Heartbreak Hotel by: Laura

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OL: "Tempted" by Squeeze. Joey and Dawson are laying on his bed, watching TV. Dawson goes to wrap his arm around Joey's shoulders, which startles her. She jumps, then smiles. She looks completely uncomfortable and awkward, and incredibly guilty. Dawson eyes her, feeling her tense up under his arm. He turns off the TV.

DAWSON: Okay, Joey, what's going on?

JOEY: (quickly) What's going on? Nothing's going on.

DAWSON: Are you feeling okay? You look like you're about to throw up.

JOEY: Thanks, Dawson.

DAWSON: I didn't mean it as an insult, Joey. (He looks at her curiously.) Are you sure you're okay?

JOEY: Yes, Dawson, fine! God, when I say I'm *fine*, I'm fine, all right? (Dawson leans back against his pillows, still concerned. Joey bites her lip, obviously feeling horrible.) Let's just watch the movie, okay? (Dawson shrugs, and turns the TV back on.)

DAWSON: Okay, back to Liar, Liar it is then. (Joey turns her attention to the television screen, not even daring to let Dawson see the expression on her face.)



OL: "Tempted" by Squeeze continues. Pacey is at his locker, attempting to dig out a notebook from the bottom of the massive mess. Some papers fall to the floor. Pacey is about to grab them when someone picks them up and hands them to him. He looks up and sees Joey standing there, awkwardly. He quickly averts his eyes and looks around the hall self-consciously, almost as if he think everyone knows what happened between him and his best friend's girlfriend. Joey takes a deep breath and lets it out.

JOEY: Pacey...

PACEY: We need to talk.

JOEY: Yes, we *seriously* need to talk.

PACEY: I mean, we need to clear the air here. I can't live like this.

JOEY: No, neither can I. (They nod at each other, trying to think of something to say.)

PACEY: Do you want to go somewhere to talk?

JOEY: Meet me in the library during third period.

PACEY: In the back so no one will notice-

JOEY: Or hear us.

PACEY: Good plan. So...

JOEY: So. See you then.

DAWSON: See you, when? (Joey jumps a mile, whirling around to find herself face to face with Dawson. She tenses up.)

JOEY: Dawson! Hi! I've been...looking for you.

DAWSON: I've been looking for you! Where've you been all morning? (Dawson smiles at her fondly, nudging her with his shoulder playfully. Joey searches for an answer to his question.)

JOEY: Where've I been? I don't know...around, I guess. Uh...we must have just missed each other.

DAWSON: Yeah, we must have. How was your Spanish Club meeting? (Joey looks at him blankly.)

JOEY: Spanish Club? (Dawson looks back at her, confused.)

DAWSON: Yeah...Spanish Club? The meeting? You said you couldn't walk to school with me today because you had to get here early for it?

JOEY: (laughing nervously) Yeah, right, the Spanish Club meeting. Um, it was fine. (Dawson starts to say something else when Joey sees Erik down the hallway.) Oh, there's Erik...I...I was supposed to give him some information...so...

DAWSON: (suspiciously) Information on what?

JOEY: (stammering) Uh...the Spanish Club, actually...he was uh...thinking of joining or something. I'll...I'll see you later! (She turns and walks down the hall, sighing. She mutters something under her breath.) I can't keep this up anymore... (Dawson watches her leave, then turns to Pacey with a puzzled expression on his face.)

DAWSON: Have you noticed how weird Joey's been acting for the last few days?


DAWSON: Joey. She's been walking around like she's on pins and needles, like she's afraid of something.

PACEY: Uh...no, I haven't noticed anything at all. (Pacey looks at his watch.) Well, look at the time. I gotta go. See ya, Dawson. (He hurries away, leaving Dawson standing by Pacey's open locker, more baffled than ever. Dawson shuts the locker and heads to first period as the bell rings.)


OL: "X-ray Eyes" by Guster. Joey is sitting at a table in the back of the library, alone. It's a bit gloomy, since she's not near any windows. Anxiously, she starts tapping her pencil against her binder, humming lowly. After a few minutes of that, she drops the pencil to the table and puts her hands in her lap, starting to tap her feet up and down. All of a sudden Pacey takes a seat next to her and she is startled. She jumps again, on edge.

JOEY: Don't scare me like that, Pacey.

PACEY: Sorry. (he looks around, making sure no one is around to eavesdrop.)

JOEY: Okay, about what happened, that other night-

PACEY: Totally shouldn't have happened.

JOEY: No kidding. It was-

PACEY: Stupid.

JOEY: Idiotic.

PACEY: Didn't mean *anything*.

JOEY: It meant *something*.

PACEY: (surprised) What did it mean?

JOEY: Well it didn't *mean* anything but it's not, like, not important. Cause it is-

PACEY: Important. I know that. Yeah. (They both pause.) It was just a freak of nature sort of thing. I mean, you're not attracted to me, *obviously*, I'm not attracted to you, it was just-

JOEY: Hormones. It had to be. I'm perfectly happy with Dawson.

PACEY: Which is why you can't tell him.

JOEY: Right. No! Wrong. I have to tell him.

PACEY: If you tell him, he's gonna freak, Jo. He's gonna kill me, kill you...well, not literally.

JOEY: Maybe literally.

PACEY: Anyway, why do we have to tell him what happened? It was just a mistake. It's never going to happen again.

JOEY: Yeah, never.

PACEY: Exactly.

JOEY: What he doesn't know can't hurt him, right?

PACEY: That's my point.

JOEY: Yes. So we're agreed then?

PACEY: On what?

JOEY: Not doing it. Telling him, I mean.

PACEY: Oh, right, right. We're all set with that. (They both sit silently, not feeling any better. Joey suddenly throws her hands to her forehead with a loud sigh.)

JOEY: No, we're *not* all set. Pacey, that kiss...that kiss that we shared. It was something major. I betrayed Dawson, you betrayed Dawson, and for what? A stupid, worthless kiss? And we don't even like each other!

