Summary: AU - Cristina Yang is a young, talented and ambitious photographer who seems to have everything going for her. But there’s something missing, that special someone to share it with. At her first photography exhibition a handsome artist captures her attention, but is he the one she’s been looking for…?
Disclaimer: All television shows, movies, books, and other copyrighted material referred to in this work, and the characters, settings, and events thereof, are the properties of their respective owners. As this work is an interpretation of the original material and not for-profit, it constitutes fair use. Reference to real persons, places, or events are made in a fictional context, and are not intended to be libelous, defamatory, or in any way factual.
Author's note: I'm really really sorry for letting you all wait for so long. My beta was busy with real life stuff so she didn't have time to correct my chapters, but my wonderful friend helped me out so you can finally find out what happens next.
Jackson was standing in the hallway of Seattle's Metropolitan magazine waiting for his girlfriend. After the hectic week behind him, Jackson was glad he finally had more time to spend it with her. Derek managed to persuade Owen to not sell his part of the company to Addison so Jackson spent a lot of time signing papers and learning everything he needed to know about becoming a co-owner of the magazine. There was far more work involved than he expected, but he felt good about it. Cristina and her friends no longer needed to worry about losing their jobs and Jackson was happy he could finally use some of the money from his trust fund to do the right thing. As he waited for Cristina, he saw a few guys moving some stuff to Owen's old office. Apparently the new chief of editor that Derek hired was already moving in and things in the magazine were getting back to normal.
Suddenly he heard an oddly familiar voice calling his name: "Jackson Avery!" a redhead exclaimed when she spotted Jackson, standing on the side of the hallway. "What are you doing here? I haven't seen you since college."
Jackson's eyes widened when he turned around to make sure he recognized the voice correctly. "April! Oh, my God." He greeted his former classmate and best friend from college with a tight hug. "My girlfriend works here, so I'm waiting for her," he explained, as they pulled away from each other. "And I also kind of a co-owner here now," he said as a matter of fact and shrugged his shoulders. He still couldn't get used to the fact, that he was now one of the owners of the magazine. "But that's not important now. What are you doing here? I thought you moved to New York?" Jackson asked, still not believing how small the world was.
The huge smile from April's face quickly disappeared, when Jackson told her he had a girlfriend. She never told him that, because they were best friends and she was afraid she would ruin their relationship, but she had always had a big crush on him. "I was there, but then I decided to change my life a little and move somewhere else. So now I'm the new chief of editor here," she said, trying not to look disappointed. "But you're a co-owner here? How did that happen? I thought you wanted to be a painter."
"That's a long story." Jackson laughed. "But I guess we will be seeing each other more often now, so I'm sure I'll have the opportunity to tell you everything."
April was just about to ask him a dozen of other questions, when she noticed he was no longer paying attention to her and instead of that he was looking behind her with a silly smile on his lips and dreamy look on his face. It didn't take too long for her to realize, that the woman walking towards them was Jackson's girlfriend.
"Hey," Cristina greeted him with a kiss. "Are you ready to go?"
"Actually, I'd like to introduce someone to you first," Jackson said and put his hand on April's back. "Cristina, this is April. My best friend from college. She's the new chief of editor that Derek hired. April, this is my girlfriend Cristina. She works as a photographer here," Jackson quickly introduced them and the women politely shook their hands.
"Nice to meet you. I hope your personal life won't affect your work. We'd like to avoid that this time." Cristina grinned and Jackson laughed.
"I uh..." April squinted her eyes, not understanding what was Cristina talking about.
"That's why the previous chief of editor left," Jackson explained. "His personal problems affected his work too much." He looked at the ground, because he still felt partially guilty for what happened.
"Oh, I understand now." April nodded her head. "I can promise you I will try not to mix my personal life with work."
"Good," Cristina said and there was a moment of awkward silence between the three of them. "So I guess we should get going because I still have a lot of work ahead of me today."
"Yeah, I guess we should." Jackson nodded, when suddenly an idea hit him. "April, don't you want to come with us too?" he asked and Cristina gave him a surprised look.
"I... I don't know. I don't want to interrupt your lunch," April said. She definitely wanted to spend more time with Jackson and catch up on all the things that happened to him during the past few years, but he wasn't sure that a lunch with him and his girlfriend was the best opportunity to do that.
"Oh, c'mon. It will be fun. We have so many things to talk about. And Cristina doesn't mind, right?" he asked, looking at Cristina, hoping she would agree.
"Well..." Cristina wasn't really happy about the idea of sharing a lunch with someone who was still a complete stranger for her. Especially since she and Jackson barely had time for each other the past few days and she thought the lunch would be a great time to make up for that. She was just about to say that it may not be the best idea, but when she saw Jackson's puppy eyes looking at her, pleading her to agree, she couldn't say no. "I guess that would be a great idea," she said, forcing a fake smile on her lips. She hated when Jackson did this. When he looked at her with his big blue-green eyes, making her weak in her knees. When he looked at her that way she would do anything he wanted.
"Great." Jackson smiled. "Let's go then."
The restaurant that Cristina and Jackson were planning to visit was just across the street, but even though the walk there only took a couple of minutes, Cristina was already annoyed by April. She couldn't say what exactly she minded about her, but she knew they most likely wouldn't become friends. Maybe it was because of her weird high pitched voice or maybe because she just talked too much. But the fact that Jackson was now paying all of his attention to her instead of Cristina wasn't making it any better.
