Starting Over by: Lindsay

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Spoiler: References to the movie "Bed of Roses" (which I also don't own). Also, you need to read my first seven stories (The Object of My Affection-Breakdown) to understand this one.

Authorís note: This one took me a long time, I know. Itís hard with school and everything, so Iím going on a break. I know DC will have two or three mini-hiatuses during the season, so Iíll write one story during each of those, and start back up regularly when season two ends. Thank you to everyone who took the time to compliment me on my writing, and my series. I really appreciated the support. You guys are what kept me doing this for all these months, so, if I had a hat, Iíd tip to you all : ) Thanks again.

[OPEN: Exterior shot of the Leery house, night time. Cut to Dawson, lying on his bed, hands behind his head. We hear Joey singing ďOn My OwnĒ coming from the television. He hears a noise from outside. He sits up and listens, curiously. He hears another noise, and rushes to the window]

DAWSON (while going to the window): Joey? (looks out the window) Pacey.

[He walks away from the window, and back to his bed. Pacey climbs in the window]

PACEY (smiling): Hello to you, too. (He walks over to the bed, and sits on itís edge, glancing at the TV) Dawson, man, you gotta stop doing this to yourself.

D: Why? Is there some sort of law that says Iím not permitted to wallow in my own wretched misery?

P: No. Itís just pathetic.

D: Bite me, Pacey.

P: Ah, the walking dictionary has run out of intelligent comebacks. A sure sign of the Armageddon. Man, you *do* have it bad.

D: Pacey, if you Ďre *trying* to make me feel worse, youíre doing a bang-up job.

P: Iím sorry, Dawson, but *honestly*. I mean, look at you. Have you even taken a shower today? (Dawson doesnít answer, Paceyís voice changes to a more serious tone) You canít keep missing school, either.

D: *Two* days, Pacey. I missed two days.

P: Yeah, and for what?

D (defensively): Iím sick.

P: Yeah, and Iím a genius. Dawson, look, I know you miss her, but itís *not* the end of the world.

D: Thatís debatable.

P (sighs): Sheís not going anywhere, man. Not to another country, not to the arms of another guy, not even to a new personality. The girl loves you, Dawson. Donít ask me why. Sheís obviously smoking something, but she does. She always will. (pauses) But she just went through a major ordeal all by herself. Sheís a little freaked out, because now she doesnít think she can trust you to be there for her. ĎCause lets face it. Youíre the only one whoís ever been there for her. *Youíve* never hurt her, and *youíve* never let her down. Until now. And in one foul swoop, you managed to disprove all three of those theories. Now sheís got no one to count on. Whatís a girl to do? Give her time, Dawson. Sheíll be back.

D (sighs): We shouldíve just stayed friends.

P: You donít mean that.

D: No I donít. But it would have been easier. (he sits up) I love her, Pacey.

P: I know ya do, man.

D: I wouldíve stayed with her, yí know. If she had been pregnant. And not because Iíd be worried about what everyone would think, but because I love her. I told her I was too scared to grow up. But that wasnít entirely factual. You were right on, Pacey. Iím the only one she can, or *could*, depend on. I couldnít handle that kind of responsibility. I was too afraid Iíd let her down, just like everyone else she ever loved has. So, I pushed her away, thinking itíd be better for her, when ultimately, I just ended up hurting her, the very thing I was attempting to prevent. (pauses) Yeah, Iíll admit, I *was* scared to grow up, but I would have done it for her.

[Camera cuts to Joey, standing on the ladder, leaning against the side of Dawsonís house. There is a small smile on her face. She listens intently]

P (OS): Then why donít you do it now? I mean it, Dawson. Get off your lazy ass, go over there, and tell her everything you just told me.

[Joey looks hopeful, cut to Dawson]

D (standing up): Yeah, I should. (he pauses for a second, then flops back down on his bed) I canít.

[Cut to Joey. She looks disappointed]

P (OS): Dawson, man, you are a lost cause.

