A Christmas Story by: Lindsay

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*Takes place after "Close Encounters", as in, the next morning*

[OPEN: "I Don't Wanna Miss a Thing" by Aerosmith is playing. Joey is asleep on Dawson's bed, Dawson is awake, lying on his side, shirtless, watching her. It is still mostly dark outside. Suddenly, Dawson sneezes. He immediately lies back down. Joey stirs, but doesn't open her eyes. Dawson watches her cautiously, and sneezes again. This time she opens her eyes, facing Dawson]

JOEY(groggily): Dawson?

DAWSON(smiles at her slightly): Morning, beautiful.

J(half-smiles): What time is it?

D(looks over at his alarm clock): A quarter to six.

J: You're kidding me. (pauses) Dawson, is there any particular reason why you are up so early?

D: It's Christmas Eve, Jo.

J: And *how* exactly does that justify waking up, and I mean this literally, at the crack of dawn?

D: I don't know. I'm just excited, I guess. I couldn't sleep.

J(smiling): This has nothing to do with Christmas Eve.

D(smiling as well): Okay, you got me. (pauses, gets a dreamy look in his eyes, staring at the ceiling) I don't know, Jo. I can't explain it, I just feel different. I feel older, and more mature, because I just took this gigantic leap into adulthood. But, at the same time, I feel like a kid. I'm overwhelmed with joy and happiness, and I feel like . . . like I could climb Mount Everest in a matter of minutes. I mean, I'm giddy, Jo. At five forty-five in the morning. It's absolutely ridiculous. (he pauses for a response) Jo? (he looks over at her; she has fallen back asleep, he mutters to himself and sighs) Figures.


[OPEN: Jen and Pacey, in Jen's bed. They are both sleeping. Light is streaming through Jen's shades. "Secret Smile" by Semisonic is playing. We hear Mrs. Ryan off stage]

MRS. RYAN: Jennifer!

[Jen wakes up with a start. She gets out of bed and looks over at Pacey, who is still sound asleep. We hear someone walking up the stairs. There is a knock on the door]

MR: Jennifer?

JEN: Uh, I'm changing, Grams. Don't come in.

MR: Well, Jennifer, I just wanted to tell you that I'm going out. The Leerys invited you and I over for dinner tonight, so I'm going to pick up a few things at the store to bring over there. Is there anything you need?

J: No, I'm okay.

MR: You're sure now?

J: *Yes*, Grams.

MR: Alright then. I should be home in an hour or so. Good-bye, Jennifer.

J: Bye, Grams.

[Jen looks over at Pacey, who is stirring. She waits until she hears a door close downstairs then walks over to him]

J(touching him lightly): Pacey. (pauses, no reaction) Pacey!

PACEY(opens his eyes, smiling): Morning, beautiful.

J: Pacey, what the hell are you doing here?

P(scowling): As I recall, after your pathetic, and might I add failed, attempts to seduce me last night, you told me to stay the night.

J(blushing, slightly embarrassed- she shakes it off): Yeah, Pacey, I also told you to leave before eight.

P: What do I look like, a walking alarm clock?

J: Pacey . . . (sighs, sits down on the bed next to him, as he sits up) Look, I'm sorry about last night, okay? I made a mistake. Again. (she turns away from him) It figures that I would chose what seems like the only two guys in Capeside who *don't* want me.

P(puts an hand on her shoulder): I never said I didn't want you.

[Jen turns back to Pacey. They stare at each other for a few seconds, slowly leaning in for a kiss. Their lips barely touch when Jen pulls away]

J: Pacey, we don't have time for this. We can . . . *discuss* this later. *You* need to get out of here before Grams comes home.

P(sighs and gets out of bed): You're right. (smiling) But we *will* discuss this later.

[He puts on his jeans, which are lying by the side of the bed, in silence. He slips on his shoes, grabs his shirt off of a chair, and walks out of the room. The camera cuts to a close-up of Jen. She buries her face in her hands for a few seconds, then runs a hand through her hair, sighing]

[Scene cuts to Joey, at home, in her kitchen, with Bessie. They are sitting at a table]

BESSIE: Dinner, huh? Sounds like fun.

JOEY: Yeah, and they said you, Bodie, and Alex are welcome to come.

