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"So are we ready yet?" Joey asked Dawson, as she climbed through the window. She was referring to working on the filming of his latest movie.
"No, Jen's not here yet," he told her.
"So, did you find someone to play the first guy yet?" she asked.
"Why don't you do it?" she asked him.
"Because, I just. . .I just don't."
"Dawson, it's a small part. Pacey and I could do the behind the camera stuff while you're doing it."
He chuckled. "I'm not going to get used to that," he said.
"What?" she asked.
"You and Pacey together as anything but mortal enemies," he said.
"Dawson, you make it sound so serious," she said. "We're just dating."
"And laughing together, and holding hands, and kissing. It's really strange."
"What's so strange about it?" she asked, becoming a bit offended.
"You just never seemed to get along with him, and then it seemed like you were with him in no time."
"It was gradual," she said. "I have fun with him. It's nice to have someone to do things with, to be with."
"That sounds like a friend, not a boyfriend," he said, logically.
"He is my friend too." She began to click back into mode for the plan. "The one thing that you don't understand is the attraction."
"You're attracted to Pacey?" he said, laughing.
"I know that you don't understand," she said. "I just can't believe that you think it is so hilarious, and you're making light of it."
"I'm sorry," he said, "obviously there must be something between you. I've always known you to be a good judge of character and honest."
If the plan weren't working, and if most of what she had said about Pacey hadn't have been true, she might have felt guilty about his last remark. Somehow, she dismissed it as part of the plan for her happiness with Dawson.
They were filming in the living room. Jen was playing the girl who gets HIV, and Pacey was playing the dog that gave it to her. Everyone in the room was uncomfortable to see Jen and Pacey simulate having sex together. On the second take, things seemed to look good enough that they wouldn't have to do it again. Pacey was clearly nervous the first time, and that was the complete opposite of how he was supposed to be. Jen, on the other hand, was supposed to be nervous. Dawson noticed how Joey and Pacey were acting about this, and didn't doubt that what she had said earlier anymore. The feelings that Pacey and Joey had were no act; they were both very uncomfortable with the situation. Pacey didn't know, but Joey was becoming attracted to him. She would quickly shrug it off though, because she thought that the attraction didn't compare to the love that she felt for Dawson.
Finally, they were finished with the scene. Surprisingly they were almost finished taping the movie, but their intentions had been only to film the one scene because it needed to take place at night, and the remaining scenes were to take place during the day. It was amazing, because the four of them had spent a lot of time together over the past week, but everyone was clueless. Dawson didn't know how Jen felt about him, and he couldn't tell what Pacey and Joey were doing was supposed to be an act. Joey didn't realize how Pacey was slowly falling, and Pacey didn't realize that Joey had, what seemed to be, an obvious attraction to him. Clearly, the group was headed for some bumpy times.
They had all gathered in the kitchen together, and Pacey was entertaining by doing some impressions. Jen looked at her watch, and said, "I've got to go. We're done right?"
"Yeah," Dawson said. "Let me walk you."
As Dawson was making the short trek with Jen to her house. "You're doing great," he said. "I'm really proud of you."
"Thanks," she said. "It hits close to home, but I think that it's helping me. You know Dawson, I can't thank you enough for all that you've done."
"I wanted to help, and if I could, then I'm happy." Jen was enjoying the time she was spending with Dawson. It pained her a bit, because they were never like this when they were dating. She silently hoped that Pacey could hold onto Joey, because she was hoping that she could somehow get Dawson back.
Joey and Pacey had watched Jen and Dawson leave. They knew that they needed to talk, so they went to Pacey's room where they wouldn't be disturbed, and shut the door. "I don't know if this is really working on Dawson," she said to him.
'It's working on me,' he thought. "Why not?" he asked her.
"I talked to him earlier, and he couldn't get over how hilarious you and I were together."
"Hilarious?" he asked her, feeling a hurt deep down inside.
"I told him about how we have fun together, and gave him that whole speech about not being lonely, and needing to be wanted, but he said we just sounded like friends."
"What did you say?" he asked her.
"I made up this whole story about this strong attraction between us," she lied, laughing nervously.
He couldn't believe what he was hearing. He knew that somewhere down the road that he might be able to convince his mind that the attraction didn't exist, maybe using one of the delusions that he had come to rely on. However, he knew that he would never be able to convince his body of it. "Attraction?" he said.
"Yeah," she said. "That's just what I thought of."
"That's probably the one way to make this work," he said, "make him think you're going to sleep with me." Now Pacey was the one laughing. He was laughing at the irony.
