Rebels Without a Cause by: Tessa

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"Tatum, Joey, smile!" Bessie called, snapping another picture

"Okay, I really think thatís enough photos," Tatum said, brushing her hair out of her face. Noelle shrieked and grabbed a hand full of her motherís hair. "Ouch!" Tatum gasped "Pacey, take your daughter for a second, will you?" she passed the baby to her fiance and ran over to join her friends

"Hey!" Andie said "So, whatís the verdict on Valís party? Are we in?"

"Oh, what the hell, sure." Tatum replied "Weíll honor them by making an appearance."

"Canít stay out too late." Pacey reminded them "Weíve got to get an early start tomorrow."

Joey nodded "Any idea where weíre going?"

"Who cares?" Tatum asked "For the next month, weíre living on the open road." she paused for a moment "I canít believe we really graduated." "Whatíd you guys do?" Abby asked "Bribe the principal?"


"You guys, wake up!" Joey yelled, pounding on Tatumís bedroom door

Tatum opened the door "Jo, itís 6 in the morning. Why the hell are you so fucking chipper?"

Joey shrugged "I figured it would be easier to stay up all night than it would to go to sleep and have to get up early."

"Come on, letís go!" Andie shrieked, running out into the hallway

"Yeah, get a move on!" Jen said

"We gotta go we gotta go!" Abby added

"Uh, they decided it would be easier to stay up all night chugging espresso." Joey explained

"Looks like weíve got a long trip to nowhere ahead of us." Pacey said


"Now remember," Mr. Potter said to his younger daughters "No alcohol. If one of your friends has been drinking, donít let them drive-"

"Always make sure we have a full tank of gas, no goofing off while weíre on the road as a general rule, but especially not if driving conditions are bad." Tatum interrupted "Daddy, we got it the first hundred times you gave us this little speech."

"I just want to be sure that you kids will be careful."

Tatum rolled her eyes "Right-o, Daddy-o. Safety first. Weíve got it permanently hammered into our brains."

"Here." Bessie said, handing Tatum a paper bag "Bodie and I made you guys some stuff to take on the road, in case you get hungry."

"Bess, there are places where we can get food." Joey said

"I know." Bessie told her "This is just kind of a big deal. Your first unsupervised coed road trip."

"I think youíre scaring Daddy." Tatum pointed out. She turned to Joey and whispered "If this has them all psyched out can you imagine how theyíll be when we move across the country in two months?"

"Iíd rather not." Joey replied

"You guys, letís go already!" Abby screamed from the van

"Just a minute." Tatum replied. She picked up Noelle "Iím going to miss you so much."

"This is the first time weíve left her for more than a few hours." Pacey observed

"We better get going before I start bawling." Tatum sniffled. She kissed Noelle and handed her to Bessie "Bye-bye, sweetheart. Mama and Daddy love you."

"Letís go!" Jen hollered


"Nine million nine hundred and ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall, nine million nine hundred and ninety-nine bottles of beer." Jack was singing at the top of his lungs and horribly off key

"Omigod this is so exciting!" Jen giggled, literally bouncing up and down in her seat

"I know!" Abby said "This is gonna be so cool!"

"Yeah!" Andie shrieked "Oh man, weíre really wired. This is not good! Hey, whatís wrong with Dawson and Joey?"

"Theyíre asleep." Tatum told her "They thought it would be easier to stay up all night than go to sleep and have to get up early."

"Well *that* was stupid." Andie giggled "They shouldíve done what we did."

"I donít think the world is ready for all five of you on that much caffeine." Jack told her

"You look really tired, too." Andie said "Maybe I should drive."

"I think Jack driving tired is much safer than you driving wired." Tatum pointed out

"Wow, that rhymes!" Abby giggled

"Actually," Tatum said "I think that Jack driving *dead* would be safer than you driving like this."


A few hours later, Dawson and Joey were awake, and Abby, Jen and Andie were falling asleep as the caffeine finally began to wear off. Tatum was sitting in the back seat of the van with Pacey, staring at her engagement ring.

"You look lost in thought." Joey observed

"Thatís probably because I am." Tatum replied "Do you think itís too soon for me to be getting engaged?"

"Do you really want to discuss this with your fiance sitting right there?"

Joey whispered "Are you kidding?" Tatum asked "He could sleep through the end of the world. Seriously, do you think Iím making a mistake?"

"Well, as someone older than you-"

"By four months." Tatum interrupted

"Iím still older." Joey said "No, I donít think youíre making a mistake. I mean, you guys havenít decided when youíre getting married, right? It could be in five months or five years. And you guys are soul mates-"

"Thought you didnít believe in stuff like that."