PACEY: Maybe we can blame it on, like, a full moon or a weird chemical in the air or something. Think he'd buy it?

JOEY: We are so dead.

PACEY: How will Dawson ever know if we don't tell him? No one saw us, no one knows about it but us...as long as we keep out mouths shut, we'll go on being enemies, you two can be perfect couple of the month and the D-man and I will be friends.

JOEY: We'll just be dishonest back-stabbers.

PACEY: On the other hand, we could tell him, he'd dump you, probably punch me, never speak to either one of us again and we're both out of a best friend.

JOEY: But we'll have been honest. (Pacey rolls his eyes and gets up. He leans close to her.)

PACEY: Weigh the options, Joey, do the math. What do you think is the best option out of those two? (He starts walking out, but Joey gets up and runs after him.)

JOEY: Pacey, it's not morally right! (Pacey whispers to her in a tense tone.)

PACEY: *Morals*? Jo, don't you think it's a little late for that? A secret passionate lip lock in the park wasn't exactly what I'd call *moral*, yet it happened so don't lecture me on the value of morals.

JOEY: It was not passionate. (Pacey glares at her.) I didn't even feel anything when you kissed me.

PACEY: Really.

JOEY: Yes, stop looking at me like that.

PACEY: (defensively) Like what?

JOEY: Like that!

GIRL IN LIBRARY: Shhhhhhh! (Pacey and Joey jump slightly, and Pacey grabs Joey by the elbow and drags her out of the library.)

PACEY: If you didn't feel anything when we kissed, I'd like for you to clarify a few things for me. Your hands were underneath my shirt, Joey. Your tongue was in my mouth. You were completely into it. And if that's what you're like when you don't feel anything? God, I don't want to see you when you *do* feel something for someone.

JOEY: What are you getting at, Pacey? That I have a secret lust for you? (She rolls her eyes) Now wouldn't that boost your ego.

PACEY: Cut the crap, Joey. (Joey stops, looking at him, a bit surprised by his angered tone.) We are in a dangerous zone here, in case you haven't noticed. We are playing with our best friend's emotions and we don't have time to screw it up more than we already have.

JOEY: (angry) You don't think I know that? How can you think I am not aware of the fact that-

PACEY: Cause we can't go on like this if we're going to keep that kiss a secret, Joey.

JOEY: You're right, Pacey, we can't. (She turns and walks away.) That's why I am officially *not* speaking to you.

PACEY: What?

JOEY: That way I don't have to see you, talk to you, deal with you, or anything at all.

PACEY: Come on, Joey-that's not what I wanted.

JOEY: (shrugging) Too bad, cause that's what I want. (She just glares at him and turns away, hurrying down the stairs to the first floor of the school. Pacey stands there, feeling worse than ever.)


(OL continues) Jen is sitting next to Joey, who is trying very hard to focus on doing her homework. She's pressing the pencil so hard against the paper that the tip breaks. Angry and frustrated, she throws the pencil onto the desk and runs her hands through her hair, exasperated. Jen looks at her questioningly.)

JEN: Jo, is something wrong?

JOEY: No, everything's fine.

JEN: Dawson was telling me...I mean, he thinks something's bothering you. Is it your dad?

JOEY: (tightly) No.

JEN: Did I do something?

JOEY: (snorting) No.

JEN: Is it Dawson?


JEN: Are you fighting with Pacey again?

JOEY: What is this, an interrogation? Where are the bright lights shining in my face and the built-up police detectives in trench coats? (Jen raises her eyebrows at her friend, knowing for sure something is definitely wrong.)

JEN: Joey, you know, you can talk to me. I'm not going to tell anyone. (Joey gets up, putting her notebooks in her bag hastily.)

JOEY: I can't talk to anyone about this, and certainly not you or Dawson. (Jen looks at her, confused.)

JEN: Where are you going? This period isn't over for five minutes!

JOEY: I have to get out of here. (She races out the door and the teacher looks up from his desk just in time to see her fly out of the room.)

TEACHER: Miss Potter? Miss Potter! Get back here! (She's long gone. The teacher looks at Jen, who is stunned.)


(OL continues) Dawson and Jen are sitting at a lunch table, both puzzled.

DAWSON: So she just got up...and left?

JEN: Yeah, just like that. It was so weird.

DAWSON: I don't understand what's going on. She's been acting like this for almost three days now, and I'm still completely and utterly clueless.

JEN: Same here. And it seems to be getting worse and worse.

DAWSON: I know...I've tried talking to her...but it's like...it's like she's not even there...(Dawson's words drift off as the scene fades to:


Joey is sitting underneath the back of the bleachers, alone. She's been crying, clearly. Erik can be seen walking up the sidewalk in the distance. Joey is sniffling, but she seems to be trying to get her act together. Erik sits down next to her gently, wondering why she's out here alone.

ERIK: (gently) Hey...I saw you out the window from my shop class...what's wrong?

JOEY: Everything. My life is over... (Erik looks at her, than at the ground.)

ERIK: Why would you say that?

JOEY: Because it just is. I've made a mess of everything and I can't go back. (Erik is silent for a moment.)

ERIK: I think I should tell you...I saw you...

JOEY: (still sniffling) Saw me when?

ERIK: With Pacey...in the park that night...I saw everything... (Joey's eyes widen in fear.)

JOEY: And by *everything* I'm assuming you saw-

ERIK: The kiss, right. (Joey just stares at him, not being able to find any words.) Hey listen, I'm not going to rat on you to Dawson or anything, you can trust me...I mean, I guess I was just wondering...

JOEY: Wondering...what?

ERIK: I was wondering...why, you did it. And with Pacey of all people. You've been fighting with him since I met you.

JOEY: I don't even know why I did it. Or why it was Pacey. (She starts to cry again.) I mean, I guess I do. Know.

ERIK: Know, what?

