Pacey smiled to himself as he pulled the truck into Dawson's driveway. Last night on the way back from the prison house, Joey confessed she loved Dawson and was finally ready to tell him. Pacey scoffed she would not have the courage, but taking one look into her eyes, he knew she was ready. Joey laughed glad she had finally released her secret, and Pacey congratulated her. Pacey was happy Joey had finally worked up the nerve to tell Dawson. Pacey had known all along that these two belonged together.
Getting out of his 'borrowed car', he strolled up to the front door. Pacey had contemplated climbing though the window, but rethought that when he realized what Dawson and Joey might be doing. Pacey rang the doorbell anticipating the moment he was able to say, "I told you so." The moment never came.
Pacey rang the doorbell repeatedly, but no one answered. Pacey decided Dawson and Joey must be too preoccupied to hear the doorbell ringing. The temptation of climbing up Dawson's ladder and surprising them became too much to handle. Pacey smiled wickedly at the opened window. Pacey was about to start climbing, and disturb the lovebirds when he noticed someone sitting alongside the creek. Pacey curious to who would be sitting on the dock this early in the morning walked over to the figure.
Pacey approached and his smile faded. Pacey stood over Jen, who was crying uncontrollably. Pacey felt overwhelmed with compassion, and reached out to hold Jen. Jen jumped a little at Pacey's touch unaware he had been standing there, but then just collapsed into his arms. Jen's shoulders sagged as she cried drenching Pacey's shirt in tears. Pacey felt Jen's pain, and just gently held and rocked her in his arms. When Jen's cries reduced to sniffles, Pacey inquired to what upset her so badly. Pacey already had a good idea, but wanted to Jen to be the one to confirm his suspicions. What Jen had to say sent a shockwave through his body, and making him feel lightheaded. Jen's eyes teared up as she whispered, "Pacey, it's all my fault. I think I am going to be sick."
Pacey calmly said, "What's your fault, Jen?"
Jen avoided eye contact and gulped wondering how Pacey would feel about her once he heard about Joey. Fighting back the tears forced herself to face his concerned face. Accepting whatever treatment he would give her after the news said, "Joey's in the hospital, Pacey. She….she fell off Dawson's ladder earlier this morning."
Pacey froze. He all the sudden felt like he was on an elevator that dropped ten stories, and he was still waiting to hit the bottom. Pacey fought to remain calm as he said; "We have to go. Which hospital did they take her to? Duh! We only have one hospital. Jen? Jen what are you waiting for…we have to go see if Joey is all right."
Pacey sprang up from his seated position, but Jen refused to move. Jen looked out over the water and imagined Joey lying unconscious on a hospital bed with tubes all hooked to her, just like her grandfather. Jen rocked back and forth, losing her grip on reality as she further down spiraled into self-loath. Pacey was frantic to get to the hospital, but realized Jen was in no condition to be left alone. Pacey stared at her, her eyes were glazed and blank and her arms were clamped over another like she in the middle of prayer. Pacey's heart reached out to her. Crouching down softly said, "Jen, I need you right now. Please come with me."
Jen blinked but did not respond, so Pacey gently picked her up in his arms, and started walking to the car. Pacey hoped wherever Jen was right now in her mind, she was not blaming herself. Pacey drove silently to the hospital while Jen absentmindedly gazed out the window. Pulling into the parking lot of Capeside General, Pacey stopped the truck. Touching Jen's hand said, "We're here, Jen. Let's go see how Joey is doing,okay?"
Jen nodded her head and spoke for the first time since the docks. "Pacey, I hope Joey is all right."
Pacey squeezed Jen's hand in reassurance. "Joey is strong, nothing can keep her down. She'll be up and around in no time…complaining why didn't they build an elevator to Dawson's room." Jen tried to crack a smile to show Pacey's efforts to cheer her up had not gone unnoticed but only managed a frown. Her vision blurred with fresh tears as they walked hand in hand into the hospital.
Dawson paced from one end of the emergency room to the other. All around him he saw paramedics bringing in the injured on stretchers, doctors tending to the sick, and nurses bandaging the wounded, even the faint sounds of sirens signaling the new arrival of an ambulance, but Dawson didn't care about anything that went around him. The only thing Dawson cared about was that Joey Potter lived. Dawson couldn't believe what happened, it made no sense why Joey had to be the one who got injured, it couldn't of been anyone but her. Dawson knew who was to blame for this, and as much as he wanted to lay the blame at Jen's feet, he could not, it was all his miserable fault. Dawson's strides became increasingly violent as his guilt and resentment poured out of him. Dawson paced bitterly scolding himself for being so weak and stupid not to tell Joey he loved her sooner. If he had, she would never have ran away on the docks that day. They would have been together like Dawson dreamed they were. Unfortunately, Dawson decided instead to act like a jerk, and hold in his feelings for Joey, only explaining his reluctance was out of fear of losing her. Dawson blasted himself for being so insensitive by saying, "Got that right, Leery. You did lose Joey, and maybe forever. You're such an imbecile for letting Jen sleep over when you knew how hurt Joey would feel." Dawson had known Joey would have been upset, but he figured after the scene on the docks that Joey would not have been visiting him anytime soon, so he was safe. Dawson figured he could comfort Jen, like a good friend did, and be there for her when she needed him, and not let it affect his relationship with Joey. Of course, Dawson knew the only way that would work is if he did not tell Joey, which he planned to do, well not at least before she answered him about France. "That was a smooth move, dummy…not only did Joey find out, but she caught you in the act. God, what were you thinking….better question was if were you thinking? You let Joey…Joey, the woman you love…see you in bed with your ex-girlfriend whom she dislikes. Kissing. Don't even try to tell yourself you didn't kiss Jen, she kissed you….it's your fault for not trying to stop Jen when she was trying to unsuccessfully to seduce you," Dawson thought angrily.
