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Disclaimer: I don’t own Dawson’s Creek or the characters. I don’t own Made either. The songs Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic and I’ve Got My Mind Set On You do not belong to me either. They belong to The Police and George Harrison.
Author’s Note: Thanks to all who have been reading this. I sincerely hope you like it and I love feedback so feel free to e-mail me and tell me what you think. I am so excited about this chapter. I have wanted to write this for so long. You know we have all heard a million great stories about Dawson and Joey and their past. Well, has anyone ever wondered how Pacey and Joey met? I have and now you are going to read my version of it. I’ve seen some other people do this and I had to try. This is what I came up with. So, be prepared to go back in time!! Some of you young ones out there probably won’t know the music at all. LOL! You may know the song by The Police (Sting’s old band!), but I’m not sure if you’ll know the one by George Harrison. In case you don’t know, George was a member of The Beatles, but had a solo career too. The song I use here by him was out in about 1988 and there actually was a video to it like the one Pacey sees in this update. But you’ll see what I’m talking about. Oh and you need to check out the music. They’re both great songs! I’m going to stop babbling so you can read! I hope you enjoy this…
The Story of Scruffy
Every little thing she does is magic
Everything she do just turns me on
Even though my life before was tragic
Now I know my love for her goes on…
Pacey was about to give up. It was getting later, and sunset was fast approaching. The only thing that made him try one last place was the thought of Joey being all alone and upset. She had been there for him recently, and he wanted to return the favor. He quickly pointed his bike in the direction of the boardwalk, hoping the whole way there that he would find Joey.
Pacey pedaled his bike along the boardwalk, his eyes darting around in search of Joey. She didn’t seem to be there, either. He was just about to turn and head for home when he finally spotted her out in the distance. At least he thought it was Joey. It was hard to tell because of the waning sunlight, but he was pretty sure he had found her at last. She was sitting alone on a bench, her head bent down so that her long chestnut locks fell over her face, shielding it from Pacey’s view. Even though he couldn’t see her face, he could tell she was crying. Her elbows were resting on her lap and her face was buried in her hands. Her shoulders sagged and were shaking slightly as she sobbed quietly.
Pacey was a little taken aback at seeing Joey like this. It was not every day that he saw Joey Potter looking totally defeated, and he wasn’t used to it. He also wasn’t used to the overwhelming urge he had to run up to her and console her. He hated to see her like this, but he had to control that urge. Besides, he knew if he did that now she would probably punch him in the face anyway. He definitely didn’t need that. She had already dealt a blow to his ego in their earlier fight. That was still bothering him even though he wished it wasn’t.
Pacey continued to pedal towards her unnoticed. When he was only a few feet from her, he stopped and got off of his bike. He walked quietly the rest of the way up to her, pushing his bike along with him. Joey was still oblivious to his presence and didn’t know he was there until he spoke.
“Is this seat taken?” he asked softly, startling Joey and causing her to jump. She did not look happy to see him.
“If you’re asking, it is,” she snapped, giving him a sharp look that clearly said she wanted him to go away. She quickly turned away from him, and Pacey could see her wiping frantically at her face with the back of her hand. He knew she hated for anyone to see her cry.
Pacey flipped the kickstand down on his bike and propped it up beside the bench. He had no intention of leaving Joey alone, at least not without trying to dry her tears first.
“Great!” He exclaimed as he plopped down beside Joey, ignoring the glare that she gave him. “I’d love to join you!”
“Go away, Pacey!” Joey tried again, this time turning to face him in anger. She looked even worse than Pacey expected. Her face was red and blotchy, and her eyes were puffy and bloodshot. She definitely could not hide the fact that she had been crying from him now.
Pacey continued on as if Joey hadn’t even said anything.
“Lovely night isn’t it?” he asked as he fixed his eyes out on the ocean. “There’s nothing like watching the sun setting over the ocean. It’s just a magnificent sight, and one that always makes me feel better when something’s bothering me.” He gestured to the horizon where the sun was slowly fading from the sky, casting an orange glow that sparkled across the crystal blue waters.
Joey sighed in frustration and leaned back against the bench. It was obvious that Pacey was not going to go away. ‘Why does he have to be here now?’ she thought angrily. ‘I bet he’s just coming to torment me about the announcement I made earlier. He’s probably just here to finish what Dawson started!’
“Cut the small talk, Pace,” Joey said flatly. “If you’re going to continue to bother me, which I fear that is to be my fate in life, then do we have to talk?”
“Uh okay,” Pacey shrugged. “I just thought you might want to talk, you know about what happened with Dawson.”
“Well, I don’t.” She pouted, crossing her arms over her chest. “Especially not with you.”
“Suit yourself,” Pacey said nonchalantly. “You know, though, contrary to popular belief, for a guy with his brains in his ass, I can actually be a very good listener.”
Joey cringed as Pacey made reference to the jab about his intelligence that she had made earlier. ‘Why is this bothering him so much?’ she wondered.
“Pacey,” Joey began, trying to find words, ANY words to make up for what she had said. She couldn’t believe that she was even trying to apologize to him or that she suddenly felt BAD for cutting on him.
Pacey held up his hand to stop her from going any further.
