Author's Notes: I know it's been months, and I am very sorry! I've been really busy. I was just Beth in a production of Little Women and it monopolized all my time. Thank you so much to ALL of you who wrote me, and if I didn't email you back, it wasn't due to a lack of appreciation. I was living on an hour of sleep there for a while. So THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! PLEASE let me know what you think!
Dawson Leery scratched his head and yawned. It was three weeks later that he rolled out of bed and found Joey gone for the fifth day in a row. San Francisco had provided little rest for her. Their long weekend had left much to be desired in the way of privacy. Though Dawson had found that San Franciscan’s had little interest in your personal life, the tourists and reporters still did. Joey hadn’t gotten very much sleep while there and it had been more than once that Dawson heard the water in the bathroom running for a prolonged period of time. When he asked Joey if she was okay, she always gave a tight smile and said “Fine.”
But Joey was not fine. He knew it, she knew it, and all of the people close to them knew it. Andie had reluctantly left a week before. Glenna wanted to go back to school and friends. Andie had her practice and her own marriage to think off. Dawson had assured her that Joey would be in good hands. Andie and Pacey weren’t so sure. Whenever they called now, Dawson sounded tired and irritable and Joey wouldn’t talk. Sighing, Dawson stood up and stretched his arms above his head. He walked towards the bathroom and found the door unlocked. Opening it up, he found Joey, pale and sweaty, rinsing out her mouth.
“Dawson!” She exclaimed surprised.
“The door was unlocked,” he said feebly. “Joey…”
“Dawson, it’s almost time for you to be at the studio.” She brushed by him and walked out of the bathroom. Instead of picking up his razor and ignoring what had just happened, he followed her out into the bedroom, where she was dressing.
“Joey, I want to talk to you.”
“About what? Your going to be late you know.” She took her nightgown off over her head. Dawson gasped at her standing there in only her bra and underwear.
“Oh, Jo..” he said. “What’s going on with you?” Joey pulled up her pair of jeans and threw over her head a red sweater.
“What are you talking about?” Dawson grabbed her hand and led her over to the bed. She sat reluctantly. He looked in to her eyes.
“I’m talking about all the secrets Joey. I’m talking about why you hardly ever eat anything anymore. Why you take sleeping pills all the time now. Why I find you throwing up in the bathroom constantly.” She shook her head.
“I don’t know what you are talking about,” she got up to straighten up her desk with a mess of photos covering it.
“Okay,” he said. “Why don’t you ever touch me anymore? We never have sex anymore, have you noticed that? We hardly even kiss.”
“I’m busy,” she said flatly. “I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do now that I can’t get a job anywhere.”
Joey gathered up a couple of things off the dresser.
“Your going to be late,” she said and walked out of the room.
“Joey..” he called after her. “I’m worried about you,” he said more to himself.
“Aaron, your being ridiculous!” Dawson heard a hiss from behind him. “Please stop it. Of course I’m not cheating on you.. Aaron. Aaron, please. Please!”
Dawson sighed exasperatedly. “Cut!” He yelled loudly. He swiveled around to face Maddie.
“Madelyn,” he said loudly enough for surrounding cast and crew to hear. “Do you think we could possibly finish this scene without you annoying us with your man troubles?” Maddie, red eyed already, glanced around at the people staring at her and Dawson.
“Wade, can this wait..?” She said quietly.
“No, this cannot wait!” He snapped. “You are my personal assistant, as that I expect you to be more of a help than a bother!”
“I’m sorry, but why are you treating me like this?” She asked.
Dawson had already turned around to prepare for the next take of the scene. “Like what?” He asked offhandedly.
“A hired hand!” She cried.
Dawson turned to look her straight on. “Madelyn, you are. I do pay you a salary, if I remember correctly.”
Maddie looked as if she had just been slapped hard across the face. Dawson turned around and called out, “Let’s try that once more people!” Maddie ran off, with a girl from make up following her.
“Mrs. Leery, what is the matter?”
“Nothing!” Said Joey. She paused and closed her eyes.
