tj_teejay: (Chris reading book)
[personal profile] tj_teejay
Characters: Adam Rove, Grace Polk, Karen D'Alessandro
Rating: PG
Genre: Slash (the harmless kind)
Summary: Grace and Karen unexpectedly run into Adam
Character Age: 20
Joaniverse: Butterflies



"Whoa, hold on!"

Grace grabbed Karen by the back of her jacket and jerked her to a halt.

Karen shot around. "What?"

Grace ushered Karen behind one of the concrete pillar of the mall. She was acting very strangely.

"Grace, what the hell is going on?"

"Shh," Grace shushed her. "Stay here."

Karen frowned. Who was Grace hiding her from? She turned around, getting impatient. "Who did you see? Your father?"

"No," Grace whispered. "Adam."

"Adam?" She let out an amused chuckle. "Really? You're hiding me from Adam?"

Grace shot her a look. "Yeah. What?"

"I thought you told him about me."

"I did," Grace hissed.

"You said he was cool with it."

"He is."

"So?" Karen opened her eyes wide and looked at her girlfriend questioningly. "Why are you worried he'll see you with me?"

"Because..." Grace started, but stopped because suddenly she didn't know either. "It was... Call it a gut reaction."

"More like a knee-jerk reaction," Karen muttered. She peeked round the pillar. "He's the guy in the green t-shirt coming toward us, right?"

"Yeah."

Karen boldly stepped out from behind the pylon and started walking in Adam's direction. From behind, Grace hissed, "What are you doing?!"

Karen kept walking, saying over her shoulder, "Introducing myself."

"No, wait!"

But it was already too late. Grace couldn't bring herself to step out from her hideout and watched apprehensively.

"Adam Rove?" Karen approached him unabashedly.

His head shot up and Karen almost felt sorry for jerking him from his reverie. The look on his face was a mixture between shock, surprise and curiosity. "Uh, yeah. Do I know you?"

"Karen D'Alessandro," she held out her hand.

Adam just looked at it but didn't shake it.

"Grace's friend," she elaborated.

"Oh." Recognition suddenly flooded Adam's face. He shook her hand carefully. "Nice to meet you."

Karen almost had to laugh at the absurdity of the situation. And where was Grace? She couldn't believe she would really be this paranoid. "So, you doing some shopping?"

He lifted the Macy's plastic bag in his right hand slightly. "Yeah, my dad needed some stuff."

Karen wondered why his father couldn't buy it himself, but she decided to let it go. The situation was awkward enough as it was. Where the hell was Grace?? Karen pointed to her left. "Grace and I are out here, clothes shopping. She's... here somewhere. I think she went to look for something at Body & Bath."

"Oh," Adam said again. "Right."

Karen silently pleaded, 'Grace, come and save me!'

Grace swore under her breath. Body & Bath? Karen was gonna get some heat for that later. She wondered how she could make it look like she was just casually strolling by. She hoped it wasn't too late now to get out of this gracefully.

She stepped out from behind the pillar, trying to look like she was in a hurry. The expression on her face was the best she could do in terms of feigning surprise when she approached Karen and Adam. "Adam!" she said, and prayed her astonishment didn't sound as fake to him as it did to her.

"Grace, hey." She didn't just imagine the relief on his face, did she?

Her gaze went from Karen to Adam. "You've met Karen, I see."

"Yeah," he just said.

Karen smiled. The poor guy, she could almost feel his confusion tangible in the air.

"What are you doing here?" Grace asked him. "Aren't you supposed to be in Providence?"

Adam's face fell a little. "My dad had a mild heart attack, I came down here as soon as I heard."

"Jeez. I'm sorry, is he okay?"

"Yeah, they put him on a bunch of treatments. He's doing a lot better."

Grace just nodded. She suddenly noticed the dark shadows under his eyes and wondered why Adam hadn't called her. "Hey, do you have a few minutes? Why don't we grab a coffee?"

She looked at Karen, who almost imperceptibly nodded once. Karen's emotional radar was way more sensitive and fine-tuned than Grace's.

He looked at his watch. "Yeah, uh... Sure."

"Okay, cool. There's a Starbucks downstairs."

Karen suddenly felt like the odd one out and cursed her impulsiveness. It had seemed like such a cute idea before. "Hey, uhm, I wanted to go look for some stuff at Sears. Grace, you hate that place, right? Why don't I meet you at Starbucks later?"

Grace was torn. She didn't want to give Karen the impression that she wasn't welcome. "We can go to Sears together later, I don't mind."

Karen realized what she was doing. She smirked at Grace. "Don't take this the wrong way, but it'll be more fun without you waiting impatiently in a chair by the dressing rooms while I try on three million pairs of jeans." She looked at Adam. "You know, sometimes it really sucks to have long legs."

She couldn't help but notice how Adam's eyes went to her legs and smiled to herself. Men! So predictable.

"I'll see you two downstairs in a bit, okay?" she said cheerfully.

"Okay," Grace agreed. To Adam she said, "Come on, let's grab one of those overpriced caffeinated beverages while Karen stimulates the economy."

He just nodded and followed Grace's lead. They took the escalator in silence. It was strangely comforting to see that Grace had changed, but also hadn't.

As they stood at the counter, waiting to collect their drinks, he wondered why he hadn't called her to tell her about his father. Was it the fact that Layla was going to arrive in Arcadia tomorrow? Maybe it would only be fair to tell Grace about Layla, now that he'd met Grace's girl.

"One tall java-chip frappuccino without cream and one grande caramel latte," the emo-hair guy in the green apron called with their take-out cups in hand. They took their beverages from him and found a seat.

"You know, Grace," he started. "There's someone you should know about..."


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