Part Six: Risky Business
by Daizy

Disclaimer: see part 1. I'm sick of these.

Author's note: Thanks to all who've given feedback so far. And thanks to all you who kept bugging me to finish part 6. Voila! Now I have to get back to the grindstone and do part 7. I'm excited. Also, remember to vote in the Creekers Choice Awards. Yea, I know, I've told y'all this like 5 times. But do it anyway. And don't forget to email me at

"Dawson, I can't believe we're watching this."

"I thought girls loved this movie."

"Well, they do if they have a thing for Tom Cruise, but it's so full of testosterone, I think I might puke."

"C'mon, Jo. It's 'Top Gun.' It's classic."

"It's nothing more than a bunch of horny boys with really big toys. And the character of Maverick is completely chauvinist. He's disgusting. It's more like a frat party than anything."

"I admit it has its faults but I don't know any guy who wouldn't give his right arm to be Mav. He's smooth, he's suave, he gets whatever and whoever he wants."

"Oh please. If he ever flirted with me, he'd probably end up with a black eye. He's no more than a dictionary of bad pickup lines. No one would ever really go for a guy like that. I don't even see what the point of pickup lines is anyway. I'm not going to go out with some guy just because he spouts some lame line at me. I'm not that desperate."

"Well then, give me a peek into the feminine psyche. What is it that gets girls?"

Joey thought. "I don't know. I don't think there really is a way to make anyone like you. It's just something that happens. There's no explanation or reason for it. You can't help who you like. All of a sudden, you just do. All I know is that if some guy gave me a pickup line, I'd probably tell him to buzz off. But if he came and sat down and introduced himself and made some polite conversation and I found myself enjoying his company, I would be far more likely to pursue him."

"So the thing that initially attracts you most to a guy is his conversation?"

"Of course there's the looks factor. That always comes into play. But I think what I consider most important is that I feel comfortable talking to them. If I feel awkward, it would be a long painful evening if we were to go on a date together." Joey paused and turned her attention back to the screen just in time to witness Maverick's rendition of 'You've Lost that Lovin' Feeling.' "Yea," she said, "that'll do it, Mav. Public humiliation is definitely a turn on. You know, beneath that cool exterior I bet he's really an insecure nutcase. I bet he never had a date in his life."

"But you forget, Jo, most girls would definitely put the looks factor over conversation especially when it comes to Tom Cruise."

"Okay, I admit it, he's hot. But it has no potential for anything long term, even if he wasn't married. I mean, look at his smile. He has crooked teeth. Think of your children."

Dawson laughed. He looked over at her and she returned his gaze. There was that electricity again. Joey could feel herself getting goosebumps on her arms. She looked back at the tv focusing as hard as she could and pretending she couldn't feel Dawson's eyes boring into her. Sparks were flying. She restrained herself from smiling. He was watching her. And his eyes contained more than they had. He liked her. Joey reveled in the thought. He wanted her again. She sighed. Life could be a beautiful thing.

Jen caught sight of Jack in the hallway and hurried toward him.

"Hey Jack," she called.

He turned to her with an impatient look.

"I know I was hard on you," she said, "but it's been a whole week and I miss you. It sounds pitiful, but your companionship has become really important the past few months. So can we have a truce?"

Jack relented with a small smile. "Yea, we can."

"Good. I'm glad."

"Me too. Especially since I know a secret," Jack smiled knowingly.

Jen smiled. "You do? Anything interesting?"

"Actually, more disturbing. Capeside High's most improved student has an admirer."

"Someone likes Pacey? Who?"

"A certain loud-mouthed articulate girl very reminiscent of early Ringwald."

"Molly? Oh, that's too much."

"I'll say. When I tell Pacey, he's gonna--"

"Wait!" Jen interrupted. "Did she confide in you?"

Jack nodded.

"Then you *can't* tell Pacey. If she wanted him to know, she'd tell him herself."

"I have to tell him. What if she starts putting the moves on?"

"If Pacey can handle Miss Jacobs, he can handle Little Miss Redhead. Don't worry, Jack, it'll work out."

"Well," Jack continued, "while we're on the topic of secrets, I have another one."

"Oooo," Jen said, "do tell."

Pacey noticed that Dawson was extra dreamy-eyed today and stopped next to him.

"What's goin' on, D?"


"C'mon, Dawson. I'm not stupid. That look means something."

"No, really it's nothing. Except that some major sparks flew between me and Jo the other night."

"You two finally got it on?" Pacey asked with a smile.

