To Sail You Home by: Kelli
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Authorís Note: As always I have to say thank you for all of the positive feedback you all have graciously given me. Itís nice to know that my writing inspires a lot of different emotions, which is what I intended to do. I just wasnít sure if I was capable of it. Iím still kinda nervous about the direction of this fic, which will become clear by the end of this update, but Iím forging ahead because I am just enjoying writing it so much. All of your comments really help inspire me to continue too! I wouldnít be this far without them. This update starts with the final verse of Counting the Stars, and in it you will get to meet my version of a character that Iíve always wanted to explore. I hope you like it. Thanks for reading!!
To Sail You Home
"Mrs. Potter, is that you?"
Pacey could scarcely believe his eyes as the simple question slipped from his mouth and hung in the air, waiting for an answer from the woman standing before him, a woman who was supposed to be dead. A million thoughts tore through his mind in the seconds before she repliedÖ
If this really is Joeyís mom, where did she come from and why is she here?
Better yet, where are we at anyway?
Is she a ghostÖor an angel? And if she is, does that mean Iím one too?
Does that mean Iím dead?
Pacey could not clear his mind; he became dizzy with all the thoughts running through his head. Her answer didnít help.
"Yes, sweetie," she replied simply, laying a reassuring hand on his arm when she noticed the ashen color that overtook his face, "it is."
Paceyís hands began to shake. "But IÖI thought you wereÖyou wereÖ" Pacey could not finish. His head felt heavy and his tongue suddenly was so thick he could no longer control it. There was a roaring in his ears and things were getting a little black. "Oh, hell, I need to sit down." Pacey collapsed back onto the steps and tried to catch his breath and calm his racing heart.
"Oh, Pacey, Iím so sorry!" Mrs. Potter said with motherly concern etched on her face. She took a seat beside him. "I know this has to be quite a shock to you, to see me like this after all this time."
"Well, thatís kind of an understatement," he joked, smiling at her weakly, his breathing becoming a little more even.
"You havenít changed a bit," she laughed, shaking her head at him. "You may be ten years older than you were the last time I saw you, but you havenít lost that childlike sense of humor that you always had. Iím glad."
Paceyís smile broadened at her comment, and the utter and complete shock he had experienced a few minutes earlier began to wane away. He still didnít understand what was going on, but it was good to see Mrs. Potter. She had always been one of his favorite grown-ups as a kid. Mrs. Potter ranked right up there with the Leerysí where Pacey was concerned; all three adults had been like surrogate parents to him growing up, each in their own way. Joeyís mom never judged him, like his dad did, and she had always encouraged him and praised him when it was needed, and even when it wasnít. She had been kind and caring. And she had always laughed at Paceyís jokes, which had made him feel important and special. She was just a great lady, and one who had died way too young.
"Your daughter isnít as impressed by my boyish charms as you are. Sheís always complaining that Iím never going to grow up."
Mrs. Potterís smile faded at the mention of Joey, her eyes filling with sadness and longing for her little baby girl. She quickly brushed those feelings off. She wasnít here to deal with her problems. "Donít let her fool you, Pacey. Thatís one of the things she loves about you the most."
"I think youíre wrong on that one, Mrs. Potter," Pacey said.
"Pacey," she cut him off, "please call me Lilly. Youíre not ten years old anymore."
"Um, okay," he paused, feeling like a little boy again as he tried to make himself comfortable with her request that he use her first name, "Lilly, youíre wrong. In fact, there are so many things wrong with that sentence, starting with the word love. Joeyís not in love with me anymore."
"And thereís the other thing about you that hasnít changed; you still lack even an ounce of self-confidence. What am I going to do with you, with all of you?" she clucked, wagging her finger at him.
"Actually, thatís a good question, Mrs. Pot-Öuh, Lilly. What are you here to do? Because I have to admit that although Iím happy to see you, Iím also just a little freaked out."
"I donít blame you for feeling that way. Itís not every day that you come face to face with a dead woman."
