Disclaimer: The characters and the show are not mine and I am merely trying to bide my time over the summer while I'm waiting for new episodes and suffering through reruns using my imagination to think up some new situations for them.
Author's Note: Just in case you forgot, this takes place post-season 2 In part 1, Dawson returned home from his internship in Philadelphia. He and Pacey got to be better friends with Jack and Jen. Joey is feeling left out and is regretting what she did. Oh, and Andie is still in Providence.
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Dawson had noticed Pacey's restlessness all evening. Dawson was relaxed, sprawled on the bed, but Pacey was tense, hunched over, tapping his toe incessantly. He tried to ignore it, but Pacey just wouldn't quit. Dawson rolled his eyes in frustration.
Finally, Pacey stood and moved to the door.
"Dawson, I gotta run."
"What's up, Pacey? You've been in this wound-up, agitated state all night. And the movie's not even over yet."
"Well, Andie might call and I don't want to miss it."
Dawson grinned. "Well, why did you even come in the first place?"
"Andie may be my girl, but you're still my best friend. And you'd be pretty pitiful sitting here all by yourself."
"No sweat. Later."
Dawson sat back and tried to get back into the movie, but he knew it wouldn't happen. He was distracted, he had been all night. He stood up and walked over to the window, looking out over the creek. Despite his resolution to forget Joey, he kept finding his mind wandering back to her.
"Joey coming?" Dawson turned to see his dad in the doorway.
"You two still fighting?"
"Yes, and how come you make it sound like it's some trivial matter and we'll be best friends again tomorrow?"
"Because you're a teenager, Dawson. That's how things are when you're a teenager."
"Well, truthfully, I'm starting to come around. I admit it. I miss her. Especially since everyone else is so preoccupied. Pacey and Andie, Jen and Jack, I'm the lone ranger of the group."
"I understand. Actually, I can relate. This big house is getting lonely. It needs 3 instead of 2."
Dawson smiled. "I'm glad you think so, Dad. I agree. You should do something about it."
"You know what? I will. That's a good idea. Night, Dawson."
Dawson was jubilant as he laid back on the bed. It had been easier than he'd expected to get Dad to go after Mom again. He'd dropped hints to Mom all summer. Dad was a lot easier than she had been. Yup, he was a pretty smart guy. A smug smile passed over his face. It was only a matter of time before they were a family again.
Dawson shut the door behind him and immediately dropped his backpack to the ground. It was stuffed full of books.
"Dad?" Dawson called as he walked into the kitchen. He heard a sound he didn't recognize and turned to see a golden puppy frantically making its way toward him. He took a step back as it threw its front paws on his leg. "Dad?" he called again, more urgently.
"So what do you think?" Mitch asked with a smile.
"I assume you're referring to the psychotic furball attacking my shoe?"
"Come on, Dawson. It's a dog. Every boy likes dogs. I thought it would add a little life to the house. Make things less lonely."
"Dad, you are so clueless," Dawson said.
"Dawson, why don't you just pet the little guy?"
"Does this so-called little guy have a name?"
"I thought you could name him. Since I would probably call him Buddy and you wouldn't like that."
"That is true."
"I got him at the humane society. He's been house trained and everything."
"He can keep you company while you do your homework." Dawson saw the big smile on his Dad's face. He was really excited and Dawson could tell, so he gave in.
"Sure. Come on, furball."
"You dad got a dog?" Pacey looked amazed.
"You know, the Leery's just seem like more of a turtle family, or maybe a fish. Possibly a gerbil. But not a dog."
"Well, I guess Dad had a puppy when he was a kid. He's reminiscing."
"How is it?"
"The dog? It's annoying. The thing is always so happy. It's disturbingly saccharine. Oh, and here's another thing. I have to name it."
"Name it? What are you going to call it? Buddy?"
"Pacey, be serious. Who names their dog Buddy?"
"My point exactly."
"Hey, I gotta go to the office to do my schedule change stuff. See ya in homeroom."
Dawson continued on to his locker only to see Joey approaching hers from the other direction.
