Thanks for your reviews! I really appreciate your feedback. Well, folks. We've come to the end of this story, but this won't be the last time I write for Japril! Thank you to those who read my story and also those who wrote reviews. Feels like it took me forever to finish this one lol. Anyway, this one's a little longer than my usual chapters, but it's the last one, so it's fitting :)
It was finally here – the big day. Jackson nor April could truly believe it was happening. They were getting married, yet it still felt like it was all a dream. Perhaps it was because they had been engaged for over a year and sometimes they thought maybe they didn't need to do the wedding thing. They were happy raising Jordan together without actually being married.
But getting married was always a part of April's personal plan. And why wouldn't Jackson marry her? He was in love with his best friend. Took many years to realize she was his one true love, but he figured better late than never. He didn't know just how much he wanted to get married until she played a bigger role in his life.
He couldn't eat. Catherine prepared a nice breakfast for the entire family, but he couldn't eat one bite of food. The nerves were in high gear by then, but he was more anxious about seeing April in her wedding gown than anything else. No matter how many times he begged, she refused to provide him with hints on how it looked.
"It's white," she always said. Well, duh.
The plastic surgeon wanted to sneak out for a while to help him relax. Mama Avery was beginning to drive him crazy with all of her pampering and last minute preparations for the wedding.
"You can't see the bride, baby. That's bad luck," she reminded him.
"I'm not going home to see April," he insisted, rolling his eyes as he stepped out of Richard's house. "I'll be back in an hour. Don't send anybody to follow me, Mom."
Jackson got into his car and drove to the only place he wanted to visit before the wedding. He hadn't heard anything about visiting cemeteries as bad luck. Besides, two of his best friends were waiting for him. He couldn't get married that day without seeing Charles and Reed. He hoped April didn't have the same plans, at least not at the same time he would be there. Otherwise, he would never hear the end of it from his mother if he saw his bride before the ceremony.
He was still dressed in his morning attire – a white t-shirt, his Harvard hoodie and gray sweatpants. Getting dressed for the wedding wasn't happening for another few hours anyway.
Stuffing his hands inside the pockets of his sweatpants, Jackson let out a sigh as he looked down at the two headstones in front of him. "Hey, guys," he awkwardly greeted them, swaying back and forth on his heels. "So, it's happening today. April and I are getting married. Yeah, I feel like I have to pinch myself. We've been waiting forever for this day and it's here. Charles, I'm sure you'd be giving some dumb pep talk about how I still have time to back out as a joke."
He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and opened up a recent picture of Jordan. He showed it to them as if they could see what his baby boy looked like now. "Jordan's getting bigger, isn't he? He's a really smart baby, says a lot of words now. And he's always happy. He dances a lot to music and I think he's already interested in sports," he explained. "He's a good boy. I think I've got this parenting gig down."
As expected, silence. But he knew they were listening. He just wished he could hear what they were saying back to him. "Anyway, I miss you guys. You should be at our wedding… or maybe you will be. Your parents will be there, so at least a part of you two will be around," he added and sadly smiled. "Charles, I'm sure you would've had one hell of a best man speech, but I trust Karev in that he'll keep it clean. He's walking April down the aisle too. You'd be surprised by how much his attitude's changed towards her. He's been a great friend since she returned from Moline."
He thought back to the days when he and Alex barely met eye to eye on anything. The merger had been one of the most nerve wracking times for both hospitals. Jobs were on the line and there was an obvious divide between Seattle Grace and Mercy West. His initial impression of the peds surgeon was that he was a douche. Had he known about his problems with Izzie, maybe he would have backed off a bit.
Now, they got along more often than before. Being roommates seemed to help them build a friendship. And their male bonding time increased after April went home to Moline for a few months. In a way, he could consider Alex Karev to be his best friend. It was almost a scary thought, but he was happy to have him in his life.
"Well, I just wanted to stop by, see how you two are doing," he said and softly chuckled. Although he had grown comfortable with talking to two headstones, there was still some embarrassment that came with it. "Wish me luck?"
Jackson laughed to himself. He knew he didn't need it, but it was better to be safe than sorry. "Hopefully, I won't puke all over April's dress."
