Double Trouble by: Lindsay

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Read my first five installments.

[OPEN: Dawson, laying on his bed, looking distraught. He has one hand behind his head, and with the other, he flips the channels on his TV, and sighs loudly. He hears a noise and looks up. The camera cuts to Joey, climbing in the window.]

DAWSON (sitting up): Joey? What are you doing here?

JOEY (crooked smile, as she climbs in the window): It's movie night, Dawson.

D: Yeah, but, are you feeling okay?

J (walking over to him, sitting on the bed, and shrugging): Iím fine.

D: Well, you weren't at the service this morning, so I thought . . .

J (looking uncomfortable): Oh, well, I just, I mean, I *could* be contagious or something, so . . .

D: But you feel okay now?

J (unconvincingly): Yeah.

D: Are you sure? Because if you want to bag, I don't mind.

J: *Dawson*, Iím fine.

D: You, know, thatís become your theme song. (pauses, smiling, then becomes serious) Jo, you threw up yesterday morning. *Twice*. Forgive me if I donít exactly consider that *fine.*

J (smirks): ĎScream 2,í 1997. (pauses) I really *do* feel fine, though, Dawson. Bessie thinks it was probably some 24 hour bug. But in case it wasnít, I didnít want to infect half of Capeside at the memorial service.

D: So youíre *really* okay?

J (annoyed): *Yes*, Dawson!

D: So, your lack of presence at the service this morning came solely out of the kindness of your heart, and didnít have *anything* to do with your mom?

[Joey turns sharply at this, and looks at him. She doesnít speak, and she looks away quickly. Dawson puts a hand on her shoulder.]

D (softly): Joey, I know itís been a few years, but itís still okay to be upset. I mean, if my mom . . . (pauses) Well, no one expects you to be agog about going to your first funeral since. (pauses, as if thinking to himself) Then again, no oneís *ever* agog about going to a funeral. (sighs) Sorry, Iím not such a great comforter.

J (who cracked a smile when he realized his mistake): Itís okay, Dawson. Iíll go over to Jenís tomorrow, and explain. (pauses, changing the subject about her mom) So, what were Jenís parents like?

D: Actually, I donít really know. Jen introduced them to me, and they just kinda nodded and walked away.

J: I wouldnít take it personally.

D: Oh, I know. They all seemed pretty upset. I thought Iíd go over there tomorrow with some flowers or something.

J (nodding in agreement): Maybe I could help you pick them out.

D (turns to look at her): Yeah?

J (smiling): Yeah, as long as I can deliver them with you, too. (pauses, turning back to the TV) Now, what is this crap, Dawson? Please find us something better to watch.

D (fake shock): You donít like Pauly Shore?

J: No, I just think heís an unamusing imbecile who couldnít act his way out of a closet. (shrugs) Other than that, I donít mind the guy.

D (smiling, gets up to look through his video collection as the theme song starts): Glad to see youíre feeling better, Jo.

[OPENING THEME, COMMERCIAL BREAK]

[OPEN: Exterior shot of Capeside High. "Small Town Bringdown" by The Tragically Hip is playing and starts to drown out slowly when we cut to Pacey, at his locker, digging through a pile of junk. He picks up piece of paper and scans it over. When he realizes it isnít what he wants, he puts it back in his locker and keeps searching. Dawson walks up behind him]

DAWSON: Hey, Pacey, whatcha looking for?

PACEY (still rummaging through his things): Stupid teachers. They give you stuff before the break, and expect you to still have it *afterwards*?

D (smiles): Maybe if you were a little more organized . . .

P: Donít start with me, Dawson.

D: Listen, Pacey, have you seen Joey today?

P: Nope.

D (frowning): So, uh, talk to Kate yet?

P: Nope, Iíve been avoiding her.

D (nods): Thatís one way to approach it. The childish way, but a way, nonetheless.

P (looks up from his locker for the first time): Bite me, Dawson.

D: Man, today is just *not* your day for racking up maturity points. So, what do you plan to do?

P (back in his locker): About Kate?

D (sarcastically): No, about your lacking sophistication score.

