A/N: Alright, my first JoA fanfic, hope it's to your liking. It's also the first fic I've done where there isn't any death or deceit planned. That's good. My timing might be a little off with the relationships but Glynis is with Luke, Adam with Iris and Joan's alone. So that's it.
And welcome to another rainy day in Arcadia. It was always like this, when it was sunny there wasn't a cloud in the sky but when it rained... well, it really rained.
Joan Girardi could hear the drops lashing against the window and so pulled her duvet over her head in a desperate attempt to fall back into sleep. But it so wasn't going to happen.
'Urg...' she managed.
The door burst open. 'Joan! You'll be late.'
'And wouldn't that be bad?'
'It'd be a waste.'
Joan poked her head out. 'You know, mom, I think I might have a little...'
'Aversion to school,' Helen Girardi finished. 'Now, up!'
Catatonic states were normal for heading in the direction of Arcadia High, one more in the shape of Joan wasn't about to make a huge difference.
'You might need to wake yourself up a little, Joan.'
That stopped her dead. She looked up to find a teenage girl sat on a fence chewing manically on a chocolate bar. Which at least explained the muffled words. 'Shouldn't you be setting a good example?'
'Chocolate acts as a stimulant, Joan.'
She smiled grimly. 'That better not be a hint that I'm gonna need to eat a lot of it.'
'Just wake yourself up, Joan,' she answered before hopping off the fence and disappearing round the corner.
'Great, great, great,' Joan muttered to herself as she set off walking again.
'Talking to yourself, Girardi?' Grace effortlessly fell into step beside her.
'No, no I...' she stammered. 'French quiz.'
'Since when was 'great' part of the language?'
'Since I decided to fail,' Joan shot back.
'Seriously, Girardi,' Grace went on. 'Why do you take a subject that aims to divide parts of the world by uniting others?'
'It's on the syllabus.'
'Doesn't mean you have to participate.'
'No, it just means I get kicked out if I don't.'
'Nothing wrong with that.'
'Adam, hey,' Joan's smile faded as she saw Iris tagging along beside him. 'Iris.'
If it was any consolation the other didn't seem elated to see her either. 'Joan.'
As always Adam seemed oblivious to the coldness. 'Can I borrow your chem notes?'
Oh, jeez, the one thing he asked! 'Erm... I didn't actually... Luke did.'
'Cool,' he nodded. 'Where is he?'
'Probably with Glynis... somewhere,' she cringed at the thought.
'Okay,' Adam shrugged before taking Iris by the hand. 'See you, Jane.'
'Yeah,' she mumbled after them. 'Next time without the Sindy doll.'
As she made her way to her French class Joan's mind skipped involuntarily back to the God-riddle she'd received earlier. He obviously had something planned, probably something humiliating that involved embarrassing herself in front of the whole school. Wasn't that always the way?
'Miss Girardi, you have the time to saunter along the hallways?'
She spun around, a smile pasted on her face. 'I... wasn't sauntering.'
Price just smirked. 'I don't see any movement here, Miss Girardi.'
'That's because you stopped me!' she burst out before thinking.
He pretended to mishear. 'Pardon?'
'Oh, nothing,' she started walking again. 'I'm moving.'
'Glad to hear it.'
'Luke, what's up?' she muttered trying to fit a book in her locker.
'You told Adam he could have my notes.'
'So?! Joan, my notes are critical pieces of science, I can't go around sharing them with...'
Luke looked a little lost. 'Right.'
'Luke, go away.'
Feeling completely baffled Joan carried on with her attempt to slot this oversized book into the locker.
'When was the last time you watched 'The Music Man'?'
'Okay, that was weird. Taking a peek to her left she found the goth-style God standing there. 'My musical phase was when I was about seven, then I learned life isn't that happy.'
"The Music Man' isn't all happiness, Joan,' he smiled. 'Why was it your favourite movie?'
'You have no idea how weird talking to this you about musicals is.'
'Come on, Joan. Think about it.'
'The songs were good,' she offered.
'Erm...' she struggled. 'There was one, 'Goodnight My Someone'.'
'About a girl who has no one?'
'I'm never gonna be able to watch that movie again.'
'You better had, Joan,' he answered. 'I've got something to tell you.'
'If this is going anywhere close to where I think it is, no, no, no. No!'