"No, itís not," he agreed, "but this hasnít exactly been one of my better days, to put it mildly. So, I guess this just fits right in with that theme."
"Are you feeling better now?"
"I think so," Pacey answered, running a hand through his wavy brown locks. He was no longer shaking and everything had stopped spinning.
"Good!" Lilly exclaimed, tucking her hair behind her ears, just as Pacey had seen Joey do millions of times. He was still in awe of how much Joey was like her mother. "Now, before we start talking about the serious stuff, I need you to stand up for me so I can take a good look at you and see how much youíve grown."
Pacey smiled sheepishly and obeyed, feeling slightly embarrassed. Lilly stood too, looking him up and down.
"Youíve gotten so tall!" she said as she took in his 6ft 2in frame. "The last time I saw you, you were almost a whole foot shorter."
"Lucky for me, I hit that growth spurt in the eighth grade."
Lilly chuckled lightly and nodded in agreement. "Yes, and lucky for all the ladies, too. Youíve grown into such a handsome young man, Pacey."
"Nah," Pacey shrugged, "I just know how to work an outfit." He gestured down to the jeans, dark blue sweater and simple black leather jacket he was wearing. "The clothes make the man," he said with a wink.
Lilly rolled her eyes heavenward. "Oh my, you really havenít changed! Itís so good to see you!" She opened her arms wide to him then, moving to hug him.
Pacey froze, unsure of how to react as her arms went around him. He had never hugged a ghost before. He half expected her arms to go right through him, but they didnít. She pulled him to her and hugged him tightly. Pacey relaxed then and returned the gesture.
A memory that had been tucked away in the back corners of Paceyís mind resurfaced as they embraced. He was six years old and playing with Joey and Dawson at the Pottersí house. They were playing freeze tag in the front yard. Pacey was it, and he was scurrying after Joey, who was trying to reach Dawson and unfreeze him. Joey was just about to grab for Dawson when Pacey, who could never let a girl get the best of him, hurled himself forward to catch her. Needless to say, he missed her by an inch. He did a nosedive right onto the ground, smacking down hard and knocking the wind out of him.
He rolled over on his back and tried to take a breath in, becoming frightened when his lungs wouldnít fill with air. They seemed to be paralyzed. Pacey tried to cry out for help but couldnít get anything but a little squeak out. Joey and Dawson ran up to him then, and of course Joey had ordered him to quit being a baby and get up. Pacey tried to tell them that he couldnít breath, but was still unable to speak. He was so afraid he started to cry, the look of panic on his face scaring his two best friends as well. Joey called out to her mom for help, who was working in her garden at the back of her house.
Mrs. Potter came bolting to them, bending down to help Pacey while Joey filled her in on what happened. Lilly had immediately scooped Pacey up in her arms, stroking his hair and consoling him with soothing words. He remembered how she rocked him gently back and forth while he clung to her until finally his breathing returned to normal. She still held him for a few minutes after that, just to make sure he was really okay, making little Pacey feel very safe and loved. From that day on, Mrs. Potter held a special place in Paceyís heart, as did Pacey in hers.
Pacey hadnít thought about that in years. Mrs. Potter hadnít been in his thoughts in awhile either. Now as he hugged her he realized how much he missed her. If he missed her that much he could only imagine how Joey feltÖ"PaceyÖ"
Joey! He heard her again! He still couldnít see her, but her voice was coming through to him loud and clear. He jerked away from Mrs. Potter, a stunned look on his face, the fear returning to his eyes as he remembered what got him here in the first place.
"Jo?" he whispered, looking around for her in confusion. Maybe he was just imagining itÖNo, wait! There it was, her voice reaching out to him from somewhere in the darkness. Pacey stood silently, listening, mesmerized by the sound of itÖ
"You have to stop being so stubborn, because I know thatís what youíre doing," he heard her say, her voice shaking. "By refusing to wake up, youíre just being your usual pig-headed self. You never could make things easy on meÖ"
She paused then, and he could hear her sniffling.