P (scowls): I donít know. I hate confrontations. I guess Iíll just wait for her to end it.

D: What if she doesnít?

P (looks up again): Look, Dawson, I know you *like* analyzing everything to death, but *I* donít, okay? Iíll figure it out when I need to. (he pauses, glancing at something over Dawsonís shoulder) Look, man, I gotta go. Iíll see you at lunch.

[He walks away, leaving Dawson looking confused. He furrows his brow, then turns to see what Pacey was looking at. Jen is walking toward him]

JEN (glumly): Hey, Dawson.

D (looking sympathetic): Hey, Jen. How are you?

J (crossing her arms): Iím okay. Listen, I just want to apologize again for the way my father acted yesterday.

[They start walking]

D: Donít worry about it.

J: I never should have told him you were my ex.

D: No sweat, Jen, really.

[They walk in silence for a second]

J: So, uh, whereíd Pacey run off to?

D (shrugging): Uh, I think he has science this period. Pacey's not one to fret about tardiness, though. I wonder what the deal was with the sudden exit?

J (quietly): That would be me.

D: What?

J: Huh? Oh, Iím just, I, (shakes her head) mental reminders of stuff to do.

D: Oh.

D and J (simultaneously): Have you seen Joey today?

[They smile, but look frustrated]

D: Iíll take that as a Ďno.í

J: Same here.

[They start to walk into a classroom together, but Jen stops]

J: Uh, you know what Dawson? I left my book in my locker. I'll, uh, I'll be back in a minute.

[Dawson nods, and continues into the classroom. "I Wish I Felt Nothing" by the Wallflowers starts playing as the scene cuts to Pacey, walking by the front office. Something catches his eye, and he backtracks. He stops, and peers in the window. Tamara is talking to an administrator, and her back is to Pacey. We hear a voice off stage]

VOICE (OS): Donít mean to interrupt your fantasies, but youíre gonna be late for science.

[Pacey turns to see Abby standing there]

P: Bite me, Abby.

[He walks towards a nearby classroom, leaving Abby looking smug. Just as he goes through the door, he hears another voice]

VOICE (OS): Pacey, wait.

[He turns around, sighing, because he recognizes the voice. Jen is standing with her arms crossed]

P (pointing to his classroom): Jen, I'm gonna be late.

J: Since when do you care?

P (is silent for a few moments, then walks closer to her and speaks quietly): Okay, look. I understand you want to talk about . . . (he sighs) But now is not the time, and (looking around) it's *especially* not the place.

J: You think I don't know that? Look, Pacey, this is serious. And to tell you the truth, I don't care if our romantic involvement ends right here, right now. I just want my friend back. (pauses) I'm really scared, Pacey. The consequences of our actions could be life-altering. Maybe not for you, but for me. (she is near tears) And I can't tell Joey or Dawson about this. They'd never look at me the same again. And Grams . . . well, she'd probably ship me back to New York. (she is crying now) And, maybe I *was* sick of being the good girl, but right now, it's looking pretty good.

P (immediately pulls her into a hug): Shhh. (stroking her hair) It's okay. (pulls away a little and looks at her) Lucky for you, I took the truck today. (she looks up at him questioningly and sniffs. He pulls away and puts his arm around her) C' mon, let's get out of here.

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

[OPEN: Exterior of Capeside High. We hear a bell ring. Cut to Dawson, walking out of the same classroom he walked into earlier. He looks worried. He walks down the hallway, looking around. He soon enters the cafeteria, and goes to the table him, Pacey, Joey, and Jen usually sit at. It is empty. He looks around the lunchroom, frustrated, then leaves. Scene cuts to Jen and Pacey, sitting on a picnic bench under a tree in a park by the waterfront. They are sitting very close to one another. Jen seems to have calmed down a bit. The sun is shining, but they have on heavy coats, and we can see their breath when they speak. "The Weight of the World" by Alana Davis is playing softly]

JEN: And you're *positive* you never keep one in your wallet?

