No One Is to Blame by: Laura

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You can look at the menu but you just can't eat
You can feel the cushions but you can't have a seat
You can dip your foot in the pool but you can't have a swim
You can feel the punishment but you can't commit the sin

And you want her and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame

You can build a mansion but you just can't live in it
You're the fastest runner but you're not allowed to win
Some break the rules
And live to count the cost
The insecurity is the thing that won't get lost

And you want her and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame

You can see the summit but you can't reach it
It's the last piece of the puzzle but you just can't make it fit
Doctor says you're cured but you still feel the pain
Aspirations in the clouds but your hopes go down the drain

And you want her and she wants you
We want everyone
And you want her and she wants you
No one, no one, no one ever is to blame
No one ever is to blame
No one ever is to blame


"You did what?" Jen exclaims, looking at Joey as if she'd just admitted she was the second gunman on the grassy knoll. Joey turns away from Jen's surprised eyes and gaping mouth, wincing to herself. Jen is too shocked to speak for a few moments. Joey takes a seat on the porch swing, feeling guilty and dirty ; and she just knew Jen was going to look at her the same way - how could she not? What she had done was inexcusable. "Joey...please tell me you're kidding. How could you have...I mean, Pacey? Why Pacey? What about Andie? Jack?"

"I broke up with Jack."

"When did you do that?" Jen is just stunned by all of this, not able to comprehend that it isn't a dream. She stands in front of Joey, who is staring at her feet and looking like a child afraid it's going to be hit.


"And then you slept with Pacey? After you dumped Jack?"

"No. I had sex with Pacey yesterday night." Jen sits down next to her friend, but Joey jumps up. "I'm sorry. I was wrong to tell you about this. Just...Just forget I even said anything, all right?" Joey heads for the stairs, but Jen's urgent voice stops her in her tracks.

"Jo! You can't possibly expect me to pretend I don't know about this!" Joey turns around with a sigh. "Just sit back down, Joey, okay? Tell me what happened." Joey eyes the empty space next to Jen, then reluctantly reclaims her seat.

"It''s kind of hard for me to, you know, talk about, Jen. It wasn't anything that Pacey or I even thought was going to was just this *thing*..."

"I know it's hard, Jo, but I'll listen to you and I won't tell anyone, I promise. It's all so completely weird though, Joey. You and Pacey? How did the two of you even-" Joey closes her eyes and brings her knees to her chest, totally not wanting to think about it.

"You know that hospital thing? Well...the first day there, me and Pace got locked in this linen closet together."

"Oh god - what did you do?" Jen asks, imagining the worst. Joey takes offense.

"Nothing! Nothing! We just fought the whole time."

"So what happened?"

"We were just sitting there, and he said something to me...I can't even remember what it was now...and I just lost it. It was something about Dawson and Jack. And then someone let us out, and I ran out before he could even...anyway, he followed me outside, and he stopped me...and it was then."

"Then...what?" Jen is listening intently.

"I looked into his eyes and I knew why I wasn't happy with Dawson, or with Jack. He was the reason. I could feel it." Joey sighs. "The girl volunteers at the hospital were practically drooling over Pacey all day long, and I kept denying how attractive he was...but I knew that, just like them, I really wanted him, and wanted him bad."

"So all this time...*Pacey's* been..."

"I didn't know it. I didn't have a clue that I felt that way about him. And then all of a sudden all those feelings emerged, and as hard as I tried, I couldn't force them back into submission." Joey looks at Jen, tears in her eyes. "It's been going on for almost two weeks now...the almost kisses and the tense moments...but last night at the Habitat for Humanity thing...every time I looked at him, these wild thoughts went through my head. He left a note in me bag to come to his house at 10 o'clock...and I did."


"I *know* I shouldn't have done I was walking there, I kept telling myself to turn around and go home.'s just not that easy." Jen lets out a long deep breath.

"This is the last thing I ever expected to be talking about you with, Jo, I can tell you that much," Jen shakes her head. "I just can't believe..."

