My Best Friend's Wedding by: Becci

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Summary: Joey's determined to win back her one true love, but has a secret hidden.

Author's Notes: Please send me feedback. The joy at receiving an e-mail from someone who has read your story and then bothered to tell you that they have, and sometimes even that they like it, is immeasurable. To thank those who wrote after part one is very important -eight people in twenty four hours! I would also like to apologise to those to whom I said I'd have this out the next weekend. Too many things to do and severe writer's block.

Dedicated to -Meaghan. I know that I thank her regularly, but I'm writing this after she told me she was desperate for fanfic to read! Also to Holly who is such a help on my homepage as well as writing great fanfic!

'Why does his touch send shivers down your spine each time you think of it?.'

Dawson smiled as he sat down on the couch. He was in his New York apartment, surrounded by his friends. All the most important ones bar one. A niggle inside him pointed out that he was happy, yet the woman he was marrying in just a few days wasn't there. But he figured he was just pleased to see every one at last. It was the first time since they had all left Capeside at 18 that Jack, Jen, Pacey, Dawson and Andie had been in the same room. Their lives had all gone in different directions since graduation. Jack now lived in England. He was a semi-successful artist. Jen lived in Colorado and was a youth worker. She told the evils of promiscuity and gave practical advice to teens who needed it. Pacey lived in Chicago where he had a successful psychiatric practice. He specialised in teenage depressions. Andie had attended medical school and was now conducting research into the illness that had affected her so badly. A person at the door buzzer sounded. Dawson got up and picked up the speaker phone.


"Hey. If you want me to come up, let me in!" came a familiar voice. Dawson smiled, and then pressed the button.

"Hey, guys," Dawson said as he walked over to them. "Guess who else is coming?" Pacey already knew this, but the others had only flown in that morning for Dawson's wedding celebrations. Someone tapped on the door, and Dawson opened it to reveal Joey. In a bright red tube dress, looking fantastic.

"Oh my god!" Jen cried, running forward to hug her long lost and much missed friend. "Joey!"

"Hey, Jen," Joey replied, hugging her back, but without as much emotion. Jen pulled away. "Hey, Jack. Andie," Joey said. The siblings hugged Joey in turn, each happy to see her.

Half an hour later, they sat in Dawson's living room, each holding a glass of white wine and catching up on lost moments. But they were all more interested in what had happened to Joey.

"Well, I guess you all heard that I went to Las Vegas after graduation. However, I doubt that Dawson told you the whole story," she said, smiling warmly at Dawson. "I tried to be a prostitute, but couldn't go through with it. Luckily for me, my first customer had a daughter my age and a son a little bit younger. He also had a wife, who wouldn't be pleased if she knew. So he offered me a job and a home. So I spent nearly three years singing in a filthy bar. Dawson and I spent a few crazy days together. And then I left. I caught a bus here to New York, telling Dawson in a note not to follow me. Guessing from this apartment, you didn't follow my plea?" Dawson shook his head, transfixed. "Well, I can't believe you didn't find me. I went to college, and got my degree I wanted so badly. In Classics believe it or not. And while I was there, I met some guys who needed a lead singer. So there I was yesterday singing at some pre-wedding celebration for none other than my first love Dawson Leery. That's the abridged version. If you want, I can tell you the long version that includes getting hammered and high the night before finals, spending a night in the police cells and hours of therapy in a building two miles away from Caesar's Palace." Joey finished and crossed her legs the other way. A pause followed.

"Well, Joey. It's great to finally see you again," Pacey said. "I'm glad that I might get the chance to hear you say 'bite me' again." The friends laughed.

"Thanks, Pace. Meeting everybody again... was my worst nightmare. But I'm doing ok." She reached down for her bag, and pulled out a packet of Camels. She offered them round. Everyone declined apart from Dawson, who accepted. She offered him her lighter, and soon they were both taking deep soothing drags. Joey looked up from the floor and over at Dawson.

Their eyes met, and Joey immediately broke the stare and stood up. She walked around the room and touched a few things carelessly. She came to a picture on the bookshelf. It was of Dawson and her hugging on the beach at Capeside. They were in their junior year, and madly in love. Joey smiled at the memory, the jokes about sand getting in her crotch, the laughter and the sunburn she got the next day. She put the frame back down on the shelf, and turned around. Sure enough, all eyes were on her.

"Nice place you got, Dawson," she said, smiling.

"Thanks. You can see right out onto Central Park on a good day." Joey rose one eyebrow.