When they finally arrived to the restaurant and a waitress brought them food, Cristina was hoping it would keep April quiet for a while. And even though it did, it didn't last too long. "So do you still play basketball, Jackson?" April asked and Cristina raised her eyebrows, not knowing that Jackson used to play basketball. Actually, she didn't know that much about his past. He said it wasn't interesting and she wasn't the type of person who liked to talk about her past too much either. But as she listened to the conversation between April and Jackson, she began to realize there were many little things she didn't know about him.
"No, not anymore," Jackson answered, shaking his head. "I'm trying to fully focus on painting now. And well… on Cristina," he said with a grin as he took another bite of his food and Cristina forced a smile on her lips.
But she wasn't the only one who was faking a smile. April was glad she was able to talk to Jackson again, but at the same time it felt completely different than it used to be. She knew it had been a long time and that it was pathetic to think that after all those years there could be something going on between the two of them, but she felt jealous when she saw how he kissed Cristina and how his face immediately lit up when he saw her. For years she wanted him to look at her that way. To kiss her, hold her hand in public. But she was too scared to tell him. And now it was too late.
"You don't like April, do you?" Jackson asked casually as he prepared dinner for him and Cristina. Since their lunch plans were interrupted by his reunion with his former best friend, what made him almost ignore Cristina the whole time, he felt like he owed her an apology. And preparing food just for the two of them seemed like the best way to do it.
"I never said that." Cristina shook her head, not wanting Jackson to know what she thought about April. She wouldn't say it at loud, but she had to admit she felt a little jealous. Actually very jealous. She was really looking forward a calm lunch with Jackson when they could enjoy some alone time after the hectic week behind them. But instead of that she had to watch an unknown redhead touching her boyfriend every five seconds and giggling at his jokes like a thirteen year old. From the very first moment she could feel she wouldn't like her, but Jackson said she was his friend, so Cristina tried to stay polite. Even though it was harder than she thought.
"You didn't have to say anything. I could see it from the look on your face," he said, as he continued to chop the vegetables. He didn't say anything during the lunch, but it didn't mean he didn't notice that there was something bothering Cristina. She barely said anything and just listened to his conversation with April, not looking very happy about the fact that a female friend he hadn't talked to for a few years suddenly appeared in his life again. Jackson understood why she didn't like the sudden change of plans, but he felt like there was something more. And he wanted to know what it was.
"She's your friend. You like her. I shouldn't be telling you this." Cristina still tried to keep her thoughts about April to herself, but it wasn't easy.
"Just tell me. What is it?" Jackson asked curiously. He knew that April wasn't really popular and that people always found something to hate about her but he never saw it.
"She's… annoying. Very annoying."
"What?" He raised his eyebrows in surprise. "She's not annoying."
"See? This is why I didn't want to tell you. You two have been friends for years so you don't see it. And I don't want to ruin it for you. So just drop it," Cristina said, not wanting to talk about April anymore. It was enough that she interrupted their lunch so they didn't need to talk about her during dinner too.
Jackson sighed. "Okay. Whatever. But maybe you should give her a chance. "
"Do I have to?" Cristina asked, not very excited about the idea.
"Please. At least try."
They were both quiet for a moment as Jackson continued to prepare the dinner while Cristina was reading some sort of magazine about art that Jackson had in his apartment. But even though she was trying to focus on the text, she couldn't stop thinking about the lunch and the way April acted towards Jackson. They seemed quiet close. Too close to her liking. "So what's your story with her?" she asked all of sudden when she was no longer able to pretend she was reading the magazine. Even though she was the one who wanted to drop the topic about April, she couldn't stop herself from asking more questions.
"Who?" Jackson asked, pretending he didn't know what Cristina was talking about. He could feel a little bit of jealousy in her voice, but decided to ignore it. He was probably just making it up in his head because there was no reason to be jealous.
"April. Who else?" Cristina rolled her eyes, knowing Jackson was just playing dumb.
"There is no story with her. We went to college together. She was kind of a loner at first, but then we became friends. After college I stayed here and she moved to New York and I haven't seen her until today. The end."
"So you were just friends. Hmmm…" Cristina twisted her lips to the side as she thought about the lunch and how April acted. Because it definitely looked like she didn't want to be just Jackson's friend.
"What do you mean by hmmm?" Jackson raised his eyebrows not understanding what was Cristina trying to tell him.
"It's just that she acted like a love struck teenager around you today. She couldn't keep your eyes of you, laughed at jokes that weren't even funny…"
"Or maybe you're just jealous and making this up in your head." Jackson shook his head, not wanting to admit that Cristina could be right. April was just being friendly, right? There was no way there would be something more behind it. "Besides, my jokes are funny," he said, feeling offended. "Well, some of them," he added when Cristina gave him an unamused look. "The point is there is nothing going on between us. There never was and never will be. I have you. And that's all I need." He smiled as he walked over to Cristina and pulled her closer to him, staring into her chocolate brown eyes, knowing that he could do it for the rest of his life.
"You're so cheesy." She giggled, wrapping her arms around his neck.
"But you love me anyway," he said with a grin and kissed her. There was nothing that could pull them apart. Especially not April. At least that's what he thought.
- Captured - Chapter 11