Adventures in Babysitting by: Laura

Previous | Next


Joey wakes up, and looks at Dawson, who is sleeping beside her. She climbs out of bed and the frame squeaks. Dawson slowly opens his eyes. He sits up, alarmed.

DAWSON: Jo, where are you going?

JOEY: (pulling on her shoes) Sorry-I didn't want to wake you up.

DAWSON: It's okay-why are you leaving so early? (Joey stands up, straightening her clothes, which are wrinkled from sleeping in them.)

JOEY: I have to go home and get ready for school-I didn't bring my stuff over last night, remember?

DAWSON: (picking up his clock and looking at the time.) But it's 5:30 am! It's not going to take you that long to go home and get changed!

JOEY: Well, I was going to stop at Pacey's. (Dawson's face falls.) He hasn't talked to me for almost a week now.

DAWSON: So going over to his house at the crack of dawn will make relations between opposing parties better?

JOEY: This isn't the U.N., Dawson. It's friendship.

DAWSON: Even friendships need peace treaties.

JOEY: Well, do you have a piece of paper anywhere that will explain to Pacey why I treated him like *dirt* and chose Anderson over him? (Dawson looks at his friend sadly. She sighs.) Thought not. I gotta go. (She heads for the window.)

DAWSON: (quickly) Joey?

JOEY: (looking back) Yeah? (Dawson smiles)

DAWSON: Save a place for me next to you at lunch, k?

JOEY: K. (She climbs out the window and down the ladder. Dawson falls back against his pillows.)

DAWSON: (to himself) Remember, Dawson...friendship is about negotiation. (He stares at his ceiling) Gotta keep up with the terms of agreement. (He buries his face with his pillow.)


EXT.PACEY'S HOUSE.MORNING Joey slowly comes up the walk and onto Pacey's porch. She takes a deep breath and raises her hand to knock on the front door. She is about to knock when she hears footsteps behind her. She turns, and Pacey is standing there.

PACEY: I wouldn't do that if I were you. My dad hates to be woken up before 6:30. (Joey smiles at Pacey, but he doesn't smile back. He sits down on the step.) Why are you here, Joey?

JOEY: I...we need to talk, Pacey. About what happened at Dawson's last Sunday.

PACEY: What is there to talk about? It was pretty clear, at least to me, how things are now.

JOEY: Pacey, don't be like this-

PACEY: Be like what? Forgive me for feeling a *bit* angry about this, Joey. (sarcastically) I know it's completely unreasonable. I mean, really, how can I be so *immature* about this?

JOEY: (walking down the steps.) Pacey stop it! Can't you see...can't you see I'm doing this because it's what's best for us? *All* of us? I can't tear the three of us apart like that! At least Dawson realizes that!

PACEY: (bitterly) Sorry, I'm not *perfect* like Dawson.

JOEY: (pleading) Why won't you listen to me?

PACEY: (getting up and heading towards his house.) Isn't *Anderson* coming up from New York today? Shouldn't you be off getting ready for your *boyfriend's* arrival or something? (Pacey opens the door and slips inside before Joey has time to defend herself.)


It's raining outside. Pacey is laying on his bed on his back, his eyes closed. "And So It Goes" by Billy Joel is playing on his CD player. The clock reads 8:30 am. He slowly sits up, and grabs a magazine off his nightstand. It's Cosmopolitan. Slowly, he flips to a page near the beginning of the issue. Camera focuses on the headline. "Relationships Q&A". Pacey skims down the page, and stops when he reaches something useful. Shot closes in on the portion of the page.

PACEY: (reading it aloud softly to himself) "False Promises? Dear Cosmo, I recently met this guy who said he liked me and wanted a relationship. I recently found out he started dating someone else. I really liked him and now I feel let down and depressed, not to mention very angry. What do I do?" (Pacey pauses) Boy, do I know what *that's* like...well, if Joey were in the guy's place... (He throws the magazine to the floor, frustrated, and falls back onto his bed. His bedroom door opens, and Doug comes in angrily.)

DOUG: Pacey Witter-why aren't you in school?

PACEY: (rolling over on his side, his back to his older brother) Leave me alone, Doug. (Doug walks over, and is about to grab Pacey's shirt and drag him out of bed when he unintentionally hits Pacey's table and a couple of CD cases fall to the floor. Doug picks them up, and stops, confused.)

DOUG: Why do you have my Celine Dion cd? And my *Barbara*? You took my brand new *Barbara*? Pacey! I'll kill you! (he raises his hand to hit his brother, but stops when Pacey doesn't move to stop him.)

PACEY: Go ahead, Doug. Beat the shit out of me. It's be an improvement to the life I have now. (Pacey mushes his face into his pillow, and Doug turns off his CD player. Pacey sits up, angry.) Hey! I was listening to that!

DOUG: Does this have to do with Joey being here this morning?

PACEY: What are you talking about?

DOUG: I heard the whole thing. No use hiding it from me, you dork. Are you in love with her or what?

PACEY: Doug, get out.

DOUG: No way. It's not everyday I catch my little brother listening to sappy love songs about broken hearts. Something is up and I intend to get it out of you.

PACEY: (flopping back down onto the bed.) Why, so you can harass me about it?

DOUG: Obviously.

PACEY: Fine-you want to hear about it? Joey said she'd choose between me and Dawson, but instead she has started going out with some Mr. Perfect from New York.

DOUG: (laughing) Temporary.

PACEY: What?

DOUG: Temporary. It's just a temporary solution to give her more time to think. It's a classic move. She's just buying time. Ever read the Emily series by L.M. Montgomery? Emily was in love with her best friend but kept accepting other's marriage proposals. She wound up with him in the end anyway.

PACEY: Okay, but in those book she repeatedly turned down proposals from the screw-up farmboy, remember? She married her *best friend*?

DOUG: Okay, well, in the Anne series she married her childhood enemy, Gilbert Blythe, right?

PACEY: (burying his face with his pillow) Relating my relationships to young girls' novels isn't helping, Doug! (Doug is fed up.)

DOUG: Well, you can't say I didn't try. Get up. You're going to school. You can't let a girl get the best of you. You're enough of a family *disgrace* as it is.

PACEY: I don't want to go, you idiot.

DOUG: (pulling Pacey up onto his feet. Pacey shakes his brother's hands off with a glare.) Listen, moron. You're already a screw-up, a liar, and a thief.