“It’s okay, Jo,” He said. “You don’t need to apologize. I…uh…I overreacted.” He chuckled nervously, not knowing how to explain why Joey’s insults all of the sudden hurt him. Their eyes met then for a brief moment and Pacey began to get the ‘feeling’ back again. He knew it would be only minutes before the radio in his head would start to play. He looked away from her quickly before it had a chance to.
“Besides, that might not be a bad place to house my highly intelligent mind; what an incredible combo that would be! I mean, have you seen my ass lately?” he asked, as he stood up, stuck out his butt towards her and pointed at it. “Who wouldn’t want a piece of this?”
“Ew, Pacey! Get your butt away from me, you cretin!!” Joey screeched, taking her foot, connecting it with Pacey’s back end, and shoved him away from her. Pacey stumbled forward a few steps before catching his balance, his cocky laughter ringing out over the quiet boardwalk.
He sauntered back over to the bench and rejoined Joey, smirking at her as he sat down. “Oh you know you want it, Potter,” he said, his blue eyes dancing with mischief.
Joey rolled her eyes at him dramatically. “Yeah, I want you about as much as I want the Ebola virus.”
“Ah, Josephine, I love it when you compare me to rare and deadly tropical diseases,” he said, nudging her playfully with his shoulder. “I know that you are just making reference to my infectious personality. And you do know how much it turns me on when you talk like that?” he asked, raising his eyebrows at her.
“And you do know how much you make me want to vomit!” she shot back, falling back into their easy bantering routine. Pacey didn’t seem to care about her insults now. ‘This is more like it,’ she thought. She had enough to worry about right now without having to try and figure out why Pacey suddenly cared what she thought of him. She hoped it was just a one-time thing.
Of course, Joey thought Pacey was only joking about her turning him on, but he was only partly kidding around. Their sparring now more than anything made crazy thoughts pop into his head. Yes, she still drove him nuts, but at the same time, fighting with her stirred feelings and thoughts in him that would never have crossed his mind before. Like right now – He couldn’t stop thinking how nice it would be to grab Joey, throw her over his shoulder, carry her down to the beach and ravish her right there in the sand…
“PACEY!” Joey yelled right in his ear, ripping him from his ‘Joey fantasy.’ “Are you in there!?”
Pacey almost jumped right out of his skin. “God, woman! Are you trying to deafen me? What’s with all the shouting?”
“Well, I wouldn’t have to shout if you’d been paying attention to me! I was talking to you and you were just sitting there staring off into space with this strange look on your face!”
“Sorry,” Pacey said sheepishly. He had been so wrapped up in his thoughts of them rolling around on the beach that he hadn’t even heard her. “You have my full attention now.”
“I was just going to ask you why you are here,” she said, looking down at her hands, her sorrow evident once more.
“I already told you. I came to see if you needed someone to talk to.”
“Yeah, right. I’m sure that you’re here to get a good chuckle over me and my aspiration to be a beauty queen, too.”
“That’s not true, Joey!”
“Whatever. You know you never pass up a chance to make fun of me.”
“Was I laughing at you earlier?” he asked giving her a serious look so she would see he had no plans of laughing at her now.
“No,” Joey mumbled, still staring at her hands.
“I wasn’t, and I’m not going to.”
“So you don’t think me wanting to be a beauty queen is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard?” she asked, looking up at him again with a hopeful look in her eyes.
“No,” Pacey shook his head. “I have to admit I was a little shocked over this sudden desire of yours to become Capeside royalty in the Miss Windjammer pageant, seeing as you’ve never expressed an interest in anything remotely like that before. And then to want to go on MTV and put yourself through all that in front of millions of people, well, that isn’t your thing either.”
“I know,” Joey sighed, knowing he was right. “I know this isn’t like me, which I guess is why I got the idea to do it in the first place. I was so fed up with always being perceived as the ugly…”
“Joey,” Pacey cut her off. “You can’t seriously think that you are ugly, can you?” he asked incredulously.
Joey cast her eyes downward, unable to answer Pacey.
Pacey didn’t know what amazed him more – Her lack of self-esteem or how much more gorgeous she was to him then because she wasn’t aware of how beautiful she was.
“Joey,” Pacey said, lightly touching her arm. “Out of all the adjectives that I can think of to describe you, ugly is not on the list, and it never would be…” Pacey hesitated, not sure if he should say anymore. “You’re…you’re pretty, Joey,” he said quickly, looking away nervously. He really wanted to say he thought she was so beautiful that every time he looked at her he had to catch his breath, but he thought that might give too much away.
Joey stared blankly at Pacey, not sure how to take what he said. She could feel a blush creeping over her cheeks. She was not used to Pacey, or anyone for that matter, telling her she was pretty. His compliment caught her off guard.
“And you shouldn’t let Dawson make you feel like you aren’t pretty,” Pacey said, getting the courage to look at her again.
“This isn’t because of Dawson!” she said as defiantly as she could, but she knew she wasn’t going to fool Pacey. He had been trying to get her to admit to her feelings for Dawson for months.
“Jo, this is me you’re talking to. You can deny it all you want, but you know I’m not going to believe you.”
“I know,” she said sadly. “I just hate that he has that kind of power over me. I hate that I even felt desperate enough to want to do something like this in the first place. But I did. And I can’t even say that I don’t want to do it now, because I do! Sure there is a part of me that knows I’ve gone insane, but the biggest part of me wants this more than I’ve ever wanted anything, and that scares me.”
