Disclaimer: see part 1
Author's note: Sorry I've taken longer than I wanted to on this one. I apologize. Remember to send feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. And I have a new D/J fic as well as a new other fic. Be sure to check them out.
"Why are we watching this, Dawson?" Joey looked at him with a cynical, pleading stare.
"I'm getting myself psyched, looking for inspiration, taking hints from the masters. It's like Karate Kid. I'm trying to learn, fine tune my creativity."
"Except Mr. Miyagi comes in the form of a video you've seen a thousand times."
"Jo, it's the Making of Star Wars! You used to love to watch this," he said with a goofy grin.
"And Ralph Macchio packed a pretty mean kick."
"Joey..." he looked her in the eye lightly, but chiding.
"Okay, so I'm a little tense," she admitted, shrugging.
"You could say that."
"Well, it's this stupid movie. You're doing all this preparation and I don't even know if I'm going to be part of it." she brought up one shoulder and tilted her head as he'd seen her do so many times before when she was uncomfortable.
"Of course you'll be part of it--"
"But not like I want to be. You need to make your decision."
"Joey, it's been like 2 days!"
"Well, that should be enough!"
"This is important," he cried, getting to his feet, "I need time to think."
"You're not thinking, Dawson. You're avoiding the issue. You're procrastinating it in hopes something will come up and you won't have to make a decision." Her eyes threw daggers at Dawson. He tried to stand up to her, but instead he cracked a smile.
"I hate arguing with you. You see right through me."
She smiled back.
"Someone's gotta keep an eye on you," she teased, reciprocating his smile.
His smile faded and his eyes glazed over a little as he spoke again. "I'm just not sure what to do about Jen. I'd love to have you, but Jen really seemed to have her heart set on it. I don't want to let her down."
"You know what you need, Dawson?" He looked up in hope of a solution.
"An attitude. If you weren't so nice all the time, you wouldn't have any obligations to people."
"Oh, so I need to be more like you?" he asked.
She smiled widely. "Exactly." She raised her eyebrows triumphantly. "You have a right to be bitter. Your parents split up, you have a tumultuous love life, you're a tortured artist--"
"And you're my best friend, that's reason enough."
"Hey!" She slugged him playfully.
He grabbed a pillow and mildly tossed it at her. She threw it back, harder. He moved over, grabbing more ammunition and threw another at her. The fight quickly heated up and it didn't take long for Dawson to bring in the big guns. He tickled her. She squealed. They laughed and rolled around on the bed, pinching whenever possible.
Both of them immediately stopped. Mitch stood in the door, confused.
"Sorry, Dad," Dawson said.
Mitch gave them a last look and shut the door.
Joey laughed. "He probably thought we were doing a lot more than tickling."
An awkward pause followed. They returned to their upright positions.
"So, um, anyway, about this producer issue," Joey said, as calmly as she could, "I only ask that you be fair and judge it by merit. I don't want to get it just because I'm your best friend."
Her heart was still racing. For a moment they'd been carefree children again. Even if it was short-lived. It would be so comforting to just--
She paused. "Sure."
"I know it's been a long time, a really long time, but I'd love to wake up in the morning and have you here."
If only he meant it in a romantic sense, Joey thought.
"Yea, I know what you mean," she said.
"Morning, Jack," Jen said as he joined her at the breakfast table.
"Morning," he replied suspiciously. "You're unusually happy. What's going on?"
"Mmm..." she sighed, "good dreams."
Jack raised an eyebrow.
"No, not *that* kind of dream. Just really happy ones."
"Well, that's nice," he said.
"Yeah, it is."
He paused a moment before blurting, "I've got some more good news."
"Yeah. You know I've been on the phone with my Dad a lot since he and Andie came down."
"Well, Andie's going to be here permanently and the house already sold, so we're getting an apartment."
"Actually, it's a condo. Andie and me and my Mom will stay there and Dad will eventually come too, amazlingly."
"But how will you take care of your Mom?"
