Chain Reaction by: Jeannie

Previous | Next

Dawson opened the door, and stood there mouth open frozen into place. Laying stretched out on his bed in a tight blue shirt and jeans was Jen. Dawson realized he had in all the midst of his jubilant preparation for Joey to arrive forgot to call Jen, and cancel movie night with her. Dawson knew that would undoubtedly hurt Jen, and he hated to upset her but, it was the only way to salvage his struggling relationship with Joey. Dawson pushed the door open further, and started to walk in when he saw her. There sitting at his desk, arms crossed sat an extremely furious Joey. Dawson's breath caught in his throat as he stared longingly at the brown-eyed beauty. She looked absolutely gorgeous in her dress, it complemented her natural radiance and lovely features. Dawson's stomach sunk when he looked at her face; her lips were drawn in a tight line, her eyes were dark and angry, and her body language clued Dawson into the fact she wasn't in a forgiving mood. Dawson could practically see the steam coming out of her ears. His wonderful evening with Joey was ruined, and left in it's wake was trouble and chaos.

Joey silently glared at Dawson. Joey was so angry she couldn't speak, or form the words to speak. All she could do was sit there glowering at him hoping she could kill him with her frosty look. Joey narrowed her eyes and tried to burn a hole through Dawson, she was hoping if she stared hard enough she could make him evaporate. Joey's killer look didn't go unnoticed by Dawson, who stood wet in a towel brooding. Dawson's face fell, and meeting her eyes again gave her his puppy dog look.

Jen worried about the tension mounting in the room sat up from her position against his pillows. Jen eyed Joey and Dawson nervously. Jen knew something was about to happen and from the looks of it, it didn't look good. Jen felt incredibly upset, and wished with all her might that the ground would just open up and swallow her whole. Jen had hoped when Dawson invited her over for movie night, it was to get back together with her. Jen knew how special movie night was between them, and assumed if Dawson invited her it meant he was over Joey. Jen stared at Dawson's distraught face and realized from the look he was giving Joey, he was still hopelessly in love with her.

  Joey felt the anger well up inside of her. Joey was outraged Dawson would take something as sacred and meaningful from them such as movie night, and share it Jen behind her back. Joey subconsciously had her doubts all along that Dawson was not over his feelings for Jen, but now they were founded. Walking in to find Jen laying on his bed comfy and happy, and him singing in the bathroom, was enough to rationalize things weren't over between them. Joey experienced a down spiral, and all her hopes and wishes for this evening shattered. Joey fought the tears waiting to spill down her cheeks over her misery. Joey could cry later on when she was alone, and wallowing in her sorrow. Not now, and definitely not in front of Dawson. Joey would never give Dawson the satisfaction of witnessing her mental breakdown, he was last the person she would ever let see her cry again. Joey ignored the ache in her heart, and shot Dawson another dagger look. It felt good to tap into her anger, especially toward Dawson. It kept her alive and in control of herself since all she wanted to do was emotionally shut down, and that wasn't possible in front of Dawson and Jen. Jen, another victim for her anger, but one that truly deserved it. Jen was the wedge that drove them apart, and Joey hated Jen for that. Joey feeling more stable stood from her seat at his desk. Trying to remain composed, walked to the door.

Dawson couldn't believe what was happening. This wasn't in the script, but when in his life did it follow the script? Dawson understood from before that life just happened and no amount of planning could change that, but this was cataclysmic. Dawson silently acknowledged if this had been a script, it would have been a real page turner. The drama that was unfolding around him was soon to be quite a tear jerker. Dawson attempted to break the stone silence, but his attempts were futile. "Joey? Jen? I…uh I didn't expect you so soon. Uh, Jo…I wasn't prepared for you to arrive here so early. I wasn't expecting you until seven."

Joey walked closer to Dawson.

"Yeah, I figured," Joey snapped at Dawson Joey shot Jen a look before saying, " Bessie dragged me here…I wouldn't have come if I didn't have to be here by force."

Dawson stared at her cold, hard, unfeeling brown eyes which drilled into Dawson. Dawson's body stiffened and barely audible muttered, "I guess you shouldn't of come then."

Joey nodded, her eyes still fixated on Dawson while trying to hold back the tears threatening to drip down her cheeks at any moment.

