I'm Your Angel by: Tessa

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“Tatum?” Pacey called, rolling down the window of the cruiser. Tatum looked at the car “Yes, officer?"

“Tate, it’s me.” Pacey chuckled “What are you doing out of the house?”

“Oh, hey, Pacey. I forgot you like to steal your dad’s car.” Tatum said.

“I prefer to say ‘borrow’.” Pacey reminded her.

“ Uh-huh, whatever. Oh, I just had to get out of that house, I was just about going stir crazy.” Tatum explained.

“Yeah, but are you sure you should be walking around like that?” Pacey asked. Tatum had been out of the hospital for a week, but she was still having trouble staying on her feet.

“Don’t be silly, I’m ok.” Tatum replied “I can do just about anything. Anything that doesn’t involve using my hands a lot. Or walking around much. Or talking a lot. You know, I still have trouble......”

“Getting the words out?” Pacey asked.

Tatum nodded “Uh-huh, yeah! I’ll be-” she suddenly keeled over mid-sentence.

“Tatum?” Pacey jumped out of the car “Are you alright?”

Tatum nodded, clutching her stomach “Yeah, I’m fine. I just pulled a few stitches last night.”

“You still have the stitches?” Pacey asked

Tatum nodded “Yeah.” she gasped out “Internal ones, too. They had to stitch up my lung, you know.”

“Yep, I know, very interesting.” Pacey said as he picked Tatum up.

“Pacey, what the hell are you doing?” Tatum asked

“What, you still have brain damage? What does it look like I’m doing? I’m picking you up, carrying you to the car, and giving you a ride home.” Pacey told her as he set her down in the passenger seat of the cruiser.

“No, I’m ok, really, don’t trouble yourself.” Tatum insisted.

“Tate, please for once in your life, don’t be so stubborn and just let me do this one favor for you.” Pacey said.

“You think I’m stubborn?” Tatum asked.

“Well, actually, I think you’re really, you know, brave.” Pacey admitted “I mean, it’s pretty obvious you’re in a lot of pain, but you’re insisting that you’re fine.”

“Is it that obvious?” Tatum said “Yes, ok! It hurts like hell! But I am getting better.”

“Speaking of which,” Pacey said as he handed her an envelope “Some of the kids at school wanted me to give you this get well card.”

“Really?” Tatum asked as she took the envelope “Oh, cute, all the girls from the cheerleading squad wrote little messages, ‘Hey, dude, what kind of painkillers did they put you on? Ha ha ha, get well soon, Vanessa.’” she rolled her eyes “Yeah, cute.”

“So,” Pacey said “how have you been?”

“Well,” Tatum sighed “I’ve been managing. But I’m really worried that I’m just being such a burden to my sisters, and there’s nothing I can do to help them, I just lie around in bed all day and they have to wait on me hand and foot. And I try to be helpful and all, but they keep on insisting that I stay in bed and I don’t move around much. I had to beg Bessie to let me leave the house alone for ten minutes. I don’t know, I guess I just feel like they have enough to worry about without having to take care of me.”

“Tatum, don’t worry about it.” Pacey said, patting her arm “Your sisters love you, they’re glad you’re ok.”

“Maybe you’re right.” Tatum admitted “Well, here we are. Thanks for the ride.” she said as she opened the door “Don’t worry about me, I can get to the door by myself.” she gave the door handle a tug “Uh, that is, if I ever get this door open.”

“Yeah,” Pacey said, leaning over to help her “it sticks like that sometimes...Ah, there we go.”

“Ok,” Tatum said. She leaned over and kissed him on the cheek “thanks again.”

Pacey watched her walked up to her house slowly, leaning on the fence as she went. “Stupid!” he muttered, slapping himself on the forehead.

“Pacey?” Andie called, knocking on the car window “What are you doing here?”

“Oh, hey, McPhee.” Pacey said “I just dropped Tatum off. What are you doing here?”

Andie held up a folder “Dropping off her homework. Hey, why don’t you do it?”

“Why me?” Pacey asked.

