Thoughts of the Past by: Lisa

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Part 3/? Of the I Know What You Did Last Summer series


Classification: P/J (eventually, you'll see…)
Rating: PG for the series

Disclaimer: Yeah, I really own Dawson's Creek. I'm Kevin Williamson in drag. I also own "My Girl" and "I Know What You Did Last Summer". Heck, I own the world. Bow down to me. Now note the extensive sarcasm in those sentences and continue.

Author's Note: So you understand what the heck is going on, read parts 1&2.

Author's Second Note: A million thanks to everyone who helped with this. Claire, for her grammatical insight; the Six Pack, for everything they do; and most of all to Kilby, whose help and time has been a blessing. Kilbers, you're the greatest. This one's for you!

Thoughts of the Past

"I've got sunshine on a cloudy day…when it's cold outside, I've got the month of May…" Pacey sang softly as he brushed a new coat of sealant on the docks in Capeside. He glanced up, feeling the radiant warmth of the May sun on his face. For the first time in months, he was glad to be alive. He had finally begun to put Joey and Dawson's little tryst behind him. Sometimes he felt an incredible longing for her smile, her touch, or simply her presence, but it rarely lasted long. Even though everything he saw reminded him of Joey in some way, the painful memories were never far behind. He tried to convince himself that he needed to move on to bigger and better things. Like Kristen, that cute brunette that works in the card shop, he laughed..               

"Hey, Pacey," Jen said as she walked up to him. She wiped her hands on the navy apron from the Icehouse. After Joey and Dawson had gone off to college, she had taken Joey's old job as a waitress there. She and Pacey had become much better friends since the incident, although it was completely platonic. They had bonded over their mutual emotions after the incident. Jen was still pining away for Dawson; she had taken to writing him a letter at least once a week while he was away. She couldn't bear to give up on him.               

"Hey, Jen. Beautiful day, eh?" he inquired, looking at the brilliant reflection of the sun on the water.               

"You'd better be careful, Pacey," Jen said. "Someone might actually think you're happy."               

"Funny," he said dryly. "Just look at the sky, though. Don't you just want to sing at the top of your lungs?"               

"I guess," she said. You won't be half as happy, though, after you find out who's coming back to town.               

"Makes you glad to be alive, doesn't it?"

"If you say so," she said. Pacey gave her a funny look.              

"What's with you?"               

"Dawson's coming home this afternoon. Bessie and Gail were talking about it in the Icehouse earlier," she said simply. "His flight comes in at four." Pacey's jaw tensed.               

"That bastard has some nerve to come back after what he did!" he spat. "I don't believe him. And…and you! You're still in love with him! Just can't accept the fact that he cheated on you, can you?" There had always been some underlying contempt from Pacey towards Jen because she refused to give up on Dawson.               

"Pacey, please. You couldn't have thought he would just drop off the face of the earth."              

"I can hope, can't I?" he growled.      

"Down, boy." He rolled his eyes.      

"I have a right to be mad, and so do you," he reminded her. Now it was Jen's turn to roll her eyes.               

"That was eight months ago. Aren't you ever going to get past this?"               

"I'll get past it when I can look at Dawson without wanting to rearrange his face," he answered, picking up his paintbrush again. Jen sighed.               

"You're the most stubborn person I've ever met," she told him as she stood up. He didn't answer; he continued painting the docks. Jen glanced at her watch. "My break's over, so I'm going back to the Icehouse. I'll meet you back here at five thirty."               

"Why? Are we going to hang Dawson by his toenails from the flagpole? Oh, the possibilities!" Jen ignored his comment.               

"You know that it's Monday. We always go out to dinner on Mondays after work," she reminded him. "It's time for you to get over this Dawson and Joey thing. When it starts causing memory loss, you know it's gone too far."               

"Yeah, whatever," he mumbled, knowing she was right. "Go away now."

*     *     *

Pacey checked his watch. Realizing it was time for his break, he reached into his bag and pulled out a worn journal. It had been a Christmas present from some well-meaning relative many years ago, but Pacey had never found a use for it until the incident. After it, however, he had made it a habit to write a quick message every day. It helped him express the feelings of anger and rejection he had been experiencing. He had begun on scraps of paper that he found around the house, but realized that hiding hundreds of them wasn't feasible. While cleaning his room, he had discovered the journal and decided to use that instead. He flipped to the first blank page.