Jen sat silently watching them. Unsure whether she should just sit there or make a break for the window to escape the awkward and stifling silence hanging over all of them. Jen was disturbed about the happenings around her, when Dawson invited her for the evening he never mentioned Joey would be there. Jen considered herself an interloper, she had considerably disrupted their evening together. Jen was conflicted with emotions…angry that Dawson used her, jealous because all Joey had to do was show up and Dawson fawned all over her, sad she wouldn't get a chance to express her deep feelings to Dawson like she had planned, and delighted Joey was furious at Dawson. Joey kept shooting icy glares at him, and Jen couldn't help but feel elated that Joey was irate over her presence. Jen wanted to be friends with Joey, but found that unobtainable while they battled over the same guy. Jen wanted Dawson back, and that meant a friendship was inconceivable since Joey still held the key to his heart. Jen deciding to leave stands from Dawson's bed, and faces Joey and Dawson. "I think my coming here was a mistake. I'm sorry I intruded on your movie night. I see my presence here has created an disturbance, and I never meant to upset either one of you."

Joey fed up with Jen's sweetness and Dawson's puppy dog look held up her hand to stop Jen. If anyone was leaving it was Joey, after all to her dismay understood she was the one in the way. Joey trying to keep the anger from registering in her tone said, "No need to leave, Jen. I'm the one intruding and I should be the one to leave. It was a mistake for me to come here, one I plan to rectify right now. Stay and watch movies. I'm leaving."

Dawson blocked her path. "No…nobody is leaving. At least not until we straighten out these baffling quandaries that keep arising between the three of us. It is imperative that we clear the air, and settle matters once and for all. I just need a few minutes to don clothes and make myself more accessible for public viewing, and we can get started." Dawson made a grab for his clothes on the bed, and dashed as quickly as he could in the towel out the door. Joey watched him leave before walking to the door for her escape. Joey reached for the handle just as a voice spoke behind her.

"You heard Dawson. We need to work out these issues before they become repetitious and we spend the rest of our bleak lives reliving them. This is eating away at all of us, and it's time to deal with it, Joey."

Joey listening to every word Jen uttered whirled around eyes blazing. Joey glared at Jen while Jen cowered back onto the bed again, afraid of what Joey might do. Joey released a slow breath, and listened to the pounding in her ears, it felt like a marching band was playing inside her head. Her heart rate increased, and her blood boiled. Joey was like an active volcano just awaiting to erupt, and the time was now. Joey squinted her eyes in slits and spoke in a low, menacing raspy voice. "Oh you would love for us to discuss this wouldn't you, Jen? To find out if Dawson ever got over you, and just spent all this time using me...isn't that what you really want, Jen? To know that Dawson still loves you. You know what has become repetitious…your running and throwing yourself at Dawson. I mean whatever happened to being on your own? Or did you just tell Dawson that so he would chase after you?"

Jen just sat there appalled at Joey's coldness. Joey didn't seem to wait for an answer and just continued to hurl accusations at Jen. Joey felt the dam of emotion crack inside of her, and all these residual feelings of displaced anger and resentment poured out of her. Joey wasn't even conscious of what she said, she didn't care for it just felt good to say them. Joey cleared her throat, "I guess the thought of Dawson happy with someone else was too much for you to handle. You had to do everything you could to come between us, didn't you? Well congratulations on your success…it worked we're apart with no hope of getting back together again. So tell me how does it feel to know now you have a shot with Dawson? Are you happy now that you destroyed Dawson and my relationship? I bet you are cause now Dawson can run to you and cry on your shoulder while you comfort him….all the while digging your claws deeper and deeper into him."

Jen outraged shot up from the bed, and crossed her arms in front of her chest like Joey. "You are wrong, Joey. I would never take advantage of Dawson's broken heart to win him back. I never tried to break you two up, you never needed any help since you dumped him. It was your decision, Joey…face up to the consequences and stop blaming others for your failures. You couldn't handle the relationship so just get over yourself, and stop accusing me of sabotaging your perfect relationship with Dawson."

Joey infuriated Jen would be so brutally honest raised her voice. "Handle the relationship…how dare you. I could handle our relationship just fine if you didn't always interfere. You take every opportunity possible to flirt with my boyfriend."

Jen smirked and retorted, "I thought you broke up…he isn't your boyfriend anymore, Joey. You dumped him so stop acting all high and mighty and claiming owner ship of Dawson."

Joey seethed, her eyes piercing Jen's grinning face. "I know we broke up, Jen. I don't need a constant reminder from you…especially since you dumped Dawson too. Or did you forget how you broke his heart by cheating on him with the irresistible Billy. I mean the idea of you kissing the guy you got caught sleeping with in your parent's bed was enough to drive Dawson over the edge. Luckily he recovered, and fell in love with me."