"No, Pacey, put your mind out of the gutter. We didn't even kiss. We didn't even touch. It was just....magic. And it keeps happening. She can't avoid it forever. That is, if she felt it too."

"Uh-oh, I see where this is going."

"C'mon, Pace, please? Just ask a few questions, test the waters, see if she felt something."

"I'm expecting something from this. Dr. Witter, relationship advisor, does not work for free."

"Fine. Anything. Please?"

"You know what, I am too nice. I'm too much of a softy. I need to learn how to say no."

"But then you wouldn't have any friends," said Dawson.

"Yes, but at least I wouldn't be useful solely as a go-between. I'd be my own man."

"Get over yourself," Dawson said with a smile.

"Hey guys," Dawson said as he joined the rest of the gang at their lunch table of choice. "What’s the topic of discussion today?"

"Basically," Jen replied, "we were debating the subject of Chat rooms: Fun or Freaky."

"I say freaky," Jack said. "At least the ones I’ve been to always seem to contain a bunch of sex-crazed psychos or some foul-mouthed teens."

"And I say fun," Jen added. "It’s a great way to meet people. It gives you an opportunity to be introduced to people all over the world. And no one judges you by your looks or anything else. All you have is your handle and the way you talk. What about you, Dawson, are you a chatter?"

"Yea, I am, as surprising as that sounds. I really enjoy it. I’ve met some people that I know pretty well, we’re all regulars in this one room. Lots of good conversation."

"And there’s always the romance factor," Jen added with a sly grin. "Lots of available people out there."

"Lots of crazy people out there," Jack combatted.

"I think I might do the internet romance thing, if I was intrigued enough," Jen said.

"I would never do that," Jack said. "You never know if you’re talking to a male or female or if they’re 12 or 70."

"Normally, I would have to agree with Jack," Dawson said. "But I’m starting to get really curious about this girl I met in this chat room. She’s amazing. If I had the opportunity, I would definitely meet her in person."

"Oooo," Jen’s eyes lit up, "a mystery girl."

"Dawson, you have a love interest?" Pacey asked. "How come I haven’t heard about this?"

"Well, it’ll never actually happen. She’s so mysterious. Always in and out. I don’t really know anything about her. It’s completely illogical," Dawson said.

Joey shifted in her seat. "I wouldn’t know. I’ve never really been into chat rooms."

"You should try it sometime. It’s an experience," Jen said.

"I’ve never really done it either," Pacey added. "Except for a few private chats with Andie, I don’t feel the need."

"Oh, Pacey," Joey cried out, bringing her hand to her forehead in frustration, "could you do me a big favor?"

"Haven’t I done enough favors for one friendship?"

"No, I’m serious. I completely forgot. I promised Miss Kennedy I’d help set up the film display but I have to help Mr. Leery tonight. I can’t get out of it," Joey said.

"Why don’t you ask Dawson?" Pacey asked.

"Because I’m going too," Dawson said.

"And me," Jack added.

"That leaves the gracious Miss Lindley," said Pacey.

Jen looked at Pacey a little confused. Jack elbowed her. "I’m busy," she said quickly.

Pacey sighed glumly. "Fine, fine. I’ll do it."

"Great. It’s after school in the North hall. I’ll tell Miss Kennedy to transfer the extra credit to you," Joey said.

"I get extra credit? Great. This isn’t so bad."

As everyone left the lunch table to go to their classes, Pacey pulled Joey to his side and seized his chance to get some dirt out of her.

"So, Jo, how are things going with you and the Casanova of Capeside?"

"What are you talking about?"

"You said, and I quote, 'I just want to know if Dawson will take me back. As anything.' And I'm just following up to see how it's going."

"It's fine. Everything's fine. Things are going back to the way they used to be."

"So you two are…just friends?"

"For now."

"And you're not," he paused for effect, "wanting more?"

"Well, there is just a dab of sexual tension," she replied nonchalantly.

"C'mon, Jo, you expect me to believe that?"

"Okay, so we have more sparks than the 4th of July, but I'm in no hurry."

"So you're not putting the moves on or anything?"

"No. I'll let him make the first move."

"As I recall, Miss Potter, he did make the first move a few weeks ago and you blew him off."

"Okay, so that may have been slightly hypocritical, but it didn't feel right. I've screwed things up with Dawson so much that this time, I really want it to be perfect. And that wasn't perfect."

"Well, Jo, I hate to break it to you but our good friend Mr. Leery is far from perfect. As romantic as he is, he's not really experienced at this kind of stuff."

