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Disclaimer: I don’t own the songs ‘I’m With You,’ and ‘She’s The One.’ They belong to Avril Lavigne and World Party. I don’t own the play Pygmalion or the musical My Fair Lady, either. They are by George Bernard Shaw and Lerner and Loewe.
Author’s Note: So, I’m starting this one now, and I’m excited! I hope you guys will like this. I’m not going to tell you yet who the pairing is, but I think by the end of this you will get it. I’ve got a lot of twists and exciting things planned for this one. It will largely deal with the four main characters (Pacey, Joey, Jen, and Dawson), but I will be introducing two new minor characters that came from my own brain (I do actually have one! LOL!). And don’t worry Nebula, Dougie will be in it!! LOL! This chapter is going to begin the weekend before they all take the Marine Biology midterm, you know the one that Pacey flunks and then he has to work on that project with Joey in the episode ‘Double Date.’ You will see when you read! And as usual I will be using a lot of music here. The song ‘She’s The One’ actually was playing just before Pacey kissed Joey in Double Date. And it does fit so well. And if their conversation at the end seems familiar it’s because that is what they said to each other. I wanted to keep to that particular part of the show as much as possible. But I put in my own parts as to how they acted and what they were thinking. As always I love feed back. I hope you enjoy!!!
She’s the One: Joey is Discovered
“Oh thank God!!” Fifteen-year-old Pacey Witter exclaimed, jumping off of Dawson’s bed in celebration. “Hallelujah! It’s finally over!” Pacey gestured to the TV screen where the latest movie night feature’s credits were rolling.
“C’mon Pace. My Fair Lady is a classic! I love the story of the poor English flower girl, Eliza Doolittle and how she is made into a lady by Professor Higgins!” Dawson threw up his hands in exasperation and rolled his eyes at his best friend. “You can’t tell me you didn’t like it even a little bit?”
“Sorry D,” Pacey picked up a baseball from Dawson’s bookshelf and began throwing it up in the air absently. “Musicals are just not my thing. I mean how many people do you know that just go around bursting into song like that? It just doesn’t happen. I certainly don’t feel the need to express my feelings on what I ate for breakfast this morning in a catchy little ditty.”
“How lucky for us.” Joey said dryly, not looking up from the Marine Biology textbook that her eyes had been glued to for the past two hours. “My ears thank you. I really didn’t want to hear you howl about Captain Crunch.”
“When you put it that way, Potter,” Pacey began, a devilish gleam coming into his eyes. “How can I deprive you of my velvet crooning? I think I feel a song coming on.”
Pacey bounded over to the desk chair where Joey was studying and dropped to one knee dramatically in front of her. He grabbed one of her hands and started singing loudly and out of tune to her. “Ohhhh Joooeeey!!! Have I told you lately how much I loathe you? Have I told you there’s no one else I detest more?” He belted out to the tune of Van Morrison’s ‘Have I Told You Lately.’
“Have I told you lately you’re an ass?” Joey quipped back as she ripped her hand from Pacey’s and kicked him away from her. Pacey lost his balance for a minute and almost fell backward. He wobbled to one side and reached out quickly, placing his hand on the floor for balance.
Dawson watched the scene between his two best friends and sighed at the familiarity of it all. This was something he had witnessed on a daily basis for the past ten years. Since the three of them became friends when they were five years old this was the way it always was. Joey and Pacey would trade sarcastic barbs and see who could out do the other one until Dawson eventually had to step in.
Pacey jumped up from the floor and glared at Joey; he opened his mouth to return her insult, but Dawson decided he’d had enough already. He assumed the role of peacemaker once more, cutting Pacey off before he had a chance to torment Joey any further.
“Uh yeah, so if you guys are all finished with this round for the night, there was actually a point to us watching this movie.” Dawson reminded them.
“Yeah D, I guess I’m done conveying my feelings of hate for Joey in song...” Pacey paused and glanced at Joey coolly. Then he grinned at Joey and added, “For now.”
“Bite me Pacey!” Joey hissed at him with a scowl on her face. Then she turned to Dawson and her expression changed drastically. “So let’s discuss the movie now.” She said, smiling brightly at her best friend.
“Do we really have to?” Pacey whined as he flopped back on to the bed beside Dawson.
“Yes!” Dawson and Joey answered in unison.