[Joey looks dejected. Theme music starts as she slowly and quietly works her way back down the ladder]

[OPENING THEME, COMMERCIAL BREAK]

[OPEN: Exterior shot of the Icehouse. Late evening. "Cold Feelings" by Social Distotion is playing. Cut to Joey, taking an order, and walking behind the counter. She places the order up, just as Warren walks out of the kitchen. She ignores him, and glances at her watch]

JOEY: Bessie, Iím going now!

BESSIE (OS): Is it seven already?

J: Yeah, and I have a lot of homework tonight, so I have to get started! B (pops her head out from the kitchen): Iíll be home in a few hours, probably, but donít wait up, okay? You look like you havenít been sleeping well lately.

J (looks annoyed): Iím sleeping fine, Bessie.

B: Whatever. Oh, and start thinking about what you want to do for your birthday on Saturday.

[Bessie goes back into the kitchen, Joey sighs, and takes off her apron, as Warren comes up behind her, and the music fades away]

WARREN: So, you got a birthday coming up?

J (turning to look at him): Yeah, so?

W (shrugs): So, nothing. I was just wondering. Sweet Sixteen, huh?

J (mumbling): Something like that.

W: What? Donít tell me youíre gonna get all mopey about the biggest day of your young life just Ďcause you canít spend it with your precious Dawson.

J (defensively): For your information, and not thatís itís any of your business, my diminutive amount of sorrow has nothing to with Dawson. I just donít like birthdays okay?

W: Yeah, right. (pauses) Maybe youíve just never had a good one before.

J (sarcastically): And what *would* make a good birthday, Warren? A date with you?

W (smiling): *You* are a mind reader.

J: Forget it, Warren. Iíll admit it, youíre a nicer guy than I originally thought. Youíve changed since our unfortunate first meeting, but Iím still not going to go out with you.

W (whining): Why not, Joey? Why wonít you just give me a chance?

J: Because youíre always going to be that lying, self-absorbed jerk.

W: Joey, Iím truly sorry about that. How many times do I have to say it?

J: Warren, I donít care if you ever say it again, because as much as you want it to, it wonít ever change what happened, nor will it change how utterly repulsed I am by you.

W (wincing): Will *anything* change that?

J (shrugging): Maybe time.

[She turns and walks away, and the camera cuts to a close-up of Warren, looking after her with a furrowed brow, a pained expression on his face]

[Scene cuts to Joey, walking along the waterfront, on the way back to her house. She holds her apron in her hands, and holds her hands behind her. She walks slowly, looking out onto the water. She hears a voice behind her]

VOICE (OS): Joey! Joey, wait up!

JOEY (turning to see Anderson, she smiles): Youíre still here?

ANDERSON (smiling as well): I told you. Youíre stuck with me Ďtill Sunday.

J (sarcastically): How dreadfully appalling.

A (still smiling): I thought you were gonna come see me last night?

J (smile fading): Uh, yeah, Iím sorry, Anderson, I just . . . I had some things I had to get done.

A: Well, are you busy now?

J: Actually, I was on my way home. I have a ton of school work, so . . .

A: What classes?

J: Um, Spanish, and Marine Biology.

A: Well, Joey, let me tell you, itís your lucky day.

J (skeptical, but smiling): Really?

A: Yep, those just happen to be my best subjects.

J (sarcastically, still smiling, and crossing her arms): Imagine that.

[Scene cuts to Jen, sitting at her desk, attempting to do some of her homework. "Close Your Eyes" by the Goo Goo Dolls is playing softly. She sighs softly, as she flips the page of the book sheís reading. She lifts her head when she hears a knock at the door. Relieved for the break, she walks out of her room to go answer it. Camera cuts to Pacey, standing outside of her house, holding a single red rose. The music has stopped. Jen opens the door]

JEN (surprised): Pacey! What- (she sees the rose, and smiles) For me?

