Disclaimer - I don't own anything related to Joan of Arcadia, I just feebly attempt to write fanfics! =)

A/N - This is my first shot at a JoA fic, so I don't know how good it will turn out...or if it will turn out at all! I tend to write slightly OOC, especially since my stories tend to veer off into places the shows would never really go. Which is unfortunate, because I write the stories based on what I wish would happen on the show. So bear with me, none of this seems plausible! But hopefully it's an enjoyable read. I'm a J/A shipper, so there will be some fluffy moments...This first chapter is quite short, but if you like it and want me to continue, let me know via 'Review' and I'll keep it going for you! Thanks for reading! =)

Joan stepped hastily into the fourth floor elevator of the Arcadia Herald office, and punched the first floor button. Six months had passed since her parent's horrific romantic weekend, and they'd decided it had been long enough to risk taking another, even extending it to a weeklong excursion. So they were off at the Rolling Greens Golf Resort, and once again, Kevin was in charge. And this time, he'd insisted that Joan "check in" with him everyday after her summer job at the bookstore, in person. After she'd entered his office, made a halfhearted salute, and answered Kevin's customary questions, she'd been finally cleared to go.

He's certainly back to his cocky-jock self, she thought as the elevator stopped briefly on the third floor to pick up passengers. A tall, thirty-something man with a ponytail and a camera bag slung over his shoulder stepped in, but Joan barely noticed, as she was still dwelling over Kevin's snobby attitude.

The fact that he got promoted by his girlfriend doesn't help much, nor the fact that she's constantly stroking his over-inflated ego, she thought. I think I liked him better when he hated himself.

Joan was startled from her callous thoughts when she heard her cell phone ring. She reached into her bag, retrieved the phone, and saw the number on the screen -- Adam's. She promptly dropped the phone back into her bag, and ignored the ringing.

"You can't avoid him forever, Joan," the photographer said, without looking at her.

Joan closed her eyes in mortification. It was Him. Much to her chagrin, the elevator suddenly lurched to a stop, and the lighted floor buttons went out.

"And you can't avoid me," He continued, turning to look at Joan with a kind face. "Though I know you've been trying your hardest."

Joan didn't know what to say. She fumbled with her hands, and then started pounding frantically on the buttons.

"Joan, do you honestly think you're getting out of here until I'm ready for you to?" God asked gently.

Joan closed her eyes, and leaned back against the elevator doors. She was trapped. She opened her eyes, floundering for something intelligent to say.

"You were the one who told me to go out with him in the first place!" she blurted pathetically.

"No, I didn't," God replied patiently.

"You did too! Before the party you told me to have! The party that burned down three buildings, I might add," Joan retorted.

"First of all, Joan, the party didn't burn the buildings down. The party kept Toni and Carlisle from being there when it happened, and your father, too, I might add. And secondly, I didn't tell you to 'go out' with Adam. I told you to figure things out."

"I did!" Joan insisted. She frowned. "Didn't I?"

"I don't know," God said. "Did you?"

Joan rolled her eyes and sighed.

"You know, for being the guy that has all the answers, you sure ask a lot of questions," she muttered.

"If I didn't question you, Joan, you'd never think about your decisions," God reasoned.

"What is that supposed to mean?!" Joan moaned, throwing up her hands.

"Okay, so maybe I didn't think about it beforehand, but it's all I've thought about since it happened! Which is why I can't talk to Adam, and I can't talk to you!"

God shifted the camera bag to the other shoulder, and smiled warmly.

"You can always talk to me, Joan. Turning away is never the right answer. Jeez, you haven't read much of my book, have you?"

"It's on my To Do list," Joan mumbled. "Really. But I don't know why you let me make wrong decisions in the first place! Why didn't you give me some sort of mission or something to keep it from happening?"

"Everyone makes wrong decisions. It's an outcome of the free will I gave you. But with free will come mistakes, and with mistakes come consequences."
Joan's eyes widened, and her lip quivered slightly.

"You mean...does that mean...I'm going to...Hell?" she whispered.

"Would you let me finish?" God asked.

"Sorry!" Joan said quickly.

"That's it!" God replied. "Sorry. Confession. Repentance. Atonement. Forgiveness."

Joan's cheeks were burning. She looked at her hands, and took a deep breath.

"Joan, I know you're sorry for what you did. You made a mistake, it's human nature. But what matters is what you do about your mistakes. You can ignore them, pretend they've never happened, like you've been doing. But is that making anything better?"

"No," Joan said quietly.

"Come to me, Joan. Come to me with your problems, regardless of how angry you think I'm going to be. I forgive, but you have to ask for it, first, and really mean it. It's only then that I can guide you."

Joan looked up at Him, her eyes shimmering with tears.

"I'm sorry. Please forgive me," she said softly. God, aka, Camera Man, stepped forward and embraced her.

"Done," he said with a smile. "But that doesn't mean that there aren't going to be any consequences."

"What do you mean?" Joan asked, pulling away.

"Figure it out," God said with a wink.

The elevator breathed back to life, and the doors pinged and swung open. God stepped out, leaving Joan wondering if she'd just been given advice, or another mission.

As Joan drove home, she was surprised to find that she felt more space in her chest than she had in a month. She could finally breathe again, the big confrontation was over. Well, one of them. She still had to deal with Adam, and she wondered if that perhaps might be worse than facing the Almighty Himself.

To say that Joan and Adam hadn't spoke at all since it had happened wasn't entirely true. There had been those few awkward moments directly afterwards before Joan had gone home. And a few sheepish "Hi"s in the hallways. But Adam hadn't called for nearly a week after, and when he had started calling, Joan didn't answer. But what do you say after something like that? She'd been freaked out enough about their first kiss. But on the night of her party, swaying in Adam's arms, she knew that what he wanted was what she wanted, and they'd officially "coupled". That was six months ago, and Joan wondered if it would be too much to ask of Him to rewind time about that far. Even a month would be fine.

What kind of consequences, exactly, had God been talking about? Were she and Adam going to have a ferocious breakup? Were her parents going to find out? Or worse, Friedman, and spread it all over school? Suddenly, Joan's mind flashed back to a hallway conversation she'd had with Luke shortly before their father was almost killed. She now heard his words, like taunting echoes.

I know about the baby, Joan. I know that you're pregnant.

Suddenly, Joan heard the loud, angry honk of a car as she nearly rolled through a stop sign. Her heart, which had already begun to pound, leapt into her throat, and she slammed on the brakes. Luckily, she came to a screeching halt before any harm was done.
She sat behind the wheel for a moment, waiting for her blood pressure to drop. But she wasn't thinking about her near-accident. The words kept pulsating through her mind, getting louder and more threatening.



"Oh, God." Joan said. And instead of going home, she turned around, and headed to Adam's house.

A/N ~ TBC!!! If you want me to, that is. I realize this first chapter might not be very clear, but things will start coming together better soon, cross my heart. So what did you think, anyway? Please let me know, feedback is the ink of my mental pen! =)