"I know."

"Were you safe?"

"Of course we were." Joey replies shortly. "At least I'm not that stupid."

"Jo, just because you're involved with Pacey doesn't make you *stupid*."

"Then what does it make me?" Joey asks, honestly. "I had sex with my friend's boyfriend. I had sex with one of my *own* ex-boyfriend's best friends. It doesn't get any more stupid than this."


"I just don't know what I'm going to do, Jen...I just don't know..."

"What does Pacey think about all this?" Jen asks. Joey laughs bitterly.

"What does Pacey think? He thinks that Andie is just too fragile for him to leave right now so he simply can't break up with her," Joey mutters. "Of course, this comes *after* we agree to break it off with Jack and Andie so we could be together..."

"I'm sure he wants to be with you, Joey."

"Not according to him he doesn't. I *knew* it...I just *knew* that he would never leave Andie."

"Did he tell you why?"

"He said that something about her being mental, I don't know. He didn't say it in those words, but-" Joey crosses her arms. "Pacey's a god damned liar. I mean, I would've rather heard him tell me the truth than pass me off some sick lie and expect me to buy it."

"Joey - it wasn't a lie," Jen replies quickly. Joey looks at her friend, clearly not believing it.

"What do you mean?"

"I *mean* that Pacey wasn't lying. Andie has really been having a rough time of it lately...because - well, there's a lot of reasons I'm sure."

"Why does everyone know this except for me? Am I really that clueless?" Joey exclaims, getting frustrated.

"Come on, Joey. I only know cause Dawson told me," Jen sighs. "But I'm sure that if things were different, Pacey would never have gone back on his word to you. You gotta know that by now." Joey's eyes fill with spite as she turns to Jen.

"Why the hell should I know that by now? Pacey has never done anything to prove that to me. If anything, I should've known Pacey would hurt me. It's my own fault - I should've seen it coming." Joey curls up, bringing her knees to her chest, and lets out a long sigh. "I should've known better."


Pacey walks into Capeside High, feeling like his heart is all the way down in his toes, as heavy as a piece of lead. Dragging his feet, he slowly plods toward his locker, his head pounding furiously. He felt so terrible that he was beginning to feel sick. Wincing a little, his fingers clumsily work open his lock and he begins loading his books into his bag for the long day of boring classes ahead. Letting out a long, deep sigh, he shuts his locker and turns to go to homeroom; he nearly gets pushed over by Joey, who had been trying to get past him before he turned around. She glances at him, but before he can say anything she's already halfway down the hallway. Pacey watches her hurry away, his heart panging with hurt.

Adjusting the shoulder strap of his backpack, he goes into homeroom, not looking forward to the day ahead. He almost stops short in the doorway, realizing that Andie is already inside the room waiting for him to arrive.

"Pacey!" She sees him before he can duck back out into the hall, jumping up and running to him. "Did you hear?"


"Joey broke up with Jack! Can you believe it?" Andie exclaims, the shock evident in her voice. Pacey feels like punching himself out as Andie informs him of the news he already knows. Wouldn't she be *really* shocked to know why Joey dumped her brother?

"Joey broke up with Jack? When?" Pacey replies, trying to sound just as shocked as his girlfriend.

"Last night! He's really screwed up over it. He didn't see it coming at all. I didn't see it either! Do you have any clue why she would do that?" Pacey coughs, buying himself some time to think of an answer.

"Um...I don't really know why she would dump him. Didn't she give Jack a reason?"

"Yeah, something about there being no spark between them or something. But that's what people say when they're hiding something, you know? Jack thinks it's another guy." Pacey looks at Andie, alarmed.

"What makes him think that?"

"I don't know, he just senses it," Andie says, then her eyes widen, getting a theory. "You don't think that she and Dawson are..." The very idea enrages Andie, but she hides it well. Dawson had suddenly started being nice to Jack...invited Joey to movie night...Pacey quells her fears.

