Everyone Says I Love You by: Becci


"What can I do to make you love me?
What can I do to make you care?
What can I sat to make you feel this?
What can I do to get you there?"
What Can I Do by The Corrs.

Joey walked across the room towards the window. She fought back the tears that threatened to reveal her feelings. Her head was swimming in a dark pool of confusion. She didn't know why, but she felt that Dawson was about to say what she wanted him to. Instead, he had stared at her with a weak smile on his lips.

She got to the window just before he suddenly burst out her name. She turned and suddenly he was there beside her. He quickly pressed his lips against hers. She was too startled to do anything. He pulled back and her heart swelled with emotion. His fingers slowly pulled back a piece of her hair, and he looked lovingly into her eyes before kissing her again. Once again, he pulled away and looked at her. It was like he was trying to find Joey's reaction somewhere in there. She responded by pulling him closer and giving him a deep kiss with all the heart.

After a few minutes of making out, Joey pulled herself away.

"Bessie'll be expecting me back. I've gotta go." Joey let herself out of the window and stood on the top step of the ladder. Dawson stuck his head out of the window. Joey stopped for a moment and looked at him.

"I love you Joey," Dawson said. Joey blushed and quickly replied

"Thank you." Dawson knew he had caught her off guard. He hadn't expected to be kissing his best friend that night either.

She quickly slid down the rest of the steps and started to walk towards the dock, but a hand touched her shoulder, making her jump, and spun her around. She was face to face with Dawson.

"Joey, let me say this. You're my best friend in the whole world. You always have been and you always will be. Whatever happens between us, never forget that. I've always loved you. But now…..now I find myself thinking of you in a completely different way. You're beautiful, you're smart, you're loyal, you're weak, you're strong, you're sexy and I'm in love with you. It's taken me some time to realise that, and I'm sorry, but I love you."

He paused, afraid of her reaction to this. He knew that it had to be said, and he knew that she had spent a long time thinking of him in ways other than friendship. Yet still, there was this unpredictable side to her. He never knew quite what she was going to do. A moment elapsed, and he saw her face soften, almost on the brink of tears.

He wasn't prepared for this. "Joey? Will you go out with me?" He had to say it. It would give more fact to the situation. She looked down at her shoes in that way of hers.

"Sure…Of course I will." They both suddenly felt awkward. Joey looked up into his eyes.

"I love you, Dawson Leery." She muttered.

He leaned down and hugged her whilst kissing her.

The kiss. It broke her heart. The person she loved was kissing the person he loved. Jen was stood at the porch of the house she lived in with her Grandmother. It had been a long day, full of grief. First Dawson had dumped her in favour of Joey. Then she had received that call from the hospital that she had been dreading. Her Grandfather had died. She was exhausted and now she was witnessing the end to a hellish day. She had seen the pair talking and had wished that she could hear what they were saying. Then she saw them kiss. With tears in her eyes, she turned around and ran to the house and up into her room.

From her living room window, Gail Leery smiled. She had heard shouts coming from her son's bedroom, and had gone to the window to see what was going on. Dawson and his best friend appeared to be in deep discussion. She had seen him talking to her, and then watched the trademark Joey shrug, as she looked at her shoes. It was something Joey had done even as a little girl. Now she was on the brink of adulthood and still had that characteristic. Gail had felt something was going on, so she had stayed to see it. She had seen him lean down and kiss her on the lips. With a satisfied expression on her face, Gail went to sit back down on the sofa. As she did, her husband entered the room and dropped a kiss on the head.

"Can I row you home?" Dawson asked blissfully.

"OK." Joey replied, smiling.

They held hands and walked towards the boat that was moored nearby. They rode the whole journey to the other side of the creek in silence. Dawson rowed whilst watching Joey looking around. The sun was setting and the colours were wonderful. The sky was full of purples, pinks and reds of every imaginable tone. A gentle breeze whispered through the trees, cooling the world to a more comfortable temperature. When they got to the other side, they stood on the dock, unsure of what to do.

"I suppose this is where I get off," Joey finally said.

"Yeah, I guess," Dawson replied feebly.

They paused again, and then Joey reached up, kissed Dawson on the cheek and went running in the direction of her sister's house. Dawson watched her, slightly surprised and then got back into the boat and started the journey back to his own house.

When he got back home, Dawson walked through the front door and went to pass the living room on his way to the staircase. As he walked past it, his Mom called out to him. He entered the room to find his parents sat together on the couch.

"What mom?" he asked. He was exhausted by the high emotions of that day and wanted nothing more than to lie on his bed and analyse the previous 16 hours.

"Dawson, sit down for a few minutes. We want to talk to you." his father said slowly.