Pacey did not like their answer. He crossed his arms over his chest and rolled his eyes as he sat back against a pillow. “But it was so stupid, and I really don’t care that we have to read the play it’s based on for English class! What was the name of that stupid play again? Pig...” Pacey thought for a second, squinting his eyes in concentration. “Uh Pig...oh I don’t know! Was it Pig’s in Space?!”
“Oh my God!” Joey said, slamming her book shut. “You are the only moron I know who would think a George Bernard Shaw play was about the Muppets! The name of the play is Pygmalion!” Joey exclaimed, enunciating the name of the play slowly for Pacey. “And it has nothing to do with Miss Piggy, loser.”
“That’s a good one though, Pace.” Dawson chuckled, once again interrupting the fight that was brewing. “Miss Piggy would make a perfect Eliza Doolittle. And I could totally see Kermit as Professor Higgins. How bout it Jo?” Dawson smiled at Joey, trying to ease the tension between Pacey and Joey.
Joey’s expression softened as Dawson grinned at her. She could never stay mad when he smiled at her like that. She quickly forgot what an idiot Pacey was and beamed back at Dawson. “Yeah maybe.” She said and her eyes locked with Dawson’s. She felt her cheeks growing hot and looked away, suddenly shy over the boy she had known for the past ten years. Why did he do this to her now after all these years!?
Pacey did not miss the way Joey was mooning over Dawson. Nor did he miss how completely clueless Dawson was to Joey’s obvious affection for him, an affection that went way beyond the boundaries of ‘just friends.’ Pacey actually felt a pang of sympathy for Joey. She was hopelessly in love with Dawson; it was so obvious to everyone but Dawson. Dawson was too wrapped up in the grand romance he had contrived with Jen, the newest addition to their group from New York. Even now after their recent break up, Dawson was still stuck on her. She was all he could think of or talk about, which left him with little time to realize that his tomboy pal had developed romantic feelings for him. It was a little sad to watch. Pacey sometimes even wanted to grab Dawson and shake him to get him to see what was right in front of him!
Joey took a deep breath and shook her head a little, as if trying to shake her feelings for Dawson out of her body. “But I hardly think we are going to see a version of Pygmalion or My Fair Lady starring the Muppets anytime soon. I just can’t see someone thinking that Big Bird, the Swedish Chef, and Beaker would fit well into this plotline. Although, I do think that Fozzy would make a very convincing Colonel!”
“Exactly!” Dawson exclaimed, clapping his hands.
“And it may be good for us to have the characters from the play assume the roles of Muppet characters. Pacey may actually be able to relate to them then since we all know he still watches Sesame Street for help with the alphabet and counting. How’s that coming for ya, Pace?” Joey asked smirking at Pacey. “Have you and the Count gotten past twenty yet?”
“Oh Joey!” Pacey said, clutching his chest in mock pain. “Your words HURT me deeply. I may just have to go home now, lock myself in my room and sob into my pillow uncontrollably!” Pacey started to get up from the bed, seeing this as his perfect opportunity to escape Dawson’s room and the boring and long analysis of Pygmalion he was facing. Pacey wasn’t quick enough though. Dawson grabbed the hem of his shirt and pulled him back down onto the bed.
“Oh no you don’t!” Dawson exclaimed as Pacey landed on the bed next to him. “You need to stay here and participate in this study session. If I remember correctly you were the one who asked Joey and I for help on this. I distinctly recall you saying something like your already less than stellar English grade depended on it.”
“Whatever,” Pacey mumbled, looking at the floor. Dawson was right. He was barely passing English by the skin of his teeth and he needed to do well on this test. He didn’t want to hear any more from his father about what a screw up he was, and failing English would surely give his dad another opportunity to do just that.
“Dawson’s right, Pacey.” Joey added. “You could definitely benefit from this. We are planning on reviewing for the Marine Biology midterm that’s coming up this week once we’re through with Pygmalion. You should stick around for that too.”
“Oh no!” Pacey exclaimed, his eyes wide with protest. “I can only handle studying for one subject a night! I’m not too concerned about Marine Biology right now anyway.”
“Suit yourself,” Joey answered with a roll of her eyes.
“Ok, so were do we start?” Dawson asked.
“Um, why don’t we talk about the Greek myth that the play was based on?” Joey suggested.
