Note from Jen: From here on out, we're going to peek into Joey and Pacey's lives at different times. Don't get lost. The Biology scene and the Dawson's room scene, as you know, are actual scenes that I've added just a little to. Also, remember Calvin? Think of Chris, and you've got him reincarnated.
September 19, 1982 - Boston, Massachusetts
"Mr. and Mrs. Witter, what are you going to name your son?" the nurse asked.
John looked to his wife, smiled and stated, "Pacey William Witter."
"What a wonderful name. He's such a beautiful baby."
"Thank you," Margaret replied. She looked down at her fifth child and tears appeared on her cheeks. He was a very beautiful baby. Margaret could only hope that he would grow up to be a good man. And that Doug wouldn't torment him, like he had done with his three younger sisters.
February 13, 1983 - Boston, Massachusetts
"Mrs. Potter, have you decided on a name?" the doctor asked.
Lilly looked down at her baby girl, and the name came to her instantly. "Josephine Jordan Potter."
"That's the perfect name for her," the doctor replied.
Lilly nodded in agreement. Josephine would have everything Lilly couldn't have: a good education, enough money, and a loving family. The newest addition to the Potter family would be a perfect one.
April 6, 1987 - Capeside, Massachusetts
"Lilly, Mike, I want you to meet the Leerys," Bethany Wylkes said. The Potters were at the annual Capeside Fourth of July picnic. Lilly took her two daughters' hands and her husband tagged along behind her. "Lilly and Mike, this is Mitch and Gail and their son Dawson. They just moved to Capeside last month. Mitch, Gail, this is Lilly and Mike, and their daughters Josie and Bessie."
Josie wriggled out of her mothers' grasp and stuck out her hand to the blond-headed boy who stood before her. She always had perfect manners. "I'm Josie."
"I'm Dawson," the little boy replied, not sure what to do with his hand. "Let's go play sandbox." He took Josie's hand and pulled her behind him to the sandbox.
Another young boy, with dark brown hair, was playing with a blond boy. Josie made sure to introduce herself before jumping in and joining the fun. "Hi, I'm Josie."
The other two children looked up at her. "I'm Chris, he's my best friend. I'm five," the blond boy said to her.
The brown headed boy continued to look at her, his expression changing slightly towards curiosity. For some odd reason, he felt like he knew her already. "Joey? How do you say your name?" He couldn't pronounce Josie, so he had opted for Joey.
"It's Josie, not Joey," Dawson said angrily. "Joey's a boys name stupid."
"I like Joey. It's easier. Call me Joey," Josie said.
"I'm Pacey. My daddy's a policeman."
"Cool," Dawson said. Then, switching the topic to something he liked better, "You like E.T.?"
"Yeah!" all three cheered. They had become friends at that very moment, at least the three four-year-olds had. When you're young, the simplest things bring you together, and time helps you bond. That was the case with Joey, Pacey and Dawson, three kids who never would have met otherwise.
Over the years, they would only grow closer, turning to one of the other two for help when it was so desperately needed. A friend is someone you can talk to. A best friend is someone who can talk to you.
Dawson, Joey and Pacey would remain best friends forever.
November 12, 1998 - Capeside, Massachusetts
Joey and Pacey were stuck doing a Marine Biology assignment together. Over the years, their friendship had turned to a rivalry. The two still hung out together, with the aid of Dawson, but didn't particularly enjoy each other's company.
Pacey was observing the snails in the tank, while Joey wrote vigorously on a sheet of paper. "Boy, this is fascinating," Pacey mumbled.
"I'm sorry there are no cartoons to make it interesting for you Pacey, but it's not designed to be fascinating. It's designed to be educational.
"Thank you Dr. Schweitzer. Now refresh my memory as to why we're here again?"
Joey was annoyed at Pacey's lack of concern over this project. "Observing the reproductive process or pomenatis snails. And Dr. Rand said that they reproduce more when their happy, so by varying contents of the tank, we can determine which factors are more conducive to the reproduction."
Pacey rolled his eyes. Why did Joey have to be so technical all the time? "Why didn't you just say that? We'll buy 'em a couple drinks, turn off the lights, and come back in a couple days."
"You know you never fail to disappoint, do you Pacey? I mean, why did I actually think that the very real prospect of repeating Marine Biology next summer might cause you to take this project seriously."
Pacey couldn't believe she thought he'd repeat Marine Biology. "Please. Summer school?"
"Yeah," Joey replied.