PACEY: I am *not* a thief!

DOUG: Then who took the car out all day, last week? Huh? (Pacey sighs.) You *are* a thief, and you're going to be a flunk-out too, unless you haul your stupid ass down to the school *right now*! (Pacey sits down, and starts pulling on his shoes.) Get a move on. I'll take you down in the squad car. (Doug leaves the room, and Pacey starts mocking him out.)

PACEY: "You're a screw-up, a liar and a thief" blah-blah-blah. (He falls back onto his bed.)

DOUG: (OS) Pacey! *Now*! (Pacey sighs and sits up.)

PACEY: Shut up already! I'm coming! (He gets up, grabbing his book bag from his desk chair angrily. Pacey leaves, slamming the door behind him.)


Dawson is at his locker, getting things out for his next class. Joey is standing next to him, looking sad and depressed. Dawson looks at her, questioningly, deciding whether or not not to ask he what's wrong. He knows it has something to do with Pacey and he's not sure he's up to hearing about it. He glances at her again.

DAWSON: What's wrong, Jo?

JOEY: He hates me.

DAWSON: Pacey? No, he'd never hate you.

JOEY: He does.

DAWSON: Joey, everyone has fights. *We* have fights. You're mad for awhile, ya make up, and that's the end of it. Pacey will be your friend again before you know it. (He looks at Joey, with a reassuring smile. She just bursts into tears. Dawson is alarmed.) Joey? What's-was it something I said? (Joey throws her arms around him and buries her face into his shirt. He is a bit taken aback, but then grows to like the feeling of having her so close. She continues to cry, Dawson relaxes and puts his arms around her, deeply breathing in the scent of her hair. The shot switches wide to show them standing still, in each other's arms in the middle of crowds of bustling students. Jen walks out of a classroom, and sees them. Shot switches back to a closer look at the pair. Dawson is lovingly stroking Joey's hair, his eyes closed as he holds her close. He slowly opens them, and sees Jen standing across the hall. Joey pulls away, wiping her face, embarrassed, not knowing Jen is watching them.)

JOEY: (not looking at him) I'm sorry, Dawson. (She backs away from him, then walks past him and continues down the hall. Trying to search for words, Dawson fails and angrily turns back to his locker. He looks at it for a minute, then slams it shut. It closes to reveal Jen standing there. He sighs and leans against the wall.)

JEN: (confused) What's going on?

DAWSON: I don't know. I just don't know. (He just stands up straight and walks down the hall, heading to class, leaving Jen to stand there alone, completely clueless.)

INT.CAPESIDE HIGH.CAFETERIA.AFTERNOON Joey, Jen and Dawson are sitting at a table together. Joey still looks depressed, and Jen and Dawson are having a hard time thinking of things to say in an attempt to make conversation.

DAWSON: So....

JOEY: (tightly) Pacey didn't come to school today, huh?

JEN: (quickly) Oh, no, I saw him.

DAWSON: He was late.

JOEY: (looking around the cafeteria) Then where is he?

DAWSON: (searching for a reason Pacey isn't sitting with them that doesn't have to with Joey.) Um...I think he had to do something, during lunch today.

JEN: Like make up a test.

DAWSON: Right. (Joey just sighs and lays her head down on her hands on the table.)

JEN: (changing the subject) So...isn't Anderson coming today? (A look of pain crosses Dawson's face, but he quickly puts on a fake smile.)

DAWSON: Yeah, Joey, when's he coming?

JOEY: This afternoon sometime. (Her expression doesn't change.)

JEN: Aren't you happy he's coming?

JOEY: (standing up) Yeah, of course I am. (She picks up her lunch bag and walks out of the cafeteria.)


INT.CAPESIDE HIGH.BOY'S LOCKER ROOM.AFTERNOON Dawson is getting changed into his gym clothes. He already has his shorts on, and he quickly changes into a plain white T-shirt. Pacey walks into the locker room, and drops his books to the bench with a thud. He starts spinning the lock on his gym locker. Dawson looks at him, tossing his school shirt into his locker. Pacey feels his eyes on him.

PACEY: What?

DAWSON: Why weren't you in lunch today?

PACEY: (opening his locker) Cause I wasn't.

DAWSON: Joey was really upset.

PACEY: What a pity. (Pacey throws his gym clothes to the floor and starts taking off his shoes.)

DAWSON: (a bit angry) You know, Pacey, she's doing the right thing. It hurts me too but I know it's for the best.

PACEY: What's for the best?

DAWSON: (as one of Pacey's Nikes thuds to the ground) Joey not dating either one of us. Joey dating Anderson.

PACEY: How can you say that's a *good* thing?

DAWSON: (sitting down on the bench) Cause it is. (Pacey rolls his eyes.) Pace, come on.

PACEY: *What*? Look, Dawson, I can't simply set aside my feelings, like you.

DAWSON: What do you mean?

PACEY: I can't say "oh, it's for the best", cause it's not. I'm hurting, she's hurting, and I can't really tell, but you might be hurting.

DAWSON: What? I *might* be hurting?

PACEY: Face it, Dawson. You were never sure if you wanted a relationship with her in the first place. This must be a relief to you, isn't it? (Dawson looks shocked, and stops tying his shoes. Pacey takes off his shirt.) This is the way I see it. You have your whole life planned out in your head. You know, it'll be you, a successful, famous director living in some mansion with a great wife, either Jen or someone *like* Jen, and you'll have kids, and Joey will be Aunt Joey, and I'll be Uncle Pace. We'll both be spinsters so we can devote all our time to you and your kids, right?

DAWSON: Pacey-

PACEY: But then, whoa, *Aunt* Joey seems to not like her future position. And hey, you're not so sure if you want a Jen-like wife anyway. Maybe Aunt Joey might be more than a friend. But then who will be the Aunt Joey? Oh god no, Leery's plan is out of whack. Better put Aunt Joey back in her place, right? (Pacey puts on his gym shirt.)

DAWSON: (standing up.) Pacey, you're being unfair. I never-

PACEY: Yes, you did. Dawson, if you had stopped dragging Joey along, and leading her on, and changing your mind back and forth, she'd be with *me* right now. Hey, sorry, I'm a little pissed about that. I'm pissed at her, I'm pissed at you, heck, I'm even pissed at Jen for moving to Capeside and disrupting our *picturesque* friendships. (Pacey heads to the door, leaving his locker open.)