"Dawson, I saw you and Joey earlier," his mom explained, "your father and I would like to have a word with you about it." Dawson sunk into his favourite chair, prepared for a lecture.

"OK. Shoot." he said, trying to sound relaxed and confident.

"We want you to know that we're happy for you, but we feel that we need to set down some ground rules," his father once again spoke.

"Why?" Dawson asked. "You never had to with Jen and you didn't even know her!"

"That's because you didn't risk ruining a friendship with Jen. We just want to make sure that you and Joey don't go too far and then regret it… the sleepovers have to stop, honey," Gail broke the news as gently as she could.

"We don't really feel comfortable knowing that the two of you, as a couple, are up in your room together the whole night." Dawson stopped.

He hadn't thought about that. He knew that he was madly in love with Joey, but he hadn't thought that his parents might have felt odd about the situation. He sat in silence as his parents demands were listed, and then went to his room to have a good long think.

The next morning, Dawson was unsure of what to do, so he left the house arly and rowed over to Joey's house. When he got there, Bessie and Bodie were stood outside the house on the porch, with Alexander. He walked up and asked Bessie if Joey was ready for school yet. Bessie smiled, and walked inside the house.

"Joey," she yelled, "Dawson's here for you!" She came back to the porch, and told Dawson that she'd be down soon.

Dawson stood for a few moments in complete silence. He felt uncomfortable as he didn't know whether Bessie and Bodie knew about him and Joey or not. After a few seconds that felt like a lifetime, Joey appeared. She looked beautiful. She was wearing jean shorts, with a tight top, and her hair was tied back in a ponytail, with just a few wisps framing her face. She smiled at Dawson, grabbed her jacket and kissed Alexander goodbye.

"Joey, don't forget your shift tonight, will you," Bessie called to Joey.

Joey carried on walking with Dawson toward the boat. They got in it, and Dawson finally broke the silence.

"I guess they don't know about us then." Joey smiled and shook her head. Dawson began to row the boat, and when they got away from the dock, Joey spoke.

"Dawson, kiss me." He looked at her shocked, and then realised that Bessie and Bodie were watching from the house.

He smiled, and leaned forward. Their lips met, and both were shocked to discover they both felt the same ecstasy as they had the night before, with those first few kisses. Back on the shore, Bodie smiled at Bessie.

"I told you there was something going on there," he said. Bessie smiled back at him, and then carried Alexander back inside the house.

By the time that Dawson and Joey reached school, the lipstick that Joey had applied carefully that morning had been rubbed off. They walked along the corridors, hand in hand until they reached their lockers. Joey unlocked hers and began to pull out a textbook, and put some stuff in from her book bag.

"My mom saw us last night," Dawson began.

"Oh," came the reply.

"And they set some rules down, Jo. We're not allowed the sleepovers anymore." He looked at her, and saw her face break into a weak smile.

"Well, at least I don't have to sit through anymore boring Spielberg movies!" He paused for a second.

"How dare you, Josephine Potter?" he said, before starting to tickle her.

"Stop! Stop! I didn't mean it!" Joey screamed.

"You dissed Spielberg. Now you must pay the price!" he said, before pulling her close to him, and lifting her face into a deep kiss right there in the middle of the school corridor.

Just then, Pacey turned round the corner. To his surprise, he saw Dawson Leery bent over, kissing someone. He walked up to him silently, and tapped him on the shoulder, making him jump.

"Well well well, who's the lucky girl, Dawson?" he asked. Dawson pulled away from the girl, and turned to face Pacey.

Pacey was shocked to see the face of Dawson's latest love interest - Joey! Both Dawson and Joey went red with embarrassment. Pacey got over the shock, and grinned mischievously.

"How did this happen then?" he asked, enjoying their embarrassment fully.

"It's none of your business," Joey hissed at him. He looked at Dawson, expectantly.

"Sorry, bud," he said. Pacey was disappointed. The lack of love in his life at the moment fuelled his interest in those of his friends.

"Well, have you seen Jen this morning?" he asked, changing the subject. The pair both shook their heads.

"Well, I'll go and leave you two alone for a bit of privacy. Don't worry, Joey, he's had plenty of advice off me. He shouldn't be that nervous for your first time." With that, he walked off down the corridor.

"I'm sorry about him," Dawson said, deeply embarrassed about Pacey's last comment.

Joey sighed gently and leaned back against a locker.

"He's right though, isn't he?" Dawson looked at her, unsure of what she was talking about.

"What do you mean?" Joey looked away from him, and tried to busy herself with the items in her locker.

"We're almost 16, Dawson. Most of our actions are controlled by our hormones. At some point, sex will be an issue. And what will we do then? Our relationship has changed since this time yesterday, and it will change again."

Just then the bell went, signalling the start of homeroom.