Just a few minutes after Jackson left the cemetery, Charles and Reed were greeted by his other half. April scanned her surroundings hoping her fiancé wasn't around to see her before the wedding. She had a small time cushion to visit her friends. She and the rest of the ladies in her wedding party were scheduled to have their hair fixed at a salon in an hour, so she had to make it quick. It took about 20 minutes to come up with a believable excuse to tell Karen why she needed to leave the house for a brief moment, but it worked. Even though she was off from work, hospital duty was a good enough lie to use.
She brought with her a fresh bouquet of flowers for her friends. For every monthly visit, April always remembered to replace them. Setting the new bouquet inside of the vase in between their headstones, she smiled as she stood up straight.
"I'm getting married today!" she excitedly announced. The trauma surgeon covered her mouth with her hand and checked her surroundings again. She didn't want to disturb other people who were possibly mourning the death of their loved ones. Dropping her hand next to her side, she sheepishly grinned. "Sorry, I can't help but feel jubilant right now."
Like Jackson, she was also dressed in her lazy clothes – Akron hoodie and black yoga pants. She adjusted her ponytail before she set her hands inside of her hoodie's pocket. "I wonder if Jackson's been here yet," she speculated, biting down on her lower lip. "Hopefully, he won't show up any time soon."
"So, uhh… you were right, Reed. Jackson did eventually notice me," she continued, adding a laugh. "But I had to kiss him first for it to happen, but you always told me to be bolder, right? Well, I was bold that night in San Francisco – maybe bolder than I planned. It all worked out, though."
She pulled out her cell phone from her pocket. After opening a photo, she turned it around and held it out to Charles and Reed. "This is my wedding gown. I think it's gorgeous," she bragged with a grin on her face.
The white wedding gown was on display in her bedroom. It was strapless with a white beaded lace design on the front of the upper half of the dress as well as on the back. Not too simple, but not too glitzy either. It was the perfect gown for her… after trying on almost 30 other ones.
She put her cell phone away and sighed. "Anyway, I'm praying I won't trip over my gown at all today… or Alex won't rip it by accidentally stepping on it when he walks me down the aisle," she quipped. "Yup, Alex Karev is walking me down the aisle later. Of course, if my dad hadn't… I'm sure he'll be walking beside me. I just won't be able to see him."
April had missed Big Joe since he passed away, but today was a little bittersweet. There would be no father-daughter dance between them. She quadruple checked with Catherine to ensure that part of the reception was removed because she was certain she would have an embarrassing breakdown if the DJ made an announcement for that. At least she had her first dance with Jackson as husband and wife to look forward to.
"I miss my dad. And you two, of course," she tearfully said, wiping away a tear with her sleeve. "But I'm sure you're still happy up there. I bet my dad has a lot of embarrassing stories to tell you about me."
She giggled as she remembered her bachelorette party. "Alice hired a stripper," she whispered. Even after it was all over, she continued to feel embarrassed about the fake police officer shaking his ass in front of her face. "And she forced me to take provocative pictures with a chocolate penis cake with my mom and my grandmother watching! But Grandma Kate – she was having the time of her life. It was adorable… and a little disturbing. You would've had a ball making fun of me, Reed."
Her cell phone started ringing. It was Alice. She figured their mother already wanted her home and she hadn't been gone for even an hour. Ignoring the call, she slightly smiled at Charles and Reed's headstones. "That's my cue to go home before they send a search party for me. Jackson and I will see you next month, okay? See ya."
Blowing a kiss to her two friends, she walked back to her car. She sat in the driver's seat and took a deep breath before she turned on the ignition. "I hope I don't throw up all over my dress."
Jackson stood in front of a mirror in one of the guest bedrooms as he adjusted his bow tie. Looking spiffy in his tuxedo, he wanted to look clean and perfect for April. Although she loved a little stubble on his face, he went for the clean shaven appearance. He wore a black jacket to complete his outfit, then he heard a knock on the door.
"Come in." Harper Jr. entered the bedroom. He smiled at his father. "Hey, Dad."
"Hello, Jackson." The elder Avery smiled back at him. "You look really nice. Very grown up."
