Losing It by: Lisa

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Part 4 in the I Know What You Did Last Summer Series

Classification: P/J, at some point

Disclaimer: Not my characters, not my tv show, not my fabulous Hollywood reputation…Gee, no, we're not bitter. We don't envy Kevin. No, not us. Uh uh. No way.

Rating: PG-13

Distribution: Want it? Email me.

Note: Again, thanks to Kilby who devotes countless hours with me, going over each sentence in excruciating detail. Gotta love her!

Losing It

*     *     *

At the Basilico Café               

"I can't believe Dawson's coming back. In fifteen minutes, he should be here in good old Capeside again," Jen sighed wistfully. Pacey rolled his eyes.               

"Things were so much better when they were hundreds of miles away from here. I've had too long to think about this, and I just hope that Dawson has the good sense to keep his distance, because he'll be lucky if he walks away with just a broken wrist if I get my hands on him again."               

"Don't forget the black eyes and the bruised ribs," Jen reminded him.               

"Justifiable assault. No jury would dare convict me." Jen groaned.               

"You wouldn't have a snowball's chance in the devil's house if you went to court. It doesn't matter if he slept with your girlfriend,"              

"Ex-girlfriend," Pacey interrupted.      

"It doesn't matter if he slept with your ex-girlfriend or not, you were totally out of control that night and you know it. Don't try to defend your actions to me, Pacey, you'll never convince me that you were right." Pacey shrugged.               

"Good thing I don't need to convince you. Dawson isn't bringing me to court, and if he did, I'd kick his butt again."               

"Time to change the subject. We're not discussing your physical prowess again."

*     *     *

At the same time, in the car               

"I'm starving, Dawson, do we have any food left?" Karen asked as she drove down Main Street in Capeside.               

"We ate everything on the plane. There's nothing left but a few cookie crumbs and an empty potato chip bag."              

"Your parents better have dinner ready when we get there!"      

"It's only five after six. My mom's at the station until seven thirty and my dad only makes scrambled eggs. I don't cook, and even if I did, I wouldn't be able to make anything edible. There's no chance of getting anything substantial for another two hours or so," he said apologetically.               

"You're kidding me!" Karen groaned. She pulled over on the side of the road. "Dawson, there is no way that I will make it until then without dinner. I need food. Where's the closest McDonald's?" Dawson burst out laughing. "What's so funny?"               

"A McDonald's? In Capeside? Karen, the only McDonald you'll find around her is that old guy with a farm. There's no fast food for miles." She wailed and banged her head against the steering wheel.               

"Dawson," she whimpered. "Please. Isn't there any sort of restaurant? Something with burgers or sandwiches?" He furrowed his brow.               

"There aren't any restaurants around here," he said, deliberately omitting the Icehouse. "There's nowhere for--wait! The Basilico Café might be open. It's relatively new, but it's supposedly pretty good." Karen chortled.               

"The Basilico Café? Why not? It's food!" Karen said as she pulled back onto the road. They headed towards downtown Capeside for dinner.

*     *     *

A few minutes later, in the Basilico Café               

"Thank you," Jen said as the waiter placed her baked ziti in front of her. He smiled and handed Pacey his hamburger with onion rings. "You're so cultured, Pacey. You got onion rings instead of French fries; that's very impressive."               

"That's me, Mr.-" he started to say. Suddenly, his face contorted with rage. "That bastard!" he whispered. Jen turned around instantly, realizing that it could be no one but Dawson Leery. "The nerve! Coming into our restaurant on our night out," he said, raising his voice. A few patrons turned around and gave Jen and Pacey curious glances.

"Shut up, Pacey," Jen hissed as she stared at Dawson. She couldn't take her eyes off of him. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder, she told herself. The sight of him made her heart leap. She couldn't believe how fabulous he looked standing there with that blonde cheerleader-type girl next to him. Back up a sec there, Jen. He has a blonde cheerleader-type girl next to him? Her eyes narrowed, and she glared at Karen Douglass, who was practically drooling. Karen was really salivating over the items on the daily special board above the host's head, but Jen assumed she was drooling over Dawson. He's too good for her. Who does she think she is, standing next to my Dawson? she thought angrily. The girl glanced up and saw Jen's eyes boring holes through her body. Karen frowned and tugged lightly on Dawson's sleeve. He bent down and she whispered something in his ear. He glanced at Jen and Pacey's table and lost all the color in his face.               

