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Hold on to the nights
Hold on to the memories
I wish that I could give you something more
That I could be yours
How do we explain something
that took us by suprise?
Promises in vain
Love that is real but in disguise
What happens now?
Do we break another rule?
Let our lovers play the fool?
I don't know how
to stop feeling this way
Hold on to the nights
Hold on to the memories
I wish that I could give you something more
That I could be yours
Well I think that I've been true to everybody else but me
and the way I feel about you makes my heart long to be free
Everytime I look into your eyes, I'm helplessly aware
that the someone I've been searching for is right there
Hold on to the nights
Hold on to the memories
I wish that I could give you something more
That I could be yours...
Pacey pulls her inside the house, and it was as if some massive flood-gate opened, and all of her pent-up emotions came out at once. As the door clicks close and she hears Pacey lock it, her heart begins to pound, so loudly she's almost sure Pacey will be able to hear it. Not saying anything, Pacey takes her in his arms and begins kissing her again, knowing what they're doing is completely wrong but having no desire whatsoever to stop it. He lifts her tank top over her head swiftly and brings his lips right back onto hers, barely missing a beat. Joey melts into his arms, losing herself in the feel of his body so close to hers.
It was beyond anything she'd ever felt before in her life. Every nerve in her body is shaking, she feels hot and cold at the same time as she practically quivers in anticipation of Pacey's next move. His tongue swirls inside her mouth, exploring every inch of her that he could. She unbuttons the last button of his shirt and pushes it off his shoulders, their lips meeting again and again. Like an explosion, everything was happening at once, and once it had began there was no stopping it. Breathing heavily, they eventually make their way to his bedroom, leaving their jeans, shoes and socks on the way, like a a trail of evidence for their crime.
Her mind was screaming for her to stop, but as they collapsed onto his bed and Pacey lay on top of her, every other thought except for sex was blocked out of her brain. She'd never been this far with any guy before, not even Dawson, but something felt so right and so wonderful that she knew she had no intention of putting an end to it.
But after a few minutes, Pacey stops and climbs off the bed, suddenly feeling tremendously guilty for what he wants so badly to do with Joey. She sits up, stunned.
"We can't...we can't do this," Pacey murmurs breathlessly, looking at Joey's scantily-clad body longingly. The aching for him stronger than it had ever been, Joey looks at him and sighs.
"I know..." she gets up off his bed and heads for the bedroom door, feeling like a criminal. As she passes Pacey, she slows, longing to kiss him again. Silently, they both stand there and look at one another, knowing that they're making the right decision but not being able to convince themselves of it. Taking a deep breath, Joey starts to walk out of the room, her heart still pounding. She brushes against Pacey's bare chest as she steps past him, lingering for a moment in the feeling of her skin against his. Looking up at him, she murmurs:
"Good night, Pacey," and turns to leave. Stifling his conscience quickly, Pacey catches her arm, not wanting her to go. Neither of them move for a moment, the decision weighing in the balance. He leans closer to kiss her, then draws back, unsure. Perhaps feeling worse for betrayal in general than betraying his actual girlfriend, Pacey pushes the thought from his mind and takes the final leap, pulling Joey back to him and kissing her with unparalleled passion, finally letting all his inhibitions go and closing any open doubts of what the outcome of the night would be...
Joey winces, not from the pain of the night but from the pain of *knowing* that night was wrong. Making love to Pacey was unbelievably incredible; her wildest dreams couldn't compare. But she hadn't expected her first time to be so...unethical. Hardly a romantic word to describe such a romantic moment in her life, but it was the only thing coming to mind. Sitting in the darkness, listening to the sound of Pacey's steady, rhythmic breathing, thoughts of Jack and Andie swirl in front of her crazily; she felt like she'd stepped right into Poe's Telltale Heart. Feeling the need to escape, to get some fresh air, she starts to get out of bed, but is stopped by Pacey's soft voice.
"Jo?" Pacey sits up, groggily and rubs his eyes. Joey turns her head slightly and looks at him, then looks away.
"I better get out of here, Pacey. Before someone gets home."
"Jo, no one's going to be coming home...don't go," Pacey's voice stops her again. Just listening to him talk made her body go haywire. Joey lets out a long sigh as she feels Pacey sit up more, his hand gently resting on her bare back. "Are you okay, Joey?"
"I don't know what I am. I mean, on one hand I feel so powerfully attracted to you and delirious over what just happened between us and on the other hand I'm so scared and confused and I don't know how I'll ever be able to look at Andie, or Jack, or Dawson...or you, ever again." Pacey moves closer to her, wanting to comfort her in some way. She turns and looks him in the eyes. "What do we do now, Pacey? We can't take back what just happened. We had sex, and there's no way to get around that." She glances down at her hands, which are clutching the bed sheet tightly to her body. "I don't know how I'm going to tell Jack."
"I feel strange too, Joey. I know I should be sitting here saying 'it was a mistake, it was this huge mistake, how can I ever face Joey again', like they show on tv when people cheat...like we're supposed to go around avoiding each other...like we were doing before..." Pacey kisses Joey softly on the lips. Her grip loosens slightly on her sheet. "But now, all I can think about is how wonderful you made me feel and how badly I want to do it again. I won't be able to avoid you or pretend I don't need you because I'm not that good an actor. I couldn't hide my feelings if I tried. And this past week or so has been unbearable, not only because I wanted *this*, but because I missed Joey, my friend, so badly. I can't stand not having you near me anymore."
"What are you saying, Pacey?"
"I'm saying...please don't leave me tonight, Jo. Stay right here. With me." He looks at her pleadingly. Joey is quiet, trying desperately not to give in and spend the rest of the night in Pacey's arms, but her will power isn't that strong. Unable to resist the effect of his deep green eyes searching hers, Joey wraps her arms around him. Her hands run through his hair as the sheet ends up back down around her waist. Pacey pulls her on top of him as they fall back onto the mattress softly, their lips converging and their bodies pulsating. They were already so far past the point of no return that they figured that they might as well keep going...not as if they even considered stopping once for the entire rest of the night.
Andie walks up Pacey's front walk and steps onto the porch, feeling more perky than usual. The sun shone brightly in the Saturday morning sky, and she couldn't wait to drag Pacey out from his dark slumber into it. Maybe they'd go for a picnic, or go for a drive...
