A/N: Wow, this last week went fast, and as usual, I didn't get everything done that I wanted to, and this was all I could get typed up. So I'm going to call this chapter 3a. There's more to it, but I'm not altogether happy with it, so I'll try to smooth it out some before posting the rest. I'm going to keep trying to update every week, though.
Thanks so much to those who reviewed. I'm glad people are enjoying this story, and the reviews brighten my day.
Stuff with Adam/Joan and Will/Joan is coming in future chapters. Don't worry, I haven't forgotten! I'm actually going to try to focus a bit more on other characters besides Joan (the original version was extremely Joan-centric with not very much from other characters' points of view), since the rape didn't just happen to her but affects those around her so much as well. And it results in you all getting a longer story!
When the alarm sounded a couple of hours later, Will quickly turned it off, not wanting to wake his wife or especially his daughter. As he sat up, he noticed Helen was already awake, looking sadly at Joan while lightly rubbing her back.
"Helen? How long have you been awake?"
She said nothing, and Will sighed.
"You've been up ever since she came in here, haven't you?"
Will nodded. He knew the only reason he'd gotten any sleep was because he'd been out most of the previous night on a case and exhaustion had won out.
"I'll call the school for you. Let them know neither of you will be in today. I'll just say you're sick or something."
Helen nodded absently, still watching at their sleeping daughter.
Luke awoke with a start, and it took him a few moments to realize why he was so tired.
His mind went back to the previous night:
Luke entered the kitchen for a snack before bed when he saw his dad ushering his mom and sister out the back door.
"What's going on?"
His heart thumped a little harder when his dad turned to him – he'd never seen that look on his face before.
"We're taking your sister to the hospital."
"Why? What's wrong?"
Will sighed heavily. "We'll be back later."
The door closed leaving Luke standing confused in the kitchen. The snack forgotten, he went upstairs to find Kevin.
The two waited in the living room for what seemed like forever, flipping channels on the tv to pass the time. They spoke little, and they both jumped a little when they saw headlights as a car pulled into their driveway. One look at their parents and sister when the door opened told them that things were not good. At all.
Will and Luke slowly climbed the stairs behind Kevin, Joan, and Helen, and once Helen took Joan into her bedroom, Kevin turned to Will in confusion and concern. "What's going on, Dad?"
Will looked weary, and motioned for his sons to follow him into Kevin's room. Luke sat on the bed facing Kevin, and Will sat heavily next to Luke.
"What's wrong? Is it the Lyme Disease again?", Kevin asked.
Will sat silently.
Will cleared his throat and began to speak softly. "Something happened tonight, guys." Both boys were stunned to realize he was fighting tears. He took a deep breath before continuing. "Joan was carjacked on her way home from Adam's house."
There was a moment of stunned silence, before Kevin, full of dread, asked, "What happened to Joan?"
There was no mistaking the tears in Will's eyes now. "Kev, he… She was…"
"No. No," Kevin shook his head, not wanting what he was thinking to be true but somehow knowing that it was.
"What? What is it?" Luke asked nervously.
"He raped her, didn't he, Dad."
Will just nodded, and Luke felt all the air go out of his lungs.
The three sat there in a smothering silence until they heard Joan's bedroom door open and close. Will stood up. "It's late guys. Get some sleep," he said absently as he left the room.
"Like that's going to happen," Kevin muttered. Luke nodded silently in agreement.
Somehow, though, sleep had come. Now it was morning on a new, wholly uncertain day. He headed out of his room to check on Joan, and noticing her bedroom door open, continued on downstairs. When he realized there was no one downstairs, he began to get worried. His concern increased when he went back upstairs and looked into Joan's room and saw that she wasn't there. Where was she? Had something else happened? He knocked on his parents' bedroom door, hoping they knew that Joan wasn't in her room. After a moment, Helen opened the door.
"Shh! Please, don't wake your sister. The longer she sleeps, the better."
Luke exhaled sharply in relief when he saw Joan curled up in their parents' bed. "Sorry," he whispered. "Her room was empty. I got worried."
Helen smiled a little at her son's concern. "She came in here a few hours ago."
"You're not going to school today, are you?"
"No. But I want you to go."
"What am I supposed to tell Grace and Adam? You know they'll ask why she's not there."
"Your dad called us both in sick. Just tell them she's not feeling well."
"What about tomorrow?"
"We'll deal with that tomorrow."
Luke went to school, and as expected, both Adam and Grace wondered where Joan was. He told them she was sick, and tried to sound convincing even when Adam pointed out that she'd been fine when she left his house the night before. He worried his credibility might be shot when Lischak caught him completely zoned out in physics and he saw Grace give him a look. Fortunately he didn't have any other classes with Adam or Grace in the morning. When lunchtime rolled around, instead of going to the cafeteria, he found an empty classroom and called home. He fought the urge to throw his cell phone when he hung up. The sorrow and pain in his mother's voice was unmistakable. He took a deep breath and turned to find Grace watching him.
"I thought we were meeting in the bio closet. What's going on?"
Grace had never heard him sound so closed off. Normally, she was one to let a person have their space, but she'd never seen Luke look like this and she suspected it had something to do with Joan, which also worried her a little.
"C'mon, Geek. Don't give me that. Did you just call home?"
"Ok, I know you and
your sister get along pretty well for siblings, but I don't see you
calling home just to check in because she's sick. Rove said your
mom's out today too, so it's not even like she's home
"By the way, you suck at lying. What's going on? It's got to be something big to make you zone out in physics like that. Is the Lyme Disease coming back or something?"
"No, it's not. Look, I can't talk about it, ok?!"
Grace was surprised to see tears in his eyes.
"Hey, it might help. Besides, you're freaking me out here. Is Joan ok?"
Luke wanted to flee the room but doubted Grace would let him. Besides, she was Joan's friend. He sat down in a chair as he struggled with what to tell her. "She got carjacked on her way home from Adam's last night."
"Holy shit. Is she alright?"
Luke was silent for a moment, and Grace started to get a bad feeling. "No. I don't know. It was late when Mom and Dad brought her home from the hospital, and then Mom put her to bed right away. She was still asleep when I left this morning."
"How bad was she hurt? Did she get knocked on that hard head of hers or something?"
Luke was quiet, and Grace sensed that now was definitely not a time for being anything but serious. "Hey, I'm sorry. Seriously, what happened? Luke?"
"I, I don't know if I should say. I don't know if she'd want me to."
"I'm either going to beat it out of you or I'm going to go over to your house and get it out of her, so just tell me." Grace was seriously freaked out.
"She was, um," Luke was having the same problem his father had last night - he couldn't get the horrible words to come out. He raised wet eyes to meet Grace's, hoping he could convey the words without actually having to speak them. She suddenly felt like she'd been punched in the gut as she understood what he couldn't say. She sat down heavily in a chair next to Luke.
Luke wondered absently if He was listening.