PACEY (sighs): Jen, we've been over this a million times. *Yes.* I've only bought condoms twice. Once in seventh grade, and I kept a couple of those in there for awhile, y' know, to look cool.

J: Well, maybe-

P (cutting her off): That was an entirely different wallet. Then I bought some when I was . . . *with* Tamara, but I know I used all of those. So, unless I found one just lying around, I, well, I'm pretty sure I didn't use one Thursday night.

[Jen sighs, defeated]

P: But, we don't know anything yet, okay? You're not late.

J (interrupting): Yet.

P: Or feeling sick.

J: *Yet*.

P (sarcastically): Way to be optimistic.

J: Pacey, I, uh, I don't mean to scare you, but we have a lot more than pregnancy to worry about.

P: What do you mean?

J (hesitantly): I . . . I'm talking about AIDS, Pacey.

P (almost angrily): You have *AIDS*?

J: No! At least, I don't *think* I do. I've been tested, but it can take six months to show up.

P (standing up, he starts pacing): What? I can't believe this! I-

J: Pacey, stop. I'm worried because you could be infected, too. You could give it to me just as easily.

P: Me?! You're the one who slept with half of New York!

J: (looks very hurt by this. She bites her lip to keep from crying again, and after a few seconds speaks softly): Please, just take me home, Pacey.

[He looks up and sees the look on her face. He immediately feels pangs of guilt]

P: Oh, Jen, I'm sorry.

[He goes to put a hand on her shoulder, but she pulls away]

J (almost whispering, a tear falls down her cheek): Don't touch me.

P: Jen, I- I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. I just- (he sits back down next to her. she turns away. he sighs, putting his face in his hands) You're right, you know. (she turns back to him, and wipes a tear away) I don't know anything about Tamara's past. For all I know . . .

J: She would have told you, Pacey. If she knew. But maybe she's never been tested. Some people don't know they have it until symptoms start. And that could take years. (pauses, sighing) It's a scary world we're living in, Pacey. Look at us. Sophomores in highschool, and already we're worrying about pregnancy and AIDS.

[Pacey shakes his head and closes his eyes in silent agreement. Then he reaches over and places a hand on her knee. She looks up at him]

P: I know that I don't know you very well. And I know that our recent escapades haven't exactly been responsible. Not just New Year's, but before that. Cheating like that. It was wrong, and I know it. Once again, I've screwed up.

J: Pacey, I-

P: I know, I know. You were just as much at fault as I was. But let me finish. I'm used to making mistakes, Jen. Been makin' em my whole life. What I'm not used to is facing up to them. (Jen looks a little upset by this, but doesn't speak) I'm changing that now. What we did was neither mature, nor responsible, but I like you, Jen. I'm not going to deny that. The way I approached it leaves little to be said for, but it doesn't change the facts. And above all, you are my friend. With or without benefits, you're my friend, I don't want to see you get hurt. We did this together. If *you're* pregnant, then *we're* pregnant. What happens to you, happens to me. And maybe I don't know you that well, and maybe I never did. But from what I do know, you *are* a good girl. You've just made some mistakes. We all do. And that's why I like you. Cause you know what it's like to screw up. I suppose the fact that, this time, we screwed up together, and I do mean that literally (she smiles at this), well, it was just poetic justice.

[She nods, and they sit in silence, watching the water. The scene cuts to Dawson, at Joey's house, knocking on her door. After a few seconds, she opens it, looking tired. She sees Dawson, and her expression turns to surprise]

JOEY: Dawson! What are you doing here?

DAWSON (suddenly wondering if this was a bad idea): I- I was worried about you, Jo. Is that such a crime?

J (smiling slightly): No. (motioning) Come on in. But don't get too close, or you'll catch it.

[They walk into Joey's small house]

D: So, I take it that it wasn't a 24 hour bug?

J (shrugging): Guess not. But I really *was* feeling okay this last weekend. I guess I just got too active too soon, or something, cause this morning . . .

D: Spare me the details, please.

J (continuing anyway): It wasn't so bad. I only threw up once, but I was just *really* tired. I could barely drag myself out of bed to answer the door. And I'm achy . . .