Pondering the possibilities, she knocks on Pacey's front door as hard as she can, knowing it would take a sledgehammer to wake Pacey Witter up. When there is no answer, Andie takes a chance and tries the door herself, and is surprised to find it locked. The Witters rarely remembered to lock their doors, despite having two cops in the family, so Andie finds this a bit strange. Tossing it up to the possibility someone in Pacey's family suddenly got responsible, she knocks again, and patiently waits for someone to answer.
Pacey wakes to the warm sensation of Joey's lips on his, and smiles. Running his hands up her bare back, he murmurs a husky "Good morning" before pulling her to him, letting her know his whole body was wide awake and alert. Putting talking and other pleasantries aside, they kiss for quite some time, trying to ignore the bright sunlight streaming in through the windows signaling the night is over. Suddenly, a loud pounding noise house jolts them from their dream world, and Joey pulls away from Pacey, alarmed.
"What's that?" she asks, sitting up, startled. Pacey sits up too.
"It's the front door. Someone's here." They are both quiet for a moment.
"Well, aren't you going to answer it?" Joey looks at him.
"Maybe whoever it is will go away," Pacey replies, wishing with all his might that that would happen. But Joey climbs out of bed, wrapping a quilt from his bed around her, and heads for the hallway. Reality had hit her, and it had hit her hard. What was she doing here? What had she done?
Pacey slips on his boxers and follows her, only to find that she's hurriedly gathering her clothes from the floor and getting dressed as fast as she can.
"Joey, what are you doing?"
"I have to get out of here, Pacey. Oh god..." Joey throws on her tank top, being careful not to look at him. "I can't believe we did this, Pacey. I...I just have to go." Pacey takes hold of her arms, trying to steady her as she frantically rushes around the hall, grabbing various items of clothing. She stops, tears beginning to rush down her cheeks.
"Pacey, please don't. What we did last night was so wrong...and it can't happen again. Ever," she breaks away from him and runs to his room.
"Joey, stop - we need to talk about this!" Pacey exclaims, following her back into his bedroom. She's already at the window, forcing it open. He stops her again. "Jo, I thought we talked about this last night."
"Please, Pacey....I wasn't thinking straight. I didn't know what I was doing. This was all a huge mistake," she looks up at him, tears still streaming down her face.
"Don't say that, Jo, please don't say that."
"Why? You think this wasn't a mistake?" Joey demands. "I have a boyfriend! You have a girlfriend!"
"But I love *you*," Pacey replies. The surprise is evident in Joey's eyes as these words slip from Pacey's mouth. But he looks perfectly serious.
"You don't love me, Pacey," Joey tells him quietly as she steps out the window. "We can't be anything but friends." She dashes off before Pacey can manage to say anything in return. Letting out a deep sigh, he grabs a t-shirt from his dresser and heads to the front door to see who's there, if they were even still there. Opening the door, Pacey tries to bite back the small gasp which rises in his throat.
"Andie! Oh..um, hey!"
Andie smiles at him widely.
"Hey there, you. I was just going to leave- good thing you finally dragged your butt out of bed to answer the door," Andie scoots past him, inviting herself inside. "How are you?" she asks, cheerfully, planting a tiny kiss on his cheek. Pacey closes his eyes, not wanting to look at her. He knew if she saw his eyes...she would just know. How could he hide it from her? The level of guilt within him had bolted up to catostrophic amounts in a mere second.
"Me? Oh...I'm...uh, fine, I guess. How are you?"
"Better than ever, Witter. What are your plans for the day? They include taking little old me for a picnic or whatnot, right?"
"A picnic?" Pacey repeats, her words barely registering.
"Well, not necessarily a picnic," Andie backtracks, taking the edge in his voice to mean he thinks the idea is stupid. "Just something. It's a beautiful day out. We've got to do *something*." Andie heads to his bedroom, not noticing the peices of Pacey's clothing, which had been left there the night before, along the hallway floor. "So, get dressed, I am taking you out, Pacey Witter." Pacey follows her, not knowing how to get out of this one. The idea of spending an entire day with a girl he had just betrayed was too...awful to comprehend. Andie stops in his doorway, looking at his bed with a small laugh. The sheets are twisted and strewn every which way, half his pillows seeming to have taken residence on the floor. She looks at him.
"What?" Pacey almost chokes.
"Your bed looks like it's been through hell. Did you have a bad night? You look exhausted," Andie gazes at him sweetly, but he doesn't reply. He turns to his closet and opens it, looking for a pair of jeans.
"I didn't get much sleep," Pacey tells her, speaking honestly without telling the truth.
"Oh, that's too bad. Especially since you said you were so tired last night," Andie replies. Pacey tries to remember what she's talking about, then remembers he had said he didn't feel like going out with her because he was beat. He hadn't realized how many lies were starting to pile up already. He glances at his girlfriend, who is looking unbelievably sweet and innocent standing there, from the way she was dressed to the unsuspecting, loving smile that she had on her face. How was he going to ever tell her what he had done?
Dawson comes downstairs and heads into his kitchen, smiling to himself. The date with Jen had gone really well...better than any of his other dates with her had ever gone, in fact. He figured it was different this time around because he was sure Jen felt the same way he did; he didn't have to try to impress her or fight for her attention, because he knew she liked him. Sighing happily, he grabs an orange from the fruit basket on the counter and heads outside, not quite sure what he wants to do with the day.
"Dawson?" He stops on the porch steps and turns around. Gale is standing in the doorway, smiling at him.
"Would you mind running down to the store for me and picking up a few things?" she asks, gesturing to the list she has in her hand. Nodding a bit absentmindedly, he takes the list from her.
"Sure, Mom. Is this all?" He asks, eyeing the list. There's only a mere three items on it.
"Yep, that's all," she replies, and hands him a ten dollar bill. "This should be more than enough. If you see anything you want, feel free to get it." Dawson nods in response, and pockets the money.
"All right, I'll be back in a little while. It shouldn't take too long." Gale laughs lightly.
"I doubt it. The social security checks come out today, so you're going to have to fight crowds of slow-moving and grumpy senior citizens," Gale tells him. Dawson groans.
"Thanks, Mom. It's really kind of you to choose me to be sent into the fray," he thanks her sarcastically.
"Well, normally I'd send your dad, but since he's not here," Gale's voice tightens a little as she says that, and Dawson pretends not to notice. "You're the lucky soul who gets to go. Just try to come back in one peice, all right?" Gale bends down and kisses the top of his head affectionately.
"Okay. You owe me for this one," Dawson mutters, turning to go. Gale goes back into the house, stopping to turn back and watch Dawson as he walks down the path. Then she goes to the kitchen, feeling decidedly lonely. The house wasn't the same without Mitch around...