"Well, it looks like Mr. Leery has seen us," Pacey muttered. He glared at Dawson, who looked everywhere but at Pacey. Dawson was obviously frightened of what Pacey might attempt in the restaurant. He cowered behind Karen, and received odd looks from the other customers. "Let's go say hello, Jen," Pacey said as he stood up. He strode purposefully across the dining room and Jen quietly followed. She knew what Pacey was planning, and it wouldn't be good.               

"Hello, Dawson," Pacey said coldly. "Coming back to sleep with one of my sisters this time? Or maybe my mother?" Karen grimaced. She could tell that this was going to get ugly. She could also tell that she had just met Pacey Witter; no introductions were needed.               

"Hi, Dawson," Jen smiled. Dawson smiled back, relieved that at least one of his former friends was being civil. That changed, however, when he saw the grotesque looks Jen was giving to Karen.               

"Nothing changes, does it? It doesn't matter if it's Karen or Joey or someone else, you're jealous of any girl that I'm around," he said under his breath. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite low enough.               

"Jealous, Dawson? Oh, it's not jealousy. Anger, maybe. Resentment, possibly. Hurt, pretty likely. You do move on rather quickly. But jealousy? No," Jen responded.              

"That's not what it looks like to me," Karen interjected.      

"And who are you? Some washed up cheerleader who was rejected by the football team and can only land this pathetic wanna-be filmmaker?" Pacey asked.               

"And who are you?" she challenged. "Some washed up town loser who can't move on?" Pacey winced. That remark had hurt. Of course, he wasn't going to give her the satisfaction of knowing that.               

"Ouch," he said, clutching his hands to his chest dramatically. "Alas, a mortal wound! I'm a town loser! And, horror of all horrors, I can't move on! I can't move past the fact that my former best friend slept with my former girlfriend! Oh no, what's wrong with me? Jen, take me to a hospital!" Jen snickered. Karen and Dawson were not amused.               

"Pacey, please, it's been eight months. I can see eight days or eight weeks, but not eight months. Move on, man," he said gently.               

"Don't you tell me when to move on, Dawson! Don't you dare! You can't tell me when it should stop hurting. You don't live my life. You don't know how I'm feeling. You didn't feel the betrayal I did. You can't tell me what to do. How about I take your little cheerleader here and bed her, huh? Then I'll come back in a few months and tell you that you should be over it by now. Does that sound fair?" Pacey hollered, enraged. By now, nearly the entire café was staring at the four of them.               

"Let's move this outside," Karen whispered, trying to push Dawson out the door. He shoved her to the side.               

"Can't we talk this over somewhere else, Pacey? Like outside?" Dawson pleaded. His eyes darted around the café. I knew something like this would happen when I came back.               

"Why, Dawson? Oh, right. I should keep it down because, you know, I wouldn't want to embarrass you in front of a couple of dinner patrons. I wouldn't want to embarrass you for betraying me, now, would I? I wouldn't want everyone in Capeside to know that my best friend slept with my girlfriend behind my back!" Pacey replied, raising his voice so that the entire café could hear him.               

"Shut up!" Dawson said fiercely. He couldn't take this public humiliation any longer.              

"Make me."               

"I will if I have to!" he replied, preparing to kick Pacey in the shins. Pacey anticipated this move, however, and countered it with a quick jab to the left side of Dawson's face.               

"Stop! Violence just perpetuates anger, and it never solves anything.!" Dawson cried, grabbing his cheek and attempting to break away.

"But it makes me feel better. I've been waiting eight months for this moment; let me have a little fun." Dawson barely had time to brace himself for the hard right that Pacey threw right onto his nose. He felt the blood trickle down his face and drip off his chin. Karen reached into her purse for a tissue and attempted to clean him up when Jen roughly grabbed her arm.               

"Not yet," she said. She watched as Pacey landed two more quick punches before a couple of waiters threw him out the front door. She turned to Karen and nodded. "Now go ahead and comfort him," she said as she walked out the door to find Pacey.

*     *     *

Outside the Café               

"Jolly good show in there, Pacey," Jen said, clapping lightly. "Excellent. You just ruined any chance of having a semi-enjoyable summer with Mr. Leery back in town." Pacey glared at her.               