Jackson softly chuckled. "I feel grown up. Does Grandpa know you're here?"
Harper Jr. opted to stay at a hotel instead of staying at Richard's, despite the extra room that was available. Since his first meeting with Harper Sr. in fifteen years, it was clear to everyone that they weren't going to be sharing hugs any time soon. Rebuilding a relationship with his father would be a much slower process than with Jackson. They were both stubborn, so a resolution for their broken relationship could take a while.
"He does, but he barely acknowledged my presence. Not a surprise there," he answered and shrugged his shoulders. "Anyway, I thought I'd give you your own personal wedding gift early. I have something else for both you and April, but this one's from me to you."
"What is it?"
"After you were born, I envisioned myself passing a little something off to you on your wedding day," he said, as he reached into the pocket inside of his dress coat. "I didn't think this day would happen after I abandoned you, but I'm glad I'm getting another chance to give you this."
Jackson's eyes widened and he raised both of his eyebrows in awe when Harper Jr. pulled out a gold Rolex watch. "Whoa, Dad-"
"Your grandfather gave this to me as a wedding gift when I married your mother," he recalled, staring at the watch in his hand. "And to think I almost sold this when I was a drunk asshole. Thank God, I changed my mind. This watch is from 1975. It's amazing how well I took care of it over the years. Still looks brand new, huh?"
"Yeah," he sighed, staring at the watch as well. "So… seriously? You're giving that to me?"
Harper Jr. smiled and nodded. "Yes. Just take extra care of it, son. Don't let Jordan flush this one down the toilet. He can flush your other watches, but not this one or else you'll hear it from me big time," he jokingly warned him, making his son laugh. Grabbing Jackson's hand, he gently placed the watch against his palm. "And one day, you can pass it down to Jordan."
Jackson smirked at his father. "I'm not sure if I'll be able to part with it," he quipped and shared another laugh with him. He held up the watch like it was the golden ticket to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. "Man, I can't believe I have a Rolex now – a vintage Rolex. So much better than a new one, to be honest."
"Why don't you wear it now? It goes with your tux."
He quickly removed his other watch from his wrist and wore the Rolex. "It fits great," he added, then he hugged Harper Jr. "Thank you for this, Dad. I promise I'll take care of this baby, even more cautiously than my sneakers."
Harper Jr. laughed before he pulled away from Jackson. "I trust you." He reached up and fixed the plastic surgeon's bow tie, so it was more centered than before. "So, how are you feeling right now?"
"Nervous, but good nervous. I think once I see April in her gown all of the nerves will evaporate," he truthfully said and pointed at his back pocket. "Got an extra handkerchief in case I turn into a full blown sweating machine."
"You'll be fine, Jackson," he assured him, gently patting his shoulder. "You're already a great father. You're going to be a great husband too. April is the perfect match for you."
Jackson grinned as he led Harper Jr. out of the bedroom. "I can't disagree with that at all."
The two men walked down the stairs together. In the living room, Richard, Harper Sr. and the groomsmen were waiting for them. A limousine was waiting for the male half of the wedding party outside. Richard and the two older Avery's were riding together. When Jackson appeared in the living room Mark immediately approached him.
"Avery, my man!" His mentor unexpectedly put him in a headlock and gave him a noogie. "In less than two hours, you're going to be Mr. April Kepner."
"I'm sticking with Avery, you ass." Jackson straightened out his jacket after Mark let go, then he smirked at him. "You're lucky my hair isn't long enough to get messed up. I would've killed you."
Alex walked towards his coworker with a grimace on his face. "Uhh, I got a problem, dude."
"What?" he asked, raising his eyebrow. "If it has to do with April's ring, you're a dead man."
"Actually, it does." He opened the left side of his coat and pointed at the pocket. "I swear, I thought I had it in here, but-"
"You lost the ring?!" Jackson panicked, shooting a glare at Alex. "You better be freaking kidding, Karev!"
Alex started laughing as he pulled out a white gold wedding band. "I'm messing with ya, Avery. I just wanted to screw with you one more time before the ceremony. Don't worry. I won't lose the ring."