B: Alex? I don't think that's such a good idea.

J: Yeah, but where are you going to find a baby-sitter on Christmas Eve?

B(thoughtfully): Well, I'll call some of the girls from work. If I can't find somebody, Bodie and I will stay home.

J: Okay.

B(smiling): Speaking of the Leerys, you sure have been spending a lot of time there lately.

J(half-smiles): Have not.

B: Yes, you have! *And* you've been a lot happier. (Joey rolls her eyes like she doesn't know what Bessie is talking about) Don't give me that look! I know you, *Josephine*. Something is going on. C'mon, spill it.

J(still smiling, getting up): *Nothing* is going on.

[She walks out of the room. Bessie gets up and follows her]

B(whining): Joey!

[Joey is sitting on the couch. Bessie sits down next to her. Joey sighs]

J(slightly annoyed): Okay, Bessie, you're right. Me and Dawson are now a *thing*, or whatever. Happy now?

B(squealing with delight): Aaah, I knew it! (smiling) So, don't stop there. I want details!

J(looking at Bessie with a very serious face, and biting her lip) I need to go on birth control.

B(shocked): What?

J: Okay, I know this is completely out of the blue, but I really need your help here, Bess.

B(not even listening to Joey): You're having . . . *sex*? With Dawson Leery?

J(talking quickly): Well, I *had* sex. Once. But it won't be the last time, so I'm being responsible here, and-

B(interrupting): Responsible? Joey, having sex is *not* responsible! It's, it's . . . completely irresponsible!

J(getting angry): *You* are not allowed to say that to me! Look at you! You're the one with an illegitimate child!

B(calming down, looking hurt): I'm sorry, Joey. You're right. In fact, you're exactly right. Look at my life. Trust me, you don't want this.

J(calming down as well): I know, Bess. That's why I'm trying to do the best possible thing. I know the best thing to do would be *not* to have sex, but that's . . . that's not realistic. I'm fifteen years old; my hormones are raging, and . . . I love Dawson. I'm gonna have sex whether you approve of it or not. I'm not asking for your blessing . . . just your help.

B(sighs, looking at Joey): You really love him? (pauses, Joey opens her mouth to say something) Wait. You don't have to answer that. I can see it in your eyes. I've seen it there for years. (she sighs again. Joey looks hopeful) Okay . . . I'll make a doctor's appointment for you next week.

J(hugging her sister): Thanks, Bessie. I love you.

B: Yeah, yeah . . .


[OPEN: Dawson, in his room. His hair is wet, he is wearing nothing but a towel, and is standing in front of his closet trying to decide what to wear. We hear Pacey's voice off-stage]

PACEY: You know, Dawson, you really oughta close your window when you're dressed like that. (as Dawson whirls around, the camera follows his gaze, and we see Pacey shutting the blinds) You're gonna scare the neighbors, for cryin' out loud.

DAWSON(smiling): Bite me, Pacey.

P: Ahh, so I see the lovely Miss Potter has begun to rub off on you. (pauses and smiles mischievously) And I suspect in more ways than one.

D(turning back to his closet): You're pushing it, Pace.

P(walks over to Dawson): Is this your way of saying you're *not* going to tell me about last night's liaisons?

D(looking at him): What makes you so sure there were . . . liaisons?

P: Please, Dawson, the candles, the music, the look in your eyes . . . she said no, didn't she?

D(sarcastically): Pacey, as much as I would *love* to share with you the intimate details of my sex life, I have more important things to do, like find something to wear for tonight. You're coming, right?

P(nods): Never could pass up a free meal. (pauses) Or time away from my family.

D: Great. Jen and her grandmother are coming, too, and so are Bodie and Bessie, and of course Joey.

P: Speaking of Joey, did you just say that you now have a sex life?

D(blushing): No, I, uh-

P(interrupting): Save it, Dawson. You can't fool me. I knew something was different the minute I walked in here.

D(frustrated): Pacey, I know you always think you know everything, but sometimes you don't, okay?

P: Yeah, right. (pauses, smiling) So, was it good?

D: Pacey, I have a million things to do today, and it's already (glances at his watch) one o' clock. I do *not* have time to talk about this.