PACEY (smiling, and extending the rose): Yep.

[She takes it, puts her nose to it and breathes in deeply]

J: It smells really good. Thank you, Pacey. (pauses) Um, you wanna come in?

P: Your Grams-

J (interrupting): Sheís not here. (smiles) Iíll give you three guesses.

[Pacey walks into the house, and Jen shuts the door behind him. She walks past him into the kitchen, and goes through the cupboards, looking for a vase. He follows her in there.]

J: So, what brings you here?

P: Actually, I was hoping we could talk a little bit.

[He sits down at the kitchen table. Jen has found a vase and is running some water into it.]

J: Sure. What about?

P (biting his lip): Us.

[She sticks the rose in the vase and takes the vase with her over to the table where Pacey sits. She takes a seat next to him.]

J: Us?

P: I know we said this wasnít going to work, but that was before, when we thought you were pregnant. And now that we know youíre not-

J (cutting him off): Pacey, I thought we decided that it wasnít going to work, no matter what.

P: Well, we did, but I sort of changed my mind. (he pauses, waiting for her to say something. she doesnít, so he continues) I know this sounds corny, Jen, but Iím miserable without you. I thought maybe we could try it again, but for real this time. You know, make it official. Maybe even kiss in mixed company.

J (crossing her arms, sort of hugging herself, "Close Your Eyes" starts again): I donít know, Pacey. I just broke up with Mike two days ago. I was thinking about taking a little break, yí know? I could really use one.

P (nods but looks disappointed, and a little angry): Right. (stands up) Well, ya canít blame a guy for trying. I guess Iíll see you around.

[Pacey walks away, and the camera cuts to a close up of Jen. She looks to the side sadly, and we hear a door close. She puts her elbows on the table, and buries her face in her hands.]

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

[OPEN: Exterior shot of Capeside High. Students are walking around outside. Camera cuts to Joey, walking inside the front office. She walks up to the secretaryís desk. The secretary looks up from her computer]

SECRETARY: May I help you?

JOEY (uncomfortably): Um, I hope so. Would it be possible for me to bring a visitor to school?

S: That depends. Who are you planning on bringing?

J: Uh, my cousin. Heís staying with me for a few days.

S: When would you like to bring him?

J: Well, heís leaving Sunday, so would tomorrow be alright?

[The secretary reaches into a drawer, and flips through some folders. She opens one up, and takes a slip of paper from it]

S (handing it to Joey): Here. Fill in all the necessary information on the top, and get all of your teachers to sign this. If each one okays it, just bring the slip into me at the end of the day, and he can come.

J: *Really?* Thatís all I have to do?

S (slightly annoyed): Yes. Now I suggest you get to class before youíre late for homeroom.

J (smiles): Thank you.

[Scene cuts to Pacey, at his locker, getting a book out, and placing it in his back pack. Jen walks up behind him]

JEN (tentatively): Pacey?

PACEY (turns to look at her, shuts his locker): Good morning, Miss Lindley. How may I service you?

J: Uh, I was hoping we could talk.

P: Deja vu. (pauses) Iíd rather not, but thanks for the offer.

[He brushes past her. She looks hurt, but walks after him]

J: Pacey, please.

[He stops, and turns around]

P: I know where this is going, Jen. Youíre about to toss me the Ďletís be friendsí speech. Well, save it. Iíve already heard it once this week. Iíd prefer not to hear it again. And especially not from you.

J: Pacey, thatís not what I was going to say. I wanted to tell you-

P (interrupting, angrily): Tell me what? That you wish New Yearís had never happened? That, now that everythingís okay, you want to just disregard this whole incident? We should just forget about it, forget about each other, and move on with our lives? (his tone softens) I donít want to do that, Jen. I *canít* do that.

J (stepping closer to him): I donít want to do that, either, Pacey.

P: You donít? (Jen shakes her head, small smile) Then, what- (she leans in and kisses him. he kisses back for a second, then they both pull away, Pacey smiling. he teases her) Well, if *thatís* all you wanted to talk about, you should have said something sooner.

