Forgive Me

by TeeJay

--...----...----...--

Summary:
Post second season. Joan receives a gift from Adam that she didn't expect. One chapter so far, maybe more to come.

Author's note:
:sigh: Yes, another post Trial-And-Error attempt to salvage whatever there might be to salvage between Adam and Joan after their break-up. It was inspired by Tote's Adam/Joan stories and my phone call with Samsy-Marie (GermanJoan) last night. This actually takes place after the second season, even though I hated how the writers portrayed Adam so without obvious remorse or residual feelings for Joan. I just don't want to believe that Adam can be so cold.

This is only a one chapter story so far, mostly angst, no fluff (yet?). Give me a few positive reviews and I might write more. No guarantees, though. If asked nicely, I guess I could make this more of a road towards a possible Adam/Joan reunion. Sometimes I feel there are more Adam/Joan haters than Adam/Joan shippers out there nowadays. Please let me know that I'm not alone in wanting a reunion eventually! (But I agree with Tote, Adam needs to be punished first.)

And, please, anyone who cares about this show (why else would you come here?), visit www . savejoanofarcadia . com and help in trying to bring the show back! Chances might be slim, but every e-mail, every letter, every postcard counts.

Disclaimer:
These characters and settings are not mine. 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.

--...----...----...--

Jane.

One simple word, written in neat letters on the simple brown wrapping paper that looked almost shabby in comparison to the finely drawn lines and curves of her name - yet not her name. And so familiar was the handwriting, that Joan did not have to ask or wait to open the gift to know whom it was from, even if the letters had spelled out her real name.

She sat on the edge of her bed, idly turning the wrapped rectangle and slim package in her hand. From the feel and size of it, it was a CD case. Her mother had handed it to her at the breakfast table, wisely quiet about it because she too knew who must have put it on their front porch some time between last night and this morning.

She did not know what to do with it. A part of her just wanted to put it away unopened, unheeded, unnecessary. Another part of her was scared to open it, scared to face what was inside, scared that it would rip open wounds that she thought were just beginning to heal. And yet another part was curious, too curious to place it somewhere out of sight without at least a peek at it.

She sighed and carefully removed the adhesive tape that held the brown paper around whatever it was that Adam had decided to give her, one at a time, so as to prepare herself for what the paper would uncover. With a soft rustle, the wrapping came away and indeed revealed a CD case. She turned it over since the back only had a blank white sheet of paper in it.

Tears welled up in her eyes when her glance fell upon the front of the CD case. It bore a pencil drawing of herself, a perfect recreation of her as prosecutor in mock trial, her standing opposite him, piercing him with those questions about his motives, his actions, his wrongdoings. A single tear was sliding down her face, immaculately captured by pencil lead on paper. Soft shades of grey dominated over rough black lines, recreating her face in flawless detail, as if she had been looking at herself in the mirror then. He had even ever so slightly hinted at the tiny scar on her left temple that had remained from the stone Kevin had thrown at her as a 4-year-old.

She blinked and a tear dropped from her eyes onto the plastic CD case. One look at the picture of herself and she had been transported back, right there and then, to the day that she had tried so hard to ban from her mind for the past three weeks. She carefully touched the grooved sides of the CD case and opened it. On the inside of the cover he had written words that made yet more tears stream down her cheeks.

'Jane, I know sorry will never be enough. Not a day goes by that I wish it had never happened. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. One day.'

She bit her lower lip to suppress a sob working its way up her throat. She let the CD case in her hands drop to her lap, suddenly not strong enough to hold it. Three weeks of hard work at trying to forget about the hurt, the anger, the betrayal, the pain. She thought she was finally keeping her head above water, but this was like a hand that pressed her under again, making her unable to get back up to the surface and catch a breath.

She lowered her head and stared at the CD case in her lap, which she was still clutching. It would be so easy to just close it again and be done with it. Put it away somewhere where she would forget about it and find it years later, nostalgically thinking back to the days of her first real love and her first heart-wrenching disappointment, smiling at how it had taught her to be strong and believe in better days to come and the goodness in other people and good ripples.

She thought back on how she had given Adam his stuff back, a few days after they had broken up. She had carelessly called it his "stuff", but of course it had been much more than that. A sea of memories was pooled in it, an assortment of gifts that meant so much more than just a token of appreciation for each other. There had been that insane need in her to permanently clean them out of her life, and him along with it. And the only way for that to happen had been to take it back to where it came from. Of course she had realized afterwards that she had just tried to find a way to deal with her own confusion, her own pain, and a little of the irrational, yet undeniable impulse to cause him a bit of that pain that she had been and was still feeling over what he had done to her.

He had been so cold to her in school, so detached, as if he didn't care anymore, as if he had no remorse over what he had done with Bonnie, behind her back. There was no indication that he still had these feeling for her, and now he gave her this? Some tiny little voice inside her head told her that maybe Adam was just trying to look as tough and unaffected on the outside and was as shaken and hurting on the inside as she was.

She knew then she could not put the CD away without at least listening to it once. She walked over to her stereo and inserted the CD into the CD player. The drawer closed with a whirring sound and a click. Her finger hovered over the PLAY button for a few seconds, unsure of whether she was ready for what she was going to hear. She could muster the courage to hit the button in the end and stood there in front of her shelf. The first notes she heard were soft chords, played on a piano. Then a gentle but distinct female voice joined the slow instrumental sounds and added words to the notes. Words that made Joan step a few steps back and sink back onto her bed.

She didn't even realize she was crying again. Damn you, Adam Rove, for putting me through this again! She had to suppress the urge to jump up, rip the CD out of the CD player and break it in half. But she just let it play and listened to the lyrics that sang those words that stung in her heart like a dagger being twisted round and round.

Silently but painfully, she swallowed the first wave of anger and thought, 'Maybe. One day.'

--...----...----...--

Evanescence
Forgive Me

Can you forgive me again?
I don't know what I said
But I didn't mean to hurt you

I heard the words come out
I felt like I would die
It hurt so much to hurt you

Then you look at me
You're not shouting anymore
You're silently broken

I'd give anything now
to kill those words for you

Each time I say something I regret I cry "I don't want to lose you."
But somehow I know that you will never leave me, yeah.

'Cause you were made for me
Somehow I'll make you see
How happy you make me

I can't live this life
Without you by my side
I need you to survive

So stay with me
You look in my eyes and I'm screaming inside that I'm sorry.

And you forgive me again
You're my one true friend
And I never meant to hurt you

--...----...----...--

Disclaimer cont'd:
I didn't want put this at the beginning of the story because I wanted the song to be a bit of a surprise on the first read. The song "Forgive Me" is also not mine, it's property of Evanescence or whoever had anything to do with the creation, distribution and marketing of this song.