JOEY: (ready to rip her hair out.) Why it was Pacey. Or...maybe not. Or...I don't know! This is so confusing! How do I know?

ERIK: (in singsong) If he really loves me? I say a prayer, with every heart beat, I try to call, but I'm too shy to speak-

JOEY: (laughing hysterically) *What*?

ERIK: (smiling) Sorry, I thought you needed a little bit of a tension breaker.

JOEY: (disbelieving) So you sing a *Whitney Houston* song from the '80's?

ERIK: Hey, why not? You're laughing, aren't you?

JOEY: You are *so* weird. (Erik nods. They're both silent for a moment, the mood slips back into seriousness.) So, seriously though, what am I going to do?

ERIK: The decent thing.

JOEY: I hate decent. Decent brings large amounts of heartbreak and pain.

ERIK: Then maybe you shouldn't have done anything that would result in heartbreak and pain. Actions have consequences. (He pats her on the shoulder and she rolls her eyes.)

JOEY: Stop the after school special talk, Erik. I don't need a mentor, I need a friend.

ERIK: (sighing) Well, as your *friend*, I'm only going to say this. The longer you cover it up, the worse it's going to get. You have to tell Dawson sometime. (Erik shrugs) Who knows, maybe he won't flip out too much. (Joey looks at him.) So? He'll flip out for awhile. (Joey continues to stare at him.) For a long time. Then he'll calm down and he'll forgive you. (Joey looks away, her spirits going unlifted. She kicks at a rock on the ground and watches as it twirls across the dirty sidewalk and disappears into the green grass.)

JOEY: No...he won't...this is gonna end it all and it's all gonna be my fault. (She glances at Erik, wiping the tears away that were forming in her eyes. Erik's face falls, not knowing what to say that can possibly make her feel better. After pondering his options for a moment, Erik tentatively wraps his arm around her comfortingly. She nestles closer, crying into his shoulder, softly. Erik's a bit uncomfortable for a moment, then he relaxes.)

ERIK: It's gonna be okay, Joey. It really is. Dawson will understand.

DAWSON: (harshly) Understand what? (Joey pulls away from Erik quickly to see Dawson standing in front of them on the sidewalk, looking slightly pissed. He looks from Erik to Joey, waiting for an answer.)

JOEY: Dawson! Hi!

ERIK: Um...hey, Dawson. (Dawson looks at Joey, his eyes questioning her intensely. He realizes she's been crying.)

DAWSON: Joey, is something going on I should know about? (Joey stares up at him for a moment, then jumps up, throwing her back pack over her shoulder.)

JOEY: I have to go.

DAWSON: (confused) Joey?

JOEY: I'll...I'll talk to you later, Dawson! (She practically runs away, like a frightened rabbit would run away from a fox. Dawson looks at Erik, his eyes full of concerns mixed with hidden suspicions.)



Jen is sitting on her bed, looking slightly bored. Dawson is pacing back and forth in front of her, looking annoyed. Jen yawns and looks at her watch.

DAWSON: She's hiding something, Jen, I know it.

JEN: Dawson, don't you possibly think you're over-reacting? Just a little?

DAWSON: No. Something is definitely up. And it involves Erik.

JEN: Why Erik?

DAWSON: I came out of school today, and they were hugging. And she was crying.

JEN: So? Joey and I have hugged before and that *definitely* doesn't mean that-

DAWSON: It's different, Jen, and you know it. You don't have a crush on Joey. (Jen looks at him, rolling her eyes.)

JEN: And Erik does?

DAWSON: I think so. (Jen smiles at him.)

JEN: Dawson, you are *so* paranoid. Erik does *not* have a crush on Joey. (Her smile grows a bit teasing) Besides, why would he want her when he's got me practically drooling over him? (Dawson laughs slightly, but then his face returns to a frown. Jen sits up straight and looks at him, seriously.) Look, Dawson, I know Joey's been acting a little weird lately. But I don't think it has anything to do with Erik, okay? Just...blame it on PMS, or maybe she got a bad grade on a test-but don't leap to such high conclusions, all right? Or else you're going to wind up falling flat on your face. (Dawson sighs.)

DAWSON: You're right, you're right. I know. I'm being overly-suspicious and unfair. It's just I don't know Erik that well and I'm a little protective of Joey. I don't want anything to come between us, you know? Cause...I mean, anything happens to us and I lose a lot more than a simple girlfriend. (Jen nods. She gets up off the bed and puts her hand on Dawson's shoulder.)

JEN: Which means, just ask her, Dawson. If something's wrong, she will tell you. Otherwise, just let it go. Don't make it into a bigger deal than it is. (Dawson nods, and he smiles at Jen.)

DAWSON: Thanks, Jen.

JEN: No problem. (She pushes him toward the door.) Now go home and watch a movie. Do something that doesn't involve over-analyzing your relationship with Joey. (Dawson opens the door.)

DAWSON: Okay, I think I can do that. (He gives Jen a small wave good-bye then disappears down the stairs. Jen watches him go, then smiles to herself for a moment. Going to her desk, she takes out her address book and picks up the phone. She dials a number.)

JEN: Hi, this is Jen. Is Erik home?

ERIK'S MOM: No, he's at the Ice House right now, with Joey. May I take a message? (Jen's smiles fades and she's silent for a moment.) Hello?

JEN: Oh, right, sorry, could you just tell him Jen called?

ERIK'S MOM: Sure. Bye now.

JEN: Yeah...bye. (She hangs up, thinking.)


The Ice House is busy. Bessie is behind the counter, but Joey and Erik are nowhere to be seen. Jen walks in, searching the crowd for her two friends. When she realizes they're not there, she sighs and walks to Bessie. Bessie smiles at her.

BESSIE: Hi, Jen. What can I get for you today?

JEN: How about a cute guy named Erik? (Bessie laughs.)

BESSIE: Yeah, he is a cutie isn't he? (Bessie points to the door.) He and Joey just went to the docks. Be careful of Joey though-she's having some sort of *teenage crisis* or something and she almost killed me at least twice today already. (Jen nods.)

