Never Look Back: Part Two
by: Diana

Never Look Back: Part 2
Overlooked Obstacles
By: Diana


"Stop being such a downer!"

Pacey grimaced at Andie, attempting to hold the face, but failing. A wide, bright smile spread across his lips, "Maybe I like being a party pooper."

Andie groaned and turned away from Pacey, crossing her arms defiantly over her chest, "Can't you just do this one thing? It's all I'll ask of you ever again," she smiled at him, "I promise."

Pacey was suddenly aware that the sky was becoming darker, darker until it was almost black. He looked down at Andie, nervousness flashing in his eyes, "What's going on?"

Andie's carefree disposition had changed into one of regret and sadness, her eyes downcast with disappointment, "It's too late, Pacey."

Pacey felt icy fingers grip his throat. Too late for what? He reached out for Andie, but she was just out of his reach. He took a step forward but she remained a fraction of an inch away from his frantic grasp. His blood rushed with nervous adrenaline, "Stop," he yelled as she continued to fade into the blackness, "Come back!"

But she had disappeared.

Pacey shot up in his bed, the cries slowly dying on his lips. This dream had been haunting him since... it happened. As usual, his body was drenched with sweat, as were the sheets he laid upon. He pushed himself up, dragging his wet body from the warmth of the bed. A glance at the clock told him it was 2:30, meaning he'd be up the entire night.

He put his hands over his face, shaking his head back and forth, "I should've done it," he murmured, "I should've gone with her." Images of Andie, of her bright eyes, her flaxen hair, her soft kisses brought a strangled cry from Pacey's lips and he fell to his knees on the floor, sobs wracking his body. It was fifteen years since, but the wound was still so fresh.

He pushed his body against the wall and hung his head between his knees. A stab of loneliness ripped through his heart. Pacey had no one. And all of a sudden he missed them. He missed them all. Dawson's obliviousness and Joey's wit and Jen's worldliness, though he thought he must be caught up to her by now, and Jack's friendliness and most of all Andie's... everything. A fresh wave of tears coursed down Pacey's cheeks, because there wasn't really anything he could do about Andie.

He rested his head against the cold wall, looking around his large, extravagant bedroom that remained empty, if not physically, then emotionally, and realizing he had accomplished his goal, and that it had brought him nothing but emptiness.

His eyes rested on his night table, on a single item that seemed to be surrounded by a circle of light.

It was a starched white envelope.

Dawson smiled at Jolie through the rearview mirror of his 2015 Jaguar. Jolie, oblivious to her father's fond stare, continued babbling, "So Katie said that Josh looked at me in lunch and I was like yeah right! Because, Dad, Josh is such a loser."

Dawson laughed, "I happen to think any boy that looks in my daughter's direction is far from being a loser."

Jolie rolled her eyes, but Dawson noticed a pleased smile tug at the corners of her mouth, "Ha ha, Dad. You're so funny."

Dawson nodded his head, "So I'm told."

Jolie tugged on her seat-belt and looked at her father with an expression that Dawson knew well. The one that allowed her to cajole him into almost anything. "Tell me about Joey again, Dad."

Dawson sighed impatiently, "How many times can you listen to that story?" Dawson had created a fairytale-ized version of his and Joey's relationship, not realizing at the time that it would become Jolie's favorite.

The truth was, Dawson's feelings for Joey had ended on the day of graduation. The day he had walked in on her with .. that creep. Dawson had realized, as he beheld the two entangled in each other, that the sight neither angered nor saddened him. It only brought his lack of feeling toward Joey to his attention.

Dawson shot Jolie a no nonsense look and concentrated his attention back on the massive traffic jam they were stuck in.

Luckily, she took the hint. But instead of relenting, she shifted topics, "Hey, Daddy," Dawson cringed as Jolie's wheedling tone grinded into his ear, "Remember that mail I asked you about?"

