Part 2b: The Open Road
by Daizy

Disclaimer: see part 1

Author's note: Here's where things get complicated. Part 2a and 2b take place at the same time, however there are slight differences. Basically one little thing is going to change Pacey's life forever. I know that lots of P/J fans like to read P/J and P/J only. But I ask that you please read 2a and 2b. This isn't a P/J story really, or a P/A it's an exploration of both. Also, I really really want your feedback on this story in particular. Even if you've written me before. Thanks so much. My email is

"Night, Mr. Witter."

"Night, Mark. See you tomorrow."

Pacey heard the bell on the door jingle as the youth left. He was a good kid, Pacey thought to himself. He knew what he wanted and where he was going. A heck of a lot more than Pacey'd known at his age. He got his keys and stuck his wallet back to its well worn position in his back pocket, then locked the front door. He took a long breath of the fresh air outside. It was comfortably cool, with just enough of a chill to give him goosebumps. A little shudder went up his spine, but he shrugged it off. It was a beautiful evening, the sun just setting and he spotted a few birds flying above his head. He took a long deep breath of that fresh country air. He was never one for the big city. It was so much better out here.

He climbed in the car and started to pull away. He glanced at his watch. 7? Already? He'd been talking to Mark about school and had completely lost track of time. He pressed his foot against the gas, speeding away. The air conditioning that he'd had turned all the way up that afternoon blasted against him and he quickly turned it off. He rubbed his hands up and down his cold arms as he sat at the stop light. It was a little bit chilly. Then he realized what was wrong.

"Oh no, my jacket!" he cried. He looked for oncoming traffic then threw the car into a U-turn, racing back to the store.

It took longer than he would've liked to get back in, find the jacket, lock up again, and get back on his course home. Once he was finished and back on the road again, he had the radio on, singing to himself.

"There's a wreck just reported on the 8th street exit on the highway," it said.

He hung his head. 8th street was coming up. He checked his rearview mirror and flew into the exit lane, hoping he could find some alternate route.

Joey was sitting on the doorstep when he pulled up. She tapped her watch. He got out of the car to face his doom.

"Pace, it's 8pm. We're never going to make it," she nagged.

"Jo, please please don't get on me about this. I admit I was late, but there was this big wreck on the way home and I had to go to all this effort to get here, traffic was backed up for miles, and then this jerk in a camaro cut me off…"

"Aww, poor guy," she tousled his hair and kissed him.

"Yes, that's right. And I'm getting poorer by the second. What do you say you make me feel better, huh?"

"Sorry, Pace, but we have to get moving. Jen's going to be worried sick." She walked out to the car. He quickly grabbed his bag and followed her reluctantly.

"Aw, Jo, do we have to?"

"Yes." She looked back at him as she opened the trunk. "Pacey, it'll be fun. Just get in the car, we'll drive over there really really fast and hope that we still make it before midnight."

"What'll you give me?" he said slyly.

She glared at him.

"The honor of being my escort."

"Nope. Not gonna happen."

"Hey, you get in the driver's seat, and I promise there'll be some serious rewards." She smiled devilishly.

"Now that's what I like," he said, strutting towards the car.

"Pacey, would you quit that?"

"What?" he asked innocently.

"Quit playing with the radio. Can't you listen to the same station for more than 5 seconds?" Joey whined.

"Well, if they're not playing something I want to listen to, then I'm going to change the station."

"But what if I want to listen to it?"

"You'll just have to figure that out yourself, won't you?"

"You're so funny," she said with a scowl.

"I know."

"Remind me again why I'm in love with you."

"Because I'm so charming," he smiled.

"Nope, that can't be it."

"It's gotta be my great looks then."

She looked him up and down. "No, it's not that either."

"My intelligence?" he said, this time being more of a question than a statement.

"Nah. We both know you don't have any of that."

"I'm out of ideas. You tell me, Joey."

She sighed. "Well, it must be a charity case. I'm just overwhelmed by pity everytime I look at you."

"Wait, wait, I thought it was love."

