Title: An Explanation For A

Author: Tote

Genre: humor/romance

Rating: PG, I thought about a slightly more x-rated version but somehow couldn't bring myself to do it.

A/N: I know, I know: I've been all about the angst lately but even I get tired of it after a while. So consider this a little bit of fluff to tide you over. I really am a shipper! Honest! I wouldn't put them through hell in my other stories if I didn't care 

It wasn't hooked up to a printer and it had tendency to eat floppy discs: something computers simply aren't meant to be capable of. It was an evil, irritable machine that regularly froze, just to spite him, and coolly told him that NO, not a SINGLE person had e-mailed him. Adam used it when it was unavoidable; throwing it distrustful looks as he passed it on his was out to the shed, preferring ones at school.

Of course, lately his inbox had been crammed with e-mails… but he was beginning to think he preferred it empty rather than filled with 'love notes' from Iris. He dutifully read them as they had started to stream in and soon began to notice a creepy new development, both in e-mails and in real life:

He was 'A' now, instead of Adam.

Iris was a good person. But she wasn't subtle.

Adam was never good at hiding what he felt. He hated people who were fake and pretending to not feel something seemed dishonest to him, it was alien to his nature. But when he was with Joan, he couldn't seem to move, speak orbreathe without somehow giving off some vibe that he liked—more than liked, Joan. It wasn't his fault, he reasoned.

There was just something about her: she could be so suddenly, overpoweringly beautiful. She'd say something that only really half made sense, but her eyes seemed to be shining with some secret, deep feeling that shone out of her like a constant beam of light: she believed this, deep inside her soul somewhere.

And while the rest of the world drifted by, inanely judging her or commenting on how weird she was, he'd feel as if she'd reached somewhere inside him and slipped her hands across his soul, and then, weirdly, whatever she was rambling about: he sort of got it. Or the general idea, anyway.

But then she'd just flash a smile or give him a pleading look that he wouldgive his left arm to understand and then she'd disappear to some class they didn't share and he'd lean against his locker, trying not to notice the shine of her hair or the curves of her body—the sudden, gloriously bare neck if her hair was up.

It drove him insane.

But if this was insanity, it was a sweet, tempting drug.

So when he reluctantly started going out with Iris, he wasn't used to covering up his natural reactions to Joan. When he was sleepily nodding to Iris' excited chirps about how brilliant his latest piece was just before art class started, Joan appeared in a pretty vintage white halter dress, a denim jacket thrown over it for good measure.

She was a dreamlike in her beauty: she seemed to take six hundred years to reach him, her waves of dark hair framing her face like a—a, well, he wasn't sure.

He wasn't sure there were words to describe the way her skin could seem to glow almost angelically while at the same time, her lips were so red and full and tempting, it made his knees weak. And her eyes—her eyes brimmed with meaning and hope and faith, dark with their mystery, silent in their beckoning call.

And who could explain the sensations inside him at the sight of her, at the way their eyes locked so inevitably, so perfectly, and an understanding of their connection seemed to flow between them?

This was what kept him up at night, uselessly welding and twisting metal till they began to resemble the words he couldn't seem to speak aloud.

Finally she was right in front of him. He found himself breathing her in and how was it that a girl could smell like sunshine? Her eyes were still on his and again he felt as if he was getting a privileged glimpse inside her: hope, sorrow, excitement, fear, agitation…and he realized with a quickening of breath: she was close enough to kiss. Those lips…

"Jane…" His sigh contained his every contradicting emotion, his every admiration for her, his intense more-than-like for her. "You look great."

And he was stuck, with Iris there beside him, unable to say more.

"Thanks," Joan whispered with a quick, shy smile and tossing a half-anxious and half-defiant look at Iris, she headed into the art room to talk toMrs. Girardiabout something.

"Why do you call her Jane?" Iris asked then, her voice soft but somehowaccusing.

"I just do." He looked at her, knowing the explanation would be beyond her grasp: "I always have." And there was no need to say the obvious: I always will.

The next day, Iris cheerfully called him A and Adam wisely made no comment.

A/N: anyone and everyone should read Depudor's story Things They Can't See When They Look At Him. That might not be the exact title but it is the best joan/adam story ever, so read it. AFTER you review my story, obviously.