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Disclaimer: Why on EARTH would you think I owned Dawson's Creek,
The Age of Innocence, or Shakespeare in Love? I'm almost 17, (okay, not
almost...my birthday is December 14), I don't have enough responsibility
to own such important things!
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!
Dawson sighed heavily as he sank down in his old room. It was the
only part of the house Nicole hadn't really done anything to, since Mitch
said it should always be the same as it was when Dawson actually lived
there. She had given it a new coat of paint, but that was pretty much
all. It was the only sign of stability he could find in his house,
considering everything that had been there when he left for college was
still present in the room. Everything except the movie posters.
It had been odd for him to sleep in the room the previous night,
because though the placement of the bed and the television and the
cabinets were familiar, the bare walls were not. He had taken his
posters with him to California, and they were now stored in the back of
his closet. He had done everything to forget his past, but his posters
were a haunting reminder.
Suddenly, he noticed a box by his desk. He leaned down and picked it
up, and the label read "Dawson's Pictures." He smiled
Dawson set the box on his bed and lifted the lid, trying not to wince
in pain of the memory that lay before him. A picture of him, Pacey, and
Joey when they were about seven. They were sitting on the docks and were
soaking wet because Doug had just pushed them into the creek and Joey,
Dawson remembered clearly, had started to cry. When Doug walked away,
still laughing, Dawson and Pacey comforted Joey and...they all promised
to never to make each other cry.
Promises. What a joke. Joey had broken that particular promise after
Homecoming when she broke up with him. She broke it again after her
father was carted off to prison the second time. She had broken it again
this afternoon when he cried for the first time in seven years. That was
when Pacey had broken that promise, too. The first time he had ever
broken a promise to Dawson.
Dawson wasn't sure if he had broken that promise to Pacey, though. He
knew Joey had cried over him, but he wasn't sure if he had done anything
to make Pacey cry. Pacey was the strong one of the trio: Joey had always
been brokenhearted and scared and Dawson was afraid to move forward.
Pacey had cried over Andie but...that was understandable.
And then they both left him. Joey was furious with Dawson for doing
the right thing to the point that she didn't "want to know him
anymore." Pacey had died and was no longer here to give Dawson the
advice he so desperately needed...but, in truth, he had left him long
ago...after Andie left for Providence.
But now he was truly gone. Dawson would never hear the reassuring
tone of his voice or see him stride so confidently into Screenplay Video.
The last time he saw him was that morning. But he had been dead.
Dead. Dawson hated that word with all his being. It was so harsh.
Dawson could say that Pacey had passed on or that he died, but not that
he was dead. It was just impossible could not accept the fact that he
would never see Pacey again.
Dawson shut his eyes and remember the last thing Pacey had said to
him. It had only been a few days before he died... "Don't you worry
your pretty little head off about moi, D-Man. I'm not going to make it
here...but when you win 'Most Likely To Be The Next Speilberg Award,'
mention me in your speech, okay?"
*Pacey,* Dawson thought as a tear escaped the corner of his eye, *the
only reason you didn't make it is because no one gave you a chance...no
one believed in you. Except me and Andie.*
"God dammit!" Dawson shouted impulsively as a flood of tears
rolled down his cheeks.
What did he do to deserve to hurt like this?
Joey knelt down and stared at the piece of stone. She remembered the
last time she was there and how Dawson held her hand...she remembered how
understanding he was.
Lillian Josephine Potter. Joey's mother may not have been an
internationally known actress or a famous promoter for world peace, but
she was the bravest woman Joey knew. She knew that so much of herself
was her mother...the independence, the stubbornness, the beauty...
She never believed she was beautiful. That's what her relatives told
her, but she never felt it. Especially after her father had been sent
back to prison a second time and she told Dawson off. She felt so ugly
when she saw him and he was miserable. Because of her.
She felt ugly when she saw him and felt the pang of regret flash
inside her when she saw his face that was no longer happy. She hated
herself so much for hurting the one person who believed her and never
gave up on her...she hated herself for killing the spirit inside of him.
It was that spirit that made her fall in love with him.