“Why?” Pacey asked.
“Because that…only shows how much I care about Dawson, if I’m willing to go to any lengths to get him to notice me. And I’m so mad at myself at the same time for acting like this over a guy. I always told myself I would NEVER let a guy get to me like that, and look at me!”
“You know you shouldn’t have to change yourself for anyone, including Dawson Leery,” Pacey said. “Maybe you should just tell him how you feel instead of putting yourself through all of this.”
“Don’t you think I’ve tried?!” Joey asked, her voice rising with emotion. “I can never find the right words, and even if I did he probably wouldn’t hear me anyway. In case you haven’t noticed, he has a severe case of selective hearing where I’m concerned – he can only recognize the words Jen, is, and perfect,” Joey laughed bitterly.
“You do have a point,” Pacey agreed. “But still, I don’t think you should do something this drastic, Jo.”
“But it’s not all for Dawson, either.”
“No,” Joey sucked in her bottom lip, chewing on it for a second as she tried to figure out how to explain to Pacey the other reason she wanted to do this. “Have you ever wished that you could wake up one morning and just be someone else?”
“Are you kidding?” Pacey asked her, looking at her like she was crazy. “This is Pacey Witter, town loser and black sheep extraordinaire you’re talking to! I think I make that wish on a daily basis.”
Joey smiled sadly at Pacey, her eyes meeting his as a flash of understanding passed between them. “So do I, and I think that’s the other reason I wanted to do this. I was watching Made and all of the people on that show were like me…like us. They all shared a common desire to break out of the mold they were trapped in and have people see them in a different light. I want that, too, and not just from Dawson. I want the whole town to see that I’m more than the girl with a drug dealer for a father and a mother who died of cancer. I want people to see me for who I really am!”
‘Someone does already…’ Pacey thought to himself. To Joey he said, “I understand how you feel, Jo. I really do, and I want you to know that if this is what you really want, then I am with you all the way.”
“Thank you, Pacey,” Joey said, still surprised that all this was coming from Pacey, of all people. There was a small part of her that wished this were coming from Dawson, but she was happy that she at least had someone on her side besides Jen.
They sat in silence for a few minutes, looking up at the now dark sky that was twinkling with a sea of stars. Then Joey timidly broke the silence with her modest question.
“Do you…um…do you really think I’m pretty?”
“Absolutely,” Pacey answered, a little too quickly, but he couldn’t help it. “I’ve thought you were pretty ever since the day I met you.” Suddenly, Pacey remembered the thing he had in his coat pocket, the thing that was supposed to cheer her up. “Which reminds me…” he said, digging into the pocket of his jacket. “I thought you could use an old friend to cheer you up.” Pacey pulled a small, old, slightly worn, brown stuffed dog from his pocket and handed it to Joey.
“Scruffy!” she exclaimed happily, taking the dog and hugging it to her chest. Even though it was old and worn, it was still the softest and cuddliest stuffed animal that Joey had ever held. It immediately brought an old sense of comfort to her that she hadn’t felt in awhile.
Pacey broke into a wide grin as he watched Joey’s reaction to Scruffy. The dog had produced the desired affect; Joey was smiling.
“I thought it was time to pass old Scruffy back to you,” Pacey said. “I figured you probably needed him more than I did right now.”
“Are you sure?” Joey asked, still clutching the dog tightly. “You’re still recovering from the whole Ms. Jacobs thing, which is why I gave him back to you. You may need him yet.”
“Nah. I’m fine. And if it turns out I’m not, then I know where to find him.”
Joey smiled at Pacey then and got a far away look in her eyes. “Can you believe that we’ve been passing this dog back and forth for the past ten years?”
“Nope. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long,” Pacey said, shaking his head in disbelief.
“You know we wouldn’t even have old Scruffy here in the first place if you hadn’t made me cry five minutes after I met you.”
“Hey!” Pacey exclaimed. “You know I didn’t mean to make you cry! I was only trying to be funny!”
“It didn’t work very well, Witter,” Joey teased. “You were a lousy comedian at five years old, and you still are.”
“I beg to differ,” he protested. “Are we going to have to relive our ill-fated first meeting so I can prove to you how funny I was and still am?”
“Stroll down memory lane all you want, Pace. You’ll never get me to think you have anything remotely resembling a sense of humor,” she said smugly. “All I remember from that day was how much I hated you from the start.”
“Oh, YOU hated ME?” Pacey asked, putting a hand to his chest. “Let me just tell you about the glowing first impression you made on me…”
Capeside, Mass., August 1988…
“Pacey, will you stop messing around back there and hurry up?” Fourteen year old Doug Witter called back exasperatedly to his little brother. “Remember I told you that we couldn’t spend all day at the beach? I’m supposed to meet Tim and John at the arcade in twenty minutes!”
The five year old barely heard his older brother’s shouting. He was too busy looking for interesting treasures on the beach. His eyes were glued to the sand as he followed slowly along behind Doug, not wanting to miss one seashell or hermit crab that could be waiting for him. Pacey loved everything about the beach, especially the ocean. You would think that an enormous thing like the Atlantic Ocean would scare a small little boy, but Pacey was not frightened by it at all. Instead, he was drawn to it; the way the salty water smelled; the deep blue hue of the water that was unlike any other color Pacey had seen before; and the way it seemed to stretch on forever with no end in sight. Pacey wanted to find out where this magnificent body of water ended.