[She smiles, and he pulls her back into another kiss. Students walking around stop and stare. Some point and whisper, but Jen and Pacey are oblivious. We hear a bell ring, and the scene cuts to Joey, walking out of a classroom. she walks down the hall and out the doors of the school, and down the stairs. Dawson opens the door behind her, and notices her.]

DAWSON (jogging down the stairs): Joey!

[Joey turns around. Dawson jogs down the rest of the stairs, and to her]

D (small smile): Hey.

JOEY (emotionless): Hey, Dawson.

D (growing nervous): Uh, where were you at lunch?

J: Oh, I was, uh, in the library. I had to finish up somehomework.

D: Oh. So, can I walk you home?

J: Actually, Iím going to work.

D: Well, can I walk you to work?

J (sighs): Dawson . . .

D: Joey, I know you need a break, but itís almost been a week and youíve barelysaid two words to me.

J: Dawson, youíve *barely* been at school.

D: I know. But Iím here now, Jo, and I have to talk to you.

J: What is there to talk about, Dawson? I think I covered all the bases lastweekend.

D: Joey, you canít shut me out like this. Youíre still my best friend. I canít handlethis Ďall or nothingí method of yours. Canít we find some kind of happy-medium?

J: A happy-medium? And by this, you mean . . . ?

D: Friends, Jo. If nothing else, I want us to be friends.

J (skeptical): And you think you could handle that?

D: Yeah.

J: Dawson-

[ďStraight From the HeartĒ by Bryan Adams begins to play softly]

D: Please, Joey? I know I hurt you. I never intended to, though. You have toknow that. All those things I said? It wasnít really the truth.

J (annoyed, crosses her arms): So then what *is* the truth, Dawson?

D: The truth? The truth is . . . the truth is, is that . . .

J: Dawson, I really donít have time for this. (she pauses, hopeful, waiting for himto speak. he doesnít, and her face turns to an angry, yet sad expression. shenods bitterly) Iíll see ya, Dawson.

[She turns and walks away. Dawson looks upset]

D: Joey, wait!

J (turning around): All I ever *do* is wait, Dawson. If youíve got something to say, if youíre man enough to face up to the veracity, Iíd like to hear it. Because I knowwhat your intentions were last weekend. And I know you never meant to hurt me. But the fact is, you did. And there are ways you can fix this, Dawson. Itís pitiful, but you still have that much power over me. But I have to hear it from you. And I have to hear the absolute, honest truth. No more of this scripted stuff. I want you to stop worrying about what sounds good at what time of the day with what kind of music and lighting. For once, Iíd just like to hear you speak (putting her hand on her chest) straight from your heart.

[Camera cuts to a close up of Dawson. He looks straight ahead, not speaking. His eyes are sad, but determined, as the scene fades to black, and the music fades with it]

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

[OPEN: Exterior shot of the Icehouse. It is the evening, and is just turning dark. "Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind is playing. Cut to Joey, standing at a table, writing down an order.]

JOEY (fake smile): Will that be all for you?

MAN: Thatíll do it.

J (putting her pen in her apron): Okay. Iíll have that for you right away.

[She walks over behind the counter, and puts the order up. She turns around, as Anderson is walking in. He flashes her a big smile. The music fades out. She smiles back, tucking her hair behind her ear]

J: Hey, Anderson.ANDERSON: Hey, Joey. How're you doing?

(she looks at her watch)

JOEY: Youíre a little early.

A: I know. I was hoping you might be able to leave sooner.

J: Why?

A (shrugs): Itís a school night, I figured youíve got lots of work.

And, I wanted to spend some time with you before you have to do it.

J (smiling): Actually, Iím pretty much homework-free for the night, so . . .

A: Great! Then, can I take you out? Maybe to dinner or a movie?

J: Mmm . . . how Ďbout both?

