Disclaimer: You don't know how happy I'd be if I got paid for stuff like this… but, sadly, Joan of Arcadia isn't mine. Neither is Chris Marquette pouts. But I do own Mercy and Kal… they're mine… fwahaha!

Author's Note: Heh, Sullen Lily decides to start another fic. She's crazy. And likes to speak in third person. I'll update on one of two conditions: if the first chapter gets ten or more reviews, or once I finish No Words Here.

Oh yeah, and the story starts with an alternate ending to 'Drive, He Said'.

P.S.: SparkingDiamond, if you're reading this (or anyone who's reading No Words Here) I'm in the process of writing a longer than normal update.

Mercy Me

Prologue: It's Okay Somehow

"Nothing is too wonderful to be true."

—Michael Faraday

Joan Girardi's mind was racing with anxiety and thousands of unspoken thoughts as she laid on the couch in her living room. Today has been a hectic day, to say the least, and with everything on her mind that night, she couldn't possibly go to sleep. She remained awake with the desire to know what her father's condition was.

The door opened, with a slight whine coming from the hinges. "Mom?" Joan called.

"It's almost three A.M.," Helen informed her, with a rather motherly concern in her voice. "You should be asleep."

Joan took this time to not allow herself to care about that. "Where's Dad?" she questioned.

"They're keeping him overnight for observation, but he is fine, honey," Helen replied, with much relief. "You don't have to worry."

"Was anything broken?"

"No, but... apparently everything is almost broken," she sounded a bit amused. "Was that really the best he could come up with? Ram himself into a pole? I mean, what are the odds?"

"One in twenty-two million, nine hundred fifty-seven thousand, four-hundred eighty," Joan replied automatically, then explained herself. "I spent most of the day with Luke. He won the trimathelon. You know why?" she asked, not sounding pleased with the answer already. "'Cause he did a problem based on me getting my driver's license and crashing."

"Tomorrow, we will have a talk about the rules, about how we don't just drive around for the fun of it."

Joan paused, a knot tying in her stomach. "Mom…" she began uncertainly. "Y-You left a pregnancy test in the wastebasket…" she trailed off.

"Why would you go digging through the garbage?" Helen asked curiously.

"I didn't," Joan replied defiantly. "Luke did. He thought it was mine." Helen sensed the slight horror in her daughter's voice.

"Why? Are you sexually active?"

"Why would you think that?" Joan returned the question.

"Well, Luke thought it, and evidently he's a genius." A fair answer.

"Not at everything," she responded. "And you're changing the subject."

Helen released a heavy sigh. "I am."

"Wow," was all Joan could say, and in her fatigue, decided to add something she almost held back. "I can't believe you guys… still… you know…" she cringed.

Joan's mother almost smiled. "You should get to bed… you have school in the morning."

"Don't remind me." She groaned, already off the couch and skipping up the stairs.

"Joan…" Helen whispered, and her daughter halted on the top step. "Try to act surprised tomorrow…"

Author's Note: It's so short, I know! But it's a prologue, after all… and it's not much. But I promise it will get better. So much better.

Next Chapter: Nine year jump into the future; Soap opera obsessions; and a hat named Fred