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Title: Sisterly Love Part 2: Only the Lonely
Rating: PG-13 (language)
“Tatum, Joey, come on!” Bessie called “You’ll be late for school!”
Joey hurried into the kitchen, followed by Tatum, who had her backpack in one arm and Alexander in the other. “Here,” Tatum said, handing the baby to his mother “I know, I know. But I’m late ‘cause I’m taking care of your son, so don’t bitch to me.”
Bessie rolled her eyes “You make it should like a chore, and that’s not what you’ve been treating it like.”
“You know I’m kidding.” Tatum sighed, tickling Alexander under his chin “I love taking care of the baby, it’s fun. Besides, a month ago, I didn’t even know if I had a father, and now I’ve got two sisters and a nephew. Not a bad deal.”
“Well, you better watch out, girlie.” Bessie warned “When you first got here, you were just helpful. Now you’ve become downright essential.”
Tatum blushed “Nah, you guys seemed to be managing pretty well before I showed up. I’m just glad I can help out from time to time.” she looked at her watch “Oh, shit! Jo, we really are late! Bye, Bessie!” she called over her shoulder as she and Joey charged out the door and down the stairs.
“Joey, don’t forget I need you to be at the Ice House immediately after school.” Bessie called after them “And Tatum, you gotta be home to babysit right after school!”
Joey looked up “Oh hey, Pacey.”
“Hey.” Pacey said “Oh, hi, Tatum.”
Tatum gave him the same indifferent look he was giving her “Whatever.” she muttered.
Finally, Joey broke the awkward silence “Well, I can just feel the love here. Uh, Tate, didn’t you say you wanted to sign up for cheerleading tryouts?”
Tatum nodded “Absolutly.”
“Although I don’t see why you and I need to try out.” Andie said as she approached the group. She greeted Joey and Pacey and gave Tatum a high-five “We, my friend, are total shoo-ins.”
“You are so right.” Persephone agreed “We have the key attributes.”
“Yeah.” Pacey cut in “Pretty heads and absolutly nothing but air in ‘em.”
“No! We’re perky and we can yell, asshole!” Tatum and Andie yelled at the same time.
Joey winced and covered her ears “Ouch. Thank you, Pacey.” she sensed she should separate the three of them. And fast. “Come, on we have to get to Econ. If we’re late again, Mr. Maddock’s gonna have a freaking conniption fit.”
As soon as the room was empty, Pacey, Tatum, and Andie approached the teacher “Mr. Maddock.” Pacey said “I’m afraid I must protest. I cannot work with a pair of tightly wound control freaks.”
Tatum scoffed “And we cannot work with a remedial underachiever.”
Pacey stared at her, remembering when her sister had said those exact words to him “Does that run in your family or what?”
‘Well, I see no introductions are necessary.” Mr. Maddock said “I’m afraid I can’t change your groups. Who knows? Maybe this will build character.”
“Right.” Tatum muttered “And last week you said that taking a test even though I was running a high fever would build character.”
“So think of what a fine young lady you’re growing up into.” Mr. Maddock pointed out
“If all this character doesn’t kill me first.”
“Cheerleading tryouts, remember?” Tatum replied “I think it went well.” Bessie moaned “Oh, God! I forgot you had that today! But I needed you home half an hour ago to babysit.”
Now Tatum moaned “Oh, and I forgot that! Geez, Bess, I’m sorry!”
“Well, it’s ok. I just need you to watch Alexander for an hour.” Bessie said, handing Tatum the baby. “Oh, and Tatum? I understand that you’re not really used to having to do things for yourself, or for other people, but, please, try to make this the last time, ok?”
Tatum nodded “Yeah, I’m really sorry. I’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
“Great. Oh, now I’m really late. I don’t trust Joey and Jack alone at the Ice House for long. You know how those two have been, I better get down there before any blood is shed.” Bessie picked up a bag and dashed out the door and down the front steps.
Tatum stood in the kitchen for a moment before she remembered something “Oh, crap! Bessie, I forgot, I promised Pacey that I’d meet him and Andie...” she ran out the door and saw that her sister was long gone “...that I’d meet them at his house to work on the project.” she finished. “Crap.”
She went back into the house, picked up the phone, and dialed Pacey’s phone number.
“Pacey, it’s Tatum Potter. Listen, I’m not gonna be able to make it today. Cheerleading tryouts ran late, and now I’m stuck babysitting. Can you and Andie get started without me?”
Pacey groaned “’Fraid not. Andie just called, she’s not gonna be able to make it either.”
“Fuck!” Tatum muttered “Ok, listen, why don’t you come over here and we’ll see if we can get anything done.”