Jackson rolled his eyes when the other men laughed at him. "You guys are dicks," he bluntly said. "No more fake outs, alright? I'm already feeling like my stomach's going to explode."
"Relax. Just stay cool," he advised as he put the ring back into his side pocket. "And don't even think about passing out. I mean, I'll catch you, but you don't want to look like a loser in front of April. So uhh, we should get going. I've got like a hundred jobs to take care of as your best man."
One by one, the men walked out of Richard's house in their suits and tuxedos. The weather was sunny, which was a blessing because it had been raining every day the previous week. If the weather was cooperating, then Jackson knew it was going to be a very good day.
Karen gently adjusted the veil attached to April's hair without ruining her French twist updo. While she focused on the veil, Catherine double checked the gown to ensure every possible wrinkle was gone. She used her hand to smooth out her gown as April felt awkward about her soon-to-be mother-in-law brushing her hand against her boobs.
"There. It should stay still for the rest of the day," Karen insisted and took a step back to view her daughter in her wedding gown. She pressed her palms together underneath her chin and smiled. "You look absolutely beautiful, sweetie."
"Stunning," Catherine added. She had a grin on her face ever since she saw April completely dressed in her gown. "Girl, you might very well make Jackson faint, baby. You are one gorgeous bride."
April could feel her cheeks growing warmer by the second. She stared at herself using the closet mirror. She had never been so dolled up for anything, but seeing herself in her wedding gown was what she had been dreaming of since she was a young girl. That morning, it hadn't fully hit her yet that she was getting married until she saw herself in her gown.
"I think I'm going to faint right now," she almost breathlessly said. She started fanning herself with her hand. "Anybody else feeling hot or is it just me?"
"Oh, you're just making yourself nervous, dear." Karen opened her purse, taking out a pair of pearl earrings in a small bag. "There's one more thing you need to wear before you meet the others downstairs. As you know, I've been doing a tradition of passing down jewelry to my daughters on their wedding day. Libby got my engagement ring since Carl never actually bought her one and I gave Kimmie one of my necklaces. So, it's your turn."
"Your pearl earrings?" April asked, sounding surprised. "But… Grandma Kate gave you those when you married Dad. You love those earrings. You once flipped out when Libby borrowed them without asking for permission in high school."
Karen chuckled. "Well, Grandma Kate insisted I pass them down to you as well. They're yours now, April. No more arguments." She put the earrings on for the redhead with a smile on her face. "Now, you're ready to go downstairs."
April hugged her mother, trying not to unleash any tears. She refused to ruin her makeup before arriving at the church. "Thank you, Mom. I love you."
"Love you too," she replied before pulling away from her. "Now, let's help you down the stairs without any accidents."
Alice and the bridesmaids waited for April in the living room. Samantha was also present as she would be riding with Catherine and Karen to the hospital. The rest would be escorted by a limousine just like the men of the wedding party. Libby and Kimmie's children left with their husbands and grandparents and would meet them at the church. Jordan was comfortably relaxing in Kimmie's arms and wearing a mini tuxedo of his own. Half of his outfit would eventually be shed before the end of the day. He rarely lasted long in dress clothes and constantly tried to rip them off of himself.
Mama Avery made her way down the stairs first and held up her camera when she reached the bottom. "Here comes the beautiful bride!" she announced.
The women gathered closely by the entrance of the living room as April slowly walked downstairs. Karen held up the back of her gown, so it wouldn't get dirty or cause her to trip and fall. The trauma surgeon sheepishly grinned when they all "Ooh-ed" and "Aww-ed" at her, including the robotic Avery sisters, who actually showed some emotion.
"Oh my God, you look so freaking gorgeous, April!" Lexie exclaimed as she snapped a picture with her cell phone. "Wowza."
Libby rushed into the kitchen and returned with a shot glass containing clear liquid. "April, we know you're a little nervous, so we decided you need to drink this before we leave. It'll calm you down a bit," she recommended.
April raised her eyebrow at her sister. "What is that?"
"Vodka, of course," she answered. Libby playfully waved the shot glass in front of the bride's face. "We're not leaving until you down this."