Joey slammed her locker shut and walked down the hall to her homeroom. Dawson stood alone in the corridor, staring after her.

Jen sat in her bedroom with her eyes shut tightly. She hoped that, by doing this, she would be able to get rid of the image of Dawson kissing Joey. Tears came from her eyes as she realised it didn't work.

On one hand, she had always known the two had an intimate friendship, that she couldn't interfere with. On the other was the fact that he had never wanted Joey before. He'd been with Jen. How could his affections change so suddenly.

With a sudden jolt, Jen realised that it was time to speak to her grandmother.

"We all get hurt by love,
We all have our cross to bear.
But in the name of understanding love,
A problem should be shared.
Confide in me.
Confide in me."
Confide in me, by Kylie Minogue.

She walked down to the kitchen, where she found her grandmother praying.

"Grams? Can I talk to you?" she asked nervously.

"Of course you can, Jennifer. Here, sit down. What's bothering you?" Jen flushed a light shade of pink. Suddenly, she felt uncomfortable with talking about her feelings.

"Ummm… OK, Grams. This isn't easy. We've had no heart to hearts, and this a hard place to start… I asked Dawson to take me back… he said no…and last night, I saw him kiss Joey." Jen's Grandmother sat back in her chair.

She knew that Jen was upset, and she had seen Dawson chase after Joey just before Jen came home the other morning. Now, everything became clear. Her first reaction was to hug Jennifer. Despite all her actions in New York, she was still a child, making mistakes and getting hurt. And despite the ache inside her from the loss of her husband, she knew she had to comfort her granddaughter.

"I can't breathe,
I can't sleep,
When you're not around.
Every day is gloomy grey,
When you're not in town."
The Corrs - When You're Not Around

Pacey sat in his first period class. Math. Dawson was sat beside him.

"Hey, Dawson? Remember me?" he said, frustrated at the lack of response from his best friend. Dawson suddenly snapped out of his daydream.

"What?" he said, confused. His head was full of thoughts of Joey. It was hard for him to concentrate on anything when he was thinking the thoughts he was. He'd never thought of Joey like this, it was exciting and full of promise. He looked at Pacey, whose face was scowling.

"I asked if you had the answer to question twelve. But it's quite clear to me what you're thinking about!" Dawson flushed a light shade of pink. He hadn't expected Pacey to know.

"Look, I know how gorgeous she is, OK? I know how beautiful she is, how clever she is, I know all about her great personality, and I also know she's crazy about you, Dawson. If I was in your place, I'd be doing the same. But, we've got to work." Dawson paused for a second to collect his thoughts. He decided to go for it.

"Pacey, do you think she thinks about me in the ways I'm thinking about her?" Dawson looked down, deeply embarrassed at confessing not only his true feelings, but also revealing his insecurities. Pacey looked at Dawson, and fought back the urge to smile.

"I'm certain she does," he said truthfully. "You can tell by the way she looks at you. but, you've both got to be sure you're ready before you go into things like that. It's not a race, and you don't need to score any points. Just do what you're both comfortable with, ok?" Dawson seemed satisfied with this answer, and went back to his daydreams, whilst Pacey continued his quest to find x if x+7y=10+2(3.5y).

Joey pretended to be finding something in her locker whilst she thought about Dawson. She was thinking about the issue she'd raised with him earlier. She knew that she felt ready to commit herself physically as well as emotionally to Dawson, but what if he didn't? She knew how hard it was to change your opinion of someone. She'd spent almost a year doing it before she'd come to feel comfortable. It was unfair to expect Dawson to think of her like that after 14 hours. Sure, they'd made out. He'd told her he loved her, but there's a difference between the kinds of love. Suddenly, she felt two strong hands grab hold of her waist.

"Greg, I've told you. No means no! What if Dawson found out?" she said just loud enough for Dawson to hear. He span her round to face him.

"I think he'd probably kill Greg before killing himself," he said before holding her close to him and kissing her.

When they broke apart for breath, Joey stayed close to him, and rested her head on his shoulder.

"I missed you," he whispered gently. Joey felt the warmth of absolute bliss flow though her body.

"What do you say we bag school and go do something better?" she asked him.

"I was waiting for you to ask," he replied, delighted with the prospect. "My parents will be at work. We could head back to my place," Dawson offered.

"Sure," she said. They kissed again, and then she began to run down the hall with him following close behind. The ran out of the door, with only a few people seeing them.

One of them was Pacey. It was with the sudden realisation that he would be spending almost a whole day at school without any friends that he found out how lonely he felt now that his two best friends had become more than that. The thought saddened him as he began to walk down the corridor away from the exit and to his Spanish class.