Jen shifted uneasily, the smile leaving her face at the mere mention of her past indiscretions. Joey smiled victoriously and continued to berate Jen. "You can't really stand the fact Dawson loves me can you, Jen? The idea of you not being his prepubescent fantasy hurts doesn't it, Jen? For once you know how it feels to be on the receiving end of Dawson's rejection. To be his friend and nothing more…to want him and know you can't have him. Well suffer like I did."

"Go to hell, Joey…you're such a bitch."

Joey smirked, "bite me, Jen. You can't stand to hear the truth. The truth being you use Dawson's friendship to try to weasel yourself back into his good graces. Even going so far as to pray on his sympathies over you losing your grandfather. You bat your eyelashes and pout your lips all the while crying and clinging to him. It's pathetic how low your willing to stoop to get him back."

Jen's bottom lip quivered, but she didn't cry. Instead Jen walked casually up to Joey, and looking directly into her face let loose all her hatred. "You really are that mean and spiteful aren't you, Joey? To actually accuse me of taking something so tragic and painful as the passing of my beloved Gramps, and use it to manipulate Dawson."

"I wouldn't put it past you Jen. Especially the way you turn on the water works for Dawson's benefit. God you're so good you could win an academy for your over dramatic performance."

"I never did anything to you, and all you have ever done is insult, ridicule, and belittle me every chance you get. I never had a prayer with you…you hated me from the start. I give up trying to get you to like me, you don't want to be friends…well we'll see how much you like being enemies then. You think you're so bad well just wait 'little miss wrong side of creek' you haven't seen anything yet."

Joey pretended to shake and said, "Ooh scary, Jen. I am really shaking now. It's about time you dropped that sugary sweet innocent act. I think you would do absolutely anything to get Dawson in bed. Let's not forget what your past was like, Jen. What kind of girl you really are….unlike the one you pretend to be."

Jen felt her temper rise. Moving closer perched her hands on her hips.

  "What kind of girl am I, Joey? C'mon I dare you to say it to my face instead of under your breath like you usually do. I know you won't…you're too much of a coward to say how you really feel. Just look at how long it took you to tell the boy next door you were hopelessly in love with him...I mean it should have been easy since he was your best friend and you two share everything including a bed. I'm not the only one wishing to get into bed with him. How many nights did you spend sleeping beside him just wishing he would take advantage of you? Feeling his body asleep beside him, so close you could reach out and touch him…watching him dream and hoping it was you he was dreaming of. You act tough but it's all a show…deep down inside you're nothing but a scared wimp."

Joey bit down on the acid taste in her mouth. Joey had to admit she was a little taken back by Jen's vicious words, but refused to show it. Joey relied on her dangerous weapon to slay the dragon fondly known as Jen. Smirking she shot back, "I might be a wimp, but it's better than being a slut from New York. How does it feel to hear the truth…huh virginal, Jen? To know that the day you unburdened your past sins to Dawson, in a moment of passion, is the day you fell from your high pedestal he placed you on."

Jen's face hardened, and her mouth drew up tightly into a frown. "You're such a vile, spiteful, vindictive, immature wench."

Joey broke into a bitter laugh, and smirked happily at the rise she got out of the level headed Jen Lindley. "Better than being a tramp, Jen," snapped Joey.

Jen recovered her calm, her reserved attitude returned, but her eyes still were dark and misty. Jen spoke calmly but harshly, "If you think hearing you call me a tramp would hurt me, you have definitely lived in this back watered dump of a town too long. Nothing you say will affect me because I know your hatred spurs from jealously."

Joey laughed bitterly disbelieving Jen would actually say that. "Oh you're so right, Jen. I wanted to be the one to sleep with the vast population of the world's largest city. To be handled more times than the Statue of Liberty….and entered more times than Time Square. Yeah…you finally figured me out. I guess your not as dumb as I thought you were."

Jen shook her head violently side to side before speaking. "No, I'm not dumb. And I do see through you…it's unbelievable how transparent you are. Want to talk about acting…how about your 'I'm so ashamed of my past but still bring it up all the time' spew. I know for a fact, you enjoy the attention whether good or bad that people pay you over your torturous life. Why else would you brag about your father's imprisonment from trafficking drugs and mother's demise? You love being pitied, especially by Dawson…so don't even try to tell you don't cause I know you do."