(smiles) And even if I did, I *still* wouldn't tell you.

P(sighs, pouting): I never get any good gossip. (he walks towards the window) Well, I guess I should be going. See ya later, man.

D: Bye, Pace.

[Dawson pulls a shirt out of his closet and sets it on the bed. He walks over to his desk and puts a small black box that was sitting on top of his desk into one of the drawers. The scene cuts to Pacey, at the bottom of the ladder, and Joey walking up to him]

JOEY: Hey, Pace. Merry Christmas Eve. (she gives him a small hug)

P(surprised): Hey, Jo. Same to you.

J: Are you coming to Dawson's tonight?

P: I wouldn't miss it for the world.

J(smiling): Great, I guess I'll see you then. (she starts up the ladder)

P(quietly to himself): Oh yeah, she *definitely* got laid last night.

[Scene cuts to Joey, just peeking her head into Dawson's room. He is putting that shirt away, and doesn't see her. She watches him for a few seconds, before climbing in the window]

J: Hey, Dawson.

D(turns and sees her, smiles): Hey, Jo. (he walks over and pecks her on the cheek) I'm so glad you're here. I have no idea what to wear.

J(suspicious): Since when do you care about your clothes?

D(smiling): Since I fell in love with the most beautiful girl in the world.

[He wraps his arms around her, and they start kissing. After a few seconds, Joey pulls away.]

J: Dawson, I need to talk to you about some stuff.

D: Sure, Jo. What's up?

J(half-smiles): Do you think maybe you could get dressed first?

D: Oh . . . yeah, I'll just (he motions towards the door) Wait, first you have to find me something.

J(sighs and looks in his closet. She pulls out a shirt): Here.

D(incredulous): You *like* this?

J: You *don't*?

D: Well, I don't mind it, but-

J: Dawson, just put it on already! You can change later.

D: Okay!

[He grabs the shirt and a pair of jeans and heads for the bathroom. Joey walks over to Dawson's bed and lays down. She smiles to herself, and "Happy Girl" by Beth Nielsen Chapman starts playing lightly. Joey brushes her hand against Dawson's pillow, and then cuddles up to it, still smiling. Dawson walks back in the room, and walks over to where she is. She sits up, and they sit next to each other on the bed. ]

D(while he is walking over): I guess I could have changed in here.

J(sitting up, sarcastically): Yeah, until your mom walks in again.

D(cringes): Oh, yeah. (pauses) So what did you want to talk about?

J: Well, I talked to Bessie today . . . about us.

D: What *about* us?

J: You know, that we're . . . together now. (Dawson looks at her, knowing there's more. she sighs) And I told her I needed birth control.

D: What? I mean, I'm glad you did that, Jo. The sooner, the better, but on Christmas Eve?

J(shrugs): She's cool with it.

D(smiling): Good.

[He leans over to kiss her, but she pulls away]

J: Dawson, I'm not done.

D(frowning): What's wrong, Jo?

J: I'm sorta having second thoughts about this, Dawson. Maybe it's not such a good idea for me to go on the Pill.

D: Joey, are you crazy? I mean, I understand why you wouldn't want to be popping foreign objects into your body every day- who would? But it's the safest way for us-

J(interrupting): to have sex, I know Dawson. *That's* what I'm not so sure about.

D: Oh. [There is a moment of silence. The music has stopped]

J: Look, Dawson, it's not like I don't want to, because I do. (half-smiles) I *really* do. (he raises an eyebrow) But I don't want sex to become the basis of our relationship. I feel like, if I go on the Pill, then I'm basically saying it's okay to have sex all the time. And that's not okay with me. That's not what I want.

D: Jo, that's not what I want, either. You have to know that you mean more to me than that. *So* much more. I'd much rather have a loving, caring relationship, then just meaningless . . . liaisons. (he smiles to himself)

J: Do you really mean that, Dawson? I mean, *really*?

D: Absolutely. (pauses) Still, going on birth control wouldn't be a bad idea, Jo. (smiles seductively) I mean, just in case we ever get in the mood again.