"Actually, he gave me this whole speech about me being a good judge of character, and honest."
"Well," he said, "maybe he's just preoccupied with this whole movie thing."
"Yeah, maybe," she sighed. "I'd better go," she said. He stood up, and walked with her to her boat. Dawson was watching them from his porch. Pacey bent down to give her a peck on the lips. When Joey realized that he wasn't going to give her one of the passionate kisses that she had become accustomed to, she became disappointed. As hard as it was for Pacey to kiss her the first time at the ruins, each time it became more difficult, because he knew that she would be that much closer to being Dawson's. Tonight he wasn't in the mood for it. He knew that it wouldn't be long before Dawson realized what he already knew.
Dawson was waiting for Pacey to come back into the house, despite the fact that it was late, he thought that they could go to the store so that they could replace the milk that they had finished. The silence was broken every once in a while, but neither wanted to speak to the other about Joey. On the way back Pacey and Dawson were both stopped by Doug who rode up in his police car. Dawson grabbed the bag from Pacey, and said, "I'll give you some privacy, and see you at home."
Pacey didn't really want Dawson to leave. "Pacey," Doug said. "I haven't seen you in a while, have you been taking breaks from robbing convenience stores?"
"What do you want?" Pacey asked him, frustrated.
"Dad told me yesterday that he wants you to come home," Doug said.
"Why? Is he going from withdraw because he doesn't have anyone to talk down to now?" Pacey asked angrily.
"Actually, After you so easily squirmed into those poor people's lives, he doesn't want to have to subject them to having to watch you destroy their home."
"What is it Doug? Are you not going to be happy until you screw me up so bad that I can never ever be a decent person? Do you want me to never be able to be in a decent relationship? Do you want me not to love? Are you afraid that someday I might have a child and not know how to treat him like crap? Do you want to pretend that you're my father? What is it, huh?"
"No, Pacey. We just don't want to hear people accuse us of letting other people clean up our messes," Doug said.
"No Dougie, it's because the only way that you can be sure of my quick and mighty destruction is if I move back in that house. You might as well realize that I will live in the streets before I will ever go back there." Pacey was enraged now, "and since dad is so concerned about his image, I'm not going to give him the satisfaction of screwing up. Now just do your job, and go back and tell him everything that I said. I'm sure that he won't seek me out so that I can tell him myself," he finished and began to walk away. He shook his head, thinking that Jerry Springer should have his family on.
"I don't want to discredit what we've had, but I think that it is just time for the both of us to move on," Dawson said.
"What do you mean?" Jen said. "You don't want to see me anymore."
"Yes," he said to her. "I'm sorry, but just a quickly as I fell in love with you, that quickly, I fell out of love with you."
"Mark, you can't mean this," she said.
"I'm sorry Kim, but that's just the way that it has to be. I didn't want to hurt you, and I hope that we can still be friends," he said, kissing her on the cheek and walking away.
"Go to hell," she said under her breath.
"That was perfect," Pacey said. "You guys did great," he said, praising them for their acting.
"I'm so glad that we have finally finished filming," Dawson said, relieved. Everyone shook their heads in agreement.
"It should really be pretty good when it's finished, though," Jen said.
"Why don't we do something to celebrate the completion?" Dawson asked.
"You guys go ahead," Pacey said, "I have to study for a test tomorrow."
"Pacey, It's only three o'clock," Dawson said.
"I know," Pacey said, "but I can't put it off."
"You didn't tell me you had a test tomorrow," Joey said.
"I know," he said, "but I can't depend on you to help me all the time," he said, knowing that soon she would probably have other things to do.
"Oh," she said. She was hurt, because it felt like Pacey didn't need her anymore. "Why don't I come to see you tonight when you're finished?" she asked him.
"Yeah, I'd like that," he said.
Jen, Joey, and Dawson decided to go to the movies, hoping that they could watch someone else's work, and forget about their own. Jen couldn't help but to wonder if the scene that she and Dawson had done earlier may have been foreshadowing for her own life. That after all that's happened, he may not want her anymore.
Joey and Jen both went to the bathroom after the show, and Dawson was left to wait for them outside. Joey was washing her hands, and decided that if she needed to talk to someone about what was going on, it would have to be Jen. She may have not considered her to be her best friend, but because Pacey and Dawson were both involved, Jen was all that she had left. Maybe this was an opportunity for them to bond. The answer to the question Joey wanted to ask her was bothering her. "Jen can I ask you something with you getting all crazy on me?" she asked Jen.
"What is it Joey?" Jen asked.
