Operation Phoenix

Chapter 2: Operation Initiated

In the cafeteria, April sat on one side of the table as her friends sat on the other side.

"Is this some kind of intervention?" She asked as two of the three friends had their arms folded and a glare set on their faces

"No it's not" Lexie said

"Yes it is!" Stephanie argued

She looked over at Lexie Grey-Sloan, sister of her co worker and childhood friend Meredith Grey and wife of Mark Sloan. Although the younger surgeon was a year behind in her residency, the two became fast and close friends. April witnessed every high and low of her and Mark's relationship and she was always encouraging April to get back on the dating horse.

Stephanie Edwards was a 2nd year resident at the hospital. Her and April first met when the then intern was assigned to the then 5th year, chief resident's trauma case. Stephanie had a certain skill for trauma and April noticed and encouraged it. And that was how the mentor-mentee relationship grew.

"What's this all about?" April finally asked as she dug into her lunch

"Your engagement" Lexie answered with a frown and mouthed "sorry"

"You know, the one you only told Lexie about" Reed said

Reed Adamson, best friend of April Kepner since intern year. Although the two had very different personalities, they easily became friends that first day at Seattle Grace. They weirdly complimented each other. When April thought it, Reed said it and when Reed was saying too much, April held her back.

April sighed, she should have known that this was going to be the topic of discussion. Since after their announcement of her engagement, she hadn't had the time to talk to Reed or Stephanie about it. Well, she was actually trying to avoid doing it for as long as she could. When it came to her relationship, each of her friends were on different pages.

Lexie was a bit skeptical of him but grew to like him. He was smart, ambitious, a great surgeon and pretty hot, all the things that reminded her of her own husband. She was very supportive of the relationship and often invited the couple out on double dates with her and Mark.

Along with his smarts and ambition, came a bossy attitude and a disrespect towards the nurses, interns and residents. He would call the nurses "The help" and treat the interns like they were kids. And this was why Stephanie hated the man. She couldn't see what April saw in the Meanie.

Reed was the one who was in the middle. She didn't like him, but she didn't hate the guy either. His attitude didn't really bother her, cause she knew that she too got like that sometimes. She was ok with them dating at first, he was just supposed to be a good lay, like she told April back then, but once things started getting serious, she wasn't there for it. He was a cool guy and all but he didn't seem like serious boyfriend or marriage material. He certainly didn't seem like father material either, though April believed otherwise and thought her kids liked him. Plus there was something off about the cardiothoracic surgeon, she couldn't put her finger on it but she knew that there was.

"When were you going to tell us?" Stephanie asked

"Uh..."

"Were you even going to?" she asked again

"Yes, I was. I just didn't know how to" April answered

"You didn't tell us cause you know we won't like that you'll be marrying him" Reed said

"Yeah, its a bad idea" Stephanie added enthusiastically

"Stephanie..." April began before the resident cut her off

"I know, I know, he's not so bad once I get to know him, but mean is mean April"

"He calls it being a good mentor Stephanie" Lexie stood up for Greyson, much like she always did

"Well I call it being a douche" Stephanie simply said

"Why don't you just give him a chance?" Lexie asked "He's not even mean to you"

"Cause he knows I'm April's friend and he wants to get on my good side"

"Guys!" She said trying to calm them down. She then looked at Stephanie and Reed "So you don't want me to marry him because he's mean?"

"No. He just seems a bit..." Reed began

"Fake" Stephanie finished

"Two-faced" Reed added

April sighed. She had heard this on many occasions from the two. She knew her fiance wasn't well liked, but she believed that he was a nice guy. Her friends opinions were making her doubt her relationship, and she shouldn't be if she was so sure and in love.

"Are you sure you want to do this April?" Reed asked seeing her expression "Is he the right one this time?"

April was about to answer 'yes', but stopped herself. She loved Greyson, he was a good guy and she was happy. But she didn't know if she was marrying him because he was "the one" or because she was just tired of being alone.

"You have to be sure April" Lexie said noticing her hesitance. She liked Greyson but she wanted her friend to be sure "You've already been throgh a divorce"

"Yeah" Stephanie agreed "One divorce, cool, two, not so cute"

Divorce

She remembered the days when she didn't know what the word existed. She remembered finally knowing what it was and thinking "Lucky for me, Jesus will never make me go through something horrible like that". She remembered how wrong she was when she sat on the stairs and watched as her mother dragged their things out of the house while her father tried to stop her.

FLASHBACK

"Come on Karen, we can get through this" Joe said walking past his daughter on the steps as he followed his wife down to the front door "We've gotten through this before, we could do it again"

"I'm done trying Joe" Karen yelled behind her bringing the last of their suitcases to the car "I can't keep doing this"

A 9 year old April sat on the steps and listened. This wasn't the first time she heard them arguing like this, and it seemed like it might be the last time. Why? Because her mother would always say they would leave but she never did. But this time, things were packed and the was running and ready. A younger April never quite understood why her parents argued. When she over heard them, it would be about some woman, being a "home wrecker". She thought that this woman was going to literally show up with a sledge hammer, bulldozer and wrecking ball, ready to "wreck" their house. But she was a bit older now, and had friends that were less sheltered than she was.

