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[Previously in "While You Were Sleeping": Joey, Gail, Mitch, and Dawson take turns speaking to unconscious Pacey. Joey hopes that if he does happen to die, that, at least, he might know that she loved him. Gail, Mitch, and Dawson, speak to Pacey like he is part of their family. In a second visit with Joey, Pacey seems to awaken.]
Joey stood outside Pacey's small room in the intensive care unit, trying to watch what was going on inside. Suddenly she took off running, realizing that she should tell everyone that he is awake. She ran into the waiting room, saying, "he's awake."
Everyone hopped up, and swarmed around her. "What did you say?" Gail asked, as if she didn't believe it.
"He's awake," Joey said. "The doctors are in there with him."
"What happened?" Jen asked.
"I was talking to him, and he squeezed my hand. I called the nurse, and I even got him to do it again. He opened his eyes, and shut them, and then he opened them and looked around. He said my name."
"That's wonderful," Gail said.
"I want to go back," Joey said.
"Go," Mitch said, as everyone else shook their heads.
She took off running. The doctors were still in with Pacey, so she stood there waiting once again. The doctor came out of the room, and Joey grabbed him on the arm, before he passed her. "How is he?" she asked him.
"He's doing fairly well, but he is in a great deal of pain," the doctor told her. "I need to speak with the rest of his family." The doctor didn't realize that they all weren't his family, which was good, because if they knew, they probably wouldn't let any of them in to see him.
She walked into his room slowly. The nurse was putting an injection into his IV, which Joey assumed was for pain. He was laying still with his eyes shut. They had removed the large oxygen mask, and replaced it with some tubing that ran into his nose. She stood next to him, and grabbed his hand once again. He slowly opened his eyes, and looked at her. "Hey," she said.
"Hey," he said. His voice was cracking, and he sounded very weak. "You okay?"
"I can't believe you," she said. "You're laying there like this, and ask me if I'm okay?" He shook his head slightly. "I'm fine," she said. "Do you feel okay?"
"Head hurts," he whispered.
"Do you remember what happened?"
"Yeah," she said. "You saved me." He looked at her, and didn't say anything. He closed his eyes. Frightened, she said, "Pacey?"
He opened his eyes, and said, "dizzy."
"Oh," Joey said. "Do you need me to do something for you?" He shook his head. "What is it?"
"Don't let my family in here," he said.
Joey knew that his entire memory was in tact, and she couldn't believe that one of his first thoughts was to keep his family away. After Doug's antics in the emergency room though, she could hardly blame him. "Your family is here," she said. "Me, Dawson, Jen, Mr. and Mrs. Leery. We have been here waiting. We're the only family that you need."
He probably would've smiled, if he weren't so afraid it would hurt. "Thank you," he whispered.
"Now that you're awake," she said, "there is something that I want to tell you." He looked at her, asking what it was with his eyes. "I want you to know that I love you."
"Love you too," he said. He wanted to say more to her, but talking was a very tiring chore for him. Plus, when the room wasn't spinning, he didn't see one Joey, but four.
She smiled, and finally felt a little bit of relief. "Well," she said, "they told me not to stay for very long, and everyone else will want to see you. I'll go, but I'll be back."
He gently shook his head once more. She kissed him on his forehead, and squeezed his hand, before leaving the room.
The doctor was still speaking to everyone when Joey returned. She took a seat next to Jen. They all looked at her. The doctor had questions to ask. "Did you speak with him?"
"Yes," she answered. "He didn't talk much. He just used phrases. I think it was tiring for him to talk."
"Does his memory seem to be in tact?"
"Well, he remembered me. I asked him if he knew why he was here, and he said 'car,'" she said. "And. . ."
"Did he say anything else?" the doctor asked.
"He said that his head hurt, and he was dizzy once."
"That's normal," the doctor said. "I think that you can see him, but just briefly. He needs his rest. I must also warn you that we had to medicate him, because he is going to have a great deal of pain. Headaches and dizziness are normal. He's probably too tired now, but he may become nervous or restless. He may have trouble with his memory. He doesn't have amnesia, because he remembers up to the accident, but his memory, especially his short term memory may have been seriously affected. Please remember to be patient with him."
"Thank you," Mr. and Mrs. Leery told him, as they each shook his hand.
When the doctor was out of sight, Joey said, "He asked about his family. I didn't say anything in front of the doctor, because they are only letting us see him because they think we're his family."
"What did he say about them?" Dawson asked.
"He said to keep them away. He doesn't want to see them. After he asked me how I was, that was the next thing on his mind," she said.