Joey and Dawson were breathless by the time they arrived at his house. This was partly from the thrill of leaving school, partly due to the anticipation of what was next, and partly due to the exercise. The entered the house, and went immediately into Dawson's room. Once there, they both went shy. They hadn't been together in the room since the night before, and they felt more than a little uncomfortable.

"So, do you want a drink?" Dawson asked her. He looked at her face, and noticed her cheeks were rosy from the run there.

"Sure," she said.

He went downstairs, whilst she sat down on the chair in his room. He came up a few moments later with a couple of cans. He threw one to Joey, and opened his whilst throwing himself down on his bed. She opened hers, and took one demure sip. She then sat there in silence, with her back toward Dawson. Dawson watched her, his insides a mess of feelings. He didn't know why she wasn't sat on the bed with him. She drove him wild just sat there. She was so beautiful, and she could have any man she wanted. But she had chosen to be with him, Dawson. And she'd even waited for him whilst her hurt her.

"Joey, why don't you come and sit with me?" he finally asked. She got up, and joined him on the bed, but she sat down on the side, rather than joining him in lying down.

"No, Joey, I meant sit here," he said, motioning for her to join him.

She looked in his eyes, a little afraid of his expectations for that afternoon, and also a little bit nervous of what she wanted to do with him. She overcame her fears, and lay beside her. Then, he leaned overand kissed her. After a few moments, Joey realised that his arms were closing around her waist. She pulled away quickly, and got off the bed. She began to walk backwards and forwards.

"What is it Jo?" He was totally confused. His heart and his hormones were telling him one thing, yet his head was screaming at him to ignore the others. Joey ran her hands through her hair.

"I need to talk to you, Dawson, before we get into all this," she said slowly.

"Sure, shoot," he said, unsure of what she was going to ask.

"Dawson, do you really want all of this?" she asked. "You say you love me, but do you know what that means? Are you sure you don't just think of me as a friend, and you're just doing this to stop me going to France? I don't think either of us wants our first time to be with just a friend. And do you think of me like you thought of Jen? Love has to be there, but so does lust. You can't have just one if you want a relationship to develop. Finally, are we gonna tell people about us? 'Cause Bessie, Bodie, your parents and Pacey know about us. No one else. Are we gonna go on dates, or just make out in your bedroom? 'Cause that's just being friends who kiss. I need to know Dawson. What do you want? Do you want me?" She paused for breath, and looked at him with an intense fire of passion burning behind her eyes.

Dawson smiled weakly. It was the same expression he'd worn the night before, the smile that had made Joey cry. It had the same effect now. She broke down into tears, but still looked at him. He went to move towards her.

Suddenly, an impulse ran through his body. Although their friendship had been close, something they'd never done was to hug each other as a sign of comfort. He took another step towards her, and opened his arms. She fell into them, and rested her head on his shoulder.

"I'll be there,
I'll be there,
Just call my name,
And I'll be there.
Just look over your shoulder honey,
I'll be there,
I'll be there,
When you need me,
I'll be there."
I'll be there - Michael Jackson with the Jackson Five.

He stroked her hair gently as he began to speak.

"Jo, I love you. I want you. I know what love is. I've been falling in love with you since we met, but the last straw was seeing you at the beauty pageant. I suddenly saw you as a woman, not my best friend. It was an incredible turn on. I want our relationship to develop. I want to show you how much I love you, emotionally and physically. But, if you're not ready for that, I'll wait. I think about you completely differently from the way I thought of Jen. I see you and me living together, sharing our lives with each other for the rest of our lives. As for dates, we can do that too. I'll scream at the top of my voice that I love you in the school cafeteria if that's what it takes. I love you, Joey. More than my parents, more than my video camera, and more than Spielberg. I can live without them. I can't live if I don't have you." She pulled her head off his shoulder, and looked up at him.

She had stopped crying, but there was a new vulnerability about her. She whispered a response.

"I love you too," then she claimed his mouth with hers.

His arms went up the back of her top, and pulled her even closer. She ran her hands through his thick blond hair, committing to memory his smell, the feel of his hands against her back, the bumps of his head…

Suddenly, she felt something hard against her lower abdomen. Just as she began to realise what it was, he pulled away. His face was bright red with embarrassment. Looking at his embarrassment, Joey began to laugh. Before long, he was laughing too. His face went back to a normal shade, and they kissed once more.

"I'll be a fool for you,
I'm sure,
You know I don't mind, You mean the world to me,
I know I've found in you,
My endless love."
Endless Love - Diana Ross and Lionel Richie.

Jen went out onto her porch, and embraced the coolness of the afternoon. After spending a day in the house, she needed to breath. She sat in one of the chairs there, and pulled her legs up. Her head was swimming in a pool of emotions. Her beloved Grandfather, the one member of her family she truly loved, had died. Dawson Leery had refused her because he loved someone else.