Jen told me today that Dawson's coming home in a few hours. I don't believe this guy. It's not enough that he screwed up my entire future with Joey and Boston University, he has to screw up my summer, too. Some ex-best friend.               

And just my luck, Joey will probably be coming home from college around this time too. Neither of them has the sense to stay away from Capeside, do they? They're asking for it. When they slept together, they forfeited all rights to my friendship. Things can never go back to the way that they were, and they both need to come to that realization.               

Pacey slammed the journal shut when he heard approaching footsteps.               

"Hey, Pacey!" a tall brunette said as she dodged the paint cans and drop cloths covering the docks. The sun was directly behind her, hiding her face. For a moment, his heart lifted and a smile spread across his lips.               

"Joey?" he whispered hopefully, getting to his feet. No, Witter. Remember, you hate Joey. Think pain, suffering, grief, pain, suffering, grief, he chanted to himself. It was his personal mantra. He was so busy reminding himself how much he hated Joey that he didn't realize who it really was.               

"Pacey?" the girl repeated. She sneezed. He rubbed his eyes, finally aware of who it was.              

"Hi, Kristen of the card shop," he grinned.      

"Hi, Pacey of the marina," she returned while blowing her nose. This was their normal banter. It was a tradition, for the two of them. They had bonded one day in the grocery store over the fact that they hated their jobs immensely, so they each constantly reminded the other of where they worked. It was silly, they realized, but at the same time amusing.               

"Where are you headed?" he asked, placing the journal in his bag. She sneezed again.               

"Home. This hay fever is practically killing me. I was sneezing all over the new Hallmark shipment, so Maggie graciously allowed me to leave a whole fifteen minutes early. Isn't my co-worker a saint?" she said wryly.               

"Let's give her a national holiday," Pacey joked. She sneezed again.               

"I'd love to stay and chat, but I think I'm allergic to everything at this point, including you. I'd better get a little sleep. Talk to you later." She waved goodbye as she stumbled up the stairs to her apartment.

*     *     *

"Hey, Pacey," Jen said as she walked up beside him. He was deep in thought, swinging his legs off the edge of the dock. "What are you pondering?"              

"Oh, hi, Jen," he said absentmindedly.      

"Don't strain yourself there," she said as she sat next to him.      

"What do you think of Kristen?" he asked suddenly.      

"Kristen? The brunette that works in the card shop? What about her?" Jen asked, confused.              

"Does she seem like my type?" Jen's jaw dropped.      

"You? Dating Kristen? Please!" she chortled.      

"Why not?" he asked, obviously offended.      

"Pacey, can't you see it?"               

"See what? She's gorgeous, and we're friends. I think she's dating material, possibly."               

"Look at her, Pacey. She's a Joey clone - a tall brunette that you constantly exchange sarcastic and wry comments with. It's so obvious that you're still hung up on Joey."               

"Well, maybe Kristen won't cheat on me like she did," he said indignantly. She rolled her eyes.               

"Don't you think eight months of imagining ways to make Joey's life miserable and plotting to kill Dawson are enough?"               

"Nope. If anything, I've been too easy on them. In my opinion, Dawson should be permanently crippled."               

"I think you inflicted enough physical pain upon him for one lifetime. He's truly sorry, Pacey, it wasn't like they planned it. They told us that when they confessed, remember? He's apologized so many times to you already; what more is there for him to do?" Pacey shook his head.               

"Every time I hear his name, I can only think of him and Joey groping each other while I was passed out. The thought revolts me. When the time comes when I can close my eyes and see anything other than him with the woman I loved, I can forgive him," Pacey said with a tone of finality. He and Jen sat in silence for a few minutes.               

"Come on, let's go. Our dinner reservation is in fifteen minutes," Jen said gently as she stood up. Pacey grudgingly followed.

You feel yourself finishing the story…you feel yourself clicking on the "compose mail" button…you feel yourself writing to me.....

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