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February 13, 2015 6:37 pm  #1

His Rock

I was inspired by the latest couple of Grey's Anatomy episodes.  I love Jackson Avery, so here goes.  I also really love men comforting each other I don't know why.  Here goes, enjoy

He had to keep working, had to get away.  If he focused on calculating the maximum dose of lidocaine he could inject and checking and double checking the equipment he needed for suturing, he would be fine.  He maybe wouldn’t remember that his life was crashing down around him.  As he grabbed the suture kit off of the procedure cart, he took deep breaths trying to channel his father.  He distinctly remembered being 5 years old and trying to straighten his tie for his best suit.  His grandfather had died, his father’s father.  His grandfather had been very close to the family, especially his father.  They had shared nightly glasses of wine on the back porch discussing the world, until the night his father found him cold and pulseless already in rigor in his bed.  His mother had pleaded with his father to help him, to do something and then had dissolved into tears in his arms.  From his vantage point in the hall, his father, with tightly drawn lips, every muscle in his body knotted to maintain control, had held her, murmured soothing words and quietly closed his grandfather’s eyes.  Even as he watched them prepare for the funeral, his father was tall, strong, offering his mother a comforting presence.  Jackson took the wordless lesson that day that he was to be a pillar of strength for those around him.

He was fighting to uphold that lesson.  April needed him to comfort her, to be her rock.  He couldn’t think about how he felt, the thought of his child being in excruciating pain every moment of his short painful life.  He just needed a minute, he just needed to breath.  Take some deep breaths, push it down, breath in.  In desperation, the pole of the inventory rack helped hold most of his weight, as he tried to breathe through oppressive chest tightness and burning eyes.

As if in a nightmare, he heard the door swing open and a set of footsteps stop, and after a few awkward moments, a deep voice cleared their throat out of courtesy to announce their presence.   He fought to hold onto the sliver of control he still possessed, urged on by an intense desire to save face by leaving.  Alex shifted uncomfortably, acutely aware he had walked in on something he was not meant to see.

“Uhh…everything ok?”  He asked putting a tangibility to the scene they were both witnessing.

The first answers that Jackson came up with seemed so absurd. Ya everything’s fine, my baby will only live a few moments and die an excruciating death while I watch helplessly, Sure I’m good, our baby is dying and April won’t even let me touch her.  She needs it, but did she ever think I needed to feel her in my arms just as much to know I’ll survive this?  I’m good, I’m not trying not to lose it in the inventory room clutching a bottle of 1% lidocaine.  For some reason, these strike him as morbidly amusing, and before he can stop himself he is laughing hysterically at the ludicrousness of it all, while Alex wears a mix between bewilderment and unease on his face.

To his horror, the facial movements of laughter are too similar to the sobs he has been trying to hold back for so long, and his body takes over.  A wave of sorrow rushes over him, and he desperately brings his hands up to cover his now distorted facial features.  He vaguely wonders how his father managed to stop the tears, because despite every attempt possible, he can’t keep his muscles from allowing him to shake in undignified sobs nor to prevent hot, angry, desolate tears from slipping between his fingers.

Mercifully, Alex closes the door, and Jackson hopes for a moment that he has left him alone to his humiliation.  Instead, he feels a hand on his shoulder, tentative at first, then a firm squeeze.  Wordlessly, it says, I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m here and you’re not alone.  He thinks back to his parents and wonders whether that was what his father needed, to know he could be a rock for others, while that person was there for him.  The simplicity of the gesture causes him to lose any semblance of control he had managed to maintain and all the anger, guilt, pain, fear, and helplessness engulfed him.  He wavered on his feet ever so slightly as the weight of it all threatened to overwhelm him.  A strong pair of arms wrapped around him, lending him their strength.  Alex shifted them so he could place a foot up against the door.  Only he would be witness to this.  There, in the arms of Alex Karev in the trauma bay inventory room, Jackson Avery cried like he had never cried in his life.

" do not cry. They will do anything BUT cry. They stop themselves crying. And eventually they do cry if it is bad enough. So that's how you know with a man how bad it is for him. Because he would've stopped himself...Men always cry like that. They don't cry and in the end they do and if they do then it's overwhelming." ~Michael Caine

February 13, 2015 10:46 pm  #2

Re: His Rock

This is wonderful! I look forward to reading more!

"We have our stalking memories, and they will demand their rightful tears."

March 13, 2015 1:34 pm  #3

Re: His Rock

Very sweet! M/m comfort is actually my fave.


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