A/N: Sorry for the wait! I agonized over this chapter because I wanted it to be as good as you guys expect it to be. So I hope that it is! Enjoy!
Link to April's wedding dress: weddiingentire wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Elegant-Designer-Wedding-Dresses . jpg
Just fix the spacing! And put the whole dot com thing and a slash after entire. Then it should work!
P.S. How cute is Jesse Williams' calling them Apple Jacks? :)
Disclaimer: I do not own Grey's.
Chapter 30 – I Do…Right?
April awoke to the shrill ringing of her alarm clock and she energetically turned it off and hopped out of bed.
Today was the day. Today was her wedding day. Not so long ago this day had seemed very far away, unattainable even, but now it was here. She was getting married today. She was marrying Jackson today.
A smile graced her face as she thought of her fiancé and she let out a small, girlish giggle. She grabbed her phone off of the bedside table and sent him a quick text to say good morning.
After going to the bathroom and grabbing her robe, she headed to the kitchen where her mother already had breakfast prepared. She looked out the window and saw that her father was enjoying the morning on the patio.
"Hi sweetie," Karen smiled. "I made your favourite."
April smiled brightly and kissed her mother on the cheek before she accepted the plate of banana pancakes. "Thank you."
"How are you feeling?" Her mother asked with a wide, happy smile.
"Good," she replied shyly. "Excited."
Her cell phone vibrated next to her glass of orange juice and she read Jackson's response with an irrepressible grin.
Good morning! See you soon!
"Is that Jackson?" Karen inquired. Her daughter nodded and she continued to smile. April really was in love and it made her indescribably happy. She and Joe had always worried about their second child a little more than the rest but they had been able to relax since she had developed a close friendship with Jackson Avery, and now she was marrying him. Things had worked out perfectly.
"Talking to him is making me less nervous," April confessed in a murmur. "He's keeping me grounded."
"That's very sweet."
April opened her mouth to tell her mother just how nervous she really was when her three sisters burst through her front door and started chattering excitedly.
"We're here!" Alice announced energetically.
"Yes!" Libby seconded with a grin. "We're here for the last Kepner wedding!"
April smiled as her older sister affectionately kissed the top of her head. "Good morning, guys."
"How's the bride?" Kimmy asked as she squeezed her sister's shoulder.
"Great, just great." April glanced at the clock on the stove before she added, "I'm going to get in the bath. The hairdressers should be here in an hour."
The hairdressers and makeup artists arrived precisely on time and it seemed like before April knew it, she was standing in their master bedroom in her wedding dress. She couldn't seem to stop looking at herself in the mirror, and it wasn't out of vanity, it was all just so surreal.
Her hair and makeup were done. She was wearing high heel shoes and the white dress. She was actually getting married. It was going to happen.
A knock sounded at the door and she quietly answered, "Come in."
Libby entered the room in her blue bridesmaid's dress and gasped, "April, you look beautiful."
The older woman walked towards her sister with a smile. "We're all ready to go but I have to give you something first."
She opened the black velvet box in her hands and showed April what was inside of it. "Mom's necklace," the red-head whispered in awe.
Libby nodded with a smile. "The one she wore when she married Dad. She gave it to me when I married Paul, and Kimmy and Alice both wore it when they got married. Now it's your turn," she practically squealed.
April gently picked the necklace up out of the box as tears pricked the back of her eyes. Her mother and her sisters had all worn this necklace on their wedding day and they were all in very happy marriages. It was a good luck charm of sorts and the tradition was comforting. "Thank you," she whispered tearfully.
"Don't cry," Libby chuckled as she took the necklace out of April's hands and clasped it around her neck. "You'll ruin your makeup," she chided. She gave her little sister a tight hug before she stated, "Okay, so that's your something old and something borrowed. Your dress is new. Do you have anything blue?" She inquired somewhat frantically.
April blushed, "My garter."
"Sexy," Libby grinned.
Her face reddened even further and she petulantly muttered, "Shut up."
"It's not like Mr. Gorgeous hasn't seen it all before," Kimmy butted in as she breezed into the room.
"We haven't been together in a while," April argued defensively.
Kimmy raised a sceptical eyebrow. "What's a while for you two? A day?" She teased.
"It's been a week," April shot back.
The two other Kepner women exchanged a look before they laughed. "You two aren't going to leave the bedroom on your honeymoon."
"So where are you guys staying tonight?" Brooks asked curiously as he straightened the sleeves of his tuxedo and looked around the room of the church that they were getting ready in.
"Avery doesn't care as long as there's a bed," Sloan joked. "Actually, a bed probably isn't even necessary."
