Title: At the Fair
Written for: Joan of Arcadia Flashfic
Characters: Adam/Joan & God
Joan looked at Adam skeptically when she opened the front door.
"I can't believe we are going to a county fair," she said as he entered the house, a huge grin on his face.
"Jane, the county fair is the biggest thing going around here every summer. I'm just glad you're feeling better and won't miss it."
Joan sighed. "Adam, you so do not strike me as the county fair type."
"Grace and I are going too," Luke interrupted as he walked through the living room.
"Grace Polk is going to a county fair?" Joan asked, obvious disbelief in her voice.
"She's the one who asked me," Luke responded as he headed up the steps to his room, presumably to change his clothes.
"I told you, Jane, the county fair is huge." Adam said smugly. "Everyone will be there."
"If you say so, Adam. Let's get out of here before my parents try to tag along."
"Tag along where, Joan?" Helen queried, passing through the room.
"I'm taking Ja… Joan… to the county fair, Mrs. G.," Adam stated proudly.
"Oh how nice! Joan, why didn't you tell us? Your father and I will be heading over there as soon as he gets home from work. And Kevin will be there covering it for the paper."
Joan rolled her eyes. "The Girardi family does the fair."
Helen and Adam exchanged a smile. "Be careful driving over there, honey. Maybe we'll run into you two later." Helen left the room, heading for the kitchen.
Adam took Joan's hand and dragged her out the door.
Joan's nose wrinkled immediately upon entering the fair grounds. "EWW. What is that smell?"
"They have animals here, Jane. Come on, let's go to the petting zoo!"
They walked through the petting zoo. Adam bought some animal feed and was happily petting and feeding the goats, sheep and other animals that Joan could not even identify. Joan was trying her best not to gag from the smell. When Adam finally had his fill of the petting zoo, he dragged her off to the midway to play some games.
Within minutes, he had won her a stuffed teddy bear.
"Aww, Adam, this is so sweet."
"It's no big deal, Jane," he blushed.
They walked through the fair, hand in hand. Adam was in his element. Joan still didn't get it, but she was having fun. She was amazed at the different sides to Adam's personality that she had never seen. If nothing else good came out of being dragged to the fair, it was fun getting to see Adam act like a little kid instead of a morose artist.
"Oh look, Jane! They have pony rides this year! Come on, let's go over!" Adam started tugging her towards the ponies.
"Adam, aren't pony rides for little kids?"
"No, look - it says they have ponies that adults can ride too. Come on!"
"Um, I never told you this before, Adam, but I am terrified of horses."
"AW, Jane, it'll be fine. Please try it for me?"
Joan couldn't resist Adam's puppy dog eyes and finally relented.
"Go ahead, Jane. You take the white one," Adam encouraged her to go first. She handed the attendant the ticket that Adam had purchased for her. She stood looking at the pony helplessly, not sure how to get on the thing.
"Need a hand, Joan?" the attendant asked with a twinkle in his eye.
"Yes, I do… hey… it’s you… are you going to give me an assignment? I was kind of enjoying having my summer off."
God smiled at Joan as he held out a hand to help her climb up on the pony. "No, but I wanted to tell you that you did the right thing by coming here with Adam. He needed to come here with you and have fun. His mother used to bring him to the county fair every year and he hasn't been back since she died."
Joan settled uncomfortably on top of the pony. "So this is, like, therapeutic for him or something?"
"You could say that. Just relax and have fun with him today, Joan. That is what he needs." He slapped the pony's backside and Joan jumped as the pony began trotting around the ring.
The sheer terror must have shown on her face because Adam shouted, "Jane, you're doing great!" After several terrifying moments, Joan's pony had made the circuit and trotted to a stop in front of God the pony ride attendant. He held out a hand and helped her off the pony. Her legs wobbled a little when her feet hit the ground, but God's grip on her elbow kept her from falling.
"You did well, Jane," God said with a smile on his face as he mimicked Adam's nickname for her. "Now go have fun with your boyfriend."
Joan wobbled to where Adam stood with a huge grin on his face.
"That was so cool, Jane!"