JEN: Thanks, Bessie.

BESSIE: No problem. (Jen walks to the door and heads out toward the docks. She can see Joey and Erik sitting on the edge near the end, in deep conversation. She slowly walks over, but stops, having second thoughts about something. Pausing, she slowly and cautiously steps down the embankment and onto the beach below the dock. Taking off her shoes and socks, she treads into the shallow water and walks underneath the dock to where Joey and Erik are sitting.)

JEN: (to herself) I can't believe I'm eavesdropping... (She takes a deep breath and strains to hear the conversation playing out above.)

JOEY: Dawson is going to die when he finds out. I can't believe...I still can't believe I did this.

ERIK: Did you ever think about why you did it? Are you sure you're happy with Dawson? Because, kissing someone else...

JOEY: I know! I know! But I don't know why...you know it was just something that happened without warning, just as well as I do. I didn't mean for it to happen, there was no reason for it to happen...it just did. And now I have to deal with the consequences, like you said before.

ERIK: I'll be there for you every step of the way, Joey, no matter what happens, okay? You know that, right? Because you're my friend and I know this is going to get really hard. (Jen can't believe what she is hearing. She stares at the two pairs of feet hanging over the edge of the dock in disbelief.)

JEN: Dawson was right...(she quickly turns and dashes out of the water, tears forming in her eyes. OL: "Never You Mind" by Semisonic begins.) Joey and Erik kissed... (She is hurt and angry.)


(OL continues) Dawson's laying on his bed, watching Jaws, quite happily. He is absentmindedly holding onto his stuffed shark stuffed animal, as if he's temporarily regressing to his childhood. A smile creases his face as he remembers the last time he and Joey had re-enacted the movie in his bedroom closet. He glances at his closet, then goes back to watching the movie. His eyes start to close slowly, as if he's drifting off to sleep. Suddenly his bedroom door bangs open, bouncing off his wall. An angry and upset Jen storms in, tears running down her cheeks. Alarmed, Dawson jumps up from his bed and runs to her.

DAWSON: Jen! Are you all right? What's wrong? (Jen looks at him, not wanting to ruin the perfectly innocent and concerned, angelic face staring back at her. She couldn't bear to be the one to tell him. But she had to.)

JEN: You were right, Dawson.

DAWSON: (confused) About what?

JEN: About Erik and Joey. (Dawson's jaw drops, and he takes a step back.)

DAWSON: What do you mean?

JEN: I called his house today, to...well, I was going to ask him out again, but- (Jen runs her hand through her hair, blinking tears from her eyes.) And his mom said he was with Joey, at the Ice House, so...

DAWSON: So? What happened?

JEN: I heard them, Dawson. I heard them.

DAWSON: (exasperated) Heard them...what?

JEN: They were talking about kissing, Dawson. Joey and Erik kissed-they were talking about how they were going to break the news to you. (Dawson looks at her, stunned.)

DAWSON: Are you sure? I mean, cause Joey would never do something like that.

JEN: How can you say that, Dawson? This afternoon you came to me asking advice cause you thought she *was* doing something with Erik.

DAWSON: (turning away) Well, it was a momentary lapse of judgement. Because Joey loves me, Jen. She would *never*, *ever*, do anything like that. Not to me.

JEN: I didn't think so either...I mean-Dawson, I know what I heard. And I'm hurt too, obviously. They hurt both of us. (Dawson rolls his eyes at her.)

DAWSON: How did *you* get hurt? (Jen glares at him.)

JEN: (still crying)Joey knows I like Erik! And she goes behind my back *and* yours and-

DAWSON: (sitting down on his bed, ready to tear his hair out.) Don't talk about this like it actually happened.

JEN: What? It did happen.

DAWSON: There has to be some mix-up! It's as simple as that. There has to be some...reasonable, rational explanation for *all* of this. (Jen, crying even harder.)

JEN: Fine, Dawson, exist in your little private reality. I *know* what Joey and Erik did and I know that out here in the *real world* people have feelings and they get hurt. They just don't shelter themselves with denial. (She turns and stalks out, running down the stairs. Dawson lets out a deep breath, and gets up from his bed. He walks to his window, watching as Jen runs back to her house, stumbling and falling twice, blinded by tears. Dawson turns away from the window, and plops down at his desk chair and crosses his arms, refusing to believe it's true. He sets his jaw tightly and stares straight ahead, trying to convince himself he's right. Dawson's eyes wander to a recent photograph of himself and Joey that he had set next to his computer on the shelf. He gazes at it for a moment then loses a little self-reserve and throws his head into his arms and rests on his desktop.)

DAWSON: Oh, god...please don't let it be true... (The scene draws back to show his whole room as he keeps whispering the same message to no one but himself.)


Joey is at her locker, still looking sick to her stomach. Nervously, she looks around the hall as she loads her backpack. Pacey walks up behind her, looking just as anxious and jumpy.

PACEY: Hey. (Joey looks down at the ground.)

JOEY: Um...hey.

PACEY: Uh...

JOEY: Yeah... (Pacey slaps his hands together and looks away.)

PACEY: So...can we go somewhere...to talk? I mean, our last encounter in the library didn't exactly...

JOEY: Yeah, it didn't exactly solve anything...

PACEY: Right. (They are both silent for a minute.) Right...

JOEY: So, maybe, well, maybe now, would be a good time. Let's just...get this out of the way.

PACEY: Sure, good idea. Let's...go to your homeroom. (Joey nods and heads to a doorway across the hall. Pacey grabs her arm, then quickly lets go.) Uh...Joey? Your homeroom's this way. (Joey laughs nervously.)

JOEY: Oh. Oh, right. (They both giggle anxiously and slowly walk down the hall to her homeroom. Pacey and Joey disappear into the classroom as Dawson walks into the hallway, his eyes searching the crowd of students for Joey. When he doesn't see her, he quickly rips a piece of paper out of his notebook and scribbles something on it, then slips it into her locker. Then he dashes off to his own homeroom.)


