The In Crowd by: Laura

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OL: "The Ladder" by Paula Cole. Joey slowly walks up to the bottom of the ladder, looking sad and insecure. She sets her hand on a higher rung and steps up, and stops. She thinks for a second, then steps back down and starts to walk back to the dock. Halfway there, she stops again, biting her lip. She glances toward Dawson's window, which is illuminated with a soft glow from his desk light; it looks warm and inviting. Joey takes a deep breath and walks back to the ladder and starts to climb. She reaches the top and steps onto the roof, and realizes the window is closed. And locked. She peers inside. Dawson is working at his computer, looking like a stone wall.


From the point of view as if sitting on Dawson's bed, the shot shows a dismayed Joey looking at Dawson through the window. She looks confused.


Debating about whether or not to knock on the window, she raises her fist, but lowers it quickly. After watching him silently for a moment, Joey sighs and heads back down the ladder, upset.



Dawson is sitting at his computer, staring at the screen intently as he types furiously. All the windows of his room are closed. There's a light knock on his door. He hears it, but barely acknowledges it. Another knock, louder this time, follows.

DAWSON: Who is it?

JOEY: (coming in slowly) Just me. (Dawson stops typing, hearing her voice. He sets his jaw tightly on edge and fixates his gaze on the monitor. Joey looks at him, unsure of how to act.)

DAWSON: What do you want?

JOEY: Um... (trying to think) How are you?

DAWSON: Look, I'm not in the mood for small talk. Just say what you want to say and leave. (he doesn't even look at her. She sits down on his bed tentatively.)

JOEY: Listen, Dawson, I know you're really mad at me right now, but...can you at least talk to me?

DAWSON: I'm talking to you right now, aren't I?

JOEY: Dawson, you know what I mean.

DAWSON: (turning around and standing up.) Fine, you want talk? Here we go. (He starts a mock conversation with himself.) Joey, how are you? Good. Want to know how I am? Sure. Well, even though my girlfriend just kissed my best friend, and then lied to me about it, and is sitting here asking me to have a decent conversation with her, I'm surprisingly well, thanks. Now, I would appreciate it if you would get out of my room. (Joey gets up, angry.)

JOEY: Fine, Dawson, if that's the way you want to be. I don't know how many times I have to apologize, but I'm telling you right now, I am not giving up. This conversation isn't over, in fact, it's nowhere near finished.

DAWSON: Joey, just go away. (Joey's face falls for a second, then she bites her lip and gives him a cold, steely stare.)

JOEY: I'll see you, Dawson. (She stalks out the door and races downstairs. Dawson's anger disappears as his strength fails him and a single tear escapes his eye. Frustrated with his life, he picks up his stuffed shark and flops onto his bed, wishing he could be someone else.)


Pacey races out of a classroom, running to catch up with Dawson, who is walking down the hall alone.

PACEY: Dawson! (Dawson quickens his pace.) Dawson! Wait up! (He finally catches up, grabbing Dawson's arm.) Dawson, man, didn't you hear me?

DAWSON: No, I heard you. I just chose to ignore you.

PACEY: Come on, Dawson, won't you at least talk about this? I know what me and Joey did was wrong, but we can't keep apologizing for it forever.

DAWSON: No, I think you can.

PACEY: Dawson, come on, I know that I don't deserve to be forgiven, know, that's the great thing about forgiveness...most times it doesn't matter if you deserve it or not, it just happens anyway.

DAWSON: (patting Pacey's arm) Well, tell you what, it's not going to happen this time, buddy. (He glares at Pacey and walks off.)

PACEY: (to himself) That was a nice way to start the morning. (He sighs deeply and walks away.)


Erik is already sitting down when Joey walks into class, looking sullen. There are a couple of other people in the room, who Joey doesn't even notice. Erik smiles, trying to cheer her up.

ERIK: Hola, Juana. Como estas? (Joey shrugs.)

JOEY: Hola, Enrique. Estoy malisimo.

ERIK: Still on the outs with Dawson?

JOEY: Yeah, but I'd rather not talk about it.

ERIK: Okay... (he thinks for a minute.) Hey, if your name is Joey, why is your Spanish name Juana? Shouldn't it be, like, Josefa or something?

JOEY: I liked Juana more, so I chose to be called that.

ERIK: Makes sense, I guess. (Joey takes her seat with a sigh.)

JOEY: I'm beginning to think that nothing in life makes sense.

ERIK: I'm inclined to agree.

JOEY: Why, what's wrong with your life?

ERIK: Nothing really, I was just commenting on yours. (he looks at her) Dawson's not talking to you, right?

JOEY: )sighing) No, he's talking. Too bad all he opens his mouth to say is how much he hates me and how he never wants to see me again.

ERIK: (grimacing) Oh. Ow.

JOEY: Exactly.

ERIK: Don't worry, he'll get over this eventually.

JOEY: I'm beginning to think he won't. (Erik's about to say something when the teacher walks in and the bell rings. The two friends stop talking and turn to face the front of the classroom reluctantly.)


Dawson is sitting alone at a table, picking angrily at his food. Pacey is sitting a couple of tables away, also alone. Joey and Jen are in the lunch line. They walk out into the cafeteria, and their eyes dart between the two guys.

JEN : God, seeing the two of them sitting apart like that makes me feel like I'm in elementary school. Maybe we should start passing around a note saying "Did you hear? Dawson's mad at Pacey." and it'll be the talk of the school for the next month or so.

JOEY: Yeah, except in elementary school they never would've started fighting because love triangles didn't exist until at least the seventh grade. I mean, come on. (they both laugh.)

JEN : Well...where do we sit? (They look from Dawson to Pacey. There's no other available lunch tables in the cafeteria.)

JOEY: Seeing as how Dawson won't talk to me, he wouldn't be the best choice. But since he won't talk to me because I kissed Pacey, I doubt sitting with Pacey would help matters much...I say we sit right here on the floor, sound good? (Jen scans the cafeteria, hoping to find some place else to sit.)

JEN: Oh! There's a couple of seats over there.

JOEY: (following her gaze) At...Abby Morgan's table? You've *got* to be kidding me.

JEN: It's her or the feuding boys. Take your pick.

JOEY : Abby it is. (They walk over, and Jen simply sits down, not waiting for an invitation. Joey follows suit, feeling out of place. Abby looks at them, amused that Jen and Joey think they can sit with her.)

ABBY: Well, well, if it isn't the New York City Slut and the Philandering Potter of Capeside.

JOEY: Nice to see you too, Abby.

ABBY: I heard about you and Dawson's torrid break-up, Joey. How emotional. (She pretends to wipe tears from her eyes, then looks at Joey, her eyes glistening with mischief.) So, tell me, Joey, is Pacey as good of a kisser as I think he is? (she turns to her friends) Cause me and my buds here have a little running bet going. Tiffany here thinks Pacey would be a dud, Kelly thinks he'd be so-so, but nothing magical. (she turns back to Joey with a wicked smile.) But *I* think he'd be the perfect make-out man- he has such a nice ass. So, Joey, who wins? Is Pacey as good with his tongue as he is with that cocky smile of his? Because that alone turns me on, even if he is a first-rate loser.

JOEY : Bite me, Abby.

