Okay, I'm not sure if this would qualify as "AU" or not...It takes place at the beginning of Season Two, but Andie and Jack haven't shown up. Pacey has already had his sixteenth birthday and Dawson and Joey are still dating (despite my loathing for them as a couple...I'm more of a P/J girl, but I'm putting it past me for this story...). This was the result of receiving the Season Two DVDs for Christmas...I had never seen most of Season Two, so I started watching it on the way to Granbury. After watching "Uncharted Waters," and listening to "Loser" by 3 Doors Down, I was inspired. Thus, this story was born...

I haven't decided whether this will be a one-shot or not. It depends on whether people want more or not...I have an idea prepared in case. But please, give me feedback! Feedback is good! VERY good!

Disclaimer- I don't own Dawson's Creek. Kevin Williamson owns Dawson's Creek.

Chapter 1-

Pacey Witter walked into his room, closing the door behind him shakily.

The sixteen-year-old tentatively brushed the tips of his fingers over the bruise forming on his left cheekbone. Once there was silence outside his door, he felt it was safe to leave the doorway.

His dad had been at it again. Report cards had come in that afternoon, and it was safe to say Pacey's grades were less then stellar...

When the teenager's father had seen the F, he had become enraged. He began yelling and screaming like a madman, threatening to break Pacey's neck if he didn't get a quick explanation.

But Sheriff John Witter didn't always act this way. No, only when he and Pacey were alone. Only in secret...where no one could hear Pacey scream.

However, Pacey had stopped screaming years ago, and he only allowed his protective walls to crumble in secret. Only when he was alone.

Anytime Pacey's mother was around, the sheriff of Capeside settled for cold, hateful words. Words that explicitly informed Pacey of his worthlessness. Not to say that John Witter didn't say similar things when they were alone, too. He just added the abusive bit to ensure the idea got across to his youngest son.

And then there was Doug.

Ah, dear ol' Dougie. A father's dream. The older son who walked in his father's footsteps and remained perfect in everything he did. No matter what.

Pacey resented his brother. The older of the two Witter brothers was aware of what was going on. One time when Pacey was eleven, Doug had come home early and witnessed their father slam Pacey into the wall over a failing test grade. Doug had made eye contact with his little brother before leaving the room silently.

After that Pacey had lost all respect for his brother. He pretended everything was okay, but it wasn't. Pacey struggled with his "class clown" fa├žade as best he could, day after day. Comic relief. That's all he was to anybody. Not a single person truly cared.

Not even his best friend Dawson.

He and Dawson had been best friends since diapers were in style. Then in waltzed Josephine Potter...little Joey Potter...Thus began he and Dawson's deteriorating brotherhood.

In Dawson's perfect little world, he had a best friend, who of COURSE was Joey, and an I'll-say-you're-my-best-friend-because-then-I-won't-feel-guilty friend...which was, and always would be, Pacey.

Pacey and Joey had always been constantly vying for Dawson's undivided attention. It seemed Joey had won out.

As always.

In fact, this had become more evident lately since Dawson and Joey had decided they were destined as lovers.

And forgot his sixteenth birthday...

Maybe he was being bitter and resentful, but that was pretty bad in his book...

But as always, Pacey had given in to Dawson's pleas for forgiveness. There was no need to bust Dawson's happy bubble over something like a birthday. It would throw off the balance of the Universe for anybody to be mad at DAWSON. God forbid anyone become upset with the Golden boy; epitome of perfection. Every parents dream.

Besides, Pacey knew that by being angry with Dawson, it would throw off the blonde boy's movie-script life. He might suffer severe brain trauma and keel over...maybe blow a heart valve or something. At the very LEAST, he would be forever and irreversibly scarred for life, never to recover again.

Which of course would be all Pacey's fault.

Everything is Pacey's fault.

Pacey had just settled with the simple truth that he was incapable of doing anything right.

Pacey sat on his bed as he listened to his mother arrive home from her job as a bank teller at the First Bank of Capeside.

He let out a quiet sigh of relief. That meant he wouldn't have to suffer another beating that night as long as his mother stayed home.

He gingerly caressed his cheek again. The boy needed to find a way to cover it by the next day.

On second thought, it wasn't as if he really needed to.

Pacey had gone to school bruised and battered countless times before. He would just spout off a lie about getting into a fight or being clumsy. They would buy it instantly, never thinking twice about it. "Oh, that's just Pacey Witter for you. Always getting himself into trouble," they would say.

Even if he told the truth, no one would believe him over his father anyway. John Witter was the most well-known and respected man in all of Capeside, Massachusetts. Pacey, however, was the troublesome kid in town. The one who slept with his own English teacher, then lied to the courts about it to protect her reputation. Claimed he made the whole thing up.