DAWSON: Pacey! Come on! You can be mad at me, but don't be mad at Joey. She's just doing what she thinks is best for all of us, what she thinks is right.

PACEY: (opening the door) Dawson, haven't I told you before that sometimes it's right to do the wrong thing? (He walks out. Dawson sits down in the bench, staring at the lockers for a moment while he processes their conversation. He starts to put his shoes, then stops, and puts his head in his hands.)


Students are pouring out of school; final bell rang a few minutes before. "Gold Dust Woman" by Fleetwood Mac is booming on someone's car stereo. Joey comes out of school, and sees Pacey sitting on the steps, alone. She adjusts her backpack, and takes a deep breath. Then she walks over and sits down next to him. He looks at her, startled.

JOEY: (cautiously) Hey...

PACEY: Jo, I don't want to talk.

JOEY: (angrily) Well you have to.

PACEY: No, I don't. (He gets up. Joey stands up, glaring at him.)

JOEY: I don't understand you, Pacey!

PACEY: (starting to walk away) You never did. Why start now?

JOEY: Why are you being such an ass? I didn't want this to end our friendship, Pacey!

PACEY: (turning back to face her, she is on a step higher than him so they're eye to eye.) What friendship, Joey? Up till three weeks ago you hated me. Wouldn't even kiss me for Dawson's movie, remember that? You threw insults at me like stones-

JOEY: (defensive) Where the hell do you get off? Our previous relationship was *my* fault? You certainly did your fair share at putting me down and laughing in my face! (They are screaming at each other now.)

PACEY: So why does this bother you now, huh? We're back to the way we used to be. Isn't that what you wanted? Isn't that why you're going out with Anderson?

JOEY: This is *not* the way things used to be!

PACEY: Yeah, Joey? What the hell is so different now, huh? We're still belittling each other here, we're still fighting-

JOEY: Well that was your choice. I wanted us to be friends. All of us, Dawson too. Dawson knows this is for the best-

PACEY: Dawson doesn't know shit. The only reason he's acting like this is okay is because this means he doesn't have to make a decision about whether he *wants* you or not. He's still just a stupid coward-

JOEY: You have *no* idea what you're even talking about! (She steps down and walks in front of Pacey. He turns, so now he's on the step above her, looking down.)

PACEY: Yes, yes I do! I know exactly what I am talking about! I'm not an idiot, Joey-I know you think so, but I'm not-

JOEY: I never said you were an idiot!

PACEY: Yeah right. Don't even try to deny that, Jo.

JOEY: (stomping her foot on the ground and yelling, even though Pacey's face is only a foot away from hers.)Dammit, Pacey! Can't you understand that I only said those things because it's just what we did? We accepted that as out relationship! I didn't *mean* them at all! (Pacey falls silent and looks at her. She is near tears. He starts to walk away.) Pacey!

PACEY: (bitterly) Your boyfriend's here. (He gestures to the parking lot.) Don't keep him waiting. (He stalks off, and Joey watches him leave. She turns to the parking lot, to see Anderson walking towards her from the parking lot. Abby, who has witnessed this entire scene from the doorway of the school, watches as Anderson approaches Joey. Curious, she runs after Pacey, determined to find out who he is and what's going on. The scene shifts to them.)


ABBY: (stopping, slightly breathless, next to Pacey.) Hey, Pacey. What's going on?

PACEY: It's none of your business-do you even know what that means?

ABBY: As a matter of fact I do, but it's never stopped me before. (Pacey stops and looks at her. She looks back at Joey.) Who was the guy?

PACEY: (tightly) Anderson Crawford.

ABBY: Oh, *real* helpful. Where's he from, what's he doing here, why's he talking to *Joey*? (She glances back at Anderson, who is now talking to a depressed Joey. She tilts her head, checking him out.)

PACEY: Okay, I can play your game: He's from New York, he's visiting Joey cause he's her boyfriend. (Abby's head flies around, stunned.)

ABBY: *Boyfriend*? How the hell did someone like *Joey Potter* get a guy like that? He's *fine*! (Pacey rolls his eyes. Abby raises her eyebrow questioningly.) Is he rich?

PACEY: Shut up, Abby.

ABBY: (thinking) So, he's the guy who stole your precious Joey from right under your nose, isn't he? God, both you and Dawson must want to kill him. (Pacey starts to walk away.)

PACEY: You don't even know anything about it-

ABBY: Yeah right, Pacey. I know it all. I have contacts. Little Miss Potter wanted movie boy, he wanted Jen, you wanted her. Leery found out Joey liked him, wanted both girls, Joey found out you liked her, and wanted both guys, right? Then she found the hottie over there and left both you *and* Dawson in the dust? Poor babies, I don't know how you'll cope without the queen of white trash to keep you company.

PACEY: (angry) You know what, Abby? Die. (He stalks off. Abby laughs, knowing she was right.)

ABBY: You're stupid to let someone like Joey Potter control your life, Witter! (Pacey keeps going, not looking back.) The scene cuts back to Joey and Anderson.)


Anderson walks up to Joey, smiling. She looks like she wants to run away and hide. She quickly wipes her eyes of the tears that were building. Joey paints a large, fake smile on her face as he comes closer. He's wearing khakis and a nice polo blue shirt. He comes up the steps to her.

ANDERSON: Surprise!

JOEY: You're here early!

ANDERSON: Yep-hope you don't mind. I couldn't wait to see you.

JOEY: (trying to seem happy) It's nice to see you too.

ANDERSON: So, how are you?

JOEY: Good as I can be, I guess. How are you?

ANDERSON: (smiling) Great. I'm even better now that I'm here. (He takes her hands and squeezes them.) Did you miss me?

JOEY: (rolling her eyes to cover up the fact that all she's been thinking about is Pacey) Of *course* I did. Don't be stupid. (Anderson laughs slightly and leans over, kissing her on the lips. When he breaks away, Joey opens her eyes and blushes slightly. He gestures towards the parking lot.)

ANDERSON: Come on. Let's go. We can get something to eat. (Joey nods, faintly smiling.)

JOEY: Okay... (He holds her hand as they slowly walk out to the parking lot, where Anderson's black Mercedes Benz is parked. She gets a couple of confused, envious looks as Anderson opens the passenger side door for her and she climbs in. He takes his keys from his pocket as he walks to the driver's side and gets in.)


OL: "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac.