"Wow. How impressive!" she joked, taking another deep drag on her cigarette. She blew out the smoke slowly, savouring the rush that she felt. Andie coughed slightly. "Oh my god! You should have told me if you didn't want me smoking!" Joey said, feeling guilty.

"No, it's fine. Really. I just didn't know both of you smoked," Andie said.

"But Dawson's smoked for years," Joey argued.

"Actually, I'd given up," he confessed.

"Then why...?" she trailed off. He shrugged. "Have you got an ash tray?" Joey asked. Dawson shook his head. "I'll go out to the kitchen then, and put this out," she said.

"It's out there and to your left," Dawson called. Joey nodded, and walked out of the room.

Jen turned to Dawson.

"How long have you known that she was coming?" she asked.

"Well she turned up as the singer at the party last night," Dawson answered. "And she met Josephine."

"Oh," Jen said.

"Oh indeed. But she didn't get cross. Much worse. She got upset."

"Guys, do you want some more coffee?" Pacey asked.

"Yeah, one for me," Jen said. Dawson shook his head.

"I'll come and help you," Andie offered, leaving Jack Jen and Dawson in the living room.

As Andie saw Joey, she noticed she was taking a tablet with a glass of water. She had almost reached her when Joey realised she was not alone. She immediately jumped up, and smiled awkwardly.

"What was that?" Andie asked.

"What?" asked Joey, feigning confusion.

"The tablet you were taking."

"Advil. I've got a headache," Joey lied.

"Jo... I know it's been a long time, but I thought we were still friends," Andie said finally.

"We are," Joey replied, crossing her arms in front of her.

"So why are you lying to me?" Andie shot back. Joey began to chew on her lip. "What are they, Jo?"

"Xanex." Joey smiled and shrugged. "Ironic, eh? All those years you wanted to be normal like me, and now I'm the one who's nuts."

"Being on Xanex doesn't mean you're nuts," Andie pointed out.

"Oh, in my case it does. 100% cracked up."

"What's wrong with you?" Andie asked.

"I can't remember the name of it... I had a breakdown soon after I came to the city. The drugs are to balance my moods, cause quite frankly I go crazy without them. Depression and hyperactivity. I'm like a one person episode of 90210!"

"Does anybody else know?" Andie asked. Joey shook her head.

"Just my doctor and my therapist. I'd like it to stay that way, Andie. Dawson's getting married. If I win him back, I don't want it to be out of sympathy, or for him to be afraid he's gonna tip me over the edge. My life's messed up, but I'm going to sort it out. And Dawson is task number one."

Non-Commercial Break

Howdy folks! I'm so sorry about the time it's taken for me to get this out. Personal circumstances and a hell of a lot of other things that I'm doing mean that I'm finding it more difficult to do this regularly. However, I will carry on. I'm greatly encouraged by the feedback I've been getting. I'm focusing on this series at the moment, and I'm gonna try and finish it, instead of leaving it in mid-track.

Can I make a plea -has anyone read 'Bleak House' by Charles Dickens? I'm having to read it for English, and it's boring me to death. Does it get better? I'm on chapter six of sixty seven! Help me!

Oh, and what I said about the quotes at the beginning? I found a better one for this elsewhere. I don't know who it's by, unfortunately. But it's not by me.

It was Tuesday evening, the evening after Joey's visit to Dawson's apartment. On Sunday, Dawson was due to get married. If she wanted him back, she'd have to move quickly. There was another party tonight -more of Dawson's friends and family had flown into the city. Tomorrow would be the rehearsal, followed by the rehearsal dinner. Thursday would be the final dress fitting and the only evening free. Friday night was the Hen and Stag's nights. Saturday would be the morning to recover, there would be a church blessing in the evening. Sunday was the big event at 11am. Joey rolled her eyes at her reflection in the mirror. This was the exact opposite of what she would have planned. Her perfect wedding would be a quiet affair, just she and her husband and his parents and her sister and father. They'd be somewhere quiet but romantic, Paris, Venice or maybe even Capeside. It was laughable really. All those years she'd spent wishing she was away from that town, and now she felt quite nostalgic. She was 26, and she'd lived in Las Vegas and New York. She'd been toughened up. She'd had to grow up finally. Now she was fed up with her turbulent life. She wanted stability again. And her life with Dawson had been fairly stable. Any problems had been caused by her. The doorbell rang, breaking her from her daydream.

She opened her door. And stood there, looking suave in a designer suit was Pacey. She smiled as she let him in.

"Don't we look spiffy?" she said, teasing him.