"No, I have it on good authority that he and Jen are very happy. Jen told me so herself," Pacey tells her. This news isn't particularly accepted happily by Andie either, but she doesn't feel as threatened by Jen as Joey. She mentally slaps herself for thinking about Dawson when she's standing right in front of her own boyfriend.

"What do I feel threatened about? Dawson and I are just becoming friends, much less anything more. He's entitled to go out with Jen..." Pacey continues, not noticing the look of hard concentration on his girlfriend's face as she tries to figure out her own thoughts.

"Besides, if Dawson were back together with Joey, he'd be on the phone giving me the news in a second." Andie nods absentmindedly.

"Well if it's not Dawson, then who?"

Pacey looks away.


Pacey walks out into the empty hallway, letting out a deep sigh. He had forgotten is math notebook for the second time this week. His teacher was getting angry, and that was the last thing he needed. Glancing down at his hall pass, he quickly walks down the hall to his locker. Before he reaches his locker, he sees Joey emerging from a classroom a couple of doors down.

"Joey..." he murmurs, under his breath, and looks up and down the hall, frantically, seeing if the coast is clear. Finding no one else in the hallway to see them, he decides to go after her. "Joey!" he calls out, jogging toward her. She stops and turns around, then quickly averts her eyes as she sees Pacey approaching. "Jo, hey. Listen, we really need to talk."

"Um, talk about what?" Joey asks, looking down at the ground and adjusting her backpack awkwardly. Pacey sets his hand on her arm, but she shrugs off his touch.

"About what happened."

"Oh? Did something happen? Cause I don't remember anything happening," Joey replies, sarcastically feigning innocence.

"Please - I really think that you misunderstood me, Joey. I don't want to stay with Andie, believe me, but right now the situation is just too complicated." He looks at her pleadingly, but she is unswayed.

"Right." Joey mutters.

"You don't believe me about Andie?"

"No, I believe you about her. I just don't think that keeping her veiled from all of our lies is really helping her, now is it? If you cared about her at all, you would let her go so she could possibly find someone who does really love her."

"Joey, she confided in me, all right? She told me that the whole reason she never told me before was because she thought she'd scare me off. I break up with her now, what does it look like?" Joey finally looks at him.

"You could just tell her the truth. That you and I were screwing around before she said anything about her screws loose," Joey smirks. Pacey looks a bit angered.

"That's not funny."

"Wasn't meant to be," Joey bites back, and turns to go. Determined to get his point across, Pacey grabs her arm, and quickly opens the door to the storage closet next to them, pulling her inside.

"Joey, listen to me. You have to know that this isn't about my love for you. I never lied about that, and nothing has changed. I still want to be with you."

"But you can't be with me, Pacey! So stop torturing me with all of this and just let me go. If you can't commit to a relationship with me, I am not sticking around just so I can watch you fawn over Andie."


"What?!" she exclaims, getting frustrated. "Nothing you can say will change my mind, Pacey. Let's just stay away from each other - it's best for everyone." Her hand reaches for the doorknob, but Pacey steps in her and of the doorway, blocking her escape. "Pacey, let me out." Joey demands, glaring at him.

"No - in a closet is where this whole mess began and-"

"And in a closet is where it's all gonna end." Joey interrupts harshly, trying to reach around him for the handle. Frustrated himself, he steps into her way again.

"Joey-" Pacey starts again.

"What now?" Joey's eyes are filled with such anger that Pacey momentarily backs down.

"Forget it," he lets her begin to open the door, but then closes it again. "No, wait." As the door snaps shut, Pacey takes Joey in his arms, kissing her passionately. Joey is at first surprised, trying to fight how good his lips on hers feels. But she can't stop herself from pleasuring in his kiss, and soon finds herself melting in his strong embrace. Pacey pulls away slowly, looking deep into her eyes. Joey's eyes start to brim with tears, her heart breaking in the torment of the moment.

"I love you, Joey," Pacey whispers.

