Frozen In Time by: Tessa

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Rating: PG-13 (language and a wee bit of angst)
Disclaimer: I don’t own anything except this story. I also don't own the song “When I See You Smile” by Uncle Sam (I own the cd, though. Got it for Christmas!)


Frozen In Time

“Hi Bessie I’m home can’t talk gotta go upstairs!” Tatum hollered all in one breath as she threw her backpack on the floor and ran up the stairs.

“Tatum, wait!” Bessie called “I need your help down here.”

“Relax,” Tatum said “I’ll be down in a few minutes.”

As Tatum hurried into her room, Pacey slammed the door behind her and grabbed her around the waist “Hey, baby.”

Tatum squealed “Pacey! You scared me! I thought you said you were gonna hide under the bed and wait for me.”

“Yeah, but that was before I found out that no one’s vacuumed under that bed since before the Berlin Wall came down.” Pacey chuckled, kissing her neck gently “Now what was that you said about a few minutes? Give me more credit than that!”

Downstairs, Bessie looked at the clock “Joey? Would you go upstairs and tell your sister to get her butt down here? I need her help with the mashed potatoes.”

“Will do.” Joey replied as she set down her magazine and headed upstairs “Tatum,” she said as she opened the door “We need-holy crap!” she was shocked by the sight of Pacey and Tatum lying on Tatum’s bed, kissing passionately.

“Uh, um, Pacey, wh-what are you doing here?” Tatum stammered.

Joey rolled her eyes “Forget it, Tate. Dawson and I used that line on his dad, and guess what? It didn’t work on Mr. Leery and it’s not gonna work on me.”

Tatum blushed “Sheesh, Jo, don’t you ever knock?”

“No.” Joey replied “And neither does Bessie, who’s heading up the stairs right behind me as we speak.”

“Yikes.” Pacey said as he rolled under the bed.

Tatum sat up and grabbed a magazine just as Bessie walked in.

“Tatum, I really need your help with Thanksgiving dinner.”

“Ok, sis, I’ll be right down. I need to uh, vacuum under my bed. I just ducked under there to find this magazine, and man, is it dusty!”

“Alright, but hurry, ok?” Bessie said as she turned around.

“ACHOO!” Before Tatum could breathe a sigh of relief, Pacey sneezed loudly.

Bessie turned around. Quickly, Tatum faked a sneeze, winced and sniffled. Bessie shrugged and went downstairs.

“You were lucky, Tatum.” Joey said as she closed the door.

Pacey rolled out from under the bed. Tatum laughed at the sight of him “You’re all covered in dust!” she giggled.

“Yeah, funny.” Pacey muttered “Listen, maybe we shouldn’t be doing this here.”

“What do you mean?” Tatum asked.

“Well, we could go to my house since my family’s out, ‘cause I don’t know about you, but getting busted blows the mood.”

Tatum nodded “Agreed. You wait outside, I’ll take care of Bessie and meet you there in two minutes.”

Tatum rushed down the stairs and headed for the door “Gotta go, later!” she called.

Bessie followed her “Wait a minute, where are you going now.”

“Yeah, I know I said I’d help out with dinner.” Tatum apologized “But Andie just called and she sounded totally destroyed. I think that loser Aaron dumped her again and she really needs me right now. Oh, and we need to plan for that ski trip we’re going on. Remember? We all leave on Saturday, you know, day after Thanksgiving.”

“Tate, don’t you think your friends take up entirely too much of your time?”

Tatum sighed “And do they EVER say they’re sorry?”

* * * *

“Opps!” Tatum giggled as she and Pacey slid off his bed and onto the floor.

“Sorry.” Pacey said as he kissed her again.

“Pacey? Is that you?”

“Oh, crap.” Pacey moaned.

“Who’s that?” Tatum asked.

“My brother.” Pacey muttered.

Deputy Doug walked into the room “Pacey, what the hell are you doing?”

Pacey winced “Uh, Doug, this is Tatum. Tatum, this is my brother Doug.”