"But I suppose I only have myself to blame for that," Gale tells herself out loud, and reluctantly lets a tear fall down her cheek. Ashamed of herself, she brushes it away and opens the fridge, trying to find something to busy herself with.
"So," Andie starts, taking Pacey's hand as they walk through the park, "What do you feel like doing for the rest of the day? I mean, no offence, Pace, but I don't feel like walking around this rinky-dink little park for the next few hours."
"I don't know, Andie. What do you feel like doing?" Pacey asks, not looking at her, but instead down at their intertwined hands. He felt horrible...on one hand he wanted to tell her about Joey and his little rendezvous the previous night, but on the other, he knew if he ever managed to confess, it would break her heart. "Maybe you should've thought of that *before* you did it," Pacey thinks to himself. But he couldn't bring himself to actually regret making love to Joey. He was overwhelmed with guilt, to be sure, but he's pretty sure if he could go back in time, he'd make the same choice all over again.
"Well, we could go to the Ice House, but, we do that every weekend. I'm in the mood for something different. Something new. It's going to snow soon, and it'd be a shame to waste the little good weather that there is left, you know what I mean?" Andie's perky voice was starting to get on his nerves. Gritting his teeth into a tight smile, Pacey forces a reply.
"We could go for that picnic," he says, that being the only suggestion he could come up with. Andie grins; that was just what she wanted to hear.
"Great! We can go down to the supermarket and get some food and stuff. Hey, we could even see if Jack and Joey want to come!" The look of alarm on Pacey's face startles Andie a little. "What?"
"Why would we invite Jack and Joey?"
"Why not? It's time you and Joey put your arguments behind you, Pace."
"We should see if Dawson and Jen want to go. I haven't done anything with Dawson in awhile." It's Andie's turn to feel a but guilty. Her feelings toward Dawson, whatever they were, still hadn't gone away, and she's beginning to think they're not going to. Spending an afternoon watching Jen and Dawson flirt and kiss was not her idea of fun.
"Or we could just go alone, just the two of us." They both look at each other, but neither seem to find that idea very appealing either. Pacey shrugs.
"Let's just buy some things to eat and see where it goes from there." Andie nods, and they head out of the park toward town. Glancing over at Pacey's sullen expression, she gets the feeling that something between them had gone off-kilter.
"I wonder if he knows..." Andie wonders, but rules out the possibility. She hadn't breathed a word about her secret attraction to Dawson to anyone, and there was no way he would know by looking at the two of them. But then, what was wrong?
Jack takes the white paper bag from the pharmacist with a grateful smile. Checking the bag to make sure both his mother and Andie's prescriptions were inside, he backs away from the counter and turns to go down the aisle, and crashes right into someone. The bag slips out of his hands and hits the floor, the small orange-tinted plastic bottles rolling out onto the tile. He stoops to pick them up, embarrassed.
"Sorry, sorry," Jack mumbles, hurriedly trying to gather his things.
"It's okay." Jack looks up and sees Dawson Leery bending down to help him. Just his luck.
"I didn't mean to bump into you, Dawson," Jack apologizes again, keeping his eyes averted from his enemy. Dawson sees Jack's skiddishness and can't help but feel a little sorry for him. He picks up a container which had rolled to a stop by his foot, accidentally catching a view of the label. The name jumps out at him, being the last name he expected to see.
"Andrea McPhee, Prozac?" Dawson finds himself saying, disbelieving, before he even realizes he's saying it. Jack grabs the bottle from him.
"Um, that's really none of your business, Dawson," Jack tells him, shoving the bottle back into the bag. Dawson frowns.
"Sorry, I didn't mean to-" Dawson starts, then sighs. "I just...just-"
"Is she okay?" Dawson asks, concerned. "I mean, it's not my place to ask, but-"
"You're right. It's not your place to ask," Jack replies. Andie would kill him if she found out Dawson had seen her pills. Knowing Dawson would certainly go straight to Andie and ask her about them, he figured he better put Dawson's worries to rest. "It's just that Andie's been really depressed lately, because of our father leaving, and the move, and...our doctor just prescribed this for her, just for a month. To help her out a little. She's a million times better already, so I don't even know if she'll need this," Jack quickly makes up a hopefully believable lie, hoping Dawson would buy it.
"Oh..." Dawson shrugs. "So she's going to be fine?"
"Yeah, of course. Just...just don't say anything to anyone...about this, okay? She'd be really embarrassed and angry if she found out anyone knew. She really doesn't want to make it into a huge ordeal..." Jack pleads with Dawson. Dawson nods.
"Sure. I completely understand. I wouldn't want everyone knowing my personal business either..." Jack turns to go, satisfied with Dawson's response but not knowing how to reply. "Jack?"
"Yeah?" Dawson walks up to him.
"Look...I know...I know I haven't exactly been nice to you since you got here," Dawson says. Jack tries to repress a sarcastic laugh. Exactly nice? That was sugar-coating it. Dawson continues. "It was just...losing Joey like that...you know how much she means to me. I...I just wanted to tell you...that chapter in my life? It's closed. I mean, Joey and I...we probably are better off as friends. And I wanted to apologize to you for acting how I did. It wasn't fair. So...I'm sorry." Jack is completely surprised; this was the last thing he had ever expected.
"Oh...um, wow, um...yeah," Jack stutters, too taken aback. "I mean, it's okay, Dawson. If I were you, and some new guy had just come into town and swept Joey away like that...I would've hated his guts too, no questions asked."
"Yeah, really. So...friends?" Jack extends his hand, still not quite believing that Dawson Leery was really calling a truce.
"Friends." They shake, both letting out a little laugh as they do so. Andie rounds the corner as they shake, dragging Pacey behind her. She smiles, pleased.
"Well, well, well, looks like there's two new friends in the building," Andie beams. Jack and Dawson both stick their hands in their pockets awkwardly.
"Yeah, me and Jack...Jack and I just signed a peace treaty. No more war," Dawson says, his tone a bit joking. Jack just sort of nods at his sister.
"Great! Isn't that great, Pacey?" Andie exclaims. Pacey doesn't reply, his mind some place else. "Hey! You guys want to come on a picnic with me and Pacey?" Jack looks at Andie a bit strangely.
"Yes, a picnic. What do you say?"
"I think I'll pass, Andie. I promised Mom I'd come right home." Andie doesn't dispute that at all, and turns to Dawson.
"Well, what about you, Dawson?"