"You know, you're being really selfish" her father said following her mother back into the house

"Oh, I'm the one being selfish?" she shot back

"Yes! You're taking my daughter away and breaking up my family because you can't get over this" he said causing an amused look to appear on Karen's face

"Well, lucky for you, you're getting a new family now, right?" she said with fake enthusiasm

He kept his mouth shut, he didn't really have a come back for that one.

Karen walked towards the stairs and looked at her daughter "Come on April, say bye to daddy"

April slowly stood up and walked down the stairs to meet her mother. She then walked up to her father and looked up at him.

"Bye daddy" she said in a low tone

Joe knelt down to his daughter's level. He could ask her to choose, if she wanted to stay with him or leave, but he didn't want her picking sides, and he didn't want her to feel like she should be.

"Bye Duckie" he said with a small smile

Duckie, a name she got from her love of the ducks on their farm, and way she puckered her lips to make them look like a duck's.

She gave her father a big bear hug, before letting go and following her mother to the car.

As it drove down the long drive way, she looked back at the house. Her father stood in the door way, watching sadly as they drove away.

"Mom, where are we going?" April asked after they had reached the main road, and her father was out of sight

"We're going to Boston sweetheart" she answered

End of FLASHBACK

April shook the memory from her head.

"Yes, I'm sure" she finally answered

"So how exactly is this going to work?" Aiden asked his sister as they sat in the waiting room

"I don't know yet" she answered

"What do you mean you don't know? This was all your idea"

"I know" Jordan groaned "I just haven't thought about the details yet, there are a lot of factors involved"

The two were sitting, waiting for their mother so that they can go back-to-school shopping. It was always a tradition to go together, but it was getting a bit old for the twins. Shopping with your mom wasn't so cool, especially when someone from school happened to see you. As much as they didn't like it, they still went, because not going might result with their mother returning with Barbie bag packs and super hero pencil cases.

"Like what?" Aiden asked, wondering what these factors were

"Well, we live in Seattle and Dad 's in Boston. How are we supposed to get them back together if they live on separate sides of the country?" she explained

"Ok, well, we just have to find a way to get dad to move here" he simply said, like it was easy

"How are we gonna do that?"

They sighed in frustration as they leaned back into their seats, this wasn't going to be as easy as they thought. As they thought of plans, their eyes wondered around the waiting room, and they spotted Owen, Mark and some guy they hadn't seen before, standing not too far from the waiting area.

"Thanks for coming Doctor" Owen said, shaking the man's hand

The man nodded in response before sending another nod to Mark and walking away. The smile on Mark's face instantly fell when the man was out of sight.

"I don't like him"

Owen groaned at the man "Of course you don't"

"My department needs the best and he..." he said pointing to the direction the man had just went "...is not the best"

"Come on Sloan, he's a good doctor"

"Exactly, good, not great"

"You didn't even give him a chance. The moment I introduced him, you mentally marked him as unfit"

"Because the minute you introduced him, I saw that he was unfit" Mark explained

Owen rolled his eyes in frustration and began to walk away.

"I need a plastic surgeon Hunt!" he called out to the chief

At that, Jordan's eyes widened.

"That's it!" she said as the idea popped into her head

"Huh?" Aiden asked getting out of his daze

"I have an idea" she said getting up from the chair and walking towards the plastic surgeon

"What? Wait where are you going?" Aiden asked jumping out of his seat and following his sister

"Hey Dr. Sloan" Jordan said with a smile once she got to him

"Hey kids, what are you guys doing here?" he greeted

"We're waiting for mom" the girl answered

"Oh..."

"Sooooo, I heard your little conversation with Dr. Hunt..." she pressed, wanting the surgeon to continue

"Ah, you heard that. Well, a few fellows left so I have openings. The doctors Hunt picked weren't worthy enough for my department" Sloan explained to them

"Well, we know a surgeon who's worthy enough" Jordan said with a grin

"Who?" Mark quickly asked. The man was desperate, he didn't care that he was getting what he needed from teenagers

"Our dad" Aiden answered, finally getting what his sister was trying to do "He just finished his fellowship in Tulane , and he's looking for some place else to work"

"Of course" Mark said wondering why he hadn't thought of Jackson "He's an excellent plastic surgeon, thanks to me" he added, proud that it was his pushing that had gotten Jackson into plastics "And he would be a perfect fit for the Plastics Posse"

"What?" Jordan asked with a confused look

"The Plastics Posse?" Aiden questioned with the same confused look as his sister's

"Thanks for the suggestion kids" he said, ignoring the questions "Where is your father now?"