Pacey laughed. "It'll never happen. Only morons go to summer school."
"Yeah, well, the last time I checked, you were pulling a stellar F minus, so without this extra credit project, Pacey, I'm very well certain that you're grade will not only place you squarely among the morons, but you may very well be their leader!" This was the usual tone of their conversations: insults and fights.
Neither could stand the other, so they both left. In eleven years, a lot had changed. Joey now thought she had a crush on Dawson, Dawson was completely engrossed in Spielberg and Jen, his now ex-girlfriend, and Pacey was a menace.
Other things had changed since that day in 1987. Joey's mother had died of cancer two years ago, and at about the same time, her father had been arrested for drug trafficking. Bessie had a baby, was running the family restaurant, and taking care of Joey.
Pacey's sisters had all left for college, and Doug was now a police officer.
Dawson's parents had been going through a rough time, and he had just broken up with Jen.
As for Chris, the blond kid from the sandbox so many years ago, he had lost touch with the group. His hair had changed to a dark brown color, and he was one of the most popular kids in school. He hadn't had a real conversation with the other three in almost five years.
People change, and that's what Chris did. The three inseparables wouldn't find out for some time though, that Chris would be the link they'd need to make all as it should be. It was crucial that they befriend him again to have the life intended for them.
No one hated the prospect of hanging out with Chris more that Pacey and Joey. They despised all contact with the "IN" crowd. Life was going to take it's toll on them all, and they'd have to deal with it sooner rather than later. As the proverb says: When life deals you lemons, make lemonade.
The carefree toddlers were finally finding out what it was like to grow up.
May 7, 1999 - Capeside, Massachusetts
Pacey, Joey and Dawson were watching a movie in Dawson's room. Only there were three new additions to the group: Jen, Jack and Andie. Jen was Dawson's ex-girlfriend and now friend. Jack and Andie were brother and sister; Andie was Pacey's girlfriend and Jack was Joey's ex-boyfriend. Dawson and Joey were now together as a couple.
Things had changed in only six months. Joey and Pacey rarely communicated. Joey and Dawson had gone through a rocky relationship. Andie and Jack had moved to town. With the past as it had happened, it was amazing the six were sitting there eating popcorn and enjoying the film without murdering one another.
Dawson suddenly shut off the television. "Okay...movie break." He stood and grabbed his water bottle. He looked at his bed, and began laughing. "Is anyone else struck by the humor of this moment that we're all in the same room at the same time?"
"Yeah, I think it's bizarre...I mean, the way we all started the school year and how we all managed to come out as friends," Jack replied, still eating.
"Yeah, like St. Elmo's!" Andie said.
"St. Elmo's from hell," Joey added.
"That would be a negative spin," Dawson looked at Joey.
"I just think it's important in times of maudlin reflection to incorporate a little honesty," Joey reasoned.
Jen sat up and thought for a moment. "You know what? I happen to agree with Joey, I mean, sure, we've all grown to tolerate each other but we're still a long way off from 90210-land of best friends forever."
"I don't know..." Pacey began. "I kind of think that Andie's got a point. I mean, there has been a lot of hanging out lately."
"Yeah? Like When?" Jack asked, trying to think of a time and place.
"Like right now, for instance. I mean, have we even stopped to consider why we've all come here together tonight if not our need to go habituate in, dare I say it, a clique.
Jen makes a disgusted face as Joey says, "Scary..."
"Yeah Pacey, when you say it like that..." Andie said, possibly changing her mind. "Wait a minute, though, I mean no offense to anybody here, but I called up Pacey to invite him over to watch a couple of movies...that hardly qualifies as a group hanging out," Dawson said jumping in.
"Yea, but I invited Andie," Pacey began.
"And I invited Jack," Andie stated.
"And I better not need an invitation!" Joey said with mock anger.
"And I live here now," Jen reasoned.
"Let's face it guys," Pacey said with a smile, "We are this far from the Peach Pit."
Everyone turns to stare at Pacey. "Kill him!!" Joey suggested.
"Attack!" Andie yells. Everyone grabs a pillow and they all start hitting each other. feathers fly, popcorn soars and everyone laughs. The thrilling three had changed to the fabulous four, and evolved into the spectacular six all in one year.
Chris had come in to the picture briefly in the past six months, causing havoc. It obviously wasn't the right time for him to reenter the picture, and he had dropped into the background of the gang once more.