"No, she doesn't, Jen."

Jen turned from her verbal dispute to see a very perturbed Dawson standing in the door frame. Jen looked at the anger prevalent in his face, and felt her heart drop. Jen hadn't meant for Dawson to hear her. She hadn't even really meant what she had said, she just became upset when Joey provoked her. It really hurt Jen when Joey brought back up her unforgettable past. More than anything, Jen hated being reminded of all her past mistakes, especially when she was desperately trying to move on with her life. Jen met his eyes which were cold and hurt. Jen felt a lump form in her throat, and tried unsuccessfully to swallow it. Jen couldn't stand the look of aggravation Dawson wore. It hadn't just hurt Joey, but also Dawson cause he cared deeply about her. Jen wanted to make amends with Dawson even if it meant swallowing her pride and apologizing to Joey for a fight she purposely started. "Dawson, I didn't mean it…honest I didn't, " blubbered Jen.

Dawson's eyes shifted from Jen to Joey before saying, "Why say it then, Jen? Why would you say something completely untrue and hurtful to Joey?"

Jen stared at his steel blue eyes, stony glare, and firmly set jaw before bursting into tears. Jen felt horrible, and once again wished the ground would just open up and swallow her. Tears streaming down her face began to whimper. "I'm sorry, Dawson. I should have never let Joey provoke me. I would never deliberately hurt someone's feelings otherwise. You know me…I just got upset and let my temper flare."

Dawson's face softened, and soothingly said, "I know you wouldn't, Jen. I don't know what happened in my absence but whatever did I hope it has been cleared up. I want us all to be friends, and get along."

Joey, quiet this whole time spoke. "Not going to happen, Dawson. Stop living in a fairy tale."

Dawson tried to speak but Joey cut him off and kept taunting Jen. "Don't go soft just because Dawson's in the room. Go ahead…keep telling me what you really think of me. Oh wait, I forgot you can't…you can't do anything that would ruin your white as snow image you got going with Dawson. You want to know something…I could care less what you think of me or my dysfunctional family. Your opinion doesn't matter, so excuse me if I don't get all weepy and teary eyed in front of Dawson like you do. I could care less what anybody thinks of me. Keep crying, maybe if you shed enough tears Dawson might actually consider taking you back. But this conversation is over, and I am outta here." Joey briefly looked at Dawson guarding the doorway before climbing out the open window.

Dawson, dazed by Joey's exchange with Jen tried to call out to her to come back, but Joey ignored him. Dawson looked at Jen as she tried to apologize again but cut her off saying, "sorry, Jen… but after everything that has happened just now between the two of you, I don't want to hear it. I have to go and try to catch Joey." Dawson ran down the stairs, and out the front door. Joey already down the ladder sprinted across Dawson's front lawn. Joey having found it hard to climb down the ladder in heels kicked them off, and carried them in her arms. Joey wasn't sure where she was going since her row boat was tied up at her house. Dawson started to catch up to her, and repeatedly called out her name. Joey saw Dawson approach and tried to slow him down by throwing her shoes at him. Dawson effortlessly dodged them, and caught Joey's arm. Dawson pulled Joey toward him, and struggled to maintain control of her. Joey tried to break away but Dawson held on tightly to her. Joey struggling ceased, and Dawson could see the tears falling freely from her eyes. Joey dropped her gaze so Dawson couldn't see the pain and hurt in her eyes. Dawson tilted her chin and Joey saw the sadness in his eyes.

Joey yanked her arm away, and struggled with keeping hold of her emotions. "I don't need your pity or anything else from you, so just leave me alone. Go back inside and be with Jen…since I know that's who you really wanted to be with this evening."

Dawson grabbing hold of Joey's wrist said, "No I don't, Joey. Please listen to me…I don't want Jen. I wanted to be with you tonight…I had it all scripted inside my head of how the evening would turn out. I love you…and you're the only one I want." Joey shook her head and pushed away again.

"No, if you really wanted me…you wouldn't have invited Jen to movie night. That's our night…always has been. It's the most special and sacred bond between us. How could you hurt me by inviting her…you knew how I would feel."

"I'm sorry, Joey. It was a mistake…I felt lonely without you and Jen offered me some company. I didn't know yet that you were coming over…after I found out I couldn't contain my joy at the prospect of us reuniting and sort of forgot I invited her."