A (smiles): Really? (she nods) Okay, well, I have to get some stuff from the boat, first, but Iíll meet you back here in, say, ten minutes?

J: Sounds great.

[Scene cuts to an exterior shot of video store. the camera then cuts to the inside,where Pacey is sitting behind the counter with Dawson. They are watching ďBed of RosesĒ]

DAWSON: Pacey, this movie is pure crap. Look up Ďchick flickí in the dictionary,and thereíll be a picture of Christian Slater and Mary Stuart Masterson.

PACEY: Aw, címon, Dawson. I thought you *liked* romance.

D (bitterly): Yeah, I guess Iím just not in the mood for it tonight.

P: Yí know, Dawson, if you were paying attention to this movie, instead of bitchingabout it, you might actually learn something.

D (skeptical): Whatís that?

P: Look, they screw up, right? He pushes too hard, she gets scared, she runs away, and they both end up regretting it.

D: Yeah . . .

P: But what happens in the end? She swallows her pride, and goes back to him,basically asking for forgiveness.

D: Right. And he swallows *his* pride by taking her back. How does this relateto me?P: Dawson, man, it relates to you in every way possible! We might as well call you guys Lewis and Lisa! (pauses, Dawson looks confused) Look,itís just proof that things like this always work out in the end. You made a mistake, but you get a second chance. And if youíd just stop *thinking* about it, and actually *do* something about it, weíd all be a lot happier. (pauses) I just donít see what youíre waiting for.

D (after a long pause): Yí know, Pacey, to tell you the truth, neither do I. [He stands up, and walks out from behind the counter, towards the door]

P: Hey, whereíre you going?!

D (over his shoulder): Iíve got to talk to her!

P: Good luck, man!

[Dawson opens the door and jogs out, almost running over Jen, who quickly steps out of the way. She looks back over her shoulder and watches him for a second, then turns back and walks into the store]

JEN: Geez, whereís the fire?

P: He *finally* decided to talk to Joey. I guess he got a little excited.

J: Iíll say. (pauses) Well, good for him. So, you getting off soon?

P (glancing at the clock on the wall): Yep. Stan should be here any minute. You wanna catch a movie later, or somethiní?

J (smiles): Yeah, that sounds cool.

P: Really?

[Jen leans over the counter and kisses him]

J (after she pulls away): *Yes.*

P (smiling): Yí know, I could *really* get used to this couple thing.

[Scene cuts to Dawson, walking into the Icehouse. He walks right to the counter,where Bessie is standing at the cash register.]

BESSIE: Hey, Dawson.

DAWSON: Hey, Bessie, is Joey still here?

B: Nope, she just left.

D: Oh. I guess Iíll just go to your house.

[He turns to leave]

B (calling after him): Uh, Dawson?

D (turns around): Yeah?

B: She wasnít going straight home.

D: Whereíd she go?

B: I donít really know. I think to a movie.

D: What? (runsback to the counter) Bessie, with who?

B: Iím sorry, Dawson. I wish I could help you, but I have no idea who she wentwith. I donít think Iíve ever seen him before.

D: *Him*?

B (realizing she just made a mistake): Uh, look Dawson, I donít know for sure what she was doing. I mean, they probably had to do something for school, or-

D: Yeah, right. Thanks for your help, Bessie.

[He walks away, and the camera cuts to a close-up of Bessie, who sighs as shewatches him leave]

[Scene cuts to Joey and Anderson, walking up to the Rialto]

ANDERSON: You *sure* you donít mind waiting until after the movie to eat?

JOEY: *Yes*, Anderson. Iím-

[She is cut off by a voice from behind her]

VOICE (OS): Joey?

[She turns to see Jen and Pacey]

JOEY (nervously): Uh, hey guys.JEN (eyeing Anderson): Hey. (to Anderson) Uh, havenít we met before?

A: I think so. You were, uh, *Debís* friend from school, correct?

