartbeat. "Everybody, I need you all to be quiet for a second." Within a matter of seconds, the room was silent and a loud heartbeat could be heard. "Baby's heartbeat is normal, but we'll have to keep a close eye on it. Dr. Kepner could easily go into labor considering her body's under a lot of stress."
"How the hell is Kepner knocked up?" Cristina asked, half-serious and half-amused. Although it wasn't the appropriate time to make jokes, she couldn't help but wonder who the father was. "Did anybody here know she's pregnant? I mean, who did it?"
"Dr. Yang, let's keep things professional right now," Owen sternly said. He looked down at April after he heard muffled sounds coming from her mouth. Her eyelids slightly opened as he grabbed her right hand. "Dr. Kepner, it's Dr. Hunt. Can you hear me?"
April wasn't responsive as her eyes rolled back. Machines started beeping as her vitals dropped. The doctors began vigorously working on her to keep her alive. After they managed to maintain a stable heart rate, they pushed her gurney out of the ER and towards the closest elevator.
Owen stood by the entrance of the elevator and stopped Meredith before she could enter. "Grey, I need you to do something for me," he said. "Find Dr. Avery. Don't page him. Just find him. If he's in surgery, do not tell him about April until he's finished. And keep an eye on him. I don't want him barging into the OR. Am I clear?"
Meredith quickly nodded. Jackson was April's best friend, so it made sense for her to watch him like a hawk. It felt like a rehash of Lexie having to watch Mark after Callie was rushed into the OR. There was also the possibility that Jackson was the father of a baby he didn't know existed. She knew April wouldn't simply lose her virginity to just anybody. It didn't matter when it happened. There were more important things to worry about first.
"I got it," she answered.
The elevator doors closed and she started her search for Jackson. She knew he was in the hospital after seeing him that morning. The first place she checked was the surgical floor. His name was listed on the OR board. A rhinoplasty in OR 2. Meredith didn't bother scrubbing in and entered the OR holding a surgical mask in front of her face. Mark was sitting nearby reading a magazine and she decided to talk to him first.
"Uhh, Dr. Sloan? Do you have a minute?"
"I've got 50, maybe 60. That's approximately how much time Avery has before he's done," the Head of Plastics said as he set his magazine aside. He approached Meredith and placed his hands on his hips. "What's up, Grey? Is it Lexie?"
"No, it has nothing to do with Lexie for once." Meredith and Mark had formed a routine of informing each other of Lexie's stubbornness during her rehabilitation a few months back. Every now and then, she had complaints of leg and hip pain when she was on her feet too much. She would make unannounced visits at the hospital to rant about it. "She's back at your place as far as I know."
"So, what is it?"
"It's umm… it's Kepner. She's here," she whispered. "And it's not looking good right now. Did Jackson mention anything about her visiting?"
Mark slowly shook his head as his eyebrows furrowed. "Nope. Not a peep. What's wrong with Kepner?"
"She uhh… car accident. It's bad," she softly said as her eyes peered over his shoulder to check on Jackson. "Hunt told me to find Avery and keep an eye on him. He can't know until he's done in here, okay? They took her to an OR. She's got multiple injuries and… a baby."
"A baby," he quietly repeated. Mark took a quick glimpse of his student, who was diligently working on his patient's nose and uninterested in their conversation. He raised an eyebrow at Meredith. "Is it Avery's?"
"I have no idea," she replied with a shoulder shrug. "But it's possible, right? None of us knew she even… well, it's a horrible time to make jokes about her virginity. She's in terrible shape. Addison's in the OR in case she has to deliver the baby."
Mark cringed as he scratched the back of his neck. Like Callie, he was having flashbacks of when she and Sofia were in danger. Now Jackson was in his position… once he finds out and if he was indeed the father. Even if he wasn't, April was his best friend. He'd freak out regardless.
"You can head out. I'll watch him for you."
"Alright, thanks. Oh, and make sure he's nowhere near the OR after he finds out. Knock him out if you have to."
He softly chuckled. "That's something I've always wanted to do anyway."
After Meredith left the OR, Mark returned to his seat near the operating table. He casually began reading his magazine again when Jackson turned his head to look at him. "What did Grey want?"
"Nothing. Lexie's complaining of hip pain, so Torres will check it out later," he replied. "So uhh, how's Kepner doing? You two still keep in touch, right?"
"Yeah, every once in a while." Jackson and April's friendship had changed since she left Seattle. They tried to contact each other on the phone and on Skype, but his busy schedule made it difficult to talk on a daily basis. "I spoke to her two weeks ago. She seems okay. She decided to give the boards another try in June."
"That's good," he chirped, though he was frowning behind his mask. "I recall you being bummed as hell when she left. Why didn't you convince her to stay?"
Jackson took a deep breath and sighed. He hadn't opened up to anybody about what happened between him and April. He still lived with Alex, but he never told him about them having sex in San Francisco. "She needed time away from here… to think. I can't force her to stay if she doesn't want to."
"I see." Mark paused for a moment. "You know, I once tried to convince her to sleep with you. You were so uptight about whatever was bothering you that I thought she could be more than your study buddy because you two were best friends. Did she ever tell you about that?"
"No, she didn't and you're an ass for doing that," he said with a hint of annoyance in his voice. Even though they eventually slept together, he hated people meddling with April's love life or lack thereof. First his mother tried to hook her up with the brother of the penis transplant patient, now Sloan admitted to some meddling. "Anyway, can we stop talking about April? I'm trying to concentrate on this nose."