"Even when I pushed you away youÖyouÖ"
She stopped again, overcome with emotion. He could tell she was still crying, which made Paceyís eyes cloud over with tears, too.After a moment, she continuedÖ
"You didnít give up. Your persistent nature wouldnít let me go. But, you forget that I can be just as hardheaded as you. So, you might as well give in now and wake up because Iím not backing down until you do. I wonít let you go eitherÖ"
Pacey heard the determination in her voice. He also heard the anguish in her plea to him, and could tell how frightened she was. Suddenly, he wanted to go to her and comfort her. He needed to make it all ok for her andÖ
A thought came into his mind that hadnít before.
What if Joey was hurt, too? He hadnít thought about that. His thoughts were bombarded with terrible images of Joey bleeding and injured with no one to help her.
Fear of losing her gripped him then as he remembered his last thoughts before they crashed.God, please donít let Joey dieÖ
"Joey!" he yelled out, stepping forward into the darkness that stretched in front of him. His voice echoed back, no one answering him.
"Joey! Where are you!?" he tried again, still met with silence.
Why couldnít he find her? He put his face in his hands, frustration and exhaustion overwhelming him.
"Pacey," Lilly said as she squeezed his arm, "sheís okay, honey."
"She is?" he asked, as he removed his hands from his face and looked at her with hope in his eyes.
"Yes," she reassured him. "Sheís a little banged up, but sheíll be fine." She stopped and looked up at him, a serious and sad expression on her face. "Youíre the one that we have to worry about, which is why Iím here, Pacey."
Pacey didnít know what to say. He didnít understand. He just looked at Lilly, his brows knitted in confusion. "Me?" he asked.
"Yes, you were hurt pretty badly in the crash andÖ"
Pacey held up a hand to stop her. "Wait, Iím notÖdead, am I?" he asked wide-eyed. "Is that why youíre here?"
"No, youíre not dead," she told him as Pacey breathed a sigh of relief, "but you will be if you donít go back to her."
Pacey was really confused now. "Go back to her? Go back to who?"
"To Joey," Lilly replied. "She was calling to you earlier, asking you to come back to her, and you made the choice not to. Instead of turning around, you kept going forward. Why?"
"Oh." Pacey remembered the fateful decision he made. "Uh, I couldnít turn around becauseÖ" Paceyís eyes dropped to the ground, sadness creeping into his voice, "because Joey is better off without me."
"Pacey, thatís not true!"
"Yes, it is," he argued. "Look at the mess that I got her into tonight! Look at all of the messes I get her into! She said it herself; Iím a disaster. I mess up everything and everyone I touch. The best thing I can do for her is walk away and never look back."
Mrs. Potter shook her head sadly. "You couldnít be more wrong. Joey needs you in her life."
"For what?" Pacey asked throwing his hands in the air. "Does she need me to ruin her life some more because Iím sure that the eternal screw up that I am can find some way to make that happen," he said bitterly. "Iím sorry, Lilly, but Iíve decided that Iím not going back."
Pacey started to walk away from her.
"But, Pacey, itís not your time yet!"
He whirled around to face her again. "And who decides that?"
"Who do you think?" she asked, raising her eyebrows up to the sky.
Pacey got her meaning. "Well, you can tell Him that Iíve decided it is my time!"
"Thatís not a decision that you can make," she said as she walked up to him.
"I just did. Now, where do we go from here?" he asked, looking around for the bright light he saw earlier. "Isnít there supposed to be some kind of light Iím supposed to go to? I think it was here before."
"Thereís no light, Pacey, and there wonít be any. I told you that itís not your time. So, if you donít go back, youíll be stuck here until it is."
"So," he shrugged his shoulder nonchalantly, "here isnít so bad. Where exactly is Ďhereí anyway?"
"Here is not a place you want to be," Lilly replied, her voice grave. "What did you see here on these steps?" she asked, gesturing to the building beside them.