Jackson grinned to himself as he worked on his tie. His mentor definitely had a point. "I rented a very nice hotel room…with a giant bed and Jacuzzi bathtub," he added.
Sloan laughed triumphantly, "See, and frankly, it'll be nice to have you out of my apartment."
"Honeymoons have to be the only perk of marriage," Karev mumbled grumpily.
Jackson turned around and fixed his friend with a hard stare. "Could you try to be a little less pessimistic on my wedding day?"
"Sorry," he apologized sheepishly. "This suit is itchy, is all."
Jackson observed him curiously as he furrowed his brow. "Does anything else have you in a mood?"
"Nope," he answered quickly.
"Okay then," Jackson replied slowly. "Try to cheer up a little for me."
Alex smiled ruefully. "Sorry, man. I am happy for you and Kepner, really."
Jackson could hear the rare note of sincerity in his voice. "Thanks Karev."
He nodded before he resumed fiddling with his wardrobe. He wasn't really grumpy, just a little frustrated. He and Elizabeth had spent the night together yet he had found his bed empty this morning. He knew that he had to see her at some point today but he didn't want there to be a scene at his friends' wedding. He just wanted to figure out what the hell was happening between the two of them.
As if on cue, there was a sharp knock on the door before Elizabeth poked her head inside.
"Can I talk to my little brother for a minute?"
The three groomsmen left the room to give the two Averys some privacy. Jackson had expected to have some one-on-one time with his sister today. He had already received pep talks, advice, and words of love and encouragement from both of his parents. But this was Elizabeth, she was liable to hand him the keys to a getaway car and a roadmap of Canada.
"You look really nice," he smiled as he looked at her in her dark purple dress.
"You don't look too bad yourself."
She approached him and started to take over working on his tie without a word.
"So, are you and Dad okay?" He winced as she bristled defensively at his words. "I'm sorry," he muttered.
"It's okay," she shrugged. "I'll yell at you and April later. But you're happy that he's here and it's your day, so I'll just deal with it."
He smirked, "That's very mature of you Liz."
She responded to him with an unpleasant expression. "You always think you're so funny."
He chuckled as she finished tying his tie and took a step backwards. "Thanks," he whispered softly as he sized himself up in the stand-up mirror.
"Are you nervous?"
"Not at all," he turned towards her and answered positively.
Elizabeth looked at her younger brother with admiration. "You've always been so sure. I've always envied that about you," she admitted quietly.
"What?" He asked in confusion. "What do you mean?" He had never seen his sister unsure about any decision in her life.
"You were so sure about plastics. You're so sure about April. I've never felt that way about something. I've never really had a serious relationship and I only went into cardio because of Grandpa, you know that."
He nodded in understanding. "I just started doing things that make me happy," he smiled. "And I stopped doing what other people wanted me to do. It's not that big of a secret."
"You're the brave one," she smiled dejectedly. She leaned forward and kissed him on the cheek. "Good luck, I'm really happy for you."
He wrapped his arms around his sister and pulled her into a hug. "Thanks Elizabeth, and you can be happy too ya know."
She gave him one last sad smile before she left the room.
Jackson sighed as he watched the door close behind her. If being together made them happy then why couldn't they just be together? It was so frustrating. Well, he had faith that they would figure it out eventually. He and April had.
April frantically paced the room as she attempted to control her breathing. Her three sisters watched her apprehensively from their place in the corner. They had gotten her to the church but it seemed as if the change in setting had intensified April's pre-wedding jitters.
"You're sure this dress isn't too tight?" She asked them for what must have been the one hundredth time. "It feels really really tight."
"No, April," Alice replied calmly. "The dress is perfect. You look perfect."
The red-head continued to pace and Alice turned to her older sisters in concern. "What is going on?" She asked out of the corner of her mouth.
"I have no idea," Kimmy answered honestly. "But there's no way that she's making it down the aisle like that."
"Why don't you sit down April?" Libby suggested soothingly.
She simply shook her head and continued to pace. She needed to work out all of her nervous energy. He loves me more than anything. He loves me more than anything. It was like a mantra in her head. She needed to keep reminding herself how much he loved her, and how much she loved him. The marriage was the hard part, getting married was easy, she knew that. But then why did she feel so uneasy? All that she had to do was walk down the aisle and say, 'I do'. It wasn't that hard. Right? All that she had to do was say those two words. It was easy, a lot less intimidating than saying 'I love you' for the first time. She could totally do it. She loved him enough to do it.
She just had to say 'I do'…Right?
He loves me more than anything.
But what if love wasn't enough? She was worried about things that had nothing to do with how much they loved each other.