Dawson felt the room start to spin out of control, and flounced into the nearest plastic chair before he passed out. Dawson dropped his head into his hands, and just absorbed the knowledge he might have lost Joey forever. Dawson heard two people approach, but kept his head in his hands.
Pacey looked at his weary friend and said, "Dawson? Hey man, look at me…how's Joey doing?"
Dawson sighed whispering, "not too good, Pace. She is in critical condition…they aren't sure she is going to make it…I don't know what I will do if she…"
Dawson looked up to meet Pacey's eyes, and saw Jen standing nervously behind him. Dawson's eyes narrowed and he looked away muttering, "what's she doing here?"
Pacey glanced at Jen, who's mouth was quivering and tears filling her eyes, before saying, "she wanted to see how Joey was doing…same as me."
Dawson's jaw tightened and he muttered, "She doesn't belong here."
Pacey looked at Dawson shocked and incredulously said, "What the hell, Dawson? Of course, she belongs here, she's Joey's friend. Jen cares about Joey like we do."
Dawson shook his head and bitterly laughed. "She's some friend…oh she cares all right, enough to help Joey plunge to her death. Take a nosedive off my roof."
Pacey mouth fell open and angrily said, "God Dawson, you make it sound like Jen pushed Joey…"
Dawson cut him off by standing and saying, "Well she might as well, it would have had the same desired effect. It's really rather redundant if Jen pushed Joey or not, she was the cause of Joey's fall…and because of her, Joey is now laying unconscious on an operating room table while the doctors fight to save her life."
"No, Pacey, don't give me that 'don't worry Joey is tough speech'…sorry I have already heard it enough, and it doesn't help. Joey might be strong, strongest person I know, but it doesn't change the fact she is in there fighting a losing battle to stay alive…she's in pain…and I can't do anything for her. I want to help, Pacey. I want to save her. I can't do this without her, I can't live without her…she's my best friend." Dawon's voice broke, and he turned away so Pacey could not see the tears waiting to spill down his cheeks. Dawson's head hurt from the constant pounding, and his heart ached. Dawson closed his eyes feeling the wetness of his tears, hoping when he opened them again everything would be okay. Joey would be okay.
Pacey put his hand on Dawson's shoulder and softly whispered, "I know you do man…I want to save her too. I love Joey. She and you are my only real family. Dawson, we need to stick together…not let this tear us apart. She'll be okay, she has to…she's Joey."
Dawson faced Pacey and asked, "What if she doesn't make it, Pacey…god what will I do without her. She's everything to me…always been. I have just been to dumb to notice what was standing in front of me the whole time. I need her… I love her."
Pacey smiled, "I told you so."
Dawson and Pacey shared a laugh lightening up the tension while a frantic Bessie broke through the emergency doors. Running to the boys she cried, "where's Joey? Where's my baby sister?"
Dawson looked at the sorrow and tears flowing down Bessie's face and whispered, "In the operating room, Bessie."
Bessie's eyes widened and she put her hand to her mouth. Fresh tears filled her eyes and her legs started to trembling. Bessie started to break down, and the boys helped her over to sit in a chair. Bessie, not known for having emotional breakouts, wept loudly. Dawson hugged Bessie and Pacey comforted Bessie stroking her hair softly. In between sobs, Bessie mumbled, "Oh god, Joey… no, not Joey…not Joey. Please god not Joey."
Dawson rocked her and she cried draining herself. When Bessie finally stopped wailing she asked, "What happened, Dawson?"
Dawson's eyes filled with tears again and whispered, "Joey…Joey fell off my roof. She…she…"
Dawson could not finish his sentence, but Pacey said, "She fell from the ladder, Bess."
Bessie looked off to the side staring into space before saying, "What is happening with her?" Bessie rose from her chair and startling the guys screamed, "what the hell is happening to Joey?"
Bessie walked to the nurses' station and grabbed the first nurse she saw by the shoulder. The nurse was an older overweight women. The nurse looked at Bessie's red swollen cheeks and eyes unsympathetic and curtly said, "May I help you?"
Bessie growing angry growled, "Yes you can move that trailer park you call an ass and find out what is happening to my sister, Joey Potter."
The nurse offended said, "Only the doctor can tell you what is happening with that patient."
Bessie's eyes blazed and moving in closer to the women menacingly said, "Look here, if you don't find out what is happening to my sister right this moment. I am going to kick your pudgy ass."
The nurse stunned stepped back and said, "I don't think I like your tone…I'm calling security."
Bessie grabbed the nurse and pushed her up against the counter yelling, "You're going to find me the doctor, and YOU are going to do it rightnow."
The guys grabbed Bessie and tried to settle her down while the nurse scared called security. While all this chaos was going on the doctor arrived and said, "Anyone here for Josephine Potter?"
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