"I saw Joey and I four years ago, when she told me that things wouldnít work between us."
"And how did that make you feel?"
Pacey heaved a heavy sigh before answering. "My heart broke all over again," he said, his voice quivering a little.
"Did you witness any other heartbreaking scenes here that occurred between you and Joey that you really didnít want to see again?"
"I did. I got to relive all the most painful moments of my life. I saw all the times I lost her. I felt all the pain that came with each time, and it was excruciating. It was almost worse the second time around, it thatís possible. It was like a living hell."
"Thatís kind of what this is," Lilly said somberly, gesturing to the blackness around her.
"You mean weíre in Hell?" he asked, his body becoming stiff and rigid with fear as he looked over his shoulder, half expecting the Devil or something worse to be there.
"No!" Lilly answered quickly when she saw the look of terror on his face. "What I meant was if you stay here you might as well be in Hell because youíre just going to keep on reliving all of those painful memories. They will always be here; everywhere you turn, everywhere you look, all you will find is the bad memories. And youíll be stuck here with them until your time comes, which could be years and years from now."
Paceyís face became pale once more as Lillyís words sunk in. "I think I need to sit down again," he said weakly as he headed over to the steps. Lilly followed and sat down next to him.
"Iím guessing by the look on your face that you donít want to be a prisoner here indefinitely?" she asked, hoping that she had changed his mind. To her disappointment, she hadnít.
"No, I do," he replied adamantly. "Maybe I deserve to have this be my prison. Maybe this is my punishment for all of the mistakes I made in my life, especially where Joey was concerned. I broke her heart, so now I get to have mine broken over and over again as my penance. Maybe Iím just getting what I deserve."
"Joey broke your heart, too!" Lilly exclaimed. "You both hurt each other."
"Which is exactly my point. All we ever do is hurt each other, and Iím afraid that weíll never be able to do anything else. I used to think that she and I could get through anything as long as we were together, but I donít feel that way anymore. I donít want to go back because thereís nothing for me to go back to, and I canít live a life without her in it. I donít have a life without her, so Iíd rather be stuck here."
Pacey was crying again, and he wiped at his tears with the back of his hand. Lillyís heart broke as she watched him, tears streaming down his face. He looked like his world was coming to an end. She couldnít bear it, and it only made her more determined to make him see that he was wrong.
"Pacey," she implored, grabbing his hand, "you have to listen to me, and to Joey! Havenít you heard her? She loves you!"
He shook his head. "No, she doesnít."
"Pacey, she does, and you know it! Youíve always known it, which is why youíve always fought so hard for her! Youíre a fighter, Pacey! Donít give up now!"
"I donít think I have anything left in me to fight with," he replied flatly, looking down at his hands. "If I go back and fight for her, and I lose her again, then I really will die. Even if she does love me, I know sheís going to run from me again. Itís what she does. Every time she walks away she takes a piece of my heart with her, but I always go back to her. If I go back this time and she leaves me, I wonít be able to handle it. There will be nothing left of my heart."
"She may run from you again. In fact, knowing my apprehensive girl, she probably will. BUT, she canít run forever, not from something that was meant to be," Lilly said wisely with a knowing look in her eyes.
"Okay, I donít think weíre talking about me anymore. I think you have me confused with her soul mate, Dawson."
"No," Lilly insisted, "I AM talking about you. You and Joey are meant to be together."
"Oh, and who told you this?" Pacey smirked at her. He pointed up with his index finger. "Did He?" He asked.
"I really canít tell you that," she answered cryptically.
"Cause then youíd have to kill me, right?" he joked. "Oh, wait!" He smacked himself on the forehead. "Iím practically dead already."
"Pacey, that is not funny!" she scolded him, while he laughed at his own sick joke.
"Sorry," he said when he noticed the way she was glaring at him, "I just couldnít help it."
"Thatís ok," she smiled the famous, crooked Potter grin. "Now, tell me why you donít think you and Joey are meant to be together."
