Disclaimer: You've seen it before, they're not mine.
Author's Note: This takes place after Parental Discretion Advised at the end of season 2. My email is email@example.com. Feel free to send any feedback to me. And don't forget about the Creeker's Choice Awards! Here's the address: www.gurlpages.com/tv/ccawards/main.html. Be sure to vote!
Pacey sat on Dawson's bed, watching as Dawson walked back and forth from his closet to the suitcase on the other side of the room.
"I can't believe you're really going to Philadelphia."
"There's nothing left for me here, Pace. You know that."
"But we've never spent a summer apart. I mean, who'll I hang out with? Andie's gone. You'll be gone."
"Jen and Jack are here."
"But, Dawson, you and I, we've been friends for a long time. We've got a connection. You can't just ditch me, man."
"Please, buddy, I'm begging you!" Pacey got on his knees and tugged at Dawson's shirt as he wiped away fake tears. "You can't leave me here all alone! I'm lost without you!"
Dawson looked down at Pacey. "And the Oscar for the most pitiful performance of the year goes to Pacey Witter."
Pacey stood. "I was going for pitiful."
"I was referring to the quality of the performance."
"So nothing will stop you?"
"Only one person can say anything to stop me and unfortunately that person isn't you."
"Dawson, I know you're trying to be noble and all that, but Joey isn't going to care. You know how she is when she's angry."
"We've always worked things out before. She just needs time. So I'm giving it to her. She didn't want to see me, I'll make sure she doesn't."
"Whatever, Dawson. Just be careful. Joey's not the type to come crawling back."
"You'll see, Pacey. It'll all work out. Joey and I are meant to be. Destiny will take care of everything."
"I don't know what it is you're on, Dawson, but I've got to get myself some of it."
Joey heard the knock at the door and set Alexander down before running to answer it. She opened the door to find Pacey. Her face immediately tightened into a scowl.
"What do *you* want?"
"You may be avoiding Dawson, but I figure I'm still allowed to see you. The big D, by the way, has taken off to Philadelphia for the summer."
"He has?" Joey's voice betrayed her. Pacey could hear her concern for him.
"Yes. Anyway, I figured--you're alone, I'm alone--maybe we could be alone together."
"Dream on, Pacey."
"Come on, Jo. I'm dyin'! Whenever I go home, my dad keeps trying to have bonding moments and I don't know how much longer I can take it."
"Pacey, why don't you go hang out with Jack and Jen?"
"Because they paint their nails, watch sappy movies and read Cosmo."
"I thought you liked Cosmo. And, Jack may be gay, but he's not a girl."
"Jo, they get out their sleeping bags, have pajama parties, tell not-even-scary stories and make crank calls."
Joey folded her arms. "I can't believe I've stooped to Pacey Witter as the extent of my social life."
"Aw, Jo, I didn't know you cared."
"So, what do you propose to do?"
"We'll ease into it. Keep it comfortable. Movie Night."
"7. My house."
"But don't even think about coming through the window. That's actually pretty kinky."
"Grow up, Pacey."
Joey shut the door. She walked back over to Alexander and picked him up. He looked at her with wide eyes.
"I know. I can't believe it either."
Joey walked cautiously to Pacey's door. She'd rarely been here before. Dawson's house had always been their central meeting place. And Mr. Witter always intimidated her. She'd been especially sensitive around him since her father's arrest. She knocked on the door.
It opened almost immediately to show Pacey.
"Hey, come on in."
He practically pulled her inside, leaving Joey a little stunned. He proceeded to guide her, or drag her, upstairs. Joey felt a little odd. Finally, he shut the door behind them once they were in his room.
"What's the rush?"
"Well, I thought if Dad saw I had a girl over he'd sit me down for a birds and the bees talk."
"I thought things were going better with your dad."
"They are. But it's getting almost too good. My life's starting to feel like a bad episode of 'Full House.'"
"I didn't know there were any good episodes."
There was a long pause.
"So," Joey started, "what're we watching?"
It was too weird.
Here she was sitting on Pacey's bed watching a movie. She kept waiting for a remark from Dawson. As she watched, she could imagine what he would say: comments on cinematography or lighting, criticizing someone's acting, going off on the screenplay's potential that wasn't fully reached.
"You know," she remarked, "the action genre is incredibly feminist. And it's so open and blatant, it's shocking. So when people complain, they throw in a female sidekick but that just makes it worse. She's always some floozy, ex-porn star who's had more plastic surgery than Michael Jackson. She can't act and is only there to provide the testosterone-crazy with an extra sex scene, a pretty face, and a chest that's completely gargantuous."
She could hear Dawson's reply in her head. "Yea, but Jo, it's just as bad for the guys. They don't cast a likable everyman, they cast Schwarzenegger, Van Damme, Stallone, these guys with more muscles than brains. They completely ignore the time-tested story of outwitting the villain with superior intelligence and replace it with a plethora of shoot-outs and street fights to see how many people they can kill."
