by TeeJay


First of all, you can read the full story as one big HTML file (incl. cover picture) here if you, like me, prefer to read a story as a whole and not in different chapters: www.wormhole.de/fanfic/underwater.htm

Alternative ending to the episode 2x21 "Common Thread". Focused mainly on Joan and Adam with lots of angsty and dramatic stuff.

Spoiler warning:
!Heavy spoilers for late season two, especially the episode "Common Thread" (2x21)!

Author's note:
Another post-"Trial And Error" (episode 2x19) piece very heavy on the Adam/Joan relationship. Or non-relationship as it were. Actually, this is an alternative storyline/ending to the episode "Common Thread" (2x21) which branches off from the actual episode around the point just before Adam is being rescued by Ryan Hunter. I wasn't happy with the actual episode ending or the introduction of the Ryan Hunter character, so I wrote something different, something that is much more dramatic and heart-wrenching (I think). Lots of Joan/Adam angst, so be warned! If you have seen the episode "Common Thread", you will realize that I took parts of it and kept them, and that I used bits and pieces and incorporated them into my scenarios and conversations, even though they are different from the episode.

I don't think this story will make much sense if you don't know what happened between Adam and Joan in episode 2x19 "Trial And Error" and maybe also in 2x20 "Spring Cleaning". If you want to enjoy my story, I suggest you either watch these episodes first or read up on them if you get the chance to. Not that I'm saying you can't read the story without knowing these episodes... I'm just saying it might be confusing. Don't say I didn't warn you:o)

And, as you might have guessed, this story focuses mainly on Joan and Adam, so don't expect too much Grace/Luke/Kevin/Helen/Will/Friedman/Glynis/God stuff. They are in this story, of course, but not playing major parts. Hope you like it anyway. Reviews welcome, as always; flaming not so much.

Personal note:
I'm German and English is not my native language (although I would like to think I'm fluent). So please excuse any expressions that might sound a bit off. And please also excuse orthographic or grammatical flaws, nobody is perfect, not even the Word spell-checker. ;o) I know you should have someone beta-read your work before you post it, but I don't know anyone else who likes JoA and I was just too eager to post this! If there's anyone with suggestions for corrections or improvement, let me know.

These characters and settings are not mine (except maybe those that weren't in any JoA episode). Nor am I claiming they are. They are property of CBS, Barbara Hall Productions, Sony or whoever else they might belong to. I'm not making any money out of this, although I wish I was.

The song "Underwater" is also not mine, it's property of Vertical Horizon, RCA Records or whoever had anything to do with the creation, distribution and marketing of this song and the album it's on (called "Go", in case you're wondering). You guys rock, so I hope you don't mind me using your song. It just fit perfectly for what I was meaning to say and it was fun to work it in.


Vertical Horizon

You and I are here
Seconds are so dear
I'm searching for a light
To draw me closer
I hold my breath in tight
Bring me closer
I feel your touch
Will you pull me up again?

It's not so bad down here
Once you get past the fear
Sense you through the haze
Just like a memory
I've been down here for days
Have you seen me?
I feel your touch
Will you pull me up again?

It's all the same to me
There's nothing much to see
I cannot make a sound
But I can listen
I can't tell up from down
And now I'm listenin'
I feel your touch
Will you pull me up again?

You're just in sight
Will you save my life again?

You and I are here


Joan was standing at one of the shelves in the bookstore she was working at after school, sorting books and arranging them in the right order. The bell above the door tinkled and when Joan looked up, she saw Adam walking into the store. He came over to the opposite side of the bookshelf she was standing at. He folded his arms on the top of the shelf, looking at Joan over it.

In an bit of an aggressive tone, Joan told him, "If you're looking for Grace, she's at her house."

Looking Joan in the eyes, he replied in a quiet tone, "I'm not looking for Grace."

Joan sensed that something was wrong and asked him, "You okay?"

Adam shook his head, "Michael fired me."

"What?" Joan walked around the shelf towards Adam.

Adam turned around to face Joan, rubbing the top of his woolen black and grey hat. "He said my work has been sloppy for the last month, and, uh, I've been coming late. And what's really sad is that he's right. I mean, with everything that's been going on..." While he was talking, Adam avoided looking straight at Joan.

"Oh," Joan stated, looking Adam in the eyes. In an accusing tone she said, "So now I'm involved in this?"

"I just ... I just meant..." Adam stammered.

Joan interrupted bitterly, "I know what you meant, okay? But I can't stand here and listen to you talk about how you're so wrapped up cheating on me that you screwed up your job."

Adam looked down, ashamed, but Joan continued, "It's not my problem, not anymore." With that, she turned around and went to the counter, leaving Adam standing by the bookshelf.

Still staring at the floor at his feet, Adam said sadly, "I thought we were gonna be friends."

From behind the counter, Joan said, "I know how you'd like things to be. But life can never be exactly what you expect, okay?"

Glancing up with a sad look in his eyes, Adam said, "Fine," and left the bookshop, the bell on the door tinkling again as the door opened and closed behind him. Joan watched him cross the street through the window, feeling immediately sorry for her harsh words.