And then there was her grandmother. Jen knew that she kept breaking down into tears, but she was trying to hide it from her. More than anything else, Jen wanted to cry and comfort someone else who was crying. She didn't want them to grieve alone and separately. Her thoughts were interrupted by someone coughing.

She looked up, and saw Pacey with a weak grin on his face.

"Hey, Jen. Why aren't you at school?" he asked.

"My grandfather died yesterday," she said matter-of-factly.

"God! I'm so sorry, Jen. Is there anything I can do?" He looked at her with a genuine look of concern on his face.

"Talk to me," she said simply. "Why aren't you at school? It's fifth period Pacey. We all know how much you love Geography!" He smiled sheepishly and then admitted his actions to her.

"I kinda bunked off. If Jo and Dawson can, then so can I." Suddenly, he realised what he had just said. "Ummm, I mean…"

"It's OK, Pacey. I saw them at it last night. I know about it," she said, trying to spare him the discomfort of realising he'd put his foot in it. Pacey sat in a seat next to her.

"So, if you want to talk, I'm pretty good at listening, you know."

"That's sweet, Pacey. Just sit with me," she said, touched by his sincerity. The two faced out across the creek, and Jen began to cry once more.

We look out across the creek. The sun is setting, and night-time noises are audible. We see a televisions set with a blank screen, then it flicks onto a scrambled mess of black and white dots. Lying on the floor is an empty video box. It's from 'titanic'. Then, the camera flicks to the bed. Dawson and Joey are lying together, making out.

Although they're both full clothed, it's got a bit hot and heavy. They both have their eyes shut, and suddenly Joey opens hers. She catches a glance at the time, and pulls away abruptly, and sits up in the bed, putting on her sneakers.

"What are you doing Jo?" Dawson asked. "Did I do something wrong?" Joey looked at him and smiled.

"Nothing wrong, but it's 5.45pm! I gotta work this evening and I've got 15 minutes to get to the Icehouse" Plus, your parents will be home by now, and I don't want them walking in on us." She put on her shoes, then her jacket, and then catapulted out of the window and down the steps of the ladder. Dawson rose and walked to the window and watched her until he couldn't see her boat anymore. Then he walked back out of his room, and downstairs to the kitchen.

Pacey and Jen saw Joey climb out of Dawson's bedroom window and down the ladder. She saw them as she started to walk to her boat. She waved at them, and walked over to the porch.

"Hi, guys! How are you?" she asked them politely. It was unusual for her to be nice to either of them, but she was so happy, she couldn't stop smiling.

"My Grandfather died yesterday," Jen began, "but I'm OK." Joey looked down at her feet in shame. There she was, making out with Dawson, whilst Jen was feeling so terrible.

"I'm sorry, Jen. If there's anything I can do for either of you tell me. And, if you wanna talk, I know practically everything about watching a relative die. You know where I am." Jen smiled weakly. This was the nicest Joey had ever been to her.

"Speaking of where you are," Pacey said, "what have you and Dawson been up to?" Joey was mortified.

She didn't want to discuss their personal activities with anyone, but she also knew that now was not the best of times to Jen they'd got together. She looked shyly at Jen, who returned a knowing smile.

"That's none of your business," she said before turning on her heels, and walking off. She got into her boat, and began to sail away.

"Oh yeah, they've been doing something," Pacey told Jen knowingly.

As Dawson walked into the family's kitchen, he noticed a note stuck to the fridge. He pulled it off. In his mother's handwriting was the following;

We're going to dinner tonight after work together, so you need to get yourself something. Either go to the Icehouse, or reheat last night's leftovers. Love you lots,
Mom and Dad XXX

Dawson smiled at the note. Difficult decision. Dinner alone or go and have a certain beautiful girlfriend of his serve on him hand and foot?

He grabbed his coat, and took his wallet with him. When he locked the house up, he noticed Pacey and Jen together in her porch. From Jen's face, he knew something was wrong.

"Jen, what's happened?" he asked when he got to the porch.

"Her Grandfather died yesterday," Pacey informed him. Dawson flashed a look of genuine concern and compassion.

"I'm so sorry. Would you like to come and have dinner with me? My treat."

Pacey smiled ruefully.

"I wonder why you're being so generous on this fine Capeside evening?"

Dawson flushed a light shade of pink, and he walked toward his boat, with Pacey and Jen in pursuit. He rowed them to the SS Icehouse, and they walked into the restaurant.

The three of them entered the restaurant, and chose a table that they knew was in Joey's section. Dawson looked around anxiously, and saw Joey at the cash till, with Bessie. The two were talking, and Joey began to laugh. She looked up and noticed her three friends. Most of all, she noticed Dawson. He was staring at her. Her thoughts were interrupted by Bessie, who was untying the apron that Joey had just put on.

