Author’s note: hello! Here’s chapter three :) this is more centered around the Grey’s Anatomy friendships rather than actually Japril. I just wanted to explore some great duos which we haven’t seen in a while. I promise the next chapter will be a Japril one! Hope you like it :)
PS. I would love feedback on this because I wasn’t very sure about the way I was writing one of the characters. I’m not gonna say who it is to see if you guys pick up on it. Some dialogue may sound a little out of character for them, so please let me know what you think!
But they didn’t get a minute that day at the hospital.
When April arrived that morning, a fourth year trauma resident briefed her about the situation while she pulled on a trauma gown and gloves. A 13-year-old girl had fallen off her horse and was in critical condition. Peds and cardio had already been paged.
‘Why cardio?’ April asked the resident.
‘Her family told the paramedics she was born with a deformed heart and had a transplant when she was five months old. The accident happened because she apparently passed out and fell backwards on the horse’s rump. It spooked and started running, but one of the girl’s feet was caught in the stirrups so instead of falling off, she slid to the ground and the horse dragged her several meters before someone caught it. They think she passed out because her heart failed,’ said the resident.
‘And she’s still alive?’ said April before running towards the ambulance which was pulling up.
April ordered nurses and paramedics into trauma room one and a few minutes later Robbins and Pierce burst through the door.
‘What do we got?’ called Robbins over the noise of the room, pulling on a glove.
April was about to being breaking down the case for them when she saw Maggie.
‘Uh… is Riggs here?’ asked April. She almost hated herself for even asking, but the words came out of her mouth before she could think twice.
Maggie shot her a look of confusion. ‘Riggs got back last night from Maryland Shock Trauma.’
Oh, that’s right, April thought. Megan. She’d completely forgotten.
Counting under her breath to five, April collected herself and explained the case to Robbins and Pierce.
Once they were in the OR and the patient was open on the table, April saw that there were many more internal injuries than she had anticipated. The girl was too unstable to take the time to get a CT, so she was rushed straight to surgery, Pierce and Robbins pushing the gurney on the other side of her.
‘I need to get control of this bleeding. Pierce, how is that heart coming along?’ asked April, clamping down one of the bleeders.
‘I’m not sure,’ she said, feeling her way around without really looking.
‘You’re not sure?’ April shot back.
‘I can’t see properly,’ replied Maggie. ‘There’s a lot of bleeding here, too.’
‘You’re not sure?’ April repeated, raising her voice.
‘April,’ said Arizona, surprised at her sudden outburst. April was always very level headed in surgery.
‘She’s saying she’s not sure, Dr Robbins. We have a child open on a table who is about to die if we don’t fix her, but Dr Pierce isn’t sure,’ April’s tone was ice cold, but she was trying to speak as calmly as possible. ‘Dr Pierce, I need to repair this liver at the same time as you are repairing that heart. If you’re not capable of doing that, please leave the OR.’
‘You can’t do that,’ Maggie said in disbelief. ‘She can’t do that,’ she repeated, addressing Robbins this time.
Arizona stared at April. ‘April, we need a cardio surgeon.’
April had no idea how to reply to that. Of course she knew they needed one. In the moments that they had stood there arguing, the patient’s BP started rising, indicated by the beeping on the machines. At its sound, April’s own heart rate quickened.
‘I’m here, where do you want me?’ a robotic voice echoed in the OR. April looked towards the gallery to find Riggs standing there, speaking through the intercom.
Once he had scrubbed in, Maggie ripped off her gloves and left the room, glaring at April all the while.
From the minute he entered to the moment they exited the OR after the surgery, Arizona couldn’t stop marvelling at the way April and Nathan communicated with each other. They seemed to be able to read each other’s minds with a single look, wordlessly flying through manoeuvres which only they knew how to do thanks to what the army had taught them. At one point they even asked Arizona to step back so that they could work faster, if that seemed possible.
‘Nice work, Keps,’ said Nathan as the three of them were scrubbing out. The surgery had been a success. The girl wasn’t even going to be put on the transplant list for a new heart.
‘Isn’t my friend just amazing?’ Arizona beamed at her.
‘That’s why we call her The Machine,’ said Nathan, turning off his tap. April grinned bashfully.
‘You both coming to talk to the family?’ he asked, towelling his hands dry.
April nodded, and Arizona was about to agree when her pager went off.
‘Ugh, consult,’ she said, checking it. ‘Sorry guys.’
