Hi, my name is Tessa. If you like this fanfic I have several others that I've written.
Summary: Joey makes a startling discovery about the new girl in town.
Tatum nervously twirled the phone cord around her finger. A young girl picked up on the third ring.
“Potter residence, Joey speaking.” the pleasant sounding voice on the other end said.
“Um, hello, uh, oh geez” Tatum stammered “Hi, um, may I please speak to Mr. Potter?” Mr. Potter? She thought How pathetic. He’s my father and I don’t even know his first name.
There was a long silence on the other end of the phone “Mr. Potter,” Joey said “my father, is in jail.”
Tatum gasped and nearly dropped the phone “Oh! Oh, geez, I’m so sorry! I didn’t know, um, sorry to bother you!” she started to hang up the phone.
“No, wait, don’t hang up!” Joey said quickly. She paused for a moment “How do you know my father?”
Tatum took a deep breath “Well, uh, you see, he’s my father, too.”
Joey dropped the phone.
“Hi, just a minute!” Called a voice from inside.
“Hey, thanks for being here, Dawson.” Joey said without looking at her friend. Ever since they had broken up, things had been slightly awkward between them, but it had been getting easier for them to be around each other. Joey continued “Bessie really wished she could come with us, but Alexander was running a high fever and she had to take him to the doctor, and then Jack called from the Ice House and there was some problem with the freezers and....well, she was busy.”
“Yeah, I kinda gathered that.” Pacey said.
Joey smiled at him “You know, Pacey, you didn’t have to come along. You should be hanging out with Andie or something.”
Pacey chuckled “Not likely. Don’t get me wrong, Andie’s great, we’re good friends. It’s the new boyfriend I can’t stand.”
Dawson nodded “Right. Aaron Thomas.”
“It sure didn’t take her very long to replace me.” Pacey observed.
“Are you kidding? A girl like Andie?” Dawson chuckled “I’m surprised it took her as long as...oh, I’m not helping, am I?”
The door opened. Joey smiled pleasantly. Dawson did the same. Pacey gaped.
“Well, um, hi.” the young girl in the doorway said. She was very thin and attractive, with sparkling blue eyes and long, wavy brunette hair “You, must be Joey.”
“And you’re Tatum.” Joey said nervously. “Um, this is Dawson. And the guy with his tounge hanging down to the middle of his chest is Pacey.”
“Hi, uh, nice to meet you.” Tatum said “Uh, listen, this seems kinda awkward. I mean, you know, this is the first time I’ve ever met my long lost half sister who I never even knew exsisted.”
Joey giggled nervously “Yeah, well this may be hard to believe, but it’s the first time for me, too. Hey, um, I got an idea, why don’t we go down to the Ice Box, and you can meet Bessie, and fill us in on how you got here.”
“Sure, I’ll tell you guys the fascinating story of my amazingly crappy life.” Tatum looked down at the ripped denim shorts and dirty pink cami top she was wearing. “Geez, I can’t go like this. Why don’t you guys come on in and I’ll just duck into the bathroom and change into something more presentable?”
Joey closed her eyes. 16 years ago. She had been just a baby. Her family had never known...
“Well, my grandparents were furious when they found out mom was pregnant. I mean, a wealthy, affluent Beverly Hills family? They were sure it would cause a huge scandal. Which, of course, it did. But mom absolutly refused to give me up. Of course, she may as well have. When I was a kid she was never around, always at parties. So I never really knew her. As far as I knew, she was a good person, she didn’t really want to leave me alone with relatives and nannies all the time but she didn’t know what else to do. She cared about me, she was just a very unhappy person who wasn’t really ready to be a mom. That’s always been what I chose to believe. Anyway, when she found out she was dying of ovarian cancer last year, she set up a huge trust fund for me so I’d inherit a good amount of money and have enough for college and to support myself.”
“So what happened?” Bessie asked. Tatum had managed to make herself look reasonably presentable, but it was easy to see that she was broke and hadn’t had a square meal in at least a week.
“Well, the ink had barely dried on mom’s death certificate when my grandparents disowned me, took away my trust fund, and kicked me out of the house with 400 dollars for gas and a lodging and a 15-year-old piece of paper mom had written dad’s name and address on. Just his last name and where he lived. Mom had kept that paper all those years because she figured one day I might want to find my father. I had no idea that he was in jail, that he had a family or anything.”
“Why’d your family kick you out?” Joey asked.
Tatum sighed “I saw this coming. My grandparents always hated me because I’m a bastard. I just never thought they would turn me out on my own when I’m only 16 years old and have no job and no way of taking care of myself. I mean, ok, my parents never got married, but damn it! This is 1998, not 1898.”
Bessie nodded “Doesn’t seem fair to disobey your mom’s last wishes. And no offense, but it’s obvious you’re not experienced at taking care of yourself.”
“No offense taken.” Tatum said “I’ve been driving across the country in a silver VW bug, staying in those cheap charge-by-the-hour motor inns. I haven’t eaten anything except Fresca and coffee and those cardboard like Powerbars in three weeks and I’ve got five outfits, none of which I was able to keep clean other than washing them out in gas station sinks if I spilled something on them. I also haven’t slept more than four hours a night.”
“Geez.” Joey muttered.
“So where are you staying now?” Bessie asked.
“The Hiway Host motor inn on route 93.” Tatum replied.