Joey and Pacey are sitting on the radiator in the back of the room, their feet dangling above the floor. They look like they're small children waiting to get a checkup from the doctor; frightened and apprehensive. Joey's feet bounce off the metal of the radiator, and Pacey looks at her.

PACEY: So...at least you're talking to me now, right?

JOEY: Huh?

PACEY: Yesterday, remember? You said you never wanted to have anything to do with me again?

JOEY: (nodding) Oh...uh...yeah. (She looks at the clock. They are both silent for a long time. Pacey lets out a deep sigh. Other students start to trickle in from the hall and take their seats, but neither Joey or Pacey seem to notice. They look at the doorway, at the floor, out the window, everywhere but at each other. Then, at the same time, they finally get the courage to look at one another.)

PACEY: You want to tell him or should I? (The first warning bell rings and the question hangs in the air.)


Joey walks into the class, looking sullen. Jen is sitting at her desk, which is normally right next to Joey's. Joey gives Jen a small smile and sits down, trying to act normal. Jen doesn't respond, or even acknowledge Joey's presence. Joey peers at Jen, wondering what's wrong.

JOEY: Jen? You okay? (Jen gives Joey a look of death and stands up. Joey's alarmed.) Jen? (Jen gathers up her things and moves to a different seat, two behind Joey. Joey looks at her, stunned. She gets up and walks to Jen's new desk.) Jen? What's the matter? Are you mad at me?

JEN: I don't know, let me think...oh, yeah! I guess I am. (Jen rolls her eyes at Joey and crosses her arms.)

JOEY: I don't get it. What did I do? I haven't even seen you since yesterday...and you were fine then.

JEN: Yeah, well, since then I've found out that this whole time you've been going around behind my back.

JOEY: (panicked) I don't...I don't understand, Jen.

JEN: Behind my back, and Dawson's! How could you think that we wouldn't find out? (Joey can't think of a reply.) You *knew* I liked him, Joey. A lot. You *knew*! And still, you steal him away from me?

JOEY: *What*?

JEN: I don't get you! First you take Dawson away from me, then *him*? What is it with you? Some sort of fetish? "Gotta have the guy Jen wants"?

JOEY: Jen, I don't understand *at all*. *What* are you talking about?

JEN: You *kissed* him, Joey!

JOEY: Wait a minute, I thought you liked *Erik*!

JEN: Ya think?

JOEY: Then since when have you liked *Pacey*? (Jen's mouth drops, shocked.)

JEN: (disbelieving) *Pacey*? (Joey looks at her, confused. The bell rings, and the teacher walks in.)

TEACHER: All right, everyone, please take your seats, it's time to start. (Joey turns and goes to her seat, feeling sick.)

JOEY: (under her breath) Jen and Dawson already know... (She sits, clutching her stomach. Jen is still staring after her, in complete shock. The teacher starts to say something, but Joey raises her hand.) Um...I think I'm going to be sick...may I please be excused? (The teacher looks at her skeptically, then his expression changes to one of worry.)

TEACHER: Yes, Miss Potter, you don't look very well-you better hurry down to the nurse. (Joey quickly runs out, managing to grab her backpack as she hurries away. Jen is still sitting in her seat, unaware of what is going on. She is completely stunned by what Joey just said.)


Dawson and Pacey are passing around a football. They both look on edge. Pacey looks guilty and Dawson looks like someone has just shot his dog or something. Dawson keeps dropping the football, and seems surprised that Pacey isn't making any rude comments or making fun of him.

DAWSON: What, Pacey? No Oompa-loompa comments to hurt my feelings and shatter my self-esteem?

PACEY: (defensive) Why, you want me to make fun of you or something?

DAWSON: Not particularly. (Pacey tosses the football back to Dawson. Dawson sighs.) Listen, you haven't heard any...rumors...about Joey and Erik, have you?

PACEY: Joey...and Erik? Naw, man. Haven't heard anything about them. Why?

DAWSON: No reason.

PACEY: Okay...

DAWSON: Well, maybe there is something...I mean, they've been...hanging out a lot...and...

PACEY: *Believe me*, Dawson, when I tell you this. Joey is *not* fooling around with Erik.

DAWSON: Good, that's what I need to hear. (He smiles. Then he sees Erik emerging from the locker room.) But how can you be sure? (Erik sees Pacey and Dawson together, and immediately becomes worried, thinking of what they could be saying to one another. Pacey looks like he want to escape as quickly as possible.)

PACEY: Just...Dawson, take my word for it, Joey is not going around with Erik behind your back.

DAWSON: But how do we know?

PACEY: *Dawson*! *Please*! (Dawson takes a step back, a bit surprised at Pacey's exasperation.) Just...trust me on that one, okay? I know. Without a doubt. (Erik walks up to the two guys, glancing from Pacey to Dawson.)

ERIK: Hey-mind if I join in? The teacher's sort of watching me, to make sure I'm actually participating or something. (Pacey looks relieved.)

PACEY: Sure-here, your ball. (He tosses the football to Erik and backs up to form a triangle. Erik throws the ball back to Pacey, who throws it to Dawson. Dawson throws a direct spiral at Erik's chest, not able to hide his obvious hatred for Erik. Erik grunts as he catches it. Dawson glares at Erik. Pacey laughs lightly.) You know, bro, that was the nicest throw you've ever made. It actually...spiraled. Amazing, really. (Dawson doesn't take his eyes off Erik. Erik looks at Dawson, uncomfortable and confused.)

DAWSON: Yeah, Pace, amazing. (Erik sort of shrugs, wondering what Dawson's problem is. Dawson moves closer to Erik.) Listen, Erik, I want to clear something up right now. I don't know what exactly you want from Joey, or what you've got your eye on, but I've been hearing things about you. And her.

ERIK: What do you mean?