"We'll figure something out," Mr. Leery said. "I don't care if we have to take turns staying here to keep them out. They aren't getting near that boy." He was very passionate in his words, knowing how badly they had treated Pacey. Everyone quickly flashed back to him punching Doug early this morning.
"Good," Joey said.
Dawson's mom and dad visited with Pacey for a little while, but they were asked to go while the staff moved Pacey to a regular room. Gail and Mitch headed to the cafeteria to get something to eat when seven o'clock rolled around. Jen was calling her grandmother, and Joey was calling Bessie from the pay phones outside the waiting room. Dawson just sat in the room, not knowing what to do with himself.
He looked up when her heard the door open, expecting Jen. Instead, he saw one of the most beautiful girls he had ever laid eyes on. She was a light-skinned black girl, with beautiful hazel eyes. She looked to be about Dawson's age, was tall, and slender. Dressed in jeans with a white shirt, and a pink hospital-like jacket covering it, she approached him. Her long, straight hair was pulled in a tight pony tail. Dawson watched her, completely consumed by her beauty. She smiled as she walked towards him.
"Hi," she said, as she sat down next to him. "Are you waiting for someone?"
"Yeah," he said. "My friend just came back into consciousness. We're just waiting for him to get moved into a regular room."
"We?" she asked.
"Oh yeah. My friends," he said pointing to the telephone, "on the phone, and my parents are in the cafeteria."
"Oh," she said. "I'm sorry. I meant to introduce myself. My name is Natasha. I'm a volunteer, and sometimes they send me around to the waiting rooms to see if I can round up some people to be tested so that they can be placed on the National Bone Marrow Registry. I know that it is very difficult for a family to wait to hear how their loved one is, but sometimes it helps them to know that they can help someone else. There are several people who need a bone marrow transplant, and cannot find a suitable match for their marrow type. You're not committed to anything, you're just placed on a list with the information that describes your marrow information, and you will be contacted if there is someone who is a match to you who needs bone marrow. Expanding the list is very important because. . ."
"I'll do it," Dawson said.
"You mean that I don't have to go through my whole speech?" she said, laughing.
"No. Actually," he said, looking down shyly, "I'd like to know more about you."
"Was that a line?" she asked him, suspiciously.
"No," he said, "I'm just. . .it's just a little awkward. I didn't know what else to say."
She smiled, because she thought that he was adorable. "What do you want to know?" she asked.
"This is a small town," he said. "I guess I'm surprised that I don't know you."
"I just moved here," she said.
"Oh," he said. "So how do you like it?"
"How old are you?" he asked.
"Sixteen," she said.
"Why haven't you started school yet?" he asked her.
"I start tomorrow," she said. "Should I be nervous?"
"No," he said. "It's just like anything else. There are some intolerable people, but you can do okay." He pointed to the phone again, "Jen, she just started in the fall."
"Oh," she said, turning her head back to Dawson. "Well, at least I'll see some friendly faces tomorrow."
"Can you stick around to meet them?" he asked her.
"Sure," she said. "I'd like to see if they will be tested too."
"So why are you volunteering here?" he asked her.
"I want to be a doctor," she said. "It's good to be around medicine. It's good for college applications. It's good for my soul." She paused. "So what happened to your friend?" she asked, curiously.
"Last night he was hit by a car."
"Is he okay?"
"He's conscious, and the doctor seems to think that is a good sign."
"That's good," she said. "I'll try to keep an eye on him today."
"That would be nice," he said.
Joey and Jen walked in, and were surprised to see Dawson talking to Natasha. They both went to sit down. "Hey guys," Dawson said. "This is Natasha. She just moved here, and is starting school tomorrow." He looked back to Natasha, "this is Joey, and Jen," he said, pointing to each one as he said her name.
"It's nice to meet you Natasha," Jen said. Joey just half-smiled, because she was very uncomfortable around new people. "Well, I know the feeling," Jen said to Natasha. "It wasn't too long ago that I was the new girl."
"Dawson told me that," she said. "Maybe you can give me some pointers."
"Sure," Jen said. "Are you a volunteer?"
"Yes," she said. "I'm actually trying to find people to be added to the Bone Marrow Registry. Are you guys interested?"
"Sure," Jen said. Joey even shook her head in agreement.
"Why don't you follow me?" Natasha said, standing up. They all got up, and followed her.
Walking down the hall, Dawson stayed close to Natasha. Jen and Joey followed them. "What's he doing?" Jen asked Joey.
"He likes her," Joey said.
"What a time and place to meet someone," Jen said, frustrated. She thought that Dawson may just be a sucker for the new girl in town.
