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Out of the Hospital

Group: Living in the Silence
Drabble No. 1: Out of the Hospital
Author: burntotears
Fandom: Joan of Arcadia
Pairing: Joan/Adam, Grace/Luke
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: Joan of Arcadia and all related elements © Barbara Hall Productions, Inc. and CBS Productions, in association with Sony Pictures Television. All rights reserved.

Author's Note: If it sucks, sorry. My first attempt. Maybe I'll get better.


Joan sat on the porch, elbows on knees and hands holding up her chin. She was ignoring everyone since she left the hospital. School was over now, so she had nothing to do to distract her. Imagine that, Joan Girardi wanting school work to distract her. Any of it was better than sitting around her house and being bugged by her family and friends.

She heard the door open and close and her mother put a plate next to her with a sandwich on it. She turned to leave and Joan spat out, “I’m not hungry.”

Helen sighed. “You didn’t eat breakfast this morning.”

“I wasn’t hungry then either.” Joan slumped further.

“You have to eat something, Joan. You have to stay hea-”

“I’m fine, Mom!” She screamed, standing and turning to look at her mother. “I don’t want it. I’m not hungry. Give it to Kevin. He’s always hungry.” She turned and began walking down the sidewalk.

“Joan! Where do you think you’re going?” Helen looked after the girl, feeling angry and sad for her at the same time.

“Out!” She screamed, not faltering her steps.

“You... you be back before dark, young lady!” She sighed, feeling helpless and decided to just let her go. Making her stay there wouldn’t help any and she knew that. What she wished she knew was what was wrong with her daughter.

Kevin wheeled up next to her and patted her arm, then gestured toward the sandwich. “So can I have it?” He asked, smiling.

Helen rolled her eyes and bent down to pick it up and thrust it into his hands. “Your sister is impossible.”

“Yes well at least I get her sandwiches,” he mumbled, biting into it.

---

Grace started after Joan when she saw her walking down the street. “Girardi!” She called after her, running to catch up. When she was walking beside the girl, who hadn’t slowed any, she looked at her with an arched eyebrow. “Girardi, what are you doing?”

“It’s called walking, Grace. But maybe since my two week stay in the hospital they changed the name and didn’t give me the memo. I get that a lot,” she practically sneered at her.

Grace felt the sudden urge to hit the other girl. Sucking it up, she stuck with the subject. “I mean with Adam.”

“I’m not doing anything with Adam. If you would notice, Adam is not here. I’m walking. Alone. Or I was, at least.” Another smart ass comment that she didn’t try to play down.

“Listen, Girardi, I don’t know what your problem is, but fix it with him. Because I’m pretty sure I made it clear that I wasn’t going to be the go-between with you two if you decided to start dating like this. And I’m not. He calls me just to talk about you and I’m sick of it. Take care of it because I’m not going to do it for you.”

Joan had stopped walking and she looked at Grace with wide eyes and mouth hanging open. “You-”

“Don’t want to hear it. Just fix the problem or at least make it bearable. Because this, Girardi, this is not bearable.” She turned and walked away from the girl, not letting her get a word in.

Joan watched her walk away feeling completely beside herself. Who was Grace to tell her what to do in her relationship anyway? She said she didn’t want to get involved in it before and now she was telling Joan what to do with it? Joan huffed and stomped on the ground, continuing to walk down the street with arms folded.

---

Adam walked into the house and sat next to Joan on the couch, looking at her a bit timidly. “Hey,” he pointed toward the door, “your mom said I could come in so... I did.”

Helen was working outside and Kevin, Luke and Will were all gone so Joan was alone inside the house flipping through the channels on the television. She practically jumped at the sound of his voice and a frown crossed her lips.

“Hey,” she said absent-mindedly, hand holding the remote as she pushed the channel button every other second.

“So I-- Grace said she saw you the other day. I didn’t know you were... going out or anything or I would have-- well I’ve called but you haven’t ever answered, really...” He ran his hands over his jeans nervously, not quite sure what to say to her.

“Yeah, I was walking,” she said, ignoring all else that he had said. She didn’t really ignore it; it was more along the lines of pretending she didn’t hear it. It was easier that way.

“Jane, did I do something-”

“No,” she cut him off, channels still changing, though now she really paid it little attention.

“Then why-”

“It doesn’t matter, Adam.” If she didn’t know any better, she’d say that him calling her delusional and basically crazy in so many words didn’t really register in his mind. He apparently didn’t understand that he shot down everything she thought was real and told her that it was all a disease making her think she saw and heard things that weren’t real. He told her that He wasn’t real. So she believed him.

Now she just had to figure out why it not only made her feel like shit, but also made her feel like she had some sort of hole inside her. She had to figure out why she actually felt like she missed having some strange person come and begin talking to her randomly when she walked down the street.

“Jane, I just want to-”

Joan faked a yawn and turned off the TV. “I’m kind of tired, Adam. Medicine makes me sleepy a lot. Can we talk later?” She kissed him on the cheek, though it felt rather odd to her, and walked up the stairs, not allowing him to object.

He sat on the couch for a while, staring at the blank television screen. Finally, after about 15 minutes he stood and walked slowly back to his house.

Continue to Part II

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