"Okay," Kimmy began in concern, "now she's mumbling to herself." She anxiously tapped Alice's arm. "Go get Mom!"
Alice did as she was told but not even their mother was capable of settling down their fretting sister.
They were trying to decide who else they could get to talk to her when April turned to them and blurted out, "I need to talk to Jackson!"
Mark opened the door and came face to face with one of Kepner's sisters. He had a hard time telling the three women apart, but whichever one she was, one thing was clear, she was in a panic. "What's up?" He asked in a whisper.
"Its April, she's freaking out."
His eyes widened in alarm. "What do you mean she's freaking out?"
"I dunno," Alice shrugged, "she's just freaking out and nothing that we say is getting through to her. She says she needs to talk to Jackson."
Mark took a deep breath and ran a hand over his neatly trimmed facial hair. He desperately hoped that it wasn't anything serious. Avery would be devastated. He protectively placed a hand over his breast pocket, which held the wedding bands. "Okay," he said to himself before he turned around. "Avery," he called, "Kepner wants to talk to you."
The younger man looked at him in confusion. "What?"
"She wants to talk to you," Alice repeated.
"Um, okay," he replied nervously. "Take me to her."
Mark clapped him on the shoulder before he followed Alice to a room down the hall. Alice smiled at him weakly as she gestured towards the closed door. The expression on her face made him even more nervous. She walked away as he placed his hand on the door knob and tentatively entered the room. He looked around curiously; his bride was nowhere to be found.
"April?" He called out.
He turned his head towards her voice and his eyes settled on the dressing screen in the corner of the room that she was clearly hiding behind. "Right," he chuckled, "it's bad luck to actually see you." He walked towards her and patiently stood on the other side of the screen. "What's going on?" He asked hesitantly.
"I need to talk to you." She huffed in frustration before she said, "Screw this, I need to see you."
She stepped out from behind the screen and Jackson's eyes widened as a smile spread across his face. He always liked it when she wore her hair up and today was no exception. He didn't know a whole lot about wedding dresses but he thought that hers was breathtaking. Everything about the way that she looked was perfectly April. "Wow. You look…unbelievable."
She was almost amazed by the instantaneous calming effect that he had on her. That annoying knot in her stomach disappeared as soon as she laid eyes on him. He looked handsome and happy. "So do you," she replied softly. She closed the gap between them and frantically pressed her lips against his. He returned her hungry kiss and when they parted, she couldn't help but giggle. "That was definitely bad luck."
He chuckled as he cradled her elbows in his hands. "What's going on?" He whispered as he looked down at her. "Why do you need to see me?"
April look a deep breath as she placed her hands on his chest. "I want to marry you, I do," she implored. "Don't think even for a second that I don't, but I…I don't think I'm ready to be an Avery, and I don't know if I ever really will be. I'm too awkward and dorky to be charming and charismatic at charity events, and I don't wow people in the OR on a daily basis. I'm still a farm girl and a bookworm at heart so I don't know what it's like to have money or status, to have everybody know you by your last name," she rambled. "And I just don't want to let you down," she confessed. "I'm going to make a bad Avery and I just wanted to tell you that before you got stuck with me."
Jackson couldn't help but smile brightly as he moved one hand to cradle her face. She was so cute. "First of all, you're not going to make a bad Avery, and even if you do, I'm not going to care," he grinned. "None of that matters to me. I know that you have trouble believing it sometimes but I love you the way you are, neuroses and all." He leaned down and pressed his forehead against hers as he continued to smile. "And if all of this is making you nervous then we can steal Karev's car that says 'Just Married' and go down to the court house. No fuss. No crowd. I really don't care," he repeated, "as long as it's just me and you."
"You're really good at calming me down," she whispered as she played with the lapel of his jacket.
"Well I've had a lot of practice," he teased. He stroked his thumb across her cheek as he asked, "Do you want to do this?" She nodded. "You sure?"
"Yes," she answered confidently. "Yes, I want to do this." She couldn't just run out and get married at the court house. Her parents would be upset, Catherine would be angry, and Cristina would grumble at her for wasting her time. They had a lot of guests waiting out there. "I'm ready to spend the rest of my life with you."
Jackson kissed her softly before he pulled away and headed for the door. "Alright then, I'll see you out there?"
She nodded as she bit down on her bottom lip. "I will be right behind ya."
"Okay, I love you," he added before he left.
April smiled to herself and took a deep, composing breath. This would be easy because she loved him more than anything too.
She made it down the aisle, on her father's arm, and they had a beautiful ceremony. Mark Sloan gave a funny, if not slightly inappropriate, best man speech, they danced, fed each other cake, she tossed the bouquet, and they thanked everyone for coming and told their friends and families that they loved them. They had a wonderful wedding; it had been everything that April had ever imagined and more.