"That's fine. I'd rather we take things slow this time, just kind of ease into it. That way, we actually have a foundation later on so we can see where we've been and we don't feel like we're in it for no reason. I'll actually be able to remember why we're together because we'll have the beginning of it to set us up for the rest. Does this make any sense at all?" she asked, beginning to doubt her own coherency.

"More sense than chemistry."

"Well, it doesn't take much for that."

"Speaking of which, I'll see you there."


As he walked away, Joey shook her head. Why was she spilling her guts to Pacey? He would probably just run and tell Dawson anyway. But maybe that wasn't such a bad thing.

"North hall…north hall…this would be the east hall, that would be the art hall…..ah ha! North hall," Pacey ambled through the school. "There once was a guy named Pacey," he said in a sing-song tone as he walked through the empty halls, "the sight of him made the girls racy." At this he smiled, satisfied with himself. "He used lots of sly tricks, and got all the chicks, in lingerie covered in lace-y."

"If you don’t quit I’ll punch in your face-y" came a voice from down the hall. Pacey looked up. There stood Molly in front of the display, an open box beside her.

"There once was a girl named Molly, who thought she was quite a dolly, what a terrible girl, makes me want to hurl, and send her off packing to Bali," he replied.

"The fact that the word ‘wit’ appears in your name is very wrong."

"To what do I owe this pleasure? Shouldn’t you be in rehearsal?"

"Nope. We have a day off. I needed some extra credit."

"Well, this should be fun."

"Look, Witter, can we just get along for one evening? I’m tired of arguing with you. I can use my intelligence in far better places."

"That’s fine. Let’s just get to work and do our best to get along."

"Okay. So…do you have any other hobbies besides composing stupid rhymes?"

"Hey, my rhymes are not stupid. I thought we were trying to get along," Pacey said.


"My life aspirations include moving out of my house and getting a viper."

"That’s mature."

"Wait, let me guess…you want to be an actress. You would prefer to start on stage but then move to film. Having a background in theater would make you feel like you had more talent than the others."

"So what?" Molly replied.

"I can read you like a book."

"But you’ll be some guy flipping burgers, or working for dear old dad and the dependable Capeside Police force."

"Never. I’d rather die than work for my dad."

"Well, I have normal goals. Besides, that’s just a dream. It’ll probably never happen. And if it doesn’t, I want to teach."

"Ah, putting yourself in a position of authority, that’s typical."

"What are you talking about?" Molly’s voiced raised a little.

"You have a need to make yourself feel superior to others. You exude it in every move you make. But it probably just goes back to the fact that you’re insecure just like everyone else."

"Aren’t you the psychologist?"

"But I’m right, aren’t I?"

"Everyone’s insecure," she defended.

"But we all don’t go to such great lengths to hide it."

"What about you? You act like you’re so confident. I don’t think you are."

"You have to act confident and proud of it when you’re the town screw-up."

"You’re not a screw-up."

"Not now, maybe, but a year ago, I was. I guess I’ve just kept my nonchalant mannerisms despite the change in my attitude," he was surprised to find himself confessing all this to her.

"I wouldn’t know what it’s like. I’ve always been motivated. I’m the oldest in my family and I feel this need to prove myself. I can’t let my younger siblings do better than me."

"And you let that carry over into your school dealings."

"I guess so."

There was a pause for a while.

"So," Molly said, "whaddya say we get started on this display?"

"He is *never* going to see this coming," Dawson said.

"I hope not, or else it’ll be pretty dumb," Joey replied. "And we’ll have put in all this effort for nothing."

"Don’t worry, it’ll work out."

Dawson and Joey moved through the restaurant moving tables and chairs.

"You know, Jo," Dawson said, "we never really did talk about each other’s summers."

"Well, you weren’t the only one with the high-profile internship. I had one with Laura. And at first I thought it’d be really eye-opening and interesting, but actually I don’t know that it’s what I want to do. Don’t get me wrong, Laura was really nice and everything. She really helped me out a lot and she definitely gave me special treatment. But I just couldn’t really get into it. I still like the idea of going out and getting a career and making something of myself, but I don’t think that’s where I want to do it. I’m starting to think that maybe this whole art business isn’t what I should focus my life on."

"You could do anything, Joey," Dawson said with his usual optimism. "You are so incredibly smart. As soon as you find whatever it is, I bet you could do it."

"Thanks for the boost, Dawson, but the problem isn’t accomplishing my life’s goal, it’s figuring out what it is. I mean, I have no clue what it is that I want to make of myself. You have these lofty ambitions that are incredibly focused. You know exactly what you want. And for a while I thought I did too. And I do love art. I love drawing and being able to express myself on paper. But I think integrating that into my life’s work would kill my love for it."