ABBY: Wouldn't you rather have Pacey do that?

JEN: You know what, Abby? I can't possibly fathom why you think this is *any* of your business.

ABBY: Please, Jen. Everything is my business. You're in *my* school - everything is free territory, everyone is in open firing range. (she smirks at Joey) It's hunting time, Joey - and you have a big, red bulls-eye in the middle of your back. Now honestly, Jo, did Dawson really dump you over a kiss, or did you do something...*more*, with Pacey, perhaps? (Joey gets up, disgusted and angry.)

JOEY : Of course I didn't! God, even if I had - do you think I'd tell *you*? (Joey is steaming.) Not only are you a bitch, you're also delusional! Just go back to hell, you Joan Rivers wanna be! (Joey turns to move to another table, but suddenly finds herself in the Dawson-Pacey dilemma once more. Abby laughs.)

ABBY : What, Joey? Nowhere to run to after you delivered the last of your zingers? (Joey whirls back at her, glaring. Abby shrugs at her, waiting for Joey's reply. Joey just lets out an agitated groan and turns to go, but Abby's voice stops her again.) Oh, and Jo? Come to the party and Grant's house tonight, okay?

JOEY: (angry) Why would I do that?

ABBY: (smugly) If you think you're life is bad now, it's only going to get worse. (Joey raises her eyebrows.)

JOEY: And what exactly do you mean by that?

ABBY: (knowingly) Just come to the party, you'll see.

JOEY: Yeah, sure, Abby. I'm going to go to a party with advance notice I'll be humiliated.

ABBY: Who said anything about humiliation? (She and her friends laugh.) Besides...Dawson will be there. (Joey pretends not to care.)

JOEY: Whatever, Abby. (She finally walks out of the cafeteria.)

JEN: Abby, *what* are you doing? What are you going to do at Grant's party tonight? (Abby smirks and giggles.)

ABBY: Oh, I promise, Jen. I'll be a good girl. (Abby looks over at Dawson's table.) I'll be a *very* good girl. (Abby gets up and starts walking toward Dawson. Jen is alarmed.)

JEN: Abby! (She jumps up.) Abby, if you hurt Joey...I swear I'll...

ABBY: How nice of you to threaten me on Joey's behalf, Jen! You're a true friend. (She moves Jen aside.) Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go show Dawson Leery my irresistible charms...

JEN: Excuse me?

ABBY: Well, if he's not with Joey Potter, Movie Boy is fair game, isn't he? (Abby smiles wickedly and walks to Dawson's table, sitting down. Jen watches, not able to think of any way to stop Abby.)



Abby walks up to Dawson's table and sits down next to him. Dawson looks up as she takes a seat, throwing her an annoyed look.

ABBY: Don't look so happy to see me, Dawson! You might give me a big ego.

DAWSON: And to what do I owe this pleasure, Abby?

ABBY: Dawson Leery, you seem to be implying that I always have some hidden agenda when it comes to you.

DAWSON: Do you have proof of anything otherwise? (Abby pretends to think.)

ABBY: Come to think of it, no, but you should really learn not to assume everything - it could get you into trouble. (Dawson is uninterested, so he resumes picking at his lunch. Abby moves closer to him.) So, I heard all about Joey and Pacey - I couldn't believe it! (She looks at him with wide-eyed innocence. Dawson just glares back at her.)

DAWSON: Abby, if you're here to pour salt into an open wound, please do so quickly so I can be alone.

ABBY: Oh, Dawson, bitter, jaded, Dawson. Just because Joey treated you horribly doesn't mean that I'm going to.

DAWSON: (moving away from her) Abby, you always treat me horribly. You treat everyone horribly. I've never based my dislike of you on anything else except your actual personality - never on how Joey treats me.

ABBY: Whatever you say, Leery. Listen. I'll get right to the point so I can let you get back to your moping.

DAWSON: And that point would be?

ABBY: Grant Bodine is having a party this Friday night.


ABBY: (hurt) You didn't even let me ask you the question yet!

DAWSON: Okay, then what's the question?

ABBY: I want you to come with me.

DAWSON: Are you insane?

ABBY: (whining) Oh, please, know it'll be fun. I know deep in the most secret parts of your heart you're just dying to go.

DAWSON: I think you're a little confused, Abby.

ABBY: (looking at him slyly) I'm *never* confused, Dawson. And you're going to go with me.

DAWSON: Sorry, Abby, but I'm not going to some jock's party, much less with you.

ABBY: (getting up) Fine, Leery...but before this day is over, you'll change your mind, I guarantee it. (She starts to walk away, then ducks back and whispers something in his ear.) Joey's going to be there, you know. Just imagine her face when you show up with me. (Dawson looks at her, not sure what to think. Abby raises an eyebrow at him and smiles teasingly as she walks away again.) Think about it, Dawson. (Dawson turns away from her, trying hard not to think about what she said. But he glances back at her, unable to keep his mind from wondering.)


Joey is laying on Jen's bed, staring up at the ceiling. Jen is sitting at her desk, trying to do homework, but is being distracted by the pitiful look on Joey's forlorn face.

JEN: Joey, come on. It's really not that bad.

JOEY: Do you think I should go to that party?

JEN: What good would that do? Following Dawson to a party isn't going to make him any more likely to forgive you. If anything, it'll just irritate him.

JOEY: (sighing) Yeah, you're probably right. Besides, I wouldn't want to end up spending an entire night in the presence of Grant Bodine, would I?

JEN: Not to mention Abby too. (Both girls laugh slightly. Jen turns back to her homework.) Hey, Jo? What's the square root of 40?

JOEY: 2 radical 10. (Jen writes it down, her brow furrowing as she tries to finish the complicated problem before her. Joey watches her for a second, pondering something. Jen feels Joey's eyes on her and looks up from her paper.)

JEN: What's the matter?

JOEY: Nothing. I was just wondering...all this talk about Dawson and everything hasn't left us much time to talk about someone else.

JEN: (confused) Talk about who else?

JOEY: So he hasn't asked you out yet?

JEN: Erik, you mean? (Jen shakes her head no.) No such luck. (She shuts her math book shut, giving up.) I'm beginning to think I might as well toss him up to the long list of people who like you instead of me. (Joey sits up, defensive.)

JOEY: Come on, Jen. You know that's not true. (Jen shrugs.)

JEN: Prove to me it isn't. (Joey looks down at her hands.) You know he's liked you since the day he moved here, it's not really a secret to anyone. (Joey digs a piece of paper out of her pocket and hands it to Jen.)

JOEY: He does not like me, Jen. Not as anything more than a friend, anyway. I think you're imagining it. (Jen takes the piece of paper and looks at it.)

JEN: What's this?

JOEY: His phone number. Call him.

JEN: Why?

JOEY: Just do it. Ask him out.

JEN: No way!

JOEY: What have you got to lose? (Joey laughs.) Who would have ever though *I'd* be convincing *you* to go after a guy? (Jen laughs, and glances at the phone number in her hand again. Joey stares at her friend, mentally willing her to pick up the phone. Jen's shoulders sag and she lets out a long breath.)

JEN: Okay. Fine. I'll call him. But if he says no-

JOEY: Which he won't!