“Hi.” Doug said “Pacey, mom wanted me to tell you that your friend Andie called, said something about a ski trip this weekend.”

“Oh, right, forgot about that.” Pacey said as he shut the door in his brother’s face “Thank you, get lost now.”

“You’re going on the trip, too?” Tatum asked “Cool.”

Pacey shrugged “Sure, I used to ski. I was pretty good.”

Tatum smiled “That’s really great, since I kinda suck at it. Hey, you’re coming over for Thanksgiving dinner tonight, yeah?”

Pacey nodded “You think I wanna spend Thanksgiving with my family?”

* * *

“We almost ready to go?” Dawson called.

“Yeah, guys, come on!” Andie whined “What if there’s traffic? It’s a long ride as it is!” she ran back out the door.

“It’s a three hour drive to the Berkshires.” Joey observed “That’s a whole lot of Andie.”

“Toothbrush, check.” Pacey said to himself “Socks, check.”

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

“I’m going over my list to make sure I have everything I need.” Pacey explained “See? Whenever you get something on the list, you give yourself a ‘check’ mom used to do it.” he said with a shrug “I never really realized how weird it is.”

Tatum snorted “Ha! You think that’s weird? My mom used to sit in the garage with the car engine running.” Everyone stared at her “Well, ok, she only did it the one time, but it was pretty weird!”

* * * *

“Well, we made it.” Pacey said as he opened the door to the ski house.

“Yes, although with the way you were driving on the way up here, I’d say that’s a miracle.” Andie told him “Poor Tatum kept on getting thrown up against you whenever we went around curves.”

“What can I say?” Pacey asked “I’m a bad little driver.”

“Well, forgive me for saying so, but I can’t wait to see the klutz queen on the slopes.” Andie giggled.

“Oh, she may be a klutz now.” Pacey said “But with a little help from her beloved boyfriend, she’ll be a regular Picabo Street in no time. Of course, we’ll need to factor in a little quality time.”

Andie rolled her eyes “Yeah, leave it to you to put the ‘pig’ back in ‘Pygmilian’.”

“Why, thank you.” Pacey chuckled.

“Hey, nice place.” Tatum said as she struggled through the door with her suitcase.

“Oh, here, lemme get that for you.” Pacey said as he rushed to help her.

“No, that’s ok, Sweety.” Tatum insisted “It’s really not that heavy.”

“Well, great, makes it easier on me.” Pacey said as he picked the suitcase up with one hand and wrapped his other arm around her waist. “Oof!” he grunted “What’ve you got in here, bricks?”

Tatum laughed “You are so sweet.” she sighed as she kissed him lightly on the cheek.

“Hey, this place is great!” Dawson said as he, Joey, and Jen entered.

“Isn’t it?” Andie said, “Hey, could you guys help Pacey with the bags in the other room? Like, now?”

As soon as they were gone, Andie turned to Tatum “So, how should I put this? You seem pretty smitten with Pacey.”

“Isn’t he amazing?” Tatum sighed dreamily “Oh, but you knew that.”

“Yeah.” Andie said “But, I mean, how serious are you?”

Tatum sighed “Well, I mean, he is the sweetest, most considerate guy in the world. And one hell of a kisser. I’m thinking he may be the one.”

“The one?” Andie repeated “What one?”

“You know!” Tatum giggled “I’ve been thinking about giving it up.”

“Giving what up?” Andie asked. Her jaw dropped “You’re a virgin?”

“Yes! Why is that always such a shock to people?” Tatum whined.

“Well, I mean, you grew up in Beverly Hills.” Andie said uncomfortably.

Tatum nodded “True. But I promise you, I’m not going to do anything crazy.”

“Not going to do what?” Pacey asked.

“Oh, nothing.” Tatum said.

“Uh, right. Hey, Tate, come here, you gotta see the view of the mountain!” Pacey said.

Tatum glanced out the window from where she was standing “Uh, yeah, very nice view.”

Pacey stared at her “You’re scared of heights, huh?”

“I’m taking a class.” Tatum whimpered.