“Duh.” Andie replied “It’ll give you a chance to talk to her, because I’m just guessing, judging by the way you were slapping yourself upside the head you didn’t make a move when you were giving her a ride.”

* * * *

“Hey, Pacey, what’s up?” Joey said as she opened the door.

“Hi, I was just stopping my to drop off Tatum’s homework.” Pacey explained.

“Oh, well we sent her upstairs to bed when she got home, but why don’t you come on in anyway?” Joey offered.

“Yeah, ok.” Pacey said “So, how are you guys holding up?”

“This place is falling apart.” Joey groaned “It seems just as soon as we get on mess cleaned up, there’s four new ones.”

“Joey?” Bessie yelled frantically “Oh, hi, Pacey. Joey, Alexander needs to be changed and I need you to call Mrs. Green and tell her I do need her to babysit tomorrow and then I need you to-”

“Bessie, calm down!” Joey interrupted “One thing at a time.”

“I know, I’m sorry.” Bessie sighed, sinking into a chair “It’s just that this place is going to hell. The whole time Tatum was in the hospital I felt like if we could just have her at home with us everything would be back to normal.”

“But...” Pacey said.

“But it’s not.” Bessie said “In some ways, it’s worse. It’s like taking care of another baby, except Tatum can talk back.” she put her face in her hands “I love Tatum, she’s my sister, I just can’t take any more of this.”

“Ok....” Pacey said to Joey “I kind of hate being in this room right now.”

Joey nodded “Why don’t you go on upstairs.” she whispered “Tatum’s probably still awake.”

Pacey turned around and head up the stairs. He stopped in front of Tatum’s bedroom door “Tatum?” he called “Can I come in?”

“It’s a free country.” came the apathetic reply.

Pacey opened the door. Tatum was lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling while “I’m Your Angel” by Celine Dion and R. Kelly played on the stereo.

“Hey.” Pacey said, handing her the folder “Just stopped by to give you your homework.”

“Thanks.” Tatum muttered. She took the folder, glanced at it, then shrugged and threw it aside.

Pacey stared at her for a minute “You heard what they were saying, didn’t you.”

Tatum turned toward the wall “I was standing at the top of the stairs the whole time.”

“Tate-” Pacey began.

“Don’t bother.” Tatum interrupted “What did I tell you? Taking care of me is just one more pain in the ass that they don’t need.”

“That’s not true.” Pacey told her, sitting down on the corner of the bed.

“Yes it is!” Tatum sobbed, burying her face in the pillow.

“No,” Pacey said “it’s just very stressful for them. Tatum, you should have seen them when you were in the hospital. I mean, I’ve known Joey since kindergarten and I’ve never seen her that upset.”

“Really?” Tatum asked, sitting up a little.

“Well,” Pacey admitted “there was the time that Jimmy Peters stole her favorite Barbie and ripped its head off.”

“Pacey...” Tatum sighed.

“No, really. She was a wreck, Tatum, and so was Bessie. In fact, everyone was. We all felt like we had some reason to blame ourselves.”

“Even you?” Tatum asked.

“Well, yeah.” Pacey admitted “I mean, Andie and I felt like we should have stopped you from getting into the car with Steve.”

“Yeah?” Tatum said, moving closer to him “I think you just felt bad because you kinda like me.” she said teasingly.

“You could hear me, couldn’t you?” Pacey said.

“I’m kidding, nimbus.” Tatum sighed. “But, seriously? I don’t want any of you guys to feel bad. I have no one to blame for that accident but myself. I shouldn’t snuck out the house, I shouldn’t have gone to that party, and I definitely should have listened to Andie and not gotten into that car with Steve. It’s amazing what one act of civil disobedience can do to someone.”

“But you are doing better?” Pacey asked.

“Well, yeah.” Tatum replied “But there’s so much I used to be able to do easily that’s really hard now. I know it’s only temporary, but I miss being able to spend entire weekends shopping with my friends, or walking around downtown, or dancing.”

“You miss, dancing, huh?” Pacey said, helping her to her feet.

“Yeah, why?” Tatum replied.

“Well, there’s plenty of space in here, there’s music playing, we’re alone.” Pacey pointed out “Would you like to dance, Miss Potter?”