"Sure, it sounds like fun. Um, just let me call home and tell my mom where I'll be, okay?" Andie smiles at him, delighted. Dawson was coming, but Jen wouldn't be.
"Come on, Jo!" Dawson calls. Reluctantly, Joey trudges over to the picnic table.
"Hey Andie, hey Dawson...hey lamebrain," Joey greets them, the last comment pointed at Pacey. The insult seemed to catch in the back of her throat, but it had made it out. Pacey looks a bit hurt for a second, as Joey takes a seat across the table from him. She can't manage to meet his eyes, but he decides to play along. He could manage to quip back and forth with her...he'd done it for years, why should it be a problem to continue?
"Hey, Ice Queen. What are you up to on this fine day?"
"Well, it was fine until a few moments ago when I saw you," Joey bites back. It wasn't what she really wanted to say to him, but it was by far easier to fall back into their old routine than act nice toward one another. Pacey had said the night before he wouldn't be able to go back to their old ways, but she had a feeling he'd be able to pull it off. If they acted nice, everyone would be sure to guess what was going on.
"I see you two are back to your old selves," Dawson remarks. Joey rolls her eyes. Andie looks at Pacey oddly; wasn't it just this morning that she had told him to put his and Joey's fight behind him and go back to normal? He hadn't mentioned anything about already doing so...but she shrugs it off, deciding it was probably just a miscommuication between them.
"I didn't know that I had left my 'old self', " Pacey replies. "But I guess I'm back."
"So, Joey...I was thinking, Movie Night tonight? What do you say?" Dawson asks her. She looks a bit surprised.
"Are you sure?"
"Positively. I talked to Jack earlier and-"
"The two of them totally are friends now, Joey. It was so cute," Andie interjects, excitedly.
"What?" Joey is stunned.
"Well, we're not exactly best buds...but I promise he's not going to be getting any more grief from me."
"And what produced this startling new era of Dawson?" Joey inquires, skeptically. Was she stuck in the Twilight Zone? She'd lost her virginity to *Pacey Witter*, and now Dawson and Jack had made peace...out of nowhere?
"Actually, I'm back together with Jen now. I've decided that, you know, it's time I stopped being petty and get back to the important things. Like our friendship." Dawson sets his hand over hers affectionately. "So, I was wondering if you were willing to, you know..."
"You're back with Jen?" Joey asks, still finding everything to be more than strange.
"Um...yeah I am. Is that...are you okay with that?"
"Actually...you two are really cute together," she says. Andie rolls her eyes, but no one is looking at her. "I'm fine with it," Joey adds, even more surprised to find she really meant it.
"Well, then...that's great! So..tomorrow night, me, you, E.T. Sound okay to you?"
"Sure, Dawson," Joey smiles, almost letting out a sigh of relief. Having Dawson offer his friendship back to her was going to make things so much more...less complicated. It was then she made the decision. "Dawson will be back in as my best friend...eventually...and Jack...I have to break up with Jack." She glances over at Pacey, then at Andie. "And this thing with Pacey has to stop. My life is out of orbit." She looks at Dawson, trying to convince herself things were going to be okay. But deep in her heart, she already knew that it was too late to go back. Things weren't going to be okay.
Pacey watches the exchange between Joey and Dawson, wondering what exactly this meant. He needed to talk to Joey, alone. His mind was so jumbled and confused - they needed to figure out what they were going to do. Were they going to be together? Did she expect him to dump Andie? Was she going to dump Jack? Or were they just going to continue on and pretend as if none of it had ever happened? There was too many questions and absolutely no answers.
Andie presses the button with the Pepsi label and listens for her can of pop to thud down from the machine. Taking the can from the slot, she pops it open, smiling at the crisp sound it makes.
"I love that sound," she tells Dawson, as he deposits his own money into the coin slot. He smiles back.
"Yeah, it's definitely a likable sound," he replies. She pushes him slightly. "What? I was being serious."
"For a minute there I thought you were being sarcastic, Dawson Leery," Andie laughs. Dawson feigns innocence.
"Me? I don't know where you could've gotten an idea like that." They stop at the wide entrance to the snack stand, looking back down the trail to the creek; Pacey and Joey are sitting at their table, looking wrapped up in a conversation, but undoubtedly awkward at the same time.
"What do you say, should we let them sit there and talk for awhile?" Andie asks. "I was totally surprised they were acting normal toward each other before."
"Did you ever find out what their fight was about, anyway?"
"No, Pacey wouldn't spill the beans. I guess it doesn't matter now, though, since they're back on speaking terms with one another," Andie remarks. "But we should probably keep an eye on them and make sure Joey doesn't push him in the creek and try to drown him though." Dawson chuckles.
"Yeah, that's Joey all right. God...you can't imagine how much I miss her." Andie looks at him, surprised.
"Miss her...in what way?"
"I miss my friend," Dawson informs her. "It was such a surprise, you know? I thought Joey was...you know, the one. But after she dumped me, I found myself being attracted to other girls and not thinking of Joey so much. I hated Jack so much for taking her away...and then one day, it just stopped. I realized that I really wasn't in love with Joey...and if we ever were meant to be and I ever would *really* fall in love with her...it'd happen, down the road. But it's not meant to happen right now, and I am very okay with that. And I think she is too. I just want my best friend back."
"Funny, huh...the way life will work itself out..."Andie says, thoughtfully. She gazes down at Pacey, then looks at Dawson. Dawson looks back at her, the silence growing between them allowing a nagging question to plant itself in his brain.
"Yeah?" Andie replies, expectantly. The tone of Dawson's voice made her think he was going to say something intimate and caring. And she was right, but not in the way she thought.
"You know how I ran into Jack earlier at the market?" Andie nods, unsure where he's heading. "I...I accidentally saw one of the...one of the prescriptions he had. And I promised I wouldn't say anything, or ask you about it... but..."
"Oh god..." Andie murmurs, turning away from Dawson.
"But I have to know, Andie, are you really okay? Jack said you were fine, but I knew he wouldn't tell me if you weren't. He doesn't trust me at all."
"And with good reason! Didn't you promise not to say anything to me? How's that for trust?" Andie exclaims. Dawson sets his hand on her arm.
"Andie...I just...I care about you. I care about you a lot. Maybe more than I let on," Dawson tells her, his voice growing more quiet. "I just need to know...yes or no...are you really doing fine?" Andie looks at him for a moment, wondering what "more than I let on" meant. She walks silently out of the tiny building, and goes and sits down at a nearby picnic table.