JEN: I'm giving up on this hopeless crush and we're never going to talk about this again, deal?

JOEY: Deal. Call him. (Jen picks up the phone and dials the number slowly.)


Pacey steps out of the store, turning off the light behind him and locking the door. Checking his watch, which reads 10 o'clock, Pacey shivers a little. It's gotten considerably colder since he had gone into work after school. Pulling his light jacket on, he turns to go down the street. Coming to a stop at the corner of Jefferson Ave. and Bailey Dr., Pacey eagerly waits for the light to change, moving back and forth slightly in an attempt to stay warm. He's suddenly startled by someone stopping next to him. He looks down and sees a short, thin, oriental, girl, with medium-length silky black hair. Her dark eyes are filled with confusion. She looks up at him.


GIRL: Hi. (she laughs at herself.) Okay, this is going to sound stupid, but I'm lost.

PACEY: You're lost? In Capeside? Sorry, that's not possible. (the girl laughs.)

GIRL: I told you it was going to sound stupid!

PACEY: Where are you supposed to be going?

GIRL: I'm trying to get to my house, over on George Street.

PACEY: Are you new in town?

GIRL: I don't know if you could say that, really. I used to live over in the Heights. We just moved into downtown Capeside...I've never really been around here. I used to go to school at St. Thomas' too, so I'm never even down here for school.

PACEY: (nodding) Oh, I see. Well, to get to George Street, all you have to do is walk up this block here, turn left, walk another block, and turn right. Then you're all set.

GIRL: Thanks, you're such a huge help.

PACEY: No problem, that's what I'm here for.

GIRL: Do you go to Capeside High?

PACEY: Yep. I'm Pacey Witter.

GIRL: I'm Sarah Wright.

PACEY: Well, nice to meet you, Sarah.

SARAH: Nice to meet you too. (She smiles at him sweetly. Pacey grins back, and shakes her hand. The light turns green and they cross the street together.) Well, I guess this is good-bye for now.

PACEY: No, actually, I'm going your way. Want me to walk you home?

SARAH: Aw, that's so nice! I'd love that. (She links her arm through Pacey's, giving him another friendly and innocent smile.)

PACEY: Well then, let's get going. (They head off down the street together.)


Dawson is laying on his bed, the theme from E.T. echoing out of his television. Mitch comes in, glancing at the TV.

MITCH: What are you watching? (he sighs) E.T. again? Dawson, either get back together with Joey or throw the tape away, please. How many times have you seen this in the past week?

DAWSON: Every day. (Mitch throws him a look.) What? I happen to like it. It's the one thing that always stays the same. I can count on E.T. to be exactly what I want him to be every time I put it into the VCR. It's comforting.

MITCH: Okay, Dawson...

DAWSON: I *like* comforting.

MITCH: There's nothing wrong with being comforted, Dawson. But you gotta's just a movie. It's not going to really make you feel any better about what's going on with Joey.

DAWSON: I'm not a fool, Dad. *Nothing* can make me feel better about this thing with Joey.

MITCH: Nothing?

DAWSON: Nothing.

MITCH: What about...someone?

DAWSON: Someone who?

MITCH: Well, there's a girl named Abby Morgan waiting for you down in the foyer...should I tell her to go away or are you going to go down? (Dawson looks up in alarm.)

DAWSON: Abby Morgan?

MITCH: She seems sweet you two have a date or something?

DAWSON: (sitting up) Hell no! That girl is the devil incarnate. (Mitch laughs.)

MITCH: Dawson, I doubt anyone is that bad. Besides, she's down there...why don't you at least go talk to her instead of wallowing in your own misery?

DAWSON: I have E.T. to wallow with me. I don't need Abby Morgan to make things worse for me. (Mitch sits down on the bed next to his son.)

MITCH: Look, Dawson...I didn't want to do this, but I'm afraid I'm going to force you to go downstairs. You've been sitting up here in your room every day since you and Joey broke up and you're really beginning to scare me and your mother. It's time that you got back into the swing of things.

DAWSON: Maybe I don't want to get back into the swing of things. Maybe I'd rather be depressed. (He lays back on his bed, putting a pillow over his face. Mitch takes it away from him.)

MITCH: Dawson, I know Joey was a huge part of your life, but you have to move on. You can't keep going on with all this anger toward her, it's not going to work. The best way to let that anger go is to get out there and show Joey that she has not ruined you. Let her know that you're perfectly capable of living without her. You made the decision to let her go after that incident with Pacey - maybe it's time you let her know you really meant it.

DAWSON: But I didn't mean it! I want her back, but then I don't. I just...I just can't...I can't get past what she did to me.

MITCH: Been there, Dawson. Believe me. But...if you love means making choices. Either forgive Joey and ask her to get back together...or get on with your life. It's one or the other, you can't live in limbo.

DAWSON: I understand. (he sits up again.) I just don't know what I want to do. (Mitch pats him on the back.)

MITCH: Well, for starters, go on downstairs and tell Abby you're going to the Ice House, if she wants to go with you. Here, take ten bucks. (He hands him a ten dollar bill. Dawson looks at him.)

DAWSON: Okay, but believe me, Dad. Once you get to know Abby, you're going to completely regret ever giving this to me. (Mitch smiles.)

MITCH: Not if it gets you out of this house, son. (Dawson gets up, and straightens his clothes in the mirror.)

DAWSON: (to his reflection) I can't believe I'm doing this. (he pockets the money and turns to his father.) Okay, I'm going. Bye.

MITCH: Be home by eleven! (Dawson nods as he walks down the stairs.)


Dawson comes down the stairs, slowing as he sees Abby sitting on the couch in the living room. She looks up as she hears footsteps on the stairs. Seeing Dawson, she smiles widely.

ABBY: Well, here's my little studmuffin right now.

DAWSON: Abby...

ABBY: Relax, Dawson, I'm kidding. (she gets up from her seat.) Nice house you have here. Where's your room? (Dawson haphazardly gestures up the stairs.) Oo, can I see it?

DAWSON: Maybe some other time. (taking a deep breath) Listen, do you want to come down to the Ice House with me? (Abby looks surprised, despite herself.)

ABBY: The Ice House? Dawson Leery, are you asking me out on a date?

DAWSON: *Abby*....

ABBY: Sure, I'll go. (She grabs her jacket from the rack by the door.) I don't have any money on me though, movie boy.

DAWSON: (rolling his eyes.) Don't worry, I'll cover it. (He ushers her out the door, not believing what he's doing.)


Abby is standing at her locker, talking to a group of girls that surround her. Sarah is among them. Abby looks happy about something.

ABBY: So, I finally got him to take me out somewhere, it was amazing. I'm telling you, Joey Potter is going to get what's coming to her. She's going to drop dead when she sees who I'm at the party with on Friday night. Bring your cameras, it'll be classic. (Abby spots Joey walking into school with Erik and stops talking, instead falling into a silent smirk as Joey walks by. Joey throws Abby a look and continues down to her own locker.)

JOEY: (to Erik) I hate Abby Morgan. (Shot goes back to Abby and her friends.)

ABBY: I hate Joey Potter. She thinks she's so above everyone. (She looks at her group of friends with a wicked grin.) But I'm finally going to teach her a lesson. Dawson Leery is *so* mine. (Sarah sees Pacey walking into school and waves to him happily. Pacey walks up to her, not noticing that she's standing with Abby's group.)

