She stood and stacked shelves, quite forcefully. Why was Hunt treating her this way? Shiskabob was HER surgery and she'd made every right call! How could storm prep trump that surgery?! Owen was sidelining her and even though she'd stood up to him, demanding that he let her stay for the surgery, which he'd point-blank refused, beneath it all was a very real hurt – her mentor had no faith in her.
Attuned as she always was to his presence, she turned around, her thoughts and castigation's still swirling through her mind. His excitement was palpable. She really hadn't seen him this exhilarated in quite a while, probably not since the very last occasion he'd been in the OR. Well, to be honest, his comings and goings was not something she'd been privy to in a long time. The last time she'd seen his eyes so lit up he'd been lifting her off her feet, kissing her thoroughly and promising her a huge freaking wedding in a field with butterflies. Or perhaps still, the morning on that emotional roller coaster of a day when he made that proposal – in the on-call room, when she'd gazed down into his beautiful eyes as she climaxed.
"Stop it!" she whispered to herself. Shut down those memories immediately, she thought. Those eyes, that smile, that body...it all belonged to Stephanie now. If she let down her walls for even one tiny, minuscule second all the pain of losing him, losing them, would come flooding right back, rendering her incapable of speech, thought and action. Yeah, in her more lucid moments she admitted to herself she loved him – totally, unequivocally. But he'd moved on from April Kepner…
He strode briskly down the corridor, pumped up with adrenaline, excitement in every step, eyes peeled looking for the one person who understood him, who was always there in his moments of triumph …and defeat. He spotted her easily – she's like a beacon to him and not primarily because of her red hair. She was arranging shelves, which he found odd to begin with, and her irritation with the task was quite apparent. Her dimpled smile, which he has always adored, was nowhere in evidence.
He knew that to many of their colleagues she appeared to be a rambling mess with no filter, saying everything that popped into her head – a veritable erupting geyser. It still surprised him that not one of their peers could see beyond their own narrow perceptions of her behavior to her character. Alex was the worst. He needled her to such a degree that he sometimes felt that blood was about to be spilt, and it wasn't going to be hers.
If any one of them bothered to look beyond the tips of their noses they would realize exactly what an intelligently perceptive person April really was, how observant she was to not only her surroundings but also the people within her orbit. She was layered and nuanced and he valued her opinion above all others, including those of his mother and grandfather. She had a wonderful bed-side manner too, because she gave all of her attention (and her soft heart) to the person in front of her, who at this moment happened to be Jackson Avery…
"Hey, I just closed a mid-line facial cleft...Primary Surgeon!" he proudly announced, followed immediately by "What's wrong?" when he noticed her obvious annoyance.
"I don't know!" she uttered with a hint of frustration. "Hunt is actively keeping me from surgeries. I don't know if he thinks that I'm going to fail my boards again or maybe he's just finally realized that I make a better secretary then a surgeon," she exasperatedly voiced.
"So I'll talk to him," he remarked matter-of-factly, still with that undercurrent of excitement.
"No," she softly whispered. "Don't…don't…I don't want you to fight for me," was her forlorn response.
Before he can wrap his head around that statement a nurse approaches with news of incoming trauma and April expresses her discontent with "Great, something else I can get kicked off of!"
The whole situation seemed weird to Jackson. He knew that April was not want to make spurious allegations, so why would Hunt keep her away from surgery? A surgery, mind you, which would not only help her in preparation for her second attempt at the Boards but also one that was, by rights, hers to perform? He also noticed a feeling of anticipation in the air, in the people swiftly walking past him in the corridor – it all seemed incongruent with the tension one would normally associate with a severe storm warning. So he followed the hoard, all of whom, surprisingly, seemed to be heading to one area...the Trauma Bay.
No use crying over spilt milk...or lost surgeries, she thought. She needed to focus, to remove all that from her mind. Every patient deserved her total and undivided attention. She swiftly approached the stretcher.
"What have we got?" she quizzed.
"48 year old male complaining of tightness in his chest. He says he feels like his heart is going to burst," responded Nicole. She was Matthew's partner and fellow paramedic, who happened to be partnered with Scott that day. April was so focused on the casualty that she failed to notice the smirk that Nicole didn't bother to hide.
"We're going to take care of you, sir," she reassured the patient when suddenly he started breathing heavily.
"Is he seizing?" she questioned but the paramedics were surprisingly mum about additional patient information. While she was still processing that, she swore that she could suddenly hear music playing.
Before her brain could fully process that this was not a trauma case at all, the patient hopped of the gurney and started the dance move 'Walk like an Egyptian', immediately copied by Nicole and Scott. The doors to the second ambulance in the bay burst open and April spotted some familiar faces in between the strangers who started dancing around her.
It was a Flash Mob! April started giggling helplessly as she realized that Matthew had planned this for her.
Jackson pushed through the crowd of interns, residents, attendings and nurses gathered outside. Who the heck was seeing to the patients, he wondered, just as he spotted exactly what sort of spectacle had everyone so spellbound. All around him his friends and colleagues were all acting cool and unfazed but secretly enjoying the very catchy musical number being danced out in front of them.
His attention zeroed in immediately to her musical laughter. She was mesmerized by that dork and troop twirling all around her and he immediately started seeing red. Heck no, he was not going to stand here and watch that damn paramedic propose to her!
How did they get so messed up that he was oblivious to the lead up to this moment? Weren't they each others go to person for everything? How did he not know that she and Matthew were so serious?
Jumbled thoughts ran through his mind. She belonged to him dammit! It was his duty to protect her – Mercy West forever!
Before he could calmly analyze the situation, he acted. Before the mob could
gently lead her to a nurse's chair that, like everything else, just magically
appeared, he bent down lifted her over his shoulder in a fireman's lift and
carried her away….