The other two shrugged simultaneously as if to say, it’s okay.
‘Jeez,’ said Arizona. ‘Are you guys wired to the same remote control?’
She exited the scrub room, leaving Nathan and April chuckling away.
After she had spoken to the family, April told Riggs she would see him later and casually checked the OR board to see what was going on. Jackson was right in the middle of a double mastectomy, removing a tumour alongside Dr Webber and a second year resident.
She went down to the day care to see Harriet and breastfed her, then busied herself in the ER for a while, rearranging charts and stitching up a 9-year-old boy’s leg after he fell off his bike. She hadn’t even realised she hadn’t eaten all day until her stomach started grumbling as she was putting away the suture kit. She made her way to the attending’s lounge to try and find something to snack on. As soon as she entered, she saw Arizona with her back turned away from her, making coffee. Arizona glanced quickly behind her to check who had come in.
‘Hey, April,’ she greeted her, pouring the coffee into a cup. ‘Would you like one?’
‘Hey,’ she replied the cheeriest way imaginable. ‘No, I’m okay, thanks.’
After several years of a friendship like theirs, Arizona picked up on April’s restlessness almost immediately.
‘What’s up?’ she said, giving her a knowing look. Her eyes followed April as she pulled a cereal bar out of a cupboard and slumped down on a chair at the table.
‘Nothing, nothing’s up. Why would something be up?’ April said hurriedly, unwrapping her cereal bar and taking a bite.
Arizona shot her a look. ‘April, what was that today, with Pierce?’
‘That girl was dying,’ April gestured outward with one hand, shoving all her bite to one side of her mouth so she could talk. ‘I was just putting my patient’s interests first. Riggs and I were the only ones that knew how to do that procedure, and I needed him there. That’s all.’
‘You couldn’t have known what you needed to do down in the trauma room, yet you still asked for him. What’s really going on?’
‘The lady at the day care told me Jackson still hasn’t been down to see Harriet today. Is that weird? It’s kinda late in the day,’ said April pointlessly, avoiding the question.
Arizona kept her head still but swivelled her eyes to one side before looking back at April.
April shut her eyes, still chewing. She couldn’t tell whether it was because Arizona had brought up a sensitive subject or whether because that cereal bar tasted so goddamn good after eating nothing all day.
‘Did you sleep with him?’
April opened a single eye, scrunching the other one down.
‘I know it was probably a bad idea, but it felt so right, and after all that’s happened…’ April trailed off, her mouth still half full.
‘April! It’s bad enough he’s got Grey dragged in the middle of his broken heart after Megan, who apparently is back, but now you, too?’
April almost choked on her cereal bar.
‘What?’ she exclaimed, forcing herself to swallow before continuing to speak. ‘Who are you talking about?’
Arizona made a puzzled face for a moment. ‘You didn’t sleep with Riggs?’ she asked.
‘No, of course not!’ replied April.
Arizona’s face fell. ‘Oh,’ she said, almost disappointed. ‘You guys seemed so in sync in that OR, and the ‘given everything that’s happened’ bit, I just figured that meant Megan and Grey, and—’
‘We worked together! In a war, in the desert; we might get each other a little better that everyone else around here,’ said April.
Arizona made a face to say, yeah, that makes sense. ‘Wait, so who are you talking about?’ she lowered her voice even though the door was closed.
‘Jackson,’ April said quietly back. His name tasted really nice.
Arizona paused. ‘Ohhhh,’ she said, raising her eyebrows. She pushed herself off the counter and went to sit by April at the table.
‘Wait, but what does Maggie have to do with Jackson?’
‘I think there’s something going on between them,’ replied April. Remembering the way she had treated Maggie in the OR made her feel two inches tall.
‘Jackson and Maggie? No way,’ said Arizona definitively, shaking her head.
‘You didn’t see the way they looked at each other the night of the fire. I’ve seen that look on him before,’ said April. On me, she was about to add, but saying it aloud would have made it all too real.
‘April, you’re probably overanalysing it. He was her mother’s surgeon and then she died. His mom is married to her biological dad. Of course there’s gonna be baggage there, but that has nothing to do with the two of them being together. Anyways, didn’t you just say you slept with him?’