But she really only heard Pacey.
"Man, Jo, now I remember why I quit going to movie night. Do you have to analyze everything?"
"Well, it's true. It's virtually impossible for me to suspend my disbelief as a viewer when they have such flagrant errors."
"Jo, you think too much."
"You don't think enough."
"I'd rather be blissfully ignorant than a crochety cynic."
"I am not crochety."
"Why can't you just enjoy it?"
"Yea. Just watch."
"How come these villains always have some horrendous accent? The cold war ended. Why does our society continue to characterize Russians as crazed communist freaks?"
"Jo, shut up."
After the movie, they sat for a while in silence, not sure what to do next. Finally, Joey stood and headed to the door.
"Pacey, it's been fun but I really should go."
He stood and followed her as she made her way out. As she stood at the front door, about to leave, they heard Mr. Witter behind them.
"Hey there, son. Aren't you going to walk this young lady home?"
Joey rolled her eyes.
"No, that's okay--" she replied.
"Pacey--" Mr. Witter prodded.
"Josephine, let me walk you home."
"Fine." She sighed. "This whole chivalry thing is very overrated."
"So, Jo," he asked as they walked, "I'm wondering if you're planning on making up with Dawson."
"Pacey, mind your own business," she replied coldly, looking at the ground.
"Technically, this is my business. Because of you, I don't get to see my best friend till September. We had plans. We were going to work the same shifts and go on a road trip and now I'm just left with you."
"Pacey, he ruined my life." She stopped and turned to face him angrily. "Until he got so, quote, *concerned* for me, my life was perfect. He ruined it."
"No, Jo, he didn't ruin your life. Your father did. He was trying to protect you," Pacey could feel himself getting angry.
"A while ago, I knew Mrs. Leery was having an affair. Dawson didn't know, but I did. I wanted to protect him, so I didn't tell him. I let him be oblivious and happy."
"But he found out eventually. You would've found out, too. The truth always comes out. You just blame him because it's easier."
"Fine, you want the truth, Pacey?" She was still upset, talking quickly. "The truth is I regret what I said to Dawson. I shouldn't have said it. Is that what you want to hear? The truth is I kick myself everyday for letting myself push him away again. I just can't bear to face the fact that *I* ruined my life. It's *my* fault." Joey was practically in tears. She turned away from Pacey and looked out over the creek.
Pacey stood, stunned. He didn't know what to say or do. And he knew Dawson could've handled the situation better. So he did the only thing he could think of. He gently put his arm around her. He expected her to pull away, but instead she moved closer to him. He could hear her crying and it made him ache inside.
"C'mere, Jo." He took her in his arms and held her. THey stayed that way for a long time. Finally, she pulled away. They both stood awkwardly for a moment.
"I'm sorry, Pacey. I didn't mean to do that."
"No, it's okay. Really."
They started to walk again. She cast her eyes towards the creek. He watched her. She looked back at him for a moment, with a smile.
"You tell anyone about this, I kill you."
"Bessie! Where are my shorts?"
"In your drawer."
"No, not those, my new ones."
"Still in the bag."
Bessie was in the kitchen feeding Alexander while Joey ran frantically around the house.
"Jo, settle down. What's going on?"
"Nothing. I just want to break in my new shorts, that's all."
"Where are you going tonight?"
"Is Dawson back or are you still going over to Pacey's?"
"I'm going with Pacey to the movies."
"For how much you hate Pacey, the two of you sure do spend a lot of time together."
"No we don't. I mean, it's just the same as normal, except Dawson's not there with us."
"So you two haven't killed each other?"
"No. We bicker occasionally, but that's all."
"Well, I just think it looks a little strange. An outsider would think the two of you were together."
"Me? And Pacey? That'll never happen. Besides, Pacey has Andie. I have Dawson. Or, I will have Dawson once I get the guts to apologize to him."
"Just be careful. When you spend that much time with a guy, things can happen."
"Don't worry, Bessie. If Pacey was the last man on earth and the whole species was dependant on our procreation, nothing would happen between us. There's no attraction."
"So you don't think Pacey's cute?"
"I didn't say that. Pacey's very cute, I'm just not attracted to him."
"Are you sure?"
"What is this, an interrogation? Give it a rest, Bessie."
"Well, what are you two doing tonight?"
"I told you, we're going to see a movie."
"Just watch yourself, that's all I'm saying."
"Good, because I'm leaving now."
Bessie smiled as Joey walked out the door.
"Yup. She likes him."
"I'm proud of you, Jo. You didn't make a single comment that whole movie. That's gotta be a first."
"Well, I can't deny that I was mentally cataloguing my criticism, but I did enjoy it."
"You *enjoyed* it? This can't be the same Joey Potter I know. You just sat through a testosterone-packed action flick with a bunch of hokey one-liners and plenty of well-endowed women in bikinis."
"I know, I know. That's the first time I ever just sat through a movie for the sake of enjoying it. Except ET, of course."