Tatum sighed and picked up the baby. “Listen, little man,” she said, holding him up so he was at her eye level, “I know you’re very proud of your new found control over your hands, but I need these, ok? I think you need to spend some time in your play pen.” she carried the him to his play pen, bent over and gently placed him in it, and handed him one of his toys. The baby ignored the toy and instead reached for her necklace, grabbing a considerable amount of her hair with it.
“Ow ow ow!” Tatum shrieked “Alex, let go!” she finally pulled her hair out of his grasp and stood up “Geez, Superbaby. What’s Bess been feeding you anyway?”
Pacey chuckled “Beaten by a 6 month old baby. That’s just sad.”
“Oh, you think this is so funny?” Tatum said “Get within arm’s length of this little monster and we’ll see who’s laughing.”
“Ok,” Pacey said “watch and learn.” he walked over to the play pen and picked up Alexander “Hey, little fella.” Alexander cooed and grabbed Pacey’s nose.
“Ow, hey, let go!” He put the baby down and turned to Tatum. “Ok, fine you were right. The kid’s a psycho. Must run in the family.”
“Ok, before we were just kidding around.” Tatum snapped “But cracking jokes about my family is crossing the line.”
“Whoa, settle down. Why are you so keen on protecting your family? You’ve only known them for a month.”
“So?” Tatum asked “I still care about them. They still took me in and took care of me. You saw how I was doing when I first got here. God only knows, Pacey, another week and I probably would’ve been dead or dying.”
“You look like you’re dying.” Pacey pointed out “Doesn’t your sister ever feed you?”
“You know what? What do you know about me? You think just because you’re friends with my sister you automatically know everything about me?” Tatum yelled.
Pacey scoffed “And you think that you know everything about me.”
“I know enough about you to know that I hate you.”
“I hate you too!”
Suddenly, as soon as the words were out of his mouth, his arms were around her waist and his lips were pressed against hers. She hesitated for a moment, then wrapped her arms around his neck gently and kissed him back.
After a moment, she pulled away, breaking the kiss “What the hell was that?” she asked, catching her breath.
Pacey took a deep breath “I don’t know. One minute we were arguing, the next...whew.” he stared at her. So beautiful. he thought Beautiful eyes, beautiful lips. Sure is a bitch, though. Still, there was something about her that drew him to her so much... “I better be going.”
“Yeah, I think you should.” Tatum said “Um, I guess we’ll continue this research tomorrow. I’ll call Andie and make sure she can make it.”
“Yeah, great. So, uh, bye.” Pacey said as he picked up his backpack.
“Bye,” Tatum replied.
Tatum giggled nervously “Bye.”
As soon as he was gone, she flopped over on the couch with her hand pressed against her forehead “What is going on here?” she moaned.
“Oh, hey Dawson.” Bessie said “What can I do for you?” “Is Joey here?” Dawson asked “Tatum said she was working here tonight. I really need to talk to her.”
“Sure, hold on. Joey! Someone here to see you!”
Joey came out of the kitchen, wiping her hands on her shorts “Oh, hi Dawson, what’s up?”
“We need to talk. Alone.” Dawson told her
“You go ahead, Joey.” Bessie said “Jack and I can handle things here for a few minutes.”
There was loud crash in the kitchen, and then the sound of glass breaking “Sorry!” Jack called “I’ll clean that up!”
“Please hurry.” Bessie whispered to Joey.
Joey nodded and followed Dawson out the front door “Thank God you stopped by. I’d rather not be there when Bessie kills Jack. I’d hate to have to testify against her or anything.”
Dawson nodded “Uh, you’re joking, right?”
Joey shrugged “Sure. But I am glad you came by. I’ve really wanted to talk to you.”
“I’ve really wanted to talk to you, too. I wanted to apologize-”
“No.” Joey interrupted “I should be the one to apologize. I mean, all I’ve been able to think about is where did we go wrong? And, please, don’t bring up what happened with Jack. I don’t know what was wrong with me. I can’t stop thinking about you.”
“I can’t stop thinking about you, either.” Dawson admitted “After that kiss, nothing was the same. It was better. I miss it, Joey. And I love you.”
Joey fought back tears of joy “I love you, too!” she cried as she threw her arms around his neck.
Pulling her close to him, Dawson kissed her on the lips passionately. For at least a moment, the rest of the world seemed to melt away. Everything was right.
After a few minutes, Joey reluctantly broke the kiss “I really better get back in there before Jack burns the place down.” she turned around and walked back to the Ice House.
“Joey?” Dawson called.
Joey turned around “Yeah?”
“You wanna come over tonight? Maybe watch some movies?”
Joey smiled “Sure. I’ll be there.” she blew him a kiss and went back inside.
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