Breathless by: Becci

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Summary: A very drunk Joey and Dawson stumble into something that complicates things.
Author's Notes: I wrote the long monologue during my break time at school. On paper, it was more than a side long. But I hope you all like it. Oh, and the season finale never happened, ok?

Thanks To: Holly for transcribing DC episodes for my site. She's wonderful anyway, but this makes her extra special!

'Go on, go on, come on, leave me breathless.
Tempt me, tease me,
Until I can't deny this loving feeling.
Let me long for your kiss.
Go on, go on, yeah, come on.'

- Breathless by The Corrs


Joey thanked Maybelline silently for helping those who weren't 'born with it' to cover up their tearstains and producing such wonderfully waterproof makeup. Although she'd burst into tears as soon as she'd got home from her day with Dawson, she didn't look too bad, and most of Dawson's friends had checked her out. In fact, one of them had his hand on her left leg right now.

"I would very much like to propose a toast to my oldest," Pacey said, his speech beginning to slur, "and best friend in the whole world. I hope… I hope that you're very h…happy and that she gives you lots and lots of sex!" With that, he raised his bottle of beer and a drunken cheer went up around the table. Dawson smiled, too tipsy to notice the last words.

"Here, here!" Joey said very loudly. She stood up. "I would also like to wish him lots of luck. My name's Joey and I'm the girl who popped his cherry and broke his heart. I would just like to say that he is… Very… good in bed and that he really ought to get lots of sex." Another cheer went up around the table, and Joey swayed slightly. "Now which of you lovely men would like to buy me a drink?" At least three men got up and walked towards the bar. "Double vodka with a twist of lime please," she called out after them. The music being played changed from an annoying pop song to a slower, more romantic one. "Oh! Oh! Dawson! Dance with me!" Joey cried.

"OK," Dawson said, getting up from his seat. Joey stood up, but the sudden movement made her head spin. She sat back down.

"Jo, I think you've had enough to drink tonight," Mitch said in a father-like tone.

"I think that point happened about an hour ago," Joey said giggling. She stood back up again, and managed to totter over the dance floor with Dawson.

She looked up into his eyes, and his arms instantly snaked round her familiar form. She began to move slowly until he began to lead them into a slow dance. She gently leaned her heavy head against his chest, and shut her eyes. Enveloped in a different world where she and Dawson were the only inhabitants, she let her mind drift. She didn't notice when the music stopped. So she was understandably confused when Dawson pulled away. She frowned, and looked up at him.

"Are you OK, Joey?" Dawson asked, his eyes filled with concern.

"I just… um… I thought… I'm going to be sick," she mumbled, before running off in the direction of the ladies loos. Dawson followed her.

As the last retches made her body convulse, Joey groaned. She leaned back from the toilet, taking a few sheets of paper to wipe her mouth with, and sat back against the cool tilled wall of the cubicle. She brought her legs closer, and looked at Dawson, who was crouched beside her.

"Thank you," she said, her voice gruff.

"Feel better now?" he asked. She nodded, breaking into laughter. He joined in, although not quite sure what was funny. Her giggles subsided and she looked at him in the eye.

"I want to go home," she whispered. He nodded, and helped her off the door. As they left the bathroom, a woman about forty years old entered, and gave Dawson a strange look.

"I'm going to take Joey home, OK? She's just been sick." Pacey stood up, seeing the state that Joey was in.

"Are you sure you don't want me to go? It is your stag night," he offered. Dawson took another look at Joey, who was over by the door and leaning against the wall.

"No. I'll do it." Mitch looked at Dawson and frowned.

"You're not going to drive in that state, are you?" he asked, making it sound like a statement.

"No, I'll get a cab. Don't worry." He left the group, giving his apologies, and walked toward Joey, putting an arm around her waist and leading her toward the door.

"Do you think that I should follow them?" Pacey asked, a little concerned about the drunken state of his two friends.

"Nah. If he's lucky, he might just get some!" cried one of Dawson's friends. Pacey shook his head and smiled.

After fiddling with her keys as well as trying to keep Joey on her feet, Dawson finally managed to get the door open. They entered her apartment, her giggling hysterically, him frowning in worry.

"Here we are!" she cried.

"Indeed. Where do you want to go?" Dawson asked.

"My room," she said. She pointed towards a closed door, and he made his way over there with her arm over his shoulder. He opened the door, and turned on the light. She stood upright for a moment, before collapsing onto her bed.

"Joey, you're still dressed," he said. She only nodded in response. "Here, let me help you," he demanded. He took her shoes off and leaned over her to pull the covers over her.

