Rating: If you watch Dawson's Creek, you can read this.
Author's Note: At first, I thought I'd have Joey end up with Pacey and have this be a 'p/j'. Then I had to go and root for Erik all the way, so this would be an 'other'. But then I thought I'd leave it a mystery so I could decide which way to lean. I think I've decided now, but you'll just have to read and see.
P.S.: My first atempt, I didn't like. This is my sophomore fanfic, so I'm still learning. Please send feedback, so I can learn even more.
What Did I Do
I, Joey Potter, am living in hell. Not really, but I feel like I am.
If you knew me as just someone from down the hall, you'd think I was as normal as you. I'm a sophomore at Brown University, with semi-perfect grades, a good job, great friends and an amazing boyfriend. But it's what lies underneath that makes things so unbearable. I hold on to my grades by barely sleeping. I have that great job because of one of my great friends, and I'm on the verge of losing it. My great friends aren't your typical college students: in the tradition of 'The Breakfast Club', they are a basketcase, a film-obsessed cynic, a gay artist, a hoe-turned-good, and a born-again Einstein. Yep, Andie, Dawson, Jack, Jen and Pacey are normal, but only in my hell. As for the boyfriend, well he's about the best thing I've got going for me; Erik's a junior in pre-law with a guaranteed job on the corporate ladder and a trust fund.
So now you know a little more about my life. Interesting, to say the least. But still, you ask, why is it so bad? The answer to that is simple: both Dawson and Pacey are after me, or so I think, and Jen agrees. They continuously try little things to swing me their way, when Erik's still hanging around. Truth be told, I'm kind of swinging Pacey's way. I know, I shouldn't. I mean, I love Erik more than anything, but Pacey just does something to me. I get butterflies in my stomach when I think of him. I get all tongue-tied when he's around, which is totally not me. I try to stop myself from thinking impure thoughts about him, but that sophomore pre-med is mind-capturing. I hate myself when I imagine kissing him when I'm actually kissing Erik. And I feel sick when I look at Erik, because he's got the same rugged good looks as Pacey. But Erik, oh god, he is gorgeous. He's so intensely good looking, I can't imagine why he picked me when he could have had anyone else. He's the kindest, most honest guy I've ever met. This frustration is driving me mad; why do I want Pacey when I have Erik?
There is no simple answer. Background is required to understand this, I think. I was a normal 15-year-old with a crush on my best friend, Dawson, once upon a time. We eventually hooked up, but ultimately ended it when I kissed Jack. He turned out to be gay, and became my best friend, told me to go back to Dawson, and I did. Then we broke up and I told him I never wanted to see him again. Well, that didn't last long after he returned from a summer in Philly, and we hooked up for a third time. But we ended on a good note, realizing that we were better off as what we were when we were 14 than what he had become at 17, fighting and hating each other. So we all went to college, every single one of us at the same school, now how's that for variety? But we've since then disbanded a little, Andie transferring to Harvard, Jack to Boston U., and Jen to UMass.
I met Erik at freshman orientation, and we've been together ever since; two and a half years and going strong - until lately. I think he knows I'm not as in to this relationship as he is, but he still gives me 110%. And that bugs me too! Erik is too good for me, and I wish he'd realize it before I have to tell him. I need to tell him about this Pacey thing, but I don't know how. I'm boring you with these details that I'm agonizing over, I realize that, but I find it healthy to vent every so often. But now I have to stop, because I think Erik's here.
Yeah, that's Erik's knock; five soft taps. "Come in." He opens the door, and there he is, all slightly muscular 6'3.5" of him with his extremely short brown hair and sparkling green eyes. And he's got on that navy polo that makes him look like he just walked off the golf course. Dawson used to say I had Audrey Hepburn potential; unmatched beauty in an unconventional way. If I'm Audrey Hepburn, then Erik has got to be the male equivalent of me, because he could win an Oscar on looks alone. "Hi."
"Hey there Jo. Studying?" He leans over my shoulder to see what I'm reading and chuckles a little. "The American justice system. Ick, sometimes I just want to chuck that book out the window. It's Saturday afternoon and it's gorgeous outside, despite the snow. Come for a walk with me?" How can anyone resist those pleading eyes.
"Grab my jacket out of the closet, I've got to turn on the answering machine and shut off the computer."
"I've got to get my jacket. I'll be right back." While I do everything, he runs down to the other end of the hall to his room and runs back. "Ready." He holds up my jacket while I slip my arms through. He knows me so well that he's already reaching into my drawer for the key just as my hand gets there. He locks the door and we set out for the elevator.
"So, how's Rob today?" I ask, making conversation, knowing he'll have something to say about his ever-messy roommate.
"Surprisingly, he's good. He says hi. He didn't complain today about anything, then he actually made his bed and threw away some of his trash. Though, I think this is only a one day occurrence." Erik's a neat freak, and Rob's a slob. The biggest mistake to be made when placing roomies. We get in the elevator and go down in silence, surrounded by people in various stages of dress. Outside, it's cold, but not so much that we can't enjoy a little walk.
"You were right. It is pretty nice out here." I realize now that this walk is either going to consist of mindless chatter or big news of some sort. To be safe, I slip my arm through Erik's because there is a sense of security there.
"So Joey, I want to ask you something." Big news of some sort, obviously.
"Yeah?" Erik doesn't seem to like this question.
"Is there something wrong?"
"No, not that I know of."
"I mean with us. 'Cause I keep getting this feeling that this relationship is on the road to the end instead of the future."
"Erik, I don't know..."
"I love you Joey, more than anyone I've ever loved, but I just don't know."
"Erik, I love you too, you know that, and I love you more than anything. I don't say that just because you did, I say it because I mean it." I think this battle was lost the second he asked if something was wrong.
"I know you do. I think we just have to, I don't know, take a break or whatever, because I have this gut feeling that this won't work if we don't."
I've had five boyfriends in my life. Dawson, who couldn't work, ever, no matter what. Anderson, who I lied to, and had to leave anyway. Jack, who turned out to be gay. Aaron, in senior year, who cheated on me. And Erik. I know, I said all that about Pacey, but I don't know what it would be like without Erik. Makes me wonder what Pacey is doing in my every thought. "I think maybe your right. As much as I love you, I have to admit, I have some doubts; insecurities to be honest. I do love you Erik, so much. I just need you to know that, no matter what happens." Without noticing, we had arrived back at the dorms. Erik opens the door for me and we get on the elevator alone.
"No matter what, remember me, please, because I will always remember you. And I hope to god this doesn't last long, and that we can both find what it is we think we've lost." We're at my door, and Erik leans down and kisses me for the last time. "I love you, Josephine Potter," he whispers, and walks down the hall.
I unlock my door and enter my empty room. I'm glad Laura, my roommate isn't around, because I want to figure things out alone. I sit down on my bed and start to cry. My heart must know something my brain doesn't, because I didn't expect this. Maybe this infatuation with Pacey is just a crush, and I just let the best thing in my life get away. But I can't be sure, so I'll just have to wait.
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