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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) / Don’t Leave (ships50)
Word Count: 2,067 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. Because my ficbunny won’t give me peace of mind, I will be expanding this to a longer story, and hopefully soon. Again, it has lots of talk plus some references to Biblical lore as well as Magdalene legend. 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 3: Let’s Stop And Talk Awhile

Joan Girardi tries not to grumble about how wrong it is for God to invite a mere slip of a girl into His four-poster bed. But she also knows that the argument is a moot point, considering that He’s giving her that gloating smirk that she keeps associating with this Form. She climbs onto the pristine white sheets of His four-poster bed.

She tucks one leg under her bottom and draws a deep, long, dejected breath, then suddenly straightens, surprised to find that the sea breeze has improved her disposition. “Whoa,” she whispers, “it’s like I’m breathing energy…!” He chuckles.

His laughter dies slowly, but His ingratiating smile is still in place. “So, humour Me. I’d like to get to know you better, Joan Girardi.”

She gives him an “Are you kidding?” look. “What can I possibly tell You that You don’t already know?”

“Just hit Me,” He says, in a slightly huskier voice. He’s smirking and leaning over to her again.

She draws back. “Could you please not do that? It’s making me … oh, graaaaaaargh!” It takes all of her willpower not to kiss Him or strangle Him. Unfortunately, she’s not sure what she wants to do to Him first.

He senses her struggle and gives a particularly smug smile. “See, I told you you’d like Me!”

She resists the urge to stick her tongue out at Him, settling for a sneer instead. ‘If You weren’t the Almighty, and if You weren’t so handsome at the moment, I’d deck You.’ He laughs even more. ‘Damn omniscience.’

Joan tries to retort but throws her hands in the air instead. He shifts positions so He’s lying down facing her, with His head leaning on one hand. “Well? I’m waiting.”

So she sighs again, takes a deep breath, and begins. First she tells Him how happy and grateful she is that He’s taken her out of the dreary hospital. She soon launches into an animated discussion about school, like how she originally thought Vice-Principal Gavin Price was the spawn of Satan. Her hands move quickly as she tries to illustrate to Him exactly what she sees in her mind at the same time she talks.

Her eyes light up as she describes the progress Kevin is making as a journalist, though His brows furrow when she sighs sadly over her older brother’s seemingly permanent disability. She giggles as she describes catching Grace and Luke together, wondering aloud what her younger brother sees in her boyish, sarcastic best friend. She even hints that He and Grace could get along, to His amusement.

Then she goes into details about how annoyed, frustrated, guilty and sad she is that Adam prefers dating Iris or having sex with Bonnie to just being around her. Her emotions over the death of her Crazy Camp friend Judith nearly makes her cry, but she settles for yelling at Him instead. She shares all her other secrets to him – some happy, some sad, and is amazed that she’s comfortable discussing everything with Him. (Even about, and especially about sex, which embarrasses her to no end.)

Finally she shares her apprehension over Ryan Hunter’s hold on Adam, and how the other God-talker has already affected everyone else she loves. She expresses her sorrow over the vandalism at the synagogue and the fire of the church. She shares the pain of seeing her friends and relatives, save for a few like Grace, think and speak highly of Ryan. Again she tries not to pin the blame on Him, but she can’t help let a few stinging words, some particularly nasty curses and not a few tears out at Him. She flings herself to Him without caring about the contact, sobbing into His chest.

Meanwhile, His gaze on her never wavers, and He mostly nods and smiles. He either laughs with her or looks at her with concern, but He never asks her to explain herself nor interrupts her. He does nothing to spare Himself from her anger – of course, He knows she needs to let it all out on Him, if at no one else. He pats her back gently as she begins to cry, an expression of unfathomable sadness on His face, but she doesn’t see it.

And as they talk – well, more like as she talks and He listens – she realises that she feels great right now ‘It’s definitely much better than being at Crazy Camp, even better than talking to Judith and Adam,’ she admits to herself.

Sure she isn’t talking to Adam, but after everything that He has been through with her, shouldn’t He be considered a friend too? Even if He happens to cause all her problems, who is she to deny that He also helps her solve them in His own strange, impersonal way?

She wipes her tears with the back of her hand and smiles weakly as her crying spell fades. “Thanks,” she chokes out, grateful that He has been patient with her through it all. It seems like hours since she began talking, but if this is really Heaven, who knows how long her one-sided conversation with Him has gone on?

She blushes when she discovers herself in His arms. The embrace of God is soft and warm. But at the same time, it registers to her that no other teenage boy, and for that matter no human male, would have arms this strong and this firm. Neither her father nor Adam would be able to wrap their arms around her this tightly, the way He does.

She tries to pull away, but He only grips her tighter. “Why don’t we just stop and talk awhile, alright?” He smiles up at her with what seems to be pleading eyes. She becomes conscious of just how lonely He might really be. If He were any other teenager, she would understand completely, but this is God, and she can only imagine how many millennia He might have gone without company…

Joan replies, relaxing against Him, “Alright… but I’d like to get to know You better too.”

