A/N: Thanks so much for all the reviews, I wanted to keep you all guessing about the songs till the last minute cos I thought it'd be a better surprise. Seemed to work. So, this is my last chapter of this, doesn't try to wrap up everything but JoA never really does. See ya.
The audience soon dispersed when it became apparent the free concert was over. And some of them actually looked like they'd enjoyed it. Job done then. Hopefully.
Finally there were only eight people stood by the stage ranging in levels of happiness. Price looked pleased with himself, as though it had been all his idea and Helen seemed happy with her performance though Joan noticed her mother glancing at the younger generation.
Not surprising really. There were effectively two love triangles in the room, although Joan didn't want to include herself in the analogy she knew she was involved in it. For Adam's part he was staring at his feet doing his usual 'if-I-ignore-it-it'll-go-away' routine. Iris didn't seem as shy, glaring at her rival with utter contempt.
The other one was, if possible, frostier than the first. Joan figured Grace would be inwardly denying it, Luke would be trying to come up with a logical explanation for why he'd spent the entire time sending looks towards Grace while Glynis would probably be trying to pretend everything was rosy.
Iris and Glynis were the victims in all this, but victims of what? Joan wasn't willing to call it love, maybe just a strong mutual attraction.
Price seemed oblivious to all this tension. 'Well done, ladies and gentlemen.'
Glynis managed a smile. 'It was fun.'
They had to get away from this unspoken subject. 'Where did Dad go?'
As if on cue, Will burst back into the gym, cell phone in hand, striding purposefully towards the group.
'Will?' Helen asked cautiously.
He didn't seem to hear, his footsteps kept echoing until he reached his youngest son. 'Luke...'
'Dad, what's going on?' Luke questioned.
Will pulled his boy into a hug. 'So close.'
'Will?' Helen repeated as her husband pulled back.
'A bomb went off tonight,' he finally answered. 'In a warehouse on Baker street, the warehouse was holding the science show at the time.'
Joan let this sink in and looked involuntarily over at Adam who didn't seem to have taken his eyes off her.
Luke was in shock. 'It was a science show! Why would someone blow up some scientists?'
'I don't know, but I'll find out. You could've been in there, twenty-three people are dead, you could have been one of them.'
Helen moved forward, placing an arm around both her husband and son. 'He wasn't, Will. By some miracle Luke was here.'
By some miracle...
In reflection it'd been worth every moment of embarrassment she'd spent up on that stage. Out of the corner of her eye she saw Iris tugging on Adam's sleeve, he didn't seem eager to move, Joan understood a sort of mental message that he needed to know she was alright. She tried to send him one back, she was fine and thanks for caring.
Adam smiled, he'd got the message loud and clear, and let Iris lead him towards the exit. Price cleared his throat and followed them out of the double doors.
Luke moved out of his parents' grasp as he noticed Grace about to leave. 'Hey!'
To the highly trained eye Grace perked up just a little. 'What?'
'You're not a bad singer, you know.'
'Gee, thanks. What a compliment!' she quipped in reply. 'Complete one off, we're not a duo for life, okay?'
The implications of what Grace Polk had just said reverberated round the hall. For once Glynis faced something head on as she moved next to her boyfriend, well aware his parents were watching and hearing everything.
Grace took in this gesture before turning and leaving, Joan felt a pang of sympathy, she was close to where Grace already was.
Luke took his girlfriend's hand and left.
'How many lovesick teenagers have we got around here?' Will queried.
Helen stole a look at her daughter. 'More than you'd think actually.'
Joan inwardly grimaced at the comment just as her father put his arm around her shoulders. 'Sorry I missed your song.'
She shrugged. 'I wasn't any good.'
'She was terrific!' Helen protested.
'She was good?'
'Joan punched his arm. 'What were you expecting?'
'That I'd need earplugs.'
Sitting outside on the porch always calmed her down, no other night could have stressed her out more. At least Luke was alright.
'Needed some air?'
She didn't have to look up. 'Thanks.'
'Nothing to thank me for, Joan.'
'What would've happened to Luke if he'd gone?' she asked quietly.
'He'd be dead.'
'But he's not, you both live to fight another day.'
Joan sniggered. 'That's all it is now. A fight.'
'No, Joan. It's a gift.'
There was one thing she had to know. 'Why all the musical stuff though? Why not get him grounded?'
'Luke had to sing those words, you have to sing those words.'
'They didn't help.'
'Think a little more long term. It helps.'