* * * *

Tatum giggled wildly as she slipped and landed on her butt again “I told you, I’m no good at this!”

“You’re getting better.” Pacey reassured her as he helped her up.

“Thanks to you.” Tatum said as she kissed him.

“I hate to interrupt this saccharine sweet moment.” Jen said “Well, ok, I don’t hate it at all, but it’s getting late and the snow is really coming down. I’m thinking we should head back to the house.”

The others mumbled their agreement through scarves and ski masks “Besides,” Joey put in, “I’m freezing my ass off.”

“Maybe we should stop at the ski station?” Andie asked “Make sure we know where we’re going? Oh, I worry too much, we can find our way.”

* * * *

“It’s really coming down now!” Tatum observed, having to shout to be heard over the wind “Maybe we should have stopped at the ski station.”

“Too late now.” Dawson replied “We’ll just have to pick a direction to go in and hope that it’s the right one.”

“Maybe we should drop our skis.” Pacey suggested “We’ll be able to move quicker without them, and if we leave them pointed in the direction we go in, if a patrol comes by looking for us, they’ll have an easier time tracking us down.”

“Is that really necessary?” Andie asked “I mean, do you really think they’ll have to look for us?”

“Of course not,” Pacey said “but just in case, you know?”

* * * *

“Shouldn’t we be there by now?” Joey asked.

“Probably.” Pacey admitted “But it took us a while to get up here.”

“Hey, wait, what’s that up there?” Tatum asked, “I see something!”

“It looks like skis.” Dawson said.

“Our skis.” Andie added.

“No way.” Jen whispered “No fucking way!”

“It is our skis!” Tatum cried “We’ve gone in a full circle!”

“Ok, everyone just calm down!” Pacey yelled.

“Calm down?” Joey repeated “We’re lost up here in a frigging blizzard, Pacey.”

“Well panicking won’t get us out of here any faster.” Pacey said.

“We’re lost.” Tatum moaned, falling to her knees “Hopelessly lost.”

“Tatum, snap out of it!” Pacey told her.

“Oh, open your eyes!” Tatum screamed “We may not make it out of this alive!”

“Maybe not.” Pacey said as he picked her up off the ground “But we have to try.”

* * *

“Hello?” Gail said as she picked up the phone.

“Gail? It’s Bessie Potter.”

“Oh, hello, Bessie. How are you?” Gail asked.

“I’m well. Listen, have you heard from Dawson?” Bessie asked.

“No, he and his friends were supposed to get back from their ski trip today. I assume they went to one of their houses.”

“Well, now I’m really worried.” Bessie said “Joey and Tatum haven’t checked in yet, and I called Mrs. Witter, Mrs. Ryan, and Jack, and none of them have heard from them either.”

“Oh, dear.” Gail said “Did you call Mitch at his apartment?”

“I called him, too.” Bessie replied “He hasn’t seen them.”

“That’s not good. You don’t think that they’re lost?”

Bessie sighed “I hope not. But maybe we should go up there.”

* * * *

“Do you think anyone’s noticed we’re gone?” Tatum asked weakly.

“Absolutly,” Pacey whispered, pulling her close “they’re probably looking for us right now. They’ll find us.”

“If they don’t, and we die right here, would you guys be afraid?” Jen asked.

“Jen, shut up!” Andie snapped “Don’t be so morbid.”

“It’s not morbid.” Jen insisted “I’m serious. Because I’m not afraid. I don’t want to die, but my faith is strong enough that I’m not scared.”

“Well I am.” Tatum said firmly “I’m scared and I’m angry. We shouldn’t be up here. We should be at home. We’ve all got families who care about us, and we’ve got futures.”

Pacey held her tighter “I’m not going to let anything happen to you.”

“We’re going to get out of this.” Joey said firmly “And we’re going to do it together.”

* * * *

“Did you talk to the ranger?” Mrs. Ryan asked.

Bessie nodded “No one’s seen them. She said she’d send someone up to their cabin to check if they’re there. She says in this kind of weather they’d probably stay up there.”

“Of course. Jennifer would know better than to try to get down the mountain in this storm.”