He shakes his head in a firm “No.” “You know I can’t do that.”

“C’mon,” she teases gently, “we’re friends, right? At least tell me something that You know won’t affect history just because You’ve shared it with me.”

He looks at her sadly. Understanding dawns on her.

“Will everything be alright, God? Will I be alright?” she asks in a small, scared voice.

“Yes,” He replies, facing her. His voice is again older than His form, and His resolve is unnerving yet calming. He whispers, “I’ll make sure of it,” but she doesn’t hear Him.

“Come, we’ve stayed here long enough,” He suddenly says, rising from His lying-down position. “Let’s go back to the hospital.”

She whines, “So soon?” ‘It’s no fair… I really want to stay here.’

“You know you’ll have to face Ryan sooner or later, Joan. And I don’t want your family worrying about you. They need you right now.”

She sighs, nodding and taking His hand.

“Will I be back here next time?”

He smiles.

The next thing she knows, the bungalow by the sea is gone. There are no coconut trees, no white sand and water stretching for miles. She’s walking back into the leaf-covered streets of Arcadia and into the hospital, trailing behind Him. Joan frowns. “Geez, I thought I was leaving this place already…?”


“How soon?”

“What did I tell you about everything I do?” She doesn’t have to look at Him to know He’s cocked His eyebrow again.

“I know, I know, everything has a purpose…” she mumbles, rolling her eyes.

After a few more steps into the lobby He stops, turns around to face her, and draws closer until the distance between them is about an arm’s length. He tries to smile, but something tugs at the corners of His mouth. He digs His hands into his jacket pockets and shakes his head. “I’m sorry. I hate having to put this on your shoulders. But right now, free will is at stake … not just your family’s, your friends’, or Adam’s, but even Ryan’s as well.” He clears his throat and looks around furtively, as if He’s uncomfortable at what He’s about to say next. “As much as I am proud and satisfied for having created free will, I don’t want to lose you, any of you…”

Joan wishes that He says something to the effect of “You most of all,” just for her, but He just sighs.

And so she nods instead, noting the tone – she remembers Him after Lyme disease and Crazy Camp, again. Now that she looks at Him really hard, she finds so much sadness in all of Him. He really looks like He’s carrying the weight of the universe on His teenage shoulders now. She wishes He could be as cold or as snippy as He seemed to be when they first met, and she wants to be snippy just to make them both feel better, but what can she possibly tell Him?

She begins to understand the task He has assigned to her. It won’t be easy. It must hurt. And at the end of the day she’ll have to go through it alone. But, hoping against hope, she asks, “Will You be around?”

He draws upon a breath, and sighs. “I wish it were so easy. Unfortunately, there are other things taking up My time besides this. The war in the Middle East, the chaos in Africa… I don’t know if I can keep materializing at all.”

Her face falls. He draws forward and lifts her chin with one hand. “If you’ll let Me, I’ll talk to you through your dreams. And always remember that you can find Me anywhere, in anyone and anything, especially when you need Me most. You just need to look.” He smiles, eyes boring directly into her face.

Her cheeks are burning, but she nods and smiles back. Damn it all that He does this – make her life difficult and yet keep her optimistic through a smile and a touch.

Joan wishes the moment can last longer, but too soon He says, “Let’s go, you need to rest a bit more before your family arrives.” Then, His smirk returns: “Besides, you don’t want to be seen walking around Arcadia in that gown, do you?” Her cheeks are flushed once more –then again, how can you argue with the Boy (well, Man) who technically invented “naked?”

She tries not to groan as they take stairs, which makes them less prone to being seen. Once she’s outside the door to her room, He smiles, waves, and walks away.

Satisfied that His charge is safe for the time being, He continues playing the game of “being human,” taking the stairs and exiting the lobby. Nobody knows that He is God in teenaged form here in Arcadia other than Joan. It amuses Him that none of the staff have even bothered to ask which part of the hospital He has come from.

As He walks out He smiles at the recent memory of being with Joan. His eyes crinkle at the way she looks so sweet and innocent as she sleeps, and how all of that is replaced by her sarcasm and her reluctance to believe whenever she’s awake. Suddenly a wizened man with a cane bumps into Him. “Tsk tsk tsk. The last time I saw You this lovesick was when Mary tried to hold onto You after You rose.”

His eyes narrow as the old man walks behind him. When He doesn’t answer, the old man stops to continue talking. “Your love for Your creations will be the death of You, old friend.”

He stops walking and replies, “But see, I’ve always chosen death over My own personal desires, especially if My death keeps My creations – all of them – alive. That’s what makes us different, old friend.” His voice grates on the last two words, His control slipping against the other man.

“Indeed.” The older man snarls before he laughs harshly.

Joan wakes up inside her room, on her bed, with nothing out of place but the blinds slightly tilted to let the light in. She looks outside her window to find the clouds gathering on what was originally forecast to be a dry, sunny day.

♥ 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. ♥