JEN (thinking she screwed up by saying Joeyís name): Um, I-

JOEY (interrupting): Itís okay, Jen, I told him the truth.

PACEY: *What* truth?

JOEY: Oh, itís, uh, itís a long story.

P (to Anderson): Well, you may have met Jen, but you havenít met me.

(extends his hand, Anderson shakes it) Iím Pacey. (pauses) The best friend of Joeyís boyfriend.

JOEY (before Anderson can respond): Pacey, this is Anderson. And might I remind you Dawson is my *ex* boyfriend?

P (almost angry): Right. Jo, can I talk to you for a sec?

[He pulls her over away from Jen and Anderson, leaving them looking uncomfortable]

A: Wait, did she say *ex* boyfriend?

[Camera cuts to Joey and Pacey]

P: Just what the hell are you doing?

JOEY: What are you talking about?

P: You know what Iím talking about. For all that talk about how in love withDawson you were, you sure got over it quickly.

JOEY: Pacey, heís only a friend.

P: Right. Just like Mark McGwireís *only* a baseball player.

JOEY: *Pacey*. Trust me, *nothingís* going on between me and Anderson.

P: Did Dawson talk to you tonight?

JOEY (confused): No, why?

P: Cause last I saw him, he was on his way to the Icehouse, ready to spill hisheart out to you.

JOEY: What?

P: Yeah, I guess you had already left. Which means heís probably looking foryou right now. I hope for your sake he doesnít find you. Atleast not while youíre still with Brandon Walsh over there.

JOEY: Oh, bite me, Pacey.

[She turns around]

P: Hey, Iím just trying to help you out. God knows you and Dawson belongtogether. This break-up thing is getting old. Iím just trying to keep things running smoothly.

J (turns back around): Well, thanks but no thanks, alright? I can handle this on my own.

[She walks back to Anderson and Jen, and the camera cuts to them]

JEN: Yeah, I just moved here about five months ago, so Iím still getting used to the small-

JOEY (walking up, interrupting, fake smile): Ready to see the movie?

A (smiles): Yeah.

[They walk up to buy tickets, and the camera cuts back to Jen and Pacey, who glance at each other, worried]

[COMMERCIAL BREAK]

[OPEN: Exterior shot from above the Rialto. "Semi-Charmed Life" is playing softly again. Camera cuts to a far-away shot of Dawson, jogging up to the ticket window. He says something that we cannot hear, and then walks into the theater. The camera cuts again to a closer shot of him, walking inside. He looks around anxiously, and his gaze shifts to the entrance of the actual theater, and the camera follows his eyes to Joey and Anderson, laughing about something, while Jen and Pacey stand behind them. They are standing with a bunch of other people, walking towards the theater. Cut back to Dawson, looking away, confused. He doesnít know what to do. He sort of stands there dumbfounded for a few seconds, before Joey sees him. She callsout to him, but we canít see her]

JOEY (OS): Dawson? (Music fades out, Dawson turns his head to reveal Joey standing in front of him) Dawson, what are you doing here?

DAWSON: Well, Iíd ask you the same question, but I can obviously see the answer.

[He motions to Anderson]

J: Dawson, weíre *only* friends.

D: Are you, Joey? I mean, really? Because I wonít be mad at you, I just want the truth.

J (crosses her arms): So do *I*, Dawson.

D: Joey, you *know* what the truth is. I love you, and I donít want to lose you. But Iím so scared of undermining your expectations. Of not living up to thedream. Iím scared of letting you down, Joey. Everyone else has, and I donít want to be that guy. I donít want to be the one you *thought* you could trust. Iwant to be the one you *can*. (pauses) Iím sorry for what happened lastweekend, Joey. I didnít know what else to do. I just thought that you deserved someone better than me. I thought pushing you away would be in your best interests. I guess I was wrong.

[He looks down]

J: Yí know, Dawson. You may be right. I mean, maybe I *do* deserve someone better than you. (she smiles slightly) But did it ever occur to you that maybe I donít *want* anyone else?