Dawson is working on something at his computer. He seems to be having trouble concentrating on his work. Frustrated, he grabs a book from the desktop and stands up. He opens it and flops onto his bed, leaving the computer on. He tries to read for a minute, then closes the book and tosses it to the floor. He runs his hands through his hair, ready to scream. A clang is heard from the window, and he sits up expectantly.

DAWSON: Joey? (The curtains part, and Jen steps in. She smiles.)

JEN: Sorry to disappoint. Your parents were making out on the front porch, so I decided it was time to make use of that ladder. (She pauses) It's great to see that things are good between them again. (Dawson smiles.)

DAWSON: Yeah. They still have their moments...but things are getting back to normal after the whole *Bob* thing.

JEN: (meaningfully) It's nice that she got a second chance. (Dawson doesn't pick up on how Jen thinks that applies to their relationship. He walks back to his computer and sits down.)

DAWSON: I can't take this. I have to write this paper for English and I can't concentrate.

JEN: Why?

DAWSON: Why do I have to write the paper?

JEN: (laughing) No, why can't you concentrate? (She sits down on his bed. He looks at her.)

DAWSON: Because of something Pacey said to me today.

JEN: (curious) What?

DAWSON: We were in the locker room before gym, and he starts going off about Joey, so I defend her.

JEN: Uh-huh...

DAWSON: (standing up) So he says that the only reason I'm defending her is that I'm happy I don't have to deal with her feelings for me or my feelings for her anymore. Can you believe that? (Jen starts to speak but he continues.) I mean, how could he think that? All I can *think* about is Joey. Every time I see her...every time she's even *near* me...I never should've told her I wanted to wait...I should've told her I wanted to be more than friends.

JEN: Well why didn't you?

DAWSON: Cause I was scared. Can you believe that? I threw away my *best friend's love* just like that. I told a beautiful, smart, talented, funny, *wonderful* girl that I know *so* well...that I wasn't ready to start anything with her. How could I have been so stupid?

JEN: (annoyed) If this is how you feel, then why are you keeping it a secret? Why don't you tell her?

DAWSON: (flopping onto the bed with a sigh) I can't. I told Joey that I only wanted to be friends. She has Anderson now. And if not Anderson, she has Pacey. I messed up, and I have to live with that. I can't jerk her around anymore. I couldn't make her happy anymore. Things have changed. (Jen sighs and stands up.)

JEN: Yeah, they have. (She simply walks to the window and climbs out. Dawson looks surprised and sits up.)

DAWSON: Where are you going? (But she is gone. He just lets out a deep breath and lays back down on the bed.)


Bodie is standing in the doorway to the kitchen, talking angrily to one of the other employees. Joey and Anderson walk in, and Bodie gives her a smile. The girl Bodie is talking to turns and looks at Joey viciously. Bodie resumes talking to her, in an angry, hushed and tense tone. The restaurant is pretty busy. Anderson looks around him. Joey is in a better mood than before.

ANDERSON: So, you work here?

JOEY: Yeah. My sister and her boyfriend own it. I waitress.

ANDERSON: Sounds like it could be fun. (Joey shoots him a look of disgust)

JOEY: You have no idea. Work here for one day and I'm sure you'll want to cut your ear off.

ANDERSON: Van Gogh must have had a side job like this then. (Joey laughs a little)

JOEY: Yeah, I can picture him in a waitressing uniform. (thinking) Hey, speaking of genius did you bring your violin with you? (Anderson smiles.)

ANDERSON: Genius? I think not. But I did bring it with me. It's in the trunk. (Joey smiles back at him.)

JOEY: You're going to play for me later, right?

ANDERSON: I'll do anything you want me to. (Bodie hears him say this as he walks over to Joey.)

BODIE: I wouldn't say that if I were you. Joey might get out of hand. She loves to boss people around. (Joey sticks her tongue out at Bodie and Anderson laughs. Bodie outstretches his hand to Anderson.) Hi, you must be Anderson. I'm Bodie. I'm sort of like Joey's brother-in-law.

JOEY: Sort of. (Bodie smiles as Anderson shakes his hand.)

BODIE: Speaking of which, do you know if Bessie is still home? I just fired one of your so-called co-workers, Jo.

JOEY: You fired Alison? Great! (Bodie laughs)

BODIE: Not so great. We need someone to fill her place quickly. Bessie is gonna have to come in tonight to do it. I hope she didn't take Alexander shopping. (He heads back to the kitchen to call her.) Oh, Jo, I remember you saying your friend, Jen was looking for a job. Tell her this is hers if she wants it. I have to go call Bess. Have fun, you two.

ANDERSON: Nice to meet you!

BODIE: Nice to meet you too, Anderson. (He disappears from the room. Anderson turns to Joey with a smile.)



Jen is slowly walking down the path towards the water, looking sullen. She stops at the bank of the creek, glancing back towards Dawson's window. Part of her wished that Dawson had come after her, to find out what's wrong. But he didn't. Jen sighs and gazes out at the water. In the background, Pacey can be seen walking up behind her. He stops just short of where she is standing, and she senses his presence. Jen turns to him, her hair flying about her face.

JEN: Hey, Pacey...

PACEY: Hey. Whatcha doing out here?

JEN: (looking out to the creek) Oh, nothing important. I was at Dawson's. (Pacey doesn't reply.) He was going on and on about Joey...and I couldn't take it. I just left. (She pauses.) How are you...with the whole thing?

PACEY: By "the whole thing" I can safely assume you mean Joey, right? (Jen nods.) You want an honest answer?

JEN: That bad, huh?

PACEY: (sitting down on the bench)'s that bad. (Jen walks over and sits next to him.) Today...after school we had this huge, *horrible* fight, on the steps outside. We were literally screaming at each other. (He stops, as if speaking is hurting him.) I said some pretty awful things. I'll be surprised if she ever talks to me again. (Jen starts to speak, but he continues.) I don't even know what or who I'm mad at anymore.

JEN: (confused) I don't understand.

PACEY: I guess I'm mostly mad at myself.

JEN: Why? PACEY: I shouldn't have let myself fall so hard for her. I knew I couldn't have her. She's been in love with Dawson for as long as I can remember. (He pauses again, smiling a little.) When we were really young, we used to play house and all that stuff...Dawson and Joey would always be the married couple...I was always their kid. (He sighs.) I was always the one left out. I hated being the third wheel. I still hate it.

JEN: Oh, Pacey...

