They both turned to see Dawson standing in the doorway. "Dawson you're early?" said Joey fearful of what could happen next.
Dawson and Pacey locked eyes, "I thought it was unfair that I'd be the last person in Capeside to see Pacey again, after all he was my best friend first." It was as if the past hadn't mattered. Dawson went straight up to Pacey and hugged him. "No matter what people think or tell you Pacey, I never wanted this for you nor for us."
Pacey pulled back then said quite harshly and coldly, "Dawson...no I believe you but somehow you got Joey and my son without much effort. But I suppose I'll always be in your debt for raising my son and giving Joey stability and love."
"We've all made mistakes Pacey, mistakes that we regret. My mistake was not letting go of what wasn't mine. I admit I enjoyed the spoils but I never had her heart. In your absence I lived with your ghost and in your shadow. All this could've been avoided if I hadn't been so selfish, if I had been more a man than a selfish child. I'm sorry Pacey," said Dawson.
The memories started to come, so did the feelings that had been suppressed for so many years and all Pacey could do was cry. He just sat on the kitchen stool and started to sob. There had been so much that he broke down. He just couldn't have this discussion right now. He had just remembered. He had recalled on of the most painful moments of his life. He had been apologised to by one of the two people who had been responsible for where he was at the moment. The anger, the desperation and the sadness was all consuming. He felt light-headed. "I don't know. I just can't deal with all of this. I need time. I should never have come," he got up to leave when suddenly he let out a blood-curdling scream, "...arrhghghghg," as he fell to the floor. Dawson and Joey went to his side, trying to help him. But Andie came running in as she pushed the scorned lovers aside, "Pacey can you hear me...look at me!" Pacey was writhing in pain and he wasn't aware of anything. Andie went into doctor mode, checking his vitals. Her face paled, "Jen call the ambulance now!"
Joey and Dawson stood dumbfounded. They didn't know what was happening.
"Jen get a blanket," Andie asked Jen totally ignoring the other two, then she turned to Pacey trying to remove his hands from his head, "Pacey try to focus on your breathing...in and out, in and out." But it was all in vain. Tears were streaming from his eyes as the pain intensified.
"An..an..die...it hurts...make it st...op!" pleaded Pacey. The most important women of his life watched him in pain and they were helpless. Suddenly the sirens came into earshot as Pacey's body went limp. Andie frantically check his pulse..oh god, oh god.
"Pacey no...keep breathing Pacey, don't give up!" she yelled as she started CPR. Jen brought in the EMTs. They perused the scene and immediately took over. The three women stood back and watched the boy that had all fallen in love with at one stage in their lives, slip through their fingers as they all looked on.
The friends sat stony faced in the waiting room. Andie had followed Pacey into the ER. Time passed slowly. In the mean time Hank had arrived as had, Doug and Jack. Jen had told them the truth that Pacey had been hiding. They were shocked and bewildered.
"Why didn't he tell us? Why did he keep it from us Jen?" asked Doug.
"It wasn't relevant to what he wanted. He wanted to meet his family and friends, that's all. He wanted to know the truth of his past. The eventuality of what could happen wasn't important," said Jen trying to rationalise Pacey's risk taking.
"But it's so Pacey isn't it? His needs always coming last. Any word?" asked Jack.
"No nothing yet...Andie is still in there. She promised when she found out something she'd come out and tell us," said Jen. Joey hadn't said a word since the event. She sat in the chair staring whilst Dawson held her hand. The words that Pacey had yelled at her still burning in her mind. It was her fault, all of it. The choice she made for friendship and memories over love and happiness. She didn't deserve him. He had achieved so much and she had floundered. The only thing she could be proud of was her Pacey, the son she shared with him. Jen sat next to her. She saw Joey withdrawing, losing herself in the words Pacey had uttered. She slowly reached for Joey's hand and held it, "It had to happen this way. The truth had to come out Joey. Don't lose hope. It isn't over."
Just at that very moment, Andie emerged. The rest all rose to greet her and Doug went forward, "How is he?"
"This episode was severe. It has caused more damage than the doctors would've like. But for now he's sleeping. They'll know more tomorrow when the swelling subsides," said Andie and then she just stood there as she saw the others leave. She was staying, she was waiting. Joey, Dawson and Jen held back as Jen needed to speak Andie.