They both smiled, although it was somewhat forced.
"How are things?"
"Good. How are you?"
She looked down awkwardly. He yearned to open up and admit to her that he was aching to see her and tell her everything that was happening and analyze it all to death.
"I gotta go," she said quickly, and she was gone.
"So," Dawson announced to the group, "I've decided to start on another script. And this one will not be autobiographical."
"No offense, man," Pacey said, "but that was rather narcissistic."
"What kind of movie?" Jen asked.
"I'm thinking of a comedy. Something a little livelier. The last one was too psychologically draining."
"I think it's a good idea," Jen said. "It takes real talent to make a good comedy. Not just a bunch of one-liners but real insight into plot and characters and irony."
"And for inspiration, we're going to have an evening of comedy classics for Movie Night. First, there'll be 'Some Like it Hot' from the great Billy Wilder--"
"Dawson," Jen cut him off, "We're not going."
"What? All of you?" He looked at their faces. They all glumly avoided his eyes.
Jack spoke up. "My father is going out of town and he doesn't want Andie to be alone. So I'm going up to Providence."
"And I wasn't going to miss a chance to see Andie, so Jack invited me along," Pacey added.
"And then Jack and I decided we'd let those two do...whatever while we had a night on the town." Jen finished.
"Oh." Dawson tried unsuccessfully to mask his disappointment. "Well, have fun. I'll be able to think clearer if I'm by myself."
"Sorry, man." Pacey said. "We'll make it up to you."
"No, it's okay. I know you're dying to see Andie. And Jen hasn't been out of Capeside in way too long. Have fun. I'll be okay."
Dawson went to his room almost immediately when he got home. Despite the chaos of the last two years, he'd never spent movie night alone. Even Mom had joined him in his darkest hour. But Dad was gone tonight. Dawson turned as he heard his door creak open. The puppy's head wiggled its way through the crack. It came up to Dawson and nudged his shoe with its nose.
He glared at it.
"I am not spending movie night with you!" he cried.
It whimpered at him.
"No, that look is not going to work. I don't feel sorry for you." he chided.
He picked up the dog and set it back down outside his door, shutting it to bar the dog's entrance. He started to put a movie in the VCR. He could hear the dog scratch at the door and bark softly. Grudgingly, he opened the door.
"Fine," he said. "If you're not gonna shut up, you can come in. But not a word from you for the rest of the night!"
When the car pulled up, Pacey was astonished. He knew that Andie's house in Providence would be huge, but it still amazed him that somewhere people actually lived like this.
Pacey opened his door. "You two coming?"
"We're gonna take off," Jack said with a wink. "We'll give you and Andie some time alone."
"Yea, the night is young and Jack and I are going to do Providence until we're too tired to move," Jen added.
"Okay." Pacey said, not letting his relief show on his face. "Have fun, kids. Be good." He waved them off as the car drove away.
He could feel the butterflies in his stomach. His palms were sweaty and his heart was racing. He had to make an effort not to run to the door. He was about to knock when he saw the sign, obviously made by Andie.
Come on in! I'm finishing up with things for our romantic evening!!
He smiled. Yup, it was Andie alright. The words had been meticulously written in her best handwriting and she'd drawn flowers all along the edge of the paper.
He opened the door and stepped into the large foyer. He took a deep breath and tried to regain control.
"Is that you, Pacey?"
The voice came distantly from upstairs. He was about to answer, but instead he bolted up the stairs and frantically searched every room he came across. Finally, there she was, sitting at a vanity brushing her hair. She spun around, her eyes wide with surprise.
"Pacey!! I'm not ready, you're supposed to wait downstairs and let me make an entrance!"
He went to her faster than he could believe. All of a sudden, there he was with his arms around her.
"Shut up, McPhee," he said with a smile as he kissed her.
"Well, Jack, where are we headed?" Jen asked smugly.
"There's this great club I've heard of that's really supposed to be awesome. But first I thought we could get some lobster at this place I know."