“You mean to tell me that we just watched a movie musical that was based on a play that was based on a Greek myth?” Pacey exclaimed. “How many times do they need to retell this story?”
“A lot actually.” Dawson replied. “The central theme of Pygmalion has been used in more movies than I care to count, like She’s All That and Pretty Woman, both of which I just happened to rent for later in keeping with the theme of our movie night. The plot and the details have been changed some, but the overall theme from Pygmalion and My Fair Lady is still there; it’s always about the poor girl from the wrong side of the tracks that doesn’t fit in and the heroic guy who transforms her into the beauty that was always there. And of course they fall in love,” Dawson sighed with a dreamy look in his eyes. “It really is a classic romantic story.”
“HA!” Joey snorted. “Only you would think this story is romantic!”
“What! You can’t mean to tell me you don’t think it is?” Dawson asked amazed.
“No, I think it is anything but romantic!”
“Wait, I forgot that I was dealing with cynical, down with all things romantic, Joey Potter. Please tell me, Jo, why you don’t think this is romantic.”
“I’d be glad to.” Joey answered smugly, leaning back in her chair and crossing her arms over her chest. “First, let’s start with the myth of Pygmalion, and pay attention Pacey because I am sure there will be something about this on the test.” Joey added to Pacey, who was starting to fall asleep. Pacey sat up warily to listen as Joey continued.
“Pygmalion was a gifted sculptor who, wonderful man that he was, hated women. He thought that they were too emotional, petty, and frivolous. He vowed never to have anything to do with them and live unmarried. He was all about his art until one day he ran across a large, flawless piece of ivory and decided to carve a beautiful woman from it. He basically decided that since to him the ideal woman didn’t exist, he would create her.
“So, he carved the image of a woman so beautiful and perfect that it almost seemed to be alive to Pygmalion. He named it Galatea, which means sleeping love. He came to think he was in love with it. He became so obsessed with his statue that the psycho even dressed it, gave it presents, talked to it, and even called it his wife, which is sick and creepy if you ask me. But anyway, Pygmalion was so ‘in love’ with Galatea that he offered gifts to the Goddess of Love, Aphrodite, and asked for a wife just like his ‘ivory virgin.’
“Aphrodite heard Pygmalion’s request and took pity on him. She decided to bring the statue to life. When Pygmalion returned home he found that Galatea was alive. And of course Galatea falls for him instantly. They get married and live happily ever after, blessed with happiness and love from Aphrodite. And it all makes me want to gag.” Joey finished the story and looked to Dawson.
“Now, why don’t you think that’s a romantic story? I mean I think it’s just beautiful!” Dawson exclaimed.
“C’mon Dawson! First, Pygmalion’s problem with women had nothing to do with their beauty, but with how he thought they acted. Just because he created the perfect beautiful woman on the outside does not mean she would be perfect on the inside! If you ask me he was no better than the frivolous women he complained about! He only loved Galatea for her beauty! Her beauty would not automatically make her a good person. Who’s to say she didn’t turn into a mega-bitch when she came to life. The story is just unrealistic.”
“No it isn’t!” Dawson argued. “And even if she didn’t have a perfect personality, that wouldn’t have mattered to Pygmalion because to him she would be! He loved her that much.”
“Which brings me to my next problem with all this. He didn’t LOVE her. He was obsessed with her. To me that is not appealing. And how could he truly love her when he didn’t even know her? All he saw was how she looked on the outside. He couldn’t know what she was like when she was a freaking statue! Instead, he had this idea in his head of what she should be like. He put her up on a pedestal. He created an image of her in his mind, one that Galatea couldn’t possibly live up to in reality!” Joey said, her voice beginning to rise with anger and emotion. It seemed that this was getting a little personal for Joey.
Dawson opened his mouth to argue with Joey, but Joey cut him off. “And don’t try to argue with me, Dawson. Even George Bernard Shaw agreed with me. Don’t you remember at the end of the play Pygmalion Eliza Doesn’t end up with Professor Higgins? They don’t fall in love. In fact, George Bernard Shaw goes out of his way to make the play anything but romantic. He knew that in real life it would never happen like it did with Galatea and Pygmalion!”
