A/N: I don't own Joan of Arcadia (if I did it would still be on the air!) or the lyrics to 'Grey Street'. They belong to Barbara Hall and Dave Matthews Band respectively. So don't sue me.

Nothing held any life, any color. Not anymore. Not since they told her she was sick and took God away from her.

Song lyrics are in italics

Real as Anything

Oh look at how she listens
She says nothing of what she thinks
She just goes stumbling through her memories
Staring out on to Grey Street.

Joan looked at the doctor in front of her. He called himself 'Dr. Dan'. She heard his words, words telling her that she was just sick, that it wasn't her fault, that she would get better and this break from reality wouldn't control her life any longer. She listened. But she never spoke. She never asked why or said that writing in a journal about her dreams was stupid. She never said that she hated going to group therapy—she wasn't crazy like the rest of them. She just listened. She strained to hear the voice that wasn't speaking, the one that was silent, but the one she wanted to hear more desperately than any other. Instead, she heard other voices telling her that she was sick. When the voices, nagging condescending voices that meant she was being treated like a glass figurine that would break and cut people, became too much she followed the drifting thoughts that still traveled through her head. Thoughts of God. Thoughts of ripples and connections and shadows and light. When it was too much, she still found refuge in Him, even though He was silent and they were all telling her she was crazy. But the life, the color was gone from those memories. The color was gone from everything.

She thinks, "Hey, how did I come to this?"
I dream myself a thousand times around the world
But I can't get out of this place."

Joan sat on the lumpy mattress of her bunk, crying softly. She was supposed to be at the arts and crafts cabin, but she didn't care. It was becoming harder to hold onto the belief that she wasn't crazy, that it had been real, that God was real, that He'd spoken to her. She wanted to get out of the camp—Crazy Camp—she had to escape before it destroyed her, broke down everything she'd built up over the past year. Why couldn't she make them let her go? She'd managed to accomplish things that should've been far more difficult. Why couldn't she make them understand?

There's an emptiness inside her
And she'll do anything to fill it in
But all the colors mix together - to grey
And it breaks her heart

Joan sat alone in the group therapy circle, unmoving. She'd been at camp for just under a month. A month of medication and therapy sessions, writing in journals and talking about herself and her 'problem', a month of crying and yelling and silence. There was a hole in her heart, she could feel it beneath her ribs, aching. The hole burned through her soul, an emptiness so cold and desolate it burned. She had no tears left, no anger. But with the loss of tears and anger, she'd lost her faith. She had no hope left. She couldn't continue to hold onto her faith and hope when everyone around her told her it was only a product of an ill mind. She wasn't strong enough to hold herself up alone anymore.

How she wishes it was different
She prays to God most every night
And though she swears He doesn't listen
There's still a hope in her He might
She says "I pray But they fall on deaf ears,
am I supposed to take it on myself?
To get out of this place?"

Joan still prayed. It irked the counselors—especially Dr. Dan—so she did it, though she no longer believed anyone was listening. Sometimes she did it out loud, knowing that the words tried the patience of all the adults around her. Other times, it was in silence, but the slight bow of her head and still, clasped hands indicated her activity, which stirred them up just the same. She prayed but, she no longer believed He was there. But the moments she was praying, truly praying, not just doing it to get a rise from the adults, the tiny seed of hope in the bottom of her soul—the one she kept buried and tucked away, unable to let go despite her lost faith—it whispered when she prayed, that maybe, just maybe this time He'd listen. Just maybe. But it never was so. With every new silence, a seed of anger started to grow, choking the seed of hope. He'd told her no one was supposed to do it alone. No one was supposed to be alone. But she was. He'd left her and she was alone. The counselors only cared about getting her to admit her illness had caused everything, the other campers whispered and gave her looks of pity or fear, afraid that if they came too close they'd go just as crazy as she was—a worse kind of crazy than pulling out all their hair or cutting or getting high or not eating, the kind of crazy that stole reality and made fantasy real. She was angry now. If no one was supposed to do it alone, how could she escape on her own, without help?

There's loneliness inside her
And she'll do anything to fill it in
And though it's red blood bleeding from her now
It feels like cold blue ice in her heart
When all the colors mix together - to grey
And it breaks her heart

Joan sat at the only empty table by herself, the din of chatting campers filling the air around her, drowning her in sound. She was cold. It was not a physical chill. She picked at her food. She felt like her soul was bleeding but how could someone bleed when their heart was ice?

There's a stranger speaks outside her door
Says take what you can from your dreams
Make them as real as anything
It'd take the work out of courage

Joan still dreamed of Him. It wasn't really Him. It was only memories. She was supposed to take pills at night to keep her asleep, but she always pocketed them. She didn't want to have the dreams, the memories, but she hated the pills more than the dreams. They made her feel like she wasn't really alive, wasn't really awake or there. She always woke crying.

But she says "Please
There's a crazy man that's creeping outside my door,
I live on the corner of Grey Street
And the end of the world."

She was in the nurse's office again. She'd woken crying, was exhausted and now had a skinned knee from getting knocked down while playing basketball. Dr. Dan came in as the nurse finished tending the injury. He looked at Joan, his look telling her he knew she had been hiding her medication at night. She met his gaze, her eyes pleading. She didn't want to remember anymore. She didn't want to think of God but she couldn't take medication that made her feel less than real. She already felt less than real and if she felt it any more, she would feel like she didn't exist.

There's an emptiness inside her
And she'll do anything to fill it in
And though it's red blood bleeding from her now
It's more like cold blue ice in her heart

Joan sat in the rain, her arms wrapped around herself. Dr. Dan had switched her medication. He hadn't truly understood why she wasn't taking the medication, only that she wasn't, he couldn't understand the nature of her suffering—no one could—but even in that ignorance he'd somehow figured out it had something to do with the pills. It wasn't that uncommon to have to try different medications and so he'd switched it without any fuss. The new pills didn't make her feel any less real, so she had no reason not to take it. But nothing had yet filled the hole in her heart and soul. That wound was still gaping, bleeding red and raw. She still hadn't figure out how her heart could be so frozen and yet still bleeding at the same time.

She feels like kicking out all the windows
And setting fire to this life
She could change everything about her
Using colors bold and bright
But all the colors mix together - to grey
And it breaks her heart
It breaks her heart
To Grey

Joan held the scissors to her hair. Not large ones, because the camp would never let a depressed girl have access to a sharp object that she could use to kill herself, but these dull-point-child scissors would do. The blades slowly closed and feathery strands fell to the floor. She didn't stop until she had a perfect curtain of bangs that hung, just brushing her eyebrows. Dark, coffee-colored tresses hung below her shoulders. She would have gone with black, but that reminded her of Him. Of a form that had unsettled her at first. She pushed that aside, cleaning up the small pile of hair that lay on the floor. She wasn't the Joan that listened to God. Not anymore. So what if nothing had any color? So what if she felt like there was a space in her soul that felt like it would never heal? The fire was gone, the life and beauty and purpose. She was Normal now. And that was how she'd stay, no matter how much it hurt.

Review and keep me sane please! Thanks!