Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: Dawson's Creek
Character/Pairing: past Pacey/Andie, Jack
Challenge/Prompt: beattheblackdog 132: Bandage
Word Count: 1,101
Date Written: 27 October 2018
Disclaimer: All characters within belong to their rightful owners, not the author, and are used without permission.
She had not dropped the glass on purpose, but that still didn’t keep the fragmented shards from looking like a sorely distraction -- and more. Andie bent and picked up one of the larger pieces. She turned it in slow circles in her hand, watching the light reflect on the shard and remembering a better time, a time in which she’d actually still had the power to believe that her world, her life, could be a very different and better place.
Her mother had still been nuts there, and her brother dead, and she’d still felt the burdens of her world far more heavily than any teenager her age should have to, but he had made it better. He had made everything better -- for a time that had been far too shortly lived, but all because of her own foolishery. She never have told him, she thought for at least the thousandth time, dragging the shard of glass across the delicate skin on her left wrist.
She never should have told him about making love with that guy! It wasn’t as if she’d been under her own control at the time. She had been afraid, as she’d told him, and she had been lonely, but she’d had no clear idea of what she’d been doing until it was far too late, just as it was now far too late to save whatever she’d once had with Pacey.
Had it been real? she wondered yet again. Loving Pacey and being loved by him had felt more real than anything else she’d experienced since she’d been a child, but had it really been real? Had his words, his feelings been real, or had it all been a hoax? She hated thinking that way, but she couldn’t help it any more than she could help what she had done. Her mind had been so clouded by the drugs she’d been on for her mental problems that she had only realized what was really happening after she’d awakened in a stranger’s arms.
She shouldn’t have told him! It’s not like the guy had meant anything to her while Pacey . . . Pacey had been her everything! He’d become everything good to her, her one real reason for hanging on to this crazy, painful world. He’d always been so gentle with her too, she remembered, watching as blood trickled slowly out of the cut she’d made. When she had broken that glass by accident on his boat, he’d cleaned it up and cleaned her up with barely a word. His ministrations as he’d bandaged her cut had been the gentlest touches she’d ever felt and had led to the sweetest moment of love she’d ever know.
Tears welled in Andie’s eyes. She didn’t try to hold them back. She never did any more. She just let them fall here alone in this house with only her mother for company, her mother who would look straight at and through her and never saw that her daughter was hurting, her mother who barely even recognized her daughter now. Andie sniffled. She’d been such a fool to believe things could ever get better for her or her family! It was like they were cursed!
They were all cursed, and Pacey was no fairy tale Prince sweeping into her life to rescue her or her mother. There was no rescue coming, only more pain and heartache, and she was so sick and tired of it all. She slid down to the bathroom floor, trembling as she went and cutting deeper into her skin with the glass.
She looked up at the shout and was barely able to make out her brother’s form dashing toward her for the tears in her eyes. Jack shot into the bathroom and to her side and pulled her forcibly into his arms. His touch was reassuring and loving. He was strong and yet gentle with her at the same time. But he wasn’t her Pacey. He was just her brother.
Before she could stop him, Jack whipped the piece of glass out of her grip and threw it as hard as he could against the wall. She struggled against him, but he held her tight and firm. One day, he swore, one day, he’d make Pacey pay for all that he was doing to Andie. Yes, she had cheated on him, but she’d also been honest with him. She’d told him the truth when she hadn’t had to and when she had to have seen that it would end their relationship.
Yet Pacey himself had spent almost every waking moment over the Summer they’d been apart with Joey, and Jack knew there was more between the two of them than friendship. Witter was a backstabber, hurting not only Andie but his best friend, Dawson, eventually as well, because Jack knew Dawson still loved Joey. But right now, his concern wasn’t with Joey or Pacey. It was with his little sister who was trembling like a leaf in his arms.
“Sh, sh,” he coaxed, beginning to rock her. He kissed the top of her head and held her firmly against him. “It’s going to be all right.”
“No,” she whimpered an admission that finished breaking his heart. “No, it’s not, Jack. It’s never going to be all right again.”
Tears fell from his eyes now too. He couldn’t lie to her; she knew the truth. Their life was no fairy tale, and it wasn’t going to get any better, especially not because of Pacey or his brother. Jack kissed Andie’s head again and continued holding her tight and rocking them both now.
Things were never going to get any better. They were never going to have handsome Princes dashing in to rescue them. They would only ever have each other. It was going to have to be enough, he decided. He was going to have to be enough for both of them. He was no Prince, but he wouldn’t let his sister or his mother down again. His priorities lay here. He had to do whatever he could to cheer them, to make things better any way at all.
“He left me!” Andie whimpered, her tears soaking Jack’s shoulder. “He said he’d love me forever, but he left me!”
And guys did that, Jack knew too well. Guys broke girls’, and other guys’, hearts all the time, but he wouldn’t let her heart be broken again. He wouldn’t let any of their hearts be broken again. “I won’t,” he whispered in a quiet, determined vow. “I won’t ever leave you.” And he held her as they both cried.