Title: The Fix

Author: Tote

Genre: I'd say angst, because it's pretty damn depressing for a Joan and Adam love scene, but possibly its romance too.

Rating: PG, I'm only hinting, after all.

A/N: Writing fanfiction stories for this fandom tends to come from sudden flashes of stories, that don't make sense out of context. Suspension of disbelief was Adam unraveling a bandage around Joan's wrist, for instance. This is another one. The story I wrote around it is pretty much murky, but not too terribly dark. Take pity on me, reviewers, I'm rusty. Oh, and those lyrics are NOT MINE (and neither are these characters, obviously) they're from 'Fix You' by Coldplay.

I walked the whole way home, taking the slow route that took me past his house. I paused at the end of his lawn and stared up at the smallish, desolate little house, covered in art that shimmered mysteriously in the darkness: wind chimes made of bottle caps and bits of stained glass, a statue of a dark angel, wings made entirely of what looked like yellow, pink and white jelly beans. All the windows were dark, except one.

The lamp cast a yellow patch of light on their uncut grass. I walked slowly, hugging myself: my hair was wet and my hands—I should've listened to Mom and worn those dorky mittens—were red and trembling slightly from the cold. I felt beaten down and lost and at the end of my rope.

And strangely cheerful.

I stepped into that patch of yellow light and got down on my knees, grabbing a silvery rock that fit just right in the palm of my hand—and stood up and threw it, as hard as I could and as fast as I could, at the window. It shot right through the glass window, smashing a hole through it. My heart thudded—what if Mr. Rove woke up? And still, I felt strangely exhilarated, oddly justified.

This had been a long time coming.

There was a shocked silence while I, panting and staring up at the window, waited for yelling and angry neighbors and maybe even the cops.


Then, suddenly, the window opened and a couple of shards of glass fell out and shattered down the side of the roof and onto the grass. And Adam appeared in the lit-up window, leaning out and looking down at me, where I stood looking up at him. His face was in shadows and he blocked out the light.

"Jane." His voice was soft, a barely-there whisper that sent a shudder through me and I was so caught up in the nickname and the voice that I almost didn't hear the next thing he said: "What…what are you doing here?"

"I needed to see you," I stage-whispered.

He nodded seriously, as if it weren't 3 AM and I hadn't just broken his window. "Wait there."

I nodded back and my teeth began to chatter as I shifted from side to side, trying to keep my legs from falling asleep. My whole body was buzzing and I could still taste the burnt, nasty steak Rebecca had made that night. I imagined how his face would look in the light, his eyes. I imagined touching his cheek or just kissing him the second he reached me there on the lawn, but I knew I wouldn't. My stomach grumbled.

The front door creaked open and slammed shut as Adam came out. Even in the darkness, his eyes were bright, they reflected the streetlamps and glowed, burning into my eyes and, never breaking his gaze from my face, he moved toward me, mouth parted, breathing slightly unsteadily. He must've run downstairs.

I was breathing unsteadily too, but for different reasons. And even in the icy cold, I felt a wave of rippling heat in my belly when he grabbed me firmly by the shoulders—"Jane, you're frozen," he whispered, his breath clouding in the air and warming my face and he pulled me to him and when he heard the quiet rattling sound of my teeth chattering, he shifted me around, anchored an arm beneath my knees and lifted me up.

Forgetting all the things I'd always made myself remember, to punish myself for believing in him, I buried my face in the crook of his neck and as I grazed my nose against the skin of his neck, I was so close to him that I could actually feel his sharp intake of breath. And I kissed him there, not because I'd forgotten those important things God had told me to remember, but because I didn't care. Adam groaned softly and half-ran to his front door.

In the doorway, he paused, our eyes meeting and some invisible line I'd sworn I'd never cross was gone. He grabbed my jaw, forced my face up (I was dying inside) and kissed me—much, much too gently, much too thoroughly, as though relishing my taste. He began to shake and his hold on me loosened.

Slowly, deliberately, he lowered me onto my feet, holding me delicately; his very eyelids trembling as he gently traced my teeth with his tongue. A current of what was equal parts anger and desire shot up my spine and I opened my mouth wider, deepening the kiss, forcing it with lips, teeth and tongue and in seconds, the numbness the cold had set into me was gone and I was tingling through every cell and was pressed—hard—into the wooden door's frame.

Quite suddenly, Adam pulled back. I had to catch my breath. I tilted my head back and closed my eyes, breathing deeply. When my eyes opened, he was staring at me in the most intense way, swallowing as his eyes seemed to commit the curve of my cheek or my mouth or my eyes to a memory that wouldn't fail. I could spend the next thousand years torturing myself with the very agony of this moment—the depth of his longing, my need to never be gentle again, to make love to him here, half outside and visible to the world, because this moment would never come again.

He may never see me again.

And he probably knew it all too well as he shut the door and pulled me into the dark hallway, leading me into the kitchen.

Mechanically, he pulled a chair out for me at the table but he didn't look at me. Because I couldn't seem to stand when he wasn't holding me up or against something, I collapsed into it, staring at his back, trying to breathe.

His shoulders were tense, slightly hunched, and his deep breathing was audible in the quiet as he opened cabinets and drawers and within moments, I was watching a pan filled with hot water bubble on the stove as he aggressively cut onions and vegetables and left-over chicken on the cutting board. He wouldn't look at me.

"Adam?" My mouth felt dry, just saying his name: it was like saying 'fuck me' or 'stay'.

His whole body tensed further and then his shoulders dropped and he slumped, as if defeated just by the sound of his name. "You're cold. You need soup." His voice was quiet but clear.

"Oh." I sat on my hands to keep myself from running my hands over those shoulders, or through his hair, "Okay."

As he reached for a wooden ladle in the drawer, some masochistic urge in me made me look at his hand where, lo and behold, there flickered briefly the gold of a ring.

I don't care a voice in me said, I don't care, I don't care.

Maybe if the voice said it enough, I'd believe it.

You know it's too quiet when your own thoughts seem too loud and another person's breathing is the only sign you're not dead. I got up, my chair squeaking as it dragged on the floor and Adam froze but did not move. I went to the radio that sat beside him on the counter, shiny and new-looking. Not an Adam thing to buy. Grimacing, I switched it on.

"When you try your best but you don't succeed
when you get what you want but not what you need
when you feel so tired but you can't sleep
Stuck in reverse…"

We stood beside each other, still. I looked at him first and he stared into my eyes, begging me in silence for something, maybe mercy. His eyes were always so truthful even when he lied. Now they seemed to scream at me in their urgency while his mouth remained shut: Jane, don't. Jane, don't make us take this further. You know I can't.

"Lights will guide you home
and ignite your bones

But they also said: Jane, I want to so much.

"…and I will try to fix you…"

And that was all I wanted to see.