A/N – So this kind of contradicts my current story, but bear with me. This idea popped into my head of another possible way that the first four episodes of next season could go for Jackson and April, and I just had to write it. This is just a one-shot, so please don't ask me to continue it. I'm going to keep writing All The Reasons In The World so for more Japril love please read that story! As usual Shonda owns the characters, I'm just borrowing them for a bit.
"I want you, Jackson. I want you."
"I haven't been fair to you, I know, and I've-I've really hurt you."
"And you're getting married."
"When that bus exploded, and I thought you were gone, I—"
"You're getting married."
"Unless you can give me a reason not to?"
"April," Jackson began hesitantly, "I can't give you a reason. Matthew is exactly the kind of guy for you. You should be with him. You and I, we just don't work as a couple. In a few days all of this craziness will pass and you'll remember how much you love him. Stay with him and marry him."
"Uh okay, Jackson," April responded plainly, turning around quickly and walking through the curtain, as the sobs came. She didn't want him to see her fall apart.
She walked into a quiet hallway and slid down to the ground against the wall. She let everything pour out as she sat in the quiet hall. After a while, she heard footsteps. Wiping her face, she looked up to see who was coming. As the tall figure approached her, she realized who it was.
"April, I think we need to talk. Can we go somewhere private?" Matthew asked, with tension in his face and pain in his voice.
She nodded and followed after him. They walked to the tunnels and sat down on abandoned gurney.
"April, what is going on? The way you reacted to Jackson in the bus, and then in the ER, you don't react that way to someone unless you really care about them. Is something going on with you? Wait…was he the one who you…?" He stared at her for a few moments as he started to connect a few of the dots.
April nodded, as the tears came back, before she quietly responded "He was my first…my first time. I haven't been with him since before you."
Still a little confused, he continued, "So you still care about him, you are friends, and you were worried about him? If you just tell me that it was that, then I can look past this and move on. That's all it was, right?" A part of him was dreading her response.
"I want to tell you that, but I just can't," she began, sobbing, "It's not just that, Matthew. I wish I could tell you it was, but that isn't the truth. I-I love him. I'm so, so sorry." April took her face in her hand as she couldn't stop the tears.
"I-I-I don't even know what to say, April," Matthew responded, 'I just wish you would have told me before. I wish you would have told me before I proposed and everything. Can I have the ring back, please?"
She unclipped it from her scrub top and plopped it in his hand. "I really am so sorry," she repeated.
"I know April, but that doesn't make it hurt less," he answered the pain now extremely evident in his face, "Good bye April". His last words stung her with the small amount of bitterness he could muster. With that he stood up and walked out of the corridor. April was left to listen to the painful silence and the drops of water from the pipes.
"Okay, Jackson, we got you all bandaged up, splinted, and in a sling so you can head home," Callie told him, "take it easy, though, if you want to get back in the OR anytime soon." Jackson nodded, eager to leave after being in the hospital for a couple of days.
"Thanks, Torres," he responded as he grabbed his jacket. Callie helped him get his good arm into the sleeve and pulled the rest of the jacket over his wounded one.
Just as he was about to leave, Stephanie walked in the room. Callie picked up on the tension coming from the intern, so she hurried out. "Don't forget to see me for a follow up in a week, Dr. Avery," she said as she disappeared out the door.
"So when did you plan on telling me you nearly died?" Stephanie asked clearly pissed off with him, "And what is all this I hear about Dr. Kepner freaking out? Also I heard rumors from the nurses that Dr. Kepner was in here earlier. Is there something you aren't telling me?"
Jackson simply looked at her with a blank stare. "Stephanie, April and I have a history. When she was in here earlier she told me she still had feelings for me, but I told her to stay with Matthew."
Stephanie calmed down not realizing what he would say next. "So you don't have feelings for her anymore?" she asked him curiously.
He stared at his hands dreading what he needed to do and should have done a long time ago. "I told her I didn't but that's not true. I do. I do have feelings for her. I think I have all along; I just ignored it because she had moved on, or so I thought. I am such an idiot."
"Wow, I can't believe I let myself become that girl. I let myself become that girl that tolerated a guy who didn't really care about me because he was so good looking. I can't even have this conversation with you. I hope your shoulder feels better Dr. Avery," she said before she walked out, doing her best to sting him with her words.
Jackson flopped down on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. He was so tired of lying around. He had been off of work for 3 days and he was about to lose his mind. He was racking his brain figuring out how he didn't tell April how he really felt. He was snapped from his thoughts when he heard his phone buzz. Moving as little as possible, he held the phone over his face to see the text message from Alex:
Did you hear? Kepner and the paramedic broke up.
He let the phone fall to his bed, rubbing his face with his hands. Everything was different now. Nothing was standing in his way anymore. It was time for him to man up. It was time to make it right.
The whole way over to April's apartment he tried to decide how he would tell her. Will he tell her he loved her right away? Would he just give her a reason liked she asked before? His heart was racing as drove.
Meanwhile, April was studying furiously. She had books and notebooks unfurled all over her living room. Her boards were coming up and she would not fail twice. Studying was much harder when she no longer had the support of her fellow residents. They were all attendings and fellows now.
Jackson pulled up to her building and took a few deep breaths before taking the keys from the ignition. He stepped out of the car and made his way into the building. He stood at her apartment door and had no clue what he was going to say to her to make up for days earlier.
And then she opened the door.
She stood before him in her collegiate sweats and her red hair piled up on top of her head stunned to see him. Even now, he thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world. It took his breath away.
"Jac—," April tried to talk before she was immediately interrupted. Without a word, Jackson had crashed into her. He engulfed her in a kiss so intense her heart raced as fast as his and her toes curled. They didn't come up for air for many moments.
When they finally did, she bit her lip, still a little dumbfounded by what just happened.
"Jackson, what's going on? A week ago you told me to marry someone else," she asked him frankly.
"I heard you broke up with Matthew. I was the biggest idiot in the world. You told me exactly how you felt and I shot you down. I love you, April. I'm sorry I didn't say it sooner," Jackson responded before taking a breath.
"I love you, too, Jackson," she said as she gave him a kiss, "but I can't…"
"You can't? What do you mean, 'you can't'?" he asked, dumbfounded.
"I can't keep standing here. I really need to study for my boards. Would you help me? I am absolutely drowning here," she answered, teasing him.
"Like you even have to ask," he tickled her sides, causing her to squeal, before following her into the apartment and closing the door behind him.