PACEY: Hey, Sarah! Have you found your locker okay, or are you in need of my assistance? (Sarah giggles and slaps his arms in fake hurt.)

SARAH: Aw, you are so mean! (Pacey laughs too.) No, I found it and everything.

PACEY: Well, that's good. We wouldn't want you wandering around lost again. (Abby watches the pair, and lets out a snort. Pacey finally notices her presence.) Abby Morgan. And to what do I owe this pleasure?

ABBY: You know, Dawson said the same thing to me earlier, and now he and I are going out. (Pacey rolls his eyes.)

PACEY: Sure you are, Abby.

ABBY: We are. Who knows, it could be an omen for us too, Witter. But don't get your hopes up. I don't think I could ever possibly lower myself to date someone of your low status.

PACEY: Oh, my heart pangs. (He glares at her. Turning to Sarah, he ends their conversation.) Word of advice, Sarah, find another group of friends. I'll see you later. (He walks down the hall. Sarah frowns.)

ABBY: Please, Sarah, don't tell me that you've taken up associating with Pacey Witter.

SARAH: He helped me find my way around Capeside last night. I don't see what's wrong with him. He seems very nice.

ABBY: Oh, Sarah, you are just too innocent and idealistic for your own good. Listen to me. You're new at this school. The last thing you want to do is ruin your reputation by hanging around the school's biggest loser.

SARAH: (defensively) I don't think he's a loser!

ABBY: (laughing) Trust me, Sarah, he is one. Just stay away from him, okay? (She pats Sarah on the shoulder patronizingly and walks away. Sarah watches her go, not sure whether to believe her or not.)


Joey sits down with Erik, looking happy for a change. Erik looks a little nervous for some reason, sitting down in his seat gingerly.

JOEY: So, where are you going to take her?

ERIK: (shrugging) I don't know.

JOEY: Well, don't take her to a movie, okay? That's so trite. Do something creative.

ERIK: Jo, I really don't know about this. Do you think me taking out Jen is the best idea?

JOEY: Why wouldn't it be a great idea? (She looks at Erik pleadingly.) Please, Erik, just grant me this one happiness in my pitiful life? All I want to do is have the two of you get together, okay? Can you at least pretend to like her for one night? For me?

ERIK: Joey, come on. It's not that I don't like her. I like her a lot - I mean, she's smart, pretty, everything a guy could want.

JOEY: So why are you so shy about doing this? You already said yes, you know. Going back on it would be bad manners. (She jabs him in the ribs jokingly. He shrugs away from her.)

ERIK: It's just...everyone else's relationships around here are going haywire, okay? I just don' doesn't seem like the right time. There's like...this bad *vibe* in the air, I'm telling you.

JOEY: Now you're just making up silly excuses. Come on, what's the real reason?

ERIK: I don't want to talk about it. (He looks away from her. Joey doesn't relent.)

JOEY: Erik, you can tell me. It's not like I'm going to tell anyone. Besides, who could I possibly tell?

ERIK: Jen.

JOEY: Well, besides her, is there anyone else left to tell? And I definitely won't tell her anything you say to me in confidence. Believe me.

ERIK: You have to promise not to laugh, Jo, all right?

JOEY: It can't be that bad, Erik. You're probably blowing it out of proportion.

ERIK: I doubt it.

JOEY: So...what's Erik's deep dark secret? Enlighten me.

ERIK: It's remember, you promised - no laughing.

JOEY: Cross my heart and hope to die. (She crosses her heart and then holds up three fingers as if doing the Girl Scout Pledge.)

ERIK: Okay...(mumbling) Um...I've never been out on a date before.

JOEY: (having a hard time hearing him.) What?

ERIK: I know, it's hard to believe, and very embarrassing, but-

JOEY: No. Really, I couldn't hear you. What did you say? (Erik blushes a little.)

ERIK: Oh. I just said that I've never...taken a girl out on a date before. I don't even know what I'm supposed to do. (He looks away.) I'm 16 years old, and I've never been out on a date...go ahead and laugh now. (Joey laughs, but not for the reason he thinks.)

JOEY: Oh, Erik! (She throws her arms around him, laughing.) You're such a goose, do you know that? So what if you've never been on a date? Jen doesn't have to know that. It doesn't really make a difference anyway.

ERIK: It doesn't?

JOEY: Nope. In fact, you could even take her to that party at Grant Bodine's house on Friday. (She glances at him sideways.)

ERIK: Do you really think that would be any fun? (She is silent, and Erik gets her meaning.) you want me to go and spy on Dawson for you?

JOEY: (ashamed) No! That's not it...well, maybe it is. But you could have a good time anyway! You never know. It could be fun. (Erik raises an eyebrow at her, showing his disbelief.) Okay, well maybe not. But tell you what. You take Jen on a date to the party, and I will help you think up the best, most original, most unforgettable second date that has ever taken place on the face of this earth, all right? (Erik still isn't convinced. Joey grabs his hands, looking at him pleadingly.) Please, as my friend, will you please do this for me? I can't go myself. (Erik's face melts, giving into his friend's pleas.)

ERIK: Okay. Fine, I'll go, if Jen will actually do this. owe me one.

JOEY: Thank you so much! (Joey gives him a friendly kiss on the cheek as the final bell rings and the teacher shuts the door.)


Pacey walks into the library, clearly looking for someone. Sarah's been on his mind ever since he'd met her. It wasn't like Sarah was really his type. In fact, she's the exact opposite of his type. But she seemed so innocent, sheltered, wide-eyed, that something about her was just rare and appealing. Instead, he sees Dawson, sitting with Abby Morgan across the room.

PACEY: (looking at the pair) What the hell.... (Walking across the room, he tries to go unnoticed, getting close enough to them to hear their conversation.)

ABBY: So, Dawson, have you given any more thought to that party tomorrow night?

DAWSON: Abby, I told you I wasn't going.

ABBY: Can't you just go with me, please? (she nuzzles closer to him) I promise I'll make it worth your while. (Dawson doesn't really know how to react. The whole situation was still too weird for him to get used to. Was he really about to start a relationship with Abby Morgan? More puzzling, why her sudden interest in him? He looks down at her, his confusion showing on his face.) Oh, Dawson, don't look so bewildered. I've been waiting quite awhile for Joey to get out of the picture, you know. (Daringly, she kisses him on the cheek. He is a bit startled.) So, that party?

DAWSON: Um...sure, I'll go. (Abby slaps her hands together in delight.)

ABBY: Perfect! You've made my day. Now everyone I want to be there is going. Even Sarah is going (In the background, Pacey is suddenly more interested than ever in this conversation.) - I'm trying to get her out into the mainstream here. I think she can be my new project.

DAWSON: Do you really think it's fair to make a new, unsuspecting student into your 'project'?

ABBY: (patting his chest) Silly Dawson! What does *fair* have to do with anything? Besides, at the end of it all when she's the second most popular girl in school - second to me, that is - she'll do nothing but thank me, trust me on that one. I know exactly what I'm doing. (Dawson just nods.)