Pacey who had been listening to all of this was getting confused. He knew he should’ve read the play! He had paid some attention to the movie, just enough to notice how hot Audrey Hepburn, the star of the movie was. But not enough to understand what Dawson and Joey were talking about. “Um, could we hold on a minute here?” Pacey asked. “I am a little lost because in the movie, didn’t Eliza end up with that Professor guy?”
“Yes, she did.” Dawson replied, “Apparently the writers of the musical, Lerner and Loewe, agreed with ME.” Dawson shot a smug glance at Joey. “They saw the romance in the story and went against George Bernard Shaw’s opinion.”
“Who did Eliza end up with in the play?” Pacey asked.
“She married Freddy,” Joey told him.
“Oh, you mean that guy in the movie who was into Eliza from the beginning?” Pacey asked. “The one who liked her in spite of the way she talked and acted?”
“That would be the one, Pace. In Shaw’s play she went for the guy who didn’t try to change her speech or her manners and make her into something she wasn’t. Freddy loved Eliza for who she was on the inside, not for her beauty.” Joey said.
“But Professor Higgins loved her too!” Dawson argued. “He loved her enough to try and teach her how to make herself better. That was all he was doing when he taught her how to speak properly and to be a lady. He wanted something better for her!”
“No he didn’t!” Joey yelled. “When he first began teaching Eliza, he did it on a bet. He didn’t care about her at all! He just wanted to prove a point and show how wonderful he was. He didn’t even notice Eliza until she was all dressed up as a ‘Lady.’ He didn’t see the person inside at all! Just like Pygmalion didn’t really see Galatea!”
“He did see her. It just took him awhile to see it.” Dawson shot back. “It took her changing for him to realize what was in front of him all along, and that changed him. He finally had to admit that he was wrong about women; he did need them. He needed Eliza!”
“Yeah, he NEEDED her.” Joey said. “But he didn’t LOVE her. Notice how he didn’t even really realize that he ‘wanted’ her until she told him that she was going to marry Freddy in the movie. He didn’t want her, but he couldn’t stand the thought of her being with someone else! He was selfish and didn’t want Eliza to be happy without him being the cause of it!”
Dawson sighed in frustration and ran a hand through his blonde hair. “Obviously, we are not going to agree on this one, Jo. What we need is some input from a third party.” Dawson and Joey immediately looked to Pacey.
“Who me?” Pacey asked. This was one debate he did not want to get into. He was always happy to stay out of Dawson and Joey’s analytical matches, but this one was different. Pacey knew that this was personal to Joey. He could tell by what she was saying that she was referring to Dawson and the way he obsessed over Jen and her obvious good looks, while not seeing Joey at all. Pacey had to admit that Dawson did idolize Jen a little too much, and didn’t pay attention to what was on the inside of either girl. And even though Joey drove him nuts constantly, he did feel bad for her. He knew how badly she wanted Dawson to notice her. But Dawson was his best friend, so he didn’t want to take sides. He just wanted to stay out of it this time. He had tried forcing Dawson to deal with his feelings for Joey before without success.
“Yes you, Pace.” Dawson said. “Tell us what you think about it.”
Joey turned to Pacey, eager to see what he thought. “This should be good.” She mumbled. She knew Pacey would probably take Dawson’s side. Pacey obviously went after all the pretty girls. He couldn’t possibly care about anything else but looks and perfection.
“Um, well if you two really want to know.” Pacey stammered. He had to tell his honest opinion. “I’m sorry, D, but for once, and I can’t believe I’m saying this, I have to agree with Joey.”
Joey’s mouth fell open in shock. She couldn’t believe what Pacey had just said.
“What?! You can’t desert me on this one!” Dawson pleaded.
“I’m sorry, but I liked Freddy. And Joey was right. He loved Eliza from the beginning for who she was on the inside. He wanted her to be herself. To me that is what true love is all about. When you love a person despite all of their flaws, now that is love.” Pacey said seriously and he meant it. He believed what he was saying. He had to. If that type of love didn’t exist, then no one would ever love him, since he was far from perfect. Deep down he was desperate for unconditional love. “And let’s face it,” Pacey continued. “No one is perfect. The perfect man or woman just doesn’t exist.”
“Jen comes close for me.” Dawson said sadly, his eyes drifting to the window that overlooked Jen’s house next door. He missed her so much.