"Hmm," Pacey said as he rubbed his chin in mock thoughtfulness, "Let me think about that one for awhileÖAh, yes! Could it be because Iíve had it rammed into my brain for the past ten years that Joeyís soul is and forever will be intricately linked with Dawson Leeryís?"
"You mean to tell me that you honestly believe that?" she asked.
"And you mean to tell me you donít?" he asked incredulously.
"No," she said without a second thought.
Paceyís jaw hit the floor as he stared at Lillian Potter in amazement. "ButÖbut, I thought you of all people would think Joey should be with Dawson! I mean you always loved him!"
"And I still do. Heís turned into the wonderful young man that I always knew he would be, but heís not the man for Joey. You are."
Pacey couldnít believe what Lilly was saying. He had always pictured Lillian Potter up in heaven rooting for Joey and Dawson to find their way back to each other. Although he knew she had always liked him, he didnít think there would be any contest when it came down to who should win Joeyís heart. He assumed she thought Dawson was the best man for her daughter.
"Donít look so shocked, Pacey. Iím not telling you anything that I know you didnít already realize somewhere deep down inside of you."
Pacey smiled briefly at her before his expression turned somber again. "For awhile I thought that I might actually be the love of her life. Sheís definitely the love of mine, but, for her, I think that title belongs to someone else. Someone who deserves her much more than me."
She sighed in exasperation. "Pacey, when are you going to wake up and realize what an amazing human being you are and see that you deserve the kind of love you have with Joey?" Pacey opened his mouth to protest, but she wouldnít let him. "I just want you to be quiet and listen to me, okay?"
Pacey nodded. "Okay."
"Iím going to tell you what Iíve been doing roughly for the past ten years," she leaned in closer to him to make sure she had his full attention. "Iíve been watching everything. Iíve been able to be a quiet observer in both of my daughtersí lives. Iíve been there for every major moment thatís happened. Iíve witnessed their joys, their sorrows, their struggles, and everything else in between. Iíve watched it all without interruption or distraction, and let me tell you, Iíve learned a lot about both Bessie and Joey in that time, things that I probably wouldnít have picked up on if I were still alive."
"So, whatís that have to do with me?"
"Pacey," she warned, "Iím not finished yet!"
Pacey quickly clapped a hand over his mouth. "Sorry," he mumbled through his hand.
She ignored his apology and kept going. "Do you want to know one of the most important things Iíve learned about Joey?" she asked.
Pacey bobbed his head up and down, afraid to speak.
"She has this one smile. Itís a smile so big practically all her teeth are showing. When she flashes this smile, her whole face just lights up. I mean she positively glows. And her eyes, they just seem to dance with happiness when this smile is on her face. Itís the one I know she gives when she is genuinely, one hundred percent happy. She just looks radiant when she smiles like that. Do you know the one Iím talking about?"
Pacey could picture the smile Mrs. Potter was talking about perfectly in his mind. It was that very smile that first gave him the butterflies that still hadnít left his stomach to this very day. "Yes," he said softly, his voice thick with emotion.
"You should know it because she only ever smiles like that when sheís with you, Pacey. Thatís why I call it her ĎPacey Smile.í"
Pacey was in shock again. "Really?" he asked.
"Really," Lilly replied. "I knew the first time I saw her smile at you like that there was something different about you two. It was that day you guys had to go searching for snails and you got more than an eyeful from my daughter, Mr. Witter."
Paceyís face turned a bright shade of red. "Um, yeah, about thatÖ" he stammered nervously.
Mrs. Potter laughed at Paceyís embarrassment. "Itís alright. You were just doing what any normal fifteen-year-old boy would do. But it was that day when she first gave you that smile. Right after she got into your truck and you were telling her basically how much fun you were having with her, thatís when she did it."
"I remember," Pacey said with a faraway look in his eyes. He could see that day clearly still, too.