D (looking concerned): Sounds like the flu to me. Or maybe Mono?

J (looks at him skeptically): *Mono?* Yeah, right, Dawson. The only person I've kissed recently is *you*.

D (shrugging): Maybe I didn't have it. Maybe I was a carrier, and I passed it on to you.

J: But who- Ah, Little Miss New York. Who knows what kind of diseases she's carrying.

D: Joey!

J: I'm *kidding.* Anyway, it's probably just the flu or something. I'll be fine. Now get back to school. I don't want you missing class on account of me.

D: Okay. Is there anything I can do for you? Bring you some stuff after school from the store? (she shakes her head) Are you sure you don't need anything? A sponge bath, perhaps?

J (smiling, rolling her eyes): *Dawson.*

D (smiling as well, fake innocence): What?

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

[OPEN: Pacey and Dawson at the empty video store, sitting behind the counter]

DAWSON: So, you had to skip lunch yesterday because seeing her made you *that* upset? Why didn't you just go talk to her?

PACEY (sarcastically): Oh, yeah, that would have been *real* smart. As if the administrators weren't suspicious enough. Walking in the office goin 'hey Tamara, what's up?' woulda just pushed em over the edge.

D (frowning): I didn't think about that.

P: You know, Dawson, my man, you only have one flaw, but it's a big one. You either think too much or you don't think *enough*.

D: Yeah, I know, I-

[He pauses when the door dings and someone walks in. It's Tamara]

D (whispering): Speak of the devil.

TAMARA (smiling): Hello, Pacey.

P (smiling): Hey, Tamara. Uh, I thought you'd already be gone.

T: Don't be silly. I told you I'd come to see you before I left.

[Pacey walks around the counter, over to her. He pulls her closer, and they walk away from the counter, leaving Dawson perplexed]

P: Listen, Tamara, what are you doing at about nine o'clock?

T: *Pacey* . . .

P: No, no, nothing like that. I just, I want to talk to you. I sorta need some advice. (she looks concerned) I can't exactly talk to my friends about it, cause . . . well, it's a long story. But maybe we could go to a restaurant in Providence?

T (looks a little worried): Well, uh . . . yeah. (smiles) Sure, Pacey. Pick you up here at nine?

P: Yeah. Thanks, Tamara.

[She just smiles and quickly walks out of the store. Pacey walks back over to Dawson, who is putting some videos away. He looks at Pacey questioningly]

D: What was that all about?

P (shrugging): Nothing.

D (sarcastically): *Right.*

[He goes back to putting away videos, and Pacey helps. We hear Tamara's voice off-stage.]

T (OS): Oh my, Pacey.

[Scene cuts to her and Pacey, sitting at a table inside a dimly-lit restaurant]

T: That's, uh . . . wow. I don't know what to tell you, Pacey.

P: That's okay. I just had to tell *someone,* y' know? (she nods in agreement) There's one more thing. Uh, Jen? She's, uh, she's not a virgin, either.

T (jokingly): Well, not *now.*

P: You know what I mean. So, besides the pregnancy issue, we're a little worried about STDs.

T (nods): I see what you mean.

P: What I wanted to ask you was, do you, I mean, I don't wanna sound rude, but-

T: No, Pacey, it's entirely understandable. I'm pretty sure I don't have anything. I've never shown any kind of symptoms.

P: But what about-

T: AIDS? I got tested after I went to my 15-year highschool reunion and found out a former good friend of mine had passed away from it.

P: So, that was what? About two years ago?

T: Something like that.

P: Well, don't you think you should go in again? (she shakes her head, Pacey is frustrated) Why not?!

T: Pacey! Shhh. Because, there hasn't been anyone since then but you.

P (sheepishly): Oh. (pauses, suddenly remembering something) Hey, Tamara, yesterday morning, I saw you in the office at school. What-

T: Oh, I was just picking up some things I had forgotten when I left.

P (somewhat disappointed): Oh.

T: Thought I was coming back for good?

P: Maybe just hoping.

T: Oh, Pacey. You have enough troubles without me around making it worse.

P (sighs): Ain't that the truth.