D (looking up, incredulously): You mean, that, Jo?

J (smiling up at him): I do.

[They embrace in a hug, as Anderson walks up. He clears his throat. Dawson and Joey pull away, and Joey turns to Anderson, a little embarrassed.]

A: Uh, Joey. The movieís about to start

J (glances at Dawson, then back to Anderson): Uh, Anderson, can we talk?

[They walk away from Dawson, and Joey leans against a nearby wall]

A: Look, Joey, before you say anything, you donít have to. I understand.

J: Anderson, itís not you, really. Itís just, you picked a bad time to come back. Iím going through all these emotions, and Iím so confused, and I just- I donít have room for anymore chaotic disorder, yí know?

A (smiles painfully): Yeah, I do. So, Iím assuming this means no school for me tomorrow?

J (she shakes her head): Iím sorry, Anderson, I really am. I never intended for you to become wrapped up in all this clutter that is my life.

A: Itís alright. Really. But you know what . . . (he takes a pen out of his pocket. then he reaches into his back pocket, and pulls out his wallet. he shuffles through some things, and grabs and old receipt, and starts writing something down) I would still like it if you would call me sometime. (teasing) *Especially* if trouble starts between you and Mr. Wonderful.

J (laughs a little): You know I will.

[There is a short silence]

A: So, I should be going (he motions towards the door) Itís getting kind of late, so . . .

J: What about the movie?

A (Shrugs, handing his ticket stub to Joey): Give my ticket to Dawson.

J (smiles slightly): Thank you, Anderson. Youíre the *real* Mr. Wonderful here.

A (smiles): Yeah, I sort of wish I was. (he leans over and kisses Joey on the cheek) Good-bye, Joey.

[He walks away, and Joey watches him leave, a half-sad look on her face. Then she turns and sees a hopeful looking Dawson standing, waiting for her. She instantly smiles, and walks over to him]

D (smiling back): Ready to see the movie?

J: Yeah.

[He holds out his arm, and she takes it, as they walk into the dark theater]

[The scene fades away, then fades back in. "Between Now and Forever" by Bryan White plays softly throughout the rest of the scene. Joey, Jen, Pacey, and Dawson are walking out of the Rialto.]

PACEY: Well, kids, weíve got school tomorrow, so we must be going. I will be escorting the lovely Miss Lindley home. (Jen giggles at this) Would anyone else care for a ride?

DAWSON and JOEY: Weíll walk.

[They glance at each other and smile]

P (shrugs): Suit yourselves. See you guys tomorrow.

JEN: Bye, guys.

[Dawson and Joey wave, as Jen and Pacey walk away, hand-in-hand. Joey and Dawson begin walking]

JOEY (turning to Dawson): Would you have *ever* thought-

D: Not in a million years. But, if theyíre happy, then Iím happy for them.

J (nods): Me too.

[There is a short silence]

D: I give it two months.

J: If that.

[They look at each other and laugh]

J (once the laughter fades): What about us, Dawson? Do we have a time limit before the inevitable finale?

D: I would have to say yes. (Joey shoots her head over to look at him, surprised) I know itís destined to end, and I could probably even give you the exact day.

J (almost angrily, but staying calm): Yeah? Care to share it with me, Confucius?

D: Absolutely. I can see it now. (he stops walking, and takes her hand in his) The day I stop caring for you will be the day that I die. [She looks up at him, and leans in for a kiss]

J (after they pull away): I love you, Dawson.

D (smiles): I love you, too, Jo. (pauses) Oh- (he reaches into his pocket, and pulls out her ring) You wouldnít by any chance want this back, would you?

[Joey smiles, and slips it back on her finger. The camera pans out, upwards. They start walking again, and we see an overhead view of them, talking and laughing. Dawson takes her hand, just before the scene fades to black]

[END CREDITS, COMMERCIAL BREAK]

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