Every time he came to the beach, Pacey would daydream about what it would be like to sail on the ocean. He would dream up all sorts of adventures. He may have been only five years old, but his imagination was far bigger than he was. Some days he was a swashbuckling pirate sailing the high seas in search of treasure. Other days he was the commander of a grand fighting ship in the heat of battle. But Pacey’s favorite dream was the one where he had his own sailboat that he could sail to where ever he wanted. He would go everywhere and see all the things that he could only dream about now…
Someone tugging roughly on his ear interrupted Pacey’s thoughts.
“Stop gawking at the water like a retard and get a move on, Pace!” Doug said, his voice dripping with anger.
Doug was so mad that his mother had made him take his annoying little brother with him. He was such a nuisance and would only get in the way. All Doug wanted to do was hang out with his friends and play video games, and that was going to be hard to do with Pacey tagging along.
“Ow!” Pacey cried as Doug pulled Pacey along by his ear. “Let go of my ear, Doug!” he shouted, trying his best to sound like a big boy. He didn’t want to let his older brother push him around.
“Well then keep up with me!” Doug shot back, letting go of the child’s ear and giving him a little shove.
“Okay, but do we have to go to the stupid arcade?” Pacey whined. “I want to stay here on the beach and play!”
“Sorry, loser. I don’t care what you want!” Dougie said, laughing evily.
Pacey crossed his arms and began sulking as they continued on down the beach. They passed a group of teenagers playing volleyball and then some girls who looked like they were in college working on their tans. Pacey saw the looks Doug gave them and wondered how he could actually like a girl. Pacey told himself then that he didn’t care what anyone said; he was NEVER going to be friends with a stupid girl!
Just then they heard loud music coming from a boom box a few feet ahead. Pacey looked and saw a teenage girl who appeared to be about the same age as Doug lying on a beach towel sunning herself while her music blared on. Sitting right next to her in the sand was a little girl that Pacey recognized, though he had never met her before. She was that stupid girl that he had seen his best friend Dawson Leery playing with a few days ago on the playground. He remembered that Dawson had yelled for him to come over and play with them, but there was no way Pacey was going to play with a girl! He didn’t understand how Dawson could.
The older girl sat up when she saw Doug and Pacey approaching and waved. Doug smiled and waved back, as he continued to walk towards them. ‘Oh great!’ Pacey thought. ‘He’s going to go talk to them. We don’t have time to play at the beach but he can talk to a girl!’
“Hey, Bessie!” Doug said as he stopped in front of the girl, flashing her a big grin.
“Hi, Doug.” Thirteen-year-old Bessie Potter said smiling back at him shyly as she stood up. She self-consciously tugged on her long brown ponytail, hoping she didn’t look too bad. Doug was a year ahead of her at Capeside Jr. High and one of the best looking boys in his class. She wanted to make a good impression.
“Are you enjoying this beautiful weather we’re having?” Doug asked.
“Yeah, I figured I should enjoy it while I can since we have to go back to school next week.”
“I know. That sucks, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, totally!” Bessie agreed with a giggle.
“Is that The Police you are listening to?” Doug asked, nodding towards Bessie’s boom box.
“Yep! I love them! Every Little Thing She Does is Magic is one of my favorite songs!” she replied in reference to the song that was playing now.
“Me too!” Doug exclaimed. “Do you like Every Breath You Take?”
Bessie was about to answer when she was interrupted by a very bored and impatient five year old. “Dougie,” Pacey whined. “How long are we going to stand here? I thought you said you had to go to the arcade?”
“Would you excuse me for a minute?” Dougie asked, smiling sweetly at Bessie.
“Sure,” Bessie nodded.
Dougie bent down and looked Pacey in the eyes. “Pacey, will you just be quiet for once and let me talk to my friend! Can you do that for once?” Doug pleaded. He really wanted to talk to Bessie.
“Alright,” Pacey said slowly. “But you’re going to have to buy me ice cream then.” He added with a sly smile.
“Whatever!” Doug said standing up to face Bessie again. “Sorry about that,” he apologized. “You know how the little rug rats can be!”
“Yes I do,” Bessie said glancing at her little sister Joey playing behind her in the sand. “Hey, I have an idea! Why doesn’t your brother play with my little sister? I think they’re about the same age. Joey will be starting Kindergarten this year.”
“So will Pacey,” Doug said, “and that’s a great idea. Then maybe we can talk.” Doug turned to Pacey again, who had heard their suggestion and didn’t like it at all. “What do you say, Pace? Wanna go play with Bessie’s sister?”
“NO!” he replied defiantly.
“Great!” Doug said, ignoring Pacey’s refusal of his offer.
“Joey, come here a minute,” Bessie said to her sister.
Joey sighed in frustration. She did not want to leave her sand castle creation for a minute. She had been working on it all afternoon and it was almost perfect. She didn’t want to break her concentration, but Bessie was giving her ‘The Look’ so she knew she had to go see what she wanted. She got up and walked over to Bessie.
“Joey, this is my friend Doug and his little brother Pacey. Pacey, this is my little sister Joey. We thought you and Pacey might like to play together.”
Joey glanced at the tall, tan brunette for a second before eyeing his younger brother. She thought she had seen the boy before at the playground. He was the one that Dawson knew. She guessed he was all right if Dawson was friends with him.