DAWSON: I know they're not true, obviously, because *Joey* would never cheat on me. But I just want to make sure that you're going to leave her alone from now on, got that? I don't want you near her, talking to her, flirting with her-do I make myself clear?

PACEY: Hey, Dawson, calm down. He didn't do anything.

ERIK: Relax, okay? Me and Joey are just friends. Besides- she's grown up; I think she doesn't need you to tell her who she can and can not be friends with.

DAWSON: I know Joey's *grown up*, I am not acting in *her* interest here, Erik. As awful as it sounds, I am completely acting in mine.

ERIK: (simply) I think you are the most self-centered person I have ever met.

PACEY: Don't worry, he is.

DAWSON: Pacey!

PACEY: Jokin.

ERIK: If you're really this insecure about your relationship with Joey, maybe you better stop and look at yourself, Dawson, instead of blaming others.

DAWSON: What are you implying?

ERIK: I'm implying that you should stop worrying about yourself every minute of the day and what matters to you and focus on others. Cause right now I can see quite clearly why Joey would want to be with someone else. (Erik lets the football drop to the ground, and walks away, disgusted. Dawson sighs. Pacey looks at him.)

DAWSON: Well, that didn't go as it was planned.

PACEY: (picking up the ball.) And how exactly did you plan it?

DAWSON: I don't know, but it somehow involved me feeling better and Erik staying away from Joey.

PACEY: (shaking his head) Somehow, I *don't think that's what you accomplished.

DAWSON: Your powers of deductive reasoning really astound me, Pacey.

PACEY: Hey, lay off, Dawson. I'm not the oblivious one, you are.

DAWSON: (defensive) What's that supposed to mean? (Pacey just looks away, glancing anxiously at the clock.)


OL: "Plenty" by Sarah McLachlan. Joey emerges from the nurse's office, looking both ways before heading to her locker. She opens it quickly, and Dawson's note falls out. Before she can stoop down to pick it up, someone else does. She looks up and sees that it's Pacey. He hands it to her, and she looks at it. Her face falls.

JOEY: Shit.

PACEY: (alarmed) What?

JOEY: I knew she told him. (Pacey takes the note from her, panicked.)

PACEY: "Joey, we *need* to talk as soon possible. It's beyond important. -Dawson". Oh...are you sure that...*us* is what he wants to talk to you about?

JOEY: What else?

PACEY: Maybe...well, we can hope, can't we?

JOEY: (sighing) Jen knows, Pacey. Somehow she found out. I know she had to have told him.

PACEY: Okay, well, how about this, then. Dawson seems to have got it into his head that you've been fooling around with Erik-

JOEY: *What*?

PACEY: (sarcastic) I know, Joey Potter? Unfaithful to her beloved Dawson? What a radical idea. (Joey glares at him.)

JOEY: So...Dawson thinks I'm cheating on him with Erik...and Jen...oh my god... (Pacey looks at her, alarmed once more.)

PACEY: Oh my god...what?

JOEY: Jen...holy sh...that's what Jen was talking about!


JOEY: She was mad at me because...she thinks I kissed Erik! She's the one who told Dawson I was cheating on him with *Erik*!

PACEY: So...Jen, *doesn't* know that the *lucky* guy was really me? (Joey glares at him again.)

JOEY: No...Pacey, I told her.

PACEY: (loudly) You did *what*? (Some people in the hall look at them, so they quickly quiet down.)

JOEY: She asked me how I could kiss him if I knew she liked him, and I said that I thought she liked Erik, not...

PACEY: Me. (Joey sighs and bangs her head against her locker.)

JOEY: I am so stupid...I am so stupid...

PACEY: Well, at least we agree on that point. (Joey turns to him.)

JOEY: I better go find Dawson before Jen does. (Joey turns to walk away, but Pacey stops her, pulling her back.)

PACEY: I think you may already be too late. (Joey follows his gaze down the hall, to where Jen is talking to Dawson. Dawson's face is completely masked with shock. As Jen finishes talking, he looks away, too stunned for words. Looking for an escape, he looks down the hall. And he sees Pacey and Joey. His eyes fall on Pacey's hand, which is still resting on Joey's arm. His face falls, knowing Jen is telling the truth. Joey's mouth opens to call to him, but she can't find the words. Dawson backs away from Jen, slowly turning away from the his girlfriend and his best friend, now realizing what's really going on. Pacey takes his hand off Joey quickly and takes a step after Dawson.) Dawson, man, I- (Dawson just walks right out of school, never looking back.)


Jen walks inside slowly, peering around. Sobbing can be heard from one of the stalls. She taps on the door lightly.

JEN: (softly) Joey? (the door swings open, and Joey steps out, wiping her cheeks. She heads to the mirror, looking at her weary reflection.)

JOEY: (laughing bitterly to herself) You know, I think I've cried more these past few days then I ever have in my entire life. Can you believe that? (Jen stares at Joey.) How's Dawson?

JEN: I don't know...I think he went home. (Joey looks at her hands.)

JOEY: God...what am I going to do? (Jen is silent. After a moment's hesitation, Jen steps up to the sink and stares Joey down.)

JEN: You know, Joey, can I just ask you one thing?

JOEY: Might as well, my day's already gone to hell.

JEN: *Why* did you do it? What possessed you to do such a thing? (Joey sniffles and looks at Jen.)

JOEY: The sick thing is, I don't even know. (Jen sighs.) Maybe...maybe I subconsciously want out.

JEN: Want out? Of your relationship with Dawson?

JOEY: I don't know...it's just...me and Dawson have been through so much...trauma together...the pregnancy scare, my father coming back, all that...

JEN: (confused) But he was *there* for you through all that, why would you punish him for being a good boyfriend?

JOEY: Every time I see him, I see everything about me, all my mistakes, my whole life...and I'm sick of watching movies and analyzing...I...I need a change...I need something new...something...*not* me...