She took the shot glass from her and quickly drank it. They laughed at the squeamish expression on her face. She wasn't a big vodka drinker to begin with, so it was almost painful to swallow. Clearing her throat, she handed the shot glass back to Libby.
"Uhh… thanks," April awkwardly said, then she smiled. "You all look so beautiful as well. Thank you for making this weekend enjoyable so far. I appreciate it."
Catherine clapped her hands and opened the front door. "C'mon, lovelies. We have a wedding to get to!" she cheerfully reminded them. "My, it's a glorious day to get married."
"Look at him. He's ready to pass out," Cristina quipped, sharing a laugh with Meredith. They observed the anxious plastic surgeon from their seats in the church. Jackson pulled out his handkerchief and wiped the back of his neck with it. "Shouldn't Alex be next to him in case he does?"
"Oh, you didn't hear? Alex is walking April down the aisle," Meredith informed her person. She spent the previous night listening to him ramble on the phone about how much he didn't want to screw up his duty as best man. "He volunteered since her father's not here."
Cristina looked back at Meredith impressed. "Wow. Evil Spawn really has grown up – although I'll take that back if he ends up sleeping with one of her sisters."
Jackson took one deep breath after another. As much as he attempted to calm himself prior to the wedding, nothing he did was working. He was practically sweating bullets forcing him to use his handkerchief every other five minutes. Was the air conditioning broken? Maybe it was all in his head. He knew he was making himself more nervous than he had to be.
In the back of the church, the wedding party was lining up with the help of Catherine. Bridesmaids – bouquets in hand – and the groomsmen first, the maid of honor, Maya and Mason as the flower girl and ring bearer and lastly, the bride. April was hiding in a waiting room until it was time for Alex to go get her.
Mark and Lexie were the first pair to walk down the aisle. Having them first allowed the fifth year resident to travel at her own pace without feeling rushed either.
"I'm a whale, I'm a whale…" Lexie muttered to herself as she smiled at the guests watching them. "They're staring at my huge belly. I know it."
"No, they're not. And you're not a whale. You're hot," Mark reassured her, nodding his head and grinning at the familiar faces he noticed. "But I'm ready to carry you if you want me to."
"And break your back in the process?" she smirked at her husband. "Callie and Derek will have a field day with that one."
Next up were Libby and David, followed by Joslyn and Vince. Then, Kimmie and Kevin made their trip down the aisle before Alice walked alone. People began gushing at April's niece and nephew as they occasionally walked diagonally down the aisle. Maya clutched a flower basket in her left hand, while Mason carried a pillow with fake rings tied to it. They got the most photos taken of them.
Alex lightly knocked on the closed door of the waiting room and opened it. "April, are you ready?" He practically froze at the sight of his coworker in her wedding gown. It was his first time seeing her since she arrived. "Dude."
"What?" she chuckled.
"You look…" He smiled as she nervously bit her lower lip. "…very beautiful. Lookin' really nice, Kepner."
April softly smiled. "Thank you. You look quite handsome yourself, Karev." She took a deep breath as she approached Alex. "So, is Jackson still standing upright?"
"Yeah, he's doing alright. Maybe not so much when he sees you," he quipped, then he held out his left arm. "Are you ready?"
She nodded, grabbing his arm while she held her bouquet with the other hand. He led her to the entrance where they waited for their cue. They could hear the music changing from behind the doors before two ushers opened them. All of the guests were standing, their eyes focused on the bride and the best man.
As Alex walked April down the aisle, Jackson's eyes never left her. His mouth was slightly dropped open. He couldn't believe she could be more beautiful than she already was. A smile eventually formed on his face and he grinned when her eyes met his. Finally seeing her erased his nervousness. He felt calmer and even more impatient to marry her. If he could fast forward to "You may kiss the bride", he would do it in a heartbeat.
When they reached the altar Alex gave April away to Jackson, who gently patted his shoulder before his best man stood nearby behind him. She passed on her bouquet to Alice, then she and Jackson faced the priest hand in hand.
Jackson leaned close to her ear and smiled again. "Words seriously can't describe how beautiful you look today," he whispered. "I love you."
"I love you too," she tearfully said. She cleared her throat, trying not to let the tears escape. "Don't make me cry yet, you jerk."