“Okay,” Joey said slowly.
“Good!” Doug exclaimed pushing Pacey forward towards Joey.
Pacey looked Joey up and down, since he really hadn’t paid attention to her on the playground before. She was wearing a blue bathing suit with white stars on it and her brown hair was pulled neatly into two French braids on either side of her head, except for one stubborn strand of hair that she kept tucking behind her ear. She was about as tall as Pacey and they stood eye to eye.
Joey studied Pacey at the same time. His wavy brown hair was slightly disheveled and she wondered if he even combed it today. He was wearing a green G.I. Joe shirt with a pair of khaki swimming trunks. ‘Great! Just what I need – Another G.I. Joe freak!’ she thought warily. That was all Dawson ever wanted to play. Oh well, at least she had someone to play with now.
“C’mon!” Joey said grabbing Pacey by the arm and tugging him after her. Pacey reluctantly let Joey lead him to her sandcastle while Doug and Bessie went back to their conversation about music.
“How do you like my sandcastle?” Joey asked, pointing to it excitedly.
“I think sandcastles are stupid and something that only little baby girls make,” Pacey replied, barely looking at the castle made of sand.
“Well, what do boys make with sand then?” Joey asked, putting her hands on her hips.
“We make cool things like forts,” Pacey said, crossing his arms over his chest and glaring at the little girl.
“I don’t want to make a fort!” Joey shot back. “Today I’m making the best sandcastle ever!”
“It doesn’t look very great to me,” Pacey said, eyeing Joey’s work.
“But it is!” Joey said, holding her head up high. She was not going to let this boy get the best of her. “Here, let me show you.”
Joey then began showing Pacey all of the fine details of her work. She pointed out the bridge leading up to the entrance of her castle that was meticulously lined with seashells. The bridge of course was over a moat that surrounded the castle. Joey told Pacey not to get to close to the moat because the ferocious alligators that lived there (of course) might bite his arm off. She then showed him the main building of her castle that was surrounded by other little sand structures. She had almost created a little sand village, and it was obvious she had been working on it a long time.
When Joey was finished with her tour, she looked at Pacey for his reaction. “So, what do you think?” she asked smiling proudly.
“I think this is boring,” he answered, causing the little girl’s smile to fade. “And that is the ugliest sandcastle I have ever seen.”
Joey sat down in the sand with a huff and said, “Well I don’t care what you think.” So why did she feel like crying? Why did she care that this dumb little boy didn’t like her sandcastle? She had no idea why, but she could feel her bottom lip begin to tremble and her eyes began to fill with tears. She was dangerously close to crying and she began biting her lip to keep from doing so. She would not let this boy make her cry!
Pacey noticed the look on Joey’s face and immediately felt bad. Although Pacey didn’t like girls he hated to see anyone cry. He was a sensitive child despite his efforts to show otherwise, and when someone else was upset, Pacey got upset, too. He couldn’t let her cry, but he didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of an apology either. He decided the best way to stop her from crying without looking like a wuss was to make her laugh. Pacey was good at making people laugh.
Pacey stood there and tried to think of a way to make Joey laugh. Suddenly it hit him! When he and his older sister Gretchen were at the beach, this always made her laugh! He was sure that it would make Joey laugh, too! He would do his best King Kong impression over Joey’s sandcastle town. Gretchen loved to watch Pacey demolish her sandcastles that way, so why wouldn’t Joey?
“Hey, Joey! Watch this!” Pacey exclaimed excitedly to the now on the verge of tears little girl.
Joey looked up just in time to see Pacey heading straight for her beautiful sandcastle. He began growling and flailing his arms around wildly as he started trampling over all of her hard work.
“GRR! Me King Kong!” Pacey yelled as he beat on his chest. He was proud of himself. He thought for sure Joey was going to start laughing at any second…
Only she wasn’t. Poor Pacey. He really meant well, but he just didn’t get that destroying Joey’s sandcastle would not be funny to her.
Joey sat staring in shock for a second as she took in what Pacey was doing. Then her shock turned to rage as she stood and faced the boy, her eyes flashing with anger.
‘PACEY!” she screamed her fists clenched at her sides. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”
‘Uh oh,’ Pacey thought. ‘I don’t think she thought it was funny.’
“I um…I was trying to be funny…” he stammered, now suddenly afraid of the little girl.
“Well it wasn’t funny!” she screamed as the tears that were threatening earlier now falling freely down her face. “You RUINED my sandcastle!”
“I didn’t mean to. I…I…” Pacey did not know what to say. He thought he was doing a good thing. He only wanted to make her laugh. How dare she not appreciate it! Suddenly Pacey was angry, too. “I don’t care if I RUINED it! It was FUNNY!”
“It was NOT funny!”
“It WAS too!”
“No it wasn’t!” Joey shot back as she began crying even harder. “You are NOT funny! You are mean!” Joey began moving in closer to Pacey as she told him what she thought of him. “And you are a…a STUPID HEAD! And I HATE YOU PACEY!!” Before Pacey knew what hit him, Joey was shoving him hard into the sand.