Mr. and Mrs. Leery, Joey, and Jen were standing outside of Pacey's new room, waiting for the doctors to leave once again. Dawson was a few feet away at the nurse's station, talking to Natasha as she filed some papers. Jen was watching their interaction intently. "What's wrong?" Joey asked her.
"I've lost him already," Jen said.
"Jen, he just met her. New people are interesting, just because we don't know anything about them," Joey said, trying her best to console Jen.
"Yeah," she said, "but I can tell. Could you tell when he met me?"
"Sure," Joey said. "But, Dawson, he's just searching. He doesn't know what he's looking for. If he tripped on it, and fell to the ground he probably still wouldn't know. That's just the way it is right now."
"How did you get over loving him so easily?" Jen asked, hoping Joey could enlighten her.
"Dawson is my friend," she said. "Beyond that, I'm really not sure if I ever loved him. When we were together, things weren't too pleasant. We make perfect friends. Besides, there's this whole thing with Pacey."
"What do you mean 'thing'?" Jen asked.
"I don't know. Pacey, he makes me happy. It may have taken tragedy, but now I know that I couldn't live without him. But I don't know what he thinks."
"You think that you love him?" Jen asked.
Joey shook her head up and down. Jen gave her a strange look. "I know," Joey said. "I feel just as indecisive as you think that I am. But I see something in Pacey that is just unexplainable. He understands me. He would do anything for me. I didn't want to feel the way that I do, but I can't help it. I can't change it. I mean, before, in twenty years, I could've seen myself married to Dawson, with two or three children, a dog, a cat, a mini van, and me still shooting insults at Pacey as he walked through the door of our house on a cul-de-sac. I can't see that now. When I think, all I want to think about is Pacey. I know that it's strange."
"It's not strange, Joey," Jen said. "We don't choose who we love," she concluded, while looking at Dawson.
Things were quiet as Dawson and Jen sat at a small, round table in the cafeteria. Jen was barely nibbling on her bacon and eggs. Dawson didn't seem to notice that she was preoccupied. "Dawson?" Jen said.
"Yeah," he said, looking up at her.
"I, um, I was wondering if I could ask you something," Jen said.
"Sure. What is it?" Dawson asked.
"You like Natasha, don't you?"
"Yeah," he said. "You don't?"
"That's not what I mean. You would like to date her, right?"
"Jen, I just met her. Why are you asking me this?"
"I don't know, Dawson," Jen said. "I'm just jealous, because she seemed to catch your eye so quickly. And I thought that it was best for me to just ask you about it, instead of keeping it inside. I know that you said we were going to take things slowly, now, but I can't deny that it hurts me to see you with her."
"Jen, it's really not that serious. You are completely overreacting."
"Okay," she said. "So you're not interested in her?"
"No," he said. "I am. Jen, I am just not ready to date you exclusively. It just ends disastrously. I just met her today, but I like her. I may ask her out. I may meet someone else that I want to ask out. We just need to be able to know what we have, and what we are missing. I think that it's best this way."
"So, what does this mean? What about us?" she asked.
"We can work on us," he said. "Things just need to be a little different this time."
"Fine," she said, frustrated.
"Jen, do we have to do this?" Dawson said.
"No," she said. "I do understand where you're coming from. I don't know. I just wanted to let you know how I feel, and you do. We can drop it now."
"Jen," he said. "I'm glad that we talked about it. I like the honesty thing."
"Me too," she said. "I'm glad that things are the way they are now. We are much stronger together than we were then," she said. "We can do this. We can do it this time."
"Yeah," he said, not letting her know that he really was more interested in Natasha then he had let on.
Joey, Gail, and Mitch walked in Pacey's room, and surrounded his bed. Pacey wasn't hooked up to so many devices now. He still had an IV, heart monitor, and oxygen, but everything else was gone. Joey grabbed one hand, and Gail took the other. It seemed like Pacey was slowly returning to his old self. "I would smile at you guys," he said, "but it hurts."
They laughed at his first joke. "It's okay," Mitch said, "we're just glad that you're awake."
"I am too," he said.
"Jen and Dawson should be back after they eat," Mitch said.
"Okay," Pacey said.
"The doctor said that you will probably be able to go home the day after tomorrow," Gail said.
"Good," he said. "Mrs. Leery, can I ask you something?"
"Sure honey," she said to him.
"Is there going to be anything wrong with me?" Pacey asked.
"Well," she began, not knowing exactly what to say. "The doctors talk like it's not very serious. Things could've been really bad. You could've not woken up, or you could've had amnesia. You had some trouble with your blood pressure, but everything seems to be fine now. You know that you are scraped and bruised, and you have a little cut. You broke your clavicle."