The guests laughed, having heard their exchange thanks to the priest's microphone picking it up. He waited for them to quiet down before he spoke.
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to celebrate the love and marriage of Jackson Egbert-" The priest paused when both Alex and Mark snickered, while Jackson rolled his eyes. "Jackson Egbert Avery and April Mary Kepner."
Cristina softly chuckled and looked at Meredith. "Mary? I guess calling her Virgin Mary wasn't so offensive after all."
Both of them had zoned out a bit when the priest started the ceremony. Every once in a while, April would glance over at Jackson, who returned the gaze with his charming smile. She couldn't look behind her, but she expected Karen and Catherine to be bawling their eyes out. Jordan was either asleep or trying to pry off his jacket. Her sisters were all glossy eyed, even Joslyn had tears rolling down her cheeks.
"I believe you two have chosen to deliver your own vows," the priest announced, smiling at the couple. "Whenever you're ready."
Jackson reached inside of his coat pocket and his face immediately dropped. His handwritten vows weren't there. He was about to curse until he remembered he was in a church. "I uhh… I forgot to bring my vows," he sheepishly replied.
"Dude, you're a smooth talker," Alex interjected and half-smiled at him. "Just say what your heart's telling you to say. Besides, you would've looked dumber holding a piece of paper."
"Right. Thanks, Karev," he said, winking at his best man.
"That's what I'm here for," the peds surgeon gloated.
Turning to face April, he picked up both of her hands as he brightly smiled at her. "I never realized how much I could love someone until I fell in love with my best friend, my one true companion. Nobody has ever understood me the way that you do, April. Even when I was blind to notice how important you are to me you were always my strongest support system. You've made me a better person. You make me try harder than I've ever tried before. We may face some obstacles in the future, but we'll face them together. We went from coworkers to friends to best friends to lovers. And now, I'm ready to take care of you as your husband and I'm looking forward to sharing the rest of my life with you."
By the end of Jackson's vows, April's cheeks were wet with tears. At some point, she knew she would eventually break down during the wedding, but she wasn't prepared for what he had just said. She forced herself to laugh as she tried to compose herself.
"Hang on a minute," she chuckled.
"It's okay. Take your time, dear," the priest encouraged her.
April cleared her throat and smiled when Jackson wiped away her tears with his thumb. "All my life I used to believe God had a concrete plan for me, but I learned over the years that plans don't always end up the way you want them to work out. My whole life changed when I met you, Jackson. My confidence has grown so much since I met you. You always appreciated me for me and never tried to change the person I am. Even at my worst, you continued to love me and I continued to love you just as much. No matter what happens down the road, I will always love you," she said, her voice slightly trembling. Blinking her eyes to avoid more tears from falling out, she smiled at him again. "I'm grateful to have you as my best friend and the father of our beautiful baby boy. We've shared so many fond memories together since we met and I can't wait to create more with you as your wife."
Jackson already wanted to kiss her, but he fought his urges until the opportunity arrived. The priest asked for the rings next. Alex handed April's ring to Jackson, while Alice handed his ring to her sister.
"With this ring, I pledge my life to you and I promise to love, honor and cherish you for the rest of my life," Jackson recited, slipping the ring through her left finger.
"With this ring, I pledge my life to you and I promise to love, honor and cherish you for the rest of my life," April repeated with the same gesture.
The priest grinned at the couple. "And by the power vested in me by the state of Washington, I now pronounce you husband and wife," he announced. "You may now kiss your-"
April pounced on Jackson before the priest could finish. Their guests started applauding and cheering as they shared their first kiss as a married couple. Neither of them wanted to separate as their lips remained locked together.
"Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Avery!"
Music began playing when the couple finally separated. Clutching her hand, he led them up the aisle, making a pit stop to retrieve Jordan from Karen. Jackson had a wide grin on his face as he carried his son in one arm and held on to April with his other hand. She was beaming just as much and she squealed with excitement when they made it outside of the church.
"Oh my God, we're married!" she excitedly said, then she kissed Jordan's cheek a bunch of times and made him smile. "Mommy and Daddy are finally married, baby!"