[Scene cuts to Pacey, Jen, Joey, and Dawson sitting at their lunch table. Joey and Jen are poking at their food. Dawson is watching Joey, worried, and Pacey is watching Jen, worried.]

PACEY (attempting to make conversation at the quiet table): So, uh, Joey, you're feeling better?

JOEY: Yeah, a little. I'm still a little achy, and I'm really tired, but at least I haven't thrown up for a couple days.

P: So, you missed, what? Four days of school?

JOEY: Yeah. I have an unbelievable amount of homework.

P (nodding): I can imagine. At least it's Friday. You have all weekend to make it up.

[They are all silent for a few seconds]

JOEY: So, Jen, are your parents still here?

JEN (looking up as if she hadn't been paying attention): Huh? Oh, yeah. They're leaving tomorrow. (pauses) Actually, they're trying to get me to go with them.

P, D, and JOEY: What?!

P: You're not, uh . . .

JEN: Are kidding? Not a chance in hell.

[They all relax, and Pacey breathes a long sigh of relief. The bell rings, and they get up from the table. Dawson and Joey start one way, while Jen and Pacey start another.]

P: See you guys later.

D: Yeah, bye.

[Camera cuts back to Pacey and Jen, walking down a hall]

P: So, are you going to take a test today?

JEN: Test?

P: C' mon Jen, you said yourself you were two days late.

J: Oh, *that* kind of test. Yeah, Pacey, two days is nothing. It can fluctuate that much normally.

P (sighs): Jen, I don't know about you, but I would just like to get this over with. Don't you want to know?

J: Actually, Pacey, I'm a little scared.

P: Look, I told you. I'm here to help. I'm not going anywhere, okay? And Jen, I know it sounds good right now, but you can't keep putting it off. The longer you do, the harder it'll get.

J: God, you sound like an after-school special. (sighs) Okay, I'll take one this weekend, as soon as I find myself home alone.

P: Good. Just call me whenever, and I'll-

J: No, Pacey, I'll do it myself. I mean, thanks and everything, but this is something I need to do on my own.

P: Jen, are you sure? I mean-

[They stop walking in front of a classroom]

J: I'm sure, but thanks.

P: Alright, but you know my number. I mean, for when you know the answer.

J (smiling): Of course.

[She turns and goes into a classroom. Pacey watches her for a few seconds, looking worried before turning away himself]

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

[OPEN: Exterior shot of the drug store. It is daytime. Once again, the sun is out, but we can tell it is cold. There are lots of people out walking around, but they are all dressed in warm clothing. "Black and White" by Sarah McLachlan is playing. The camera cuts to the inside of the store. Joey is wearing sunglasses, and a baseball cap. She walks down an aisle, pulling up her jacket as she nears her destination. The camera cuts to Jen, looking very tired. She has her hair back in a ponytail, and is wearing almost no make-up. She walks down an aisle, then turns, walking up the same one Joey is in. She heads for the same area, but doesn't recognize Joey right away. Jen reaches for a home pregnancy test. Joey sees her and looks up]

JOEY (incredulously): *Jen?*

JEN (turning to the owner of the voice): *Joey?* (she sees that Joey has one in her hand, too) Joey, are you-

JOEY: I don't know. *Duh.* That's obviously why I'm here. (she bites her lip, immediately feeling bad for being rude) Jen, I'm s-

JEN: Don't worry about it. So, the *flu* was just lasting a little too long, huh?

JOEY: Yeah, I guess so.

JEN: Wait, though, I thought you were on-

JOEY: Not for the first time. So, you and Mike, huh?

JEN: Um . . . yeah.

JOEY and JEN (simultaneously): Why didn't you tell me?

[They laugh nervously]

JEN: Look, you wanna come back to my house? My parents left earlier this morning, and Grams is at church.

JOEY: Uh, sure.

JEN: That way you have easy access to Dawson's house to tell him the news. Which, I'm sure will be good. I bet you have the flu and nothing else.

JOEY: Let's hope so. Wait, though, you're not sick.

JEN: Nope, just late.

