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There was an uncomfortable silence in the car as Dawson headed back towards Capeside; his mind busy as ever with thoughts of Joey. Obviously he was right about Joey not wanting him. She made that clear when she ran from him for the second time after spending an incredible night together. His heart ached, thinking back to the day he had found out she had chosen Pacey again. He knew then that all hopes for the two getting back together were over. He had just been stupid enough to let his love for her take over the night before.
“She loves you, you know,” Lily said, knowing he was thinking about Joey. Dawson looked over at Joey.
“And what makes you think that?” Dawson asked curiously.
“Dawson, not only is she like my best friend, but I just spent an entire week and a half with her; I think it’s fair to say I know what I’m talking about,” Lily said.
“And I’ve known her a lot longer than you’ve been alive,” he reminded her. Lily paused.
“Okay, true; but have you ever spent longer than forty-eight hours with her?” she asked. “And I’m not talking about these one-nighters the two of you keep falling into.” Dawson looked over at his sister, unsure if he wanted to laugh or hide.
“I’m suddenly feeling uncomfortable talking about this with my seventeen year old sister,” Dawson said.
Lily rolled her eyes. “Regardless; I know what I’m talking about.”
“She made it very clear to me that I wasn’t the one for her, not only when she picked Pacey…again, but not more than forty-eight hours ago when she freaked out and left; refusing to return my calls,” Dawson explained.
“Good god, if the two of you were more alike, I’d go nuts!” Lily exclaimed.
“Does an explanation follow that statement?” Dawson asked curiously. Lily sighed, unable to believe her brother was so oblivious.
"Trust me, Dawson; Joey loves you," she assured him. "She *told* me yesterday after I found her in her bedroom in tears over you and whatever went wrong between the two of you." Dawson paused for a second.
“Look, I appreciate your help, but I know what I’m talking about,” Dawson said, wanting to drop the subject.
“But-” she began.
“Lily,” he warned. Lily sighed in frustration, busying herself with looking out the window as they drove in silence.
A half an hour later, the car was still filled with silence. Lily was still looking out the passenger side window while Dawson continued to think about Joey; wondering if perhaps his sister was right. Did Joey really love him? Lily wouldn’t lie about something like that. He looked over at his sister, who had remained quiet the whole half hour they had been on the road. Thinking back to all the years he had known her, he knew that he had always loved her; even when she was with Pacey and he was with Gretchen he knew that he’d always love her. Even if she doesn’t love me, I have to go back and tell her how I feel, Dawson realized. He knew he would regret it for the rest of his life if he didn’t. He looked quickly in the rear-view mirror, before hopping back on the freeway that brought him back to N.Y.
Lily looked over at Dawson like he had gone mad. “What are you doing?” she asked.
“Going back to New York,” he said simply. It took a second for Lily to realize what he had meant by that. A grin slowly spread across her face.
“Are we really?” she asked excitedly.
Dawson nodded. “Yeah.”
Joey walked down the small hallway and stood in the middle of her living room; realizing how quiet it was now that Lily had left. Over the past week and a half, Joey had grown used to having someone else in the apartment. She had spent years living on her own, never having a problem with it before; until now. She hugged herself, thinking of Dawson and how much she’d miss him. She was sure she had totally ruined their friendship by sleeping with him again, knowing he didn’t want to be with her ever again. She knew that the only reason why they ended up in bed together was because they both felt that physical attraction for one another, and because of feelings they had for each other in the past; but that was it. She was headed towards her bedroom when there was an impatient knock -or bang- at her door. She frowned, wondering who it could be as she walked over and opened it.
She thought she was imagining things when she opened the door and saw who was on the other side. “Dawson, what-” Before she could finish, his lips were on hers, kissing her with so much passion and love that it made her knees weak. Finally, after a few minutes, Dawson slowly pulled away, his hands on her hips to steady her.
“I’m sorry, but I couldn’t leave here without telling you how I feel about you, about us..” he trailed off.
“Dawson-” Joey began, still feeling dazed by their kiss.
“No, Joey I have to do this,” he said, quickly. “I know that you don’t love me like that anymore; I mean, you picked Pacey after Jen died. I know I’m not the one for you, but I had to tell you anyways that I love you,” he began. “Joey, my love for you is so strong that it hurts. And I’ve felt this way about you for as long as I can remember, and I doubt they’ll ever go away. I mean, they haven’t yet.” he paused. “I don’t know how you feel but the other night together, I felt something; a sense of completion. And… and I guess I had to tell you that.” Dawson stood there for a second, waiting for Joey to say something.
“So I guess that was it,” he said, taking his hands off of her hips after a few minutes. “I’ll just be on my way. See ya Joey,” Dawson said, turning around and heading out the door. Joey stood there for a few minutes, letting it all sink in what he had just said. A wide grin spread across her face before she ran after him.
“Dawson! Dawson!” she yelled, catching him as he was about to open his car door and hop inside. He stopped and turned towards her.
“Dawson, I don’t regret it either,” she began. “I chose Pacey because he was my safety net; I knew with him I’d be in a relationship that wasn’t so complicated, and, and..” she paused. “All these years I thought you’d never forgive me for choosing him over you; but mostly…I thought I didn’t deserve it. Because all I seem to do is bring you pain and heartache. I know what you meant when you said you felt a sense of completion because I felt it too. Dawson, whenever I’m around you I feel a sense of completion; you’re my soul-mate and I will always love you.”
After hearing those words, Dawson was no longer in charge of his body. He ran over to her and scooped her into his arms, kissing her as he had before. He had waited eight years to hear her say that. Lily just grinned from inside of the car as she watched her brother and Joey kiss, forgetting where they were.
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