Title: Not The Way To Deal Author: Zia Rating: PG-13; Language Disclaimer: Joan of Arcadia is not mine, neither are the characters, I just borrow them for my own personal amusement. Distribution: Want it? Lemme know meagles@charter.net Summary: Takes place after The Devil Made Me Do It, Grace finds Adam 'dealing' with his anger at Joan.

"Rove." Grace hollered from outside the shed. "Come on Rove." She yelled again. She shoved open the door and glanced around. "Rove?" Her voice came out a little quieter. "Adam?"

She walked into the shed; all of Adam's stuff that he used for making his art was in the trash. "Adam?" She said again.

Then she spotted him, sitting on the floor, his legs nearly up to his chest, his arms on his knees with his head bowed. "Rove. Come on, get up. I want pizza and a movie. Its your turn to buy."

Adam still didn't move. Grace saw a glint of metal between his fingers. "Adam?" Grace knelt in front of him. There was a puddle of blood between his feet. "Adam!" Grace yelled and cupped his face. His skin was still warm, and his eyes were open and glazed over.

"Damnit Adam! Don't do this to me!"

"Grace?" His voice was soft and it cracked when he spoke to her.

"What the hell were you thinking?" She demanded. "Don't you dare die on my Rove." Grace glanced around frantically. Adam's dad was at work. "Come on Rove. Get up." Grace grabbed his arm and pulled.

"Huh?" Adam got up to his feet and stumbled forward.

"Damnit." Grace cursed under her breath. With Adam's arm slung over Grace's shoulder she practically dragged him out of the shed. "Come on Adam, don't do this to me." She pulled him along the pathway to the back door of the house.

Grace tried to open it but found it locked. "Shit! Adam! Where are your damn keys?!"

Adam slumped forward, causing Grace to stumble. She leaned down, trying to sit him on the ground against the door semi-gently. Then she grabbed his face, his eyes were closed. "Adam!" Grace yelled before jumping up and running around the side of the house.

Grace found the spare key under a rock by the front door. She ran inside and grabbed the phone.

Seconds later, the usually calm and collected Grace Polk was frantically yelling into the phone. "My friend! He. he slit his wrists! Please help!" She yanked open the back door and watched as Adam fell back onto the tile floor, unconscious.

"Adam, Don't do this!" Grace pleaded with him. She dropped the phone and shook his shoulders. "You can't do this."

Within minutes Grace heard sirens, and then several people rushed into the house.

Two hours later Grace was sitting beside the bed Adam was laying in. His wrists were bandaged up and he was hooked up to machines and I.V.s

Carl Rove was in the hallway, or the waiting room, or in front of the vending machines, anywhere but at his son's side, it was too much for him to handle. Too much like when he lost Elizabeth. Maybe Grace could have some luck talking him into surviving.

Grace sniffled quietly, she never cried, it just wasn't something she did. But when the doctors told her Adam wasn't out of the woods yet, she couldn't help but sink down to the floor and cry.

She squeezed his hand gently. "Come on Rove. You can't die. Your dad needs you. You're one of the only people I can tolerate in this world. We have a history together."

Grace let out a quiet sigh and rested her cheek against the bed beside his hand. "That history of ours Rove. it's something special. You can't just give up on that without so much as a goodbye." She pressed her lips against the back of his hand that she held onto. "Remember. Four years ago. sitting on the couch in your house, watching movies? When we kissed? To practice. then your mom walked in and found us on the floor?" Tears welled up in Grace's eyes again. "Damnit Rove. You can't do this! You were my first kiss! And you're my best friend! We took baths together, you're the only guy I ever let see me when I first wake up in the morning, other than my father. Come on Rove. Just wake up." Grace buried her face in her hands and she clenched her eyes shut, willing herself not to start crying again, but she was fighting a loosing battle.

"Grace Polk? Crying?" Adam's voice was scratchy and broken, but to Grace it was the best sound in the world.

"Rove." Grace let out a relieved breath. "And if you tell anyone I was crying I'll kick your ass." Her voice cracked, and Adam squeezed her hand.

"Grace thanks for."

"Why Adam?" Grace leaned forward again and rested her arm on the edge of the bed. Adam just shrugged. "Don't give me that shit Rove. Is it because of your mom?" He didn't answer. "Joan?"

"She destroyed it Grace. It was the best thing I ever made, and she ruined it."

"So you tried to kill yourself? Look, I know you've got feelings for her, but killing yourself because she screwed up one of your sculptures?"

"All of it. one thing on top of the other. I just can't take it anymore Grace."

"Well you'd better be able to take it. You can't do this again. Damn Rove, your dad is going crazy over this. And trust me, finding you like that. it wasn't something I want to repeat. No one is worth killing yourself over."

Adam sighed, and looked at the ceiling. "Promise me Rove." Grace snapped. "Promise me you aren't going to do something stupid like this again."

Adam looked over at her and frowned. "Yeah, alright, I promise, I won't do it again." Grace let out a quiet sigh and squeezed his hand. "When are they going to let me out of here."

"Probably not until tomorrow." Adam sighed and tipped his head back to stare up at the ceiling.

"Grace?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm sorry." Grace nodded slightly.

"Just don't let it happen again."