Jordan likely didn't completely understand what was happening, but seeing the happiness on his parents' faces was enough to make him giggle. He randomly started clapping, which made them laugh.
"He's probably saying, 'It's about damn time'," Jackson quipped. He leaned forward and kissed his wife once more. "I can say this all day, but I love you, Mrs. Avery."
"And I love you, Mr. Kepner," she teased. April playfully pinched his cheeks after he furrowed his eyebrows at her. "Aww, don't be a party pooper. The party hasn't even started yet."
"So, uhh… when I first met these two I freaking hated them because they hailed from Mercy West. I wanted them to vanish and never come back," Alex explained. Nobody knew what to expect from him when it was time for his best man speech, but his colleagues weren't surprised that he started it off the Karev way. "Jackson and I, we rarely got along for the first year we worked together. And April, well… I literally wanted to glue her mouth shut."
He waved his hand and laughed. "Alright, enough with that smack talk. In all seriousness, these two people have become my good friends. We lived together, learned how not to get on each other's nerves except I always got on April's nerves because I left my dirty clothes all over the floor." He pointed at Jackson. "I could tell how much he cared about April because he never hesitated to defend her when I picked on her. And she refused to take my crap and let me know every time. Don't let her appearance fool you. She's a tough woman. I like to think I involuntarily toughened her up a little."
April nodded. "It's true."
"I also took a knife for her. I saw she was in trouble and I did what any other friend would do and protected her," he continued. "Plus, nobody's got the right to come into our hospital and try to kill us. We're like a family, so we all have each other's backs. Anyway, I've grown to really appreciate the company of this disgustingly happy couple. They trusted me enough to be Jordan's godfather and I'm grateful for that."
Alex picked up his champagne glass and raised it, smiling at Jackson and April. "I'm very happy for you guys. Jackson, you're like my best friend and I rarely ever had a male best friend. Well, I actually didn't have many friends, period. But I can consider you and April my close friends. So, yeah. I can openly say you're my friends. I wish you all the best in the future, whether it's in Seattle or elsewhere. You're good people, so stay happy forever – or I'll kick your ass. Cheers!"
Everybody raised their glasses after the peds surgeon finished his speech and carried on with dinner soon after. Once dinner was finished, it was time for the newlywed couple's first dance. It was the perfect photo opportunity as guests took pictures of them from every angle. Arizona and Callie took the most, returning the favor April did for them at their wedding.
April had insisted on Jackson and Catherine having a mother-son dance, despite not being able to participate in the father-daughter dance. However, Alex used his best man privileges again and offered to dance with her. Embarrassed at first, but she happily accepted his offer. She also shared a dance with Harper Jr., while Jackson took his turn with Karen.
Following the dances was the cake cutting. Of course, neither of them held themselves back as they smashed a piece of the white chocolate cake against each other's face. After cleaning the cake and frosting from their faces, they moved on to the bouquet and garter toss. Alice fought off Jo and Stephanie to win April's bouquet, while Shane surprised everyone, beating Alex and Kevin, who bumped into each other trying to fight for room.
And finally, guests gathered on the dance floor to let loose and embarrass themselves with awful moves. April was disappointed to see Jackson off to the side, although he was rocking Jordan to sleep against his shoulder, so she wasn't going to be too hard on him.
"Jackson, let's dance," she cheerfully asked. "You never dance with me unless it's a slow song. You promised you'd dance to anything tonight."
"I know, but this little guy passed out on me," he answered with a smirk.
"Oh, don't use our son as an excuse not to dance," she playfully scolded him. April spotted Karen resting nearby and waved at her. "Mom, could you watch Jordan, while I dance with Jackson?"
"Of course," Karen stood up from her seat and approached them. She carefully took Jordan from her son-in-law and smiled. "You two should be having fun. Go dance with your bride, Jackson."
Jackson slightly grimaced as April quickly dragged him towards the dance floor. She brought them to the middle of it and she started dancing to the music. The trauma surgeon stopped to watch her husband do some strange, wiggling move with his arms. She stared in amusement as she realized he had the dorkiest moves ever, which was why he never danced to anything fast. He was good at almost everything, but dancing was not one of them.