He fell back onto his butt, stunned that a girl had just knocked him down. What stunned him even more was that Joey had just said she hated him. No one had ever said that to him before, and it really bothered him. He looked up at Joey who was now standing there sobbing uncontrollably and he finally got how much he had hurt her. He hadn’t understood before just how much the sandcastle meant to her, but now he did and he felt horrible. Joey looked miserable and it made Pacey feel miserable, too.
Doug and Bessie heard all the commotion and ran over to see what happened.
“Oh my God! Joey, what happened?” Bessie asked as she took in the scene before her.
“Pacey, what did you do?” Doug asked, immediately blaming his little brother.
“HE WRECKED MY SANDCASTLE!” Joey wailed, pointing at Pacey.
“Pacey, is that true?” Doug asked sternly as he pulled Pacey up off the ground.
“Yes,” Pacey mumbled, looking down, “but I was only trying to…”
“I don’t care what you were TRYING to do! You shouldn’t have done it! That was a mean thing to do, Pacey! Now you should apologize to Joey,” Doug ordered.
Pacey looked timidly at Joey, who was now cowering against her older sister with her face hidden in Bessie’s stomach. “I’m…I’m sorry Joey. Really I am…” Pacey said, his own voice cracking as he spoke. He felt like crying, too.
Joey pulled half of her face away from Bessie and looked at Pacey. She would NOT accept this mean little boy’s apology. “I hate you!” she said through her tears and then she stuck her tongue out at him.
“Joey!” Bessie exclaimed. “You take that back! You should never HATE anyone! I’m sure Pacey is sorry!”
“I don’t care!” Joey said. “I don’t like him and I NEVER will!” She then pressed her face back into Bessie and cried some more.
“I’m sorry,” Bessie apologized to Doug. “Joey gets pretty stubborn when she’s upset. I’m sure she’ll come around.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Doug said. “It’s not Joey’s fault anyway, is it, Pacey?” Doug said through gritted teeth.
Pacey only nodded. He was unable to take his eyes off of Joey, who now wouldn’t even look at him. He had really messed up this time.
“Really, it’s okay,” Bessie said, as she smoothed her younger sister's hair to try and calm her.
“Well, I guess we’d better go before world war III breaks out. I’m sorry, Bess. I guess I’ll see ya at school.”
“I hope so,” Bessie answered. Doug and Pacey turned and walked away, and Bessie could hear Doug ripping into Pacey for what he had done to Joey. She felt bad for the little boy. She looked down at her sister, who was still crying. She knew it was time to take her home because Joey definitely needed a nap! “C’mon, Jo. Get your stuff and we’ll go home. Maybe mom will have some of her chocolate chip cookies for you when we get there!”
Joey looked up at Bessie, her eyes lighting up. “Maybe!” she exclaimed, forgetting all about Pacey Witter, the stupid head. She skipped happily after Bessie…
Pacey was not doing as well as Joey. He had gotten a lecture from Doug the whole way to the arcade on how wrong it was to destroy other people’s things. If that wasn’t bad enough, he was now forced to sit in the arcade all by himself while Doug and his friends played video games. Pacey desperately wanted to play, too, but Doug said he was too little, as usual.
Pacey’s thoughts turned to Joey. He could still see her crying, and it was weighing on his little conscious heavily. He wished there was something he could do to make it up to her, but what? Pacey sat there, lost in thought, until a song coming from the TV reached his ears…
“I’ve got my mind set on you…” Pacey looked up to see where the song was coming from. It was on MTV, which was the channel they had on in the arcade. The video for I’ve Got My Mind Set On You by George Harrison was on. Pacey recognized it immediately because his older sister Kerry loved it and played it all the time. Pacey watched the video curiously. In it, a guy was trying to win a ballerina doll out of one of those crane grab machines for his girlfriend. He kept trying and trying and finally he got it. Pacey watched as he gave it to the girl and she smiled and hugged him. She looked really happy that he had won that for her….
‘That’s it!’ Pacey thought excitedly. ‘I bet if I won something for Joey she wouldn’t hate me anymore!’
Pacey frantically looked around the arcade for the machine with the big claw. They had to have one; every arcade did. Finally he spotted it in the corner. It was full of stuffed animal treasures and waiting there for him to win one. He stood up quickly and dug into his pocket. He knew from using it before that one try took two quarters. All he had was five one-dollar bills. It was last week’s allowance that he was saving to buy a transformer that he wanted, but suddenly this was more important.
He ran to the machine to see if it took dollars. It did! Now all he had to do was pick out something that he could easily get. Pacey searched the sea of brightly colored prizes and wasn’t sure he could find any that would easily be picked up with the big metal claw. Just then he saw a small brown stuffed dog sitting in the middle of the pile. He was just at the right angle that if Pacey got that claw right over him he just might be able to grab him! Pacey thrust his first dollar into the slot and watched as the machine ate it, giving him his first two tries.
He grasped the controller tightly and began guiding it towards the dog, all the while the little voice inside of his head singing the song that was his inspiration…
I’ve got my mind set on you. I’ve got my mind set on you.
I’ve got my mind set on you. I’ve got my mind set on you…
Pacey positioned the claw right over the dog and pushed the button to drop it, crossing his fingers as it descended downward to hopefully pick it up. His face fell as the dog slipped through its grasp. ‘Oh well,’ he thought. ‘I still have one more try left with this dollar and I have four dollars after that.’ He gripped the controller again and set off to complete his mission…
But it’s gonna take money, a whole lot of spending money.
