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.
"Hey, April," Cristina said with a small smile when she ran into the redhead on the way to her office. Usually she didn't feel like smiling when she saw her, but today she had woke up in a surprisingly good mood. Which was something that didn't happen to her often. She didn't have anything big planned for her day at work and she hoped it would run quickly as she and Jackson were supposed to spend the evening together which she was looking forward to a lot.
"Oh, hi," April replied, avoiding looking at Cristina. She still felt bad and embarrassed about what happened the previous evening and she expected Cristina to be mad at her. After all Jackson surely told her about her attempt to kiss him and there was no way she would just brush it off. But to April's surprise Cristina didn't seem to be angry with her so she didn't complain. "Are you feeling any better today? Jackson told me you couldn't make it to dinner last night because you weren't feeling very well so I hope you're better now," April said, trying to start some sort of small conversation, but immediately regretted that she didn't choose a better topic to talk about.
Reminding Cristina about the evening that she tried to make a drunken move on her boyfriend probably wasn't the best idea.
In fact it was a horrible idea, but it was too late to take it back.
Cristina reminded silent for a second, wondering what was April talking about. She wasn't feeling sick yesterday. And what dinner was she supposed to make it to? She didn't remember anyone inviting her anywhere. In fact she was the one who invited Jackson over for a dinner, but he told her he was going somewhere with Mark. But if he was with the April then he probably wasn't with Mark. Cristina's mind was running wild, quickly trying to put the pieces together but she had no idea what was going on. It looked like Jackson probably wasn't telling her something.
When Cristina didn't say anything, April knew she'd made a mistake when she brought up what happened at dinner.
"I- I'm sorry. I guess that's not something you want to talk about. It's certainly not something I want to talk about," she said with her eyes glues to the floor. "Just... Just tell Jackson I'm sorry, okay? I was a little tipsy and I wasn't thinking straight. If I was sober I wouldn't... I wouldn't kiss him. So just tell him I'm sorry," April rambled, trying to apologize.
She couldn't take back what happened, but at least she had to let Jackson know she felt bad about it, which of course Cristina needed to know as well. Even though it wouldn't change anything, she had to apologize. As April thought about the previous evening she felt tears building up in the corners of her eyes again and decided it was the time to go back to her office. "I gotta go," she mumbled as she quickly walked away, leaving Cristina standing there, staring into the empty space as anger started to build up inside of her.
After the little conversation she had with April Cristina couldn't think about anything else. She still didn't know what exactly happened but she knew it wasn't good. Obviously Jackson lied to her when he said he was going somewhere with Mark. Unless April went with them, but Cristina didn't think that was the case. If Mark was around April wouldn't kiss Jackson, would she? Well either way she did and there was nothing that would make Cristina angrier than another woman putting her hands on her boyfriend. Or even worse, her lips. Especially when it wasn't just a stranger who found Jackson attractive. It was his best friend.
At least that was what he said because clearly he meant something more to April. Even though Cristina knew that Jackson probably didn't even want April to kiss him, it didn't change the fact that he had lied to her. Which wasn't something she could forgive him for instantly. Not after what she went through in her previous relationships. She spent the whole day deep in her thoughts, trying to figure out what really happened, but she couldn't be sure until she talked to Jackson. If he would, of course, tell her the truth.
Jackson was grateful he didn't have to go to the magazine that day. After what happened between him and April, running into her was the last thing he wanted. And even though he knew he couldn't avoid her forever, he needed some time to process everything. She had feelings for him and clearly he was the only one who never noticed it. He couldn't believe he was such an idiot. If he realized she felt some for him sooner, he could just gently tell her he was not interested and none of this would have happened. But it was far too late for that now and he had to figure out what to do next. He didn't want to lose his friend, but at the same time he couldn't imagine their friendship being the same as before. After turning her down in such a rude way April probably didn't want to be his friend anymore anyway.
And then of course there was his relationship with Cristina. He had no idea what to do. He wanted to tell her that she was right about April having a crush on him and reassure her that he had no interest in her, there was nothing for her to worry about. But he knew he couldn't tell her anything. Not without telling her where he was the previous evening and revealing that he lied to her. It felt like such a good idea at first. He wanted to just spend a nice evening with April without having to worry about Cristina feeling uncomfortable around her. It was just one lie that was not supposed to hurt anyone. It wasn't supposed to be a lie that caused more uncomfortable situations. As much as Jackson wanted, he couldn't change what already happened. He could just try not to make it even worse. And he could only achieve that if Cristina never found out what happened.
Cristina was sitting on the couch in her apartment, anxiously staring at her watch and waiting for Jackson to come. She hadn't seen him the whole day, but she hoped that despite the things between him and April he didn't forget that they planned to have a dinner together. Not that she felt like eating with him.
At least not until Jackson had told her the truth about last night.
Either way, she knew the conversation between them was not going to be pretty. Jackson lied to her and it was something Cristina couldn't forgive so easily. If ever. Maybe she fell in love with him far too quickly before she even had the chance to consider whether he was the right guy for her.