"That was just the first of many times. I can honestly say Iíve never seen her use that smile with anyone else, including Dawson. Trust me, I would know. Like I said, Iíve had a front row seat for everything."
"Everything?" Pacey asked, wondering if she had been in the ski lodge with them that night. He hoped not!
"Everything," she replied. "I was there for every bite me she ever uttered to you, and every time you called her a prude, I saw that, too. I watched you comfort her on our dock after Dawson broke her heart. I saw you two bicker and fight; I saw you laugh together and help each other through tough times. I watched as you learned how to dance and as you restored your boat together. I was there to watch you fall in love with her, Pacey. I saw you watching her sleep by the fire, and you just got this look on your face like you were seeing her for the first time. You looked like you were in awe of her."
"I was," Pacey sniffed because the tears were coming again, "and I have been ever since then."
Lilly took Paceyís hand and squeezed it. "I know you have. I remember I wondered how long it was going to take Joey to realize the same thing about you. She was pretty oblivious to it all, even when all the signs were flashing right in front of her. There wasnít anything you wouldnít do for her. If someone hurt her, you defended her. If she needed help, you were right there without a second thought. I mean you even bought her a wall to paint on after her mural was ruined!"
"I did not BUY it, I just RENTED it. Why canít you Potter women tell the difference between the two?" Pacey asked, grinning at the memory.
She dismissed his statement with a wave of her hand. "Oh, whatever! Whether you bought the darn thing or not does not change the fact that it was one of the most romantic gestures Iíd ever witnessed! And then when you finally kissed her, I actually cheered!"
"Iím glad someone was cheering because Joey certainly didnít react like that."
"No she didnít, but her protests held more significance than any other reaction she couldíve given you. I donít have to tell you that, though. You already know. She was in love with you then, and she still loves you now."
"Maybe," Pacey said slowly. "But Daws-Ö"
"No but Dawson anything!" Lilly exclaimed. "I swear you are so dense, Pacey! Have you not been listening to me talk for the last ten minutes? Yes, Joey and Dawson do have an amazing connection. Heís always been there for her, too, and they will always mean a lot to each other. But, she doesnít look at him the way she does you. Her eyes donít light up at the sight of him, but when she sees you walk into a room, the light comes on and doesnít go out. The happiest Iíve ever seen her was when she was with you, especially when you were on that boat for three months."
"That was the happiest Iíve ever been in my life, too."
"And did she ever do anything like that with Dawson?"
Pacey shook his head. "Joey pointed the same thing out to me years ago."
"See, even she told you. She wouldnít run off with Dawson on some great adventure. Her feelings for you were powerful enough to inspire her to do that. That should tell you just how much she loves you. Yes, she loves Dawson, but in a completely different way. He will always be an important person in her life, and how could he not be? But, his role in her life is one of friendship. The part of the Love of her Life belongs to you."
"I donít think Joey has made that choice between us yet," Pacey said, his voice laced with the emotion of conflict from the past.
"Yes, she has. She made it a long time ago when she got on that boat with you. She chose you that day, and her heart has belonged to you ever since then. The problem was she always wanted everything to go back to normal between the three of you, but the damage was too great at the time for that to happen. All three of you were so young, too young to handle all of the powerful emotions that were thrust upon you. You all made mistakes, but I think you are past that now and you have been for a long time. Youíve grown up, and itís not about who sheís going to choose anymore."
"Then what is it about?" Pacey asked.
"Youíll have to go back to find that out," she said with a sly smile.
"Iím sorry, but I canít do that."
Lillyís shoulders sagged in defeat. "Why not? Havenít I gotten through to you at all? Canít you see that you and Joey should be together?"
"Yes, we SHOULD, but that doesnít mean we will. I love her so much, and youíve helped me see how great we could be, but that doesnít change the fact that she is going to run from me again if I go back. I just canít take that risk again. Iím sorry, Lilly."
"Okay," she sighed, "I didnít want it to come to this, but now I can see I have no choice."
"What are you talking about?"