She felt ugly when she saw him that morning at the funeral parlor and
looked like he wanted to die to get rid of the burden of pain. When he
walked, he didn't stride with his head up in the air, with radiating
determination like he used to. Now when he walked, he stared at the
ground, afraid that if he looked up, someone would see inside him: he was
afraid that someone would see the heartbroken and scared little boy that
he really was. When she looked at him, she knew that she had left him
trying to salvage the shattered fragments of what used to be a dream.
A tear fell down Joey's face, but she wiped it away angrily. She was
crying because she was selfish. She was crying for her own loss, and not
because she was compassionate and was crying for Dawson, but she was
crying for herself.
Dawson has feelings, too, she thought, more tears flowing down
her cheeks, but this time, she didn't bother to wipe them away. He
hurts, too, you know, and it's your fault, Joey. She hit her
"How could you leave me, Mommy?!" she shouted at her mother
angrily. She knew that it was childish of her to hope that her mother
would magically reappear and rock her to sleep like she used to before
attacked by cancer. She knew that it was childish to want her mother to
come back, but it was what she wanted.
Joey began pounding on the stone, harder and faster. "How could
you, how could you..." the 23-year old sobbed.
Dawson heard someone sobbing, screaming, "How could you, how
could you..." as he walked over to Pacey's newly buried grave.
Pacey James Witter
June 11, 1983 to October 19, 2006
Loving son, brother, and friend
"His candle goeth not go out by night."
Dawson spontaneously began to cry. It had just become too much for
him. He cried for himself, for all the losses he had suffered at such a
young age. He lost his parents, who had been too wrapped up in their own
little world that they had failed to notice that his life was rapidly
unwinding. Dawson knew they loved him like parents should love their
children, but it wasn't the same as it used to be. He lost Pacey to a
world a misery and grief for his loss of Andie. He lost Joey to her
father's selling of drugs for the second time and trying to protect her;
he lost Joey because he loved her.
But mostly, he cried for the most recent loss of Pacey. He had lost
him before, but now he had really lost him. Before, he could have
seen Pacey, living and breathing, but now he wasn't even granted that
privilege. Everyone he loved, Dawson had ultimately lost.
Dawson squeezed his eyes shut and tears escaped them in a river. He
knew it was selfish of him to cry for the losses that he had
suffered, but it was time he stopped being so unkind to himself in going
along with the actions of others.
He bent down further and placed a bouquet of white roses on his best
friend's grave and rested his head on the cold stone next to it. Dawson
let the tears fall on the grave and wept harder for himself. He didn't
know what he had done so terribly wrong to deserve this merciless
torture. So he could have handled Mr. Potter dealing drugs a bit better,
but was his mistake really that much? People make much worse mistakes
everyday...they are reckless with the hearts of others, they deal drugs
for the second time, they don't notice the depression of their loved
ones. People Dawson knew who had committed these crimes weren't punished
as he had been.
He shook his head. "You left me, Pacey," he sobbed to a
helpless body that he had recognized as his best friend that morning.
But now that best friend was buried underground, and soon he would be a
skeleton...and after that, an empty casket. Well, that best friend was
gone and wasn't coming back to tell Dawson what to do in his times of
trouble. "You left me out in the cold, Pacey, you left me when I
needed you!" he sobbed harder, all the pain and heartache of the
past seven years catching up to him and coming up to the surface in one
day. "You left me, Pace, when I still needed you!"
Andie saw Dawson in the distance at what must have been where Pacey
was buried and sighed. He had it almost as hard as her, and she
understood his feelings that he was uncomfortable speaking of. She
understood how he felt abandoned by Pacey, who was supposedly his best
friend. She understood how he hated himself for crying for himself
instead of for Pacey, whose end came so abruptly. She knew how he felt
like everyone he loved had left him, everyone that he loved, he had
Then, she looked over and saw a weary Joey, whose eyes were puffy and
red from crying. "Is everything okay, Joey?" Andie called out,
trying to help.
"No," Joey sniffled. "Everything's screwed."
"Enlighten me," Andie offered. "I don't have anywhere
Joey ran her hand through her hair. "Everyone that I loved has
abandoned me," she began, her voice cracking.
You seem not to be the only one, Joey, Andie thought, looking
over at Dawson again.