April giggled as Jackson opened the door to the hotel room that he had rented for the night. They would leave for California in the morning.
She made a move to step inside but Jackson grabbed her around the waist with one hand and placed the other behind her knees. "Where do you think you're going?" He asked playfully as he lifted her into his arms.
April laughed and wrapped her arms around his neck as he carried her over the threshold.
"I'm going to be doing that a lot," he grinned.
She giggled as he set her back on her feet. She pecked him on the lips before she looked around the large, lavish room. "Jackson, this is beautiful."
"Yeah." He responded to her statement but his eyes never left her for a second.
She caught him staring and her face flushed. "We're married," she stated with an excited smile.
"Yeah," he repeated as he slipped his arms around her waist and pulled her into him. "Yeah, we are."
She placed her hands on his shoulders and gazed at the wedding band on her finger. "It's kinda weird." He raised an eyebrow and she quickly elaborated, "I mean, we're exactly the same but everything's different now. We're married."
He leaned down to kiss her. "Yeah, I know, Mrs. Avery," he said against her lips. She giggled as she began to push his tuxedo jacket off of his shoulders. He laughed lightly as her hands immediately went to work on his tie afterwards. "So you wanna talk?" He inquired sarcastically.
She giggled infectiously, "Yeah, because I know that you want to spend the whole night talking, especially after staying at Sloan's for a week."
He dropped his mouth to her neck and peppered kisses down to her shoulder. "How about we take a bath first?"
She hummed as she ran a hand along the back of his head. "That sounds unbelievable."
He brought his mouth back to hers and kissed her once more before he pulled away. "Let me take off your dress and then I'll get the bath ready."
She spun around and he placed a kiss on the back of her neck as he unzipped her wedding dress. "This dress really does look perfect on you." It slowly slipped down her body, moving at an agonizing pace over her hips, until it was pooled at her feet. She carefully stepped out of her dress and his eyes hungrily roved over her body. She was wearing a white, lace strapless bra, matching panties, and a sky blue garter. "Wow," he whistled. "Never mind, I think you look better out of it."
She blushed as he advanced predatorily towards her. Her knees hit the edge of the bed and she tentatively perched herself on the mattress. Their lips met in a searing kiss and he went down onto his knees so that they were at the same level. He ran both of his hands down her smooth calves before he pulled her shoes off of her feet.
"Have I ever told you how much I like you in a suit?" She asked with a laugh as she started to unbutton his crisp, white shirt.
"I look much better out of it," he joked.
She giggled but her breath hitched when his fingers caressed the skin of her upper thigh above her garter. His eyes turned dark and intense and she fought the urge to shy away from his heated gaze. "What is it?" She asked in a breathy whisper.
"This is ridiculously sexy."
"Its tradition," she replied.
"Love tradition," he growled. He tantalizingly pulled the garter down her leg and off of her foot, his fingers dragging along her soft skin the entire time.
She placed both of her hands on his face and kissed him before she said, "Go get the bath ready and I'll be there in a second."
He gazed at her with a smile before he reluctantly moved away from her and headed into the bathroom. They had set things up exactly as he had requested. There were bath salts, rose petals, scented candles, and champagne on ice.
He ran the bath and lit all of the candles before removing his clothes. He neatly folded his shirt and pants and laid them on top of the toilet seat. He turned out the lights, slipped into the hot water, and patiently waited for his wife. Wife. He grinned to himself at the mere thought of the word.
April Kepner was his wife now. Just four months ago he had been in this same exact situation in their old apartment, waiting in the tub, and they had been talking about when and where they wanted to get married. Just one month before that they had made love for the first time and taken their Boards. And just days before that they had been just friends.
It seemed like a previous life.
April entered the bathroom in a silk robe and he smiled, "Hey."
"Hi," she returned softly.
She hung her robe on the back of the door and slipped into the bathtub with Jackson. She sat between his legs and sank into the water as she rested her back against his chest. "God, this was a good idea," she sighed.
He grinned to himself as he ran his nose down the side of her neck. "I have a good one every now and then."
A/N: So I'm pretty proud of this story so I hope that you guys are satisfied with the ending. I decided to focus more on the lead up to the wedding because I feel that it's often overlooked.
I will not be writing a sequel to this sequel but I will be posting an installment with clips from their future. I already have a few in mind but leave me some suggestions if you have any!
I will be finishing I Left My Heart in San Francisco but I also have many other Japril (Apple Jacks) projects in the works so stay tuned!
I would like to thank anyone who ever left a review and if you took the time to read this story than please leave a final review! :)