She's The One by: Becci

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Author's Notes: For you to gain an idea of how I envisage the club, which is fictional, take the bar out of Ally McBeal. Now add a lot more cigarette smoke, people who are more likely to seek legal representation than give it, and a lot more alcohol being consumed. I see Joey as being much like Sheryl Crow. She's popular with the crowd, and she fits in well, despite them being protective of her. Now, remember this, and lie back, this could take some time.

Thanks to: Meaghan, Jaybee, Stacie, Jason, David, BabyRose and Ines for writing about the last section. Holly for helping me with my page by posting more fanfics than I could ever be bothered to do. Anyone who voted for me in the CCA --your support means a lot to me.

Las Vegas, August 6th, 2004

Dawson frowned as he followed the rest of the guys into the bar. The last member of his film class had finally turned 21, so they had decided to celebrate. He'd decided to stay in LA for the summer this year, so he'd agreed to come along. It was time he went out. He'd spent the past two years at college hiding away. He was gonna be a senior, for Pete's sake. Time to go out and enjoy himself. But still; The bar was filled with people, noise, smoke and curses. Definitely not the sort of place Dawson Leery usually frequented. Going on a road trip to Las Vegas was one thing - they planned to go to the casinos tomorrow --but he didn't really want to get into a bar room brawl. He figured he'd have a drink, stay an hour or so, and then go back to the motel. He followed the group to the nearest table, and sat down. Matt took everyone's orders --he was buying the first round. Dawson asked for a pint of lager, and listened to the excited conversation around him. His drink arrived, and he began to relax. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad to have some fun for once. He was just about to comment on the latest X-File movie when silence took over the conversations. Even the foul-mouthed men who sat nearest the bar sat up. The man who Dawson assumed owned the bar walked onto the small stage. The regulars gave him a polite round of applause. Dawson was confused.

"Okay, guys. Keep it down. Save it for the performer," the middle aged man said, beaming. "You know what's coming guys. Just remember, don't any of you lay a hand on her. Can I introduce any new comers to Jo?" he asked, provoking a fresh, and much louder, round of applause, along with some wolf whistles. Dawson watched as a young girl got up from her seat at the bar. She walked onto the stage, and bowed slightly. She looked up smiling. Dawson's mouth dropped open. It was Joey. It was his Joey.

"Thanks guys. You're too kind. Really," said Joey. "Okay, so first of all, I've got an apt one. 'Leaving Las Vegas'." Another round of clapping came from the regulars. Dawson noticed that his friends seemed enthralled by her. And he didn't blame them. Joey looked stunning. She hadn't lost that quietly beautiful face. She looked so small though, as if she might fall over at any moment. And what was she doing singing in a bar in Las Vegas anyway? Dawson's thoughts were soon halted by the music that the band started to play and Joey's first few melodic notes.

Life springs eternal
On a gaudy neon street
Not that I care at all
I spent the best part of my losing streak
In an Army jeep
For what I can't recall

Oh I'm banging on my TV set
And I check the odds
And I place my bet
Pour a drink
And pull the blind
And I wonder what I'll find

Leaving Las Vegas
Light's so bright
Palm sweat, blackjack
On a Saturday night
Leaving Las Vegas
Leaving for good
Leaving for good

Used to be I could drive up to
Barstow for the night
Find some crossroad trucker
To demonstrate his might
But these days it seems
Nowhere is ever far enough away
So I'm leaving Las Vegas today

Leaving Las Vegas
Light's so bright
Palm sweat, blackjack
On a Saturday night
Leaving Las Vegas
Leaving for good
Leaving for good

I'm standing in the middle of the desert
Waiting for my ship to come in
But no joker, no jack, no king
Can take this losing hand
And make it win

Leaving Las Vegas
Light's so bright
Palm sweat, blackjack
On a Saturday night
Leaving Las Vegas
Leaving for good
Leaving for good

Quit my job as a dancer
At the Lido des Girls
Dealing blackjack until one or two
Such a muddy line between
The things you want
And the things you have to do

Leaving Las Vegas
Light's so bright
Palm sweat, blackjack
On a Saturday night
Leaving Las Vegas
Leaving for good
Leaving for good

Joey stopped, and immediately the crowd began to clap. She smiled, and accepted a glass of liquid offered by the owner of the bar. At first, Dawson thought it was water, but the small amount and the way Joey took it all at once told him otherwise. Then she accepted a cigarette, lit it, and took a long drag.

"Thanks so much. I'll be singing 'Anything But Down' next," Joey announced, and then took another drag of the cigarette. Dawson was frozen in his seat. His friends were discussing which of them would get her into bed first, but he barely heard them.

"Dawson? Hello, buddy?" Dawson was shaken from his thoughts by one of them speaking to him. He looked towards the voice, only to see the whole table staring at him.

"Sorry, what was that?" he asked.