They walked in silence for a while.
"So, how's Andie doing?"
Joey saw a smile form on Pacey's face as she mentioned Andie. But she also saw sadness in his eyes.
"Okay, I think. Who knows when she'll be back. Her dad's trying to get her to stay in Providence permanently." Pacey tried to sound nonchalant.
There was another long silence.
Joey watched Pacey as they walked in the moonlight. She knew him so well and had known him for so long, but at times like this when she saw that far away look in his eyes, she thought she didn't know him at all. A breeze came out of nowhere and her hair blew up around her face. She gently pushed it back behind her ears. She looked at the stars for a moment and took a slow deep breath, letting herself feel a little lost in the sky. When she looked back at Pacey, he was looking back at her. She smiled questioningly.
He shook himself a little as if pulling out of a trance. "Nothing." He continued walking, his gaze on the ground.
"Are you okay?"
He looked back at her. "Yea, I'm fine."
"Are you sure? You don't want to get something off your chest?"
He laughed nervously. "Of course not."
"You're *positive*? Cuz you're acting awfully strange." Joey smiled. She knew he wanted to vent about the situation with Andie. SHe knew he was dying to take her into his confidence and that was why he'd started hanging out with her. She stopped walking and sat on one of the benches that was there on the docks. "C'mon, Pacey. Spill it."
He turned and looked at her. Was that fear she saw in his eyes? He was tense and he looked like he was standing before a firing squad.
"Pacey, what's wrong?" This time Joey let the concern seep into her voice.
He sat beside her, hanging his head.
"Jo, these past weeks, I've had something on my mind. And I've *really* been struggling with it. Because every fiber of my being is telling me it's wrong, but I can't stop myself."
Joey was confused.
"Stop yourself from what?"
Pacey looked her in the eye for a second, then he kissed her.
Joey almost fell out of her seat. She was completely surprised. Dawson always started slowly, gently moving in when he kissed, but Pacey's lips were on hers before she knew what was happening. Dawson's kisses were soft and sweet, but Pacey's burned with something she'd never encountered and without even thinking, she found herself giving in and kissing him back. It was only one kiss, that was all. But as they pulled apart, it felt like so much more. They stared at each other both probing for some sign of a response.
Finally, Joey broke free of his stare and moved her eyes to the ground, focusing on her shoes as hard as she could. She didn't know what to do. THat kiss had stirred up something in her and she didn't know how to treat it. She continued staring at her feet, hoping everything would just leave, that Pacey wouldn't be waiting for her answer.
"Jo, I'm sorry," she could hear him say. "I shouldn't have done that."
She spoke without moving her gaze. "No, you shouldn't have. Because now we can't be friends anymore without the memory of that one kiss reminding us that for a few seconds we were much more than that."
"But," he hesitated, "there is another option."
She looked at him now. She could feel her vulnerability as she hung on his words.
"We could continue being more."
She bit her lip nervously. "Pacey, I'm going to warn you now that I may regret this tomorrow, but I'm going to do it anyway."
His face tightened as he prepared himself for her rejection. He sighed and closed his eyes in frustration. As he hung his head down, he was surprised to feel Joey's hand on his cheek, pulling him towards her. And then he felt her lips on his and he couldn't help but smile as he kissed her.
The walk home was silent. They were both too afraid of the pressure to define what had happened. Once they reached Joey's door, they both just stood there. Joey felt like if she went inside and went to bed, when she woke up it would all just have been a dream.
"So," Pacey said, "we're at the moment of truth. Will Joey get a goodnight kiss?" He spoke in his suave, sarcastic tone that he always used. Joey rolled her eyes. He smiled and added sheepishly, "the more importnat question being, does Joey *want* a goodnight kiss?"
She kissed him lightly and pulled away with a smile. "This night has been so crazy and I don't know what will happen tomorrow. And I don't know if I'll ever be able to do this again, so I might as well do it while I can."
They had one last, long kiss before Joey went in. Then that bliss they'd had suddenly faded as reality hit.
Joey wrote in her journal before she got in bed, venting her emotions about all that had happened. As she wrote, her gaze fell on a picture of Dawson. He smiled at her, his warm, trusting smile. But, instead of smiling back as she usually did, she turned the picture the other way. That look that had always been so comforting, now accused her of betrayal.
"I didn't betray him," she said out loud. "Dawson and I aren't even together."
Bessie poked her head in the door. "Are you okay?"
Joey started, guiltily throwing her journal closed. "Yea, I'm fine," she insisted.
Bessie looked her over once. "You kissed Pacey, didn't you?"
Joey's jaw dropped. "How did you know?"
"The window was open. I heard everything."
"Bessie!" Joey threw a pillow across the room, just missing Bessie who walked away laughing.
End Part 1
Main Page | Part 2
That's it for now! Yea, I know, not a great place to end, but I didn't have a better one. Part 2 should be along shortly! Remember, my email is firstname.lastname@example.org.