Joey’s eyes clouded over at Dawson’s comment about Jen. She could not believe how blind he was or how hopeless her situation was! He would never see her. He was too blinded by Jen and her Barbie doll good looks. Joey, the tomboy, could not compete with that. She was doomed to be good old Joey, Dawson’s buddy and best pal. He would never love her like he did Jen. He would never look at her like he did Jen. Joey was suddenly overwhelmed by this realization. She couldn’t take anymore. The tears began to well up in her eyes.
“Um, I just remembered that Bessie needed me to watch Alexander tonight!” Joey exclaimed, jumping up quickly and shoving her books into her backpack. “She needed me to be home...” Joey glanced down at her watch, “um, right now! I have to run. Bye!” And with that Joey climbed out the window and disappeared before Dawson or Pacey could say anything.
Dawson turned to Pacey in confusion. “That was weird. I wonder why Joey ran off like that?”
“I wouldn’t know.” Pacey answered with a touch of sarcasm in his voice. Dawson was the most clueless person he had ever met! Pacey wasn’t even going to bother to try and explain it to him this time. Pacey hadn’t missed what Dawson did. He had seen the look on Joey’s face when Dawson said Jen was perfect. He had seen the tears in her eyes. He knew exactly why she left. Dawson though had been too caught up in staring at Jen’s house to see it too.
“Oh well, I guess we can just watch another movie now.” Dawson shrugged, still as oblivious as ever. He got up from the bed and headed to his shelves to pick out another movie.
Pacey watched Dawson sadly, shaking his head. ‘When will that boy wake up?’ He wondered...
Joey climbed out of her rowboat and onto the dock in front of her little house. She carefully tied the boat to the dock and then headed up to her front door. The house was dark and quiet, as she had expected it to be. Bessie, Bodie, and Alex were visiting Bodie’s brother in Boston and wouldn’t be back until tomorrow. She had just made the lie up about watching Alex so she could make a quick exit.
Joey let herself into the house and headed for the living room, which doubled as her bedroom. She tossed her backpack haphazardly on the floor and plopped down on the couch. She looked around the room in vain for a distraction; ever since leaving Dawson’s all she could hear in her head were his words – Jen comes close for me.
Joey could feel hot tears stinging her eyes again and forced them to go away. She hated to cry, especially over a guy. She had to stop feeling sorry for herself and accept the fact that Dawson was in love with Jen and thought of Joey only as a friend. ‘But how am I going to do that?’ She thought helplessly.
She wished she could just erase her feelings for Dawson, but they were there and weren’t going away. She sometimes wished she could just turn back the clock and be the little girl again who didn’t care that she was one of the guys. It used to never bother her that she was a tomboy, but then she developed hormones and feelings for members of the opposite sex that had nothing to do with friendship. Suddenly, she didn’t want to be one of the guys anymore, but the one the guys wanted. Or at least the one that Dawson wanted.
But he only saw her as a friend and nothing more. He didn’t think she was pretty like Jen, and therefore he would never even give Joey a second thought. He didn’t see her as someone that could potentially be a girlfriend, but just the girl from across the creek who was his best friend.
Joey knew that she had so much inside of her to offer someone, but no one ever saw it. No one ever really saw HER. She had always been Dawson’s best friend, the tomboy. Or more recently she was that poor Potter girl from the wrong side of the creek who had lost her mother to cancer and her father to prison. No one in this small narrow-minded town was capable of looking past that to see the person that Joey really was, not even Dawson. If he was he would’ve seen by now how she felt about him, and how much better she was for him than Jen.
Joey grabbed the TV remote and turned on the TV. She flipped through the channels absently, not really paying attention. She finally stopped on MTV, even though she didn’t usually watch that channel. A show called Made was coming on. They were having a marathon of it. She had no idea what it was. She was about to change it, when she heard the beginning words of the show:
“I wanna be the first. I wanna be the best. I wanna be...MADE.”
The catchy opening of the show clicked on something in Joey’s head and she didn’t change the channel. Instead she sat there for the next 3 hours glued to the TV. This was quite possibly one of the most inspiring shows Joey had ever watched, which was quite a shock to Joey since it was on MTV.