"Dad's already found someone who can stay with us and watch her and help out until he's there."
"Wow. That's great," she said.
"Yeah. So it's great for you, you won't have to put up with me anymore."
"Hmm," she said with the remnants of a smile. She tried to let the comment just slide by, but she couldn't. She dropped her spoon which clattered loudly against her dish.
"So it's a relief for you to go?" she asked.
"No, that's not what I said."
"I'm supposed to be happy? Did we share nothing these past months? I thought we'd gotten close. I thought we were good friends. And for some crazy reason, I thought that you liked living here."
"Jen, don't do this. Don't turn this around."
"I'm not turning anything, Jack."
"Yes you are! Jen, they're my family! I have a responsibility to them! I care about them. I miss having them around."
"Fine. Just go," she said, turning away.
"No. Not until we work this out. You can't take things so personally."
"Thanks for the lesson, Jack. I'll be sure to remember that." She started to leave the room.
"No, Jen. Stop." He grabbed her arm. "Look, I'm not saying I don't need you. I'm not saying you're not important to me. But I need to help my family. They come first."
"Fine, Jack. Whatever. I'm just tired of coming in second."
His face softened. "I'm sorry."
"No, it's not your fault. It's me. I need to get out of here," she said softly.
"No, you can't go. I need you to be here."
She looked him in the eye. "Well, looks like you're coming in second, Jack. I guess you'll have to deal with it." Then she left the room.
Dawson hurried to answer the door. When he opened it, he found Jen on the doorstep.
"I came to give you the script back," she said, holding it out to him.
"Oh," he smiled. "What did you think?"
"I--uh, I didn't finish it. Look, um, Dawson, I'm not going to be able to produce your movie."
"Because I'm leaving. I'm going to New York."
Dawson's eyes widened in amazement.
"This is a little sudden."
"Well, my friend Lane is in town. She was my best friend back home, and she has an apartment and I'm going back with her."
"Wow. Um-" he ran his hand through his hair, "good luck. I guess."
She started to walk away, then turned one last time.
"I'm sorry, Dawson."
He looked back at her sadly.
"Thank you," she added.
"For liking me when I came here, for chasing after me and making a fool out of yourself for me. And trying to understand me. And caring about me."
"No, Jen, I've been terrible."
"No, you haven't. You saved me a thousand times. I couldn't have survived here without you."
He looked at her, and for a moment she thought she saw a spark of regret in his eyes. No, he loved Joey. She knew it. And that knowledge gave her the courage to give him one last hug and walk away.
Molly tugged at her black vest as she ran a finger down the row of lined up video tapes.
"Scream 2...first one was better. Child's Play...um, too weird for me. Psycho...overrated. Friday the 13th...too much sex, too much blood. Leprechaun...the fact that this movie was even made frightens me. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane...Bette Davis in a sailor suit, now that's scary." She sighed as she picked up the videos and walked to the horror section to reshelf them. "What's the deal with all the horror movies lately?"
It was a rhetorical question. And it definitely wasn't directed towards him, but Pacey answered it anyway.
"Halloween's coming up," he said from his perch behind the cash register.
"Oh," she said. She started stocking the cassettes on the shelf.
"I don't mean to pry, but where've you been lately? We haven't had a shift together in a month," Pacey said.
"Well, with rehearsals I've been really busy. I do 2 shifts a week. It's not much, but it's something. Next week's the play, then I'll go back to normal and you all won't have to work overtime anymore."
"That's good." He tapped his finger on the counter.
"Even though I've been busy, you've been awfully quiet."
"I've been quiet?" he laughed. "You're the loud one."
"It's not because of that incident last week, is it?"
"What incident? I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Yes you do. Don't play dumb with me. It's not because of that almost-kiss, right?"
"No, no, of course not."
"Good. Because I wouldn't want something like that to come between us. I mean, we're going to be interacting all the time and I'd hate to have some barrier between us. Especially when it's not even an issue. After all, you've got a girlfriend. One you love very much, I assume?"