PACEY: Dawson and Joey have something special...whether they realize it now or not. And I can't have that. Not with her. I thought...after that day we spent together...and she finally kissed me back when I kissed her...I thought I had a chance. Dawson had told her he wanted nothing but friendship...I figured that left the door open for me, just a tiny bit. If I could just get Joey to look at me the way she looks at Dawson...even if she just looked that way once...I was stupid to get my hopes up so high.

JEN: (quietly) You really love her, don't you?

PACEY: (laughing slightly) Hey, no one's more surprised about it than me. I mean, I'm the one who spent my entire life telling everyone I hated Joey Potter's guts. I guess it was just an unconscious way of protecting myself.

JEN: How do you mean?

PACEY: I knew she'd never love me back. I couldn't let her know how I felt. But after that biology project we worked on was like someone opened the flood gate. I let her know how I feel...and even though she rejected me and I acted like I didn't care...I couldn't keep my emotions inside anymore. (He stands up.) And now we're back to the way we used to be. Except this time the hostilities aren't in jest. (Jen stands up too and moves close to Pacey, looking him straight in the eyes.)

JEN: You *have* to tell her, Pacey. Everything you told me. You can't run away just because you get scared about how you feel. (She looks at Dawson's window meaningfully.) You have to tell her before it's too late. Trust me, I know. (Pacey is thinking.) Go over to her house, now.

PACEY: She's probably out with Anderson still.

JEN: Well write her a letter and leave it on her desk. (She pushes him in the general direction of Joey's house.) You have to do something now before you get cold feet. (Pacey glances back at her as he starts to walk away, unsure.) Go!

PACEY: K, k, I'm going. (He laughs a little at Jen's insistence and walks away. Jen sighs and looks up to Dawson's window again. He is back working at his computer.)


The front door opens to reveal a frantic looking Bessie. She is dressed in her Ice House uniform and she has curlers in her hair. Alexander is wailing from his baby seat in the kitchen. Pacey flashes her a charming smile, and she looks relieved to see him.

BESSIE: Pacey! Great! The perfect person! (She practically yanks him inside, slamming the door behind him.)

PACEY: Me? Perfect? If you insist.

BESSIE: (quickly) No, I meant you're the perfect person to do the job.

PACEY: (confused) What job?

BESSIE: Bodie finally had it with one of the girls at work and kicked her to the curb. And although I'm happy he finally did it, this means we're shorthanded and *I* need to go down there and pick up the slack. Joey's out on a date and Bodie didn't have the heart to ask her to work. (She hurries around the kitchen, taking her rollers out of her hair and trying to fix Alex's baby bottle.) I don't want to take Alex with me. Could you watch him? (Pacey is taken aback.) Please? If you do this I'll love you forever! Alex already loves you-you're great with him. (She tosses her curlers to the table.) You're the only person I can trust.


BESSIE: Great! (She kisses him on the cheek and then kisses Alex.) Then you'll do it? I knew I could count on you. Bye-bye, Alex, Mommy will see you later! (She tickles his stomach but he doesn't stop crying. She fluffs her hair and runs to the door, flustered.) His bottle's ready, emergency numbers are by the phone, first aid kit under the kitchen sink, baby supplies in the bathroom, I'll be at the Ice House till eleven if you need me. (She races out.) Thanks, Pacey! I owe you one! (She hops into the truck and drives off. Pacey stands there, stunned, processing what she said. Alexander's sobs break through his daze. He walks to the baby and picks him up, looking him in the eyes. The cries cease temporarily, then start up again, even louder than before.)

PACEY: Yeah, sorry, kid, you're stuck with me. It must be horrible to know your life is in the hands of the world's biggest screw-up, huh? (He holds Alex in his arms and looks around the room, not sure what to do next.)


INT.ICE HOUSE.EVENING The restaurant is crowded. Anderson and Joey are seated at the counter, eating ice cream sundaes. The side door flies open, and Bessie runs in. She heads straight to the kitchen, yelling hi to Joey as she hurries past. Joey smiles and gives her a useless wave, since Bessie has already disappeared. She turns to Anderson.

JOEY: That was my sister. She's a little...*stressed*. All the time.

ANDERSON: (smiling) As I can see. (Bessie runs back in, tying an apron on as she rushes to serve a couple that has just sat down. The door opens again, and Jen comes into the restaurant. She still looks sad and lonely-not her usual self. Joey spots her and flags her over. Joey's own mood hasn't changed much, but it looks like she's gotten the hang of acting like she's having a great time. Jen sees Joey and heads towards her.)

JOEY: Hey, Jen.

JEN: Hi Joey. Hi Anderson. Nice to see you again.

ANDERSON: Nice to see you too. How are you doing?

JEN: (lying), how are you?

ANDERSON: I'm great, actually. (He smiles at Joey. Jen forces a smile as Joey pretends not to notice Anderson's eyes on her. Jen moves closer to Joey. She looks a little nervous.)

JEN: Jo...I hate to interrupt, but...can I talk to you for a minute? It's really important. (Joey looks almost relieved.)

JOEY: Okay. I'll be right back, Anderson. (Anderson nods, and Jen pulls Joey off to the side. Anderson lets out a long breath and looks around him, feeling uncomfortable since he knows no one else. As soon as Jen pulls Joey far enough away so Anderson can't hear, she begins to talk.)

JEN: are things going?

JOEY: (laughing) And here I thought you were going to say something *dramatic.* (Jen waits for an answer) Things are going fine. I mean, he's a great guy and all...

JEN: I sense a "but" coming on...

JOEY: (defensive) There isn't any "but". (They are both silent for a second.)

JEN: Anyway...I ran into Pacey earlier...

JOEY: (uncomfortable) Oh...

JEN: He was pretty upset. He told me...about what happened between you two today. In front of school?

JOEY: (looking down at the ground.) Oh...he did... What did he say? (Jen sighs.)

JEN: He was just talking about how horrible he felt...Joey, you can't think that *this* is the solution. Dawson's upset over this too.

JOEY: He is not. He's told me numerous times that he thinks I'm doing the right thing.

JEN: Joey, you know him better than anyone else in the world. By now you should be able to tell when he's lying through his teeth. He wants you to be his just as badly as Pacey does, but he knows that he told you he had decided he wanted to stay friends. Dawson thinks that it would be unfair for him to put you in a position in which you'd have to choose between the two of them, especially since he rejected you before.