"What would you say if I told you that in one night you could see everything thatís going to happen in the next year of your life?"
"Iíd say that I thought you were a few fries short of a Happy Meal," he teased. "Then again, Iím the one thatís conversing with a dead woman, so I really have no room to talk!"
Lilly couldnít help but laugh, even though her situation was becoming desperate. She had to get Pacey to go back. This was her last chance. "Iím not crazy, Pacey, and neither are you. He was afraid this was going to happen, and itís just not your time to go. So, He sent me to get you to go back. If it didnít work, then I was given one other way to try and change your mind. Itís a very special thing, and itís not done often."
"Now Iím really confused. What are you going to do?"
"Iím going to give you a glimpse into the future."
"Oh, donít tell me this is going to be like some Itís A Wonderful Life type thing where you show me how lost everyone would be without me?" Pacey groaned.
"Good, because that plotline has been severely overused! Iím surprised Dawson hasnít tried to remake it yet!" Pacey exclaimed. "Besides, I know plenty of people who would be happy if Iíd never been born."
"This isnít like that at all," she told him, ignoring the insult he gave himself. "What Iím going to do is show you what would happen if you go back."
He squinted his eyes at her in bewilderment. "You mean Iíll get to see what happens if I go back to Joey right now without actually going?"
"But how is that possible?"
"It just is. I donít even understand it."
"So, Iíll be here watching myself and my life unfold before my very eyes?"
"And how far into the future do we get to look?" he asked, suddenly intrigued.
"Itíll start with the accident now, and we can watch about one year, if you want to. You actually have the power to stop before that if you donít want to see anymore, but when He feels youíve seen all you need to see to make your choice, itíll just stop anyway. Either way, once itís over, you have to decide once and for all if you really want to stay here, or go back."
"But how can we go through such a large chunk of time without any time really passing?" Pacey asked, thinking it all sounded too good to be true.
"Again, thatís just the way it is. I canít explain it. I just know that we can do it," Lilly said. "But before you decide if you want to do this or not, thereís a few things you need to know first."
"In getting to see your future, youíre going to find out a lot of things that you wouldnít normally know. Some of those things are going to be good, but I warn you, not all of it will be. Youíre going to see things that you may not like. Itís not going to be easy."
Pacey didnít like the way that sounded. "These things that I may not like, will I be able to do anything about them if I actually decide to go back?"
"If youíre asking me if you can change the future, the answer is no. What you get to see cannot be changed. It is the way it is, which is why this may be difficult for you in some ways," she said, her voice taking on an ominous tone.
Pacey shuddered. "Why do I have a feeling that something bad is going to happen?"
"I donít know, but the good news is, if you find out something terrible about the future, you wonít remember it if you go back. Your memory of this," she gestured around her, "of all of this, will be erased. That way you wonít be tempted to mess with something that shouldnít be changed."
"So, what youíre telling me is I can see whatís going to happen between me and Joey, and use that knowledge to decide which path I want to take, right?" Pacey asked, still not quite believing all of this.
"Pretty much, yes," she said. "And keep in mind that once you decide, thereís no going back. Your decision will be final. So, what do you say, Pacey. Are we going to take a stroll into the future or not?"
Pacey was quiet as he thought everything over. When would he get another chance like this? He was terrified of what he might see, but his curiosity got the better of him. He had to know.
"I could go for a good stroll right now," he smiled, holding his arm out for her to take it.
"Get ready for the ride of your life," she warned, as she took his arm. She then stepped forward and snapped her fingers. "Pacey Witter, welcome to your futureÖ"
There was a bright flash of light and then he saw the scene of the accident before him; it was right in front of him, as if it were on a movie screen for him to watch. He gasped at the sight of his mangled Jetta, its front end smashed, and its windshield in pieces.
Then he saw Joey, and his heart sank. She looked terrible sitting there sobbing and clinging to him. He saw the blood stains she had all over her hands from the cut he had on his forehead, and he noticed the big pool of red that was seeping through her jeans over right knee.