As for other things, a few nights after the snail project had began, Pacey had attempted to kiss Joey. He couldn't explain it, but it seemed as though some force was pulling him towards her. He had liked Joey, as a friend always, but he was sure something was forcing him to have feelings for Joey. He had attempted the kiss, been turned down, and forgot about it completely. Pacey met Andie, and thought he was complete. He loved Andie, and that was all there was to it. Pacey blamed the incident with Joey on fate; that it was in the stars for them to have that moment in their past.
Little did Pacey or Joey know that fate wasn't going to be the only thing changing things in Capeside. Someone up above would have to intervene before the twenty-five year deadline was up.
June 6, 2001 - Capeside, Massachusetts
"Hey Pacey, wait up a second!" Chris Wolfe called to the jogging form yards ahead of him.
Pacey stopped and turned toward his friend. "Yeah Chris?"
"I was going to run with you this morning. You know, relieve some of this tension building up."
"Yeah, I know what you mean. I can't believe we graduate today."
"It seems like yesterday we were in that sandbox where we met," Chris said starting to jog beside Pacey. "You remember that?"
"I sure do. I couldn't say Josie. That's where Joey got her name. And you were five," Pacey finished with a laugh. That had been a source of ridicule; Chris had been so proud that he was five back then.
"Yeah, and now I'm nineteen. Whoop-dee-doo," Chris joked. "But about Joey...-"
"Just stop there. Ever since she and Dawson broke up what, three months ago, you' can't stop. What is the goal that your trying to achieve?"
"No goal, just doing my job." Chris didn't know exactly what that job was, but something told him to get Pacey and Joey together.
"Right. Besides, I love Andie. I always will."
"Funny, but I remember you two breaking up about two months ago." It was true, they had grown apart. Pacey and Andie had broken up in April.
"What? I can't love her?" Pacey still loved the girl, but not in the same way. Telling people he was still madly in love with her was a way to get them off his back. He had some things to figure out, and he couldn't do that while going on thousands of blind dates.
"I know you all too well, even though I can't explain how I do. You don't love her like that anymore." For some unexplainable reason, Chris just knew.
"Yeah, sure, whatever you say." Pacey was just going to leave it at that. He couldn't possibly spill everything to Chris. The words that appeared in his mind; the visions of a girl who looked like Joey; dreams in which he talked to Chris, but addressed him as Calvin. None of it made sense to him, and it would sound downright crazy to someone else.
"All right, I'll change the subject. Going to Elliot's party tonight?"
"Cliff? No way. His parties are always wild and crazy."
"That's the point! Your supposed to be totally insane the night you graduate. Come on, don't be such a prick."
"Fine, I'll go. But I'm not drinking."
"God, ever since your scholarship to M.I.T., you've turned into such a geek. How did you do it anyway?"
Pacey had miraculously earned a spot in the M.I.T. freshman class of 2005. During junior year, he had gained an interest in computers, and found that he was good with them. M.I.T. had offered the scholarship under the conditions that he keep up his other academics, and he run for the pitifully poor track team. "What can I say, they liked me. And I can run like a God."
"Sure you can. Remind me; how did the Minutemen win the state title?" Chris was teasing, and he knew the answer Pacey would give him.
"Yours truly ran a beautiful mile, a glorious two-mile, and a superb three-mile."
"And who aided your score with three more perfect finishes?"
"I admit, you, Jen and Joey helped a lot. Joey's mile was exquisitely executed. Your long jump and triple jump were amazing record-setters. Jen's discuss and 100 yard hurdles were magnificent. I didn't win it all on my own."
"No, and you need to keep telling yourself that." Chris laughed and continued jogging.
There was silence, and Pacey's mind began to wander. How had he and Chris become friends again? Now he remembered. At homecoming junior year, there had been a fight. Not just any fight, but a fight between Pacey and Dawson. They had gotten into a ridiculous argument over respecting one another, but neither could decipher who had thrown the first punch. Along came Chris, who uncharacteristically pulled them apart and reminded them that they were best friends and respected each other no matter what.
After that night, Chris had started to branch away from his crowd. It seemed as though he'd finally gotten a mind of his own. Pacey and Chris bonded, Dawson and Chris bonded, and everyone else just seemed to follow suit. Chris was now a full-fledged member of the group, altering the title once more to the magnificent seven.
The seven had changed and grown, but remained good friends. The core three, Dawson, Pacey and Joey had become even tighter despite romantic interludes. Some severe changes were in store, however, if things were to evolve correctly.
To Be Continued
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