"No," Pacey said. "I mean from the concussion. You know, my head."
"The doctor told us you would have headaches, dizziness, and feel restless for a little while."
"Don't forget nauseous," he said, because he had already thrown up on two nurses.
"Yes," she said. "He told us you could have those symptoms for a while."
"What else?" he asked, knowing this had to be more serious.
"It damaged your nerve tissue. I could make you irritable, tired, lose your sense of humor." She paused, because she didn't want to say the last part. "You might have memory problems. Especially your short term memory."
"But. . .but I don't have amnesia. I remember," he said, becoming worried.
"It's a little more complicated than that," Mitch said. "Sometimes you just might not be able to remember little things. You might hear something, and just not latch on to it."
"This is going to mess me up, isn't it?" Pacey asked.
"No," Gail said. "Things. . .they will just be a little more difficult. You might have to write things down, or just work a little harder to remember things."
He closed his eyes, and let out a long breath in frustration. "There goes my hopes for college."
"No Pacey," Joey said. "You can't say that. We don't even know if your memory has been affected."
"That's right," Mitch said. "We'll just need time to see. Besides, they don't know how long the repercussions of this will last. All your symptoms could be gone in a few days."
If Pacey hadn't endured so many speeches from his father about what a real man was supposed to be, he probably would've broken down in tears. To him this was real, and he thought that it was God's way of telling him that he was just supposed to be unsuccessful, and not driven or destined to succeed.
"Pacey," Gail said. "Would you mind if we left for a little while? To go home, change, rest."
"No," he said. "Please go. I'll be fine."
"Pacey, I want you to know that we're going to do our best to keep your family away," Mitch told him. "Joey said that's what you want."
"It is," Pacey said. "Thank you."
"We'll be back in a little while," Gail said, kissing his head.
"Thank you," he said. "Thank you for being my stand-in parents."
"We're no stand-ins," Gail said, smiling as she walked out the door.
Joey looked back at Pacey, after Mitch and Gail left. "You won't believe what Mr. Leery did last night," she said.
"What?" Pacey asked.
"He punched your brother," she said.
"It figures, that I would miss it," Pacey said in frustration.
"He fell to the floor," Joey added.
Pacey laughed lightly, being careful not to cause himself pain. "Didn't you tell me that Dawson and Jen are here?" he asked.
"Yeah," she said.
"Where are they?"
"In the cafeteria," she said. "Don't you. . ."
"Mr. Leery told you that they were there," she said, looking down, not wanting to look into his eyes, and see the frustration that she knew would be there. He was clearly disgusted with himself. She tried to take his mind off of it. "They just needed to talk, I think. After you woke up, we were waiting for you, and Dawson met this girl." Joey paused for Pacey's reaction, but he didn't have one. "Jen is jealous. I don't know what's going on. This girl, Natasha, she's new in town, and I think the mystery intrigues Dawson."
"What's she like?" Pacey asked.
"I didn't talk to her much," she said. "She's nice. A do-gooder, I'd guess, because she's a volunteer here. She's pretty, which is probably Dawson's main reason for his interest."
"You sound so disappointed," he said.
"No," she said. "It's just that Jen is a little worked up over it, and it's kind of sad."
Pacey had began to say something, but there was a knock on his door. Natasha stuck her head around the door. "Hi," she said.
"Come in," Joey told her. "Pacey this is Natasha. She's starting a school tomorrow, because she just moved to town," Joey said, pretending that she wasn't just talking about her.
"Hi Pacey," she said. "I've heard that you had a rough night."
"Yeah," he said. "Luckily I was unconscious for most of it."
Natasha didn't know quite what to make of that. Joey saw her confusion, and said, "he likes to kid around."
"Oh," Natasha said.
"Just wait until I'm back in top form," he said to Joey.
"I don't want to interrupt you, but I promised your friend that I would keep an eye on you, so I just wanted to stop by and meet you. I hope that I can get to know you better. Hopefully outside the hospital." Natasha said.
"Thanks," he said. "I'll probably see you around school when I get back."
"I hope so," she said with a smile. Her cheerfulness was almost enough to sicken Joey, but it was offset by her general kindness and concern.
"It was nice meeting you," Pacey said. After she walked out, he looked back at Joey. "What did you say her name is?" he asked.
"Natasha," Joey said. She could tell that there were going to be problems with his memory. She was worried about how frustrated it would make him.
"Natasha," he repeated. He closed his eyes, and said, "Natasha," once more. He was determined that he was going to beat this.
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