He stopped breathing then, not even noticing the terrible shape that his body was in, and only caring that he had hurt Joey. "Oh my God! Sheís bleeding!" he yelled pointing to her. "Sheís bleeding!"
Lilly put her arm around Pacey. "Itís ok, Pacey. Sheís going to get help. I told you this wouldnít be easy. Now just calm down and watch."
"Alright," he said, trying to ignore the impulse he had to run and help her. He knew he couldnít anyway. So, he stood quietly and watchedÖ
Joey had been trying to wake Pacey up for the past twenty minutes, and hadnít had any luck. No cars had ventured down the road either as those precious minutes ticked by. She was beginning to fear that the worst was going to happen, and she was going to be forced to sit there totally helpless and watch. She couldnít give up yet. She decided she had to try one last time.
She looked up at Pacey. His eyes were still closed tightly, and his chest was pumping up and down rapidly. He had blood all over his cheek, and he was so pale. It was almost too much for her to bear, but she forced herself to look at him.
"Pacey," she began as she reached up and touched his cheek, "Iíve run out of things to say to get you to wake up." She stroked his cheek lightly as she spoke. "So, Iím going to try something else. IímÖIím going to sing to you. Now, I know what youíre thinking. Youíre wondering what the hell that corny Potter woman is up to now. Well, do you remember our junior year of high school when we fell in love? You better remember that! Anyway," she babbled on, not even stopping to breath, "remember how I used to play that one Tori Amos song, 1,000 Oceans over and over, and you used to get so annoyed with me and my stupid Ďchick rockí? Even so, you still bought the CD for me when we we on the True Love, so I could have it to listen to. You complained about the chick music ruining your macho image, but I knew you were just saying that. Deep down you are a big old softy with a heart of gold."
Joey grew silent, examining his face for a few seconds, searching for any signs of life. When she found none, she continued. "I never told you why 1,000 oceans meant so much to me, though. That song helped me through a very rough time in my life. I was devastated after I walked away from you the day Dawson found out about us. I was so lost and confused, and for some reason that song always reminded me of you. I donít know why. I think I thought it somehow might bring you back to me, and maybe it did. I might just be crazy, but from then on, whenever I couldnít be with you, I would listen to that song, and it would give me hope that you would come back to me some day, that we would find our way back to each other. Thatís why Iím going to sing it now. Maybe youíll hear it, and it will bring you back to me. Maybe not, but itís worth a try."
Joey cleared her throat and took a deep breath, trying to compose herself. She knew she was nuts for trying this, but she didnít care. She began singing softly, her voice coming out choked and barely above a whisperÖ
"These tears Iíve cried, Iíve cried a thousand oceans, and if it seems Iím floating in the darkness. Well, I canít believe that I would keep, keep you from flying. And I would cry a thousand more if thatís what it takes to sail you home. Sail you home, sail you homeÖ"
Joey had to stop, as she was overwhelmed with tears then. Pacey still wasnít moving, and Joeyís hope was dwindling. She fell against his chest then, sobbing. She kept going with the song, saying the words into hid chest instead of singing themÖ
"Iím aware what the rules are, but you know that I will run. You know that I will follow youÖ"
Joey lost it completely then, realizing she would follow Pacey to the ends of the earth and back if she had to. She would do anything just to hear him tell her to stop singing Ďthat stupid chick songíÖ
Suddenly, her ears were filled with the most beautiful sound.
"JoÖ" she heard Pacey say, his voice sounding very weak and frail, but it was still his voice.
Her head snapped up and her eyes met big beautiful blue ones as they struggled to open. Her brown ones lit up, even though there were tears pouring out of them, and she smiled. It was big smile that showed practically all of her teeth. Her face glowed radiantly with pure happiness as her prayers were answered.
"Pacey! Oh thank God!" she sobbed, but this time her tears were tears of joy. "Youíre awakeÖ"
So, what does the future hold for Pacey and Joey...
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