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Hoookay. I'm going out on a limb here and post some fanfiction. Fiction was never my forte, and fanfiction in particular kills me because I don't know if I can do much better than all the drivel out there. But lately I've returned to a little-known, underloved live-action TV drama called Joan of Arcadia ... and if it were not enough, I've written what could possibly cost me my religion, and a few friends. XD;;; (I am SO happy I resisted the urge to post fanart... X_x)

In any case, I hope someone will like this. Enjoy. ♥

Disclaimers: If I owned "Joan of Arcadia," Adam would not have had sex with Bonnie, the whole Ryan Hunter arc would not have existed (I personally found it too haphazardly written), and Kris Lemche's CuteBoy!God character would've appeared in the last episode along with all the other incarnations. But alas, it is owned by Ms. Barbara Hall and her production outfit, as well as CBS Television. This piece was written originally for smallfandomfest, and has been cross-posted to ships50.

WARNING: If the idea of romantic tension between a Deity (especially one based on a well-known, conservative religion) and a mortal offends you, PLEASE DO NOT READ THIS. I cannot stress this enough. Thank you.




Title: Too Early To Say What Lies Ahead
Fandom: Joan of Arcadia
Pairing/Characters: Joan and CuteBoy!God
Rating/Category: PG-13
Genres: General, Romance
Prompt: Changes (smallfandomfest) / Contradiction (ships50)
Word Count: 2,094 words
Spoilers: You should know about Season 2 because this fic takes off from the events there.
Summary: Now more than ever, both Instrument and Creator must depend on each other in the fight against Ryan Hunter. In the proverbial calm before the storm, Joan Girardi begins to grasp the depths of her feelings for the Almighty … and realises that maybe, just maybe, He is capable of feeling the same way for her.
Notes/Warnings: Titles are taken from “Can We Just Stop and Talk A While,” a song composed by Jose Mari Chan. Welcome to the second of 3 chapters – yes, my ficbunny still won't leave me. Again, this will have lots of talk and some references to Biblical lore, as well as some foreshadowing. If you are offended by any bit of romantic tension between God and Joan (or for that matter, God and any mortal being), please don’t read this. Thanks.


Chapter 2: Friends Are Harder To Find

In between munches of orange pulp, Joan Girardi asks God, “So… if I’m not dead, why’d You bring me here?”

“Joan,” He says, His gaze fixed on her, “I brought you here because I want you first to just relax. I mean, really relax. Don’t censor yourself. Tell Me everything you want to say, things you’ve kept inside.”

She raises her eyebrows, noting the words “first” and “relax.” She also remembers that He was in such a hurry to bring her there in the first place. She answers coolly, “Y’know, this isn’t like You… Didn’t You have something to say?”

He opens His mouth as if to speak, but shakes His head and smiles. “That can wait. Right now, you need a break.” As her eyebrows rise to new heights, He hastily adds, “Hey! Be glad you have a break. You know I don’t like being this lenient to you or all my other charges.”

She giggles. ‘God being defensive? This is new.’ She would have to file today in the diary of her mind for the many firsts she was experiencing with God.

Then she realizes what He’s said. “There are… others?”

“There have always been others, since the existence of this earth,” He answers.

“Prophets?”

“Yes, and mystics, and others who I ask to do My errands, like you.”

“Like Joan of Arc?” Joan asks, suddenly wondering if she is anything like her namesake. After all, why would God choose another Joan from another era?

He cocks His head to the left and gives a smile. “Yes, and no. Hers was an extraordinary job. It was just too bad that the free will of the politicians and royalty of the time overpowered her. I’m glad I reached her before she lost her own voice.”

She starts, furious. “You mean that by having them kill her You got to her in time?”

“Joan,” He answers with sudden sternness, “when have you not thought that I’m keeping you from using your free will?”

She is shocked. She’s used to Him countering her questions with His own, but for Him to use this tone...

He answers His own question on cue, completely sombre. “You know, between you and I, I don’t always enjoy sending you out on these errands. Especially not this errand. But hardly anyone believes in Me now… I can’t always keep materializing as a human and staying on earth even if I want to, there are too many things in the universe that need My attention. The longest I’ve stayed human is 33 years.”