"In Boston. Stuck in Mass Gen with grandma and grandpa" Aiden answered

Mark frown, it was going to be hard getting him away from his mother and Harper. But that wasn't going to stop him from convincing Jackson Avery to come to Seattle Grace.

"I'm gonna give your father a call...right now" he said as he began to walk away "Thanks kids!"

Aiden and Jordan watched with grins as Mark hurriedly walked away from them.

"Nice plan" Aiden said to his sister

"Thanks" she grinned back at him

"This might actually work"

"I know" Jordan giddily squealed

They looked at each other with excitement written all over their faces.

"Twin five!" they both said, giving each other high fives, totally unaware of someone standing behind them

"What did you two do?" they heard causing them to quickly pull their hands away from each other and turn around

"Oh, it's just you" Jordan said after letting out a sigh of relief "Hey Steph"

"Hi Jordan" she said still looking at the girl suspiciously

Aiden quickly fluffed his hair and put on his "Avery Sparkle", guaranteed by his father to lure girls in every time.

"Hey Stephanie"

The resident looked over at him "Aiden" she said dryly

He figured the infamous sparkle wouldn't work, it never did, she was a woman after all. But he had to try, and always will when he got the chance.

Aiden Avery has had a crush on Stephanie Edwards the day he met her. April had been called to the hospital for a trauma, and her babysitter was running late. The twins believed they could stay home alone, they had each other after all, but their mother begged to differ. So, Stephanie, her then intern, had to keep an eye on the 12 year olds in the waiting room until the babysitter arrived for them. Aiden wasn't down with one of his mother's "Suck ups", as he once heard Dr. Bailey call them, babysitting him in the waiting room, but he was all smiles when he saw who it was. He was smitten and has been sprung ever since.

"Are you ever gonna give me a chance?" he asked with a frown

"Nope" she answered before looking at the other twin "I saw your little twin five, what did you two do?" she asked again

"Go on a date with me and I'll tell you" Aiden bargained

"Here's the thing, I don't like jail" she said without looking at him

"You'll know in due time" Jordan answered her question

"O.k..." Stephanie stretched, not sure if she wanted to know "By the way mom wanted me to tell you that she just came out of surgery, and she'll be here soon"

"O.k" Jordan answered as Aiden nodded

"I got some patients to check up on, I'll see you guys later. Bye"

"Bye" Jordan said before Stephanie began to walk away

"Does that mean we're meeting up later or..." Aiden called out to her

"Goodbye Aiden" she said as she walked, without turning around

"She totally digs me" he said getting an eye roll form his sister

Jackson sat on the edge of the table, looking down at his phone. He had tapped "END" a while ago, but he was still staring down at the screen.

There was an offer placed in front of him, an offer that had everything he needed to move forward in his life. He could work in a hospital that wasn't Mass Gen, or any other hospital in Boston. He could work where his kids lived and be closer to them. What he didn't expect in the bundle was working in the same hospital his ex-wife worked. He didn't hate his ex-wife, never did, but working in the same hospital with her was bound to cause some awkwardness, due to their eventful past.

The door to the conference room opened, causing Jackson to snap out of his daze and shift his eyes away from his phone.

"There you are" Catherine said once she spotted him "I've been looking all over for you, what are you doing in here?"

"Uh..." he said getting up from the seat "...just came in the take a private call"

His mother smirked "From a lady friend?"

"No" he quickly said causing her smile to drop

Her son hadn't had much luck with relationships after his divorce, and she was starting to worry that her son would die alone.

"From who then?"

"Mark Sloan"

"Mark Sloan?" she repeated getting a nod from Jackson "What did he want?"

"He said that there was an opening in the Plastic's department in Seattle Grace, and he wants me to have it" he answered

Catherine observed her son. She knew that he wanted out from under her and his grandfather's wings, but he didn't seem excited about it.

"This is a good thing right?"

"It is" he said "Dr. Sloan is an amazing surgeon, it would great work with him again. And the kids live right there..."

"But...?" she asked seeing as he hesitated to continue

After a few seconds of silence, he answered "April"Catherine sighed before walking up to her son.. She knew that the divorce took a toll on him, even though he tried his best to hide it from her, and that being around April would bring up some tension.

"Look..." she said getting his attention "...yes April's going to be there and yes, things are going to get pretty awkward, but that doesn't mean you can't work together. You two are doing a great job co-parenting the kids, who's to say that you guys can't work together. Yes, it's different, but I believe that you two can make it work"

Jackson nodded, his mother was right, they made it work with the twins, they can make it work with the hospital too. His mother may be underestimating the situation though. There was a lot that went on that she had no idea about. The problem was, was he or April ready to face each other again after all that happened.

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