It’s gonna take plenty of money to do it right yeah…
Three dollars and fifty cents later, Pacey still hadn’t had any luck. He had come close one time; the crane had picked it up, but dropped it before it could bring it back to Pacey. Now he only had one dollar left. He concentrated hard on the little dog, staring at it through the glass. He had been at this for twenty minutes now and wanted to give up, but he had to do this for Joey. He kept telling himself to just slow down and take his time because this was important…
It’s gonna take time, a whole lot of precious time.
It’s gonna take patience and time.
To do it right yeah…
Pacey took a deep breath, said a little prayer, and put his last dollar into the machine. He took the controller firmly in his hand and the claw came to life as it started its journey to the dog. It got there and Pacey dropped the crane again…only to miss the little dog by just a few centimeters! ‘I only have one last try,’ he thought sadly. He closed his eyes tightly and said another prayer. ‘Please let me do this for Joey! Please! I promise that if you let me get this for her, I will never make her cry again…um at least I hope I don’t! I really like her and didn’t mean to do it…’
And this time I know it’s real, the feelings that I feel.
I know if I put my mind to it, I know that I really could do it…
Pacey then guided the claw very slowly until he was sure it was right over the little dog. He moved it a few inches to the right, and then back again. There! Right there! He couldn’t miss it this time! He paused…then pushed the button, closing his eyes again. He was unable to watch…
Then he heard the best sound ever! He heard a thud as the claw released the dog and dropped it down the chute. He had gotten it on his last try!
“Yes!” Pacey exclaimed, pumping his fist in the air. He then reached up into the chute and pulled out the much sought after dog. He smiled as he felt the softness of its fur. He examined its floppy ears and cute little brown nose. He looked into its big brown eyes and knew Joey would love it! He just had to test out one more thing – he hugged the little dog tightly and it was definitely cuddly! The dog was perfect! Now he just had to beg Doug to take him to Joey so he could give it to her…
There was a loud knock on the Potters’ front door, startling Lillian Potter from the book she was reading. “I wonder who that could be and in this weather?” she asked, starting to get up. The beautiful sunny weather they had earlier had vanished; the skies had opened up and were now releasing buckets full of rain. It was windy and the sky was crackling with lightening.
“I’ll get it mom,” Bessie answered, jumping up from the couch. All she was doing was watching a rerun on TV anyway. Joey, who was sitting on the floor coloring, barely even looked up.
Bessie ran to the door and flung it open. She was surprised to see Doug and Pacey Witter standing there.
“Hey, what brings you two here in this weather?” she asked with a puzzled look on her face.
“Well, it seems my annoying younger sibling here just had to see Joey and he would NOT leave me alone until I brought him here.” Doug said, rolling his eyes.
“Um…I’m not sure if Joey will want to see you or not…” Bessie said looking over her shoulder. “She was pretty mad at you today.”
“Please!” Pacey begged. “It’s really important! I have to give her something!”
Bessie looked down into the hopeful little blue eyes of the five year old and her heart melted. “Okay, I’ll go see if I can get her.”
“Thanks!” Pacey said grinning.
A minute later, Bessie appeared at the door dragging Joey behind her. “Joey! Just come with me! It will only take five minutes!”
“But I don’t WANT to talk to HIM!”
“YES YOU DO!” Bessie yelled, pulling Joey out onto the porch. “Uh, here she is,” Bessie said with a little laugh as she forced Joey in front of Pacey.
Pacey suddenly became shy as Joey stood before him, her brown eyes still full of hurt and anger. He didn’t know what to say.
“Well go on,” Doug said impatiently, nudging his brother. “In case you haven’t noticed we are out in the middle of a thunderstorm so let’s get this over with!”
“Um…I uh…I wanted to tell you again how sorry I am, Joey,” Pacey began.
“I don’t care,” Joey said as smugly as a five year old could. She held her head up high and had no intentions of budging where Pacey was concerned.
“I also wanted to give you something.” Pacey then reached into the pocket of his coat and pulled out the little dog he had won her. “I won this dog for you at the arcade. He’s really soft and I thought he might make you feel better.” Pacey thrust the dog out to Joey.
Joey’s eyes widened as she stared down at the dog. Slowly, her lips went into a wide smile and she grabbed the dog from Pacey. “Scruffy!” she exclaimed in delight as she hugged it to her chest.
“You…you know this dog?” Pacey asked, not sure how a stuffed dog Joey just got would already have a name.
“I do! I’ve been trying to win him from that grab game in the arcade the whole summer! How did you do it?”
“I just kept trying because I thought he would make you happy and not hate me anymore.”
“I don’t hate you,” Joey said. “I…” Joey stunned Pacey for the second time that day as she sprang forward and kissed Pacey lightly on the cheek because that was the only way she knew how to express her gratitude. She was never good at voicing her feelings. “Thank you, Pacey,” she said as she threw her arms around him and hugged him.
Pacey didn’t know what to do. The only girls that had ever kissed him before were his mom and sisters. He just stood there while she hugged him. He felt like he should wipe his face or something because Joey was a girl. But for some strange reason he didn’t want to.
Joey pulled away from him and flashed him a big grin. Pacey couldn’t explain why, but he started grinning back at her. He was about to say something else when he felt Doug pulling on his arm.