"Dawson? Are you feeling okay? We asked if you wanted to place a bet --John, Karl or Gerry. Or you could always enter your self for the great boinking competition," James said, sending a laughter around the table. Dawson hadn't even been on a date since he started college. Dawson smiled sardonically at them.

"Sorry, guys. Been there, done that," he said. They looked at him confusedly. "That's my Joey," he explained. "That's my soul-mate. My High School Sweetheart. She was my first." The guys sat around him looked ashamed for their bet and also curious. Dawson hadn't ever really let himself show much. He kept himself to himself. The rumours were that he was gay, but this suggested otherwise.

Just then, Joey began to sing the next song. She didn't seem to have seen Dawson yet in the audience. She got just over half way through the song before singing a verse during which she looked in his direction.

You with your silky words
And your eyes of green and blue
You with your steel beliefs
That don't match anything you do
It was so much easier before you became you

Her eyes caught his, and she stopped singing. The rest of the group carried on playing, and then realised she was stopping. The room went silent, and Joey's face crumbled. Tears started flowing from her eyes, and she stood up.

"I'm sorry, guys. Rob, that's gonna have to do for tonight. I need to get out of here," she said before running out of the club.

Joey stood leaning against the wall in he car lot, wishing she had brought a long sleeved top with her. In Las Vegas, the nights were hot, but she felt cold. She reached into her bag and pulled out her packet of cigarettes and her lighter. Her hands shaking, she put the cigarette in her mouth, and tried to light it. However, her hands were shaking too much and she couldn't make the tip reach the flame. She was just about to give up on the task when a hand appeared in her view, complete with lighter and lit her cigarette. She looked up and saw it was Dawson. She closed her eyes for a second, and opened them. Damn, he was still there. What's more, he was lighting one himself now.

"Those things will kill you," she joked. He took a drag, and looked at her.

"Doesn't seem to bother you," he pointed out.

"Yeah, well I figure there are a lot of things I could be taking that would kill me quicker," she explained.

"Jo," he whispered, pain apparent in his eyes. She couldn't stand to look at him in the eye. "What are you doing here?"

"I came here three years ago, Dawson," Joey said, allowing herself to say the word that had haunted her dreams for all those nights.

"I miss you," Dawson said.

"I miss you too," she replied.

"Then why haven't you been back?" Dawson asked.

"I can't. Look at me. I'm a singer in a filthy place like that. Trust me, I've learnt swear words I never knew existed, and the things they do and say about women;"

"I get the point. But there are so many people in Capeside waiting for you to come back. People who love you."

"No. People don't love me. Those people don't know me. They know the me that was witty and vivacious. They saw the me who was suffering with an unrequited crush. They saw Joey Potter, Dawson's girlfriend trying to find herself. They knew the Joey who was going to an Ivy League college."

"That isn't what makes you," Dawson retorted.

"Dawson, I've changed. I sing and drink and smoke."

"But you're still Joey. You still have a sister."

"Bessie would disown me if she knew what I've got up to," Joey said. Dawson looked disbelieving. "You don't believe me? I've been a prostitute Dawson. I was prepared to sell my body in order to pay rent."

"And?" Dawson asked, not sure if he wanted to know. He was shocked. He'd never considered this possibility. Joey smiled.

"I wasn't very good. The first man drew up, and I told him I was done for the evening. The second guy; I got in the car with him. He was going to drive me to a hotel. On the way, we got talking; he offered me a job singing in the end. He gives me good money, and in return, I don't tell his wife how we met," Joey surmised happily. "I got lucky. Rob's great. I could have so easily been like the girls you see on the streets round here. I never actually had to go through with it."

"Jo;" Dawson said again in that pained voice.

"Jo? Are you Okay? Is this guy bothering you?" said a deep voice. Joey and Dawson both jumped, and saw that it was Rob.

"No, Rob. Honest, I'm Okay," she said smiling at him. Rob looked unsure and looked Dawson up and down.

"Ok then. Come back in though. You don't have to perform tonight if you're not up to it."

"Thanks, Rob. I'll just be a second. Promise," she said. Rob nodded, and walked back inside the building.

"Joey, can I see you again, or are you gonna go?" Dawson asked. Joey went silent for a few moments while she made up her mind.

"Come back tomorrow. Just outside. I don't have to work. We'll go somewhere and talk, Okay?"

"Thank you. I'm sorry if I upset you earlier. I'm here with some friends, I wasn't expecting to see you either," he explained.

"Bye, Dawson," she said, leaving the wall and re entering the club. Dawson stood alone in the car lot, amazed at the events of the evening.

Feedback please people! I really loved getting all those e-mails about the last part, and it would be really great to get some more like them! Tell me what you think is going to happen. Tell me what parts you like. Tell me what parts you didn't like so much. Tell me what you want to happen. Just tell me something. But please don't send abuse.

-Becci Wooster

24th September 1999

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