waltzmatildah: (greys: alex and april)
[personal profile] waltzmatildah
Title: Riding The Space Between You and Me
Fandom: Grey's Anatomy
Characters/Pairings: Alex and April
Word Count: 3600
Rating: PG
Prompt: New year's resolutions. Cookies.
Summary: OMGBLIZZARD FIC meets OMGBLACKOUT FIC meets OMGKNIFEWEILDINGCRAZYPERSON FIC! (Heee!) Also, I was determined not to make you cry with this one because it's from Santa! (So, if it's cheesy and gross I am SO sorry!).
Author's Note: Pinch-hit Secret Santa fic for [livejournal.com profile] rorylie. Do not even ask me how I managed to get this written! I SO hope you like it (and, in light of the current craziness over this way, understand why it's kinda probably no where near what you wanted!). Title from “Trains”, Kyu.





The clock on the wall above her head has been stuck at eight minutes past three for weeks now. The battery having stuttered and stammered to a slow death while no one was looking.

And she has no doubt it'll stay that way for weeks to come.

She has a flashlight clenched into her left fist, her right clutches at something much more sinister. The power finally gave up completely about fifteen minutes ago and she's three quarters to convinced that a mad man is going to use the cover of darkness she's shrouded in to break into the house and terrorise her.

The couch creaks gently as her weight shifts and she holds her breath, as though the lack of air may undo the sound of leather stretching, resettling. She flicks the flashlight's power switch to off, figures she's a more difficult target to find if she's not lighting up her location with a spotlight.

Counts to seventy one in her head before the front door pushes open with a rush of frigid air and she only just manages not to shriek.

So much for stealth.

“Anyone home?”

A voice echoes from the entrance. Deep and vaguely disinterested. As though the fact that it looks like the middle of the arctic outside is not of concern to them.

“Alex?”

Tries, fails, to hide her breathlessness.

“Yeah.” The relief floods from her toes upwards. “April?” She nods quickly in confirmation, several up and down bobs of her jelly-like spine before she remembers it's dark. Pitch dark.

Non-verbal communication is most definitely out.

“Um, yeah. I'm in here...”

She hears shuffling then. And the collision of what sounds like coat material on hardwood floor as the front door is pushed to closed. She slides the flashlight switch back to on and manages to catch Alex directly in the face with the fluorescent beam as he appears in the opening.

He ducks out of range and she stumbles over an apology that he waves off.

“What are you doing?”

“What am I doing?”

“Yes. What are you doing?”

“Nothing.” She does not add trying not to die and she most definitely does not mention the butcher's knife clenched behind her back.

He doesn't question her obvious lie and she wonders why she expected that he would.

“The power's out.”

“Really? How'd you guess?”

And she figures she probably deserves that. “It's really dark...” but she just can't seem to stop with the inane comments. He huffs but doesn't speak and she's grateful he manages to overlook her inept attempt at conversation.

She uses the flashlight to slide the heavy curtains askew and even without the muted glow of streetlights that have also faded to black she can see that the driveway is still empty. Slides her gaze in his direction once again as two and two suddenly don't equal four.

“How'd you get home?”

“I walked.”

“You walked?” High pitched. Echoes at a decibel only canines could decipher.

He shrugs, one shouldered, and melting snow drips soundlessly to the rug at his feet. “Got about three quarters of the way home before they closed the road. Parked up and figured I might as well keep on going...”

“Might as well...” And she wants to say more but she has a butcher's knife clenched in her fist that he hasn't noticed yet and anything that she does come up with only fuels her horror at how she's going to have to explain its presence.

“Aren't you freezing?” Figures changing the subject might buy her some time. Maybe encourage him into the bathroom to dry off so she can relinquish her weapon and salvage some dignity.

He shrugs again, a mirror image of the one shouldered lift that he gave her only seconds ago. Only this time she actually pays attention.

“Are you okay?” Because she's suddenly very aware that he's not and the knife at her back might be the least of her problems.

“M'fine.” Clipped. Too short to be the truth.

“Alex-”

“Seriously. I'm fine.” More forceful now, like maybe he's trying to convince himself as well as her.

She takes several hesitant steps forward and brings her hands towards him, forgets completely until he scuttles backwards with a soundless drop of his jaw.

“Holy crap. What the fu-”

Oh, the knife.

“Oh, no. No. I'm not... I'm sorry-” and she tries to stop. She really does. But the words tumble out one after the other and it's not until she recognises a story from when she was eight years old and got locked in the barn by her sisters tumbling from her lips that she manages to clamp her teeth together in silence.