Dawson knitted his eyebrows together, for he had forgotten about the invitation.

Jolie groaned, "Dad! I know you remember. Well, anyway, you said it was nothing important, but you were distracted, so I knew you were lying."

Dawson smiled slightly.

Jolie continued rambling, "So I fished it out of the garbage and read it. I mean, I sort of read it, because I'm not the best reader in the world." She licked her lips and leaned forward, "But if I know what I'm talking about, it was asking you to go back to Capeside."

Dawson nodded his head back slowly as he remembered the preposterous invitation, "Forget it, Miss Jolie. Get that idea out of your head right now."

Jolie's eyes began to shine with unshed tears, and Dawson marveled at her ability to turn her eyes off and on. "But, Dad! Capeside! I could meet Joey," her voice was filled with wonderment. "I want to see the place where the ladder was and I want to see the Icehouse, and the ruins and the creek and so much more!"

Dawson shook his head, "It isn't as great as it sounds. Just a regular town with regular places." Dawson paused and the next time he spoke it was more to himself than to his daughter, "Who even knows if it looks the same anymore…"

Jolie, being extremely cunning and sly, realized her opportunity and pounced on it, "This is your chance to find out, Dad! Don't you want to see Pacey and Jen and everyone again?"

Without realizing it, Jolie had made a fatal mistake. Dawson's back stiffened and his tone left no room for questioning, "No, Jol. I don't want to see anyone. We're not going. That's it."

Jolie slumped back in her seat and stared out the window grudgingly. But inside, the gears were turning. They would be going to Capeside, of that she was sure.

Jen pushed herself awkwardly from the armchair, using her arms to support her weight. "I want to go, Jack!" Jen realized she was yelling at him, and for a reason she could not figure out. Of course it would be logical to think she wouldn't want to go back. Nobody would under the circumstances. But something, whether it be an irrational mood swing, or her true feeling, was telling her it was time to face the music.

Jack placed his hands on her shoulders in an attempt to placate, "I think we should talk about this, Jen. Going back would entail such a humongous amount of courage, and I'm not sure we contain it."

Jen pushed his hands off, "Oh, shut up. It won't take courage. Just a phone call and a plane ticket. That's it."

Jack sat down in the armchair Jen had just evacuated and rubbed his eyes, "Have you forgotten about the baby? What if little McPhee decides to pop out early, Jen? What then?" Jack hadn't wanted to match Jen's anger, but he heard his voice rise and felt the veins in his neck begin to bulge.

Jen laughed, "So then he or she will be born in the perfectly placid town of Capeside, Massachusetts. Is there any better place?"

Jack knew that the excuses he was feeding to Jen were not the ones that had been eating at him the entire day. And suddenly he found he couldn't care about her fragile condition. She needed to hear the truth. His voice was low and unemotional as he began, "Maybe it isn't any of those reasons then, Jen. Maybe it's because I can't face them-" his voice cracked, and he bowed his head down, "Have you forgotten about Andie? I can't go back…" Jack's voice was hardly audible and he looked back up at Jen, his eyes bloodshot and wide, "I can never go back."

Jen sighed and ran a hand through her hair. She bent over Jack and kissed the top of his head, "I'm so sorry. I... I can't believe I was that insensitive." She cupped his chin in her hand and raised his head until his eyes met hers, "I just thought maybe it'd be a good idea, you know, to see how things are now."

Jack smiled feebly at her as she continued, "It might make you feel better, seeing all of them."

Jack shook his head, "Everywhere I go I'll see Andie's face. Everything I do will remind me of her." He grasped Jen's hands in his, "It's bad enough here, Jen. But back in Capeside... It would be impossible."

Jen nodded slowly, "Can you just promise me to think about it a little more?"

Jack pouted, "All right. But I'm just going to come to the same conclusion." And as he placed a soft kiss on Jen's upturned lips, he was already thinking of more excuses to give her. Because Capeside was part of a past that he wanted to stay exactly where it was. In the past.