The whole premise of the show intrigued Joey. Made took regular ordinary young people, just like Joey, and ‘made’ them into the thing they wanted most to be. They gave them coaches and all sorts of other outside help that they normally wouldn’t be able to get without MTV’s help. And Joey couldn’t help but notice that the people on the show were usually social outcasts just like she was...
‘Just like I am...’ Joey thought, an idea beginning to form in her head. ‘They make people into the thing they most want to be...’
The thing that Joey most wanted to be was the object of Dawson’s affections. But she couldn’t call up MTV and ask them to put her on Made to turn her into Dawson’s girlfriend. That would never work, and she definitely didn’t want to seem that desperate. Her eyes fell on the screen once more. The episode of Made that was on now was one where a girl wants to be made into a beauty queen. She was a backwards shy tomboy, but her dream was to be seen as beautiful and feminine. That was exactly what Joey wanted!
A light went on in Joey’s head. “That’s it!” Joey exclaimed to the empty living room, jumping up from the couch. “I bet if I got Made to turn me into a beauty queen Dawson would notice me! I mean he would have to!” Joey stopped as she realized she was talking to no one.
She sat back down on the couch and began running her idea through her head. Could she really go on Made and be a beauty queen? The Miss Windjammer pageant was coming up in a few months...But Joey could never enter THAT! That stupid beauty contest went against everything that she stood for. It was degrading to women and was based solely on looks, which was what she was just arguing with Dawson about. She didn’t want to have to change herself to get Dawson. She wanted him to love her for who she was now.
BUT that clearly wasn’t going to happen. The conversation she had with Dawson earlier had only reinforced what she had already known. If she was going to get Dawson, she was going to have to do something that was completely out of character for her. ‘After all, desperate times call for desperate measures.’ She told herself. It would be worth it to compromise herself if it meant that she would end up with Dawson. And Dawson had already proved that he thought the story of the outcast girl turning into a princess appealed to him. If Joey turned from Cinderella into a princess then wouldn’t she appeal to Dawson to?
Joey knew it was all a crazy idea, but it just might work. In her mind it was worth a try. She watched the show until the marathon was over, all the while waiting to see if they told her how she might get on the show. Finally, they told her the information she wanted to hear.
“Thanks for watching the Made marathon.” The voice on the television said. “We are going to start filming the new season of Made soon and are looking for people to be on the show. If you are interested, please make a videotape of why you think you should be on the show and send it to...”
Joey’s hand flew swiftly over the piece of paper she was holding as she jotted down the address and other info she needed. Ideas were already forming in her head of what she could do for the video. She would go borrow Dawson’s video camera tomorrow, and just make up some excuse that Bessie needed it to make a tape of Alex to send to their dad in prison. She would make the tape and have it in the mail in no time. This had to work! She had to get on this show.
Joey heard a song on the TV and turned it up. It was the video for Avril Lavigne’s ‘I’m with you.’ Joey loved this song. It was a song that she could always relate to. To Joey it was a song about being lost and wanting someone to find you, find who you really are in this confusing world.
Joey listened as Avril sang. “Isn’t anyone trying to find me? Won’t somebody come take me home? It’s a damn cold night. Trying to figure out this life. Won’t you take me by the hand? Take me somewhere new. I don’t know who you are, but I’m with you.”
Joey wondered the same thing. She wondered if anyone was trying to find her. She wondered if anyone would really see the beauty that was inside of her. ‘Oh well,’ She thought. ‘If Dawson can’t see it, I will just have to make him see it.’ She then began jotting down the ideas she had for her video, all the while still wishing that someone would ‘find her and come take her home...’
Two weeks later...
Pacey really should have worried about Marine Biology when Joey had offered to help him study because now two weeks later he had failed his midterm. But that hadn’t necessarily been a bad thing. As it turned out, it was actually a very good thing for Pacey because it forced him to spend time with Joey to work on an extra credit project to boost his grade.
They had just spent the whole day together wading in the freezing waters of the creek hunting for snails since Pacey had killed their original snails in a failed attempt at snail romance. Pacey had been dreading their day together just as much as he knew Joey had. Working with her had been anything but fun, until today.