"Oh, yeah. Andie. She's great. Incredible girl."
"She has to be." Molly's voice trailed off and she regretted letting that slip out.
"What's that supposed to mean?" he asked, wanting and dreading the answer.
"Nothing. Just that you're a really great guy. A great guy is worthy of a great girl."
"No, see that's where I've got you fooled. I'm not a great guy. That's how I got her, I've fooled her too. For some insane reason both of you think I've got something great going on, but I hate to break it to you. It's not true." "I think you just underestimate yourself."
"Yes," she said. "You're a very intelligent guy, you'd just rather not be. It's less pressure. Nothing to live up to. You could put in little effort and get no attention. But it's scarier to care about things and work at them and raise people's expectations."
"So then you're aware of my black sheep status?" he asked.
"Of course. I'm not deaf. People talk. It's Capeside. Everyone here has a reputation."
"And what would yours be?"
"I'm a brain. Everyone assumes I get good grades, that I'm overly involved in school activities and I study for every test."
"While the truth is that...you really are one," he said.
"No, actually. I get decent grades, but I'm not valedictorian. I really only do drama and choir and occasionally I dabble in other things. And I've never studied for a test in my life."
"I find that hard to believe. Even I have studied for tests. Me, Pacey Witter, the king of slackers."
"Nope. Never. Zilch. No studying."
"Then how do you pull off decent grades?" he asked.
"That's why my grades are only decent, not stellar. Because I don't care enough to improve them."
"Wait, you were just lecturing me about caring about your grades."
"Well you should care...to a degree. But it's only high school. You have to be realistic. Otherwise I'd have to go into therapy everytime I got a B." She walked back over to the counter to the next pile of videos to be shelved. "Cleopatra...that's a snooze," she commented.
"I'm glad we're still able to, you know, talk," he said. "Because I was worried we'd have some tension."
"You felt guilty?" she asked, looking at the ground.
"Yeah. You could say that. Another reason Andie doesn't deserve me."
"No, it wasn't anything like that. It was just a complete fluke."
"Sure. I mean, it wasn't like we really did kiss."
"And if we did, it wasn't like there would be anything behind it," she said. They exchanged glances briefly.
A bell rang as the door was opened. Both of them looked up guiltily. Andie walked in with a huge smile on her face.
"I have good news," she said, walking up to Pacey and looking him straight in the eye.
"Oh yeah?" he asked, putting his arms around her. He noticed Molly out of the corner of his eye, hurriedly walking to the other side of the store.
"I was thinking maybe we could go on a walk or something..."
"Well," he said, "I don't think so. I have an hour left on my shift."
"Oh." Her eyebrows lowered. "Well, maybe we can have dinner tonight?"
"Sure. Wherever you would like."
"Great. Because I'm going to cook for you!"
"And where are you going to do that?" he asked, "Since you don't have a kitchen in your small hotel room?"
"I was already planning on going over to Jen's tonight to be with Jack. You can come along. I was going to make him dinner. Now I'll just cook for two!" She smiled. "I'd better get going. I'll see you later, Pacey." They parted with a quick kiss.
After she was gone, Pacey tried to start up a conversation with Molly again, but he couldn't get up the courage to say anything. So instead they worked in silence.
"So Pacey is joining us?" Jack asked.
"I should've figured." He walked over to the kitchen where his sister stood tending a pot. "Grams is a great cook. She taught me and Jen all these great recipes this summer."
"Oh, so you're an expert chef now?" Andie asked, incredulous.
"Well, no. I tend to break more than I make. But I'm a good helper."
"That's just what I need. Could you get me the salt out of that grocery bag?" she asked.
"Sure." He walked over to the table and looked through the bags Andie'd brought. It was nice being with her again. They'd never talked that much at home that last year in Capeside. There'd been a huge cloud hanging over the house. She would order him around and he would occasionally ask her to do something, but usually the house was big enough that they didn't interact much. After Jack came out, they were closer. Pacey had mentioned a talk he'd had with Andie. Whatever he'd done, it worked. The two of them had started sharing their feelings after that. She'd confided all she felt about Pacey and he shared his regret about all that had happened with Joey. But now that she'd returned, that cloud had come again. Something wasn't quite right between them.