"Andie...the truth," Jen's eyes burrowed into Andie's eyes as Joey and Dawson looked on. She confirmed what Jen suspected.
"There's too much damage...a couple of days at most barring any more bombshells," said Andie.
Shock overcame the need to cry, "I'll need to call Lawrence," said Jen catatonically.
The morning brought nothing...no hope no respite from the train wreck that had been this week. Sadness lingered in the air as Jen tried to eat some cereal when she heard the doorbell ring...8 am who could it be? She walked to the door and gasped in surprise when she saw Lawrence and his P.A Peter. She didn't waste any time and flung herself into his arms, "Oh Lawrence...oh I'm so sorry. If I hadn't been so selfish, if I hadn't begged him to come...it's all my fault."
Lawrence returned her embrace and placed a fatherly kiss on her head, "Oh Jennifer...this whole mess is no one's fault just life, my dear. The choices we make have repercussions. We don't know what they are so we do the best we can. Have faith Jen...remember he was always on borrowed time."
She let go and said, "Please come in...Oh I'm sorry you must be Peter...please come in. Would you like tea, coffee, some breakfast?"
Lawrence replied , "We'd love some. "
"Yes thank you Jennifer. That's very kind of you," added Peter. The two men sat at the kitchen table, while Jen put out some breakfast fare.
"So how is he?" asked Lawrence. Jen stopped and looked at the both and paused.
"Not more than a couple of days..." and her voice broke. "He was taken away 15 years ago, he returns for a fleeting moment, enough to tease us with his presence and then he is taken away again. Tell me Lawrence why? Why is this happening?"
Lawrence couldn't answer. He was still processing the fact that he had a few days left with the man who he thought would take over his empire. Jen went over to Lawrence all of a sudden realising that she wasn't the only one affected, "Oh I'm so sorry Lawrence."
Peter looked at Lawrence who was lost in thought, "He changed my life Jennifer. He became the son I never had. I won't let him go without a fight. I'm arranging him to be transferred to The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. I've spoken to the Professor of Neurology and forwarded Tom's files. I'm sorry to take him away but the Professor seems to think Tom make it through this. They have new and ground breaking techniques."
"It's true Jennifer...it'll be the chance Tom deserves," said Peter.
"I knew you'd find a way, a way of saving him. When will they transfer him?" asked Jen.
"Later today," answered Lawrence, "Peter and I will travel with him."
Th morning had been a welcome sight as the night had seemed endless. Joey was sitting outside drinking her tea as Dawson shuffled outside, "Hey? Rough night?"
Joey looked up lovingly, "You could say that. Sorry if I woke you...I just couldn't sleep. I just kept hearing Pacey's words in my head over and over."
Dawson sighed. What a mess! There were so many victims in this story, everyone was willing to take the blame but in truth, the blame was no one's. "Remember Joey, Pacey doesn't remember everything. He's recalling it in bits and pieces and trying to make sense of it all. Don't take what says to heart and what happen to Pacey, he was aware of the danger. All this is cruel and stupid, nobody deserves this, but it's happening and unfolding before our eyes. We will do what we can and deal with it."
"Dawson, you're right...I know, but for him to come back in our lives it just made me think of how much he has been missed, what a void he left...what I lost," whispered Joey knowing that everytime she was honest about her feelings about Pacey, she'd be hurting Dawson.
"I know Joey. I've missed him too...and I know how much you have, and that deep down you still love him. I can't change that but I've learnt to accept that. That's why it's been so easy to love his son as my own," confessed Dawson.
Joey's eyes started to well up, "Thank you...I need to go and see him."
Dawson placed his hand on hers, "We all do. It's time we told Pacey."
Andie hadn't left the hospital opting to use the doctor's lounge and get some shut eye when Doctor Chan woke her, "Dr McPhee, he's awake if you want to see him."
Andie shook herself awake, "Oh thank you Dr Chan."
Dr Chan smiled and headed for the door not before she turned and said, "Oh and by the way, Mr Roberts is being transferred this afternoon. He must have friends in high places to go the the Rehabilitation Institute."