She raises her left hand slowly. A surrender of sorts. Before sliding the knife to the coffee table and righting herself again.

“Sorry about that.” She giggles as the absurdity of the situation dawns and is relieved when a matching grin tugs at the corners of his mouth as well.

“Psychopath. I was shot once. You can't just come at me with a freaking butcher's knife...”

“I wasn't coming at-” She catches his widening grin and guesses she's giving him just the reaction he was looking for. Gives up when she deduces it's nothing more than a ploy to distract her attention from her original question.

“Alex, are you okay?”

“I said I'm-”

“I know what you said, but you don't really look fine and I'm not, despite anything you might have heard here tonight, completely stupid.”

“Fine. I tripped.” The words escape around a resigned exhale of air.

“You tripped? Where?”

“I dunno,” The one shouldered shrug again. “Somewhere between here and where I parked my car.”

“So, you tripped. In the freezing, arctic weather out there, and then continued walking home. And you're fine.”

He obviously chooses to ignore the sarcasm she manages to lace through her words. “Yes. Fine.”

She takes a solidifying breath and swings the flashlight beam to the couch behind her. Barks out an ordered sit and refuses to budge until he reluctantly complies.





*






It takes her all of about 13 seconds to deduce that I tripped was a complete lie. She pulls a blanket from the back of the couch and tugs it towards him. Doesn't dare cover him with it because she's really not that stupid, but comforts herself with the fact that at least it's within reach now.

If he decides the ice water soaking his jeans is actually making him cold.

Which he no doubt won't.

She sighs and he looks up at her sharply through snow-melt damp lashes and she has to look away lest he catch her blushing.

She has his left hand between her tentative fingertips and she doesn't need to be a doctor to know that his wrist is most likely fractured, but she is and so the swelling that is rapidly developing and the fact that his fingers don't really move on command any more is quietly disconcerting.

“Can you make a fist?”

He snorts but attempts the movement anyhow. Baulks almost immediately.

“Crap.” The single syllable muttered through clenched teeth.

“I can't believe you were trying to tell me you were fine.”

“Yeah, well I can't believe you had a freaking samurai sword behind your back while you were asking me so... we're even.”

“It was not-” And really, she bites every time. “Fine. I give up. I'm pathetic and scared of the dark. Don't try and tell me you're surprised. So,” she lets her gaze drift up again. Looks him in the eye as though daring him to lie.

“Any other damage?”

“Only to my freaking pride.”

“Did anyone see?”

“No, nobody saw. Have you looked outside lately?”

“Well, you were out traipsing around in it.”

“Yeah, well I'm an idiot. But that's not news either.” He lets his eyes slide closed and slumps his head to rest on the back of the couch. She lowers his hand back into his lap and tries not to think too much about how staring at him right now makes her all kinds of creepy.

“Alex, any other damage? For real this time. I know you doubt it occasionally, but I really am a doc-”

“I might have slammed the side of my head into a brick fence on the way down.” Delivered in monotone and with eyes still closed.

And the other shoe finally drops.





*






She lifts his eyelids one by one and only just resists the urge not to shine the flashlight directly into them. Stupid fool.

He manages an elaborate eye roll each time she does it and when she attempts a re-check not five minutes later he swats her away impatiently.

“I already told you, I do not have a concussion.” And he has. On numerous occasions. Not that she necessarily believes him.

“How would you even know, anyway?”

He slides both eyes open at that; wide. “Are you even serious?”

“You may be a surgeon but you are far from a walking c-t scan, Alex.” She moves to pull off his shoes and he sits up, immediately on the defensive.

“What the hell are you doing?”

“You need these off, Alex. Actually, you need everything off-” she blushes but continues nonetheless. Figures the eerie darkness will hide all evidence of her school girl crush, “- but I'll settle for shoes and jeans at this stage.”

“You're not undressing me.”

“Oh, please. Do not even pretend you haven't been undressed by someone other than your mother before.”

“You're not undressing me.”

“Fine.” She pushes to her feet, “Undress yourself. I'll go get you some dry clothes.” Figures standing up and walking out with no further ado will get her point across loud and clear.

She uses her escape to fetch an extra flashlight and some candles. More than willing to light the place up now that she's no longer home alone. The quick search of his bedroom for dry a pair of sweatpants and some clean socks feels so much more like snooping than it really should.

All things considered.

She returns to find him hunched over on the couch. Bent almost double with his forehead on his knees. His jeans, a puddle of sodden denim on the rug by his feet. Stubborn idiot.

“Alex?”

She can hear his laboured breathing from her position in the doorway.