"I love you too, Pacey," Joey replies, admitting for the first time that her feelings are the same. She starts to open the door once more. "But it's an impossible situation. And I'm walking away from it now before either of us can get hurt even more. Good-bye, Pacey." With that, she slips out the door, leaving Pacey alone. As the door shuts behind her, Pacey lets out a deep sigh, leaning against the door.

"Good-bye, Joey..."


Joey closes the storage closet door behind her and stops to wipe the tears out of her eyes. Taking one or two deep breaths, she attempts to get her reeling mind back in order. She walks down the hall, back to class, trying to think of an excuse why she had taken such a long time getting back.

Down the hall, Abby Morgan had been watching as Joey had stepped out of the closet, apparently talking to someone. Curious, she waits for the other person to emerge as Joey walks down the hall, but no one comes out. As if on a secret mission, Abby tiptoes down the hall and opens the door, expecting to find Dawson Leery or Jack McPhee inside. She opens the door fast, hoping for an element of surprise, but she winds up being the one startled.

"Pacey?" Pacey, who had been leaning against the door, crashes to the floor at her feet. He lets out a groan and starts to get up, but Abby is to shocked to offer him a hand.

"Gee, thanks, Abby," he mutters as he stands, rubbing his back. "That was wonderful of you."

"Pacey?" She asks again, disbelievingly. "What the hell were you doing in there with Joey Potter?" Pacey looks at her, fumbling for an excuse. Not able to think of one, he turns to go. "Are you two-"

"No." Pacey cuts her off before she can go where Pacey knew she was headed. "We weren't doing anything, don't be stupid, Abby. Just forget you even saw us." He stalks off. Abby watches him go, a wicked smile easing its way across her face.

"I think not, Mr. Witter. I am going to find out *exactly* what you two are up to," she laughs to herself, delighting in her new project.


Pacey walks into Screenplay Video, looking forward to picking up his weekly paycheck.

"The only good thing that could possibly happen today," Pacey mutters to himself, letting the door close behind him and heading toward the counter. Knowing Dawson would be working today, he swings behind the counter.

"Hey, D-man! You really should be watching the front of the store! What would Nellie say?" Pacey calls out, and walks through the door to the backroom laughing. He stops in his tracks, a bit startled. "Andie?"

"Oh, hey, Pacey!" She exclaims, smiling at him. "How are you?" Pacey glances at Dawson, who is standing beside Andie. Andie is wearing a Screenplay Video vest and nametag.

"Um...fine...uh, how are you?"

"Great!" Andie replies, a bit puzzled herself at Pacey's confusion.

"Hate to sound rude, Andie...but what are you doing here? In that?" He gestures to her clothing.

"What do you mean? I told you that Dawson was getting me a job here."

" you didn't," Pacey says. Andie shakes her head.

"Um, yeah I did! Last night! Don't you remember?"

"I think you're wrong, Andie...I think I would've remembered. What happened to Capeside Book Barn?"

"They gave the job to someone else," Andie tells him. "You seriously don't remember any of this, do you?" Pacey shakes his head no. "Come on, I told you! After our picnic, I went by and the help wanted sign was gone, so I went in and asked...and they had hired some other guy, so when I ran into Dawson the next day at the supermarket...I mentioned it to him, and he said the Olsens were looking to hire another part-timer."

"I don't recall you telling me *any* of this." Pacey still looks very confused and surprised. Andie shrugs. "If you wanted a job here, why didn't you just ask me about it?"

"It was just a happenstance thing," Dawson interjects. "I had just found out about the job opening here right before I ran into Andie."

"Don't worry, Pacey," Andie smiles, pinching Pacey's cheeks teasingly. "Don't pout over it. I know you would've offered me the job had you known about it." She turns to put take some returned movies out of the bin and heads up front. "Anyway, what brings you here if you didn't come to see me?"

"It's payday..." Pacey tells her, still feeling like he's in another world. Andie was going to be working with him too now? "How am I possibly going to handle this?" Pacey asks himself, suddenly sensing that someone up there was out to get him.