Andie was surprised...money and connections Pacey had truly done well. Anyway he was awake and she was going to see him, to see for herself how he was faring. She pulled back her hair. She really needed a shower and adjusted her blouse and headed for the ICU. She gently pushed the door open and there he was, gorgeous and vulnerable as ever. Pacey did vulnerable very well. He was staring at he TV when he heard the squeaking of the door. He turned his head very gingerly and flashed his hypnotising smile, "Hey!" he whispered.
Andie was so relieved for so many reasons, "Hey to you too! You gave us a real scare yesterday. How are you feeling?" she asked whilst she grabbed his hand and sat next to him.
"Like I've been hit by a bus, but ok I suppose. What's the prognosis and don't lie Dr McPhee?" slurred Pacey
"Not good...they can't do anything here. But it seems you have a guardian angel. You're being transferred to the best hospital in the US for brain injuries Pacey this afternoon," said Andie.
"It's that bad, I'm going to die?" asked Pacey stoically.
"Yeah...but this hospital in Chicago...they make miracles Pacey.." she said.
"It's fine Andie, whatever happens happens...I was cruel to Joey... I seem to remember certain things and not others. I don't know the whole truth and I said those horrible things to her. I need to make it better before it's too late," said Pacey struggling for breath and Andie knew exactly how he felt.
"They'll be here later Pace and I'll make sure you get a chance to explain..." said Andie as she heard a knock on the door. She turned her head to see an old and distinguished man followed by another man.
"Hello may I come in?" he asked.
Pacey's eyes lit up and a bright but tired smile found its way on his face, "Lawrence? Peter?"
"Oh my son what mess have you got yourself in?"said Lawrence who walked over to Pacey and gave him a fatherly embrace.
"Hello Tom...what are we going to do with you?" said Tom shaking Pacey's hand.
"Sorry...I honestly thought I could get through this without any of this happening...I didn't want all this fuss...I didn't want it to end there like this," whimpered Pacey.
Andie stood in the background elbow resting on her hand, biting her nails and fighting back her tears.
Lawrence sat down and softly spoke, "Pacey you've reached your goal. You remembered things, you met your family and friends and you've discovered that we all have skeletons in our cupboard. You knew this situation was a possibility...you knew that Pacey."
"Lawrence I'm going to die!" said Pacey desperately, "and I don't want to."
"You're not going to die...I won't let that happen. You just don't understand how much you mean to me, Tom. You've become the son I never had, you have challenged me to better myself and you've kept ME going when I could've easily have given up. You have been my saviour, Tom and I will move heaven and earth to help you," said Lawrence. Pacey's eyes welled up.
"Tom, we've arranged a transfer for you to be treated by the best brain neurosurgeon in the US...there is hope. We just need you not to give up," explained Peter.
"Really?" whispered Pacey. Peter nodded with a beaming smile. Then Pacey's eyes drifted to Andie's, "She needs to come with me...Andie needs to be there." This took her by surprise. Suddenly Lawrence and Peter turned to her and she suddenly wanted to shrink into the corner.
"Andie?" asked Peter.
She moved forward holding out her hand, "Dr Andrea McPhee...an old friend of Pacey's."
"And ex-girlfriend as well," said Lawrence smirking noticing a connection between the two.
The two blushed, "I trust her...I need her there," said Pacey.
"OK...Peter and I will go an finish organising the arrangements. See you later son. Oh Dr McPhee would you mind accompanied us and assisting us with the paperwork," said Lawrence slowly getting up with the help of Peter. Andie nodded. She gave Pacey a 'see-you-later' look and left with the gentlemen.
Pacey was left alone with his thoughts. No one could've predicted what had transpired in the last month or so. He felt lost yet he was found. He needed to talk to Joey, he needed to set things right before he wasn't able to. He pulled himself up and lent over to get his phone when he heard the door and with turning he felt her, "Pacey?" she said.
"Joey...come in," he said softly.
She looked at him. He looked tired and pale, but otherwise as handsome as always. How her heart ached for him, to hold him, to kiss him, to tell him how she has mourned for him, but after his outburst she was tentative and a little afraid. She walked over flashing a small apologetic smile. Her hand brushed his and said, "You look better."
"Thanks," he said. Catching his breath he continued, "I need to apologise to you for what I said. It was wrong and unfair."