"Sounds like you and Jen have gotten pretty close," she said, trying not to sound interested.
"Yeah. I'll say. We spent every waking hour together. We tell each other everything."
"Wow. I'll bet she was heartbroken when you said you were leaving."
"She was. I think she's jealous. Of you, I mean. Since you're my sister."
"Well, she doesn't have much to be jealous of. I mean, just because I"m your sister doesn't mean I share some great bond with you. I mean, the two of you sound really close. I'm sure I won't get in the way."
He sighed. "Not you too."
She turned to him questioningly.
"If you're upset about something, Andie, just tell me. I'm tired of the word games."
"I'm sorry, Jack. But I guess I'm just jealous of you and Jen. You two are good friends and sometimes I feel like I can't be your friend because I'm your sister."
"Of course you can. Me and Jen are just...I don't know. We understand each other. We've shared a lot of similar experiences and we've been able to relate to each other incredibly well. But you and I have gone through so much together. That wins out over anything. I really worried about you this summer. A lot of times, I thought I should've gone with you, and made sure you were okay."
"No, no, Jack, you were right to stay. You and Daddy would've just fought all the time and we all would've been completely miserable."
"Yeah. I guess. I'm just upset because Jen freaked out today when I told her I was leaving. She just went ballistic."
"Yeah. Me too. I work so hard for this friendship and then it just falls apart. It just makes it all seem pointless."
"It wasn't, Jack. She just needs time."
"I hope so."
The second she set foot in the room, Joey knew something was wrong. Dawson had called her, telling her he was having a planning meeting for the new movie and she needed to come over right away. Excited, but still skeptical, she'd rowed over as fast as her arms could stand. Now, just one glance at his face told her something was not right.
"Dawson," she called, pulling him out of a reverie. "What's up?"
He looked up, still distracted. "Um...I was just thinking about the movie we made last year. I was remembering the first time we all met Jen. Pacey was crude, you were snide, and I was completely stupefied. She was always such a symbol to me, you know? She stood for everything beautiful that love could bring. She was sweet and intelligent and funny and she liked *me*. I just can't help but think what a turning point that was for me."
It had been so long since Dawson pined for Jen that Joey had forgotten how much it hurt to listen to him go on about her. She could feel all the old jealousy returning, but she pushed it aside.
"What's going on, Dawson?"
"What do you mean, she's leaving?"
"She's going back to New York."
"I'm sorry, Dawson," she said quietly.
"I've gotten so used to having her around, even if she was in a drunken stupor, that I never thought she'd actually go back."
"Well it's not like she had much to stay here for. And that's her home. She spent her whole life there," Joey said.
"I know. I know it's selfish of me to want her to stay. But I guess I didn't realize what a fixture she'd become in my life." He smiled a little as he paused. "Why can't things just stay the same? I know they *need* to change, I know they *have* to change, but wouldn't it be nice if we could all just sit around and enjoy things and not have to worry about growing up and moving on?"
"This is certainly a change of heart. I thought you wanted to get growing up over with," Joey said.
"I did. But if growing up means I have to lose my parents and my friends, I'm starting to think it'll be easier to take it slow."
He gazed at her with an unmistakable look of distress. There were moments when knowing someone inside and out came in handy. This was one of those times when he needed more than he could express with words. Joey smiled, seeing through him, knowing exactly what he wanted.
She put her arms around him.
"You'll never lose me," she said. They were all the words that he needed.
They sat holding each other for several minutes. Then the door opened and they both looked up with surprise.
"Oh, have I interrupted a special bonding moment?" Pacey asked innocently from the door.
"What's he doing here?" Joey asked malevolently.
"He's here for the same reason you are," Dawson said.
"Slacker boy's working on the movie?" she asked.
"I'm the casting director," Pacey said proudly, flashing a smile.