JOEY: That's not true.

JEN: Joey, listen to me. He *told* me himself. This isn't a hypothesis. It's known fact.

JOEY: Well at least Pacey is *honest* with me about what he feels! Why does Dawson think keeping me in the dark is being *fair*? After all he put me through I have the *right* to know what's really going on.

JEN: Are you saying that you'd rather have Dawson tell you his feelings for you and stick you in the middle again?

JOEY: I *am* in the middle, Jen. Whether Dawson wants a relationship or not. Cause *I'm* the one who likes both of them. This demented little love triangle only exists because I can't decide between the indecisive movie boy and the obnoxious, childhood enemy! God, it would have been so much easier if Pacey had stayed out of it.

JEN: I don't-

JOEY: Face it. If I didn't have all these unexpected feelings for Pacey, Dawson would've told me we were only friends and that would've been that. The only reason Dawson wants me now is because he doesn't want Pacey to have me-

JEN: (defensively) That's not true!

JOEY: Yes it is. And that way I could've kept on going with my life and eventually have gotten over Dawson and maybe then I could be having *fun* on this date!(They are both silent for a moment.) Jen, I know you mean well, but it just wasn't meant to be, okay?

JEN: Right, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, right? (Joey starts to walk away.)

JOEY: You're not a religious person, Jen. You don't believe in a road to hell, remember? (She tries to smile and returns to Anderson. Jen sighs and slowly heads for the door, watching Joey.)

JEN: Maybe I should follow the advice I gave Pacey and tell Dawson *everything* about how I feel... (She leaves. Back at the counter, Anderson looks at her questioningly.)

ANDERSON: What was all that about?

JOEY: (not looking at him, she seems almost guilty-looking) It was nothing. (She goes back to eating her sundae. Anderson looks at her for a minute, as if trying to figure her out. They eat their food in silence.)


Pacey is walking around the room, carrying a crying Alexander. He looks frustrated.

PACEY: Do you ever shut up? (In response, Alex bawls even louder. Pacey rolls his eyes.) It's so clear you're related to Joey. You take joy in tormenting me. (He shakes his head and looks down at the crying infant. There is a knock at the door. Pacey sets Alexander down in his high chair and goes to answer it. He opens up the old, wooden door to reveal Dawson standing on the front porch. He looks at Pacey, surprised.)

DAWSON: Pacey!

PACEY: Hey, Dawson... (Dawson doesn't know what to say.) Joey's not here. I'm watching Alexander for Bessie. (He looks relieved that Pacey hadn't gotten to talk to Joey either. Pacey moves out of the doorway to let Dawson inside. He heads over for Alex.)

DAWSON: How is he?

PACEY: He's fine. (He picks up the child again, his tears subsiding for a moment then starting again.) He won't stop crying.

DAWSON: Does he need to be fed?

PACEY: All ready taken care of. (He looks at Dawson, coldly.) So what are you doing here?

DAWSON: I just stopped by to see if Joey was around.

PACEY: (bitterly) She's out on a date with Anderson. (Alex continues to cry, and it is grating on Dawson's ears.)

DAWSON: Do you think he needs to be changed?

PACEY: I changed him half an hour ago. (The phone rings. Pacey hands Alex to Dawson.) Here, take him into the bathroom and see if he needs to be changed again. The diapers are underneath the counter by the changing table. (He runs to the phone, leaving Dawson to stand there like an idiot. Dawson looks at the kid, and wearily heads towards Joey's bathroom.)

DAWSON: (under his breath) I don't know how to change a diaper! (Pacey picks up the phone)

PACEY: Hello? (pause) No he isn't. May I take a message? (pause) Okay, thanks. I'll tell him. Good-bye. (He hangs up and scrawls something on the notepad next to their phone. He walks to the bathroom.) This is going to be a fun night.


Joey and Anderson are standing on the docks, looking out at the water. The full moon is almost up in the sky, and the last rays of sunlight are fading over the horizon to the west. Joey seems distant, as if her mind is some place else. Anderson can sense this. He turns to her.

ANDERSON: (quietly) Joey, are you okay?

JOEY: (too quickly) Fine! Um...why do you ask?

ANDERSON: It's just ever since I got here you've acted like you'd rather be some place else.

JOEY: (defensively) I have not! (Anderson just looks down at the ground.) Why do you think that I don't want to be here?

ANDERSON: (looking directly into her eyes, taking her hands.) Joey, your body may be here but your thoughts are somewhere different. What's going on? Aren't you having a good time?

JOEY: (laughing nervously) Anderson, of *course* I'm having a good time!

ANDERSON: Then what's the matter? (Joey looks away.) JOEY: Nothing's the matter. (She shivers as a cool breeze passes over them.) I'm getting cold. Do you mind if we stop by my house so I could get changed? (Anderson smiles at her, giving up.)

ANDERSON: Whatever you want. (Joey returns his smile and he takes her hand. They walk down the docks in the direction of Joey's house.)


Pacey is sitting on the couch holding Alex in his arms, gently rocking him back and forth. He is still crying, but more quietly. Dawson comes out of the bathroom, carrying the baby's dirty diaper between two of his fingers, his other hand over his nose. He keeps the diaper as far away from his body as humanly possible. Pacey laughs at him. Dawson tosses it into the garbage can and goes to the sink to wash his hands.

DAWSON: I feel like we're in Three Men and a Baby, Pacey. I had no idea anything could smell *so* horribly bad and be so disgusting. (Pacey laughs again as Dawson dries his hands.)

PACEY: It's all part of taking care of kids, Dawson, my man. Right, Alex? (He tickles Alex's pudgy stomach and the baby giggles, his tears ceasing. Dawson sits down next to Pacey on the couch.)

DAWSON: Hey, you just talked to me as if I was a normal person, Pace. What, no more bitter remarks or insults?

PACEY: (Sheepishly) Listen, Dawson, I'm sorry about earlier today. I was way out of line. (The baby makes a gurgling noise, and Pacey looks down at him smiling.)

DAWSON: Alex really likes you, Pacey. This is the first time he's stopped crying for anyone except Bessie or Bodie.