DAWSON: Whatever you say. (Abby smiles. She kisses him again and jumps up. Pacey watches this, pretending to be looking for a book on the shelves nearby.)

ABBY: Great. I will see you after school, Leery. I've gotta go. (Abby saunters out of the library, quite pleased with herself. Pacey looks at Dawson, not sure if he should dare to ask him what the whole new Abby fling is about. Deciding against it, he puts the book he was pretending to look at back on the shelf and walks out of the library. Dawson sits alone, looking frustrated with himself. He's staring down at his notebook cover, which is covered with little doodles, many of them along the lines of 'Dawson and Joey Forever' and things of that nature. Closing his eyes for a moment, Dawson tries to block the hurt that's rising. Even more frustrated, he angrily rips the cover off his notebook. Getting up and walking to the garbage can, he tosses it inside with a sigh.)

DAWSON: Good-bye, Jo. (He walks back to his seat to finish his homework.)


Jen is finishing getting ready in front of her mirror, looking very nervous. Joey is now sitting in Jen's desk chair, looking at Jen with an amused smile. Jen catches Joey's eyes in the mirror and turns to her unhappily.

JEN: Joey, would you stop laughing at me? This isn't funny.

JOEY: As long as I live, I don't think I will ever understand why it takes some girls such a long time to get ready. Please Jen, just slap on some make-up, comb your hair, throw on something that hasn't been sitting in a crumple up heap on your floor and get going. Erik's going to be here in 15 minutes.

JEN: Just because you never had to worry about what you looked like with Dawson, geesh. Not everyone can be so lucky to be going out with a guy who thinks you are unconditionally beautiful no matter what.

JOEY: Dawson never thought I was 'unconditionally beautiful'.

JEN: Jo, you could've been wearing a dress made of recycled paper grocery bags and Dawson would've run and grabbed his camera to capture the essence of your gorgeous-ness. (Joey blushes and laughs.)

JOEY: I think not. (her face falling.) Besides, all that is changed now. (Jen looks as if she's about to say something, but Joey continues, not giving her the chance.) Now, I say go with the honey blush. If you use that poppy fields crap or whatever it's just way too pink. Here. (Joey picks up a container and hands it to Jen. Jen takes it gently.)

JEN: Are you sure you're going to be okay by yourself tonight? Cause I can cancel and we can hang together if you want to. (Joey shrugs off the suggestion.)

JOEY: Don't be silly, Jen. I'll be fine. And you're going to go out and have a *great* time with Erik. And...don't tell him I told you this, but this is his first time going out on an actual official date, so...go easy on him okay? He's bound to spill punch or trip over his feet or something. (Jen laughs.)

JEN: Am I really his first date?

JOEY: Shhh! You have to keep that a secret. I promised him I wouldn't tell a soul.

JEN: I promise, I won't let on that I know. And I promise if he gets so nervous that he throws up, I won't even laugh.

JOEY: No, I think you should throw up too just to make him feel better. (Jen wrinkles her nose.)

JEN: That's disgusting.

JOEY: Hey, you're the one who brought it up! (Both girls laugh at Joey's choice of words. Their laughter ceases and they both look at each other in silence. Suddenly the doorbell rings.) Oo, there he is. I'll go get it, you finish up. (Joey races downstairs, and Jen turns back to the mirror.)

JEN: (to herself) Relax, Jen. It's just a date. This isn't New York. (Jen takes a deep breath, straightens her hair, adjusts her clothes, and then goes downstairs to greet Erik, who she can hear talking to Joey.)


Dawson steps inside as Abby opens the door for him, a bit surprised at how nice Abby's house is. Abby smiles as he walks in; she hadn't really allowed herself to believe he was coming until he was actually there. Everything was working out perfectly.

ABBY: Hey, Dawson. You're five minutes early - good boy. (She pats him on the head like a dog.) I'm almost ready, just let me go grab my purse. (Abby goes to her dining room and takes her purse off the table. Passing by the stairs, she yells at the top of her lungs.) I'm leaving! See you later! (No reply.) Mom! Dad! I'm going! (still no reply. Abby rolls her eyes, muttering.) Whatever. Let's go. (Abby follows Dawson outside, slamming the door behind her.)


OL : "One More Time" by Britney Spears. The house is jammed to the gills with people of every nature. About half the crowd is holding beer bottles and cans, the other half drinking punch from red plastic cups, which of course is spiked. Jen and Erik can be seen weaving their way through the crowd, both looking frazzled. Erik, not thinking, just takes Jen's hand as not to lose her in the mass of people jumping around and yelling.

ERIK: (yelling over the music) Want to go outside? (Jen just nods. They try to find their way to the kitchen.)


Erik and Jen finally fine the kitchen, which leads to the wide screen doors leading outside. The scene surrounding the deck, pool, and vast, green backyard is just as insane. Students from Capeside and people whom Jen and Erik have never seen before are intermingling, screaming, shouting, and drinking.

JEN: I don't even know who have these people are, do you?

ERIK: Not a clue.

JEN: Well, I should be used to it, right? I guess I've stayed away from this party scene for too long - I think I've grown slightly tame! (Jen laughs, as does Erik.)

ERIK: At least you have some experience in this stuff. The biggest parties we had back home didn't even have alcohol. Pretty boring, eh?

JEN: Believe me, alcohol really doesn't make things more fun. It just makes it harder to remember the next day, so you *assume* you had fun. (Grant Bodine stumbles out of his house, already drunk. A couple of his cronies are with him. He hands Jen and Erik beers with a giddy, goofy smile.)

GRANT: (slightly slurring his words) Well, come on you too...get into it - what's the point of partying if you're just gonna stand around?

GRANT'S FRIEND: Yeah, Jen, I heard you used to be quite the party girl.

JEN: (handing back the beer) I was, but I've been trying to cut back. I only pull out the stops for the real good parties. (Grant and his friends take a minute to register that Jen's dissing his party, but by that time Jen and Erik are already walking back into the house.)

GRANT: (yelling) Hey! Are you insulting my bash?

GRANT'S FRIEND: Are you gonna let that bitch do that to you?


OL Continues. Jen and Erik stumble their way back into the living room, the music is louder than ever. Something breaks in the background, but no one even seems to notice. Jen's face suddenly grows pale as she sees two people walk into the party together. Erik follows her stunned gaze and sees Abby and Dawson enter. They're holding hands.

JEN: Oh my... (Pacey jumps up behind Jen, setting her hand on her shoulder)

PACEY: Hey, what's up party people? Have you seen that girl Sarah anywhere?

JEN: No, but take a look over there. (she points to Abby and Dawson.)

PACEY: Oh, I know, I saw them in the library. But...I'm staying away from that. I'm staying away from Dawson, staying away from the mean time, I am broadening my horizons. Erik, you seen Sarah anywhere?

ERIK: Who's Sarah?

PACEY: Nevermind then. Catch you guys later. Jen, try not to gape at Dawson and Abby's little pairing - I have a feeling that's exactly what he wants. (He pats Jen's shoulder before turning away, bouncing to the beat as he tries to survey the crowd for Sarah's small form.)

JEN: I can't believe that Abby is actually doing this. I'm so glad Joey decided not to come.

ERIK: She'd be you think Dawson is doing this for revenge?