JEN: So basically you're not sick of Dawson, you're sick of yourself...(Joey nods slowly) And Dawson's part of you...(Joey turns away.)

JOEY: I don't know how kissing Pacey fits into any of this but I know it does somewhere...I just...I need to live without Dawson for awhile...I need a break from him, from guys...from love in general.

JEN: I understand, Joey...I've been there before. (She puts her hand on Joey's shoulder.) But breaking Dawson's heart by kissing Pacey was *not* the way to reach that goal. (Joey smiles slightly and mimics Jen from earlier that day.)

JOEY: Ya think? I never would've guessed. (Jen smiles back. Joey sighs and straightens her clothes out.) Well...I guess I better go face him.

JEN: Yeah... (Joey heads for the door.) Joey? (Joey looks back.)

JOEY: Hmm?

JEN: Good luck. And sorry...about getting mad earlier. About Erik. You're too good a friend to do that to me.

JOEY: (frowning) But a good enough person to not do that to Dawson, right? (Jen looks at Joey sadly. Joey opens the door.) I'll see you later, Jen. (She goes out into the hallway, leaving Jen sitting alone.)



Dawson comes tearing up the driveway, obviously upset. On the verge of tears, he storms inside, letting the door fly wildly behind him.


Mitch, who was working on the model of his restaurant in the kitchen, jumps up, startled. He sees Dawson running toward the stairs.

MITCH: Dawson? (Dawson continues up to his room hurriedly.) Dawson! (Mitch goes after him, confused. As he ascends the stairs, he glances at his watch, mentally figuring out that Dawson's supposed to be in school. He approaches Dawson's door and is about to knock when he hears loud sobbing coming from inside. Immediately he opens the door.) Dawson, what's wrong? Aren't you supposed to be in school? (Dawson is laying on his bed, his face muffled with a pillow. He normally would have sat up and wiped his face, not wanting his father to see him cry, but today he just let the tears fall, too hurt to move a muscle. Mitch sits down on the edge of Dawson's bed, concerned.) Come on, Dawson, you're scaring me. Did something happen at school? (There's still no reply. Mitch comfortingly places his strong hand on Dawson's shoulder, but Dawson just shifts away from him.) Dawson... (He's about to say something else when a call comes from downstairs.)

PACEY: (OS) Dawson? Dawson, are you here? (Mitch gets up and goes downstairs, looking at Pacey with a million questions hanging in the air.)

MITCH: Pacey, what are *you* doing out of school and what is wrong with Dawson? He's not telling me anything and I'm thinking I'm gonna have to call his mother. (Pacey quickly shakes his head no.)

PACEY: Um...(Heading for the stairs.) Believe me, I'm sure you'll hear sooner or later what this is about, so I'm not going to bother filling you in now, k? (Pacey goes to run up the stairs, but Mitch grabs the back of his shirt and pulls him back.)

MITCH: Pacey...spill it. *Now*.

PACEY: Uh... (He tries to think of the right way to put it, and can't.) Well...you see, it's like this.

MITCH: Like what...?

PACEY: Let's just say...that Joey and I....hmmm...uh...Joey...well...Joey kissed someone besides Dawson. (Mitch raises his eyebrows.)

MITCH: And that person would be?

PACEY: Um, me? (He winces, half expecting Mitch to punch him or something for doing that to Dawson. Mitch looks at him coldly.)

MITCH: Excuse me? Did I hear that right? (Mitch eases his grip on the back of Pacey's shirt, surprised.)

PACEY: (sighing) Yeah, unfortunately...ya did.

MITCH: Any reason why I shouldn't just...kill you now?

PACEY: (laughing nervously) Because then I couldn't go talk to Dawson and explain to him what really happened. Because if I don't, he's going to hate me and Joey from now until forever; a situation I'd vastly like to avoid, plus if I don't clear up this mess the kid's gonna slide into some depressional funk that he won't be able to climb out of. But that's just a guess, cause- (Mitch shoves him slightly, up the stairs in the direction of Dawson's room.)

MITCH: Just go talk to him, Pacey. (Pacey nods and runs upstairs. Mitch shakes his head sadly and sits down on the last step of the staircase.)


Pacey slowly opens the door to Dawson's bedroom, and sees Dawson laying on his bed in some sort of daze. He lets out a deep sigh and taps his hands nervously together. Dawson hears him, but makes no move to acknowledge his presence.

PACEY: Dawson?

DAWSON: (blandly) Oh, hey, Pacey, come to punch me out a couple of times and wreck my life completely? (Pacey sighs again and takes a step toward Dawson.)

PACEY: Look, Dawson, you gotta know that me and Joey-

DAWSON: (sitting up) Know what? That you couldn't keep your hormonally charged hands off my girlfriend? Or were you going to further inflict more pain on me by dropping another bomb like, say, you and Joey have been sleeping together too? Or-

PACEY: Please, Dawson! Joey and I kissed *once*. It was a mistake, it didn't mean *anything*. To either of us.

DAWSON: (snorting and standing up) How could it not *mean* anything?

PACEY: It was just a stupid...one time, idiotic, inexcusable, totally unplanned and *completely* unwanted pitfall of two lonely, vulnerable teens running into each other at a very inopportune time!

DAWSON: What the hell are you talking about, Pacey?

PACEY: It was the night after Joey's dad got back from the hospital-the night she and you had some squabble or whatever and she was upset and hurt, and...

DAWSON: (glaring at him) So you thought it was fit to move in for the kill then, when she and I were on the *very* *very* *temporary* outs? (Pacey turns away, then turns back.)

PACEY: Dawson, just listen to me, okay? This wasn't something we wanted to happen! We never wanted to hurt you, or... I mean, we don't even *like* each other!