"I will be fine, Dawson. I'm not exactly great now, but I'm getting better. I think...I think that's all I need to say." Dawson sits down next to her, his eyes filled with concern.
"Is there anything I can do to help?"
"This isn't really...there's nothing anyone can really do to help, Dawson. It's me."
"Okay..." Dawson sets a comforting hand on her back. "But Andie...if you ever want to talk to anyone, I'm here for you, all right? Just know that." Andie forces a little smile at him.
"Thanks Dawson. But I really think the worst of my problems are behind me. There's nowhere to go but up, right?"
"What do you mean by 'the worst'?" Dawson asks. The one thing he'd learned from his mom about interviewing was to always ask the question. The person might or might not answer, but if you never asked at all, you'd never know. Although he certainly wasn't interviewing Andie, he hoped that Andie might answer his question.
"The worst...I...Back in Providence, I spent a little while in an institution," she looks at Dawson for a reaction.
"Why?" his caring expression didn't change.
"After my dad left us...after Tim died...my mom just kept getting worse and worse...it seemed like my life was falling into pieces. And then my mom told us we were moving here..." Andie trails off, takes a deep breath, then begins again. "I didn't even realize how depressed I was getting until Jack started asking me all these questions...all these strange ones he's never asked before. Like why I sleep so much, or why I wasn't eating...anyway, he took me to the doctor, and he told me I was suffering from a bout of depression...gave me some pills and the whole deal. I thought he was over-reacting, because of my mother and all. I didn't want everyone to think I was going insane like she did. I refused to believe that I needed any medication, so I didn't take it. Until one night...my mom was having a horrible time of it...she kept talking to Jack as if he were Tim and she just wouldn't stop it! I couldn't take it anymore. I just went upstairs to my room, and..." Andie's voice breaks, trying to hold back tears. "I didn't mean to take so many, I really didn't. It wasn't..." Dawson, not knowing what to say, remains silent until Andie can regain her composure. "I'm sorry...I just...It's just I've never really...*talked* about this to anyone except my psychiatrist and Jack before."
"Not even Pacey?" Dawson asks, his voice still quiet. Andie shakes her head no.
"I can't...I can't talk to him about this. He has enough problems of his own to deal with without me unloading mine onto him."
"Oh, come on, Andie, don't say that. Pacey would never...he would want to be there for you. I know he'd want to know about this."
"Why would I tell him? So he can break up with me? No one wants to go out with a lunatic," Andie turns away from Dawson, ashamed of herself. Dawson tentatively reaches out and sets his hand on her shoulder comfortingly.
"Pacey would never do anything like that. And even if he did - which he wouldn't - there's tons of guys that would love to take his place, believe me." Andie looks back to him, blinking away tears.
"How do you know?"
"Just trust me, I do," Dawson replies, his tone convincing enough to make Andie believe he really does know it to be true.
Pacey and Joey look at each other awkwardly, not sure what they're supposed to say to one another. Any minute, Dawson and Andie would be back from the pop machine. Staring at Joey, Pacey is finding it hard to keep himself from grabbing her right then, and going at it right there on the picnic table. Since that's obviously not possible, Pacey opts for a safer choice.
"Joey, we need to talk."
"Yeah, we do," Joey says, lowering her gaze. She couldn't let his eyes get to her ; if she caught one of his beautiful looks she knew her will power would melt completely.
"Why did you run away so fast this morning? You didn't even give us a chance to talk about what happened."
"I'm sorry, Pacey, but I just freaked out. I couldn't...at that moment I couldn't deal with what we did," Joey twists her fingers together nervously. Pacey lets out a long, deep breath and shifts in his seat. "We should've never done it, and we can't ever do anything like that again." Impulsively, Pacey reaches across the table and takes her hands in his.
"Joey, why can't it? What reasons can you possibly think of to keep us apart?" Joey removes her hands from his and looks at him disdainfully.
"I don't know, how about Andie and Jack?"
"Joey, it's not like we're married to them. You could break up with Jack just as easily as I could dump Andie." Joey doesn't say anything. "Unless...you don't want to break up with Jack. Is that it?"
"No, Pacey...believe me...I was actually...I was actually planning on telling him it's over. I mean, it's pretty clear that if I spelt with someone else, whatever Jack and I have isn't working...but...Pacey, we just can't break up with the both of them and throw ourselves at each other."
"Why can't we?" Pacey asks, seriously wondering why.
"Because! Just...because. We can't."
"Joey, it's not like I'm looking forward to telling Andie I don't want to go out anymore. I like her a lot, I really do. She's the only one who ever really believed in me in this stupid town...but I don't love her. I've tried to feel the way about her that I do about you, but it just doesn't work that way. It just hasn't been these past few weeks that I've loved you, Joey." Joey looks surprised. "I was surprised myself, but that day at the hospital that we fought, I realized that there was something I'd been denying for way too long. And now that those feelings have emerged, Joey, I can't force them down again. That's why I'm breaking up with Andie. I can't go out with her when I'm madly in love with someone else." Joey's heart softens as she hears him speak, this time letting her hands remain in his when he takes them again. "Even if...if you're not ready for us to be together right after we...after we're single again...it's okay. I'll wait for you forever if I have to."
"I just think that if we break it off with our respective others and then fall right into this ultra-tense relationship with each other...they're going to be more hurt than ever, Pacey. And we wouldn't just be hurting them, you know we'd be hurting Dawson too." Pacey sighs, shaking his head sadly.
"I know, Joey...but that's a risk I'm willing to take. I know they'd be upset. But it'd only be for a little while...they'd eventualy understand. I know they would."
"You really think so?"
"Yes," Pacey says, then pauses, looking down at their interlocked hands. "You may think last night was a mistake, Joey...but it was the best night of my life." Joey's muscles relax, finally allowing her hands to rest comfortably in his.
"Oh, no, Pacey..." Joey replies pleadingly, gently tipping his face up to look at her. "I don't...I don't think it was a mistake. It just...it scared me. It scared me so much that I was making love to someone that...that I wasn't supposed to be. It was wrong, maybe...but it wasn't a mistake. I wouldn't take it back for anything. Ever."
"You really mean that?"
"I do. More than I've ever meant anything before in my life." They're both silent for a little while, just sitting there staring into each other's eyes. Finally, Pacey speaks, seeing Dawson and Andie walking back down the path toward them.
"I'm going to do it tonight. Tell Andie that I want to break up. Will you do the same with Jack?"
"Do you want to meet at the docks at ten o'clock...decide where we're going to go from there?"