JOEY: Doing what for revenge? (Jen and Erik both jump a mile, whirling around to see Joey standing behind them, dressed in a pair of tight Jen's and a skimpy tank top, her hair up in a high ponytail.)

JEN: Nothing!

JOEY: What is Dawson doing? He's not getting drunk, is he? (Joey steps between her two friends to see what they were looking at, and stops in her tracks. Abby Morgan had chosen the perfect moment to lay a surprise kiss on Dawson Leery. Joey's mouth falls open, stunned.)

JEN: Jo... (Joey is too stunned to speak. Abby throws a glance over at Joey as she pulls away from Dawson, putting on a victorious air.)

JOEY: I don't understand...when did Abby and Dawson...

JEN: I don't know, Joey. I'm sure Dawson's just trying to make you jealous.

JOEY: Trying to make me jealous? Of Abby Morgan?

JEN: I suppose so.

JOEY: Well.

ERIK: Are you okay?

JOEY: Of course I am. (She looks at Dawson, who is apparently still in shock over the passionate kiss he had just received from none other than Abby. Joey crosses her arms, a look of determination covering her face.) You know, I'm sick of this. I paid my dues for what happened between me and Pacey. I can't think of anything else I can do to make Dawson forgive me.

JEN: Joey-

JOEY: No, me and Pacey have both moved on, Dawson's the one unwilling to accept that the whole thing was just a stupid mistake. And now he thinks that he can get back at me by going around as Abby Morgan's latest trophy? I think not. He's about to get what he deserves.

ERIK: Joey, what are you talking about?

JOEY: Dawson wants to play games? I'll give him a run for his money.

JEN: What are you going to do, Jo? Please don't let him get to you - that's exactly what he wants!

JOEY: No, he wants me to feel as bad as he did when he found out about me and Pace. Well I'm not going to. I'm going to give him a dose of his own medicine. Tonight's the night, guys. (She spots Grant walking in from the kitchen.) And Grant Bodine, after all his desperate attempts to snag my attention in school, is finally going to get exactly the kind of attention he wants. (Joey storms off before Jen or Erik can even try to stop her.)



OL : "Fly Away" by Lenny Kravitz. The straps to Joey's tank top keep sliding off her shoulders, and every once in awhile she reaches down to fix them, not really caring about how much skin she's showing. Taking another swig of the third beer Grant had given her, she looks up at the conceited football star, pretending to find him utterly irresistible. With the alcohol beginning to have its effect, that task was getting easier and easier. His personality was harder to hate and his tightly toned body was getting easier to admire.

JOEY: So, Grant...tell me again about that winning touchdown last game. I love the way you tell it. (Grant smiles down at her, rubbing his hand up and down her bare arm.)

GRANT: How about I tell it right after this dance, huh, baby? (Joey smiles a reply as Grant leads her out onto the dance floor, where the music is pumping. Dawson, who is dancing with Abby, finally notices Joey's presence, and is a bit shocked as Joey starts practically bumping and grinding with Grant Bodine, of all people. Abby notices where Dawson's stare had traveled off to, and directs his gaze back to her.)

ABBY: Forget about her, Dawson. She's only trying to get your attention. (Dawson watches as Joey presses close to Grant, seemingly not caring that Grant's hands were eagerly groping her ass. In fact, she seemed to be liking it.)

DAWSON: I don't even think she knows I'm here. (Dawson's eyes widen as Joey accepts Grant's kisses along her neck, the pair continuing to dance wildly and dangerously close to one another as the pace of the music quickens.)

ABBY: (frustrated) Dawson, staring at her isn't going to make things better. I thought you wanted to move on.

DAWSON: How can they dance like that? This is a public place. (Abby takes his hand and leads him off the dance floor to the refreshment table. She hands him a cup of punch harshly.)

ABBY: Drink this, Dawson and put out the flames. (She crosses her arms, angry. She hadn't planned on Joey retaliating with a plan of her own. Both Dawson and Abby watch as Grant leads Joey to a nearby couch. He kicks the other people off and he and Joey collapse onto it. Joey, now too drunk to even care about anything, lets Grant kiss her wherever he wants, touch her wherever he wants. If Dawson was willing to go out with Abby, she certainly had the right to do whatever the hell she wanted to do with Grant Bodine. Dawson is disgusted as he views the makeout session between his former girlfriend and the guy who epitomized everything they had both hated about high school. What was she thinking? His hands clench into tight fists, and before he knows it, he's over by the couch, pulling Grant off Joey with a force he didn't know he had. Joey looks up, startled, then she gets angry.)

JOEY: What the hell do you think you're doing?

GRANT: Do you mind? I'm in the middle of something here, asshole.

DAWSON: Joey, what are you doing? Are you insane?

JOEY: You're the one here with Abby, and you're asking me if *I'm* insane? I don't think so, Dawson.

DAWSON: So what if I'm here with Abby?

JOEY: Then so what if I'm with Grant? (Dawson can't think of a reply.)

DAWSON: Because!

JOEY: Because why?

DAWSON: Because you hate Grant!

JOEY: So, you hate Abby!

DAWSON: Well, maybe I don't hate Abby anymore! At least she hasn't cheated on me!

JOEY: Yet.

ABBY: Shut up, Joey.

GRANT: Hey, why don't you shut up, you skank.

ABBY: You want to get into this, Grant? Come on, I'll kick your-

JOEY: You know what, Dawson? Why don't you just leave?

DAWSON: Why don't you leave? (Pacey can be seen in the crowd as the room falls silent, watching this scene with interest. The music stops. Pacey shakes his head, not able to believe what he's seeing.)

JOEY: Because this is Grant's house!

DAWSON: So what?

GRANT: If you don't leave, I'm going to make you leave, Leery.

DAWSON: Oh, please. You're so drunk, you can barely stand up.

JOEY: (pushing Dawson) Then why don't *I* make you leave? Just take your new little girlfriend and get out of this party?

DAWSON: Maybe I don't want to! (Abby looks from Joey to Dawson, and a look of human pain that no one has ever really seen on her face before appears.)

ABBY: Well, I want to. (Abby turns and races out of the house. Dawson looks after Abby for a second, not realizing what had happened.)

DAWSON: Abby, wait! (Joey tries to forces back her tears as Dawson races out of the house after Abby. Grant sets his arm around Joey's shoulder, but she doesn't even notice. Since he's so intoxicated, he barely even recognizes the importance of the events that just took place. He kisses Joey's neck again, thinking they can just pick up where they left off. Wiping away her tears, Joey shrugs from his grasp and pushes him away gently. He looks confused.)

GRANT: Hey, what'd I do? (Joey makes her way through the crowd, which parts quickly for her as she heads for the door.)

JOEY: (murmuring, as if Grant can hear her.) I have to get out of here. (She pushes a couple of confused people out of the way as they walk into the party and races outside. Everyone is silent for a few seconds, then someone turns the music back on and they all proceed as if nothing had just happened.)


Joey runs out the door and down the steps, past a couple of people who are nearly passed out drunk on the front porch. She suddenly stops, her eyes falling on Dawson and Abby. Abby apparently hadn't gotten far - she was sitting on the grass, Dawson kneeling beside her, looking concerned.