[He leans over to kiss her, and she hits him with a pillow. He pretends to be appalled, and hits her back. They continue this, while the scene fades out, and their laughter fades with it]


[OPEN: Dawson's kitchen. Dawson is helping his mom with some food]

DAWSON: So, Bessie and Bodie can only stay until 8:30, because of the baby-sitter-

GAIL(interrupting): They got a baby-sitter? On Christmas Eve?

D(shrugs): Anyway, I hope that won't be a problem. I mean, Bodie and Bessie in the same room as Mrs. Ryan, even if it *is* only for a couple hours.

G: I wouldn't worry about it, honey. It's the holidays. Everyone gets a little kinder this time of year, even Mrs. Ryan.

D: I hope so . . .

[Scene cuts to Jen and her grandmother, in the kitchen. They appear to be making an apple pie. Jen is slicing apples and Mrs. Ryan is kneading the dough]

JEN: Grams, I want you to promise me.

MRS RYAN(sighing): I promise.

J: I'm serious, Grams. Whether or not you approve of their lifestyle is not acceptable conversation tonight. They are Joey's family, and Joey is my friend. They don't deserve to be insulted on Christmas Eve.

MR: *Alright*, Jennifer. I promise.

[There is a moment of silence]

MR: Jennifer, are you almost done?

J: I'm on my last apple.

MR: Good. I think this dough is ready.

[Scene cuts to Joey, Bessie, and Bodie in the kitchen. Bodie is fixing the dough on the bottom of a dish while Bessie is opening a can of something, and Joey is unwrapping something]

JOEY: I thought pumpkin pie was only for Thanksgiving.

BESSIE(defensively): It's not pumpkin pie. It's pumpkin *cheesecake*.

J(shrugging): Same difference.

BODIE: I have to disagree with you there. This tastes more like cheesecake than pumpkin.

J: Whatever, it still sounds disgusting.

BESSIE: Yeah, just wait until you try it. I promise you, Joey, you'll love it.

J(skeptical): How do you know?

BESSIE: Because you love pumpkin pie, *and* you love cheesecake.

BODIE(interrupting): How could you *not* like it? It's the best of both worlds.

J: We'll see.

BODIE(changing the subject): So, what time are we supposed to be over there?

J: Around six. I was gonna go over there a little earlier, though, if that's okay with you guys.

BESSIE(looking at Bodie and smiling): Sure, no problem. (looks back at Joey) I told Joan to be here at six, though, so we might not get there until closer to six-fifteen or six-thirty.

J(shrugging again): No big deal. It's not like we're gonna start without you.

BESSIE: Who else is going to be there?

J: Jen and her Grandmother, and-

BODIE(interrupting): What?

J: Don't worry. Jen says she'll make sure Mrs. Ryan will be on her best behavior.

BESSIE: She better be. I refuse to let that woman ruin my Christmas.

J(sighing): Anyway, I think that's it. (pauses) Oh, and Pacey will be there, too.

[Scene cuts to Pacey, in his room. He is buttoning up a shirt when there is a knock on the door.]

PACEY: Come in.

[Doug walks in while Pacey is applying some after shave]

DOUG: Where are you going?

P: The Leerys. (pauses) Not that it's any of your business.

D: Actually, it is. Don't you think you should be home on Christmas Eve?

P: What, so I can listen to you sing along to Barbara Striesand's Christmas Carols? No thanks, Dougie.

[He starts to walk past him, but Doug stops him]

D: Dad isn't going to like this.

P(sighs): For once, will you stop worrying about what *Dad* wants?

D: Not when it concerns me. You should be spending Christmas Eve with your family.

P(gets a serious look in his eyes, and looks straight at Doug): I *will* be spending it with my family.

[With that, Pacey walks out of the room, leaving behind an angry, yet somewhat hurt, Doug]


[OPEN: Everyone sitting around a table in Dawson's house. Bodie, Bessie, Joey, Dawson, Pacey, Jen, Mrs. Ryan, Gail, and Mitch. They are all eating. Pacey and Jen are sitting next to each other, but have scooted their chairs as far away from one another as possible. "Christmas Time" by the Backstreet Boys is playing lightly]

JOEY: Dawson, what's with Pacey and Jen? They've been awfully quiet tonight, don't you think?