"I've said it before and I'll say it again, Jen. Bite me." She giggled.               

"You know I'm just kidding around with you, Pacey. That was actually pretty satisfying watching you pummel Dawson. Not that I don't love him, but it was still fun to watch. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go inside and play poor, concerned Jen. Time to comfort Dawson and apologize for you."              

"You're a spineless wimp, Jen."               

"Spineless or not, I'm going to get Dawson back."

*     *     *

Inside the Café               

"That Pacey character sure can punch," Karen said lightly as she wiped off some of the blood on Dawson's face. He grimaced.               

"You don't need to tell me, I can feel it."

"Oh, Dawson, I'm so sorry about that wretched scene," Jen said as she re-entered the café. She smiled sickeningly at Dawson and gave Karen the evil eye. "Pacey just can't control himself lately. He's still broken up over this whole incident," she said, clucking her tongue. "I, however, know how to forgive and forget." Dawson groaned as he sat up.               

"I know you do, Jen. Thanks for coming back to make sure that I'm all right. I'll see you around," he said, dismissing her. Jen ignored his remark.               

"If you'd like, we could go to a movie tonight. Just the two of us, like old times," she said, smiling again.              

"What about me?" Karen interjected.      

"What about you?" Jen replied coldly.      

"I'm sorry, we've never formally met. I'm Karen Douglass," she said, extending a hand.               

"Jen," she replied, ignoring Karen's outstretched hand and turning her attention back to Dawson.               

"That's right, you're the friendly one," Karen quipped as she glared at Jen.               

"So, Dawson, how about that movie?" Jen asked hopefully. Dawson groaned.               

"Jen, I just got clobbered by Pacey. I'm not exactly in the mood to watch a movie right now. I just want to go home. Goodbye." Jen ignored the hint again.               

"Well, how about I walk you home? I'm still next door, you know."               

"Actually, Karen drove here. So I'll just go home with her," he said, trying to get rid of Jen.               

"Great! I hate walking home alone; I'd much rather drive. Let's go."               

"Okay," he conceded reluctantly. Karen rolled her eyes as Jen helped Dawson up and walked arm-in-arm with him out of the café.

*     *     *

At Dawson's house, ten minutes later               

"Here we are, home sweet home," Dawson said as Karen's car pulled into the Leerys' driveway.               

"Nice place you've got. Great view of the water," Karen commented as she put the car in park and shut off the engine.               

"Great view of the water," Jen muttered under her breath, mocking Karen. Dawson luckily missed her jab, but Karen shot her an evil look from the front seat. They walked onto the porch when Dawson smacked his forehead.               

"Shoot! I forgot the mail!" He began hobbling back up the driveway to the mailbox.               

"Dawson! Don't strain yourself!" Jen cried as she began following him. Karen rolled her eyes and chased after Jen. Jen reached the mailbox as Dawson was removing the letters.               

"Bill, catalog, bill, letter for Mom from Grandma, bill, letter for Dad, catalog, and a letter for me!" Dawson said excitedly as he saw the white envelope with the neat black lettering. "I wonder who it's from? Who knows I'm home?" he wondered aloud. "Grandma? One of my aunts?"               

"Just open it already!" Karen grumbled as she reached Dawson and Jen. "It's chilly out here." Dawson grinned.               

"Missing that California sunshine already?" he teased as he ripped open the letter. His smile faded the instant her read the words printed on the slip of paper inside:              


"What does it say, Dawson?" Karen inquired.      

"Who's it from?" Jen asked at the same time.      

"Um, it doesn't say anything important. I don't know who it's from. Hey Jen, is Joey home?" he asked nervously. His eyes darted from the paper to their faces.              

"I don't know," she shrugged.               

"Maybe I ought to say hi to her; she how she's doing and all. You can just wait here, Karen. Bye, Jen," he said as he rushed to the docks.               

"Dawson, you can't row to Joey's all by yourself! Let me come with you!" Jen cried as she followed him.               

"I'm not going in that little rowboat. I'm staying right here," Karen declared. Dawson waved in acknowledgment as he and Jen began paddling towards Joey's and, hopefully, an answer to Jen's question to the author of the message.

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