Today Pacey was taken completely by surprise by Joey. Not only was his day anything but terrible, he had actually had a good time with her. Ok, so maybe a little of that had something to do with him getting a free show from Joey. He had snuck a peek when she was changing out of her wet clothes and into the blanket he had given her. He had to admit that he liked what he saw, but that wasn’t what surprised him. Pacey had always thought Joey was beautiful, from the time they were kids. Sure, they did not get along, but he was still a guy, and her beauty was hard to miss. Scratch that, it was hard for him to miss. He knew Joey didn’t see it, and neither did the eternally clueless Dawson.
What had surprised Pacey today was Joey had shown him a side of her personality that he had rarely seen, not since they were little. Joey had become distant and guarded since her mom passed away and he dad went to jail, and Pacey could understand why. He knew Joey was afraid to let her guard down and get hurt again. This caused Joey to be pretty stuffy and rigid though, and that side of her was usually the one Pacey clashed with.
However, she had let her guard down today for a little bit and Pacey liked what he found on the other side of the wall that had come down. He found himself extremely attracted to her, not when she was changing and he watched, but afterwards when she got back in the truck to go home. He had told her how much fun she was when she loosened up and she had just smiled this beautiful, genuine smile at him that made her whole face glow and said, “Home Jeeves.”
She had uttered those two simple words and that was the moment Pacey was a goner. The smile she gave him caused a fluttering in his stomach that he had never felt before. Joey had given him butterflies! She did it again later when they were in the kitchen discussing their futures and she told him how much she wanted to get out of Capeside. The look of determination on her face and the passionate way she spoke made his stomach churn again and his knees weak. He had almost kissed her right then and there, but stopped because of one thing...
Their mutual best friend that she was also in love with. Pacey had to talk to him before he kissed Joey. He had to make sure that Dawson would be ok with it because as much as Dawson swore he had no feelings but friendship for Joey, Pacey wasn’t convinced. He needed to be sure that Dawson did not want Joey before moving in on her himself.
So he had talked to Dawson at the carnival and Dawson had eventually given him the ok. He had told him he didn’t care, but then changed his mind, much to Pacey’s disappointment. He had changed it back again though, and told Pacey to do what he wanted. Now Pacey was going to take that ok and run with it.
He and Joey were just pulling up to her house. He told himself it was now or never. Joey was getting out of the truck and Pacey followed, leaving the truck running and the radio playing the song ‘She’s The One.’
Pacey could feel the pounding of his heart. ‘I’m going to kiss JOEY POTTER!’ He thought, still not believing the feelings he was having for her, but they were there and they were real.
He took a deep breath and began. “Well, am I going to have to fail another midterm or can we do this again sometime?”
Joey stopped walking and turned to face Pacey. “Well we still have a report to write so I’m pretty sure we’re going to be spending a lot of time together.”
“Actually, that’s not what I was talking about Joey.” Pacey said nervously as he took a few timid steps closer to her. They were inches apart now.
“Then what did you mean?” Joey asked, wrinkling her brow in confusion. She had no idea what Pacey was getting at or why he was looking at her that way.
Pacey decided to just jump right into it. “Well, let me put it to you this way...” He then put a hand gently on Joey’s waist and pulled her even closer to him. Then he leaned in and kissed her softly, sending another round of butterflies through his stomach.
Joey was...well she didn’t know what she was or what was going on. The only thing she knew to do was to push him away. It was her gut reaction.
“Pacey!” Joey exclaimed, shoving him away from her. “What the hell was that for?”
Pacey’s heart sank at Joey’s reaction to the kiss he had just given her. “If I have to explain myself then it clearly didn’t have the desired affect.” He said.
‘Affect?’ Joey thought to herself. ‘What AFFECT was Pacey going for?’ She still didn’t understand. “Why in the world...” She began, still in disbelief. “Well I guess I know why you would...but why would you?”
Pacey searched his mind for an explanation to something he hadn’t fully come to understand yet himself. “I had a nice time today.” He began. “A nice time that exceeded my wildest expectations. I was confused, and surprised...and attracted. You?” He asked with a hint of hope in his voice.
‘Oh my God!’ Joey thought. ‘Is Pacey saying that he...that he LIKES me?’ Joey didn’t know what to say. She had never thought about Pacey that way, mainly because well, because he was PACEY. He was her sparring partner and they tormented each other. They most definitely didn’t kiss...until now. She didn’t know how to process this new turn of events. It was Dawson she liked, not Pacey. Right?
