I actually meant for this to be a one-shot, so imagine my surprise when I got back from vacation and I had so many of you begging for a new chapter! I hope this satisfies everyone and wraps up the little story well - I promise I will be writing a lot of fanfic when the show starts back up again in... less than 2 WEEKS! Yay!
Anyways, enjoy & review :)
Joan slid into the back booth at her favorite diner, fidgeting with the long sleeve of her loose, sky-blue blouse. It was nearly impossible to make out a baby bump, but she didn't want to take any chances. Sadly, she was going to have to take a break from her extensive collection of sheath dresses.
She heard her phone go off and dug through her purse to find it. It was a text from Arthur, saying he was on his way. They were meeting for lunch before Arthur went to meet with some former contacts that might be able to help him take Henry down once and for all. The affair was still real to the public, as well as the rest of the Agency, so Joan and Arthur were making it look like they were trying to work through his infidelity. And her pregnancy would remain a secret for a while as well.
"Joan. You look lovely."
Henry's voice startled Joan, and she grimaced when she saw him, walking towards her with his all-too-confident swagger.
"Go away," she said to Henry, her voice dripping with disgust and disdain. "I have no interest in whatever you have to say."
"Oh, my dear Joan, I just wanted to give you my condolences. Arthur never deserved you, and I always knew he was too stupid to realize what he had."
Joan couldn't tell if Henry knew the affair was faked or not. He had always thought so little of Arthur that it wouldn't surprise her if he actually thought Arthur would cheat on Joan. Then again, Henry was a wily son of a bitch. He always knew more than he let on.
Henry saw Joan's frown and took her hand in his. She fought off the urge to immediately pull her hand back and douse it in hand sanitizer.
"I always knew you were the good one," he said, raising her hand to his lips and kissing it.
"Get the hell away from my wife, Henry."
Arthur had arrived just in time. He looked from Henry to Joan furiously. Henry just chuckled, let go of Joan's hand, and disappeared through the same back door Arthur had come through moments before. Arthur sat down across from Joan in the booth and grabbed both of her hands.
"Are you okay?," He asked, staring at her. He was concerned and loving, fiercely protective. She nodded.
"I'm fine, honey. Promise."
His face softened and he smiled, massing her fingers with his. She sighed.
"I miss you," she said, an aching look in her eyes. "Why can't you come home?"
"I'm in the midst of a rather large public scandal. The press knows what hotel I'm staying at, and it will take a few more days for everything to quiet down."
"Well, I can't sleep well without you by my side," she grumbled, letting go of his hand to pick up her water glass and take a sip. Arthur chuckled.
"I'm sorry, sweetheart. It will all die down in a couple days and then I'll be home again."
She brightened slightly, staring at his face. She hadn't realized how much she missed just looking at him, staring into his bright blue eyes and mentally tracing over the wrinkles in the corners of his eyes, until that face had lit up when she told him about the baby.
"How are you holding up?," he asked. "What's it like at work?"
"Fine," she sighed, pushing away her water glass. "People are staring and whispering, but I just hold my head up high and ignore it."
"That's my girl," Arthur said with a grin. Joan smiled a little bit.
"Sometimes I do wish I could just turn around when they whisper behind my back and tell them that it's lie, that you did what you did to protect me and cover the asses of several people at the Agency," she admitted, tracing circles in a small pool of water on the table with her finger.
Arthur smiled and took her hand again. "You're the bravest, most intelligent woman I know. It sounds like you're handling yourself like a pro."
Joan blushed. "I'm trying."
Arthur nodded, then glanced at his watch.
"I have to go," he sighed, looking at her sadly. "The plan came together so quickly that I didn't really have time to think about what would happen after I resigned."
Joan sighed too. "I know. Call me later?"
He nodded. "Of course," he whispered, leaning over the table to place a gentle kiss on her lips. He got up and strode out the back door, and Joan raised a hand to her lips. She touched the spot he had kissed, trying to hold onto the feeling of his lips on hers.
All she wanted was for her husband to come home.
Later that night, Joan sat in bed, reading Vanity Fair and listening to Fleetwood Mac on her iPhone speaker. It was late, but she couldn't sleep. She had a slight headache, but Tylenol was proving to be useless. Her chamomile tea, while lovely and warm, wasn't doing much for her head or her aching heart.
She turned off the music and set the magazine on her nightstand, turning onto her side and curling up into a ball. It was a comfortable and slightly warm night, so she was wearing an oversize Penn State t-shirt and a pair of lavender boy shorts. Closing her eyes, she felt a wave of exhaustion wash over her, and she drifted off to sleep.
The first thing she saw when she drifted out of her light sleep was the clock on her nightstand. It said 3:27 am, and she groaned, rolling onto her other side. Her heart leapt out of her chest and she sat up in bed.
Her husband was sitting next to her in bed, smiling. She grabbed his face and kissed him hungrily.
"What are you doing here?," she asked, flustered. Her heart was still pounding, and her cheeks were slightly flushed. Arthur's grin widened.
"I couldn't sleep without you next to me either," he said, kissing her back. She grinned and pulled him down on top of her, kissing him until she was breathless. He kissed back with the same ferocity and passion, and when they finally came up for air, Joan snuggled against his chest.
"How was your meeting?," she asked, suddenly wide awake. He stroked her hair.
"Promising," he said, nodding. "It might take a while to form a game plan, but it just might work. But I don't want to talk about that now." He bent down and kissed the top of Joan's head, hugging her close to him. "I just want to be with you."
Joan smiled and turned her head to kiss the crook of his arm. "Me too," she said softly. "I just want to enjoy these little private moments while we still have them."
Arthur nodded. "Mhmm," he mumbled, kissing her neck. "I couldn't agree more."