JOEY: Almost worse.

JEN: No kidding.

[They start walking towards the check-out stand]

JOEY: Actually, Jen, I haven't told Dawson. I didn't want to worry him until I knew for sure.

JEN: I don't blame you.

JOEY: Did you tell Mike?

JEN: Uh, Joey, there's something I should probably tell you about that . . .

[Scene cuts to Joey and Jen, walking outside, each carrying a paper bag]

JOEY (incredulous): You're kidding. You've got to be kidding. *Please* tell me you're kidding. (Jen doesn't say anything) *Pacey?* Oh man, that's . . . So have you told him about . . . ? (Jen nods a silent 'yes') And . . . ?

JEN: And, surprisingly, he's okay with it. He was the one who told me to get a test. See, it happened New Year's Eve. After you and Dawson left the party, we both had a little too much to drink- (pauses) okay, a *lot* too much to drink. Anyway, we didn't, uh, we didn't use a condom.

JOEY (sympathetically): Oh, Jen.

JEN: I know. I was too drunk to realize how stupid it was. I hate myself for that night.

JOEY: Don't. It'll be okay. I know it will.

JEN: And if it's not, there *is* a bright side.

JOEY: And that is?

JEN: Wouldn't it be cool if our kids have the same birthday?

[Joey has to giggle softly at this. The two girls continue walking in silence. The scene cuts to Dawson, sitting on his bed. Pacey is on the floor.]

DAWSON: I know this going to sound absolutely ludicrous, but do you think she could be pregnant?

PACEY (nervously): Who?

D (exasperated): Joey!

P: Joey? I don't know, man, don't you think she'd tell you?

D: Yeah, but maybe she doesn't know. I mean, she's been having these ups and downs for a week now. I've never seen a flu like this.

P: Well, at least you used protection. If you hadn't, pregnancy would be almost certain.

D: Yeah . . . But what kind of an idiot doesn't use protection? (Pacey raises his hand slightly) Pacey? Just once, right?

P: Yeah.

D: With Ms. Jacobs?

P: Uh, no.

D: *Kate?*

P: Uh, strike two?

D: Pacey, who then?

P: Dawson, I don't exactly know how to tell you this . . .

[Scene cuts to Joey and Jen, sitting outside Jen's bathroom]

JOEY: So now what?

JEN (setting the timer on the stove): Now we wait.

JOEY: We *wait*? For how long?

JEN: Three minutes.

JOEY: The longest three minutes of our lives.

JEN: Yep. And this is my second time through.

JOEY: Yeah?

JEN: C' mon, Joey, don't act surprised, cause you know you aren't.

[Joey doesn't respond, she just looks away, embarrassed]

[Scene cuts to Dawson and Pacey, in the same positions. The camera zooms in on Dawson, who has a look of absolute astonishment on his face]

DAWSON (very softly): *Jen?*

PACEY (looking up tenderly): Are you mad?

D: No. No, not at all, I just- It's quite a shocker, Pace.

P: You're tellin' me. I guess I'll go over there in a few minutes, to see if she's taken the test yet.

D (still in shock): Oh, yeah, you should. So, what, uh- God, Pacey, I don't even know what I'm supposed to say! *Good luck?*

P (nodding): Something like that.

[Scene cuts to Jen and Joey, sitting in silence. They both jump when the buzzer goes off. Jen walks over to turn it off. Joey stands up.]

JOEY: Listen, Jen, could you just tell me mine for me? I can't do it. My entire future is sitting in that bathroom.

JEN: *Joey-*

JOEY (interrupting): Please?

[Jen walks into the bathroom]

JEN (OS, shaky voice): Joey, when you finished, did you set it on the right of the kleenex box, or the left?

JOEY: Uh, I can't remember. Why?

JEN (OS, almost frantic): I don't remember which one is mine, either!

JOEY (frowning): Why does it matter?

JEN (walking out of the bathroom, faces Joey, looking like she's seen a ghost): Because one's negative and one's positive.

[Joey looks completely horrified as the scene fades to black]

[END CREDITS, COMMERCIAL BREAK]

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