"I do in your case." Joey told her "Paceyís always gone his own way. And thatís always seemed to be the same way you were going. When I imagine where youíll be in ten years I always picture you winning all these Oscars and Grammys and all that stuff, and I picture Pacey winning the Heisman Trophy or the Stanley Cup or whatever the hell it is that football players win. And I see you guys living in this huge beautiful house with a few cool cars in the garage and six cute dark haired kids running around outside."

"Thatís funny." Tatum said "In all of my silly, romantic teenage girl fantasies, I see pretty much the same thing. Except I only had five kids. But I guess Iíd be willing to negotiate on the sixth."

"Hey guys, come on, shut up!" Jack said without taking his eyes off the road "I love this song."

Tatum rolled her eyes and leaned against the back of the seat as ĎThe Great Wide Opení by Tom Petty played on the radio.

Into the great wide open
Under the skies of blue
Into the great wide open
A rebel without a clue...


"So, has anyone given any thought to where weíre going?" Abby asked when she woke up the next day.

"Last time I saw a sign," Tatum replied "We were about 60 miles west of New York city."

"I think we should go to Florida." Andie said

"Old person universe? I donít know." Tatum said

"How about New Orleans?" Joey asked

"Why would we want to go there?"

Joey shrugged "Mardi Gras."

Tatum shook her head "Jo, Mardi Gras was over two months ago."

"Iíve always wanted to visit Nashville." Jen said. Everyone turned around in their seats and stared at her "Well I have! Whatís wrong with that?"

"How about South Carolina?" Jack asked

"Why?" Tatum said

Jack shrugged "Beaches. Landmarks. Shit like that."

"Sounds cool." Tatum agreed "All in favor, let me see some sort of non-verbal, non-expressive facial reaction." The others shrugged and mumbled their agreement "South Carolina it is." Tatum said


"I think we should.....hmm....nah." Joey said

"Or maybe.......no." Tatum added "So what do you want to do?"

Pacey shrugged "Andie? Any ideas."

"Well, we could....no." Andie sighed "God, this is embarrassing."

"I canít believe the damn van broke down." Dawson said

"Where the hell are we, anyway?" Joey asked

Tatum checked the map "Carrsville, Virginia, population 109."

"Sheesh." Joey muttered "Well there has got to be a service station around here somewhere."

"I saw one a few blocks back." Jack replied "Thereís just one problem."

"Whatís that?" Tatum asked

"Weíre out of cash." Jack said sheepishly

"What? Already?" Tatum practically screamed

"Told you we shouldnít have stopped at that outlet mall." Dawson said

"Oh sure, blame it all on me. What the hell? Iím an easy enough target." Tatum snapped. She stood up and kicked the dirt in frustration "Damn it all!" she screamed

"Would you calm down?" Andie yelled

"No, *you* calm down!" Tatum shrieked

"I am calm!"

"Yeah? Well I believe in preventive medicine." Tatum snapped

"Tatum, chill." Abby told her "Spazing wonít get us out of here any faster."

"You know what?" Tatum asked "In the immortal words of Mr. Eric Cartman: Screw you guys, Iím going home."

"Look around you!" Jen said "There is no way to get home right now! We are 1,000 miles from home, 500 miles from civilization, and the van is out of gas."

Tatum took a few deep breaths and sat down "Sheís right. We have to think of a way to get some cash, get some gas, and get the hell out of here."


"Good news!" Tatum said brightly as she and Andie and Abby returned to the van an hour later. "Weíve found a bar downtown where we can perform tonight. The pay is a joke, but it should be enough to get a tank of gas and hold us over till we get to a town with an ATM machine."


"Ugh, beer bellies and plaid shirts, everywhere you look." Tatum said as they entered the bar

"Are you the singers?" A waitress asked in a heavy southern accent

Tatum nodded "The three of us." she replied, pointing to Abby and Andie

"Well good. Yer late, but the customers wonít mind. They love to see pretty lilí things like you, and most of Ďem are too drunk to notice the time of day, anyhow. You just get yerselves up on that stage, and donít worry Ďbout how you do."


"God, it looks like one of those country music videos." Abby whispered to Tatum, staring at the bar and its patrons from the stage.