"I'll go get your check, Pace," Dawson states, and goes toward the back office. Andie looks at the movies in her hand, and heads to the drama section.

"So, I checked the schedule - we're working together next Tuesday!" Andie informs him, grinning. Pacey forces a smile, barely managing it. Andie notices his expression and stops, looking at him. "You don't look happy."

"What? No, I'm happy."

"You're okay with this, right? With me working here?"

"Of course I am, don't be silly."

"Because you're acting weird about it."

"I am not acting weird," Pacey protests. "I'm just a little set back here. I feel strangely out of the loop. I was clueless about this whole thing." Andie rolls her eyes at him.

"Well, maybe if you tried listening to me once in awhile," she retorts. Pacey is about to reply when Dawson emerges, holding up a white envelope.

"Here you go," he says, handing it to Pacey. Pacey takes it, folding it and shoving it into the pocket of his khakis.

"Thanks," Pacey mutters.

"Is An Affair to Remember drama or romance?" Andie asks, looking from Pacey to Dawson. Pacey doesn't answer, but Dawson smiles.

"It's romance, ya dork," he tells her, affectionately. "Haven't you seen it before?" He takes it from her, walking over to its spot on the shelf.

"No, I never have. Is that the one with Cary Grant?"

"Yep. I can't believe you've never seen it. You've at least seen Sleepless in Seattle, right?"

"I'm the only person in the world who hasn't, it seems," Andie replies, sighing. "I just never got around to seeing it and everyone tells me I'm an alien because of it."

"Well you are," Dawson jokes. Pacey shifts on his feet, feeling like he should be involved in the conversation but not bothering to try. "We'll have to get everyone together and have a movie night. You've been neglected of way too many cinematic experiences."

"You know what? I'm gonna leave you two to your movie talk, cause I have some stuff I gotta do. I'll talk to you later, Andie?" He walks backward toward the door. She waves to him.

"Okay, Pace. Talk to you later." Pacey leaves, giving Andie one last glance before walking away. "Pacey's been acting a little weird lately," Andie sighs, watching him as he disappears from view. "I think it has something to do with me."

"Pacey's always been weird," Dawson assures her, laughing. "I doubt it has anything to do with you."

"Very funny, Dawson, really, but I'm being serious. Since I told him about...everything on Friday night...I mean, at first he was really nice about it. It seemed like..." Andie pauses for a moment. "But now...every time he talks to me it's like his mind is somewhere else. You just saw it in here. He completely forgot that I was going to be working here. I remember telling him, I'm not crazy," Andie laughs at herself a little. "Okay so maybe I am a little bit crazy, but there are *no* problems whatsoever with my memory." She and Dawson stroll through the aisles of the store, continuing to talk. "I get the distinct feeling that something between us has changed."

"Andie, I think you're just over-analyzing things."

"Oh, I'm getting warned that I'm over-analyzing from the King of Scrutinization himself?"

"Well, takes an expert to spot the symptoms," Dawson informs her, handing her a copy of Emma. "Can you put this over in comedy?"

"Sure." Andie takes the movie from Dawson, letting her hand brush against his. He notices, but tries not to react. Andie saunters over to the comedy section, putting Emma in its proper place. "So, Dawson, while we're talking about over-analyzing things, I might as well get something off my mind. It's been driving me nuts lately and I keep going over it and over it in my brain."

"What's that?" Dawson asks, heading back to the counter and taking a seat. Andie stays hidden behind the many racks, not wanting him to see her nervousness as she says what she's about to say.

"Feel free not to respond to this if it makes you feel uncomfortable, but I think part of the problem between Pacey and I has been that I've been having feelings for someone else lately."

"Why would that make me feel uncomfortable?" Dawson inquires, his heart rising in his throat. "Because I'd know and you're asking me not to tell Pacey?"

