Again by: Katy

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Note: This story takes place 10 years after graduation, when the gang is 28. Comprendez? Bien. Oh, the parts in ** are flashbacks. The song "Again" is by Janet Jackson

Recap: Dawson and Joey kissed, but Joey realized she loved Pacey. Pacey, however thought she was with Dawson, so he asked out Nina Peters to get over her. Joey was upset, so she decided to go to France. The day she left, she left a love letter on his window. Pacey read it, ran to the airport to stop her, but it was too late. She was gone.

I heard from a friend today and
she said you were in town

The tenth grade English Class erupted in laughter as their teacher, Mr. Witter did his rendition of Romeo and Juliet translated to modern day language.

"Yo! Romeo!" Pacey Witter, the teacher yelled in a high-pitched squeaky voice, "Where the hell are you boy? Man I've been waiting for hours for you to drag your lazy butt over here to see me. Forget your pops man, he's a windbag. And what the hell kind of name is Montague? Put a rock on my finger and I'll change my name to Fligalhopper for all I care."

The bell interrupted Mr. Witter's soliloquy. As the class composed themselves, Mr. Witter said, "Tomorrow we'll discuss why the Great Gatsby was a stalker. Have your monologue's memorized by tomorrow."

Pacey heard someone clapping. Turning around, he saw Jennifer "Jen" Lindley, the art teacher. "Amusing, Pacey," she said, "Very amusing. I think Shakespeare's rolling in his grave."

Pacey laughed. "Suffer for art," he said, "isn't that how it goes?"

Jen laughed. "Something like that," she said.

"So when's the wedding?" Pacey asked, "is Dawson nervous?"

Jen smiled, "He's a wreck. He's worried something will go wrong."

"Well it's about time you two got hitched," Pacey said, "You've been dancing around the issue for months now."

"What about you Pacey,' Jen asked, "You haven't even dated a girl in the last three years. Why don't you ask out Ms. Halliwell, the 11th grade English teacher. You always did have a thing for them." Jen smiled.

Pacey laughed. "If you haven't noticed," he said, "I AM one of them. Besides, you know I haven't been interested in a girl know."

Jen nodded sadly. She did know. Joey hadn't even visited Capeside since she left all those years ago. Joey occasionally sent cards to Jen, but she never came back. She always made up some excuse about a book tour. Joey had written about five novels since she went to France. They were all hailed modern classics full of meaning and depth. Reporters always asked her what her muse was, but Joey always replied that they just came to her. Jen knew better.

Jen cleared her throat. "About Joey," she said, "She's coming to Capeside for the wedding. She's gonna be here tomorrow."

suddenly the memories came back
to me in my mind

**Pacey climbed in Dawson's window. Today was the day Joey was supposed to come back from France. He, Dawson, and Jen were all going to ride to the airport to greet her. And Pacey was going to take her in his arms and tell her that he loved her.

Dawson was on the phone. "Are you sure?" he said, "Do you have to?"

Pacey walked over to Dawson. Dawson noticed him and said into the phone, "Come on Joey, you can't stay in France."

That got Pacey's attention. Grabbing the phone, he said into it, "Joey?"

"Pacey?" came back Joey's voice, "what do you want?"

"You're staying in France?" Pacey asked.

"Yeah," Joey said, "My plane left six hours ago and I wasn't on it. I've been offered the chance to finish out my high school term there and I've accepted. I might even go to the Sorbonne for college afterwards."

"But you can't stay!" Pacey said.

"Oh I can't, can't I?" Joey said angrily, "Why not? You can't give me a reason why I shouldn't."

"Joey, I...' Pacey said. There was a click as Joey hung up, "love you..." he finished.**

how can i be strong I've asked myself
time and time I've said
that I'll never fall in love with you again

Pacey was sitting with Jen and Dawson and Flight 1346 from Paris began deboarding. He hadn't wanted to come, But Jen and Dawson had convinced him to come, at least to say hi. But Pacey knew they were hoping that him and Joey would fall in love again. Fat chance. Pacey promised himself that when he saw her, he would fight to urge to go to her. Fight the urge to take her in his arms. Fight the urge to kiss her.

Jen and Dawson ran over to the gate as a tall brunette in a business suit and sunglasses stepped out of the gate. She had her hair pulled back into a neat twist on the back of her head. She looked like she had stepped off of the cover of Vogue.

"Jen! Dawson!" she exclaimed, taking off her sunglasses. She gave the blond pair a big bear hug, "I've missed you guys so much! How are you?"

"Well I'm having a great time teaching my art class," Jen said, "And Dawson just landed a job at Amblin Entertainment. Spielberg is doing a new project for rising filmmakers and he's asked Dawson to make a short film for the Sundance Film Festival."

"That's wonderful!" Joey exclaimed. Then her eye went over Dawson's shoulder, where she saw Pacey. Her eyes got wide as she looked at him. Pacey meanwhile, was fighting the urge to kiss her.