"Go and spend the evening with him," she said kindly. "Bodie and I can cope without you. just do us a favour and get the orders. And yours. On the house." Joey almost ran to the table before Bessie could change her mind.

When she got to the table, she swung into Dawson's arms, and they kissed. "Come on guys. You left each other like 20 minutes ago. What are you two gonna be like when Joey goes to France?" Pacey asked. Joey and Dawson broke apart and sat down.

"I told Mrs. Gilroy this morning that I'm not going," she informed the group.

Dawson tried to control his expression, but inside he was doing cartwheels.

"so, what do you all want?" Joey asked. "Bessie gave me the evening off."

A few moments later, Joey walked up to the counter with their orders. Dawson watched her as she walked, but he wasn't looking at her back. Jen groaned.

"Oh my God! You can smell the hormones flying around! Can you come back to earth?" Both of the guys snapped their focus off of Joey's legs.

"Sorry," Dawson apologised. Joey finished talking to Bodie and she returned to her seat.

"Should be about 20 minutes," she announced, sitting back down.

The evening was spent with the four friends laughing and talking. Joey and Dawson were the only ones aware of Dawson's hand, which had moved up from her knee and was placed on her thigh. When they had finished, they walked down towards the boats. Pacey and Jen sat in one, and Dawson and Joey in the other. Both boats headed towards Jen and Dawson's houses. When they got there, Jen and Pacey went to her house to give the others some time alone.

Dawson wrapped his arms tightly around Joey, and kissed her on her forehead. Then an idea sprung into his head.

"Do you wanna come and watch a movie, Jo?" he asked. Joey looked at him as if he was mad.

"Your parents said no more sleepovers, Dawson. Plus, I don't know if I can stand anymore time making out on your bed today."

"Are you saying you don't enjoy it?" he asked, faintly worried.

"No, I love it, but I think I need a break, you know?" she reassured him.

"Come on, I've got an idea," he said, before dragging her into his house. They ran through the front door, and Dawson led her to the living room.

She sat on the sofa whilst he ran upstairs and fetched a couple of videos. He stuck one in the VCR and sat down beside her, and rested her head on his arm. He looked at the time 7.15. His parents should be back soon. He pressed play on the remote, and the TV flicked into life.

A seven year old Joey appeared on screen. Joey groaned at the image of her with untidy braids in her hair, a pair of broken dungarees and brown pumps.

"Dawson, turn it off!" She yelled at him. As if on cue, Dawson appeared on the screen. The two turned away from the camera and ran towards the dock. The pair carried on running, and jumped into the water. The video continued, showing the two together. When it finished, both Dawson and Joey had been laughing.

It felt like a lifetime ago that their lives had been like that. That was before Joey's family had fallen apart. And when Dawson's parents had been happy. When the video ended, Dawson put another one in. Once again, Joey groaned when it came to life. It was Dawson's copy of the Miss Windjammer contest. She saw herself walking about the stage, and slowly let her heavy eyelids drop. Before long, both she and Dawson were asleep in each others arms.

Mitch and Gail Leery entered their home tired. It was 9pm, but because of the traffic, it had taken them a long time to get home. They heard noises coming from the living room, so they walked into the room. The television set was filled with Joey singing.

On the couch, Dawson and Joey were asleep. As if he sensed them in the room, Dawson's eyes flicked open.

"Mum! Dad! You're late." He said, smiling at the irony.

They were worried about what Dawson and Joey would get up to, but in fact they were asleep in front of the tv. Mitch stared at the set with his mouth open. He'd not attended the contest, and was amazed at the sight of Joey all dressed up. He looked at his wife, and they both looked at Dawson and his sleeping girlfriend.

"Go on, take her upstairs. We'll phone Bessie and let her know Joey's pending the night," Gail said softly. Dawson swept Joey off the sofa in one swift movement, and carried her up the stairs. His parents sat down on the sofa, and Mitch saw another video near the machine. He put it on and turned it on. He was surprised to see him and his wife. The video had been shot a few years earlier, on a family vacation to the grand canyon. The couple in the video were happy, and in love. A young Dawson groaned at the sight of them kissing once more…

The next morning, Dawson woke at the sound of a bang. He opened his eyes, and realised that Joey wasn't in the bed with him. He looked at the time. He had 20 minutes before he had to leave. He'd overslept. He looked at the window. Suddenly, Pacey's head appeared.

"Hey, Dawson! You're late. If you hurry, you might just catch a lift with me!" Dawson smiled at his friend.

"Didn't you learn your lesson last time? I thought you were banned from leaving the house after you took the car last time?"

"Oh no, last time, I was banned from returning to the house before 6pm," Pacey told his friend, grinning although it hurt him every time his family told him what a waste of space he was. Dawson grabbed a few clothes, and ran into the bathroom to get changed.