"Sure," Joey replies, managing to get her answer in before Andie and Dawson approach the table and sit down. Joey and Pacey look at the pair, trying to act as if they were talking about something unimportant, like the weather or the latest movie they saw. Andie sits down, a bit more quiet than normal. Both Pacey and Joey are too wrapped up in hoping that neither Andie or Dawson can sense the tension in the air to notice that Dawson and Andie keep glancing at each other, traces of longing and understanding in their eyes.
"So, it was fun today, don't you think?" Andie says, stopping at the street corner where she and Pacey had to part ways.
"Yeah, it was more fun than I thought it'd be," Pacey replies, not really meaning it. They both are quiet for a moment, then they both start talking at the same time.
"Pacey-" They both laugh awkwardly. "You go ahead," Andie tells him. Pacey laughs a little and finishes what he was going to say.
"Okay...um, well, I was going to ask if you would be willing to meet me at the Ice House later. Say...at 7? There's...there's something I sort of need to talk to you about."
"Oh...well, I'm standing right here, why don't you tell me now?"
"I would, except my dad told me to be home at four and I really don't feel like sparking another fight or anything," Pacey explains. "So, would that be okay? Seven o'clock?" Andie nods.
"Sure, seven. There's actually, something I really need to talk to you about too," Andie adds. They both look at one another, not sure what else to say.
"So....seven it is. I will...I guess I'll see you then, then," Pacey stumbles over his words a little.
"Yep." They kiss each other good-bye with about as much passion as two people who really didn't want to kiss could muster, and went their own ways. Andie walks down the street, feeling a little odd and out of sorts. She couldn't out her finger on it, but she knew that what Pacey had to say to her wasn't going to be anything good. It wasn't as if what she had to share would exactly make things better between them...but she knew she had to do it.
As she passes Capeside Book Barn, she notices the 'Help Wanted' sign is gone from the window. A bit surprised, she goes inside. Her stomach gets butterflies as she enters, not quite sure if it was the proper thing to do to actually go in and ask who got the job. But her curiosity was mounting and she desperately wanted to know on whose account the sign had disappeared.
She wanders through the aisles for awhile, trying to get up the nerve to go ask the clerk at the front desk if she knew who the new employee would be. Fingering a copy of American Psycho absentmindedly, she carries it up to the checkout and sets it down.
"Hi, is this all for today?" The girl, whose name tage reads Linda, asks. Andie nods. Linda runs it through the scanner, and Andie takes out a 20 dollar bill from her purse. "That'll come to $16.02," Linda tells her, and Andie hands her the money.
"Um...do you by any chance know who got the position that was open?" Andie asks quietly. Linda looks at her, shrugging.
"Oh, I don't know. My boss said that he was starting tomorrow though," Linda replies. Andie's face falls.
"Yeah, some guy. He better not slack off, I tell you that. The last guy that was in here barely worked at all and I really wanted to kill him," Linda says, handing Andie her book inside a plastic bag. "And $3.98 is your change."
"Oh. Thanks," Andie mumbles, trying to smile.
"You're welcome. Have a great day," Linda smiles, and shuts the cash drawer of the register.
"You too," Andie mutters, and walks out of the store, her disappointment clearly showing.
Taking a deep breath and trying to mentally prepare herself for the grueling task ahead of her, Joey knocks on the McPhee's front door. She knew Pacey was probably doing the same thing with Andie at that very moment, but it didn't make what she was about to do any easier. Jack finally answers the door, a big smile gracing his face as he sees his girlfriend standing there.
"Hey, Joey! What are you doing here?"
"Oh, I just stopped by for a few minutes. There's something I kind of need to talk to you about," Joey replies as Jack moves out the doorway to let her inside.
"Sure, come on in. Here, let me take your coat," Jack says, lifting the jacket off of Joey's shoulders. Joey looks around the McPhee's vast foyer, feeling very scared. She'd only broken up with Dawson before, and that had been so...spur of the moment that she didn't really have time to think about what she was doing. But dumping Jack like this was so...so...premeditated. Actually planning out what she was going to say to him was just grating on her soul. It made her feel awful, but she knew what she had to do. "My mom's asleep, so we'll have to be really quiet, okay?" Joey nods. "You want something to drink?" he offers.
"Um, no, actually. I just sort of...well, what I came here to do...it would probably just be best if I said it and I left, okay?"
"Why do I not have a good feeling about this?" Jack asks, suddenly aware of how anxious and awkward Joey is acting.
"Uh...probably because what I'm about to say isn't exactly good. Well...Jack, um...god, how do I say this..."
"Whatever it is, Joey, it can't be *that* bad. Just tell me."
"Okay...well, Jack, I don't think we should go out anymore," Joey blurts out. Jack's mouth literally drops open.
"I...I just don't think...I don't think this is working. Us," Joey replies nervously.
"What, are you mad at me or something?"
"No, that's not it, I'm just-"
"Just what? Is it another guy?" Joey doesn't answer. "Joey? Is it?"
"Is it what?" Joey say as if she hadn't heard the original question, closing her eyes tightly and trying to think of a repsonse. She couldn't tell him the truth. What could she say? Yeah, it's another guy. It's your sister's boyfriend, actually. We slept together. Wouldn't that just work perfectly.
"It is, isn't it? You've found someone else."
"No, it's not that," Joey lies, opening her eyes and looking at Jack. He looks hurt and upset ; this had been the last thing he had ever expected.
"Then what is it, then?" He asks. Her heart breaking, Joey reaches out to touch his hand, but he shrugs her touch away. "Just answer me, Joey."
"Jack, it's just...it's just not...I think we're better off as friends."
"What, is this like a hobby for you or something? Go out with your friends and then as soon as they start to fall for you completely, you dump them?"
"What do you mean by that?" Joey exclaims, hurt.
"Well, this is exactly what you did to Dawson, isn't it?" Jack's voice is getting louder and more angry.
"Jack, it's not the same thing! You don't understand. It's completely different."
"Is it? I don't think so, Joey."
"Jack, please try to understand. I just don't...I don't feel that spark between us, okay? You're a great guy, you're just the best. but I just don't think we were made to be together, okay?"
"No, it's not okay," Jack bites back.
"Joey, you said what you had to say...I would really appreciate it if you just left."
"Please, Jack, listen, I'm not-"
"Joey!" His tone warns her that he's perfectly serious. Silently, Joey turns and heads for the door. Glancing back at Jack, she tries to fight back her tears. She knew from the look on his face that she had hurt him badly.
