A/N: Hello everyone! I'm new here and this is my very first fanfic so go easy on me lol. I just love the pairing of Jackson/April so much and I have so many thoughts going through my head after what happened with these two in the finale that I had to write something to get me through the hiatus. Hopefully this can help you all get through the long wait until season 10 as well. :)

Every time I hear the song "Stay" by Rihanna, it always makes me think about Jackson and April. So I decided to title my story after it.

This will be a multi-chapter story. I have it almost all planned out in my head, I just need to write it down.

Setting: Right where the season 9 finale left off. This is my interpretation of what is going to happen between Jackson and April come season 10.


Chapter 1 - Accidental Feelings

~Round and around and around and around we go~

"I want you, Jackson."

"I want you," April barely managed to get out for the second time before a sob escaped her lips.

She was terrified of saying these three words out loud. Scared of the consequences they would bring. Scared that she was too late and that he wouldn't want her back. Yet she also felt an immense rush of relief after she said them and it felt like a huge weight had just been lifted off of her shoulders. She had been carrying around all of these feelings for this man right in front of her and she hadn't even known. She had to get them out.

"April," Jackson spoke softly.

"I haven't been fair to you, I know and I've – I've really hurt you."

"And you're getting married," Jackson reminded her in an almost accusing tone.

She was getting married. She knew that. It's not like it's something one could easily forget, but for a moment, when she had thought that she had lost Jackson in that explosion and even for a few moments after that, she had forgotten. All she had been able to think about at the time was how her life would be completely empty and worthless had something happened to Jackson.

"When that bus exploded and – I thought you were gone," that was all she was able to say before her words got caught in her throat. She had to put her hand over her mouth to stop the sobs from escaping her.

She couldn't even begin to explain the rollercoaster of emotions that had overtook her when she had thought that he was gone. She remembered trying to run towards the bus thinking that she could somehow, by some miracle, save him before it exploded. She hadn't even thought, or cared really, what would happen to her in the process.

Before she could do anything though, she felt someone pull her back and she felt her heart sink. She didn't even remember who it was. Everything was a blur – everything except for that burning bus.

She remembered struggling, trying to escape the arms that were keeping her from helping the man that she cared about more than anything. She had to get to him. She had to save him. He had to be ok. That was all that was racing through her mind over and over as she fought to free herself from the person holding her back.

Then, in that moment when the bus had exploded, it had felt like everyone around her was moving in slow motion. She had felt utterly devastated and alone in those few seconds. All of her memories together with Jackson flashed by in her mind. All of the what-ifs and could-haves stabbed like a knife through her heart. She had never experienced anything so terribly painful and heartbreaking.

Then, when he had emerged from the fire with a little girl in his arms, she had been in absolute shock. How was it possible? She thought for sure that she had lost him forever. Yet there he was. She couldn't believe it.

After the shock wore off, then came the anger and the rage. What was he thinking? How could he have been so careless with his own life? How dare he almost leave her like that? She knew it was selfish, but she didn't care. So she had freaked out on him and hit him because she was so angry, but mostly because she had to have an excuse to touch him, to see if he was really there and that she wasn't just imagining things.

"You're getting married," Jackson said for the second time, bringing her back to reality.

Lighting struck and lit up the room for a few brief seconds. For the first time since she had entered his room, April got a clear quick view of Jackson's face. He looked confused and something else that she couldn't quite make out.

April summoned all the confidence that she could manage. She looked right into his eyes and said,

"Unless you can give me a reason not to".

Jackson couldn't believe what he was hearing. After all this time that he had spent thinking that April had moved on, that she didn't think about him in that way anymore, here she was telling him that he was who she really wanted after all.

He should be happy right? I mean, this was the woman with who he was completely and totally in love with and here she was standing right in front of him telling him that she wanted him.

He had dreamed about moments like this.

However, there was one small problem.

She's getting married.

He had to keep reminding himself of that. He not only kept repeating it out loud to her, but he also kept repeating it to himself in his head. Maybe it was so that he wouldn't make the mistake of forgetting that one little detail, or maybe it was so that April would realize that what she was actually saying to him right now was impossible. How was it possible that she wanted him now, after everything that had happened between them? After she had moved on without him? After she had just said yes a few hours ago to another man's marriage proposal?

No, she couldn't mean any of this. This had to just be another one of her anxiety attacks, like the one that she had gotten on the day before their boards. Today had been a long, crazy day and he had almost died. She was just in aftershock. Yes, that must be it. She would realize what a big mistake she was making and regret everything that she was saying to him by tomorrow morning.

After what seemed like ages of just staring at each other, April couldn't take the suspense any longer,

"Jackson, say something. Anything. Please."

"I-I can't," he barely managed to breathe out.

April furrowed her brow in confusion. "You can't say anything?"

"No, April. I can't give you a reason," Jackson quietly replied.

He immediately regretted the words as soon as they left his mouth. He saw April's face fall and her eyes begin to water yet again with fresh tears. These tears were different from her previous ones though. Her tears earlier had been those of confusion and fear for what she felt for him and for having almost lost him, but these tears – these tears were of hurt and betrayal. He couldn't look at her like this, especially knowing full well that he was the reason behind those tears.

He immediately tore his eyes away from hers and focused them on the hospital floor instead.

April spoke as she struggled to keep her voice steady, "J-Jackson, I already told you how sorry I am for hurting you before. I know I messed up, but if you just give me another chance I promise –".

"April," Jackson interrupted her. He had to stop her. He couldn't stand seeing her like this. He had to say something to put her at ease. "I can't give you a reason, at least not right now. Today's been crazy with the explosion and now you telling me all this. I just - I need some time to process everything."