DAWSON(looks over at Pacey, who seems deeply involved with his food, Jen is speaking with her Grandmother and Gail. He turns back to Joey): I guess . . .

JOEY: Maybe it's just my imagination.

D: Maybe . . . (he turns to Pacey) Hey, Pace, what's up?

PACEY(looking up at Dawson- with a mouthful of food): Nothin' man. Why?

D: You seem kinda quiet.

P: I don't have time to talk with all this good food. By the way, could you pass the rolls?

D: Sure. (he passes Pacey the rolls and just shrugs at Joey)

[The camera pans over to Jen, talking with Gail and Mrs. Ryan]

GAIL: Really, though, if there is *anything* we can do . . .

MRS RYAN: I know. And we appreciate it. He didn't want a funeral, you know. He didn't want everyone making a big fuss and what not, but there will be a memorial service next week for some friends and family. Jennifer's parents will be coming, and-

JEN(interrupting): They are?

MR: Yes, dear. It's rude to interrupt.

JEN: Sorry, Grams.

MR(turning back to Gail): Well, you and your family are welcome to attend the service.

G(smiling): We'd be honored.

[Camera pans over to Mitch, talking with Bessie and Bodie]

MITCH: So, where's the little one?

BODIE: We had to leave him at home with a baby-sitter. He'd be too much of a hassle if we brought him.

M(nodding): I see. How is he doing, by the way?

BESSIE: He's doing great. He cries a lot, of course. I haven't had a good eight hour sleep in months, but (looking at Bodie and smiling) it's worth it.

[Mitch smiles at them, as the camera pans out so we see the entire table, and all the people sitting there. The scene fades to black, then fades in again to Joey, Dawson, Pacey, and Jen in Dawson's room]

PACEY: Remind me to thank your mom, again, Dawson. That was a great meal.

JEN: Yeah, no kidding. I couldn't stop eating. Although I probably should have, cause I'm sure I'll regret it in the morning.

P(holding his stomach): Yeah, I think I'm already beginning to.

[They all laugh]

DAWSON: Yeah, what did it for me was the pumpkin cheesecake. I had three pieces.

JOEY(looks at him, incredulous): *Three*?

D(smilng): Yep. It's my favorite. Remind *me* to thank your sister.

JOEY(half-smiles): I will.

JEN(looking at her watch): Well, guys, I should be going. Tomorrow's a big day. I guess my parents are coming. (they all look at her, and she continues, sighing) They want to be here for my grandfather's memorial service next week, which you are all invited to.

[They all nod their silent acceptances to the invitation]

D: So, have you seen your parents since . . .

JEN(shakes her head): Nope.

D: Wow. Big day is an understatement.

JEN(stands up): Yeah, so . . .

P(standing up as well): Well, I should get going, too. I'll walk you out Jen.

JEN(staring at him, looking nervous): Okay. (she hugs Dawson and Joey)

Merry Christmas, you guys.

JOEY: Bye, guys. Good luck tomorrow, Jen.

JEN: Yeah . . .

[Pacey and Jen leave the room, "Sweet Surrender" by Sarah McLachlan starts playing, and continues until the end of the scene]

D(turns to Joey): I know we said we'd exchange our presents tomorrow, but I have one that just can't wait.

JOEY: Dawson . . .

D: I know, I know, but please Jo. If I don't give this to you now, I will explode with excitement and anticipation before tomorrow.

J(half-smiles): Okay . . .

[Dawson walks over to his desk and pulls a small black box out of one of the drawers. It is the same one we saw before.]

D(hands it to Joey): Here.

[Joey opens it up. Inside is a thin gold ring, with a small diamond. She gasps]

JOEY: Dawson! You shouldn't have, really.

D(smiling): Yes I should have. Try it on. (Joey does so, and it fits perfectly around her ring finger) It's a promise ring.

JOEY(still looking at the ring): It is?

D(smiling still): Yep. So you know that my love for you will never die.

JOEY(smiles, looks up at Dawson): You're bordering on corny, here, Dawson.

[He smiles, then leans over and kisses her]

D: I love you, Joey.

J: I love you, too, Dawson.