"Well, you know I have faith in you. Just think about the things you’re good at besides art. You have an incredible way with words. You’re always able to voice your opinions. In fact, I think that’s your most defining characteristic. Maybe try to apply that."

"What, you want me to be a lawyer or something?" Joey asked questionably.

"No, although you argue better than anyone I know. It’s definitely an option."

Joey laughed. "I guess I never really thought about it. I don’t know. I don’t think I’d like being a lawyer." She scrunched her nose.

"You could be really good, though. Just imagine that Pacey’s there and you’re trying to prove him wrong."

"Okay, so I guess it is an option," she conceded.

"There’s so many things you can do. I know you’ll find something. And when you do, you’ll blow everyone out of the water."

"Thanks for the confidence, Dawson, but I wouldn’t bet the farm. I don’t think I would do as well with pressure on me and everyone expecting me to do well. I’d much rather prove them wrong."

"Well, in that case," he took on a chiding tone, "Joey, you can’t do anything. There’s no way you’ll ever be anyone."

"I’ll show you, Mr. Leery. I will make myself important and special and noteworthy. I want people to know who I am. And they will."

"Of course they will."

She smiled. "Why is it that you believe in me so much without even a second thought?"

"You do the same thing for me. Being a filmmaker isn’t exactly a realistic goal, but you’ve never doubted me. Why don’t you explain yourself?"

"I don’t know," she shrugged. "I guess I just always knew that you were good enough and that you could do it. More than that, I want you to do it. I think I felt if I just wished hard enough, somehow it would happen."

"And I know you can do anything because I know you. I know what you’re capable of."

They paused. Joey felt the now familiar rush of feelings run through her.

"There it is again," she whispered.

"Yea, I’ve been feeling that a lot lately."

"We’ll have to do something about it sometime."

"Sometime. But not now. I’m willing to wait until the time is right."

Joey smiled. "Me too."

"So, now that we’re done telling each other our life stories—"Pacey said.

"The abridged version," Molly added.

"The abridged version of our life stories," he continued, "explain something to me."


"How come we never ran into each other until this summer? I mean, Capeside is not a big place."

"Well, I only moved here 2 years ago. And this is high school, I mean, you have your clique and I have mine."

"And what is your clique?"

"I’m always in the drama room. I help out Mr. Gordon a lot and a group of us usually hang out in there. If I’m not there, I’m in the choir room, or doing something with student council."

"While I’m hanging out doing nothing."

"Basically," she agreed. She paused for a moment. "Um, I really need to apologize to you."

"For what?"

"I didn’t really have very nice thoughts about you. I thought you were a real jerk."

"And now you’re seeing me for my true colors?" he asked with a sarcastic grin.

"Shut up before I change my mind. I guess I shouldn’t have judged you by your overzealous interest in porn and action movies and your flirtatious tendencies."

"And I probably shouldn’t have….wait, I don’t think I have anything to apologize for."

She smiled. "Well, you did think I was a snob, didn’t you?"

"Okay, but I’m not sorry about that." She slugged him good-naturedly.

"I guess I was pretty obnoxious to you. And I hope that from now on we can work the same shift without having arguments."

"So you’re saying you want to be friends?" he asked.

"Yea, I guess so," she said hesitantly.

They heard music coming from down the hall. "I feel like I’m in a movie or something," he said. "We have background music."

"It’s the dance classes. They teach them in the gym. My parents go."

"Sounds exciting," he said flatly.

"I wouldn’t know. I’ve never been to a dance."

"What? How could you have never been to a school dance? Not that you’re missing much."

"No one’s ever asked me."

"Well, you’re not missing much. Very boring affairs. All the boys on one side of the room, all the girls on the other. Really bad music. Lots of chaperones. Someone always spikes the punch."

"Don’t worry, I’m over it. It’s not that much of a deal."

"You’re forcing me to do this," he sighed as he rose to his feet and extended a hand to her, "may I have this dance?"

"Um…" she looked at him tentatively, "I guess."

He put his arms around her waist and moved from side to side.

"Pacey," she said as he tried in vain to keep in time with the music, "this is a waltz."

"Oh, see, in high school we don’t really dance. We just kind of sway and call it dancing. It provides an easier position for making out."

"Oh, I understand," she said, going along with it. "Since that’s the only reason you go to dances anyway."

"You’re right about that."

"Then why are you dancing with me now?" she asked quietly as she looked up at him.