Yes, that gives him GREAT credibility.

In fact, only a few select people knew his affair with Miss Jacobs to be true. Dawson Leery, Josephine Potter, and Jennifer Lindley.

They all thought he had been in it for the lust. For the thrill of the chase. To his friends, he was the shallow, hormonally-charged horndog who would chase any double-x chromosome with long legs, a flat stomach, a big chest, and a short skirt.

Sure, Pacey would admit that at first, he had been in lust with the 36-year-old woman, but it became a security issue. For the first time in his life, someone wanted him. The town screw-up. He actually felt wanted.

The sensation of someone loving him was something he hadn't been ready to let go of.

It had freaked out his friends when they found out he had been secretly seeing Tamara Jacobs, their tenth grade English teacher. He had blamed it on hormones, knowing he could never expose his insecurity to them. Ever. It was much easier to let them think he was a pig and a pervert, rather than some weak, insecure boy who wanted nothing more than to be accepted. He couldn't allow himself to be vulnerable like that. Joey would just rip in and tear him apart if she knew.

Pacey hastily wiped away the tears he hadn't known were forming in his stormy blue eyes. He couldn't take the chance of his father seeing him. The sheriff frowned upon weakness and inadequacy.

Suddenly Pacey heard a knock at his door. He waited and heard the voice of his mother come through the wooden door.

"Pacey, I'm heading to the grocery store to get some things for dinner. I'll be about forty-five minutes." His mother said before the sounds of retreating footsteps could be heard.

No "I love you" or even "goodbye" in this family. At least not directed in Pacey's direction.

Pacey knew neither of his parents wanted him. They were going to stop after their last daughter, but they ended up with Pacey by accident. He was the mistake.

Not to mention they made no attempt at hiding this fact. Sure, no one said it aloud, but it was implied with the way he was often treated. He would never measure up.

It wasn't long before Pacey heard the distinct, aggressive, heavy footsteps of his father storm to his door.

The wooden door was flung open, and John Witter stalked over to his youngest child's bed.

"Pacey! Are you DEAF as well as STUPID now! I've been calling you for the past five minutes!" his father barked condescendingly as he grabbed Pacey by the scruff of his shirt. "You answer when I call to you!"

Pacey prayed that his eyes weren't red from any tears that had escaped against his will. His father would not take kindly to this childish, forbidden form of emotion.

"Sorry." Pacey managed to croak, ashamed at the sound of his own voice. He forced his facial features to harden into defiance. He couldn't let his father sense his weakness. He had to try and keep in control of himself. Let the man think he's won...

John Witter roughly shoved his son into the wall, nearly knocking a nightstand over in the process.

Pacey resumed his tense, defensive stance as he began to stare off into space. The boy doubted it was anything he hadn't heard before.

A crack echoed throughout the room as Pacey felt a burning sensation around his mouth, cheek, and nose.

Against his will, a yelp of pain and surprise escaped his lips. The moment he realized his mistake, he clammed up again. Had his father noticed?

He saw his father's mouth tighten, the dim light from the hall shining off the balding spot on John Witter's head.

"Were you listening?" the older Witter man demanded harshly, his posture threatening.

Pacey struggled to keep a calm exterior. He resisted the urge to touch the burning section of skin around his mouth. He felt a small bit of blood trickle from his lip, down his chin. It was then that Pacey realized his left cheek was no longer throbbing from earlier.

"Yes sir." Pacey replied evenly, doing his best not to sound sarcastic.

John Witter grabbed his son by his soft, barely-curled brown locks of hair. Pacey cried out quietly in pain as he felt his father's fingers dig into his skull, clasping firmly around the hair. Pacey could feel hot tears stinging at his eyes.

Pulling Pacey a few inches from his own face, John Witter whispered maliciously, "Don't you use that tone with me, boy. And don't you lie to me either. You got that?"

When he received no response, the man tightened his grip on the boy's hair and jerked it roughly. "I said you GOT THAT!" he yelled dangerously.

Pacey nodded in reply, afraid his voice would betray him again.

With that Sheriff Witter released his grasp on his son's hair, taking a few steps back.

"You should get yourself cleaned up. We wouldn't want to worry your mother." The middle-aged man said darkly.

Pacey nodded, simply relieved the death grip on his hair was gone.

The policeman turned and walked out of the room, leaving Pacey by himself again.

With a sigh, Pacey sat back on his bed before falling back on it completely.

It would always be this way. There was no room for change in the life of Pacey Witter. He would always be Pacey the clown, the comic relief, the troublemaker with hormones in constant overdrive.

He would always be Pacey the loser.