Tatum laughed, then stopped suddenly “Oh, you’re serious. Well, sure, why not?”

“Ok,” Pacey said “uh, I’m not very good at slow dancing. Or any kind of dancing, for that matter, why don’t you lead?”

“Oh, for pity’s sake.” Tatum muttered “Ok, put your right hand on my waist, that’s good, now just follow my lead, one two three, one two three, good! Can’t dance, huh? You’re a wonderful dancer.”

Pacey chuckled “Nah, you just make me look good.”

“You are so full of shit.” Tatum sighed as she leaned her head against his shoulder. They continued to move around the room slowly as the music continued;

“I’ll be your cloud up in the sky/I’ll be your shoulder when you cry/I’ll hear your voice when you are calling/I’m your angel/and when all hope is gone I’m here/no matter how far you are/I’m near/ it makes no difference who you are/I’m your angel....”

“Well,” Pacey said after a few minutes “I should probably get going.”

“No, why don’t you stick around for a while?” Tatum asked “I mean, I get pretty lonely just sitting around here. Might be nice to have someone to talk to, you know?”

“Ok, sure.” Pacey said, sitting down next to her on the bed “I’ve got an idea, why don’t we go to my house? My family’s out for the afternoon. We could rent some movies, hang out, you know.”

“You mean, like a date?” Tatum asked.

Pacey shrugged “Well, sort of. I mean, if you want it to be a date, then that’s cool with me.”

“Well, do you want it to be a date?”

“If you want it to be a date.” Pacey replied.

“Ok, the judges will accept that as a ‘yes’.” Tatum giggled. After a few awkward moments of silence, she picked up her coat “Well, we should probably get going.”

“Yeah,” Pacey agreed “going is a good thing.”

“Right.” Tatum said “So.....uh, yeah, ok.”

* * * *

“You know, I never would have pegged you as the action movie type.” Pacey told Tatum.

“Are you kidding? ‘Armageddon’ is one of my all-time favorite movies. Well, actually, I’m not really the action movie type.” Tatum explained “Really more of the action movie starring Ben Affleck type. Well, ok, I’m really the any movie at all starring Ben Affleck type”

“Ah, yes.” Pacey said “That would explain these other choices. ‘Good Will Hunting’, ‘Mallrats’, ‘School Ties’. Next date, I get to pick half the movies, ok?”

“You knock my choices there may not be another date.” Tatum warned teasingly “Oh, geez, this part always gets me. Hand me a tissue, would you?”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.” Pacey moaned as he handed her a tissue.

“Have you no soul?” Tatum asked “The man is giving up any chance of ever seeing his daughter again to save her finace’s life. It’s beautiful, man!”

“You are kidding.” Pacey said.

“Duh!” Tatum giggled “But shut up, this part is good.”

“Oh, please. How many times have you seen this movie?”

“Twenty-one.” Tatum admitted “Unless you count all of the times I’ve rented it and not had time to watch the whole thing, in which case it would be-”

Pacey pulled her close and kissed her passionately. Tatum moaned softly and wrapped her arms around him. For what seemed like forever they sat there holding each other. Finally, Tatum broke the kiss and leaned her head against Pacey;s shoulder.

“That was....nice.” Tatum whispered softly.

Pacey chuckled “You still can’t feel anything above your neck, can you?”

“Not really.” Tatum giggled. She sighed and sat up straight “Pacey, help me off the couch.”

“Why?” Pacey asked.

“Why? He says why. I want to get more popcorn, that’s why.”

Pacey stood up “I’ll get it.”

Tatum groaned and rolled her eyes “Oh come on! Must you insist on thinking of me as a fragile little porcelain doll?”

“Must you insist on being such a stubborn mule?”

“Oh! Again with the stubborn mule thing, huh?” Tatum moaned.

Pacey sat down and put his arms around her “If I kissed you again, would you shut up?”

Tatum smiled flirtatiously “Try it and find out.”

* * * *

Part 7 coming soon!

Copyright 1999 ChktaBnana fanfic productions

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