"Okay, okay! You can stop now," she ordered and laughed. Pulling him closer to her, she wrapped her arms around his neck as she continued to giggle. "I won't do that to you again."
"I guess I forgot to warn you that I'm a terrible dancer," he replied, visibly embarrassed. "One of the few things I hope Jordan didn't inherit from me."
April gave him a peck on the lips. "Aww, you weren't that bad," she insisted, resting her head against his shoulder. "I still love you even if you suck at dancing."
Jackson smiled as they slow danced in the middle of the dance floor, while everyone else around them moved faster to the music. It didn't matter if they looked awkward. They were happily married now. That was all that mattered at the moment.
One month later
Mark's presence alerted his coworkers in the waiting room. He held up two fingers with a grin on his face. "I've got two little willies!" he announced. He received uncomfortable stares from them and chuckled. "I meant boys! Lexie and I are parents to twin boys!"
Callie was the first person to jump up and congratulate him. "Oh, yay! Sofia has brothers!" She hugged him tightly, then she turned around to look at Sofia, who was sitting on Arizona's lap. "Sweetie, you have two baby brothers!"
Jackson approached his mentor and gave him a hug. "Congrats, Sloan. Since Jordan's older he'll be the one doing the bossing around," he jokingly said, receiving a playful shove from Mark. "How's Lexie?"
"Doing alright. They're cleaning her up right now," Mark answered. "She did great."
"Names, Mark," Derek happily called out from his seat. "We want names."
"Oh, yeah. Andrew Thatcher is one minute older than Maxwell Derek," he replied, grinning at Derek. "Of course, one of them had to have your name. And Lexie can have visitors in about a half hour or so. I'll let you guys know when she's ready. I'm gonna go see if she's still doing okay."
After Mark left the waiting room, April walked inside with a grin on her face. "I just bumped into Sloan on my way back from the restroom. Twin boys! That's so exciting." She grabbed Jackson's hand and led him out into the hallway. "I have to show you something."
"What is it?" Jackson asked curiously.
"Well, I stopped by the gift shop to buy Lexie some flowers and something caught my eye." She opened the plastic bag in her hand and pulled out a t-shirt. "Do you think this will fit Jordan?"
Jackson unfolded the t-shirt and raised both of his eyebrows. "Best Big Brother Ever?" He lowered the t-shirt as a smile slowly formed on his face. "April, are you…"
Quickly nodding, she bit her lower lip and shyly grinned. "You have no idea how hard it was to hide it from you," she admitted. "I… I wanted to wait until I was very sure."
"About eight weeks or so." April smirked at her husband. "Remember when we celebrated Valentine's Day for a whole week? I'm positive it happened sometime during that."
Jackson couldn't hold back his excitement as he picked her up, wrapping his arms around her waist. "We're having another baby?"
"We're having another baby," she repeated before he kissed her. She pressed her hands against his cheeks. "Let's not tell everyone yet, okay? I don't want to take away Mark and Lexie's glory."
"No problem." He set her down and rested his hand against her lower abdomen. "Somewhere in there is our little baby. That's so awesome."
"And this time, we'll get to experience the pregnancy together," she said, placing her hand on top of his with a smile on her face. "Brace yourself for many late night food runs."
Jackson laughed. "I don't mind. I'll be by your side, bitchy hormones and all," he insisted, then he kissed her again. "I know this wasn't exactly planned, but damn, I'm so excited right now."
"So am I." She hugged him once more. "I love being married."
Please let me know what you thought of this story (or chapter). I'm interested to know what you thought of it in general now that it's complete :)
Anywho, for those waiting for my AK2 story - that's coming up this weekend so look forward to that! And while I do use ideas from my Japril stories, I'm not calling it a sequel. AK2 and Japril are two separate worlds, at least in my head lol.
I will be working on the Mercy West fic soon, as well as a one shot based on spoilers & speculations. Later on, I'll start a very AU fic that's not hospital related (thanks Hidge!) and I'm contemplating unleashing a high school fic that I haven't touched in months, though it needs a makeover. So, keep an eye out for future fics or you can follow me on tumblr (bluepenguin02) since I post my updates there too!