"Okay, but one more question. Remember back when we were consulting with a patient and you rambled on about a potential spark with somebody? Was it Kepner?"
"Shut up, Sloan." Jackson sighed and shook his head. "She's my best friend and I miss her. If you're expecting me to pour out my feelings or whatever, it's not happening. We're just friends."
Mark smirked as he returned to his magazine. "Whatever you say, Avery." His other half of the Plastics Posse was definitely the baby daddy, even though he had no idea.
"Shit," Derek muttered behind his surgical mask. "Kepner has heavy bleeding in the temporal lobe. There's some damage to the hippocampus. I'll try to control the bleeding as best as I can, but she could suffer some retrograde and anterograde amnesia."
"Fortunately, her ribs didn't puncture her lung. She only has a pulmonary contusion," Cristina added.
There were three surgeries happening at the same time. Derek worked on April's brain bleed, while Cristina focused on fixing her two fractured ribs. Callie slowly repaired her fractured wrist. Because everything was on the left side they all had to be careful about not bumping into each other. Addison sat close by as she monitored the baby's vitals. Owen and Miranda stood by the operating table in case they were needed.
Meredith entered the OR after scrubbing in and approached Owen. "I found Avery. He's in OR 2 with Sloan. Mark will watch him until he's finished with his surgery. Is there anything else I can do?"
"Ah, yes. Dr. Grey, I could use an extra hand over here," Derek requested. With Lexie taking a year off from the program, Meredith was his next best option for neurosurgery. He didn't quite trust the other residents and she was his wife after all.
The mood in the OR was tense, but calm. The doctors were working hard to keep April and her baby alive. Addison never looked away from the baby's heart monitor until Alex entered the room after scrubbing in.
"I'm making a second year resident close up my kid for me. If she screws up-" Alex froze when he saw April on the operating table. "Dude, is that Kepner? Wait, does Avery know she's here?"
"No, he doesn't and he's not allowed to know right now, Karev," Owen answered.
"What the hell happened to her?" Alex asked concerned. April wasn't his favorite person, but they were roommates, so they had somewhat of a bond. Plus, the apartment wasn't the same without her perky presence. Jackson seemed to be moodier than he was.
"Car accident. Shepherd, Yang and Torres have it covered for now, but Dr. Montgomery is monitoring the baby's vitals. You're here to assist her in case she has to deliver the baby."
"Wait a freakin' minute!" Alex inched closer to Addison and stared at the baby's monitor. "She's knocked up? Damn, Avery's gonna flip out when he finds out. Even more so if he's the father."
"Quiet, Karev. We're trying to concentrate on our surgeries, so please shut up," Callie demanded.
About an hour and a half into the surgeries, the fetal heart monitor began beeping rapidly. "This baby's under distress. We need to get it out of there," Addison ordered.
"Brain bleed's controlled for now, but make it quick," Derek said as he took a step back from the operating table.
"Karev, let's prep her quickly. Grey, watch the heart monitor for any changes." Addison scrambled to take her place at the operating table. She and Alex began preparing for an emergency C-section, while Meredith sat in front of the fetal heart monitor.
Everything seemed like a blur for Owen. He watched his surgeons operate on his former student. He felt like he let her down after she failed her boards. Being the Chief of Surgery prevented him from mentoring her the way Mark and Teddy did with Jackson and Cristina. He thought April was a good surgeon, but failing her boards opened the opportunity to hire a doctor who was board certified. Now the guilt crept up behind him. If he hadn't fired her, she wouldn't be lying in the OR with her life hanging by a string of hope. He was so caught up in feeling guilty that he hadn't immediately noticed the panic in the OR.
"We've got more bleeding!" Derek shouted.
"Hold on a second! We've almost got the baby out," Addison answered. After she pulled the baby out, she handed it to Alex. "Somebody page Dr. Robbins. Karev, check the baby's vitals. I'll close her up."
Alex carefully set the tiny human on a small bed. The baby was a boy, about two pounds and 14 inches. After he cleaned him up, he checked the baby's heart rate. He placed a small oxygen mask over his nose and mouth to help him breathe. The baby seemed to be doing alright, but he needed extensive care in the NICU immediately.
Arizona practically ran into the OR with her walking cane in hand. Most days, she drove a small scooter around the hospital to get to rooms faster. It had the most obnoxious horn anybody had ever heard, but Alex knew to move the hell out of the way when he heard it nearby. "Got the page. What's going on?"
"Meet Baby Boy Kepner," he said, slightly smiling behind his surgical mask.
"Baby Boy what?" Arizona turned around to see her wife and peers operating on April. Since they had rushed her into the OR she was clueless about the car accident and well, the baby. "I'm really confused."
"I'll explain it to you later, but we gotta take the kid to NICU. His vitals are looking stable for now, so we should start moving," he suggested. Alex gently wrapped a blanket around the baby before he started pushing the bed out of the OR with Arizona following him from behind. "Out of the way, out of the way!"
Once again, Derek was working to stop the bleeding in April's brain. Meredith returned by his side to assist him, while Miranda helped Addison close April's belly. And Owen stood still with a blank expression on his face. April hadn't done anything wrong to deserve this crap, he thought. All he could do was wait and hope she survives.
Wasn't sure if I wanted to throw the pregnancy angle in there, but you can't have drama without drama! I know this sounds similar to Callie's accident, but there's more to the story than you might think ;)
Reviews/feedback would be much appreciated!