"Damn," Pacey thought, "She did it again. She's made me fall for her."

a wounded heart you gave,
my soul you took away
good intentions you had many,
I know you did

Joey collected herself and walked over to Pacey. "How are you?" she asked softly.

Pacey shrugged. "I'm ok," he replied, "I'm an English teacher now."

Joey smiled. "You always did have a passion for the subject," she quipped.

Pacey laughed despite himself, "Who knew it would lead to a career."

They both laughed for a few seconds before stopping. They both shifted their gaze to the floor uncomfortably, neither one meeting each other's eyes. Jen and Dawson exchanged a glance that said "This is gonna take some work."

i come from a place that hurts,
god knows how I've cried

Joey flopped back on the bed in her hotel room.Turning on her stomach, she buried her head in the pillow and began beating it. It wasn't fair. 13 years but the memory remained. It had taken 13 years of pain, crying, and therapy to begin to get over the love of her life.

Joey snorted. Love of her life. Man, if someone had told her at fifteen that Pacey would be her great romance, she probably would have gotten their head checked. Amazing how things change.

and i never want to return
never fall again

Pacey attempted to grade the papers, but he couldn't focus. Everytime the students quoted a love poem, or anything even vaguely romantic, Joey's face popped in his mind.

'Get yourself together, man,' he said to himself, 'she broke your heart. She left and didn't come back. So why do you want to set yourself up for heartbreak again?'

making love to you felt so good
and oh so right

Joey was sitting outside the hotel when she saw a lone figure walking towards it. As it got closer, she realized it was Pacey.

"What are you doin..." she began, but he cut her off with a kiss. Wrapping her arms around his neck, she kissed him passionately back.

His hands were in her hair, her hands caressed his back. As the kiss deepened, so did the night air.

Suddenly Joey woke up. "Dammit" she screamed at the wristwatch which always beeped at the worst moments, "Couldn't you have waited five minutes?" Throwing the watch against the wall, she tried to go back to sleep to finish the dream, but she knew it was futile.

how can i be strong I've asked myself
time and time I've said
that I'll never fall in love with you again

Pacey got the number to Joey's hotel room and walked up to the second floor. Knocking on room 219, he waited, hoping she was still awake.

Joey answered the door with sleepy eyes in a flannel nightgown. She squinted and looked at him, as if to discern whether he was really there, then her eyes grew wide. "Pacey?" she said incredulously.

He didn't reply, he just took her in his arms and kissed her. He didn't care how she reacted. He loved her.

so here we are alone again
didn't think I'd come to this
and to know it all began
with just a little kiss

They broke away a moment later. "Pacey, wow," she said, "that was amazing."

"Joey, I.." Pacey said, "I..I love you."

Her eyes went wide with surprise, then she smiled and touched his face, "I've got something to tell you. I'm..."

"Hi Honey," came a male voice from behind Pacey. Pacey turned to see a handsome man in an expensive suit walk over to Joey and kiss her. He apparently hadn't seen the kiss.

Joey looked sadly at Pacey. "Pacey, meet my fiance Anderson."

I've come too close to happiness,
to have it swept away
don't think i can take the pain

Pacey didn't say anything, he just turned and walked away. Anderson gave Joey a curious look. "He's getting over a bad love encounter," she said sadly, "I'd better go talk to him." Kissing Anderson briefly, she walked after Pacey.

no never fall again
kinda late in the game
and my heart is in your hands

Pacey stood by the lamp post. "Damn her," he thought, "Damn her, damn her."

"Pacey," Joey said, walking up behind him, "I..."

"Don't," he said, not turning to face her, "I don't think I can take it. I want to hate you, but I can't. I still love you. And you can't say you don't love me either."

"Pacey, I can't do this," she said, "I was just getting over you when I ran into Anderson. He had figured out my whole Deborah Carson thing, but he didn't care. Pacey, I can't throw that away."

"Do you love him?" Pacey asked. Joey said nothing, just looked at the ground. "Joey," Pacey said, "You can deny it all you want, but you love me. Maybe you haven't realized it yet, but you love me. And one day you'll come to me and say 'you were right Pacey, you were right. I love you too.' And I'll wait forever for you to say that, because I love you too."

don't you stand there and then tell me
you love me
then leave again
'cause I'm falling in love with you again

Joey didn't know what to say. Pacey just looked at her. "No catty comments?" he said.

"How do I respond to that?" Joey said, "What can I say, what can I do?"

"You can hold me and never let go," Pacey said.

Figuring one hug couldn't hurt anything, Joey hugged him.

hold me, hold me
don't ever let me go

After a few moments, Joey pulled away. "I have to go," she said.

Pacey grabbed her arm. "You're not going until you say it."

say it just one time

"Say what Pacey?" Joey said, "What do you want me to say?"

"You know," Pacey said, "you know."

say you love me

Joey looked at him. Her mouth opened as if to say something, then it shut again. "I have to go," she mumbled, walking away before the tears could start.

god knows i do love you again

To Be Continued in "Do I Have to Say the Words?"

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