Stand by Me by: Amanda


Disclaimer: If you want to meet the owner of Dawson's Creek, then go talk to Kevin Williamson. Don't go e-mailing me, asking if you can get James' autograph. But if you want to meet the owner for this unrealistic storyline, well, *now* you can e-mail me...

Author's Note: Thoughts, flashbacks, and something to show that a word is being enunciated are in **, so you'll have to figure that one out on your own. Also, this is set when the gang is 23.

Author's Note #2 (ALL OTHER AUTHORS PLEASE READ): This totally and completely came from my own imagination, so if there's a part of your story that somehow got into mine, it's purely coincidental, so please don't send me hate mail! Someone did it to me and I was completely unaware I had used some of her story in mine, and she was extremely harsh and rude about it. So if you feel the need, please make it non threatening!

He was gone. He was really gone. After holding on for 23 years, he was gone. Someone, out of nowhere, just swooped down and took his life away.

*That's how things are,* Dawson Leery told himself. *People grow up, they move away, and sometimes, they die. But I never thought one of those people who died would be Pacey.*

Pacey Witter. Subject of gossip for a long time. Ever since the end of sophomore year when Andie left for a mental institution, he had been going on a down spiral. His grades plummeted to a level that was even *worse* than before Andie came. Pacey went to Capeside Community College where he was almost kicked out on behalf of his D average. His teachers called him a nuisance and a disgrace. They hated him and he was unpopular with his peers. He had no sense of humor anymore, he failed to make even people who laugh extremely easily chuckle at his remarks. He shut himself off from everyone around him, but by the time he realized what a mistake that had been, it was too late.

He had been walking down the street, not really paying attention and staring at the ground, when a drunk driver came speeding down the road and pushed him down. He suffered massive brain damage and the odds didn't look good.

Pacey James Witter, 23, died on October 19, 2006, at 2:45 A.M. due to massive brain injuries he had suffered after being hit by a drunk driver. He was bruised and cut, and even by looking at him, you could tell he barely had a chance of surviving. Father: John Witter. Mother: Anne Witter-Marianne Finnerman, M.D.

Dawson read the obituary over again that had been featured in the Capeside Times and sighed. His best friend...dead. Nonexistent. In a few years, no one would really remember him. All he would be was a gravestone and...Dawson's best friend. All he would be was a body, rotting away in his grave...the only place he would exist where it matters would be in Dawson's memory...maybe Andie or Joey's, but most likely, only Dawson's.

*I know you did what you could, Pace. You could only hold on for so long with the odds they had against you...they barely gave you a chance,* Dawson thought as a single tear escaped the corner of his eye.

It had been so long since he had cried…

*Joey glared at Dawson. "What I have to say, you're not going to like, so I'll say it quickly. I hope one day that I'll be able to forgive my father for all of this, and I don't know if I'll ever be able to forgive myself, but I know that I will never forgive you. See, Dawson, there are certain circumstances that love can not overcome and from now on...I don't want to know you." She turned around and walked into her house.

Dawson stood there, frozen and brokenhearted. He forced out a whisper. "See you, Joey."

He didn't move a muscle. The knowledge of the fact that the one person who he thought he could always count on not loving him and never forgiving him was numbing. He had thought Joey's love was unconditional, but he was wrong.

*Not everyone has to love you, Dawson,* he told himself. But it was useless. He already knew that. His parents were so wrapped up in their own divorce that they couldn't see it was tearing him apart inside…his mother was going to leave for Philadelphia after she got offered a better from a network company…Pacey was moody and withdrawn…but now Joey.

Dawson looked at the unfinished white pickett fence, a symbol of Joey's "perfect" life…so much for perfect. And even if she felt better about directing anger at Dawson, it was tearing him apart already.

Dawson stared at the ground and he bit his lip to keep from breaking down. He dejectedly walked over to the dock where his boat lay, and suddenly, his pace quicked. He paddled swiftly as he tried harder to hold back tears. He jumped out of the boat and ran up his ladder but was then suddenly still. He looked out across the creek and saw a light on in the Potter household and Joey and Bessie's silhouettes. He stared for a moment before breaking out in violent sobs that shook his body as if someone were shaking him to awake from a nightmare.

This was a nightmare…but there was no one there, trying to wake him up…*

Dawson never cried in the six year gap that followed. Many times, his eyes filled with tears, but then he remembered. He remembered Joey's harsh words that had never been apologized for. He remembered waiting and waiting for her to come back, to need him again. And he knew that whatever he was feeling then didn't compare to the pain Joey caused him then, so he forced the tears to dry up. And he kept on waiting.

Waiting had ruined his life. He applied to every good school imaginable, and ended up going to Los Angeles Community College-less hyped than UCLA. (His grades had noticably dropped after his traumatic break-up with Joey). He had depended so much on "knowing" that Joey would come back to him that his priorities got out of order.

Then he tried to write a script that would make it big, he tried to direct it to the best of his ability. He poured his heart into each and every scene, each line, but they always pushed it away.

"Too unrealistic...things don't have happy endings like that," one critic told him. Maybe Miss Kennedy-who was now Mrs. Mitchell Leery-was right. Perhaps he *wouldn't* make it in Hollywood and maybe he *was* too romantic.