"Dawson," she whispered. He turned to look at her, his face just inches from hers. She slowly leaned forward and kissed him softly, then laid her head back down on the pillow.

"Jo…" he said quietly. He looked into her eyes, pools of desire. He couldn't resist her. He leaned down and planted another kiss on her lips, surprised when they parted. Before long, they were enwrapped in a furious kiss, a mesh of teeth and tongues, of will and hearts.

"Please, Dawson," she murmured. He responded with another kiss.

The next morning, Joey woke early. Groggy from her hangover, she looked at the clock. It was 4.17am. She felt the arm around her, reminding her of last night's actions. A warm body lay next to her, soft and familiar. She smiled contentedly before closing her eyes once again.

Dawson rolled over to look at his watch that lay on the table beside the bed. It was 4.21am and he was in a strange bed. He ran his hand through his hair, and instantly recognised the scent he could smell. It was that of Joey, his old Joey. But what was he doing in a bed with her? Sudden flashbacks in his mind of two bodies moaning in ecstasy quickly solved that problem. But today was his wedding day. He was getting married. What the hell was he doing there? How could he have been so stupid? He jumped out of bed, grabbing his shoes and he raced out the door, closing it softly behind him. In the bed, Joey rolled over, closing her eyes as a tear rolled wordlessly down one cheek.

Non-Commercial Break

This is becoming the regular slot where I apologise for not writing enough quickly enough. This is not going to be an apology. I'm so busy at school and work that I often don't check my e-mail for a week, much less write fanfic. In fact, right now it's 22:09 according to my computer, and I'll be going to bed before too much longer.

You can see what a difference feedback does make to me. Last summer, when I was getting thirty or more e-mails a week, I was writing a piece a week. Now it's one every three months. Please just let me know that you're still there, whether you've written before or not. Feedback works.

On a different note, I'd like to draw your attention to something that concerns me. One of my bookmarked websites, has been threatened by the big wig legal team about the stuff it displays. This is a site where you can download various DC things, including the promos for every episode. It can only be a matter of time before other sites, including mine, are asked to remove things. Let's stop this. Go to the site for instructions on how you can help.

Pacey sighed and leaned back in his chair, shaking his head.

"Jeez, Joey. You've really been stupid," he said.

"Don't you think I know that?" Joey snapped, running her hands through her hair before picking her cigarette back up and taking a deep drag. She was sat in the deep window-seat of the living area in Pacey's hotel suite. She'd been there since she turned up in tears at 5am. Pacey had quickly called Jen, Andie and Jack from their hotels to help comfort her. It was only 5.45am now.

"Joey, Dawson didn't…" Andie trailed off, unable to say the word. Joey's head shot up, horrified at the thought.

"How can you even think that?" she demanded. "How can you connect the thought of… that word… with Dawson?"

"Joey, you're obviously very upset about the whole thing. You were drunk and now you're wincing every time you bend. I'm not suggesting he held you to gun point, just that you might not have given him consent to…" Joey shook her head sadly.

"I'm sore, yes. But that's more the result of a drunken fumble than anything else. No, as I remember, I asked him. God. I really fucked things up this time."

"You slept with a guy, Joey. That's all," Jack said, trying to comfort her.

"A guy who was my best friend. On the night before he's due to get married. And we didn't sleep together. We didn't even have sex. We fucked. And that's part of what scares me. We never fucked before. Back in Capeside, we used to make love, sometimes for hours."

"We know. We can all remember that weekend trip to Maryland in senior year," Pacey said, causing a brief smile.

"Exactly. But last night was… lust. Desire. And I didn't see a flicker of anything else in his eyes. And then earlier, he woke up and left immediately. There was no kiss on the side of my cheek, no professions of love. He thought I was still asleep so he fled the scene."

"What did you expect, Joey?" Pacey asked cynically. She looked at him, shocked. "I mean, I understand you regretting last night. But what the hell did you expect him to do? Tell you that you're the only one for him? Offer to marry you? Take you off into the sunset? This is real life here, and Dawson just cheated on the woman he's marrying at midday. Right now, he's probably feeling guilty. Now, we all know he's a nice guy, and he'll feel guilt for leaving you the way he did. But that will be nothing compared to the guilt he'll feel over betraying Josephine. For someone who's experienced as much of life as you claim to have, you're awfully naïve."