“Okay, now that you two have kissed and made up let’s hit the road,” Doug said as he pulled them off the porch and into the rain. “Bye, Bess! Bye, Joey!”
“Bye!” Bessie called as she started ushering Joey back into the house.
“Hey, Pacey,” Joey called right before Bessie shut the door.
“What?” Pacey asked as he stood getting drenched in the rain.
“Why don’t you come and play with me and Dawson tomorrow?”
Pacey didn’t even need to think about it.
“Okay!” He replied happily before Doug grabbed him and started carrying him home through the rain.
“See you tomorrow, then!” she said as she waved happily, smiling at him one more time. It was a smile that lit up her whole face. He saw then just how pretty she was.
‘Maybe I can understand why Dawson plays with girls…’
Ten years later… Joey sighed and looked lovingly at the dog sitting in her lap. “And that’s how we got Scruffy.”
“Yeah, and as I recall you gave him back to me the very next day after you pushed me in the creek at Dawson’s house,” Pacey said, poking Joey playfully in the ribs.
“Yes, but then the next day he was mine again after you pushed me off the swings.”
“Hence the passing of Scruffy began!” Pacey exclaimed.
‘Passing Scruffy’ had become their little thing that they did whenever they had wanted to apologize to each other and couldn’t find the words. Pacey and Joey were never very good at saying they were sorry, so ‘Passing Scruffy’ was much easier. They both knew what it meant. Over the years he had been passed back and forth many times. Lately they had been using it to cheer each other up, too. Joey left Scruffy in Pacey’s locker after everyone had found out about Pacey and Ms. Jacobs. Now it was Pacey’s turn to ‘Pass Scruffy’ to Joey to help her through the rough time she was about to go through.
“This dog has seen a lot, hasn’t it?” Joey asked.
“Yes it has, but you still haven’t admitted how funny I am.”
“That’s because you’re not,” Joey said.
“How can you say that after hearing that story again. I made a good King Kong!”
“But you wrecked my sandcastle! And it was the best one I had ever made,” Joey said.
“So you don’t think I’m funny then, even just a little?”
“Nope,” Joey said shaking her head. “But I will tell you what I think you are after hearing how hard you worked to get me this dog.”
“You, Pacey Witter, are one of the sweetest guys I know,” Joey smiled at Pacey, making the butterflies in his stomach work overtime. “But if you tell anyone that I said that I will drown you in the creek!” she added with a laugh.
“I won’t,” Pacey said, still beaming from Joey’s comment.
“I mean, we do have a reputation to keep up.”
“That we do, Potter. We are known as Capeside’s most famous sparring partners. We wouldn’t want to ruin our image.”
“Exactly,” Joey said, as she stood from the bench. “So, just for good measure, have I told you yet today that I can’t stand you?”
“Um, I think you did back at Dawson’s, but one more time won’t hurt.” He said as he stood, too. “And just for the record, I don’t like you either.”
“Good!” Joey said. Then she smiled at him shyly. “So, you gonna walk me home or what?”
“Of course, but I still hate you,” Pacey said as he grabbed his bike and they started walking down the boardwalk together.
“Well, I loathe you,” Joey said, but her face was saying she felt anything but that for Pacey.
The whole way home they talked about the past and all of the fights they had over the years. By the time they reached Joey’s house, Joey had forgotten all about her fight with Dawson.
“Pacey, I just want to thank you again for tonight. You really made me feel better.”
“You don’t have to thank me. That’s what I’m here for.”
“Still, I have to say it. You almost made me forget about Dawson. Almost.” Her smile faded and Pacey knew she was thinking about their best friend again.
“Don’t worry, Joey. He’ll come around. I’m sure tomorrow you two will talk and work it all out.” Pacey tried to sound optimistic, but there was a small part of him that didn’t want that to happen.
“I hope you’re right. Well, goodnight, Pacey,” Joey turned for the door.
“Good night, Jo.”
Pacey began to walk away when he felt Joey’s hand on his arm.
“Yeah?” he asked turning around.
“I wanted to give you something.”
“This,” Joey said as she stood on tiptoe and brushed her lips softly over Pacey’s cheek. Pacey’s heart started beating wildly and his head was spinning as Joey’s lips were on his cheek. He couldn’t move.
“Um, what was that for?” he managed to squeak out.
“That was for you being such a good friend,” Joey replied, giving him a crooked grin.
“If I’d have known being a good friend would’ve gotten me a kiss, I would’ve been your best friend ages ago,” Pacey joked.
“Well, don’t expect any more. That one was painful enough!”
“Oh for me, too! I may need to go scrub my face with bleach or something.”
“Whatever,” Joey said, rolling her eyes. “Now, goodnight, Pacey.”
And with that Joey disappeared into her house.
Pacey turned and jogged happily down the steps. He had just lied to Joey. He did not plan on washing his cheek. In fact he never wanted to wash it again. Okay, so maybe that wasn’t a great idea. Having a dirty, smelly face would not impress Joey very much! But if he didn’t have to wash it he wouldn’t.
She had kissed him! JOEY had kissed HIM! So, it was only a little peck on the cheek, but still it gave him hope. Maybe he shouldn’t try to get rid of his feelings for Joey. Maybe…
As he walked home Pacey began singing softly to himself…
“I’ve got my mind set on you. I’ve got my mind set on you…”
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