‘Yeah, but…’ April didn’t even look at Arizona the whole time she spoke, staring at her half eaten cereal bar which now didn’t look so inviting anymore. She trailed off because she didn’t know what else to say. Had last night meant as much as April thought it had, or was it just another case of emergency sex? In the moment it definitely didn’t feel that way, and the way they had behaved with Harriet this morning didn’t make it seem that way, and yet still…
‘But nothing,’ said Arizona.
Finally April looked up at her, and could see the sympathy in her friend’s blue eyes.
‘Was it good?’ asked Arizona, speaking quietly once again.
April’s eyes rolled to the back of her head before she shut them momentarily. ‘It was so much more than good. It was… perfect.’
They smiled at each other, a smile filled with compassion and kindness.
‘It felt like so much more than just sex. It felt like us. He touched me in a way he hadn’t done since before Samuel, I don’t think. And then this morning, when I was dressing Harriet he stood behind me, just watching us. We felt like a family. I hadn’t realised how much I miss him, how much I still love him…’ April had to stop herself or the tears that were welling up in her eyes would have escaped onto her cheeks.
Arizona placed a hand over April’s. ‘I know,’ she said, remembering the way it had felt to be with Dr Boswell the night of the storm; she had only known her after her leg, and they still had sex in a way that she had done with Callie only before the plane crash.
Right at that moment Dr Grey entered the attending’s lounge.
‘Hey, is everything okay?’ she asked when she saw April all teary eyed, making her way to fetch a glass of water and fill it up from the tap.
‘Yeah, we’re great,’ said April, forcing a smile.
‘Nah, you’re upset,’ said Meredith. She set her glass of water down on the table. ‘I don’t really care about other people’s problems, because often I can’t solve them, but I almost always know how to fix them. You know what you need to do?’ she said, pulling out her phone from her lab coat pocket.
April and Arizona exchanged a puzzled look. Meredith had never taken a particular liking to Arizona or April, especially after she was suspended and April took her place.
‘Dance it out,’ she said, pressing play on her phone. ‘Come on, get up,’ she said over the music, and began dancing. April and Arizona only laughed at each other a little before getting up alongside Meredith.
Half a song later, Chief Bailey walked in. At the sight of their happy faces, her own face lit up, but she immediately pretended to be disappointed in them in a very chiefly manner.
‘Now just what do y’all think you’re doing? Don’t you have patients to get to, or would you rather they died and filed a lawsuit against this hospital, which I will then have to deal with?’
Giggling like schoolgirls, April and Arizona grabbed their lab coats, ready to leave the room right as Maggie walked in.
‘Ah, Chief Bailey!’ said Maggie, a haughtiness to her tone. ‘How lovely to see you here. And what a coincidence that Dr Kepner is here with us. I wanted to speak with you both about something. Dr Robbins, Dr Grey, would you mind?’ she said, nodding towards the door.
Meredith and Arizona only raised their eyebrows before scurrying out of the room.
‘What, Pierce?’ asked Dr Bailey, a slight hint of annoyance in her voice. She raised her eyebrows, too, in a very Miranda Bailey-like fashion, as if she were expecting you to tell her something of such importance that it couldn’t wait until you could meet her in her office.
‘Dr Kepner kicked me out of the OR today,’ said Dr Pierce, folding her arms across her chest.
‘You did what?’ asked Bailey, turning towards April.
April took a moment to collect herself.
‘Yes, Chief, I did ask Dr Pierce to leave the OR. The patient’s BP was rising, there were bleeders all over the field, and Dr Pierce didn’t seem to have the patient’s heart under control.’
Chief Bailey glared at Maggie.
‘I—‘ Maggie interrupted, but April continued, ‘The heart, which by the way, had been transplanted into the patient at five months of age, needed to be repaired simultaneously with the liver, and I remembered a procedure I had been taught in the army. Dr Riggs was the only other person in this hospital who knew how to perform it.’
‘Yes, but—‘ Maggie tried again.
‘Is the patient alive and stable?’ cut off Dr Bailey.
‘She’s doing great,’ said April before Maggie could say anything else.
‘Then go argue in front of someone who cares.’ With that, Chief Bailey left the attending’s lounge.
April bit her lip to stop herself from smiling smugly right in front of Maggie.
‘Look, I don’t know what your problem with me is,’ said Maggie, glaring at April, ‘and I don’t care. But let it start interfering with my career, and I will have you fired.’
Before April could get a word in edgeways, they heard a voice from the threshold of the door.
‘What’s going on here?’
It was Jackson.