"Absolutely. And you don't look too bad either," he replied. It was true. She was wearing an ivory slip dress that stopped at her ankles. It showed off her slim figure without revealing much flesh.

"I need to do my hair still," she said, throwing back the compliment as always.

"So, how are you bearing up?" he asked. She spun round on her heels.


"I know you love him. You can see it in your eyes. Just like when we were kids."

"Oh my God. I've just realised my life is turning into something awful... 'My Best Friend's Wedding'!" Joey said, laughing and groaning at the same time.

"Just as long as I'm not your gay friend... what was his name? George?"

"That's it. But don't worry. I'm sure you're not. You can't sing." Joey smiled as Pacey mocked surprise and hurt.

"Sorry we can't all be great voices like you... so when are you going to sign your first recording contract?" Pacey asked.

"Come on, contracts are a way for people to sell out. Music should be from the heart, not dictated by big bosses to pay for their Saabs and Jaguars. Besides, I don't write my own stuff."

"Why not?"

"I just think there's a song out there to describe anything I feel. Sometimes it's Paula Cole, sometimes it's Jewel and sometimes it Marilyn Manson! But there's always something. And by singing it, maybe I'll trigger something in someone else, something they'd forgotten. Why add to the world's songs? Only to be forgotten?"

"Spoken like a true Joey Potter," he said in all seriousness.

"What do you mean?"

"You have to have more confidence in yourself, Jo. You're a great singer. Are you singing tonight?"

"I don't know. I've been added to the guest list of all these events, so I don't suppose they'll let me."

"I'm the best man. If I can't get you in, who can?" Pacey said, smiling.

"Thanks," Joey replied.

"So, are we ready yet?" Pacey asked, noticing the time.

"Yup, I guess so." Pacey offered her his arm and she accepted. They walked out of Joey's apartment.

Joey stood by Bessie and smiled falsely. Dawson wasn't here yet, and she barely knew anyone other than her sister and her old friends.

"So who else is coming today?" Joey asked.

"Well, Dad is," Bessie admitted.

"What? When did he get out?"

"He had a seven year sentence, Joey. He got out three years ago. And I told him that you were here. He wasn't planning on coming here until the day of the wedding."

"Are you and him... did you...?"

"Yes, we made up. I realised that being a parent wasn't easy, and he made mistakes. Pretty big ones, but he is only human."

"Yeah, and he wasn't exactly being the grownup, was he?" Joey commented.

"Don't be too hard on him, Josephine Potter. He's your father, and he loves you very much. All these years, he's missed you. He blamed himself."

"Well maybe he should have. If he hadn't gone back to prison, maybe I would never have fallen off the rails."

"I didn't mean that," Bessie replied.

"It's all right. I know exactly what you meant," Joey said, walking off.

Dawson watched as Pacey and Joey danced. He had to admit it: he was jealous. Jealous that Pacey was making her smile, jealous that the two of them could stand up and dance together without having to worry about whether it seems proper. Pacey whirled her round and then swiftly dipped her down. Joey burst into laughter that Dawson could hear over the crowd of people and the noise they were making. He looked to his left as he felt a man approach. It was Mr Potter.

"Hey, Mike," Dawson greeted him.

"Hey, Dawson. She's beautiful tonight, isn't she?"

"She always is."

"So why aren't you the one dipping her and making her laugh tonight?"

"Mike, stop. First, she came as Pacey's date tonight. Second, every time we get together, it's thanks to your intervention, and it always falls apart with maximum heartbreak. Lastly, I'm engaged to Josephine. This is one of our wedding parties. So just stop, OK?" the older man nodded in understanding.

"OK. It's just my paternal instinct kicking in. I know she loves you, and I want her to be happy. She blew me off, did you know? Bessie says it's nothing, just her being preoccupied, but I'm not so sure."

"I don't really know what's going on in her mind, Mike. She's just... I feel like I want to drift towards her, but my head's telling me to get away quick."

"Listen to your heart, Dawson. Your heart will ache forever if you don't."

As Pacey had promised, Joey got to sing. She took the stage to a round of polite applause. Most of the audience remembered her from the other night, and those who had just arrived were no doubt aware of who she was. The group that had been hired knew the song she wanted to play, so she began.

<Song--Fumbling Towards Ecstasy by Sarah McLachlan.>

That's it for this part, folks! I'm really sorry about the time delay. I hope it's ok though. Please feel free to send me feedback. I'll try and get the next part out quicker.

-Becci Wooster

© 10th January 2000

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