“I know that place.” Bessie said “It’s a dump, you can’t stay there, you’ll stay with us.”
Tatum shook her head “I couldn’t impose, I’ll be fine on my own.”
“You’re not imposing,” Bessie said firmly “You’re family.”
Tatum smiled “All right, but I’m afraid I won’t be much of a help. Like I said, I’m not very good at taking care of myself.”
“You’ll learn,” Joey reassured her.
“Yeah, it’s a nice place. We like to call it ‘hell’.” Dawson said.
Joey punched his arm playfully “Don’t scare her or break her spirits. That’s for the teachers to do.”
“And what a good job they do.” said a voice. Everyone turned around to see Abby standing behind them. “They’ve done a bang-up job on all of you losers. So, Joey, who, or what is this? Looks like something you dragged out of the gutter.”
Joey clenched her fists and gritted her teeth. Tatum had been staying with them for a week, and although she was cleaner and better dressed than she had been when she first arrived, she was still skeletal and malnourished looking. Still, no one was going to say something like that about any member of Joey’s family. Especially not Abby. “Abby, this is Tatum Potter, my half sister.”
“Half sister?” Abby laughed “Wow, I can’t wait to find out where she came from. Honestly, Joey, you have the most interesting family since the Beverly Hillbillies.” Abby turned and walked away, still laughing.
“Oh, she is begging for a punch in the nose.” Tatum said “Do you guys really let her talk to you that way?”
“Of course not.” Jen said “We just use methods other than violence to deal with her. Usually.”
“Yeah, ‘usually’.” Pacey chuckled “Seriously, how many catfights have you two gotten into?”
“For your information, none.” Jen replied
“God, Pacey,” Tatum observed “your brain isn’t really connected to your mouth, is it?”
“Nah, it’s connected to something else.” Pacey replied
“Ugh. You are such a typical male.” Tatum muttered
“Well, you’ve got that right,” Someone said.
Joey looked up “Oh, hey, Andie. Uh, this is Tatum Potter, my half sister who I told you about. Tate, this is Andie McPhee, Pacey’s ex-girlfriend who he’s been pining for.”
The two girls shook hands “Hi, welcome to Capeside,” Andie said “it sucks, you’ll love it.”
Tatum nodded “So I’ve been told.”
“Ok, we know the whole town stinks like a pile of shit.” Pacey said “Andie, nice to see you, Dawson, Tatum, we have bio, and we’re late.”
“Whoa, since when were you so eager to be on time for bio?” Dawson asked as he followed Pacey down the hall.
“Since his ex-girlfriend showed up,” Tatum said.
“Oh, she’s an observant little thing,” Pacey muttered.
“What’s that?” Tatum asked.
“I said you forgot your textbook!” Pacey replied.
“Oh, crap, you’re right.” Tatum groaned “You guys go ahead, I gotta go get it.”
“Well,” Dawson said “I think she’s nice. Pretty, too. She looks a lot like Joey.”
“Yeah, man, she really does.” Pacey agreed “She’s beautiful. But, she’s also a total pill.”
“I think what you mean to say is, ‘she’s beautiful, but she’s not Andie.’” Dawson corrected.
“Dawson, I told you, Andie and I agreed we were better off just being friends, and we should see other people.”
Dawson nodded “Right. And we all know what that means.”
“Means she already had someone else in mind,” Pacey sighed. “But, what about you and Joey? Huh? You guys said you needed to just be friends for a little while, and-”
“Ok, let’s leave my life out of this, ok?” Dawson interrupted “What happened between me and Joey was a mistake, we realized that, and we’re better off as friends. And I guess in every man’s love life a little rain must fall.”
“Sure.” Pacey muttered as he followed Dawson into the classroom “So you get a little rain, and I get Hurricane Andie.”
Tatum looked up from her cafeteria meatloaf “Hi. Andie, right?”
“Yeah, listen, have you seen Joey?”
“No, but she should be here soon, why?” Tatum asked
“I just saw her in the bathroom.” Andie replied “She looks destroyed. My brother, Jack, have you met him? Anyway, they’re dating. Or, well, were. She said that she was just trying to help him out with some family problems, and he was pushing her away, which he has a tendency to do, and finally he just told her they were through.”
“Whoa.” Tatum said “I should go check on her. I mean, she’s my sister and all.” she stood up and paused for a moment “My sister. Never thought I’d be able to say that about anyone.”
“Joey?” Tatum said softly as she pushed open the door to the bathroom “You ok?”
Joey bent over the sink and splashed some cold water on her face “Yeah, I’m fine. It’s just, you know, you try to help someone.”
Tatum nodded “Yeah, but if he doesn’t even open up to you when you’re only trying to help him, is he really worth it?”
“No. I guess not,” Joey replied.
“And listen, while I wouldn’t blame you if you just resented the advice of a bastard half sister who you didn’t even know existed until about a week ago, you and Dawson, I mean, you guys have a history. You were best friends. Maybe the time just wasn’t right for you guys to become more than friends. Maybe you should just think about that,” Tatum said. “Anyway, you coming to lunch?”
“Sure.” Joey said as she turned off the water and dried her hands “Just give me a minute. Oh, and Tatum?”
Tatum turned around “Yeah?”
“I’ll think about what you said, thanks.”
Tatum nodded “No problem. Hey, what are sisters for?” she walked out into the hall. She smiled and shook her head “What a town.”
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