"I'm sorry, Jack," she says, barely above a whisper, and leaves quietly. Jack watches her go, her apology stinging in his ears.
Pacey enters the Ice House, finding it surprisingly empty. The reason he had chose to meet in a public place was to hopefully make Andie a bit less likely to cry and make a scene. But unfortunately they had the place almost entirely to themselves. Nervously, he takes a seat at a booth and waits for Andie to come. A few minutes later she enters, and his stomach starts doing flip-flops. Was he really ready to break Andie's heart? His thoughts immediately turn to Joey, and he knows that he is. Andie takes a seat across from him, but before he can speak, she takes something out of her purse and sets it in the middle of the table.
"What's this?" Pacey asks, picking up the presecription bottle.
"It's my Prozac, Pacey," Andie replies and watches for his reaction. He sets the bottle on the table, her sentence regiistering.
"Your...Prozac. I...I thought that was for manic depressives." Pacey says, confused. Andie nods.
"It is." Pacey doesn't reply, not quite understanding what she's trying to tell him. Was she okay? "See, Pacey...before I moved here to Capeside...things in Providence were really bad. Tim died, then my dad walked out on us, and then my mom got sick...we were going from psychiatrist to psychiatrist, my mom was in and out of the hospital...some social worker was constantly checking up on us and talking about foster homes for us until my mom got back to normal, and...and it just really started to get to me. Before I knew it...I was no better off than my mom was. I started seeing a psychologist, and for awhile I was feeling a little better...but then it started again and I was worse off than ever before. I was put on this medication, but I refused to take it. One night, I tried to commit suicide." She pauses for a second, not looking at her boyfriend. "I stayed for awhile in the hospital, and I took my medicine...my mom was doing a lot better by then, and she convinced the children's department that she was back on track, and that we already had a new place set up for us here in Capeside...to you know, start over. So, we moved over here, and I found a therapist I liked, so I've been going to her ever since we got here. My mom...well you know that she's just getting worse and worse again, and I just don't know if she's ever going to get herself back together. Jack's the only one around who has his act together, but he can't do it all. I just...I just can't..."
"Can't what?" Pacey asks, concerned. Andie hadn't realized it, but tears were falling down her cheeks. She just knew she had to tell him everything, even if that meant using one breath to get it all out. She looks at him, not wanting to continue her little story.
"I don't know, Pacey...I'm sorry..."
"For what?" he asks, reaching across the table and taking her hand in his.
"For being the way I am. For being so screwed up."
"Oh, Andie, don't feel that way," Pacey tells her. How could he not have known these things about her? How could he have been going out with her and not known that she had this secret life? Why had she never told him? "Andie, you're not screwed up. You aren't. I just wish you had told me. I can help you, Andie. With whatever you need."
"I know...I know I should've told you about it. I was so afraid that if I told you, you would never look at me the same way again. Who would want to go out with a crazy person?"
"Andie, just because you've had some problems, it doesn't make you *crazy*, all right? And don't think that I would leave you because of those problems either, okay? I would never do that."
"I know. I know that now, I really do. I'm just...I'm sorry I kept that from you all this time." Pacey gets up and sits next to her on her side of the booth, wrapping his arms comfortingly around her.
"It's okay. Everything's going to by okay, Andie. I promise," he brushes the tears off of her face and kisses her lightly.
"Thanks, Pacey," Andie murmurs, and kisses him back. Resting her head on his chest, Andie feels like a huge load had been lifted off her shoulders. Pacey didn't look at her like she was weird. He wasn't going to walk around on eggshells because of her past. Looking up at him, Andie murmurs, "Wasn't there something you wanted to tell me?" Pacey looks down, knowing that there was no way in hell he could possibly break up with Andie McPhee now. She had just revealed her deepest secrets to him and was counting on him to be there for her...he couldn't leave her until he knew she was okay.
"It was nothing, Andie. Not important," he replies, and pulls her closer.
"Hello, this is Dawson. Is Jen home?"
"Yes she is, please hold on for a minute," Mrs. Ryan replies, sounding all together unenthused to hear Dawson on the other end of the line. He hears her calling for her granddaughter, and a few seconds later, Jen picks up the phone.
"I got it, Grams!" she calls downstairs. "Hey, Dawson," Jen greets him happily. "What's new?"
"Not much," Dawson replies. "How about you?"
"Pretty much the same as always. Where were you all day? I stopped over at your house and your mom said you were gonna be gone for most of the day."
"Oh, it was the strangest thing. I went to the supermarket to get some stuff for my mom, and ran into Jack there. So, I just had this sudden urge to make peace with the guy, so I apologized for how I've been treating him, yada yada yada, we're all cool. So, then Andie and Pacey come in, and Andie invites me and Jack to this picnic thing they're having. Jack says he can't go, but I figure, hey, I don't have anything better to do with my time, so I went."
"Wait, you and Jack are friends now?"
"I wouldn't say *friend* friends, just more like, not enemies. Anyway, it gets weirder. We're at the park, and Joey comes along. So we invite her to sit down."
"And what happened then?"
"It was just the strangest thing. I'm sitting there, and I'm thinking how much I am just...so over her. I mean, when I had run into Jack earlier, I hadn't envied him Joey, or hated him for stealing her away, I just felt bad I was such a jerk. And then I was sitting with Joey, and I could've cared less that she'd dumped me. I even invited her over for movie night tomorrow night."
"And what did she say?"
"She said sure. And then to add to the weirdness of my liberation from the Joey situation, Andie McPhee told me something that was really quite surprising."
"What would that be?"
"Well, when I ran into Jack earlier, he was picking up these perscriptions, and I accidentally saw one of them. It was Andie's, and it was for Prozac."
"What?" Jen's surprise is evident in her voice. Dawson nods into the phone.
"I know. So I was really concerned and all, so when we got a chance alone I asked her about it. And she just let everything spill out. Back in Providence she almost killed herself," Dawson didn't know why he was telling Jen all of this, especially since he knew he shouldn't be telling anyone, but for some reason he couldn't keep it inside. He felt guilty that Andie had confided in him, because that meant they had some kind of bond between them. The reality of it was, Dawson figured if he trusted Jen, his girlfriend, with this information, that meant they had a bond between them too. That's what he wanted to believe.
"Andie McPhee? Are you sure we're talking about the right person?"
"Yeah, I know, it all seems so hard to believe. But she's a manic depressive, Jen. She's really been having a hard time of it. It's just so...you really think you know someone and then it turns out they have this sort of...whole other life that you never even knew existed."