"Well, I don't want you to tell Pacey, of course...but I thought that...if I told you that that someone else was *you*..." Dawson doesn't know how to respond. He can't see where Andie is, she's obviously making an effort not to be in his view while she poured her heart out to him. Slowly, he stands up and tentatively walks down the middle aisle of the store, surveying each row for Andie's familiar blonde head. Turning into the romance section, he finds her. She looks at him, then down at the ground. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that. God, I'm so stupid. And completely embarrassed." She fidgets, turning a faint shade of pink.

"You really have feelings for me?" Dawson asks quietly, scarcely believing the reality of what was happening. He had been trying hard to suppress his feelings toward his best friend's girlfriend, but at that moment he knew if he couldn't possibly deny the truth. Andie nods, still not meeting his gaze. Dawson doesn't speak for a moment, so Andie starts to move away.

"Just forget I even said anything, Dawson. I don't even know why I told you...I just had to get it off my chest. I didn't want to make things awkward between us," Andie begins to ramble, suddenly feeling like a complete fool. What had she been thinking? "What did you expect? Did you expect him to like you back?" she screams to herself, feeling her face burn with shame.

"Andie?" Andie looks up, her body quivering. The sound of her name falling so gently from Dawson's lips was enough to give her shivers. She meets Dawson's intense gaze, and for a minute is frozen with excitement. "Could he possibly...?" In an instant, Dawson pulls her to him, pressing his lips to hers. They kiss passionately for a moment, then break away from each other simultaneously.

"Okay,," Andie says breathlessly. Dawson looks at her, astonished with his own actions.

" could say that," he replies, running his hands through his hair. "So...uh..."


"Hmmm..." Andie shoves her hands in her pockets, looking straight at Dawson.

"So...should we pretend that didn't just happen?" Dawson inquires.

"We could do that," Andie answers, nodding her head, almost wildly. "Or we could go in the back and do that again. I don't think kissing each other in plain view of any passer-by would be a wise choice." Dawson raises his eyebrows at her. "Quick, Dawson, choose one or the other before I start over-analyzing things crazily again." They both stare at one another for a quiet moment, then without a word, Dawson grabs Andie's hand and pulls her through the store to the backroom.


"Joey, would you please pay attention!" Bessie barks, tossing a wet washcloth at her little sister. "You have work to do." Joey shakes herself from her trance, rolling her eyes.

"Yes, drill sergeant," Joey barks back. Bessie watches Joey as she goes to wipe tables, shaking her head. Joey had been out of it all day, often sitting at the counter staring off into space, her fingers lightly running over her lips and her eyes clouded over dreamily. Someone had kissed her, and kissed her well. She only wondered who it could be. She glances over at Jack in the kitchen, who is sullenly washing dishes, occasionally throwing lovelorn looks in Joey's direction. Since Jack and Joey had split, Joey had been acting strangely. Saturday and Sunday she had came home and locked herself in her room; Bessie could hear her crying. Then today after school, she came into work acting strangely. Dreamy, yet confused and agitated at the same time.

"So, Joey...what's new?" Joey turns around, a glare set and ready to go.

"Abby...what a pleasure. What brings you over here to torment me today?"

"Oh, nothing. Can't a girl ever just come on over for a little chat?"

"Not if that girl is you, she can't," Joey retorts. Abby shrugs.

"Well, fine then. I just heard that you dumped Jack, so I automatically wanted to know the dirty details."

"Why do you care?"

"I don't really, but Capeside is so boring that the highlights of the town loser's love life are pure entertainment when compared to the alternatives." Joey glares at Abby again and turns and walks back into the kitchen. She hands Jack a couple of dishes she had brought in from the dining room, not sure whether to talk to him or not. He takes them from her roughly, not even bothering to look at her. She decides against saying anything to him and returns to the main eating area. Abby is sitting at the counter, pretending to look through a menu.

"Great, Jack in the kitchen and Abby out here. I'm trapped." Ready to scream, she catches Bessie's arm as she passes by. "Bess, it's dead here. Can I please leave early?" Bessie eyes her sister suspiciously.


"Bessie, please. Jack isn't talking to me and Abby Morgan is sitting by the counter waiting to make my life a living hell. If there's no reason for me to be here, I would really like to escape."