"My mother died when I was twelve and my father was cheating on
her while her health was deteriorating. That year was also when my
father was sent to prison for selling marijuana. Three years later, he
came back and was selling cocaine. Dawson saw and told me, making me go
to the police, who bugged me and then my father was carted off to prison
again. Dawson said we did what we had to do and I said I'd never be able
to forgive him and that I didn't want to know him anymore. That event is
what made him the way he is today, and it just makes me want to break
down and apologize. But," she sighed at this point, "but now
it's been too long."
"It'll turn out okay," Andie reassured her. "You and
Dawson have hurt each other, and you've both changed over the past seven
years, and it'll take time for you to connect with him again. It's not
going to go back to the way it was immediately, but it will eventually.
And maybe this separation was for the best. You and Dawson have had the
opportunity to live without the other one, and however much it hurts,
left your childhood behind, though false hopes and dreams that you've
managed to save some of are still here."
"You're right, Andie," Joey replied after a moment of
thought. "I let go of my childhood a long time ago, and from the
look on Dawson's face, I just know that he has, too. It used to be that
I could just look into his eyes and know what he was feeling, but now I
look at him...I don't see any feelings. It's almost as if he doesn't
feel them anymore."
"Inside, Joey," Andie countered, "Dawson is a little
boy, scared to have anyone love him because he knows the repercussions of
love, both good and bad. But unfortunately for Dawson, he has had more
experience with the bad results rather than good. It scares him to love
you because of how the messy end of your relationship affected him. He
just thinks you stopped loving him a long time ago."
Joey shook her head good-naturedly and laughed. "You and your
brother must train with and Indian shaman, I swear. Your advice is
always right on the button." She sighed. "I just hope one day
we can overcome our differences and he to realize that I never stopped
"Maybe, Joey," Andie began, "maybe it was supposed to
be one of those tragic love stories, like The Age of Innocence or
Shakespeare in Love, where even though the two lovers can't overcome
their circumstances, they still go on loving each other. I've just
always felt it's more powerful that way...to go on loving someone when
there's no chance of that love ever thriving," Andie sighed,
Joey went weak in the knees, remembering how that was almost the exact
same thing she told Dawson at their last movie night. "It is, isn't
it? I feel the same way, Dawson says it's tragedy." She laughed in
spite of her current situation. "He asked me if I thought it would
affect my own love life, and I said it didn't matter, because...because
we'd get the happy ending. I wonder if he still wants a happy ending
with me," Joey commented, her voice breaking.
"He may feel different now," Andie countered as she glanced
over at Dawson. He had gotten up and she thought he might have looked
over at them. He turned around and walked the other direction.
"Andie? Andie?" Joey questioned, but her advisor was
concentrating solely on Dawson. Joey glanced in the direction Andie was
staring at and froze for a few seconds in shock. "Oh my God,"
she muttered under her breath. She suddenly started running after the
figure in the distance. "Dawson! Dawson!" she shouted at the
top of her lungs.
"Dawson! Dawson!" Dawson stopped and turned around after
hearing his name being called. He could have sworn that it was Joey's
voice and that there was a woman whose dark brown hair was flying in the
wind that was yelling for his attention.
No...no, it couldn't be, Dawson thought wistfully. She
wouldn't come back now...not after all these years.
But as the figure came closer, Dawson realized that it was his
ex-girlfriend, his ex-best friend...she may have been his been his ex
"everything- you-can-supposedly-can-count-on," but she was
still his dream.
After the realization had processed, Dawson realized that he might
have to talk to her. To talk with the person who had
broken his heart and ruined his career...to talk with the person who he
So he did the only thing he knew to do. The thing you do when you're
scared or hurt or wanting to rid yourself of the burden of knowledge.
He ran as fast as his legs could carried him, because he couldn't talk
to her. Not now. Not after all this time.
I'm trying to write as much as I can now because I'm going to be sleep away camp on July 27 and won't be back until August 8, so I don't want anyone to be going through serious withdrawal just because of my absence. =) By the way, I've already had a bunch of people e-mailing me, saying how great they thought the first two parts to the "Stand By Me" series was, and I just want to thank everyone who did that. I don't know if it was because they didn't want me to blow up the world like I threatened to, or because they really liked it.
I'm hoping they really liked it.
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