Joey sat down almost relieved, "There's no need Pacey. You know I thought about what you said and you were completely right. I had your love but I wanted it all. I wan't able to make that decision when I should've been easy, and simple. I messed up...I'm sorry Pacey."
Pacey was taken aback, "Where do we go from here?"
"I don't know...it's hard when the memories aren't there Pacey and now we won't get the chance. Time has run out for us...I'm sorry and I'm angry," explained Joey with a slight edge to her voice.
"Joey I believe in miracles and I believe that things happen for a reason. I'm sorry I left, I'm sorry I don't remember and I'm sorry I came back. If I had stayed away all this could've been avoided...I've thrown everyone's lives upside down. You've mourned me once, I don't want you to do it again," answered Pacey trying to hide his emotions.
"Let's not do this. I want to focus on the positive.." said Joey but being interrupted by Pacey.
"Positive? You've got to be kidding. There's no positive in this," said Pacey.
"There is...your son!" she answered.
"No, you will not tell him anything. I'm going to die and I will not let you burden him with this Joey," said Pacey agitated.
"I'm his mother and I will do what's best for him. He needs to know the truth before the loose tongues of this town tell him," said Joey and she was right. "Dawson and Pacey are outside, let me call them in."
"No Joey...I can't," he said frantically.
"Yes you can and you owe it to him!" said Joey and before Pacey could say anything she went to the door and motioned for Dawson and Pacey jnr. to enter.
The kid entered following Dawson, "Hey Pacey, you're looking better."
"So everyone's telling me," he said trying to find his voice.
Joey called Pacey jnr. over and stood him next to her. The boy was tall. She smiled at him letting him know that all was good, "Pacey this is your son."
"We've met...hi!" said Pacey trying to find the right words.
"Hi...so the car is yours...the Maserati," said Pacey jnr.
"Yeah. Why don't you sit down and I'll tell you about myself. Things that mum and dad haven't told you," Pacey smiled.
The kid seemed reticent but agreed giving Joey a glance, "Come on Dawson, we'll wait outside we'll let these two talk." Dawson nodded and gave Pacey jnr. a pat on the shoulder.
Pacey jnr. walked around the bed and sat down. Pacey looked at him and he felt so overwhelmed that this handsome boy was his. Suddenly the kid spoke, "Mum filled me in on everything that happened...the accident and all and how you don't remember. It must suck!"
Pacey laughed, "Yeah, it does. Well you know about my past growing up in Capeside, so I'll tell you about what happened after the accident."
The kid nodded and Pacey started telling him about the Captain and everything.
The boy's face lit up, "Wow! That's a hell of a story. So how rich are you?"
"Rich enough kid. I'm honoured to have met you. I know I'm your biological father and that life hasn't given us a chance to be together. But if I do make it through this, I'd love for us to have a relationship...really get to know each other. Maybe you can come and stay with me in New York," said Pacey.
"Mum told me that my dad had died when I was little. I was ok with that because Dawson was around. I have a great relationship with him but I really glad you're alive...not just because your rich," said the kid. Pacey laughed and pulled him in for a hug. "I'll see you later Pacey..is it ok to call you Pacey?"
"Sure kid, see you later," said Pacey. Pacey jnr. left and Dawson entered.
"Hey Pacey," said Dawson.
"Great kid...you've done a fantastic job of raising him, " said Pacey.
"You know Pacey, Joey and Pacey are my life and I'd do anything for them," said Dawson.
"I see that. I didn't come to take that away," said Pacey.
"No, I know. But things will never be the same. Whether you survive this or not, things will never be the same for us," Dawson finished.
"Life is like that. It's organic Dawson, I changes and challenges us. Embrace it," said Pacey.
Dawson nodded his head, "Good luck Pacey...I hope to see you soon. We might go fishing at our old spot." He shook his hand and left.
Alone again Pacey felt tired. His eyes started to close and Andie came in, "Hey sleepy head."
"It's been an intense morning. I'm tired and my head's hurting," slurred Pacey.
"Well visits are over, papers have been organised and we'll get ready to move you in an hour's time. Time to save your life!" said Andie joyfully.
Pacey smiled through his fatigue, "I'm not ready to die...I've got a son to get to know and a new life to begin."