PACEY: (with mock conceit) Well, what can I say? I'm just the best at everything I do. (He flashes his charming smile at the little baby, who laughs again and kicks his feet in the air. Pacey picks up one of Alex's baby toys, a tiny stuffed dinosaur and shows it to him.) Look, Alex, it's a tyrannosaurus rex... (Just then the front door opens. Pacey and Dawson look up, hopefully, thinking it's Bessie to come relieve them of their duties. They are both alarmed when they realize it's Joey...and Anderson. Joey stops in her tracks as she shuts the door and sees them. Anderson looks at the two guys strangely. Both Dawson and Pacey stand up.

JOEY: Dawson! Pacey! What are you guys doing here?

DAWSON: Oh, um-

PACEY: We're taking care of Alex. Bessie asked us to. (Pacey looks at Joey, then quickly looks away. Anderson steps towards them.)

ANDERSON: Hi...I don't believe we've met before... (He extends his hand to Pacey.) I'm Anderson Crawford.

PACEY: (coldly) Yeah, I've heard a lot about you from Joey. I'm Pacey. (He hands Alex to Dawson and shakes Anderson's hand briskly. He quickly takes back the child as if it's his shield of armor. He walks to the kitchen, throwing a meaningful look at Joey which Anderson notices. Dawson smiles and courteously shakes Anderson's hand after Pacey's rapid departure.)

DAWSON: I'm Dawson-we met last time you were in town.

ANDERSON: Right, right. You and Jen still going out? (Anderson knew the answer, but was trying to make conversation.)

DAWSON: Oh, no, we broke up. Awhile ago.

ANDERSON: Oh, sorry to hear that. (Dawson shrugs)

DAWSON: It's okay. It was for the best. I think. (He looks at Joey. She is watching Pacey tend to Alex in the kitchen. Anderson turns to her.)

ANDERSON: Joey? I thought you were going to get changed. (Joey looks at him, confused for a second.)

JOEY: What? Oh! Oh, right! Right... (she pauses) I'll be right back. (All three boys watch her go to the stairs and retreat up to her bedroom. Then they all stand there awkwardly, not sure what to say.)


DAWSON: (shifting his feet) Yeah....

ANDERSON: (getting an idea) Oh! Joey told me that you're really into movies, Dawson.

DAWSON: (smiling) Yeah. Aspiring film-maker. Spielberg is my idol.

ANDERSON: Well, I think that's great. From what Joey says, it sounds like you've got a lot of talent. Joey mentioned something about a monster movie for the Boston Film Festival. Did you enter it?

DAWSON: Yeah, I-(Pacey interrupts just as the conversation was getting some momentum.)

PACEY: What did she do, Anderson? Read you Dawson's biography? (Anderson is taken aback. He tries to think of a reply, but Joey comes running back downstairs. She is still wearing the same shirt, but has put on a pair of jeans and a jacket. She heads to the kitchen.)

JOEY: I'm almost ready. Just let me get something to drink and we'll go. (She walks towards the fridge. Pacey moves to get out of her way, but their arms lightly brush against one another's. Joey opens the fridge and pulls out a container of milk. Not thinking, Pacey gets her out a glass and hands it to her. She takes it, letting her fingers rest on his for a moment as it is passed from him to her. She smiles faintly.) Thanks.

PACEY: (softly) You're welcome. (Their eyes lock for a moment, their apologies for the fight earlier going unsaid. Then Pacey turns away, embarrassed. He glances at Dawson and Anderson, who have been watching this little scene. Dawson looks down, but Anderson eyes Joey suspiciously. Pacey quickly picks up Alexander. The child smiles as Pacey lifts him gently into the air.) Hey, buddy! What do ya say? How 'bout we go for a walk? You and me? (Alex giggles as Pacey tickles him.) Oo, I think that was a yes. Dawson, you wanna come? (Dawson doesn't look at Pacey.)

DAWSON: Nah...I'll...stay here. That way when Anderson and Joey leave the house won't need to be locked up. (Pacey nods and smiles at Alexander. Alex's hands fly out to touch Pacey's face.)

PACEY: Good plan. Always thinking. (He heads for the door.) Well, I'm just going to go then...make sure that if Bessie gets home early to tell her I'm just taking Alex for a quick walk on the beach and I'll be right back. (He opens the door, glancing at Dawson and Anderson wearily. He avoids Joey's eyes.) Um...I'll see you all later. (He ducks out. Dawson looks at Joey, who was focused on Pacey. She feels his eyes on her and turns, their eyes meeting. She shakes her head and blinks, as if trying to knock herself out of a trance.)

ANDERSON: (slowly) Joey...ready to go? (She looks at him, his words not registering.)

JOEY: Huh?

ANDERSON: (looking at her strangely, a bit annoyed) Ready to go? (She nods.)

JOEY: Oh. Oh yeah. Right. I am. (She stutters as she speaks, then she gives up and just smiles.) Let's go. Bye, Dawson. (Anderson follows her outside.)

ANDERSON: Yeah, nice seeing you again.

DAWSON: You too. (He waves as the door shuts. Dawson sits down on the couch, looking around Joey's small, cramped house. He sighs deeply, then falls sideways, laying on the couch.) What am I going to do now? (He runs his hands through his hair, frustrated.)



Dawson walks up the stairs and stops in Joey's doorway. He stands there, just observing her room. Cautiously, he steps inside, and walks over to her dresser. Lightly, he runs his fingers over her things, thinking. His thoughts are interrupted when Pacey pops his head into the room.

PACEY: What are you doing?

DAWSON: (quietly) Just...thinking... (Pacey walks inside and stands next to Dawson. Dawson lets out a deep breath.) It's been such a long time since I've been here, Pacey. Everything looks so different. (He nervously eyes a pile of Joey's clean laundry, her underclothes stacked on top. He turns his attention back to her dresser. His eyes fall on some makeup she had left out. He shakes his head.)

PACEY: (confused) But you're her best friend. (Dawson looks at himself in the mirror.)

DAWSON: But she always comes to my house. We rarely ever come here. Especially since Alex was born.

PACEY: Speaking of the little devil, he's asleep downstairs in his crib. (Dawson nods and looks at the things on Joey's bookshelves. He touches Joey's copy of E.T. and slips his fingers across the bindings of her books, reading the titles to himself, puzzled. He stops as he reads the labels of her cds.)

DAWSON: What is this? *Celine Dion*? *Brandy*? *Trisha Yearwood*? (Pacey looks at him oddly.)

PACEY: Yeah...?

DAWSON:'s just...among other titles like the Smashing Pumpkins, Ani DiFranco and The Counting Crows, they seem a little...*out of place*...that's all...and certainly not what I thought Joey would listen to.