"Sort of like me and my other life back in New York," Jen sighs, remembering when she'd dropped the bomb about her past on the unsuspecting Dawson. "I think everyone has their own skeletons in the closet, Dawson, don't you think?"
"Yeah, I guess so. Anyway, I convinced her to tell Pacey about it. Secrets can ruin relationships if they're kept for too long," Dawson says, speaking from experience. Jen sighs, knowing what he means.
"Well, lucky for us, we get a second chance," Jen replies.
"Right. I think we should make sure to tell each other everything from now on, okay? No more secrets," Dawson states, knowing full well that his attraction to Andie was definitely a secret he had no intention of telling her.
"No more secrets," Jen repeats, agreeing to Dawson's pledge.
Joey waits at the end of the pier, anxiously waiting for Pacey to arrive. It was getting really cold, and sitting out on the dock alone so late at night was beginning to feel unsafe. Getting impatient, she checks her watch for the third time in five minutes. Ten thirty. Where the hell was he? Beginning to pace back and forth once more, Joey hears footsteps coming toward her and looks down the pier. Pacey slowly walking to her, looking tired and pained.
"Hey. You're late," she murmurs as he stops beside her, forgetting how annoyed she was a moment ago. Although still upset over what had happened with Jack, seeing Pacey and feeling his presence so close to her made the regret and pain seem so much less.
"Sorry," Pacey replies, his heart aching as he thinks about what he's going to have to tell her. Giving into his desire, Pacey pulls Joey close to him and kisses her passionately, thinking that this could possibly be the last time he could ever do so. When they break away from each other, Joey looks deep into his eyes. She knew something was wrong.
"What's the matter?" She asks, caressing the side of his face. He pulls away from her slightly.
"I couldn't do it," he says quietly. Joey can't believe what she's hearing.
"What? What do you mean, you couldn't do it?" She backs away from him.
"Listen, Joey, I wanted to. And I was going to, really."
"But, what, you just changed your mind, last minute? Said, 'you know, fucking Joey was fun but I think I'll just stick it out with Andie.' ?"
"Joey!" Pacey is startled by her harsh language. She rarely ever swore like that. "Joey, don't think that. That's not how it is."
"Well what else am I supposed to think?" she exclaims. "How is it, then, Pacey? Fill me in, cause I think I missed something."
"I told Andie to meet me at the Ice House tonight, and I was planning on breaking it off then. But then she said she had something to tell me too, and...back in Rhode Island, Andie tried to commit suicide. She's got problems, Joey. She told me that she's on Prozac now, and she's seeing a therapist...but after she told me all of that I couldn't break up with her, Joey, you have to understand. She needs me. It would kill her if I dumped her, especially after she confided such personal information in me. She'd think she scared me away with her history, and I can't have her thinking that." Joey just looks at Pacey, speechless.
"So, that's it then," she says, her voice low. "I broke up with Jack, so stupidly thinking that Pacey Witter would commit to a relationship with me. That he loved me."
"I do love you, Joey. You have to realize-"
"I realize everything perfectly well, Pacey. I've known you my whole life, I should've known better than to think you were telling me the truth. I just...I should've known."
"Joey, please, don't be like this. Don't think that-"
"Do *not* tell me what to think!" Joey yells, startling him. "God..." she closes her eyes, beginning to cry. She'd cried more in the past few days since her little affair with Pacey had started than she had in a very long time. Pacey moves closer to her, wanting desperately to comfort her, but she throws off his touch as if it were poison. "*Don't* touch me, Pacey!" Joey jumps away from him, opening her eyes. She turns away from him, wanting to leave.
"Don't go, Joey, please," he begs as she begins to walk away. Joey whirls around, glaring at him.
"I'll see you around, Witter," she mutters and runs down the pier, not looking back. Pacey stands alone in the dim light, watching her go.
Joey races down the darkened streets of Capeside. She'd never felt more confused and alone in her entire life. How could Pacey do this to her? Just use her like that, for nothing more than a one-night stand? Joey felt so stupid, so ignorant, at having ever thought that Pacey loved her, or that she loved him. She'd given herself away so easily, giving into simple desire and tricking herself into believing it was something pure, something that was meant to be. Now she knew the truth.
She wanted to talk to someone, to confide in someone and tell them how hurt and upset she was, but there was no one. She couldn't run to Dawson, not only were they not close enough at the moment, but it'd kill him to hear about her and Pacey, and he was sure to tell Andie once he knew. Andie was definitely right out of the picture, and there was no way in hell she could ever talk to Jack. Bessie would kill her if she ever found out Joey was having sex, especially after watching Bessie make the same mistake and get pregnant with Alex. Joey considered running to Bodie ; she knew he'd understand and try to help, but if she told him, he would eventually tell Bessie, and then she'd be right back into the path of Bessie's wrath.
Before she knew it, she was at Jen Lindley's doorstep, pounding on the door, sobbing hard. It hadn't occurred to her that Jen's Grams might answer the door, but lucky enough for Joey, Jen answers. She looks confused when she sees Joey standing on her front porch. Hearing Joey's quiet sobs, Jen steps out of her house, worried.
" I didn't wake you up, did I? I didn't wake up your grandmother? Maybe I should go," Joey suddenly says as Jen walks toward her, thinking maybe this wasn't a good idea.
"No, I was up, don't worry..." Jen is really amazed to see Joey crying and can scarcely believe it. "Joey? What is it?" Joey doesn't reply. Her anger had given way to hurt and her emotions were going out of control. Jen, concerned, reaches out and sets her hand on Joey's arm, but Joey jumps back a little. "Jo? Is it Bessie? Alex? What's wrong?" Joey shakes her head no. "It's not Dawson, is it?" Joey shakes her head no again, trying very hard not to meet Jen's questioning gaze. "Then what's the matter?"
"You have to promise to keep it a secret, Jen. You can't tell *anyone*."
"Tell anyone what?"
"Just promise me!" Joey exclaims, her voice urgent. "You can never breathe a word of this to anyone ever again. *Ever*, I mean it. Promise."
"I promise, Joey. Just tell me, okay? You're really beginning to scare me here," Jen eyes Joey, genuinely worried. Joey refuses to look at her, falling silent once more as she tries to choke back her sobs. "Jo?" Jen asks again, softly.
"Jen, I slept with Pacey," Joey blurts out, finally looking at her. Jen's mouth drops open, shocked beyond belief. Had she heard right?
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