"You're right," April said in a much calmer voice, "Today has been crazy and I don't want to pressure you or anything, but I really need to know how you feel right now and what you're thinking. Please talk to me Jackson".

"You wanna know what I'm thinking? All right, I'm thinking that you're really confused at the moment and maybe you're not thinking clearly. I mean, you just got engaged a few hours ago and now you're saying that you want me? I'm not sure if you really mean that," Jackson confessed.

"I do. I do mean it Jackson and I know it might seem hard to believe but –".

"Yeah, it is hard to believe April because when we were together all you ever did was just blame me for everything. All this time you made it seem like I took everything away from you – your virginity, your relationship with Jesus, your chance at passing your boards. You made yourself the victim and you made me the bad guy, but I don't want to play these games with you anymore April. I'm tired of all this back and forth, one day you're blaming me for all of you're problems the next you're inviting me out for drinks. One minute you're getting married to another guy, the next you're telling me that you want me," Jackson sighs deeply before continuing, "I just honestly don't know if giving us another shot will turn out any differently. I think we'll just end up hurting each other again. Maybe we're just meant to be friends."

By the time he finished his harsh speech, April's face was streaked with tears. Why was he doing this to her? Why was he doing this to himself? He was purposely hurting the one person that he cared about more than anyone else in the entire world. His best friend. The woman he loved. It pained him to see her like this, but this was the way it had to be. He had to be as hard with her as he could so that she would leave him and never come back. Because he was too much of a damn coward. Because he was too scared to open himself back up to her and be vulnerable again. But most of all, because she deserved someone better than him.

She was so close to getting everything that she had ever wanted in life. Her big perfect wedding, the perfect guy of her dreams, everything that she possibly could have ever dreamed of and he wasn't about to ruin it all for her, because she deserved it all.

She deserved to be with someone that believed in the same things she did. Someone who would not make her life difficult and complicated. Someone who wasn't broken and who had the courage to tell her how much he loved her.

Even if he had to sacrifice his own happiness, he would do it for her, so that she could be happy. And she had looked so happy earlier when she had gotten engaged. And he had smiled and accepted it. He had accepted that April had moved on and was happy with another man because all he wanted in the world more than anything, was for April to be happy.

Because he loved her.

"No – No you don't mean that. I know you Jackson and I know that you don't meant that."

April was doing everything that she could to keep herself from completely breaking down. Her head was spinning, her chest was heaving, her hands were shaking, and she felt like Jackson had just took her heart and ripped it right out of her chest.

She supposed she deserved this. I mean, she had it coming right? Everything that he had just said was absolutely right. When she had had him all she had done was treat him like crap, made him feel guilty for everything.

Then after they broke up, she had moved on with Matthew and even accepted his proposal. Not once had she ever told Jackson how much he really meant to her. How much she loved him. But she didn't know. She didn't know how, or even when, she had exactly fallen for him. She didn't know where all these accidental feelings had come from because she had never intended to fall in love with her best friend.

Then again, maybe she had always known about her feelings towards him, but she had chosen to ignore them and bury them deep down because she never, in a million years, thought that a guy like Jackson could ever feel that way about her. That her super hot friend, who had a hell of a lot more experience in the sex department than she did and who could have any girl he wanted, could ever love someone like her.

Plus the next thing she knew, just a few weeks after things had ended between them, he had already moved on with that intern. Granted that she had technically been the one who had set them up, but still. She never would have imagined that they would actually end up sleeping together. So how was she supposed to think that he had ever had serious feelings for her?

However, now after the explosion and after everything that had happened, when she really thought about it and had time to clear her head, she actually realized all of the times Jackson had actually been there for her after things had ended between them and all the little things he had said and done that had seemed so insignificant at the time, yet actually weren't and she thought maybe, just maybe by some crazy miracle, that he actually really did have feelings for her too.

And now she finally got the courage to pour her heart out to him. It had only taken him almost dying for her to confess to him how she really felt.

She mentally scoffed at herself.

Yeah she definitely did deserve this, but for some reason she still couldn't accept it.

"Please. Just let me show you that I've changed. I know we have a lot of things to work through but if you just –"

Jackson interrupted her for the third time, "April, please. It's been a long day and I'm exhausted. I really don't feel like talking about this anymore. Just go back to your fiancé and have your big wedding. Pretend that none of this ever happened. Pretend that we never happened. You're good at that, right? Just – Just please leave, ok".

It had taken every ounce of strength in him to get those cold, final words out. He hadn't even been able to look her straight in the eyes while he had said them, but he knew once he had looked back into those beautiful, watery hazel eyes of hers that he had done it. He had gotten what he wanted and pushed her far away from him.

One final sob escaped April's mouth and then she turned her back on him and walked out of his sight.

He just laid there on the hospital bed, wanting nothing more than to call out her name. Call her back to him. Tell her that he had a hundred reasons for her not to get married. Tell her that he hadn't meant any of the things that he had just said. It was all a lie. Tell her that he wanted her too, that he wanted her more than he had ever wanted anything in his life. Tell her that he wanted nothing more than for her to stay, stay right here with him. Tell her that he loved so much that it hurt.

But it was too late.

She was gone.

A/N: Don't worry guys, it can only get better from here... Or can it? You'll just have to keep tuning in to find out!

There's going to be 5 or 6 chapters, I haven't exactly made up my mind on that yet. I'll update the new chapters every two weeks. I want to space it out so that it can extend as much as possible through the hiatus until season 10 premiers.

Also, thank you so much for reading my very first story! I would love to hear your feedback. Please R&R! :)