[They start kissing again, and the camera zooms out of Dawson's room until his house and Jen's house are both in view. The camera pans down to Jen's porch, where her and Pacey are also kissing. The scene fades to black]



I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing

I could stay awake just to hear you breathing
Watch you smile while you are sleeping
Far away and dreaming
I could spend my life in this sweet surrender
I could stay lost in this moment forever
Well, every moment spent with you
Is a moment I treasure

I don't wanna close my eyes
I don't wanna fall asleep
'Cause I'd miss you, babe
And I don't wanna miss a thing
'Cause even when I dream of you
The sweetest dream will never do
I'd still miss you, babe
And I don't wanna miss a thing

Lying close to you
Feeling your heart beating
And I'm wondering what you're dreaming
Wondering if it's me you're seeing
Then I kiss your eyes and thank God we're together
And I just wanna stay with you
In this moment forever, forever and ever


I don't wanna miss one smile
I don't wanna miss one kiss
Well, I just wanna be with you
Right here with you, just like this
I just wanna hold you close
Feel your heart so close to mine
And stay here in this moment
For all the rest of time


Don't wanna close my eyes
Don't wanna fall asleep, yeah
I don't wanna miss a thing

Secret Smile

Nobody knows it but you've got a secret smile
And you use it only for me
Nobody knows it but you've got a secret smile
And you use it only for me

So use it and prove it
Remoce this whirling sadness
I'm losing, I'm bluesing
But you can't save me from my sadness

Nobody knows it but you've got a secret smile
And you use it only for me
Nobody knows it but you've got a secret smile
And you use it only for me

So save me I'm waiting
I'm needing, hear me pleading
And soothe me, improve me
I'm grieving, I'm barely believing it now, now

When you are flying around and around the world
And I'm lying alonely
I know there's something sacred and free reserved
And received by me only

Beth Nielsen Chapman
Happy Girl

I used to live in a darkened room
Had a face of stone and a heart of gloom
Lost my hope, I was so far gone
Crying all my tears with the curtains drawn

I didn't know until my soul broke free
I've got these angels watching over me

Oh watch me go
I'm the happy girl, everybody knows
That the sweetest thing that you've ever seen
In the whole wide world
Is a happy girl

I used to hide in a party crowd
Bottled up inside, feeling so left out
Standing in the corner wearing concrete shoes
With my frozen smile and my lighted fuse

Now every time I start to feel like that
I roll my heart out like a welcome mat


Laugh when I feel like it
Cry when I feel like it
That's just how my life is
That's how it goes

Oh watch me go
I'm the happy girl and I've come to know
That the world won't change just 'cause I complain
Let the axis twirl
I'm the happy girl
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah I'm the happy girl
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah I'm the happy girl

Backstreet Boys
Christmas Time

There is something special
About this time of year
A christmas feeling's everywhere
I just got home to join you
I've been away too long
But now I'm back
To share my love
Friends are really like
One big family
Filled with love
To last throughout the year

Christmas time, time to share our love
Come and join the tidings to the world
Christmas time, the best time of the year
Yes, it's christmas time

You and me together
Stay right in the park
Loving kissing
Straight from the heart
Snowflakes falling to you and me
A smell of chesnuts in the air
And Christmas lights
They gleam across the sky


Do you remember
Everything felt so nice
When I held you close to me
Do you remember
Those cold christmas nights
When we saw the world in harmony


Christmas time, time to share our love
Come and join the tidings to the world
Christmas time, time to share our love
Come and join the tidings to the world

Chorus to fade

Sarah Mclachlan
Sweet Surrender

It doesn't mean much
It doesn't mean anything at all
The life I've left behind me
Is a cold room
I've crossed the last line
From where I can't return
Where every step I took in faith betrayed me
And led me from my home
And sweet surrender
Is all I have to give

You take me in
No questions asked
You strip away the ugliness
That surrounds me
Are you an angel?
Am I already that gone?
I only hope that I won't disappoint you
When I'm down here on my knees
Sweet surrender
Is all I have to give
Sweet surrender
Is all I have to give

And I don't understand
How the touch of your hand
I would be the first to fall
I miss the little things
Oh, I miss everything

It doesn't mean much
It doesn't mean anything at all
The life I left behind me
Is a cold room

Sweet surrender
Is all I have to give
Sweet surrender
Is all I have to give

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