Dawson gingerly sets his hand on Abby's shoulder, genuinely worried. Was Abby Morgan really...crying? Abby is a bit startled by his touch, and she looks up, alarmed. She quickly moves away from him, angry and upset. Dawson is confused.


ABBY: Oh, shut up, Dawson. You can't possibly think that I didn't know you still liked her when I asked you out, do you? (Dawson doesn't know what to say.) Just forget this whole thing. Why don't you just go find Joey and tell her you want her back? You know that's what you want.

DAWSON: Abby, I'm sorry. I'm just *really* mad at Joey right now. I didn't mean to ruin your night with a stupid fight - I really didn't-

ABBY: (standing up) I hate Joey Potter.

DAWSON: (looking up at her) Come on, Abby, don't say that.

ABBY: (whirling around and looking at him with venom in her stare) I'll say whatever I want to, Dawson! You want me to clear something up for you? You want to know the reason I begged you to come to this party tonight?

DAWSON: What, there was some hidden reason?

ABBY: Get the picture, Dawson, I mean really. I asked you because I knew Joey was going to show up. I wanted her to see you with me.

DAWSON: (confused) Why would you want to do that?

ABBY: I have liked you, Dawson, ever since I met you. But Joey was always there, right by your side. Even when you were going out with Jen, I couldn't get you away from Joey. I mean, I could've easily stolen you away from Jen in a millisecond. But Joey was still holding you back - you liked Joey even when you were with Jen, and that's what annoys the hell out of me. You'll always like her, no matter what. I wanted her to see you with me and finally know that I had you and she didn't.

DAWSON: Abby, I don't get you. All this time...if you liked me, why did you act the way you did? Why did you torment me and all my friends and-

ABBY: Because that's who I am, Dawson! I like to make people feel on edge, I like to be the first person with the latest news...and you know what? Seeing you and Joey together every single living minute has made me a slightly embittered person, all right? I had no desire to make any of your lives easier for you when my life was hell.

DAWSON: Abby... (He is still trying to understand the concept that Abby Morgan has a crush on him - it seems to wild to understand.)

ABBY: Oh don't get all sympathetic on me, Leery. (She brushes tears from her eyes and moves farther away from him.) The last thing I want right now if your pity.

DAWSON: I don't *pity* you, Abby. I just...this is just the last thing I expected. I admit, when you asked me out, that I thought you had some hidden agenda that was possibly going to be used to humiliate me or something along those lines.

ABBY: (sniffling) Well, it's not as if I gave you a reason to think otherwise, did I?

DAWSON: I never had a clue that you felt anything for me, except hatred.

ABBY: And now you're going to go running back to Joey and I'll just be sitting here feeling like a complete and utter fool for thinking I could ever win you away from her.

DAWSON: (sighing, he sits down on the ground, a little overwhelmed) Abby, don't think that...Joey and I...we've been through a lot together, more than you can imagine. But after what she did...I just don't know how to feel about her anymore. On one hand I still love her and on the other I can't even bear to look at her. I saw her with Grant and I was so jealous, but I hated her at the same time. I'm just so confused right now... (Abby sits down next to him, but doesn't reply.) I...I don't know if I can forgive her. (He looks Abby in the eyes.) But I don't know how to move on.

ABBY: Usually it just happens...One night you'll just find yourself sitting some place, bored, and some new girl will walk into the room and before you know it, your heart will be pounding and your thoughts will be racing...and until that moment comes, you just have to keep going through your life - there's more things out there than Joey Potter.

DAWSON: There's just going to be this huge void in my life. She was my best friend.

ABBY: (sighing) I know... (She shrugs a little.) But that's life. Things change. I bet you never would've thought that you'd be sitting outside Grant Bodine's house on a Friday night with Abby Morgan, who just professed her feelings for you, did you? (Dawson laughs.)

DAWSON: No, you're right. I feel like I'm in the Twilight Zone. (They both laugh lightly.) But surprisingly, sitting here with you doesn't feel as strange as one would think. (Abby smiles.) Listen, Abby, now probably isn't the time for me to go out and 'play the field', or whatever you'd like to call it, but- (Suddenly Abby leans in and kisses him daringly. Dawson is surprised, but he actually finds himself getting into it, his hands running up her back. This kiss seemed real and meaningful, unlike the kiss inside the party. Abby pulls away slowly, opening her eyes. She blushes a little.)

ABBY: But if you ever decide to 'play the field'...give me a call, Dawson. (She kisses him again lightly and gets up, walking away quickly. Dawson watches her go, bringing his fingers up to his lips in almost disbelief. Standing up, he shakes his head.)

DAWSON: This has been an unbelievable night... (He glances up toward the house, and sees Joey standing on the front walk, frozen in place. She had seen the whole thing between Dawson and Abby. Her heart was breaking; she fought hard to bite back the tears that formed as she watched Dawson and Abby kiss. Now, Dawson looks at her from his position on the front lawn, stunned also. He whispers her name.) Jo...? (They stare at each other for a minute, then Joey turns and runs away as fast as she can, leaving Dawson behind.)


Erik and Jen are sitting on the counter by the sink in Grant's kitchen. They both look like they're feeling awkward as they gingerly take small sips of their punch, not wanting to drink too much of it. Erik looks at Jen, forcing a small smile onto his face.

ERIK: Well, this has been a strange evening, hasn't it? (Jen nods.)

JEN: Yeah. I hope Joey and Dawson are okay.

ERIK: I'm sure they are. I still can't believe Dawson came with Abby. I never thought he'd do something like that.

JEN: Abby has a lot more power than we thought, I guess. She must've done some hard convincing to get him to come.

ERIK: (sighing) This hasn't exactly been the ideal first date, has it?

JEN: (laughing) What are you talking about? Spiked punch, bad beer, obnoxious people, huge fights, loud music...I couldn't have imagined it any better if I had tried.

ERIK: (sheepishly) Sorry...I just-

JEN: No, Erik, I'm kidding! Don't worry about it. This...honestly wasn't that bad.

ERIK: Really?

JEN: Really. I mean, it could've been a lot worse. Look at Pacey...(She gestures over to where Pacey is sitting on the floor, looking depressed.) He came here because Sarah was supposed to be here, but she's not...and then Dawson and Joey explode at one another and he has to witness the whole thing.

ERIK: I guess this party was a bad idea for everyone. (Jen sighs.)


OL : "Do You Sleep?" by Lisa Loeb. Dawson is laying on his bed, but not anywhere near sleeping. The events of the night run through his head, from the horrible fight with Joey to the startling kiss from Abby. Sighing, he takes a photograph of Joey from his nightstand drawer where he had stashed it away, and sits up, looking at it sadly.


OL Continues. Joey is sitting on her own bed, looking around her darkened room aimlessly. She's crying quietly. Slowly, she gets up and takes her stuffed E.T. off her bookshelf and hugs it tight to her body, letting her tears fall freely onto the soft, brown, plush fabric of the little creature.


OL Continues. Dawson is up off his bed, pacing back and forth. Considering something, he goes to his door as if he's going to leave, then turns around and goes back to his bed. After sitting there for a few seconds, he gets up and turns on his computer.