Pacey climbed into the room, and sat on Dawson's bed. With a mischievous grin, he reached into his coat pocket, and pulled out a small box. He lifted the top pillow on Joey's normal side and left the box there. Before long, Dawson came back dressed in a pair of jeans, and a blue shirt. He slipped on his jacket, picked up his discarded book bag, and followed Pacey out of the window and down towards Mr. Witter's car.

When the boys got to school, they headed for their lockers. Dawson unlocked his, and noticed that there was a note inside it, with his name on it, in Joey's handwriting. He unfolded it and read the note.

Where were you? I waited for ages, but I need to go and revise for a test. Sorry about this morning. I'm gonna be busy at lunch, so I'll see you in last period English, OK? I love you,

He sighed, disappointed. He wanted to hold her close to him. It had only been a few hours since he had, but the day would feel like a lifetime. Just then, his thoughts were interrupted by the bell signalling homeroom. He sprinted to the room, and as he entered, he noticed Jen was back today.

'She sits in her armchair,
looking into space,
looking for a reason,
to find her life's place.
Feeling a little bit sad,
but not really all that bad,
Searching for a dream.
A dream that she's never had.'
Trapped - All Saints

Jen sat in the classroom next to an empty seat. She felt terrible, but anything was better than another day at home. She was wearing a short grey jersey skirt, with a black roll neck top. Her hair was tied back in a severe ponytail, and she was wearing no make up. She didn't see the point in dressing up for school today. She saw Dawson enter the homeroom, and she saw him clock her and then he walked over to the empty table next to her.

"Do you mind if I sit with you?" he asked gently.

"Sure. Go ahead," she replied quietly. She knew that today was gonna be a long one.

By the time it was finally sixth period, Dawson was desperate to see Joey. He waited for her outside the door, and when she arrived, she took his breath away. She was wearing a short black skirt, a blue vest top, a black cardigan and a pair of heeled shoes. Her hair had worked its way loose from her ponytail, and wisps framed her face. She walked up to him and gave him a kiss right there in the hall way.

"Are you working tonight?" Dawson almost whispered once their kiss had ended.

"No. I'm completely free," she replied, equally breathless.

"So how about we go on a date? We cold go to the rialto, and then back to my place for analysis and anything else…" Joey smiled slyly, then nodded and walked into the classroom, with Dawson in close pursuit. He noticed how various boys around the classroom watched Joey as she walked to her seat in the front. He wasn't sure how he felt about that.

After all, guys had looked at Jen like that, and she'd dumped him and began to date them.

After a lesson that bored her to death, Joey walked back to her house with Dawson. She felt more than a little uncomfortable in the short skirt that she had worn that day. It was one of Bessie's, and was shirt on her sister.

On Joey, it was almost indecent. Still, she enjoyed the facial expressions on a certain boy she loved. It had been a success, and one that she would repeat. When they got back to her house, she noticed that Bessie was sat out on the porch with Alexander.

"So, I'll meet you here about 6.30, and we'll walk to the cinema, OK?" Dawson asked.

"Sure. That'll be great. Thank you, Dawson. And I don't just mean for the date you're planning," Joey said, pulling herself close to him. She put her face millimetres away from his, so their lips were nearly touching.

"I love you," she said, before he kissed her. He began to walk back to his boat that was tied up at the dock. Joey watched him go. She watched as he turned into a speck on the horizon before he disappeared. She sighed with contentment, and turned back toward the house. Bessie was still on the porch, one eyebrow raised.

"Joey, have you two slept together?" Bessie asked her younger sister, as soon as she had come close enough to hear. Joey looked shocked, and a little angry.

"No, we haven't. And what would you care, anyway?" she asked, efensively.

"I'm not gonna tell you not to do it," Bessie began, giving the speech she'd had prepared since she realised that Joey had fallen in love, "I'm just gonna tell you to be careful. You might think Dawson's the best guy in the whole world, and he may well be, but take precautions. And not just condoms either. Make sure you won't get hurt. Make sure that he'll stay by you no matter what happens, 'cause a lot can happen." Joey thought for a second.

"I don't think he will hurt me, Bess. He's been there for me forever, and he always will. But you needn't worry, I've thought about it, and I know that although we think like adults and think we are adults, we are only 15. We can wait." Without waiting for a response from her sister, Joey walked into her home and began to get ready.

Dawson walked into the house, and made his way past the living room to go to his bedroom.

"Dawson, you're late home," his father said, without taking his eyes off the model he was making," where were you?"

"I walked Joey home," Dawson answered truthfully.

"Son," Mitch said, looking at Dawson, "can I have a word with you?"

"Sure," Dawson said, taking a seat. Mitch got up and moved into the armchair opposite the sofa Dawson sat on.