"That's not fair, Pacey," Jen spoke up. "She's not the first woman to have slept with the right man at the wrong time. God knows I've done it. Andie's done it. I should imagine even Jack has done that one." Jack grinned sheepishly. "Dawson's not a normal guy. He doesn't treat women as something to jack off in. If he slept with you, Joey, that means he still feels something for you. And you owe it to the both of you to ask him about that. You've hardly got any time, but don't let him marry that snobbish cow without addressing his feelings for you. 'Cause if he does feel about you like you feel about him, he's gonna regret not taking that last chance. Offer it to him. Go with your heart." Joey nodded, finishing her cigarette.

"Andie? Jack?" she asked. They looked at each other.

"We're with Jen," Andie said.

"Pacey?" she asked, turning back to her oldest friend there.

"It's not that I don't want you to be with him. It's just I can't see things ever running smooth between you two. I'm not sure that it's worth all the pain."

"You've never been in love, have you, Pacey?" Joey replied with an intense stare.

"I was, once. And I was almost killed by the pain of two weeks with her before she turned back to her old flame. I hate to think how much 26 years minus two weeks must hurt." Joey got up from the window seat and walked across the room. She leaned over Pacey, stoking his hair gently.

"As long as you hold onto the feeling in those two weeks, the pain doesn't matter," she said simply, walking out of the room.

A few hours later, Joey sat in front of her mirror, applying lip gloss. She'd gone for a long walk after leaving Pacey and the others. Then she'd begun to get ready for the wedding. She was wearing her baby pink dress, her new shoes and bag waiting by the door. Her hair was scraped back, with only a few stubborn curls hanging around her face. The whole effect would have been wonderful had it not been for the red puffy eyes she had from crying. She'd spent an hour in a steamy bath crying, and the steam had only made it worse. But she needed to talk to him. She was going to offer him the choice. She could only hope that it would be her.

After a long cab journey in the traffic logged streets of New York, Joey finally arrived at half past ten at the church. An hour and a half to go. She entered the church, and saw Dawson and his parents stood at the front. Typical of Dawson to arrive so early, she thought. She waited a second nervously, trying to persuade her feet to walk her toward them. Just as she decided to chicken out, Gail turned around and saw her. Her face broke into a smile.

"Joey! You're early!" she cried. Mitch and Dawson turned around. Only one of them looked happy to see her. Joey shrugged and took a few steps toward them.

"Yeah, well. Had to make sure that we got rid of him," she joked, her voice sounding hollow to her own ears. They smiled, and as she approached, Gail reached out to rub Joey's arm. "Actually, I wanted to speak to Dawson for a moment," Joey explained. Gail nodded, and pulled her husband away with her. Dawson turned to Joey.


"About this morning," Joey started.

"Jo, this really isn't the time."

"I disagree. We need to talk about this," she stated.

"We really don't. Can we just forget about it? It never happened, ok?" Dawson asked. Joey started to shout.

"What do you mean? You slept with me, but now you don't want me? Is this your sadistic form of revenge? I know I've hurt you, but none of the decisions I've made have been mine. I've spent every day of the past eight years battling with depression and every time I've made you cry, I've felt a bigger pain. I've felt the pain of knowing that I'm the one doing these things. And now you're going to punish me by marrying Josephine. Do you know that your mother and my sister have been encouraging me to win you back? And Pacey called her a bitch? And Andie and Jen and Jack all think you're making a mistake? And did you see your father trying to suppress a smile when I yelled out that we'd slept together? This isn't just me trying to win you back. This is me giving you an option. You can follow your head and get married today, safe in the knowledge that you hurt me and that you won. Or, you can follow the advice of your friends and those who care about you. Leave her and come back to me. What we have will never be simple, but that's what makes it so perfect. I'm complicated, and if you're gonna be with me, you're gonna have to accept that. Can you remember that night back in Vegas that we spent locked up in a police cell? And the day that we spent together yesterday? Our relationship has always been one of fiery passion and friendship. The sex has always been frantic and the fights have always been painful. But the time in between is what I live for. I'm finally at a point in my life where I can offer you me. I'll marry you and I'll have you babies if that's what you want. But I need you to choose me. Just like I chose you. Can you remember that discussion we had at the ruins all that time ago? We said that we'd save each other. Well, now's the time to rescue me and let me rescue you. Let's be together. Choose me. Please." Tears were streaming down Joey's cheeks as she finally broke down. Dawson ran a hand through his hair, and looked around. His parents were both staring openly at them, waiting for an answer. He looked down at Joey again, and licked his lips.

OK, I'm leaving you in suspense. Don't you just hate me? The next part's gonna be really short, 'cause I chose to end it here. But I would like to hear what you think and any comments are gratefully received. Send me feedback at the usual address.

©Becci Wooster

8th August 2000

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