OL Continues. Joey is sitting at her desk, her bedroom light now on. She's looking down at a blank piece of lined paper, her pencil clenched tightly in her hand. She's trying desperately to think of something to express how she feels, but isn't coming up with anything. Frustrated, Joey sets her pencil down and leans back in her chair, crossing her arms.


OL Continues. Dawson looks at the blinking cursor on his computer screen, which is set right after that only two words he has managed to write. "Dear Joey." The rest of the screen is still blank. Not able to think of anything to say, Dawson turns off his computer and looks at the clock. It's midnight. His hand reaches for his telephone, but he decides against it.


Joey sets her own phone back on the receiver, deciding it's too late to call Dawson anyway. Grabbing the E.T. again, she gets up from her desk and flops back onto her bed, burying her face in her pillows.


Dawson is laying on his bed. Dawson's bedroom door opens, and he lifts his head from his pillows. Gail walks in, looking at him, concerned.

GAIL : Hi, honey...what are you still doing up?

DAWSON: I can't sleep.

GAIL: Oh...your dad told me you went out with Abby Morgan tonight. How'd that go?

DAWSON: We went to a party. It was no big deal.

GAIL: Did you at least have fun?

DAWSON: Not really. Joey was there. We got into another fight.

GAIL: (reaching out and touching his shoulder) Oh, Dawson...

DAWSON: It's okay, really. I'm not going to die or anything. I mean, besides that...the night with Abby didn't go too horribly. We're not going out again, though. At least, not anytime soon.

GAIL: That's too bad. Your dad said she seemed like a nice girl.

DAWSON: She is, surprisingly. (Dawson continues quickly when Gail gives him a questioning look.) But I don't think I'm ready to get into another relationship with anyone right now. It's too soon...too soon after Joey.

GAIL: I understand...

DAWSON: I just...I never thought this would happen to us. I feel like my life is empty now. No Joey, no Pacey...they're both...

GAIL: I know it must be hard, Dawson. I never would've thought Joey and Pacey would ever be the people to hurt you like this, not even in my craziest moments. But you have to remember, they're your best friends. You can't stay mad at them forever.

DAWSON: Why can't I?

GAIL: Dawson, sometimes...people make mistakes. Stupid, careless mistakes that change lives forever. (Gail looks at Dawson thoughtfully.) You don't know why you did it, but you know it wasn't worth it, not in the slightest bit. Joey and Pacey...they kissed. It was one kiss. I think...I think they both know now that it wasn't worth it, don't you?

DAWSON: Doesn't matter, they still did it.

GAIL: I know. I know that. But isn't there any room in your heart for you to forgive them? It was a mistake, an error in judgement...both of them would take it back in an instant if they could, I guarantee that.

DAWSON: (getting annoyed) Must you defend them? They're the ones who were wrong here, okay?

GAIL: Dawson...I've been where they are, all right? Your father forgave me, and I did a hell of a lot more things wrong than kissing. (Dawson looks down at his hands. Gail strokes his forehead gently.) Just...don't stay mad forever, Dawson. It's not healthy and it'll never make you happy. Think about it. (She kisses his cheek and walks out of his room slowly.)


Erik and Jen walk onto her front porch, both looking tired. Erik glances at his watch.

ERIK: 12:15. I even got you home 15 minutes early.

JEN: My grandmother will love you. (She smiles at Erik, but he has a hard time smiling back.)

ERIK: I'm sorry tonight sucked, Jen. I wanted it to be a good first date, but I guess-

JEN: Don't be sorry, Erik. (She kisses him lightly, and he looks at her with surprise. Jen watches his reaction with amusement.) I don't know how much Joey told you, but I've had a huge crush on you since you moved here. You could've taken me to go babysitting and I think I would've still enjoyed being with you. (She kisses him again and opens her front door.) Thanks for taking me out. I'll call you tomorrow. (Jen slips inside the house, leaving Erik to giddily smile by himself. He looks very thrilled with what Jen just told him.)


Inside, Jen leans against the door as she shuts it, giggling lightly to herself. Grams, who was waiting up for her in the kitchen, walks in.

GRAMS: Hello, Jennifer, dear. How was your evening?

JEN: Good - we went to a party, got drunk, I did a strip dance on the table and then we all went skinny dipping in the creek.

GRAMS: Jennifer!

JEN: Relax, Grams. I'm just kidding with you. (She gives her grandmother a kiss on the cheek.) Really, all we did was go to a really bad party. We ended up just sitting around for most of the night while everyone else acted like idiots.

GRAMS: Well, you didn't have a horrible time, did you?

JEN: No, it could've been a lot more terrible, but Erik was so nice it made up for it.

GRAMS: He seemed like a very nice boy. (Grams smiles at her granddaughter, for once approving of her choice of a date.) Not at all like that Leery boy.

JEN: (laughs) I'm going to bed, Grams, it's been a long day. I'll see you in the morning.

GRAMS: Good night, Jennifer. Sleep well. (Grams watches Jen go up the stairs to her room, then goes back to the kitchen to clean up the coupons she had been clipping out of the paper.)


Dawson's bedroom is empty, his bedroom window is open.


OL : "Jumper" by Lisa Loeb. Dawson is sitting on the roof outside his window. He looks out across his yard and sees Joey walking up to his house from the dock. She looks up at him, heading for the ladder. Joey slowly climbs up, and then sits down next to Dawson. They're both quiet for a minute, until Joey speaks.

JOEY: (nervously) I was afraid you were going to take the ladder down.

DAWSON: Well, it's still there.

JOEY: Yep... (They're both quiet again.)


JOEY:, you and guys are a thing now?

DAWSON: Don't know. Not at the moment, but things change.

JOEY: (shortly) Oh.

DAWSON: Why, do you have a problem with that?

JOEY: No,'re a big boy, you can do whatever you want. (Joey starts to stand up to go, but then stops.) Actually, you know, I do have a problem with that.

DAWSON: Do you.

JOEY: (a bit angry) I do. See, the problem is that I'm still in love with you. (Dawson doesn't look at her.)

DAWSON: Well, I'm still in love with you, so where does that leave us?

JOEY: You tell me.

DAWSON: (finally looking at her) I don't know where that leaves us, Joey. Right now I'm still mad at you for the Pacey thing.

JOEY: (sighing) Less mad than you were yesterday?

DAWSON: (looking out at the creek) I don't know. I don't know much of anything these days. Everything's just...a big mess.

JOEY: Tell me about it.

DAWSON: Let's just...let's just take it one day at a time, okay? See how I feel.

JOEY: (quietly) So I just sit around and wait for you to make up your mind?

DAWSON: If you really love me, yes. (Joey sighs.)

JOEY: I have to say that's not very fair to anyone, Dawson. Me or you.

DAWSON: (looking down at his hands and speaking low.) You're the one who cheated on me, don't get the privilege of deciding what's fair.

JOEY: (moving a little closer to him) So we just wait?

DAWSON: (he offers her his hand gently, resting it on her knee and looking into her eyes.) We just wait. (Joey sets her hand in his.)

JOEY: (softly) We'll be okay.

DAWSON: (looking back out at the creek) Yeah...maybe we will. (The shot draws back to reveal all of Dawson's house, Dawson and Joey sitting silently on the roof, wondering where they go from there.)


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