“Bad news.” Doug said as he walked out of the ranger’s station “There’s someone up at the cabin, says there’s no one there.”

Gail moaned “So what are they doing?”

“They said they’re going to send a search party up the mountain. I’m going with them, if any of you want to come along, we’re leaving right now.”

“I’m going.” Mitch said.

Bessie stood up “So am I.”

“I’m in.” Gail said.

* * * *

“They’re not coming.” Tatum said hoarsely through chattering teeth.

“Of course they are.” Pacey reassured her “They won’t leave us up here.” he shivered “It’s freezing in here. Everyone move closer together, we need to conserve some body heat.”

“Even if they do find us, it’ll be too late.” Tatum said as she started to cry “We’re all going to freeze to death up here.”

“No.” Pacey whispered “We’re not going to die. They’ll find us. Everything’s going to be alright.”

The six friends fell asleep eventually, huddled together against a snow covered boulder.

* * * *



Hours later, the small group was awakened by the cries.

“Wake up!” Pacey said urgently “Tatum, you ok?”

“I’m alright. Joey?”

“Yeah, I’m ok. Dawson?”

“I’m fine. Jen?”

“I’m ok. Andie?”

“Yeah, I’m awake.” Andie said weakly.


“See? Did you hear that?” Pacey asked “I told you they’d find us! Over here!” he yelled.

“We’re here!” Tatum called.

“Tatum!” Bessie was the first member of the search party to reach the group “Joey! Are you ok?”

“We’re ok.” Tatum said, near tears. “We’ll be ok.”

Pandemonium ensued as the rest of the search party arrived.

“Dawson!” Gail cried “You’re ok! Oh, thank God!”

“Mom. Mom! Stop crying, I’m ok!” Dawson insisted “Mom! You’re embarrassing me!”

“Where’s my grandmother?” Jen asked weakly as a ranger helped her to her feet.

“She’s waiting at the ranger station with Jack.” Bessie told her.

“Pacey,” Doug said “Glad to see you kids aren’t frozen. Tatum says you really took charge up here.”

Pacey shrugged modestly “Well, I just kept everyone calm.”

Doug nodded “Good job, little brother.”

“Hey!” Tatum yelled “Could we get out of here? I’m freezing!”

* * * *

In the back seat of the ranger’s van, Tatum stared out the window “You know, Pacey, I don’t think i could have made it through that without you there. You kept me calm.”

Pacey shook his head “To tell you the truth, I nearly lost it a few times. But all I had to do was look at you, and it kept me calm.”

Tatum laughed and leaned her head against his shoulder. She soon fell asleep in his arms, as “When I See You Smile.” by Uncle Sam played on the radio;

“Sometimes I wonder
How I’d ever make it through
Through this world with out having you
I just wouldn’t have a clue
And sometimes it seems
Like this world goes insane on me
And there’s no way of breaking free
Then I see you reach out for me
Sometime I wanna give up
Wanna give in, wanna quit the fight
Then one look at you baby
Can make everything alright
Make everything alright
When I see you smile
I can face the world
You know that I can do anything
When I see you smile
I see a ray of light
I see it shining right through the rain
When I see you smile
Baby when I see you smile at me
Baby, there’s nothing in this world that could ever do
What the touch of your hands can do
It’s like nothing I ever knew
And when the rain is falling
I don’t feel it
Cause you’re here with me
And one look at you baby
Is all that I ever need
All that I ever need
When I see you smile
I can face the world
You know I can do anything
When I see you smile
Baby when I see you smile at me
Sometime I wanna give up
Wanna give in
Wanna quit the fight
The one look at you baby
Can make everything alright
Make everything alright, oh baby
When I see you smile
I can face the world
You know that I can do anything
When I see you smile
I see a ray of light
I see it shining right through the rain
When I see you smile
Baby when I see you smile at me”
(“When I See You Smile” Uncle Sam, 1998)

* * * *

(Yeah, yeah, I know it’s a real sappy ending, shut up!)
Part 9 coming soon!

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