She laughed and grabbed his hand. "Come on, I want to go back to the midway and play some more games. Maybe I can win you a stuffed animal this time!" They ran towards the games, holding hands and laughing like kids, until Joan noticed something that stopped her dead in her tracks.
"What's wrong, Jane?" A touch of concern crept into Adam's voice at her sudden change in attitude.
She sighed. "My parents are over there playing games. I really don't feel like hanging out with them."
Adam shrugged. "So let's do something else." He turned and scanned the area, looking for something in the opposite direction from the games. "Hey, how about a ride on the ferris wheel? It's fun to ride it after dark when you can look down on all the lights."
Joan considered mentioning her fear of heights, but remembering God's words about the fair being therapeutic for Adam, she just said, "Okay."
Adam bought their tickets for the ferris wheel and they were quiet while they waited for their turn. Joan hugged her teddy bear to her chest and Adam put his arm around her shoulders. Just as they were getting on the ride, they heard someone calling their names. They saw Luke and Grace waving at them as the ride attendants belted them in and started the ride.
Adam put his arm around Joan as the wheel started to spin a little faster. She snuggled into him and laid her head on his chest. They were quiet until the ride stopped and they were stuck at the top.
"Jane," Adam said quietly, a catch in his voice.
Joan turned her head and looked up at him, noticing that his eyes were wet. She sat up straight.
"What's wrong, Adam?"
He took her hand. "I just wanted to say thank you for coming with me today. I know you thought the fair was lame, but… well… it meant a lot to me." He paused for a minute, looking her in the eye and seeing her concern and compassion, before continuing. "I… well… I haven't been to the fair since my mom died," he confessed. "It was always her thing and me and my dad would just kind of go along with her. But she always had a way of making it fun. I couldn't bring myself to attend after she was gone." He stopped speaking as a few tears slipped down his cheeks. He looked away from Joan.
"If it brings back that many memories, why did you want to come this year?"
His head snapped back to her, eyes focused intently on hers. "Because, Jane, I knew you could make it fun for me again." His declaration brought tears to Joan's eyes and they shared a weak smile.
The ride started again and Adam put his arm back around Joan and she put her head back on his chest. As the ride slowed and began letting people off, Adam spoke again very softly.
"What did you say, Adam?" Joan asked, not even sure if he had spoken because his voice was so soft and one of her ears was smashed against him.
"I said that I love you, Joan," he repeated, his voice a little stronger.
Joan turned her head so she was looking him in the eyes again. "I love you, too, Adam."
His face broke out in a grin and he leaned over and gently pressed his lips against hers.
"Okay, kids, ride is over," the attendant said, interrupting their mood, as the ride stopped and they were unbuckled.
Adam and Joan got off the ride, holding hands, both wearing weird grins. They saw that Luke and Grace had been joined by Helen, Will, Kevin and Beth.
"So you were kissing my daughter on the ferris wheel, young man?" Will gave Adam a hard look.
Adam's face flushed and Joan's expression turned to outrage. Helen slugged Will's arm.
"Will, stop. There were plenty of times that you kissed me on the ferris wheel." Both elder Girardis began to laugh.
"Why didn't we kiss on the ferris wheel?" Luke turned and asked Grace. "Probably because you were too busy explaining the quantum mechanics of giant wheels in the sky the whole time," she shot back, causing the entire group, minus Luke, to burst out laughing.
Kevin looked at Beth. "And you missed hanging out with my family?"
Mimicking Helen, she slugged his arm. "Yeah I did, your family is great. Shut up."
"Okay, gang. What do you think about going back to the house and ordering some pizzas?" Helen asked.
"I don't know if I want all these trouble makers at our house, Helen," Will joked. "I am a Sheriff and I have a reputation to protect."
All the kids started laughing as they all headed towards the parking lot to head home.
Adam grabbed Joan's hand and pulled her to the back of the group. He allowed a little distance to develop between him and Joan and the rest of the gang before speaking.
"I meant what I said on the Ferris Wheel, Jane," he said in a low voice.
"So did I, Adam."
They smiled at each other and shared another quick kiss before catching up with their friends and family and going home.