Joey, no longer fighting the tears cried out, "Is that why I arrive and find Jen lounging on your bed, and hear you happily singing in the shower. Why didn't you just invite her to join you in the shower if you felt so lonely? I can't believe I came here hoping we could work out our problems."

Dawson feeling desperate pleaded, "we can, Joey. All I want is for you and I to get back together."

"We can't…there's no hope for us. It's over and we can't be together. You aren't over Jen…I won't wait around for you forever. Been there done that. You broke my heart, Dawson…I won't let you do it again."

Dawson wiped the tears from Joey's swollen cheeks and whispered gently, "Please give me another chance, Jo. I promise I will never hurt you ever again. I love you."

"That's not enough anymore, Dawson. Being with you is the only thing I have ever wanted…but it's not right and we can't pretend it is. We weren't meant to be…let's face it and move on."

Dawson heart broken and feeling like he might cry whispered, "I can't, Joey…I love you. I want to be with you."

Joey already crying again shook her head, "We can't…"

All I want
Nothing's so loud
As hearing when we lie
The truth is not kind
And you've said neither am I
But the air outside so soft is saying everything

All I want is to feel this way
To be this close, to feel the same
All I want is to feel this way
The evening speaks, I feel it say…

Dawson pulled Joey close and Joey rested her head on his shoulder. Dawson wrapped his arms around her waist, and just held onto her. Dawson felt like his life had been ripped apart at the seams, and the only way to keep it together was to hold onto Joey. Dawson loved her, but she kept insisting it wasn't meant to be. Dawson didn't understand how a feeling he felt so strongly could be wrong. Holding her close just felt right and natural, Joey fit perfectly inside his arms. Dawson wanted to be with her for the rest of his life, a realization that had shocked him but one he had gotten use to over time. He never figured it would be this easy to fall in love with her, but now that he was he didn't want to stop. Losing Joey was like losing a part of himself…he didn't feel whole without her.

Nothing's so cold
As closing the heart when we all we need
Is to free the soul
But we wouldn't be that brave I know
And the air outside so soft confessing everything

And it won't matter now
Whatever happens will be
Though the air speaks of all we'll never be
It won't trouble me

Joey exhausted both emotionally and physically didn't bother to consider her actions. Joey snuggled deeper into Dawson's embrace, and let the sorrow wash over her. Joey didn't want to think of how much her heart was breaking, or how angry she felt at herself for not being strong enough to give him another chance. Joey loved Dawson, but she just couldn't go through the pain and rejection again. Dawson was Joey's life, and without him she didn't know what she would what happen to her. Joey didn't want to lose Dawson, so she would hold onto the one little part she had left. His friendship. Joey wasn't in the mood just then to tell Dawson the proverbial 'let's be friends' speech. All she wanted was to be in his arms, and feel him close to her. Joey knew after tonight it would be the last time she felt the embrace of Dawson Leery.

It feels so close
Let it take me in
Let it hold me so
I can feel it say

Jen stood on the front porch hugging herself tightly, and watching Joey and Dawson holding each other. Jen felt sad that she had lost Dawson, and she had to face the fact he wasn't coming back. He loved Joey. It hurt to watch the guy she loved hug the girl he loved, which wasn't her. Up until then Jen always thought she had a chance, but now she knew something she never wanted to admit to herself for fear of the pain it brought her. Those two holding onto each other were meant to be together. Jen smiled a little. Despite the circumstances, Jen had never seen two people more in love. It gave Jen hope that someday she might fall in love, and the guy would love her as much as Dawson loved Joey. In all Jen's failed attempts at romance that is all she ever wanted. Jen thought that guy was Dawson, but understood finally he couldn't be. He already had a soulmate. Jen felt Dawson's pain, and felt tears form in her eyes over his heartache along with her own. Jen still loved Dawson, but realized it was time to let go. Jen wanted to hold onto to something, she wanted to hold onto his friendship. The next time she saw him, Jen would apologize sincerely for her behavior and wish him happiness with Joey. Jen only wanted happiness for Dawson even if that happiness wasn't with Jen. Jen had to admit it made her feel slightly better knowing if it couldn't be with her then it was with someone that loved Dawson just as much as Jen. Despite Joey's protests they couldn't make it as a couple, Jen knew they would be together forever. Jen walked away from them and Dawson's house. Reaching her front door she smiled and thought of something her Gramps always would tell her. "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." 

Previous | Next

Email Jeannie

Back to Jeannie's Stories | Back to Fan Fiction | Back to the Main Page

This page has been visited times.