“Well,” Joey said slowly, blushing with embarrassment. “Confused and surprised.” She smiled slightly and looked at the ground. She was suddenly having trouble looking Pacey in the eye.
Pacey sucked in a deep breath. “Not...” He got her meaning. She wasn’t attracted. “It’s ok. I can deal with rejection pretty effortlessly.” He lied, playing it off as no big deal, as he tended to do when something hurt him. The perfect moment had suddenly turned very uncomfortable. “So long as we don’t extend this really awkward moment any longer than we have to.”
Joey couldn’t explain why, but she felt bad and even a little disappointed. This all was just not making sense. She took a few steps back toward Pacey without even thinking. “Goodnight Pacey. I had a nice time too today.” She smiled at him one last time and then headed up the porch steps.
She was halfway up the steps when Pacey stopped her. “Jo?”
“Yeah?” She asked turning around again. She still had a dazed look on her face.
Pacey wasn’t sure why he asked his next question. He just needed to know. Maybe he thought her answer would make him feel better. Who else would he want her to reject him for if not his best friend? Right? “By some slim chance if you would have kissed me back, you would have probably been thinking about someone else, right?”
Joey couldn’t even answer Pacey. She just smiled at him sadly with a pained look in her eyes and then headed inside. Pacey got what her look meant though.
Pacey climbed into his truck and started backing out of Joey’s driveway. He could feel a slight aching in his chest that he didn’t understand. This was Joey! She didn’t mean THAT much to him. He hated her! She was a prude, a control freak, and a know it all. They were ‘mortal enemies’ as Dawson put it earlier.
But they really weren’t. Sure, they claimed they hated each other, but deep down he had always cared for Joey and he knew she felt the same way. They had always been there for each other when they needed it most. The most recent time Pacey could think of was when all of that stuff about him and Tamara had come out. He remembered how Joey came to him and told him she understood. And he knew she did. She had sat there with him quietly after they were done talking, just being with him. They had shared a quiet understanding, and it had been very comforting to Pacey. She had been the only one who got what he was going through then.
Pacey realized then that Joey was probably the only one in his life who really understood him. Not even Dawson did. Dawson's life was too perfect for him to really get what Joey and he had to go through. They were both seen as the outcasts; Pacey didn’t fit into his family and Joey didn’t fit in to this town. They both felt alone and unloved. They were more alike then Pacey had ever realized! He didn’t know why he didn’t see it before.
Joey was perfect for him. He was perfect for her. ‘Or she would be if she wasn’t in love with Dawson.’ Pacey thought bitterly. She wanted Dawson and Dawson didn’t even see it! Dawson was lucky enough to have Joey’s love and the blockhead didn’t even know it! Pacey was wrong; knowing that he was losing Joey to Dawson only made him feel worse because Dawson didn’t even want her.
Pacey made himself stop thinking that way because he was beginning to get very angry at Dawson, and he didn’t want to do that. The best thing he could do now was to forget the feelings that were forming in his heart for Joey. He had told her he could deal with the rejection effortlessly; now he just had to do it.
Pacey sighed and tried to force Joey from his mind as he continued driving to his house. ‘She’s the One’ by World Party was still coming from the radio. Pacey thought that was strange since he had been driving for 10 minutes now. He looked down at the car stereo and found out why it was still on. The song was coming from a CD (it was probably Doug’s) and it was on repeat. That was weird because Pacey didn’t remember putting it on repeat.
‘Oh well,’ He thought. ‘Maybe someone’s trying to tell me something.’ He listened to the words:
We were young. We were free.
We were fine all along.
If there’s somebody calling me on
She’s the one
When you get where you wanna go
And you know the things you wanna know
When you said what you wanna say
And you know the way you wanna play
You’ll be so high you’ll be flying.
Though the sea will be strong
I know we’ll carry on
Cause if there’s somebody calling me on
She’s the one
If there’s somebody calling me on
She’s the one
Pacey knew he was going to have a problem then as he pulled in front of his house and ran inside to get ready for work. No matter how hard he tried to convince himself that his feelings for Joey hadn’t changed, he knew they had. And he also knew they weren’t going to go away easily.
Something strange had happened to him today. He had gone out looking for snails, and instead he had found the one thing he never expected to find: Joey Potter. The question was, how was he ever going to walk away from his great discovery now that he knew just how wonderful she was...
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