“Crap. Alex?”

“'m gonna be sick...” Whispered.

She freezes. Weighs up her options for a moment before deciding on outright attack.

“No you're not. No way. No way am I spending my new year's eve cleaning up your vomit,” But the ferocity of her words is completely overridden by the barely concealed panic laced through them. She runs her hand up his uninjured arm and notes that her earlier assumption that he'd have to be freezing is, indeed, correct.

She pulls the blanket she'd retrieved earlier up and over his shoulders and only just catches his muttered attempt at a thank you.

“If you tell anyone about this, I'll deny it ever happened.”

Accepts the words for what they are and gives him a moment to regain his breath.





*






He sits up slowly, and she offers him a modicum of privacy by turning her back to light the candles she'd gathered.

“You're gonna burn the place down with those.”

“Probably. It is still two thousand and ten after all. And we haven't had a house fire yet. Had everything else, but the house is still standing. I guess we've got a few more hours to change that...” There is resignation in her tone as emotions she'd spent the best part of the day squelching down into her most hard to reach places threaten to bubble over.

The familiar burn of saltwater curtains her eyes momentarily and she uses the back of her hand to swipe at the bitter tears forcefully.

Can quite fathom a world where Reed died last year is a reality when she hasn't even managed to come to terms with Reed died this year just yet. Sinks her fingers into the remaining dregs of twenty ten and refuses to let it go.

She takes a shaky breath and plasters on a grin. Can only imagine how macabre it must look in the eerie glow of flickering candlelight.

“So, no concussion, huh? Yeah, right.”

“It wasn't my head, I promise.” She inhales as though to laugh but stops as she notes the rigid way he's holding himself on the couch.

“Your arm?”

He nods but the movement is almost imperceptible. As though acknowledging the truth is admitting weakness.

Defeat.

“Scale of one to ten?”

Hesitation. And then, “Twenty seven.” Oh. That good.





*






She leaves him again, reluctantly, and does a quick search of the shared bathroom. Comes up with nothing stronger than Ponstel before remembering the more than well-stocked liquor cabinet downstairs.

Figures a shot of something fiery will do in the interim. Before x-rays and plaster casts and proper medication can be administered.

She dumps the supplies on the coffee table in front of him. Enjoys the curious peak his eye brows develop at the random assortment of objects she's procured.

“What's all this?”

“Party supplies.”

“Party supplies?”

“Well, it is new years eve after all...” As though her explanation should have been more than obvious.

“Tequila and cookies by candlelight? That's your idea of a new years eve party?”

“Admittedly, not my first choice!” She dares to throw a grin in his direction and manages to pull the expression off without flushing from head to toe.

Progress, surely.

“Do I even want to know what the rest is for?” His tone is cautionary. Apprehensive. And really? He has every right to dread what's next because she already is.

“I need to splint your wrist, Alex. Probably straighten it a little, too.”

“Fuck no.”

“Alex.”

“Uh uh. Not gonna happen.” He's pushing up straighter on the couch, as though hoping it'll open up and swallow him whole.

“Oh, for God sake, you do it to complete strangers on a daily basis.”And she thinks it says a lot for his current state of mind that he doesn't jump all over that particular sentence in a heartbeat.

“When they're unconscious... Unless that's what the tequila bottle is for. But let me tell you now, there is not enough tequila in the world that says I'm letting you anywhere near my wrist.”

“Seriously?”

“Seriously.” Defiant. More than just a little manic.

“So, you're gonna sit there all night in absolute agony because you're too wimpy to let me splint your wrist.”

“Yes. Exactly.”

“Seriously, Alex?” And she doesn't even bother to hide her exasperation.

“Have you ever broken anything?”

Almost like it's a challenge. Though, she already knows she can't win this one.

Tries valiantly in any case, “My ankle. Once. I was sledding.” She doesn't bother to mention that she was five at the time and has no actual memory of the event.

“Well, I've broken this wrist three times before and I can tell you, it doesn't get any freaking less painful each time.”

She baulks slightly at the information, stores the tidbit safely for later questioning, “Maybe not, but it doesn't really change the fact that it needs to be splinted. Unless you want me to call emergency and freak out on the phone that you have a head injury and possible multiple broken bones until they send a helicopter to come and rescue you?”

“At least let me get drunk first.” A capitulation of sorts. “It is new years eve, after all...” Throws her cheesy explanation right back at her.





*






She allows him three shots and tries not to think too hard about the possible concussion he's still refusing to acknowledge.

Slams back two of her own despite his protestations about drunk nursing staff and orders him sharply to shut it.