"Do you still want to get back with Dawson?"
"I don't know," Joey said. "I guess that I'm just curious."
"Sometimes I think that I do," she answers honestly. "But now. . .now, I think that we have more than we ever had when we were dating."
"Oh," Joey said, not knowing what to make of what she said.
"Do you love Pacey?" Jen asked her.
"I'm too young to know what love is," Joey said with a nervous smile.
"Look Joey," Jen began. "I know that you had deep feelings for Dawson, and I just. . .well, I'm surprised to see how you're with Pacey."
"This is some kind of ‘you guys hate each other, I can't believe your dating,' lecture is it? I mean I've already heard it from Dawson today, and just about everyone else that I know this week."
"I'm sorry," Jen said. "I guess that I'm pressuring you too much. I'm just curious about how you feel about Pacey."
"Pacey is special," Joey said. "He makes me laugh. He will do whatever I need him to. He makes me feel like someone important." She stopped her rehearsed monologue to look at her and give crooked smile. "He makes me feel like the only person in the world when I kiss him."
"Joey, I'm sorry that I ever questioned you," she said.
"Don't be sorry. Do you mind if I ask you something else?" Joey said.
"No," Jen answered, because she figured that she had already addressed the toughest question there was.
"You kissed both Pacey and Dawson right?"
"Who did you think was better?" Joey asked her.
Jen thought for a moment. "I guess Dawson, because I wanted to kiss him, Pacey was just for a dare."
"Yeah, but who had the better kiss? I mean regardless of feelings. The better technique," Joey said.
"I'm not trying to offend you," Jen said. Joey was definitely confused by that. "Pacey is not a bad kisser," Jen finished.
"You're not going to offend me by telling the truth," Joey said, finally realizing what she meant.
"I guess I would say Dawson," Jen said. "But I can't disregard my feelings either," she said.
"Okay," Joey said.
"You're not getting away on that," Jen said. "Who do you think is better?"
"Pacey," Joey said. "I guess that I can't disregard my feelings either," she said, quietly as she walked out.
Pacey looked up at the clock to see that he had been studying for about four hours. He walked over to his window, and looked outside. He saw Joey outside sitting on the dock near where her boat was anchored. She was all alone looking at the stars. He grabbed his coat, and began to walk to where she was. He thought that she looked beautiful in the moonlight. She heard him approach, and turned to look at him. "Well, if it isn't the poster boy for eugenics," she said, trying to regain some semblance of what they used to be.
"Funny," he said, sitting next to her. "I thought you were coming back tonight," he said, trying to hide his disappointment.
"I know," she said. "I was just trying to think about some things."
"I guess. . .us, what we're doing."
"Joey, you can call it off whenever you want," he said to reassure her.
"No," she said. "I need to tell you something."
"What is it?" he asked.
"I just. . .I. . .I. . .I," she stammered. She let out a long breath. She wanted to tell him how he had made her feel, and she wanted to ask him if she made him feel that way. She didn't know if he was acting or not. The only thing that she was still sure of was that she loved Dawson, and she didn't know about anything else. She didn't know about Pacey. She knew that she couldn't love him too. She didn't know what she was feeling for him. Suddenly all she could think about was the electricity that surged through her body when he kissed her. In a split second, she decided that she couldn't tell him what she felt when she was with him. 'That will only complicate things,' she thought silently.
"What's wrong, Joey?" he asked, concerned.
"I just don't know if Dawson will ever come around," she said, not knowing another thing she pass her stammering and thinking off on.
"He'll come to realize it soon," Pacey told her. "In time he will know that you belong beside him, and once he's had a taste of that, he won't ever want you to leave his side again." That was the one thing that Pacey knew for sure.
Before she could respond, they heard a blasting radio coming from Jen's house.
Pacey looks at her. He hears the slow jam coming from Jen's, instinctively hops up and offers his hand to Joey. She accepts it, and they pull close and begin to dance. Shortly after beginning, Joey places her head on Pacey's chest. She can hear his heart beating very rapidly, and if she didn't know better, she would have said nervously. He closes his eyes, and he wished that he could put this moment into a box, so that after she had left him he could open it, and feel this feeling again. He realized that he couldn't do that, so he decided to memorize every second of it. She looked up at him, and saw him open his eyes. She leaned in, and began to kiss him. She didn't even want to think about what she was doing, she just knew that it felt right then, and that was all that mattered. Pacey hadn't seen Dawson, but figured that he must have been watching them. It didn't matter. He kissed her back like they were the only two people in the world.
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