He looked back at her, open-mouthed, not quite knowing what to say for a moment. She felt nervous as she felt his gaze on her. She suddenly felt like she was much closer to him than she had been before. His lips seem just inches away. Was he getting closer to her? She could feel her heart beating faster as she realized he was moving in to kiss her.

"Woah!" all of a sudden they were on the floor in a tangle of arms and legs. "I’m sorry," she said, "I slipped on something." She felt her cheeks burn red. "Wow, I think I understand now what you meant about dancing as foreplay," she said nervously.

"Yea, you never know what’ll happen," he said, rising to his feet and helping her up. "So, we should get going, don’t you think?" He avoided her eyes.

"Pacey, chill out," she said. "Just because we experienced a very near-kiss doesn’t mean we can’t be rational about this."

"You’re right, I mean, it’s not like anything happened."

"It could happen to anyone. We can be cool about this, right?"

"Sure. In fact, we can even still be friends. We’re mature people, right?"

"Right." But something inside her felt wrong.

"Where could he be?" Dawson asked nervously.

"I’m sure he’s around somewhere," Jack said calmly. "Call his house again."

"What’re we gonna do if he doesn’t turn up?"

"Everything will be okay, Dawson. Chill," Joey said.

"Okay, it’s ringing…" Dawson said as he nervously gripped the phone. "Guys, no one’s picking up. Three rings….Four rings….I’m getting the machine."

"Leave him a message, maybe he’ll get it," Jack said.

"Hey, Pacey, this is Dawson, uh I was just calling cuz…."

He stopped and Joey and Jack eyed him as they waited for him to finish.

"Pacey! You’re there! Yea, we’ve been wondering where you are……Hey, I was just wondering, we’re really busy down here but I need my backpack. I left it at home. Could you get it and bring it by? Thanks, Pace, I owe you one……Bye."

"So?" Joey asked.

"He’s on his way. He picked up after the machine."

"Okay, now back to work."

"So you and Dawson have been friends for a long time, huh?" Molly asked.

"Yea. I’m not sure why we’ve stuck together all these years. We’re incredibly different."

"I understand. It’s a security thing. But there’s no reason to give up your friends just because you change. I think it’s great that you guys still are so close."

"Yea, well this last year we haven’t seen as much of each other."


"Well, you know how it is once you start having relationships and stuff."

"Oh, so him and Joey, right? They were *always* together, right? One of those cute couples that make you absolutely nauseous, always kissing in the halls and stuff," she said with annoyance in her voice.

"Yea, you could say that," Pacey replied, hoping his guilt wasn’t obvious.

"That’s the worst. I mean, it’s so gross. It’s fine that they’re dating and all that, but please, get a room, you know?"

"Yup." There was a pause in the conversation.

"You’re awfully quiet," she said.

"What?" he asked, coming out of a daze.

"You’ve been kind of quiet for a long time. I can’t figure out why."

"Well, I’m a quiet guy."

"Yea, and I’m really a blonde, nice try, Witter."

"I just have a lot on my mind."

"You didn’t have a lot on your mind an hour ago. This wouldn’t be about that whole kiss issue, would it?"

"No, of course not. I think I just need a little time to readjust to this friendship we’re developing."

"Okay," she said, still unsure. "So we’re going to Dawson’s dad’s restaurant, right?"

"Yup. The soon-to-premiere, yet-to-be-named, aquatic themed eatery."

"How exciting."

"Terribly. It’s right here on the left."

They walked to the door and Pacey entered tentatively. The lights were out.

"Guys?" he called. "Dawson, where are you, man?"

Molly stood behind him outside the doorway.

All of a sudden the lights flew on and Pacey found himself facing Jen, Jack, Dawson and Joey.

"What’s going on?" he asked.

The four of them looked back at him silently with knowing smiles on their faces.

"We’re throwing you a surprise party," Dawson said.

"If you’re trying to make up for missing my birthday last year, it’s a little late for that," Pacey said.

"Just wait," Joey said, "you haven’t seen the surprise yet."

"And what’s the surprise?" he asked.


He turned to the other side of the room. Then suddenly, he bolted. The gang watched smiling, as he wrapped his arms around Andie and immediately kissed her.

They didn’t see Molly as she stuck her head in the doorway and froze for a moment, her eyes wide, before running away.

End Part 6
Main Page | Part 7

Yup, that's it for now. Like it? Sorry to Andie fans that she only had one word of dialogue in the whole thing, but I brought her back so be thankful. And if you're clueless about the chatroom stuff, I recommend you check out Dawson's Desktop. So what will happen with Dawson and Joey and all those sparks? Will Andie find out about Molly? And what will happen to the restaurant? Stay tuned.......