She shoves a cookie between his teeth, barks at him to bite it and concentrate on the chocolate chips and to not think about anything else.

Anything, Alex. I mean it. I can't do this if you scream-” He scoffs. “Or pull away or tense up...”

He nods stoically. Resigned now. And she wonders if he's protesting to such a degree because he knows only too well what what she's about to do to him really feels like.

In the end, it takes her longer than she thought it would and the grating of bone on bone under her fingertips is almost enough to have her reaching for the trashcan she'd located in case of emergencies.

She can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like for him.

“I'm almost done, I'm almost done...” Her knee is pressed to his thigh and it's becoming impossible to decipher if the tremors she can detect are his or hers.

Figures it's probably a little bit of both.

She's bandaging rapidly. Vacillating manically between it's too tight and it's not tight enough and knows without doubt that he'll only grant her one shot at it.

Vows to get it done correctly.





*






In the aftermath he's barely conscious and she grateful for the momentary reprieve. Ties a make-shift sling into position at the nape of his neck and slumps back against the cushions beside him.

The room is spinning and she's fairly certain it has nothing to do with the liquor.

“Alex?”

There's a pause during which she holds her breath, before, “Mmmm...”

“You still alive?”

“No.”

“Didn't think so.”

They settle back into silence, swallowed whole by the gentle movements of the house and the occasional spit of naked flame.

“Alex?” She tries again.

“Mmmm...” And he's a little more with it this time. The sound a little louder. A little stronger.

“I'm really sorry I did that.” She's got her eyes closed because she doesn't think she can look at him right now and if she opens them she knows she won't be able to do anything but.

“Are you serious?” His words are quiet but seem genuine. Incredulous. “You have no idea how much better it feels now.”

“You're just saying that to make me feel better-”

There's a pause and she gives herself a split second to live in a world where Alex Karev says things only to make her feel better.

Decides without doubt that she quite likes it there.

“Maybe a little...” And at least he's being honest now. “But seriously, it doesn't make me wanna puke anymore when I move so that's gotta be progress, right?”

She grins slowly and opens her eyes. Is dismayed to find him hidden behind a wall of saltwater that she had hoped she'd already banished.

“Hey,” he reaches tentative fingers towards the back of her hand. Taps gently twice and manages to send twin bolts of electricity through to her toes. “It must be almost midnight. You made a resolution yet?”

She shakes her head cautiously. Still not entirely convinced that she can hold back the tears that are threatening.

“Well, you better hurry then. And bring that bottle of tequila a little closer would you?”

She wraps her fingers around the cool glass and fore-goes the plastic tumbler drained to empty beside it. Swigs straight from the bottle before passing it over.

“Classy. I like it.”

She shrugs non-chalantly, as though drinking hard liquor straight from the bottle is something she's done many times. “We are so far passed classy right now...”

“Hey, I'm definitely not complaining.” Rounds out the words through a mouthful and still doesn't spill a drop.

Practice does make perfect after all.

“My resolution is to not get shot.” Smirk firmly back in place as he passes the tequila back to her.

She grins, catches her teeth on the lip of the bottle, “That,” she nods, “Sounds like a very good plan to me.”

“Your turn.”

“Mine,” She swallows forcefully, sucks in a deep breath before scooting forward by inches, “Mine...” She can feel her heart ramping up its beat in her chest, wonders if he can see her rocking with each and every thud.

“Mine is to do...” she puts a hand on the back of his head. Pulls him towards her tentatively at first and notes his complete acquiescence. Uses it to build her confidence...

“Mine is to do this.” She grins at the last second. Soaring. Meets his lips with hers while they're still pulled into a tight smile. Can't quite believe what she's just done. What she's still doing. That his hand is tangling into the hair behind her ear and pulling her towards him.

That he's kissing her back.

She relaxes into it then. Thinks she probably loses the inane grin and what's left of her mind at exactly the same time.

Date: 2011-01-17 12:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rorylie.livejournal.com
I looooooove it! Thank you so much!

Favorite bits:

The little section where she thinks about Reed and the part where she's setting his wrist, shocking since messed up pretty girls are my favorite things ever. And I adore the whole last section.

Really though, I just love all of it (April with the butcher knife ftw). And I didn't cry, though the Reed part almost got me.

Perfection just like you m'lady.

Date: 2011-01-17 12:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
And I didn't cry

tvd: damon

I am so glad that you liked it! And I hope it makes up for the fact that you missed out on a genuine Secret Santa fic! Though, if it makes you feel any better, I still don't have one... :(

Date: 2011-01-17 01:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rorylie.livejournal.com
Aw, it actually makes me feel worse, cause you wrote me such loveliness.

