Title: Coda

Rating: PG

Pairing: Adam/Joan

Summary: "Somewhere along the line, he'd already forgiven her. That scared him a little." Adam/Joan.

Disclaimer: Nothing belongs to me. Don't sue.

A/N: I've only seen the last two episodes of the show, but I'm already hooked. That said, Adam better start calling her "Jane" again, and fast.

You and I got something

But it's all and then it's nothing to me

And I've got my defenses

When it comes to your intentions for me...

Here Is Gone, Goo Goo Dolls

Jane. Joan. Joan Girardi.

she's still Jane, even though he doesn't want to admit it

Brown eyes and stick-straight dark hair. Full, pouty, perfect lips that most women paid thousands on collagen to get. His mother had taught him to study beauty, find it in the world, worship it. And she was beautiful. So beautiful that he'd stare at her sometimes without even realizing it.

She understood him. Well, not completely, but she was content to just let him be...him. She gave him a chance. She sat with him in class and walked with him in the hallways and smiled at him. His stomach would tighten around her and it was all okay.

Then with a metal chair and a few well-placed blows, everything, along with the sculpture, was shattered.

And afterwards, he had dreams of crumpled-up metal and tear-stained cheeks and a broken voice pleading, always pleading for forgiveness.

Beyond the hurt and betrayal, there was a part of him that was...pleased that he mattered so much, that she felt so guilty, so horrible. That his silence and avoidance would affect her so much. It was proof that she cared, that he mattered, at least a little. That didn't make everything better but...he felt vindicated.

Was that bad?

He wasn't sure.

After--The Incident--Adam drew a lot. He couldn't make any sculptures, as his inspiration seemed to have vanished, been destroyed along with Ascension. So he drew. Mostly sketches. Old people, little kids, teenagers...

He stopped when he realized that in his sketches, all of the people had Joan's eyes.

So he stopped fighting it

because how can you fight when you really don't want to?

and just started drawing her. Pieces of her at first, her hands, her eyes, half of her face. Once he drew her as an angel

he'd told her that he talked to angels, and she hadn't laughed

with large wings, because he thought she was the sort of person who could fly when other people weren't looking.

Grace saw the drawing once and asked, "Why'd you give her those wings?"

He'd shrugged with one shoulder. "I dunno. They just...just suit her."

Grace studied the sketch for a moment, then said, "Yeah. They do."

It occurred to him that he wasn't the only person who was drawn to her. That Grace too, was responding to her magnetic pull. Yeah. She was a magnet, and Adam and Grace were the only people smart enough to realize it. Or the only ones foolish enough.

He still wouldn't talk to her, though. Couldn't. Because every time he saw her or felt her nearby, all he could see was that chair smashing into his sculpture, over and over.

And then one day, right in the middle of the lunch line

which is not the greatest place to have a revelation, but whatever

Adam realized he wasn't hurting anymore.

He'd forgiven her without even realizing it. Somewhere along the line, he'd already forgiven her. That scared him a little.

Because he normally wouldn't have forgiven anyone for doing that. Not the principal or his dad--no one had the right to destroy his art. Not even her. So how could he be able to forgive her?

He didn't know. It was like--like he hadn't had any choice but to forgive her.

Which pissed him off, in a way. It wasn't fair that he could just forgive her, let her off the hook, just like that. She'd betrayed his trust, destroyed the best piece he'd ever done--so why was he forgiving her?

But he was forgiving her. He had.

Two days after the revelation, he saw her sitting alone at lunch and the next thing he knew, he was sitting next to her.

"Adam?" she whispered, her voice soft and hopeful.

has she always been this gorgeous?

He held up a chicken nugget. "I hate these things. Totally rancid." He paused. "Let's just, uh...let's take things slow, 'kay?"

She beamed at him, eyes brimming with hope. "Okay. Yeah. Totally."


And things were all right again. He wasn't hurting anymore and she was still Jane, beaming that great smile at him and his stomach was still tightening in that familiar, pleasant way.

And in the back of his mind, Adam was already getting an idea for a new sculpture.