Title: Fateful Meetings.
Summary: Joan meets God.
Author's Notes: This has small spoilers for the final episode in the series, "Something Wicked This Way Comes". FEEDBACK GREATLY APPRECIATED!
Disclaimer: Doesn't belong to me. If it did, it wouldn't have been canceled.
Three year old Joan looked around the nearly empty park. She made a face, seeing the other little girls staring at the sandbox like it would eat them and the little boys throwing sand at each other. She looked over to see her mother chatting with one of the few parents sitting on the uncomfortable metal benches that surrounded the playground, Joan's little brother Luke on her lap.
Sighing a little, feeling lonely and bored, Joan wandered over to the swings. She wished her older brother, Kevin was there. He always played with her, even if he was mean sometimes. Awkwardly, she climbed onto one of the swings, kicking her short legs futilely, the swing barely rocking at all. A voice to next to her said, "Would you like a push, Joan?"
Joan looked over and saw a big kid with a brown coat. Her parents always said she shouldn't talk to strangers, but for some reason, this person didn't seem like a stranger and he knew her name. She looked at him trustingly, "Yes, please."
He smiled and gave her a gentle push, sending the swing into a gentle arc. Joan closed her eyes. It felt like flying. After a while she wanted to stop, but didn't know how to ask. She was surprised when the young man slowed the swing and stopped it, smiling a bit.
She looked at him, "Thanks…" He nodded and she suddenly said, "Mommy said I'm not a'posed to talk to strangers…"
"Well, she's right, you shouldn't talk to strangers. But I've known you your whole life, so I'm not a stranger," he replied.
She thought about that a moment then nodded, "Okay. Does mommy know you?"
"She used to," he answered.
"You should come say hi!"
He shook his head, "No. She can't see me."
"It's complicated…" he told her gently.
"What's your name?"
"You can call me whatever you want, Joan."
"YaYa?" she asked. He chuckled, but didn't object.
After a moment, he murmured, "I'll see you a little later, Joan."
"You're leaving? But, YaYa! Nobody else will play with me!" she protested, tears filling her eyes at the thought of her new friend leaving.
"No. I'll never leave you, Joan. I'm just going to be hard to see for a little bit," he answered, "But I'll always be here. I won't always look the same and sometimes you won't see me, but I'll be here."
She frowned, still upset that he was going away. He gave her a little wave and walked away from the park. She wandered around the toys and went down the slide twice, getting bored. None of the other children would play with her. Unhappily, she started to make piles of sand, before she saw two small feet stop in front of her.
Joan looked up at the little girl, "Hi…I like your headband…"
The girl smiled, "Thank you, Joan. I thought you might."
Joan looked at her, trying to figure out who she was. After a moment she said, "YaYa?"
The little girl nodded, "It's me."
Joan smiled and went back to her sand piles, having more fun now that she had a friend to play with. A while later, Helen came over, "Alright, Joan…time to go home…"
Joan frowned, "But mommy!"
"No, Joan. We need to go home now…" Helen said gently, but firmly.
Joan looked at her new friend then at Helen, "Okay…" she slipped one hand into Helen's and started to walk back to the car, the paused to turn and wave at her friend. The little girl waved back.
Soon, YaYa was her constant companion. Until one day, Joan went to the park and saw the big kid, the teenager in the brown coat. Even being only five years old, Joan knew that something was different. She looked at Him, "You're going away," she said sadly.
He knelt to be on eye-level with her, "I'll still be here, but you won't see Me. Maybe again one day."
Joan looked at Him, trying not to cry and wrapped her arms around His neck, "Love you, YaYa."
He hugged her gently, "Don't be sad, Joan. I'll never really leave you…" after a moment, they separated and He stood, then walked slowly away, Joan watching until he was out of sight.
Eleven years later, Joan climbed onto the bus to go to school, still unnerved by the man she'd seen in the yard. She watched a tall, thin man who seemed to be watching her, but then they both looked away from each other. But Joan still felt like she was being watched. She turned and saw a young man around her age in a tan jacket. For the briefest moment, she felt a flash of familiarity. When she got off the bus, he followed her.
He smiled and greeted her, a knowing look in his eyes, "Hey, how's it going?"
She smiled slightly, "That depends. Are you following me?"
"Me? No. Just going to school," he answered.
"You go to my school?" she asked, amused, "I've never seen you before."
He smiled, "Well, you know, I keep a low profile."
She held out her hand, having the feeling for a moment, that this was the beginning of something that would change the rest of her life, "Oh…I'm Joan…"
He took her hand and shook it with a gentle but firm grip, "It's nice to meet you…"