PACEY: Just because she can beat the crap out of a football player doesn't mean she can't listen to Celine Dion.

DAWSON: But it's *Joey*! She didn't even cry at Titanic. (Pacey laughs, and wanders towards the window to look out onto the creek.)

PACEY: But I can guarantee you when she came home she played "My Heart Will Go On" over and over. (Dawson looks confused.) Look, Dawson...every girl, however macho they may be, still has a side that likes the mushy love stuff. Though she may not admit it, Joey likes romantic movies, takes pleasure in dressing up, and still hopes her knight in shining armor will come along and rescue her someday. Just as you have a secret side that actually *enjoyed* watching Waiting to Exhale, Joey has a side that is just as sappy as the girliest-girl there is. (Dawson looks at Pacey.)

DAWSON: I did *not* enjoy Waiting to Exhale! (Pacey just pats Dawson on his shoulder.)

PACEY: Keep denying it, Dawson. *I* liked it too if it makes you feel any better. (Dawson pulls a cd off of Joey's shelf.)

DAWSON: But how do you explain this? (He hands it to Pacey.) The soundtrack to Pete's Dragon? (Pacey becomes quiet, a bit sad.)

PACEY: Her mom used to sing her that "Candle on the Water" song. When she was little. (Dawson's face falls as Pacey hands him back the cd. He looks at it.)

DAWSON: I never knew that. I thought she told me everything about her mom....(Just then, a cry erupts from downstairs. Pacey heads out to go get Alexander.)

PACEY: Dawson, maybe you don't know Joey as well as you think you do. (Pacey goes downstairs, leaving Dawson standing there, looking at the cd. He notices a picture of Pacey sitting on the edge of Joey's mirror.)

DAWSON: (to himself) Maybe you're right, Pacey. Maybe I don't even know her at all... (He sets the cd down and walks out.)


Dawson comes downstairs, looking tired. He walks to the kitchen and gets a glass of water. Pacey is sitting on the couch. Dawson looks at him, stunned.

DAWSON: Alex is already back to sleep?

PACEY: (nodding) Yeah... (he yawns) He just dropped his pacifier and wanted it back. Now he's out cold. Maybe now I can have some peace and quiet! (He stretches. Dawson sits on the other end of the couch.)

DAWSON: I never could have imagines taking care of a baby could be so tiring.

PACEY: I don't know how Bessie does it every day...all day... (He rubs his forehead, sighing. The room is deadly quiet.)

DAWSON: (meekly) Pace, can I ask you something?

PACEY: What?

DAWSON: Do you love her? (Pacey looks at him seriously)

PACEY: Yes. (He pauses) Do you?

DAWSON: I think so.

PACEY: So where does that leave us?

DAWSON: We're rivals.

PACEY: Enemies?

DAWSON: No...friends. Just competitors for Joey's attention. (Pacey nods and leans back, closing his eyes.)

PACEY: Kay. I can deal with that. (He murmurs as he starts to fall asleep) But until Anderson is out of the picture we won't have to deal with *that* at all... (Dawson closes his eyes too.)

DAWSON: No...we won't... (Both the guys drift off as the shot draws back to reveal the whole room. It seems oddly peaceful, as if at last the ordeal has started to come to and end.)


Anderson and Joey are walking through the park. Anderson seems slightly pissed about something, but Joey's so far gone into her own little world she doesn't even notice. Fed up, he stops her, forcing her to look at him.

ANDERSON: Joey, *what* is going on?

JOEY: (defensive) What do you mean?

ANDERSON: You *know* what I mean! With that Pacey guy! And Dawson! They both couldn't keep their eyes off you...and I didn't notice you keeping your eyes off them!

JOEY: Anderson-

ANDERSON: Look, Joey, just be honest with me here. For once. (He looks directly into her eyes.) You didn't choose me *over* them, did you. You chose me just so you wouldn't have to decide *between* them.

JOEY: Anderson, I-

ANDERSON: owe me the truth at least. *Please* tell me the truth. Am I just being used here?

JOEY: You have to understand-(He looks at her warningly) Yes. I guess you are. (Anderson looks let down.) But Anderson...I really *do* like you...I didn't mean for you to just be a solution to my problems...I thought I was choosing you over them. That if I could just go out with you...I'd love you instead of them, and they'd forget about me. And we could go on with our lives... (She touches Anderson's face, looking at him pleadingly. He puts his hand over hers.)

ANDERSON: Joey...even after everything you've put me through...I still love you. I fell in love with you the instant I saw you, as silly as that sounds. Even if you don't love me... (She starts to speak, but he cuts her off.) A person can't help who they love, Jo. (He backs away from her.) Maybe it's time you decided who it is that is lucky enough to have *your* love... (He turns to walk away.)

JOEY: Anderson-!

ANDERSON: I know, Joey...I know. Give me a call sometime, okay? If your heart is ever free again. (Joey just nods, and he leaves. She stands there, alone in the empty park, knowing it's time to decide between her best friends.)


The front door slowly opens and Joey creeps in. The house is dark, except for one light on in the kitchen. Bessie is tiptoeing around the kitchen, making herself something to eat. She sees Joey and goes to her.

BESSIE: (whispering) Hi, Joey. How was your date?

JOEY: We're through. He's going back to New York. (Bessie looks at her stunned.) Just...don't ask questions. I'm fine with it. It's a complicated story. Why are we whispering? (They walk into the kitchen and Bessie takes a pan off the stove, transferring her scrambled eggs to a plate. Bessie heads for her bedroom.)

BESSIE: Bodie and Alex are asleep. (She motions to the couch, where Dawson and Pacey are practically unconscious.) Alex must have tired your friends out. I called their parents and they said to just let them sleep. I'm heading to bed. If I eat in here I'm sure to wake them up. (She smiles at her sister and kisses her forehead.) Let me know if you feel like talking, Jo. (Joey nods with a half smile, and Bessie leaves. She walks closer to her two sleeping friends and gazes at their peaceful faces.)

JOEY: (whispering) I love you... (She runs her fingers through Dawson's hair lightly, then gently caresses Pacey's cheek.) If only I knew which one of you I was saying it to. (She backs away. Joey takes one last look at them and goes upstairs to bed slowly.)


Previous | Next

Email Laura

Back to Laura's Stories | Back to Fan Fiction | Back to the Main Page

This page has been visited times.