"You ever think it might be good to see your friends again, Josie?"

Josephine wrapped the dark blue afghan tighter around her shoulders, "No, trust me, Rick. It wouldn't."

Ricky rested his ankle on his knee and handed her a mug of steaming coffee. She sipped it carefully, still fighting the vicious hangover that had come of last night. Ricky chuckled, "What happened there that you're so tight-lipped about? It can't be that bad."

Josephine was struck with several painful images that left her speechless. After a lengthy pause she whispered, "Yes it can. It definitely can."

Ricky edged closer to her and put his arm around her, she immediately placing her head on his shoulder, "I do miss them, though," she bit her lip to fight tears, "Even Dawson."

Ricky chuckled at this, because he had had to sit through her detailed, and somewhat distorted, version of Dawson Leery, "Well then that settles it. You're going back."

A single forlorn tear escaped Josephine's eye and traveled slowly down her cheek, "I wish it were that easy. It's just... It's more complicated."

Ricky rolled his eyes and lightly tugged on her hair, "Don't give me that complicated bull. Besides, I've got a proposition for you."

Joey glanced up at him, silently pleading with him to make her go. She knew she needed to see them, at the same time she knew she wouldn't go unless someone forced her. Ricky grinned, "I'm coming. I'll be right at your side the whole time, so if it is as 'terrible' as you make it sound, we'll come right back home and pretend you never went." Ricky raised his eyebrows a few times, "Whaddaya think, huh? Good plan or what?"

Josephine sat up and sipped from the mug again. This amazing plan of Ricky's would mean some tough decision making on her part. Him coming could mean the end of their friendship. But it could also mean she'd have a shoulder to cry on when everything exploded, which she knew it would. She sighed as the faces of her former friends flashed through her mind. God, but she did miss them.

She turned to Ricky as a small smile forming on her lips, "You're on." He grinned cockily and raised his eyebrows as if to say 'I told you so.'

Joey sighed, trying to calm the pang of indecision, "You'd just better be right about this."

Pacey had called the minute the alumni office had opened. The lady had said he was one of the first to reply. He had asked her if any of them were coming, but she had said she wasn't able to give out that information. Pacey found that ridiculous. He'd be seeing them at the reunion anyway.

Yes, he would be at the reunion of the Class of 2001. And now he was giddy with nervous anticipation. He couldn't believe he had almost given up the chance to reunite with them. Of course it would be difficult at first, but... didn't friendship surpass that?

Pacey hoped it would, but found he didn't really care. It was time to face it. To face all of it and get past the guilt that had been gnawing away at him for the past fifteen years. Now was the time. He was sure.

Dawson sat in disbelief. Jolie had truly out done herself this time. Because here he was, on the phone, arranging for plane tickets that would bring him to the place he least wanted to be: Capeside, Massachusetts.

She had used the mother line on him and Dawson cringed now as he realized he had fallen for it, hook, line and sinker. When he had found her, hidden beneath her covers, tears streaming down her cheeks, Dawson had thought she was hurt. Instead, she looked up at him with her huge liquid eyes, her voice quavering, "I miss Mommy."

Now Dawson smacked his palm against his forehead, Jolie only used Nicole as an excuse when she wanted something. Unfortunately, the knowledge of this seemed to slip from his fingers everytime she uttered the sentence.

"Maybe if we go to Capeside and I see how you grew up it would make it easier for me, Daddy. Does that make sense?" Dawson thought back to her words, cringing as he began to grasp just how much of an idiot he had been.

As Dawson waited impatiently for the reservations agent to take him off hold, he tried to see the brighter side of things. Nothing came to mind. He snapped to attention as the nasal voice of the attendant began talking again. "I need two tickets to Massachusetts... yes... Uh, one week from today."

That's the end for now. I love feedback! Please give it to me! Send it all to Thanks=)


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