Date: 2011-01-17 09:24 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] felixen.livejournal.com
Ooh! *clapping hands* Love this paring. Thank you!

Date: 2011-01-17 11:19 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Thank you!! I quite like this pairing, too! In fact, I already have about 1500 words of my next A/A fic written!!

Thank you for reading!!

Date: 2011-01-18 09:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] felixen.livejournal.com
Yay!!! *happy dance*

Date: 2011-01-18 10:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Actually, the new one is gonna be a continuation of this one so... if you haven't read it yet... here's something for the interim!!

The Sound Of Your Sorrow Comes

Date: 2011-01-17 09:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] llywela13.livejournal.com
Oooh, great stuff - I loved it! You make April fun, plus with bonus hurt Alex being all stoic and bad patient to boot!

Date: 2011-01-17 11:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Thank you! I quite like April (I know she's not a favourite with most viewers) because I think she's quirky in her own cute way.

And yes, bonus hurt Alex says it all really! Haha!

Thank you, again!!

Date: 2011-01-17 10:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] richyl88.livejournal.com
I loved them so much! It really was perfect <3

Date: 2011-01-17 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Thank you!! I'm so glad because I was worried it was going to completely suck because I'm so distracted by the auction. PHEW that it didn't!!

Date: 2011-01-17 11:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] dariclone.livejournal.com
Heh heh, this was very great! I could totally see them interacting this way.

Date: 2011-01-17 11:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Thank you!! And as for them interacting this way? Yes please!!

Date: 2011-01-18 06:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] slybrunette.livejournal.com
There's a pause and she gives herself a split second to live in a world where Alex Karev says things only to make her feel better.

Decides without doubt that she quite likes it there.


Don't we all, April, don't we all.

This is not fair. It's hurt/comfort fic with snark and witty banter and it somehow all winds up amounting to the general reaction of 'this is better than porn on Christmas' so, idek. You ran with tropes and did them all justice and I am officially in awe of your gloriousness.

Date: 2011-01-18 10:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Hehe, there is a bit of a story behind the 'idea' of this fic, as evidenced by the OMGBLIZZARD FIC meets OMGBLACKOUT FIC meets OMGKNIFEWEILDINGCRAZYPERSON FIC! summary warning! [livejournal.com profile] rorylie and I have a list of these types of fics that we're making our way through, this was a tongue in cheek attempt to cross a few off at once!! Haha!

(In other words, it wasn't meant to be taken too seriously).

Having said that, I absolutely still wanted to make it readable and not cliche despite the subject matter so.. YAY!!

And I'm sure all you really wanted was 'thank you for reading my fic' but now you have more inforamation than you could ever need! Haha! Oops.

THANK YOU

Oh, ps. you can probably add 'self insertion' to the list of cliches because

Decides without doubt that she quite likes it there.

Not even gonna lie...!

Date: 2011-01-20 07:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jillbee7.livejournal.com
*sighs happily*

Classic hurt!Alex- my guilty pleasure!! :) Also, I found this pairing to be way cuter than I had expected, and I think I'd actually be happy if they got together! I loved the part with April in the dark with the knife. I can almost see myself being like that. I hate being stuck in the dark.

Love the Ian Somerhalder gif too!!

Date: 2011-01-20 08:20 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
Hehe, I know! My guilty pleasure, too!!

I am very fond of this pairing (and I also wasn't expecting it initially -- to like it that is, I expected Shonda to at least try it out, after all, who else was there for her to hook Alex up with??!! I just didn't think I'd like it as much as I do!).

The bit about April in the dark with the knife is based off my sister! Haha! She's hopeless!!

Also, Ian Somerhalder gifs for the win!! But...

greys: april,greys: alex

ALEX AND APRIL GIFS FOR THE WIN, TOOOOOO!

Date: 2011-01-25 07:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ovariesofsteel.livejournal.com
YOU USED VACILLATE. YOU USED VACILLATE CORRECTLY IN A SENTENCE!!!!!!

*calms down*

Date: 2011-01-27 04:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] waltzmatildah.livejournal.com
I'm not sure whether to be pleased or offended that this surprises you!!! Haha!! Is my use of the english language really that terrible? Or is this more a reflection on fandom at large?!

(I'm guessing it's the latter!)

Anyway, you seem excited so I'ma go with it being a good thing?!

Date: 2011-01-27 04:57 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ovariesofsteel.livejournal.com
It's the latter! But it's not really just fandom. It's people in general - on and offline.

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