DAWSON: That has nothing to do with it, Pacey, don't you see that? (Dawson moves toward Pacey, talking in a tense tone.) You and Joey, no matter how much you hate each other, you two *kissed*, Pacey. There's not anything that's going to change that now. You're my best friend and she is my girlfriend and *you* kissed *her* and that is in *no way* whatsoever in any way shape or form acceptable or forgivable, can you manage to grasp that concept? Can you? Or is that too far-fetched, like the idea of keeping your lips to yourself? (Pacey desperately tries to find something to say. He takes a step back, running his hands through his hair.)

PACEY: It wasn't like that, Dawson, it wasn't. It was just...I was feeling alone, and she was feeling alone and we were screaming and yelling at each other, and then- (Pacey breaks off for a moment.) And then, it just happened, Dawson. Two milliseconds of betrayal and thoughtlessness that we would both take back in an instant. (Dawson just glares at Pacey, too angry to speak.)


There is a knock on the front door and Mitch goes to answer it. Joey is standing on the porch, looking like a mess. Mitch eyes her, not knowing if he can take being mad at her since she's almost a daughter to him. He looks at her sternly after a moment's pondering, and opens the door rigidly.

MITCH: I can only guess why you're here. (Joey walks in slowly.) He's upstairs. Pacey's already up there begging for forgiveness so you better hurry and catch up. (Not saying a word, Joey quickly runs upstairs.)


Dawson is still glaring at Pacey angrily. The bedroom door opens and Joey steps in, breaking Dawson's cold hearted stare at Pacey. He sees Joey and quickly looks away, not wanting her to see the hurt in his eyes. Joey moves toward him, reaching out her hand to touch him. Pacey backs away slightly, letting her past him to get to Dawson.

JOEY: Dawson... (Dawson pushes her away but she tries to touch his shoulder again. She is again met by Dawson's hands brushing her back.)

DAWSON: Don't, Jo. Don't touch me.

JOEY: Dawson, *please*, just let me explain-

DAWSON: (glancing at Pacey) No, I think Pacey's already done enough of that for one day.

PACEY: But you still-

JOEY: You can't possibly see how much you mean to me, Dawson. The kiss, that stupid kiss between me and Pacey, it was-

DAWSON: I know, I know, not planned, not liked, totally wrong, Pacey already gave me the run down, thank you. (Joey looks at Dawson, trying to read the expression on his face. For the first time in her life, she can't even begin to guess what he's thinking.)

JOEY: I know you're hurt right now, and you probably want to kill us both, but-

DAWSON: You're right, I do. (He grabs his jacket from his desk chair and heads for the door.) And I don't have to stand here and listen to any more of your stupid excuses and crazy reasoning, and I don't have to put up with your pleas for forgiveness, cause truth is, neither of you deserve it.

PACEY: Dawson, man-

DAWSON: And furthermore, I don't know how either of you can stand here, in front of me, and defend your actions like they were something that can be forgotten and excused, cause they're can't.

JOEY: Dawson, please don't leave, we have to talk.

DAWSON: Why would we possibly need to talk? Everything's pretty resolved in my mind. I mean, the whole idea of being faithful to one person is obviously out the window so the way I see it maybe I'm better off alone.

JOEY: No, don't say that-I-

DAWSON: Forget it, Joey! It's over! (He looks from Pacey to Joey.) As far as I'm concerned, we are no longer friends, this is all gone. (He turns and walks down the hall and down the stairs. Mitch is sitting on the bottom step again. He stands up, hearing Dawson coming down.)

MITCH: Dawson?

DAWSON: I'm going for a walk. (Joey and Pacey appear at the top of the stairs. Joey sees Dawson disappear out the front door and races after him. It's starting to rain outside.)


OL: Heart and Shoulder by Heather Nova. Joey runs out of the house and onto the porch. Dawson is walking away from the house quickly, as if he's trying to escape death. Joey races down the steps, trying to catch up with him. When she does, she grabs his arm and turns him around. They're both starting to get soaking wet from the rain.

JOEY: Dawson! (He looks at her, steaming mad.)

DAWSON: Don't "Dawson!" me! (He grabs her arms and shakes her.) How could you do that to me? I trusted you! I loved you! And I thought that you loved me!

JOEY: I still love you, Dawson! Just because- Just because I-

DAWSON: Just because you what, Joey? Can't think of an explanation? Huh? Don't worry, I know the reason. (He turns around and starts to stalk off. Joey's pleading manner changes to one of anger.)

JOEY: Then what's the reason? (Dawson stops and whirls around.)


JOEY: Why'd I kiss Pacey, Dawson? Why? Why don't you fill me in on the big mystery because I'd *really* like to know.

DAWSON: Why'd you kiss him? Because you got bored. It's as plain and simple as that. You had your little fun with the best friend from down the creek so you decided to try your luck with the town's black sheep.

JOEY: *Boredom*? Boredom? You're going to attribute the fall of our relationship to my boredom?

DAWSON: Can you think of another reason?

JOEY: You know, Dawson, I wasn't exactly sure until now...why I kissed Pacey. And now it's devastatingly clear.

DAWSON: Oh, enlighten me.

JOEY: It's just like with my dad, Dawson and with everything else-our whole past. This just proves it.

DAWSON: Proves what?

JOEY: (getting up in his face) That maybe if you'd get your head out of the clouds and out of your own little fantasy world that revolves around you, the oh so great Dawson Leery, you'd realize that you don't know me half as well as you think you do. Truth is, you don't know anyone! You cast everyone into a role like some screenplay, label us with a stereotype and a nice little character summary , assign us conflicts and secrets, and crushes and lovers, but you never stop and think about the everyone as actual people. Well, wake up, Dawson! The answer to this one is not going to be in a Spielberg movie. (With that, Joey turns and runs away, toward her boat on the end of Dawson's dock.)

DAWSON: Damn it! (Pacey can be seen walking out of Dawson's house, toward his former best friend. Dawson turns and heads back toward his house.)

PACEY: Dawson...

DAWSON: (passing right by Pacey and going in his front door.) Forget it, Pacey. (Dawson goes into the house, slamming the door behind him. Pacey is alone on the front porch.)


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