"Escape to where?" Bessie asks slyly. Joey shrugs.

"Anywhere, really."

"Fine. But you owe me one, girlie," Bessie warns. Joey takes off her apron with a triumphant smile, handing it to Bessie.

"Thanks, Bessie. You're the greatest."

"I know," Bessie replies. Joey heads for the exit quickly, causing Abby to practically jump in surprise. Her target could not get out of her line of fire that fast. As Joey opens the door, Bessie calls to her. "Hey, Jo?"

"Yeah, Bess?"

"Is something going on with Dawson I should know about?" Joey shakes her head.

"Nope," she says, and leaves before Bessie can ask her any more questions. "How does she even know something is going on with me?" Joey asks herself. "I guess I can't keep anything private from anyone." Joey heads down the docks, not quite sure where she's going. Abby comes out of the Ice House shortly, following Joey carefully.

"You can run, but you can't hide, Potter," Abby smirks. If anything was going on between Joey Potter and Pacey Witter, Abby was determined to do a little investigative reporting and dig up the dirt needed.

Joey slowly walks toward the busier part of Capeside, her mind racing with way too many different thoughts. Pacey's kiss still burned against her lips, she felt weak in the knees even thinking of it. She knows it's wrong, and that she and Pacey have no chance together..."But I love him and I can't help that," Joey sighs inwardly, wishing somehow that Andie McPhee would dump Pacey so he could be free. But there was little chance of that.

Turning the corner, she decides to head down to Screenplay Video and see what Dawson is up to.

"I have to stop thinking about Pacey," she tells herself, gritting her teeth together and trying to think of anything other than Pacey. She tries to remember a scene from the last movie she saw, but in a matter of moments, Pacey has taken control of her mind once more. She felt like screaming. "Why did I ever have to fall for-" Joey stops in her tracks, seeing Pacey walking out of Screenplay Video. He heads up the street, not seeing her walking toward him from the other direction. "Pacey..."

Her heart starts beating wildly, and she can't stop her pace from quickening, desperate to catch up to the tall, broad-shouldered form who was slowly walking away from her.

"Pacey!" she calls urgently, finally breaking into a run. Pacey stops and turns. Joey reaches him, her face flushed with a bit of embarrassment. "Um...hey," she says awkwardly, fighting back the urge to pull him to her and kiss him passionately. He looks down at her, seemingly fighting the same thoughts. Abby watches the pair from a distance, a wicked smile curling on her face. She was waiting for something to happen. Something *was* going to happen. She could sense it.


" are you?"

"Horrible, and you?"

"Same as you," Joey laughs lightly, shuffling her feet. "Um..."

"Yeah. Well, I'm gonna get going. Standing here awkwardly on a street corner with you is..."

"I know...I just...I saw you and I just had to...I don't...I mean, I'm sorry."

"Nothing to apologize for, Jo." Pacey sighs. "I'll see you around, Joey."

"Bye, Pace." He turns and starts to walk away, wanting so badly to whirl around and take her in his arms, to whisk her off to his bedroom and forget about Andie McPhee completely. Joey watches him go, then suddenly her heart wins over her head.



Dawson and Andie pull away from each other, breathing heavily and looking stunned. They had made it into the back room of the store, out of the common view. Dawson couldn't believe what was happening. Had he really just made out with his best friend's girlfriend? He stares at Andie, the reality of it hard to fathom. She looks back at him, her wide, bright, blue eyes watching him carefully, as if judging his reaction.

"Andie..." Dawson starts, then stops, letting out a sigh. Andie moves toward him ever so slightly, but Dawson backs away. "What about Pacey? This is wrong." Andie stops, running her hand nervously through her hair.

"I don't know, Dawson..." she turns away from him, finally realizing the impact of what she had just done. "I've been having these feelings for you for awhile now. I just...I don't know how to deal with them."

