That Old Feeling by: Jeannie

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Dawson sat dejected outside the school on a bench. Dawson couldn't believe there was a chance he had lost Joey, he felt helpless and hopeless. Dawson hurt deep inside, the pain was a dull ache that medicine couldn't cure. Dawson felt like someone had reached in and ripped out his still beating heart, and stepped on it when he saw Joey talking to that jock. Dawson knew Joey, and him were new to the boyfriend/girlfriend relationship, but he was willing to give up anything to make it work. Dawson knew he was completely in love with Joey, and had never felt that way before, or doubted he ever would again. Dawson sat there perturbed at what to do. Did he fight for Joey, or just give up?

Dawson's head told him it was time to give up, but his heart told him he loved her too much to ever let go. As his heart and head conflicted, raging a war inside of him, Dawson sat head in hands trying to remain in control of his body. Dawson's heart and head forged ahead for control over his body, as he heard footsteps beside him. Looking up Dawson had a smile on his face in hopes it was Joey. His smile vanished when he saw Jen standing looking uncertain beside him.

Jen stood shifting foot to foot next to Dawson, pondering whether she should stand there, or sit down next to him on the bench. After a few minutes, Jen sat side by side with Dawson nervously smiling at how close to him she was again. Dawson attempted to return the smile, but failing to raise the corners of his mouth just placed his head back into his hands. Jen, seeing Dawson so upset, stopped smiling herself and said, "Something wrong, Dawson?"

Dawson sighed trying to think of a way to weasel his way out of this discussion without hurting Jen's feelings. Dawson knew Jen still had certain feelings for him, and he didn't want to give her false hope when he told her about Joey and his breakup. Dawson stared at Jen for a few minutes remembering how he felt the first time he saw her, she was as beautiful now as she was then. Dawson remembered he felt something awaken inside of him, and it unleashed all these deep feelings which he had no control over. Dawson had thought those feelings were love, but he was wrong because they ended up being just a crush. Dawson had felt something for Jen, but it didn't touch Dawson's feelings for Joey. Dawson's feelings for Jen could never run as deep as his love for Joey, it was true love with Joey. Dawson stared at Jen realizing those feelings for her were gone, and he was at peace. Dawson still wanted Jen in his life, but only as a friend. His days of chasing after Jen Lindley were over, and he was glad. Dawson finally gave up the hurt, and was able to fall in love again, deeply in love with the most amazing girl, Josephine Potter.

Jen became extremely uncomfortable sitting there like she was some lab experiment under a microscope as Dawson remained staring at her wordless. Jen broke the eerie silence that hung over them, and said, "Can you quit staring at me, Dawson. Tell me what's wrong, I know something is?"

Jen swallowed the lump in her throat and softly whispered, "Does this have something to do with Joey and you?"

Dawson sighed, but remained silent as he roughly ran his fingers through his hair. Dawson didn't know what to say, the last person he wanted to know about the breakup was Jen. Jen looked at the sad far-off look on Dawson's face, and immediately knew this was about Joey and Dawson. Jen tried not to let the news that there was trouble between them excite her, especially since Dawson looked so miserable. Jen hated seeing Dawson suffer like this, but at the same time couldn't help feeling happy that there might still be a chance with him. Jen faced Dawson, her eyes filled with compassion and said, "Dawson, If you want to talk about it I am here to listen. I mean we are friends aren't we?"

Dawson nodded, but refused to look at Jen's face when she spoke. Jen's heart soar and then sank as Dawson said, "Joey dumped me, and I am falling apart without her. I miss her so much, and don't know how I am going to live without her."

Jen fought her own tears as she said, "I am so sorry, Dawson. I know how much Joey means to you."

Dawson nodded and faced Jen for the first time saying, "Jen, I know you want to be a good friend and all, but this conversation is uncomfortable for both of us. I think we should end it."

Jen shook her head ignoring her broken heart and said, "Dawson, I will admit I am a bit uncomfortable, but I am still your friend. I want to be here for you now, do you mind?"

Dawson shook his head and whispered softly, "I think I could definitely use a friend right now. Thanks, Jen."

Jen nodded and holding her arms out towards Dawson said, "You're welcome, Dawson. I am here if you need anything, like maybe a shoulder to cry on, or a hug."

Dawson contemplated hugging Jen, but soon became too tired to think, and just wrapped his arms around her. Dawson hugged Jen wishing with all his might she would turn into Joey. That's all Dawson wanted right now was to wrap his arms protectively around Joey, lean his head on her shoulder feeling the softness of her hair against his cheek, and listen to her beat along with his. Dawson became so caught up in his fantasy, instinctively pulled Jen closer leaving no space between their bodies. Jen leaned her head on Dawson's shoulder feeling the safety, and warmth of his arms wrapped around her. Jen ignored the little voice inside her head that told her this was wrong, and just enjoyed the moment she had longed for since Dawson and her had their break up.

Dawson and Jen sat there hugging until they heard a gasp from behind them. They broke apart and froze when they saw Joey standing there. Dawson immediately got from the bench, and walked towards Joey. Dawson understood what this must look like, and wanted to explain before things got out of hand. Dawson moved closer to her, feeling the caffeine rush over take his body as he prepared to explain the situation to Joey. Joey backed away looking like a deer trapped in headlights. Her mouth was frozen into a o shape, and her eyes were watering from fresh tears. Joey faced Dawson, and then looked at Jen sitting confused on the bench. Joey knew she had to get out of there before she started crying, so she took one more look at Dawson and ran off.

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