"Lobster? Why, Jack, you're going all out."
"Why not? We've toiled away all summer, now we're going back to school. Why not celebrate just for the sake of celebrating?"
"You know, Jen, I'm really happy with the way things are working out between us."
"Me too." Jen smiled. "I didn't know it was possible to like someone you live with."
"Yea, I just wanted to say thanks. Cuz with all the --uh, changes in my life lately, it's been tough with other people. And you're the only one who's treated me well the whole time."
"Don't worry, Jack. It's the least I can do. And you've helped me too. Thanks to you, now I"m done with the whole Dawson phase, the party phase, and the drinking phase. I'm starting to feel normal again. It's really great."
They smiled at each other and then Jen turned her head as something caught her eye.
"Uh, Jack, I think you'd better pull over."
Joey was miserable. She had nothing left to occupy her mind. She'd made dinner, finished all her homework and even insisted to Bessie that she put Alexander to sleep. Now there was nothing. All that was left was the picture of Dawson's smile floating through her mind. Not his real smile, but the one he'd given her that morning. The forced, artificial smile. And that look in his eyes that he got when he didn't want you to know what he was thinking. That was what killed her.
Behind that look was two possibilities. It was possible that he was hiding his anger, not wanting her to know how stubborn and unforgiving he could be. Or he was hiding the fact that he did want to be her friend again but he was too stubborn and unforgiving to show it. Joey wasn't sure she wanted to know which it really was. If he was still angry, she'd be hurt and she'd wince every time she saw that smile. But if he did care, it would be like it had been before, longing for his affection but knowing she couldn't make him love her.
Joey stood and paced for a while, frustrated. Deep down, she knew she was as bad as Dawson, if not worse when it came to being stubborn and unforgiving. She had started the whole thing and she had that coldness that surfaced so easily when she was upset. She didn't want to give him the satisfaction of knowing he'd broken her. She didn't want to crack and fall before him, confessing her feelings as he stood there, uncaring. But she knew if he broke first, she'd be just as hurtful and spiteful to him as she had been before.
Why were things so difficult? Especially with the person she knew best in the whole world. Why did they have to play all these stupid games?
Pacey and Andie sat together in a large chair, cuddled up close.
"You know, Pacey," she said, "I am still mad at you for ruining my entrance."
He laughed. "Hey, I couldn't control myself."
"I had everything planned out perfectly. I would come down. We'd say hello, you'd give me a kiss and put your arms around me. Then we'd have a romantic candlelit dinner. And I had the stereo system all ready with some great slow dance music. And afterwards, we'd curl up in the hammock under the stars."
"Well, I'm glad I spoiled your plans."
"You are?" She looked at him, concerned.
"Because I can't just say hello to the girl I love more than anything and then go have a candlelit dinner. I have to have her in my arms for every second she's with me so I don't forget the way she feels and the sound of her voice or the look in her eyes."
She smiled at him with tears in her eyes. "Pacey, that's so sweet."
They were quiet for a while. She laid her head on his shoulder.
"You know, Pacey, you haven't let out a smart remark all night. Are you okay?"
"Everyone is telling me this. Am I really that sarcastic?"
"Yes," she answered, matter-of-factly.
He paused. "I just haven't been myself lately. And I won't be back to normal until you're with me, back in Capeside."
"So no bantering?"
"We're not going through our normal bickering?"
"No, I guess not."
"That's too bad. You're very charming when you argue."
"Well then, bicker away."
"Well, you can't just expect me to bicker without decent material."
"You're the one who wanted to bicker."
"And you're the one who isn't himself."
"Aw, McPhee, I've missed you."
"I can't believe you got a ticket for changing lanes without signalling." Jen said.
"I didn't even know you could get a ticket for that."
"Is your Dad going to be mad?"
"I dunno. He'll get over it. I can't believe my favorite restaurant closed! We'd go as a family every year for my parents' anniversary."
"I'm sorry, Jack."
"And then we can't even get into the club because it's over-21 night."
"It's okay. I'm happy with this."