“I’m sorry, Mrs. Lanette, I’m just tired of everyone asking me that.
Mrs. Lanette smiled and rested her hand on Joey’s shoulder. “IT will be okay,” she said. “Anyway, I brought you your mail.”
Joey glanced through the mail, until she came to an express envelope addressed to Dawson from Mike, their publicist. She opened it. Inside was a letter and a photocopy of an article.
This just came to my attention yesterday. Sorry it took so long, but our leak from the Daily Explorer isn’t very dependable. It goes out in tomorrow’s edition. I’m talking to a lawyer, I’ll call you tomorrow about damage control.
Joey unfolded the article and gasped. Tears formed in her eyes and she let them fall and fall. She cried and cried her eyes out. Then she got up from the table, ignoring Mrs. Lanette’s worried look, and ran into the bathroom.
She stuck her finger down her throat, and waited for the release of throwing up. It was a weight loss trick she and friends had tried once or twice in college. Back then she had never done it more than a couple of times. But now she found throwing up the most amazing relief from her life. Her life that she despised.
“Hey, Mads,” He said. “What’s going on here?” Maddie avoided his face and walked right past him. Only after she stuck her coffee mugs into the box, did she speak.
“I’m leaving, Wade. Aaron’s picking me up in five minutes.”
“Leaving!?” Dawson exclaimed. “Why are you leaving? What’s going on?”
“How can you be surprised?” She asked. “After the way you treated me today? I have never been more humiliated in my entire life!” She yelled.
“Maddie, please. You know how Joey is nowadays. She’s really sick and our marriage is falling apart. I’m very stressed. I think she’s making herself throw up and she’s on all these pills.. Maddie please don’t leave. I need you. You’re my best friend.”
“Wade, it’s not just today. It’s not even how you’ve been treating me for the past month. Aaron wants me to leave. I really love him Wade. I think he could be the one, and I don’t want to screw that up.”
“What are you talking about? Why does he want you to leave?”
“He’s jealous, Wade.”
“He got this in the mail today. I got one too. I called Mike. He sent you one as well.” Dawson looked down at the article from the Daily Explorer. “IS DIRECTOR DAWSON LEERY IN SECRET LOVE TRYST WITH ASSISTANT?” “Mike’s calling a lawyer. You might have a suit on your hands.”
Maddie grabbed her box and started to walk out.
“Maddie, please, I’m very, very sorry about today. And Aaron, he can’t believe this!?” He tried to stop her from leaving.
She stopped for a minute and looked up at Dawson. “I’m sorry, Wade,” she said with tears in her eyes. She gave him a small kiss on the cheek. “I’ll miss you. I’ll write from Santa Barbara okay?” With that, she took off quickly down the hall so that he couldn’t see the tears run down her face. He didn’t follow her.
When he got home all he wanted to do was go to bed with Joey. He felt like the world was slowly slipping from his grasp. When he found the front room dark he assumed Joey had gone to bed early. But then he heard a voice in the darkness.
“Is it true?” It quavered. “You and Maddie?”
“God, Jo. No. Of course it’s not true.”
“Are you being honest with me?” Dawson walked over toward the voice on the couch. He didn’t turn the lights on.
“Nothing has ever happened between the two of you?”
“I swear to God.” He pulled her into his lap.
“I hate life here, Dawson.” She put her head on his shoulder. “I want to go home.”
“To Seattle?” Now his voice quavered. She shook her head.
“No. To Capeside and I want you to come.”
“Joey, my job’s here. You know that.” She nodded.
“I know that Dawson. But I have to get out of here, or I’m going to die. You know that, don’t you? I’m sick Dawson.. I’m really sick.
"She felt for his face and pressed her’s against it.
“I know,” he said softly. “I’ll call the airline first thing in the morning.”
*Madonna owns The Power of Goodbye and Christina Aguilera owns Reflection, as well as the people at Disney.. The song and title Dry Land belongs to Tara McLean and her record label. Thanks for the use of it!
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