Summary: In August Joan (someone) and Adam are crossing the country to Stanford in CA, and Grace and Luke are heading to Cambridge, Mass. to their colleges. What are their plans for their final summer before parting, more importantly; can they pull it off without their normal drama? Obviously J/A & G/L
Disclaimer: If the characters were mine I'd be getting paid to write TV scripts, now wouldn't I? So…you know the drill.
A/N: I'm a very musical person, so every chapter title will probably be with obviously the title or part of the chorus of a song or part of the verse so if you're intrigued and want to know what any of them are let me know and I'll post it at the beginning of the next chapter for you.
Chapter 1 – We Need A Holiday
"So correct me if I'm wrong in this, we're going to start our first summer that doesn't include returning to high school, and we're doing what for three months?" Joan asked, feeling completely bent out of shape and exasperated.
"Probably finding a job to scrape together as much money as possible before becoming part of the useless mass of millions of college students who are all going to graduate at the exact same time and then proceed to spend months looking for a job to make ourselves miserable?" Grace asked with a flick of her eyebrows and an almost wicked smile through her acerbic sarcastic wit, which she knew had just made those in her company squirm in jittering nerves.
"Unchallenged." Adam nodded with a shrug as he continued sketching the students milling about on the ground during lunch while he, Joan, Grace and Luke sat on the roof.
"This coming from the girl who's going to Harvard-what happened to being against the system?" Luke asked, biting into his sandwich and then responding with an 'ow' as Grace elbowed him in the ribs from her spot using his leg as an armrest and sharing his grapes.
"The only way to change the crappy system is to work from the inside," Grace explained with her normal facial expressions as if it had been an obvious reason from the moment she filled out the application.
"Hello? Did we forget about what I said?" Joan turned around and stared at them expectantly. All three pairs of eyes stared at her.
"Which was…what exactly?" Adam asked, sounding a little confused.
"Hello!" Joan scoffed. "Summer! Us! We can't spend our last summer before we all separate for college together!"
Luke and Adam exchanged glances before both raised an eyebrow. Grace's forehead furrowed as she prepared an answer.
"Uhm…Girardi…" She waited for Joan to look at her. "Who said we weren't going to do that? All I said was I would probably get a job." She grinned again though. "But if you're going to go all nuts-o about it, I might rethink my plan." She shrugged and looked at Luke. "What d'you think brain? Think we could go a whole summer avoiding your sister?" She wiggled her eyebrows for a moment in a rare show of public affection, even though they were only on the roof with each other.
Luke chuckled as if the answer was obvious. "Of course we could," he laughed. "I mean we could-oof. Hey! You're gonna break a rib next time!"
"No need to give details." Grace assured Luke, who's face flushed.
"Ew, okay, you guys that's…totally t.m.i." Joan closed her eyes and waved her hands as if trying to get an image out of her head. "Can we focus on what I'm actually talking about, please?" Joan asked.
"We're trying too." Luke said.
"What exactly are you trying to tell us, Jane?" Adam asked.
"Haven't you been listening?" Joan asked. "We need to go away. For like, the summer. Somewhere away from here just to be, you know, us. We can get summer jobs where ever is it we wind up you know." She explained before smiling at the three faces staring at her in shock.
"And where is it, exactly, you were planning on, Girardi?" Grace asked.
"I…I don't know." Joan replied, still worked up. "Somewhere with a beach-that's it!" She said triumphantly.
"Oh brother." Grave rolled her eyes, her head rolling with it and ending to lean back dramatically on Luke's shoulder with a disbelieving sigh. Luke snickered.
"Mom would so never allow that." He said.
"Well we'll never know if we don't try!" She said. "I've got money saved up to put down as rent for now, and then we could just get jobs and hang out! Come on you guys, we're going our separate ways in three months." Joan said desperately.
"Well, actually, you two are going separate ways-together." Grace pointed out.
"Well so are we." Luke pitched in.
"That's only because your mom signed off to let you move ahead a year." Adam remarked.
"Hey, it's not like I was undeserving." Luke replied.
"Unchallenged." Adam put his hands up in defense.
"Well it won't work if no one will help me and you don't want to do it." Joan pouted.
"Come on brain, let's go." Grace stood and grabbed her things, waiting for Luke.
"I'm game. I think it'd be cool to go somewhere else." Adam spoke up as he stood. Joan smiled.
"Yes!" She practically jumped up and down, clapping before turning to Grace. Grace sighed.
"Oh come on Grace! A couple of months away from the parentals…just relaxing…" Joan tried to entice Grace.
"I'll help convince mom." Luke assured.
"Oh please, like you have leverage over her." Joan said.
"Hello, youngest child." Luke said. "Besides…being the genius helps too. I'm considered responsible." He nodded. They all looked at Grace.
"And the deciding factor goes to the girl who hates bathing suits and sand…" she sighed. "Fine…I might as well give in. Besides…it would suck to spend a summer with my parents while everyone's gone." She glanced at them with a mischievous smile. "Besides…who else will I annoy?" She smirked.
"Yes!" Joan couldn't resist herself. She launched herself to Grace and hugged her with an excited squeal.
"I'll change my mind if you don't stop, Girardi." Grace said. Joan abruptly let go, smiling broadly.
"I promise I'll try to control myself better in the future." She nodded. "But remember our deal." She held her finger up, pointing at Grace. Grace rolled her eyes.
"Yes, yes, you get one hug on graduation day because you will be emotionally incapable of stopping yourself." She rattled off their deal as they headed back inside the building with one minute to go before the bell could ring.