That’s when it hits her: He really has been accommodating her this whole time, using a human shell so she can understand what He’s trying to say without throwing her off any more than He has to.

He continues, “I’ve tried to talk to Ryan again. But he’s closed now. He won’t even speak to Me. Sure, sometimes he follows, but he does it because he’s got his own mind, and while I do understand that more than anyone, I can’t stand on the sides knowing that he’s hurting My charges, and not just you in particular.”

“But he’s trying to get to You through me,” Joan finishes, before adding, “Y’know, for being, well, God, I don’t know why You don’t deal with Ryan through fire or brimstone, or at least some form of punishment. I mean, my parents usually leave me alone and I learn by getting burned, or something…”

Then she sputters and hastily covers her mouth with her hands. While she’s comfortable enough to talk about Him about almost anything and everything, this last bit is just too presumptious and familiar, especially considering Who she’s talking to.

He smirks, raising an eyebrow. “Wow, who would’ve thought a girl would be giving advice to God…”

All too soon He’s serious again: “Remember what I told you when We first met? I don’t work that way. I don’t enjoy being rough on My charges. I’d much rather wait and see if they’ll actually follow My advice. If they do, then great! If not, well…” He shakes His head.

“But thanks, really. For all My snippiness, you do care after all. It gets lonely without anyone to talk to, you know…?” He smiles.

He looks so earnest, so human. It’s giving Joan ideas that she shouldn’t have around God, of all Beings. But then she looks into those eyes, His eyes, and remembers the universe between Him and herself.

Then He retorts, without skipping a beat, “Besides, if I did work that way, you do realize We wouldn’t be having this conversation and I’d have thrown fire and brimstone at you for all your snippiness. Because, you know, nobody should snip at God.”

She tries not to grimace at the thought. Suppose He does get sick of her snippiness and decides to throw fire and brimstone at her? She sighs.

“Hey, I didn’t bring you here to lecture you,” He says, His voice with somewhat uncharacteristic concern. The tone is close to what He used when she tried to dismiss Him as a hallucination, as a part of her imagination, in the days right after she returned to Arcadia from Crazy Camp.

“Yeah, so… why did You bring me here? I thought I was supposed to fight Ryan…”

He shakes His head and chuckles. “You’re catching on pretty quickly.”

“I learn from the best,” she smirks, raising her head with pride. He smiles in spite of Himself. She’s certainly going to need it, especially after what He’s about to tell her.

“Listen, Joan. Ryan will attack at any moment, in any place, with anyone you know and love. You’ll have to be ready for his next move.”

Joan nods, then frowns. “But how do I? I mean, he’s bought his way into the school board, the police department, the newspaper… pretty much all of Arcadia, save for the church and the synagogue maybe...” And even then she’s not so sure about Father Ken and Rabbi Polanski, never mind if the rabbi happens to be as opinionated as his daughter, her friend.

Ryan Hunter has an enormous advantage over her – he’s rich, influential, intelligent (‘cunning,’ she amends to herself), good-looking (well, she has to admit it sooner or later), and, most of all, ruthless. All she has are her family, her friends and Adam … and already she’s lost them all to him. Even if they’re both God-talkers–

His voice cuts through her thoughts. “He doesn’t have everyone in his grasp, Joan. Not yet. But you’ll have to work harder at putting your army together. He’s not the only force at work this time.”

‘He’s not the only one…? Don’t tell me…’ She groans in frustration. “Y’know, when I agreed to be Your errand girl, I totally did not sign up for this! How am I going to beat a man who knows You and has everything? I’m just plain little ol’ 16-year-old Joan Girardi! Do You want me to become a demon hunter or a nun, like Lily used to be?”

He stares squarely at her, and she shudders from the intensity. For a moment His voice is strangely booming. The Almighty seems tired from the masquerade of being a boy. “I’m not asking you to do any of those things, Joan. And I certainly don’t want you to kill him, though it hasn’t been beyond Me to contemplate on doing that, Myself.”