They sat outside in front of Jack's house eating ice cream and chinese take-outt.
"And," she added, "I don't care what you say about this stuff smelling weird, it is so good."
"I'll stick to my chow mein."
"So you wanna go in?"
Jack eyed the house. "Let's give 'em a few more minutes of privacy. I know Andie wants this to be really special. I'd hate to ruin her plans."
"Those two amaze me, you know? I mean, in high school you're brainwashed into believing that teenage love is just as fulfilling as adult love. But that's not true. The feelings run just as deep, but you're teenagers and you're stupid and you do stupid things. It just never works out like you think it should. And that great guy turns out to be a complete jerk. And in real life, the poor misunderstood ones don't really have a heart of gold. Except Pacey. Andie's brought out this whole sensitive side of him. It's right out of some 80's teenage flick."
"It's enough to restore your faith in love."
"Hold on, don't get all sappy on me now," Jen said, sarcastically.
"C'mon, Jen. Admit it. You envy them. You want what Andie has. I mean, not that you want Pacey, but you want this great thing they've found. Even lost disillusioned girls from New York want a happy ending."
"Maybe I do, Jack. Maybe I do."
Dawson wanted to sleep. He needed to sleep. And every time he saw the clock he groaned. It was almost 3 am. The dog was curled up on the edge of Dawson's bed. Figures, Dawson thought, even the stupid dog can sleep.
He found his gaze kept falling on the window. He knew he was only torturing himself. He knew she wouldn't come.
He got up and walked over to the window. He struggled to climb through. He'd never been able to go through as gracefully as Joey, especially since he'd had his growth spurts. Out on the roof, the moon was bright. He saw the ladder and the worn path Joey'd made leading to where he stood at the window.
Next time I see her, he told himself, I won't forget how I feel right now. This emptiness that she causes. I'm going to handle this in a mature fashion. I'll tell her what I think and we'll try to work something out. I hope.
"You have to leave tomorrow morning," Andie said sadly.
"I may not see you again till Christmas."
"Naw, you'll see me before then."
She sighed softly. "I feel so perfect right now, Pacey. I just want to stay like this forever."
"Me too," he answered quietly.
"Pacey, when I wake up, will you still be here?"
Andie smiled and closed her eyes. Pacey heard her breathing slow into a regular pattern. They were still curled up in the chair and his legs were starting to cramp up. After he was sure she was asleep, he gently picked her up and set her down on her bed. He lay next to her with his arm draped over her, his body close to hers, drinking her in.
He heard Jack and Jen come in, heard them talk, heard them get ready for bed. Soon the whole house was silent. He wanted to remember how this felt, feel it so long that it was ingrained in his memory. He knew it might be a long time before he saw Andie again. He was worried her father wouldn't let her ever come back to Capeside. But he reassured himself just like he reassured her and just kept thinking, everything will be alright.
Dawson saw her sitting on the dock from the roof. He came down the ladder and hesitantly walked towards her. She turned her head as she heard him walking towards her. Then she looked back out over the water. He sat beside her, letting his feet dangle over the creek.
They sat there for a long time in silence. There were so many things they wanted to say to each other, and so many things they wanted to say. But they couldn't say anything at all. There were no words but somehow, they were still communicating. Just being there together was enough. All Dawson's fears dissolved. He wasn't worried about what they would do tomorrow. He wasn't worried about how Joey might interpret his actions. He only knew that the Joey sitting next to him right now was his closest friend, and that she always would be. Love and romance, if they came, would come later. But right now he was lost in the moment.
End Part 2
Main Page | Part 3
So? What'd you think??? Remember to let me know at email@example.com. Even if you just drop me a line saying, "Hey, I liked your fanfic," I will still be eternally grateful. Thanks to all those who have already written! You've been so helpful! I'm finished with part 3, and still going on part 4. I'm also in the works on a 1-part Pacey-Joey fic. I feel like to be a real fanfic person, I have to branch out and be able to do P/J and D/J even though I am a big P/A fan. So if you have any questions about it, just let me know.