"So we're going to have a cast consisting of several busty blonde cheerleaders?" Joey snickered.
"You bet," Pacey said.
"I forgot what a joy it is to have both of you in the same room," Dawson said sarcastically. "I think I'll get us some drinks. He quickly left the room, closing the door behind him.
Joey exhaled deeply and threw herself on the bed with a groan.
"Aw, what's up, Jo?" Pacey asked, sitting beside her.
"What's ever up in my life? Dawson! He'd gone for a few days without mentioning Miss America Online and he's just starting to act interested when all of a sudden he starts obsessing over Jen. Jen! I'm never going to win, Pacey. There's always going to be someone catching his eye and I'll always just be the friend that he comes to to vent."
"You just can't make up your mind, can you Jo? First you're his best friend and you want to be his girlfriend. Then you're his girlfriend and you just want to be friends. Just pick one and stick with it."
She sighed again. "It's not fair. I want both. I want to be the *only* girl in his life." She smiled and got a far-away look in her eyes. "I want to be the girl he tells everything to, but I also want to be the one that he dreams about. I know it sounds really stupid, in fact it's pretty selfish of me, but it's still how I wish things could be."
"Jo, why did you break up with Dawson, the first time around?"
She sighed. "Because I wanted to see if I could be a whole person without him," she recited in a sing-song voice.
"And did you just decide you couldn't? Because that's how you're acting. You've become this girl who can't go on without some guy as her boyfriend. That's not you, Joey. Maybe before you jump into his arms again, you should think about that." They stared at each other for a long time, until Dawson opened the door, jolting them both.
"So…everybody ready to do a little planning?" Dawson asked cheerfully.
Joey mustered a half-hearted smile.
Dawson had been talking for hours. Joey sighed and looked up at the ceiling. As excited as she had been about helping Dawson, she was having trouble concentrating. What Pacey had said got to her. He'd noticed something she'd been trying to overlook.
"Um, Dawson, can I use the phone?" she asked, completely interrupting him.
He looked at her with frustration, but let her go. Left alone with Pacey, he sat next to his friend.
"I just don't know what's up with her lately. She's so moody," Dawson said.
"Some things never change," Pacey said.
"What do you mean?" Dawson asked.
"Well, it's just that this whole thing feels like deja vu."
"In what way?"
"Nevermind, D. Just forget it."
"No, come on, you can't just say that and not tell me what you're talking about."
"No, I shouldn't have said it. Just forget about it."
Dawson stood, agitated. "No, Pacey, come on. Tell me."
"Dawson, you may be bad at keeping secrets, but I am not, and I'd prefer to stay that way."
"I'm not bad at keeping secrets," Dawson defended.
"What about when Andie told you she liked me? You couldn't keep that secret."
"Well that was different."
"No, it wasn't different," Pacey said.
Dawson eyed him suspiciously then grinned. "Oh, I get it. Someone likes me," he said with a twinkle in his eye.
"I never said that…"
"I know it. I'm right. So who is it?"
"Well, whoever it is, since I'm not going to tell you, it looks like they'll have to take a number. After all, you've got the mysterious chat room girl that you've been talking to so much lately," Pacey said.
"What are you talking about?"
"The girl you were telling us about a few weeks ago. The one from the chat room. The mysterious one that you were so intrigued by."
"I haven't talked to her in months."
"Well then who's the girl you've been IM'ing so much?" Pacey asked, clearly bewildered.
"That's Wendy. Well, Wendy's not her real name, but she's just a friend. She's older, she already has a daughter." Dawson studied Pacey's face. "What, did you think I was pursuing some kind of online romance?"
"Yea, actually," Pacey laughed nervously.
"No, no, the girl from the chat room is completely different. I don't know a thing about her. Except that there's something about her that's so…I don't know, I just have this incredible desire to get to know her, but she's really elusive."
"Okay, let me get this straight. The girl you've been talking to everyday for the last few weeks is just some girl who's helping you out. The other girl from the chat room is the one you're after, right?"