"I've been thinking about you in ways I shouldn't be too, Andie. We're both guilty." They stop and look at one another, neither of them knowing what to say.

"So what do we do now?" Dawson asks quietly. Andie is silent for a moment.

"Out front, before...when you suggested that we forget this ever happened...I think maybe we should do that."

"I don't want to do that," Dawson replies.

"Neither do I, Dawson...but it's the right thing to do."

"How can it be-" Dawson is cut off by the ringing of the bell above the entrance as someone walks into the store. They both look toward the doorway out into the main part of the video store.

"I'll take care of it," she mumbles, and leaves Dawson alone among the bookshelves filled with old videos. He stands there, just listening to Andie put on a cheerful facade for the customer out front. Closing his eyes tightly, he leans against the wall and sinks down to the floor, feeling more confused than he has ever felt in his entire life.

"God...what is happening to my life?" He groans to himself, resting his head on his knees. "It wasn't supposed to be like this," he whispers out loud softly. "It just wasn't supposed to be like this..."

"Dawson?" He looks up, startled. Andie is standing in the doorway, looking down at him. She looks pained, for some reason. "Um...Jen is here to see you." Drawing in a deep breath, he gets up. Awkwardly he moves past Andie, deliberately avoiding meeting her gaze.

"Okay..." he mumbles. ", finish getting the returned tapes from the bin by the door," Dawson instructs her. Andie looks down at the ground.

"Yeah...I'll do that." Sadly, Andie follows Dawson up to the main counter, trying hard not to cry as Dawson greets Jen.

Pacey follows Joey up the worn-down steps to her house, unable to resist the temptation of her invitation. The long walk to her ramshackle home on the far side of the creek had been torturous. He had to use all the will power he had to keep himself from grabbing her and pulling her into the woods along the path, to do the deed down in the dirt. They didn't say a word, both their bodies and minds too electrified with desire to even think of making random small talk. Their yearning glances said all that was needed.

Joey takes her house keys out of her pocket, and unlocks the door quickly. She turns back to Pacey, her face telling him all he needed to know. Without a word, he embraces her, pressing his lips to hers. Eagerly, she slips her tongue into his mouth, swirling urgently against him. She tries to open the door, but she can't seem to get a grasp on the handle. Pacey's lips sear a path down her neck, and Joey lets out a tiny groan.

"So..." he mumbles, "what exactly ever happened to walking away from this?" Pacey whispers into her ear huskily.

"I can't do it," she murmurs, letting him bring her to him for another long, deep kiss.

"I can't do it either," Pacey responds, kissing her even more fiercely, his hands zealously groping her breasts through her thin shirt.

"Pacey," she breathes. " should get inside..." Joey murmurs, barely able to complete a sentence. Forgetting the doorknob, her hand finds its way to the hardness growing between Pacey's legs, her lust for him rising higher. Pacey stops for a moment, reaches past her and throws open the door. Then he grabs the bottom edge of her tank top and swiftly pulls it over her head. He literally throws it inside, his fingers immediately returning to her chest to snap open the front clasp of her white lace bra. Within seconds he sends it flying after her shirt. Ablaze with want and desire, Joey quickly unbuttons his Hawaiian print shirt, trying to move so fast her fingers keep fumbling with the tiny buttons. The light shirt wafts to the ground, landing at their feet. Pressing her bare chest to his, she kisses him fervently, hungering for his touch. Her body is throbbing and alert, needing Pacey so badly she can barely stand up. They were both so near the edge already that they knew it was going to be over fast and quick, but neither seemed to care. Unzipping his khaki pants, Joey finally manages to ease across the threshold and bring him inside, barely getting the door shut before collapsing to the floor and continuing their tryst.

Abby, from her hiding place in the bushes, watches the scene with her mouth hanging open.

"Holy shit..." she mumbles to herself, blinking once or twice as if not believing what she has just seen. "Pacey Witter and Joey Potter...are lovers?" She repeats this over in her mind, staring at the closed front door of the Potter house. "This is even better than I thought..."

To Be Continued...

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