“Wait, You wanted to kill him?” she stares at Him in shock and fright. The God she knows may not always look this handsome, or act this young, but she knows Him well enough to know that it’s against His own rules to take the life of another person this way.

“No,” He shakes his head, brows furrowing. “No good would come out of his death. No good ever comes out of the act of killing.” He then shifts so He’s leaning forward, looking business-like. “What I want you to do is to oppose his actions firmly, but without hurting him or anyone else.”

She begins massaging her temples and groans again. “Look, if You want me to fight Your battle, could You at least make sense for once? Please?”

“I’m not asking you to fight, Joan. I don’t work that way either and you know that.”

She throws her hands up in the air. “Then what do You want me to do?”

He gives her a kindly smile, one that reminds her of her teachers at school or her parents. “Just be honest. To yourself, to your family, to your friends, to Adam, and even to Ryan. Don’t let him scare you, no matter what he does to you.” Then He switches back to His teenage voice. “I want you to let him know that I still care for him too, even if he’s acting like this.”

“Well,” Joan asks, still unable to understand His point, “I guess I can, but how exactly do I do it? Everyone listens to him, not to me.”

“Then let yourself be heard,” is His reply. “You talk so easily with Me, surely it can’t be as hard to talk to Him or anyone else on Arcadia, right?” He looks at her with some exasperation, but still has a patient smile.

She’s about to start talking again when His words hit her. She is comfortable with Him, though she doesn’t exactly want to explore how comfortable the feeling is right now. More importantly, what’s stopping her from talking to Ryan Hunter? Sure, that stunt he pulled on her at the forest was a serious bitch, but for every single thing he has, he is still human. For one thing, he can’t take on multiple forms, not like the Boy in front of her. And she has Him on her side, right?

“Y-You’re right,” she stammers, wondering why she hadn’t thought of what – or Who – she has to back her up. ‘Ryan’s only human and has only himself. I have God. He should have other weaknesses, shouldn’t he?’

“Listen, Joan, you’re over-thinking this,” God says, giving her a more easy-going smile. “That’s always been your problem – thinking too much. You need to relax, you know? Everything that has been kept secret will be revealed in time.”

She nods and smiles, sheepishly, in spite of herself. “You’re definitely right on that one.” She has never forgotten that even the worst scrapes He has put her through has brought about many good ripples. In fact, the good ripples – and not just the hope that she will finally get some positive feedback from Him in this form – are what keep her going as “His errand-girl,” as she thinks of herself oftentimes.

His smile widens. “There we go. Now why don’t we enjoy the beach? I did promise you some rest and relaxation, right?”

With His hand stretched out to hers, and His smile so… well, handsomely God-like, she can’t help but smile and take it.

So they walk to the other end of the house, outside the doorway, and towards the beach. The sun is still beaming brightly, but she doesn’t feel very hot.

She spies an especially large four-poster bed nearby, which curiously doesn’t look out of place considering it’s outside the house. It has wooden pillars which connect as they rise to create a roof of sorts. She tries to think only of how lovely its white lace curtains are, but can’t help wondering how it would be like to lie in it … to rest, of course. ‘I wish they had that in the hospital…’

He looks at her with amusement, then chuckles, “It’s soft.”

She blinks and shakes her head violently after He speaks. He leans in, His forehead touching hers, with a smile that’s both sly and sincere. “Remember, I brought you here so you can relax and be comfortable.”

She looks at Him, surprised and flushed at His invitation. Then she cringes in horror, shaking her head. ‘Don’t think that way! This cute guy is still God! At the very least He’s your Boss, not your boyfriend! Focus Joan!’

Before she knows it He’s on the bed, patting it. He looks so foreign on it, especially with His Western clothing. “Well, don’t you want to join Me? It sure is comfy here…”

She tries not to grumble about how wrong it is for God to invite a mere slip of a girl into His bed.

To be continued...

♥ Special thanks to Laura/irish_turkey of ships50 and Rebecca/chasin' the wind of Fan Forum for their excellent editing skills, valuable time and input, and their encouragement. ♥