"Okay. Wow, it's making a lot more sense now," Pacey said, scratching his head.
"Why are you so interested anyway?" Dawson asked.
"And how do you know about me talking to Wendy? I've barely even seen you the last few weeks."
"Uh, well, you told me."
"Sure. You must've. Or else how would I know?" Pacey said, lying through his teeth.
"Are you sure?" Dawson asked.
"Sure I'm sure."
"Okay, well whatever," Dawson said, still mystified.
Joey reentered the room and took her seat, returning the two boys back to normal.
"Okay, uh…so, what were we talking about again?" Dawson asked.
"We were mapping out a schedule," Joey said.
Joey looked at her watch yet again. She shifted her weight impatiently. Her new self-awareness had put her in a bad mood. Pacey was hitting his pen against the wall annoyingly and she gave him a dirty look. He gave her one back. Dawson noticed from his position in front of them, still prattling on about the movie.
"Hey, guys, this is serious, quit the juvenile antics, okay?" he asked, expasperated.
"Well, this isn't exactly all that exciting, Dawson," Joey said, making her annoyance obvious.
"You're the one who was so desperate to work on the movie, Joey," Dawson retorted.
"I know. I'm sorry, I'm just not in the mood." She added quietly, "And if you weren't so domineering about the whole thing, it would be easier."
Dawson's head turned. "Hey, I heard that."
"Well good!" she cried, her frustration rising to the surface. "Maybe it's about time you realized that these movies are more of a chance for you to be in a position of authority than a creative effort."
"Joey, that's crazy."
"You always have to be the big director, the man in charge, pursuing your dream. You always have to be the leader."
"That's not true."
"Oh please, Dawson. You're so self-involved that you don't even think about what else is going on."
"Joey, that-that's so false it's amazing lightning didn't come and strike you down right on the spot." He turned to Pacey who was still fiddling with his pen. "Pace, you don't think I'm self-centered, do you?"
Pacey sat looking nervous for a moment. "No, guys I don't want to get involved."
"No, Pacey, I really think you should tell him how you feel. The honest truth," Joey said.
"Yea, the honest truth," Dawson said, his nostrils flaring and his eyes widening, waiting for Pacey's answer.
"Well…occasionally, you can…" Pacey spoke slowly, considering his words, "be a little bit ego-centric, but-"
"Exactly. He agrees with me," Joey said.
"So you think I'm a maniacal self-absorbed tyrant?" Dawson asked incredulously.
"Yea, I do," Joey said, stepping towards him, urging him on.
"Well, maybe it would be easier if you weren't so sarcastic and angry all the time," he rebutted.
"Angry? What are you talking about? Where do you get the idea that I'm an angry person, I'd really like to know," she said.
"Pacey?" Dawson asked, motioning to his friend.
Pacey turned away. "No, I really don't want to get involved, guys…" he said.
"Pacey!" they both yelled simultaneously.
"Fine, fine, Joey, you're angry," Pacey admitted.
"There," Dawson said.
"Well I wouldn't be so angry if you weren't such a pain to deal with."
"That is true, D," Pacey said, "you can be a hassle sometimes."
"Stay out of this, Pacey," Dawson said.
"Wait a second, you're the one who got me involved. You had to have my opinion," Pacey said, rising to his feet.
"That was just to have someone to second my opinion," Dawson said.
"Oh, so I see, I'm just here to back you up, I'm not allowed to be my own person," Pacey added, starting to get mad.
"No, Pace, I didn't say that."
"It sounded to me like you did."
"Fine, look, you're only ever here to back me up since you never take anything seriously. I can't trust you with anything. And even though I'd like to believe this 'over-achiever' thing you have going on, I still have my doubts about giving you any serious responsibilities," Dawson said.
"Why don't we get to the root of the problem, Dawson," Joey said. "The truth is you don't trust anyone with your movie except yourself. You just need Pacey and I to do your dirty work."
"Hey, it's my vision." Dawson cried.