He hated her. Miss Kennedy, or Nicole, as he called her now. Mitch had married her in the midst of trying to forget Gale. Whenever he was with them, Nicole would always criticize every little thing-"Dawson, you have a speck of lint on your shirt"-"Dawson, why do you even *try* to make it in Hollywood, you're too romantic for them, you'll never make it! I don't want to see you get hurt, you mean too much to me." Yeah, right, like she really meant it.

Rarely, he spoke to Andie or Jen. Andie hadn't been able to leave her mental institution and was taught there throughout her junior and senior years of high school, along with all four years of college. No one considered that wonderful education, so it was hard for her to get a job. Jen had gone to a college in Iowa, Des Moines Community, Dawson recalled. She tried to be a rehabilitation counselor for teenagers who had grown up too fast, but wasn't considered one who would help people get over their past wrongs. Therefore, it was hard for her to provide a life for herself. She wasn't coming to the funeral, she had told him when he called her last, because of a class she had to take in order to "become a better counselor. " Once, Dawson spoke to Jack, who had attended a small university in St. Louis. He was doing fine and his gay identity had been accepted, much to his relief, but was still failing in his work. A lawyer who "couldn't make an argument, " they called him.

But never once did he speak to Joey, Richmond Community College graduate, who was, like Dawson, Andie, Jen, and Jack, were failing in what she did. Everyone pushed away her fashion design ideas...what happened to her? She never spoke to him after he told her what he saw.

He remembered it so well...

*Dawson walked into the Icehouse, holding a box of tools. He and Mr. Potter were going to build a nightclub in the Icehouse, and Dawson was already late for dinner.

"Mr. Potter! " Dawson shouted. He set the toolbox down on two stools. "I've got your tools, " he continued, more quietly.

Dawson heard some talking in the back. He walks over to the source of the noise and looks through a door. He sees Mr. Potter and his "old friend, " Pete. Pete pulled out a vase and he took out the faux flowers. Then he revealed a hidden bag of cocaine.

*Mr. Potter, stop!* Dawson pleaded. *Don't do this to Joey and Bessie, don't you think they've gone through enough?*

Then one of Mr. Potter's competitors had thrown a pipe bomb into the Icehouse, thus making some of it burn down. Dawson had then talked to his parents and decided to tell Joey what he knew. When he informed her, he told her to go to the police or else he would. When Mr. Potter was taken away, Dawson asked how Joey was doing and it was there she said she would never forgive him and didn't want to know him anymore.

She left him, again. What was wrong with him? He couldn't keep a relationship for five months! Dawson was only human. He couldn't be a perfect angel to everyone.

He understood, even before he told her, that Joey had, after her father was released on parole, built up an image of him that *no one* could live up to. She wanted him to be the father she never had, but somewhere within herself, she had to have realized she would never had that. He couldn't make up for the lost snowy afternoons with his family or singing caroles at Christmas time. It was unfair to place such a burden on anyone.

*Someone tell me where my life went wrong...what I did incorrectly and what acts I performed to make everyone hate me!* Dawson sighed as he pulled up to a funeral parlor.

Today, on December 15, 2006, we hold the funeral of Pacey James Witter, victim of a drunk driving accident. A kind and caring soul, he had lived in Capeside all his life before dying of brain injuries.

Pacey James Witter
June 11, 1983 to October 19, 2006
Loving son, brother, and friend
"His candle goeth not go out by night. "

Mr. Witter, had obviously had the parlor "lie" about Pacey's personality. But what he didn't know was that his son really *was* a "kind and caring soul" and loving. Even though he had shaped up a bit, Mr. Witter still didn't give much of a damn to what happened to Pacey. The Witter's had asked Dawson to choose a quote to be engraved on Pacey's gravestone because they didn't know what to put on it. Dawson remembered a quote from the Bible and knew it would perfect for Pacey.

What Dawson wouldn't give to have Pacey there with him to say, "Dawson, life *has* to go on…probably nothing that's happened to you in your entire life hasn't been experienced by everyone else on the face on thisearth…"

Except that everyone he thought he could count on abandoned him and left him alone and wondering what went wrong. Except that it hadn't happened as tragically, it hadn't happened in a way that involved a crushing amount of pain, pain so hurtful that knocked you down, left you crying yourself to sleep and saying, "Why me? What have I done so terribly wrong to deserve such cruel punishment? " Maybe it probably *had* happened to everyone else on the face of the earth, but it was such a change from his "fairy tale life" that it made it seem life more desolate.

Some guy in college told Dawson that he would never make it due to his tendency to over-analyze everything and how he over exaggerated everything...that he would die by himself.

Dawson had come to learn the "ways of Pacey, " as he called them, which included immediately coming up with witty comebacks. But he had been tired of people saying he wasn't going to make it on that particular day, tired of being put down. "Every man dies by himself, " Dawson had told him, looking at him with eyes that had been hardened since he was 15, hardened in way that made you wonder what emotions-if any-lay beneath their surface. The guy, whose name Dawson could never remember- it never mattered anyway-had looked stunned and walked away.

Maybe the "ways of Pacey" had been a good thing to rub off on him.

Yeah, I'm ending it right now. Oh, please. My goal is to have a series with 16 million parts, maybe this is "The One. "


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