"Dawson…are you and Joey sleeping together?" he asked, looking Dawson in the eye.

"God! No!" Dawson said, flabbergasted. "We just kiss and do stuff like that."

"I wouldn't be angry if you were, Josephine's a very pretty girl. Beautiful in fact. Plus, it's obvious that you love each other."

"Calm down, Dad. We're not sleeping together. We're still virgins."

"For now. I'm not gonna be angry when you do. If you need any help, if you have any questions, tell me. I might be your old dad, but I was 15 once too. And, if you need any condoms, I can give you a few." Dawson's face went bright red with embarrassment.

"Sex isn't everything, dad. My feelings for Joey are much deeper than how beautiful she is. I'm gonna forget we had this conversation. I suggest you do too," Dawson declared before walking up the stairs, and going into his room, leaving his dad in the living room, bemused.

About four hours later, Dawson and Joey walked into his home. They walked into the living room, where Mr. And Mrs. Leery were sat watching a movie. Joey was wearing a pair of black trousers, with a red pullover, and Dawson was wearing his best pair of chinos with a cream coloured jumper.

"Hey, kids. How was the movie?" Gail asked.

"Great!" Joey enthused.

"Rubbish," Dawson said. "Terrible directing, the lead looked like she'd forgotten her lines, the storyline was predictable, and the third scene wasn't long enough to set the mood." Joey rolled her eyes, and pushed him playfully. "Oh, come on, Jo! You can't say that you didn't know that she ended up with the policeman!"

"I knew, but it was still great! It showed how, although life isn't perfect, you can still be happy," Joey argued.

"Wow. At least we know that you watched the movie," Mitch said, amused at the pair's bickering. "We used to go just to make out in the back row!"

Dawson rolled his eyes this time and spoke quite obviously to his mother. "We're gonna go up and argue a bit more, OK? We'll keep the door open if you want."

"That's OK, honey. We trust you," Gail said to her son.

When they got to his room, Dawson shut the door. He put on a CD, and then joined Joey on his bed. Before long, the air was filled with the sounds of the All Saints album. He smiled at Joey, who smiled back. A few moments of making out later, he excused himself and left the room. Joey sat up, and tried to regain her composure.

She quickly moistened her dry lips, and tossed her hair over her shoulder. 'Just remember what you told Bessie', she reminded herself. After a few minutes, Dawson came back to the room. He joined her on the bed, and they kissed. Although it had only been 48 hours since their first proper kiss, they had both improved dramatically. She loved his smell, the softness of his lips, and the feel of his strong arms wrapped protectively around her waist.

He loved how her bottom lip danced with his, how she kissed with both passion and tenderness, and how it felt to know she loved him completely. Still kissing, Dawson found himself tugging at Joey's jumper, trying to get it loose from her trousers. She let him, although she knew that if they went much further, it would be hard to stop.

Before long, his hands were under her top, feeling every muscle in her back. Joey began to roll over on to her back. Suddenly, she felt something hard under the pillow. She pulled it out. Dawson looked at her as she looked at the box of condoms.

"So, you were planning on having sex tonight, eh Dawson?" she asked in a tone that Dawson knew meant that she was angry.

"I don't know why they're there, Jo! Believe me!"

"You knew that I wasn't ready, yet you planned this evening. How dare you? What makes you think that I want to sleep with you, Dawson? How dare you assume that you were going to get your end away tonight?" Joey had stood up by now, and her cheeks were red with anger. Dawson stood up and walked over to her.

"Jo, I promise I don't know how they got there!" he exclaimed.

"Well, isn't that convenient?" she asked sarcastically. "I'm going now. Maybe you should ask Jen over for some 'analysis' tonight?" she stormed out of the room, and ran down the stairs into the living room, where Dawson's parents were still sat. They looked up as the two continued their argument.

"Why do you have to bring Jen into this? I love you, not her," Dawson said pathetically. Joey paused for a few moments whilst she tried to think of the worst possible insult for Dawson.

"You stay away from me, Dawson Leery. I don't want to see you again. You're a sex obsessed, hormone driven, dreaming, lying, childish typical teenage male. You're a man and I hate you. Analyse that when you're with Katie Couric tomorrow morning!" She ran out of the house, and into her boat, determined that Dawson shouldn't see the tears that were streaming from her face.

Dawson stood there helplessly as Joey raced out of the house. He heard the door slam, and them turned around to find the curious faces of his two parents facing him. He ran his hands through his hair, cursed, and ran upstairs.

"What is he going to be doing tomorrow with Katie Couric?" Mrs. Leery asked her husband. He shrugged.

"Since when is being a man the world's biggest insult?" he asked back.

So? What did you think? Did you like it? Tell me!!


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