"Well then you can work on your vision by yourself. If you don't need me, I'll be going. Come on, Pacey," Joey said, walking to the door.
Pacey stood for a moment, unsure of what to do.
"Pace, don't go with her. She's just being moody about this. We can still do this together," Dawson said, using soft tones.
"Wait, you know what, Dawson? I'm going to go. Since you can't trust me with anything, I don't see why you need my help. Excuse me." He walked out the door.
Dawson threw himself on the bed and groaned.
Pacey walked Joey down to the dock.
"You going home?" Joey asked.
"Yea, I think so. Although I'm just going to have to come back. Andie's having me over for dinner at Jen's place."
"Oh." Joey said, playing with her toe in the dirt. "That was a complete fiasco. He just drives me so crazy. One minute I want to kiss him and the next I want to smack him."
"He does have a way, doesn't he?" Pacey smiled.
"So, what were you and Dawson talking about while I was out of the room?"
"Nothing?" she scoffed. "Dawson couldn't get out a complete sentence for the rest of the night. I know something happened."
"Well, basically I got the goods on your competition."
"Turns out, you don't have as much as you thought you did."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Nothing. I am backing out of this right now. Dawson is on to me and I am no longer your little spy. You are doing this by yourself. I hereby remove myself from all involvement in getting the two of you together."
She sighed. Still looking at the ground, she said in a quiet voice, "Thanks for what you said to me earlier. I guess I have a lot to think about still before I jump into a relationship again."
"It's the least I could do."
"See ya later, Pace."
"Bye, Jo. Remember, just because I'm not the go-between anymore, doesn't mean I don't get all the gory details."
"We got everything?" Lane asked with delight.
"Yea, I think we do," Jen said, mustering a smile.
"Okay, great. I'm gonna run in and make a quick pit stop and then, we're out of here!"
Jen watched Lane go in and took a deep breath, trying to compose herself for what she was about to do. She was interrupted by Andie, who was hesitantly coming towards her. Jen groaned inaudibly.
"Hi," Andie said nervously.
"Um, I know this is really last minute and I know we're not even really friends, but I have to ask you something."
"What?" Jen asked, not wanting to know.
"Sounds more like a statement than a question. Did Jack send you out here to say that?"
"Then I guess he's just too proud to ask me himself," Jen snickered.
"No, he thinks you want to go. He thinks you don't care about him and I know that's not true."
"Well what if it is true?"
"It's not. It can't be. When I was in Providence, the only thing Jack ever talked about was you. All he ever did was go on about how perfect your lives were."
"Yup, pretty perfect. In fact, we're so perfect, we're right up there with the Brady Bunch, aren't we? We should get our own sitcom. I know, we can call it A Girl, A Guy and a Biblethumper. Or how about this, Will&Grace&Grams," Jen gave her an exasperated smile.
"Jen, I'm serious. I'm out here completely against my better judgment. In fact, I don't even know why I'm here. I should hate you."
"Andie, that's stupid. You're the one with the blessed existence. You have no reason to hate me."
"I can think of one really good reason. You know my brother better than I do. He's my own brother, I've known him my whole life. And in 3 months, you became closer to him than me."
"No, don't be jealous, Andie. You won. When it came down to a choice, he picked you."
"He picked me because he had to. Come on, you know Jack. He's completely compassionate. If someone needs help, he'll rush to their side. He just thinks you don't need him. And he's too stubborn to admit he needs you."
Jen could feel tears threatening to invade her eyes. She forced them away and tried to think of something to say. Her silence only lasted a few seconds.
"Okay, Jenny, let's hit the open road!" Lane cried as she came back out to the car.
Jen turned away from Andie and hurriedly got into the car.
"You ready?" Lane asked.
"Yes. Just go," Jen said.
End Part 8
Main Page | Part 9
Okay, well I have big things in store next part. Will Jen stay in New York? Will Dawson and Joey EVER get together? How will things turn out with Pacey and Andie? And what about Jack and Molly's play? Stay tuned... and send feedback to email@example.com.