"Yea, I was mistaken."

"Very funny, Jo." From his place in the driver's seat, he reached over and mussed up her hair. She frowned at him and started to meticulously put it back to its former position.

"So, I get the radio?" she asked, a smile on her face looking like she was only five years old.

"Yea, I guess."

She happily reached forward and changed it to her favorite station.

"Do you have to listen to this all the time?" he moaned, even though he knew she did. He loved to tease her about it.

"Yes. I do."

Pacey sighed melodramatically.

"You know you like it," she said.

"I do not."

"You do. I know you do."

"No." He shook his head fervently. Then the familiar strains of a song started to play. He smiled against his will. Joey looked over at him knowing she'd won. "Well, I guess it can't be all bad if they play songs like this." He took a quick look at the road ahead of him, making sure they had a nice long straight section ahead. He took a hand off the wheel and placed it on her cheek, his thumb lightly running along her jaw. He gave her a long loving gaze. She returned it. Finally, he looked back to the road. As he moved his hand back to the wheel, she stopped him and placed it in hers. He smiled and continued to drive as the song continued to play.

Jen greeted the two of them before they even reached the door. She and Jack were sitting on the porch, sipping coffee contentedly.

"Hey, you two, I didn't know if you were ever going to show up," Jen said. She got up and gave Pacey a hug. She and Joey exchanged a friendly smile. Joey wasn't the hugging type. Jack came behind her.

"Hi there. Can I get your bags for you, Joey?"

"Sure." Joey led him out to the car.

"You two looked nice and cozy," Pacey said.

"I know. I'm starting to think Jack is my soulmate. He's perfect in every way. Too bad he already has a boyfriend."

"You finally found someone to sit down and enjoy a latte with you."

"Actually, no. He's a cocoa man. Doesn't like coffee. He always tells me how bad for me caffeine is, but I can't quit. You and Joey look happy. Things are going well for you?"

"Well, we've had our ups and downs, but I think we're on an up right now. We've been living together for a week and we've only had one argument about toothpaste. And I always put the seat down."

"Great. I'm really happy for you guys. I mean, Joey and I will never be bosom buddies, but I'm glad we all get along now. And Dawson doesn't grudge you guys anything. I never would've guessed that someday we'd all get along," Jen said.

"Well, Dawson and I aren't as close as we used to be. But we never were too much alike. Our differences just ended up separating us. We see each other a lot. We're still buddies."

"That's good. I'm hoping we can have a nice peaceful weekend. Low stress. Lots of relaxation."

"Sounds good to me," Pacey said. He subconsciously turned his head to check on Joey. She was walking up to the house with Jack. Her hair fell softly on her shoulders. Her eyes sparkled. It was weird how he found her so amazingly attractive even when she was wearing an oversized sweatshirt and jeans. She met his gaze and smiled at him. She climbed the steps up to the porch and took his hand.

"I'm sorry, I'm a terrible hostess," Jen said, opening the front door. "Come on in. Everyone's probably still up. We got ready for bed a few hours ago, but no one felt like sleeping. And there's plenty of food in the kitchen if you want any."

"Actually, I think I just want to hit the sack," Joey said.

"I'll show you your room. It's alright with you two to be in the same room, right?"

"I wouldn't want it any other way," Pacey said.

As they followed Jen down the hallway, he caught sight of a slender blonde in the other room. He stared, a little shocked.

"Hey, Jen?" he asked, trying to keep his voice down.


"What's Andie doing here?"

"Same thing you are. The interview. About high school relationships."

"Wait, wait, I thought you wanted me to talk about Joey. We dated in college and then we broke up and it wasn't until last year that we got together again."

"No, I meant high school. I'm sorry. I should've been more specific." Jen opened a door and led them into their room.

"It's okay," Joey said. "He'll survive. He'd just rather talk about me than anything else."

"Yea, you wish." He smiled. "Thanks Jen. We'll see you in the morning."

End Part 2b
Main Page | Part 3a

That's it for now! Be sure to check out part 2a and email me at