The Crush by: Jeannie

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Joey stayed in the bathroom until lunch was over then reemerged into the bustling sea of student bodies. Joey ignored the whispers and stares as she walked the halls. Joey knew what they were thinking, "Poor Dawson…what did he ever do to deserve to have his heart stepped on by, that town outcast, Joey Potter?"

Joey bit her lip and under her breath bitterly said, "What did I ever do to deserve him breaking my heart?"

Joey fought back the sob forming in her throat, and entered her classroom door. Joey sat in her seat and opened her textbook thinking to herself, "I wish my life was over."

Dawson felt the same way as he gazed out over the water. Dawson watched how the serenity of the water; the blue blazing sky; surroundings of the ruins did nothing to alter the deep glum he was experiencing. It was serene and peaceful, but did nothing to calm down the tragedy of Dawson Leery's life.

Joey desperately tried to pay attention to class, but her attention became diverted when she overheard the conversation between two girls a row in front of her. The one girl, Joey recognized as Stephanie Powers, a rich perky cheerleader, who loved to make Joey's life miserable. Stephanie was leaning over her seat, and whispering loudly to a tall, pretty, dark hair brunette. Joey honed her hearing to eavesdrop on the conversation which piqued her interest when she heard her name mentioned. Joey listened as Stephanie said, "Bethany, you won't believe what I just heard through the rumor mill. That juvenile delinquent, you know the fashion nightmare, tomboyish social case-Joey Potter just publicly humiliated and dumped your crush, Dawson 'cutie pie' Leery."

Joey bit her lip to keep from commenting as she heard Bethany say, "Oh my god, that brings a smile to my face. I guess Dawson will need someone to comfort him. You know help him get over his warped infatuation with Joey, like it would take him very long after seeing me."

Joey seethed as the two girls giggled at her expense. Stephanie mused, "Joey is a complete loser. She doesn't deserve a guy as wonderful as Dawson. Dawson needs a real woman, someone like you, Beth."

Beth smiled as her brown eyes sparkled and she tossed her long hair over her shoulder. Bethany smirked and said, "I couldn't agree more with you, Steph. It's Joey's loss and my gain. I can't wait to have Dawson all to myself. I have been waiting for this since Jen and him broke up… but Joey had to get in my way. I mean I knew she had a thing for him…everybody knew but Dawson. I just never thought she would actually have the guts to actually tell him…she's so amateurish when it comes to guys. I was so upset when I found out they were going out. I saw them kissing one day in the halls, and felt sick. I never imagined he could ever like her back. I thought I was the only one that realized how sexy, sweet, and smart Dawson really is. He is such the boy next door, but I love that about him. He's not like other guys…he's special."

Joey found it hard to breathe just then, that girl felt the same way about Dawson that she did. Joey's heart stopped when she realized she broke up with Dawson. Joey's heart started racing again thinking, "This girl has a chance with Dawson, and there's nothing I can do about it."

Joey's ears perked up as Stephanie said, "Wow…you really do have it bad for Dawson. You know they have twelve step programs for obsessions like this one. I never really thought much about Dawson, but yeah you're right he is cute, in a nerdish sort of way. Dawson, is sure not my type. I prefer beefcake opposed to cheesecake-someone as scrumptious as Warren Garry. Now he is a Greek god…and I like to spend my time imaging him in only his fig leaf."

Joey felt her stomach lurch as she also imagined Warren in just a fig leaf, it was a nauseating site. There he stood, proud and arrogant. Flexing his muscles for all the women bowing at his feet while wearing a huge smirk on his face. Joey shook her head to relieve it of the image, she was not impressed.

Bethany crinkled her nose saying, "Dawson is far from cheesecake. He's got a great body, and a even better posterior."

Stephanie smirked her green eyes flashing and said, "You know this because why, Beth?"

Bethany blushed giggling and said, "I saw him last summer at the beach. He was only in his swimsuit. It was blue like the color of his eyes."

Joey frowned, she remembered that day. Dawson, Pacey, and her had gone to the beach since it was so hot. Pacey picked her up and flung her in the water, getting her new bikini drenched. When Joey got back to the towel, Dawson was laying out. Joey asked why he wasn't in the water, he told her he didn't want to get wet. They laid there on the blanket until Joey pulled off her shirt and shorts and laid out under the sun. Joey told Dawson to do same so they could sunbathe, but Dawson refused, blushing. Dawson said, "I don't want to get burnt, Joey."

Joey laughed and told him, "That's why we wear suntan lotion, Dawson."

Dawson smiled and said, "Okay, if you put it that way, Jo."

Dawson took off his shirt, and Joey blushed, gawking at his chest and arms. Joey hadn't really noticed Dawson's physical attributes since he always keep them covered up, but today she was. Joey's eyes widened as they wandered from Dawson's blue eyes down to his blue swimming trunks. Joey had been having feelings for Dawson recently she couldn't explain, but today she thought she had some answers for them. Joey quickly before Dawson could see her cast her eyes off to the water. Dawson laid down again next to her. Dawson smiled at Joey and said, "Joey, can you put some lotion on my back for me? I am having trouble reaching it."

Joey stammered while Dawson handed her the tube. Joey stared at the tube and then at Dawson. Dawson rolled over and said, "Thanks, Joey. If you want I'll put some on your back next."

Joey's hands shook and her face flushed as she touched the smooth skin of his back. Joey's heart raced as she squeezed a line of lotion down his back. Joey gently rubbed it in while Dawson laid back down, his head resting on a towel. Joey enjoyed the way it glided onto his skin. Joey was really getting into the motion while Dawson watched everybody out in the water. Joey thought she was going to have a heart attack as her heart started beating faster and faster with every stroke. Joey finally couldn't take anymore of being that close to Dawson, and needed to go jump in the water to cool herself off. Joey moved away and said, "I'm done, Dawson. I think I'll go get wet again, maybe even dunk Pacey a few times."

Dawson gave her a smile and said, "Thanks. Let me know when you want me to do your back."

Joey walked away blushing and said, "I'll let myself get sunburn before Dawson touches my back. I definitely need some cold water now."

While Joey was daydreaming the rest of the class was taking a test. When the test was over their teacher, Mrs. Bridges told them they could talk till the end of class. Joey knew she failed the test, she didn't even read the questions, she didn't care. Joey passed her paper to the front while Stephanie and Bethany continued their previous conversation.

Stephanie brushed her short blonde hair out of her eyes and said, "So, Beth…how long have you had the Love Jones for Dawson, anyway? You never answered me, but from the way you talk a long time?"

Bethany smiled, packing her book bag, and said, "I have liked Dawson since I had to do a film project with him in eight grade…he is a talented filmmaker if you didn't already know. Very ambitious."

Stephanie rolled her emerald eyes and said, "I remember when he decided to do a documentary, 'The day in the life of Capeside Middle School' he was so annoying with that video camera of his. He followed everybody around pestering them to be in his film. I also remember how Joey followed him around. She looked like a love sick little fool."

Bethany and Stephanie broke out in a fit of giggles while Joey brushed the tears from her eyes. Joey was use to being the laughingstock of the school, but it still hurt to hear the things people said about her. Joey never knew how transparent her feelings for Dawson really were, she always thought she did a good job of hiding them. Joey had been in love with Dawson forever, ever since she discovered guys. Joey never imagined though that another girl could feel the same way about Dawson that she did, but one did. Joey laid her head on the hard wood desk, trying to block out the rest of their conversation, she had heard enough. Joey silently let the tears fall to the desk in a puddle as she realized she lost Dawson forever.

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