"Shh!" Tatum replied. She stepped up to the microphone and began to sing as the music started:

She was born at a rest stop
On the Kansas state line
In the back of a Dodge
In the summertime
Her mama named her Indiana
Like their license plate
And with the hum of the tires
On the interstate, she was crying

The left her at a Dennyís
Up in Colorado
In a blanket with her name
Written on a note
It said ĎForgive us, Lord,
For not takiní her
But this child has a better chance
of makiní it in someone elseís armsí

And itís a crazy thing
Fate has perfect wings
All the way down the line
Angels workiní overtime

She was raised in place
Called Cheyenne Wells
But she never fit in
And everyone could tell
That she didnít belong
In some prairie town
And when she turned 18
She bought a ticket out
On a Greyhound

They stopped a few minutes
Out of Santa Fe
She got out for a smoke
And they drove away
She hitched a ride with a boy
Right out of school
He said ĎIím headed out westí
And she said ĎMe too.í
ĎIf thatís alrightí

And itís a crazy thing
Fate has perfect wings
All the way down the line
Angels workiní overtime

It took a couple hundred miles
Till they fell in love
They knew forever
Was the only thing good enough
And in a moment of passion
In a motel room
They held on tight
And their aim was true
Now theyíre counting down the days
And dreaminí all night
In an apartment in L.A

And itís a crazy thing
Fate has perfect wings
All the way down the line
Angels workiní overtime

And itís a crazy thing
Fate has perfect wings
All the way down the line
Angels workiní overtime

She was born at a rest stop
On the Kansas state line

Angels workiní overtime...."


"What?" Tatum said into the pay phone "Oh, sure, put her on. Hi Noelle! Hi sweetie. Are you being a good girl? Oh, thatís good. Mama and Daddy miss you, too. Da-da? You want to talk to your daddy? Ok, hold on." she turned to Pacey "She wants you."

Pacey took the phone "Hi sweetheart. How are you? Thatís good. Yeah, Mommy and I are having a great time. We miss you. Ok, honey. I love you, too." he handed the phone back to Tatum "She had to go take her nap."

"Hello?" Tatum said "Yeah, hi, Dad. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Of course weíre being careful. You know us, safety first." she turned around so her friends could see her fingers crossed behind her back, then shot them a stern look when they started laughing "Shh! Oh, no, not you, Daddy. Yeah, we miss you guys, too. Iím almost out of time. I love you, Dad. Say hi to Bessie and Bodie for me. And give the baby a kiss from her mommy. Ok, bye." She hung up the phone and returned to the van

"On to South Carolina." she said as she climbed into the front seat next to Pacey. "Hey, I love this song." she turned up the radio and sang along as she watched the stars outside the window. Pretty soon, the other girls had joined in, and they all sang together as the van disappeared into the night:

Stars are brighter
In a desert sky
No need to wonder
Or justify
Where this will lead

I wear your locket
Our pictureís inside
Inscription says
ĎThe joyís in the rideí
And I believe
Something so sacred
Is something worth
This kind of fight
ĎCause love knows no patience
You canít please everyone all the time

My moneyís riding on this dark horse, baby
My heart is sayiní
Itís the lucky one
And itís true colorís
Gonna shine through someday
If we let this
Let this dark horse run

So rare
So sweet
Together, baby
I know
We can
Yes, we can
Be free

My moneyís riding on this dark horse, baby
My heart is sayiní
Itís the lucky one
And itís true colorís
Gonna shine through someday
If we let this
Let it ride, baby

My moneyís riding on this dark horse, baby
My heart is sayiní
Itís the lucky one
And itís true colorís
Gonna shine through someday
If we let this
Let this dark horse run...


Ok, people. In the words of Porky Pig "Th-th-th-thatís all, folks!"
Well, thatís all for this series, at least. But you didnít think Iíd let it end like that, did you? Look for my next series, "Real Life 101" sometime this summer.
And of course, I canít end the series without giving major thanks to everyone who helped me out in any way. To my older sisters, Tatum and Christine. Especially to Tate, for being the inspiration for the character of Tatum Potter, and to both of them for helping me write the first three parts of this series! To my friend Cait, for reading each one of these and encouraging me when I felt unsure about my writing. Cait, without you nagging me for the next part I probably wouldíve given up after #10. To Alex, who posted all my fanfics on her awesome site, thank you so much! And last but not least, thank you to everyone who read these, sent me feedback, and voted for me for Fanfic of The Month in March. I canít tell you guys what an honor that was! Well I guess that about covers it. If I forgot anyone, itís nothing personal. Itís just that itís summer vacation, so my brain isnít working right! Thanks for reading this series and I hope you all like the next one!
-Tessa

© Copyright 1999 by Femme Fatale Fanfic (FFFF) productions.

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