It was shortly after six when Cristina finally heard a soft knock. She took a deep breath and slowly walked to the door, preparing herself for the probably unpleasant conversation with Jackson she was about to have. She was still really mad and the fact that she spent her day thinking about all the reasons why their relationship could fall apart wasn't helping it.
"Hey," Jackson said and gave Cristina a small smile, trying to act as naturally as possible. Not telling her about everything would be hard, but it was the only way to not reveal his lies and ruin their relationship. Cristina didn't say anything, so he just leaned over to kiss her but before his lips had the chance to meet hers she took a step back, crossing her arms over her chest and glaring at Jackson. "Is something wrong?" he asked confused, not knowing why Cristina didn't let him kiss her. He didn't remember doing anything wrong. Well of course there was this whole thing about him not telling Cristina about April inviting them over for a dinner, but she didn't know about that, did she?
"Oh, is there?" Cristina replied sarcastically. "How would I even know if there is something wrong when you're clearly not telling me everything?" she snapped. This was not how she planned the conversation to start, but seeing Jackson act like nothing happened just made her even madder than she already was.
"So you know..." Jackson whispered. Now he understood why Cristina acted the way she did. And he wished he had prepared for this kind of conversation instead of just trying to hide the truth from her.
"Of course I know. Your dear friend April asked me whether I was feeling better today because clearly I wasn't feeling well yesterday and couldn't make it to dinner. The dinner nobody invited me to in the first place," she continued, not giving Jackson a chance to say anything. Not until she was done. But obviously saying all those things at loud was not making her calmer. It made her realize it really happened and the anger grew in her with each word.
"Look I can explain all that. April invited us both over for a dinner and I wanted to tell you, but then you started talking about how you couldn't spend any more time with her so I thought..." Jackson tried to speak, but Cristina interrupted him again.
"Thought what? That being with her while letting me believe you were with Mark would make me like her more? That it would make it easier for me to work with her every day?" Cristina asked and Jackson knew that when she put it like that it sounded ridiculous. But he really just wanted not to make things worse between Cristina and April.
"I'm sorry. I know it was a stupid idea," he whispered, trying to apologize.
"Was it? Because think it was a brilliant idea. All you had to do was not mention it for the rest of your life and everything would be fine. But then April would need to keep her mouth shut too. Which she clearly can't do. Just like she can't keep her mouth away from other people's boyfriend's mouths," Cristina continued, furiously. She hoped they would have a quiet adult conversation, but once she started talking about Jackson lying to her and April kissing him she was anything but calm.
"She told you about the kiss?" Jackson asked, as his eyes widened. He really didn't expect April to talk to Cristina about that. But then again he didn't expect her to kiss him either.
"Yeah, but from the look on your face I can see it's another thing you planned to hide from me, didn't you?" When Jackson didn't say anything Cristina took it as yes. "Of course," she scoffed.
"It's not like that," Jackson tried to defend himself, but there wasn't much he could say to make the situation better. He really didn't plan to tell Cristina what happened. But it was just to not make everything even worse. And as he just found out, he didn't succeed at that.
"Of course it's not like that. You came here, acting like everything was okay because you didn't want to tell me about anything," Cristina said sarcastically, not knowing whether she should yell at him for lying to her or cry because she was disappointed in him. She felt like doing both.
"You didn't even let me explain," Jackson sighed, getting desperate. Cristina was clearly really pissed at him and anything he tried to say to explain the situation was just making it worse.
"What is there to explain? You lied to me. And you didn't even plan to tell me the truth. I thought our relationship was real. That we were honest to each other. But maybe that was just me," Cristina tried to yell, but her voice broke in the middle of the sentence. After finally letting all the anger out the real feelings started to get to her, she was disappointed. And scared and worried that her relationship with Jackson was nowhere near as perfect as she thought. She was afraid that this wasn't the first time Jackson hid things from her. Maybe he was just another man who was using her the whole time.
Hearing Cristina say that she was the only one who was honest in their relationship hit Jackson right in the heart. He knew he had made a huge mistake when he lied to her, but it only happened once. He loved her and he tried to be honest with her. He would never hurt her on purpose. "Well maybe if you weren't so stubborn and at least tried to like April, none of this would have happened," Jackson said, raising his voice more than he planned, but when he saw Cristina gasp, he knew he definitely should have kept his mouth shut. He quickly tried to think of something to say to explain it wasn't what he sounded like, but he didn't have the chance.
"Get out!" Cristina yelled. She didn't want things to go that far, but she wouldn't let Jackson blame her for what he did. And she definitely wouldn't let him raise his voice at her when she didn't do anything wrong.
"Cristina, just let me…" Jackson tried to stop her from throwing him out, but it was too late. He had his chance to explain everything and he blew it.
"I told you to get out!" she yelled even louder, pushing Jackson out of her apartment. "I don't wanna see you again," she said angrily and slammed the door in his face.
Jackson knew there was no way she would let him in or let alone talked to him at the moment so he just sighed, mumbled something about being an idiot and slowly walked away.
Cristina kept staring at the door for a few minutes, replaying everything that had just happened in her head and then burst into tears.