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It was Friday and Dawson was coming home from the hospital. His doctor had concluded that his bruised ribs would heal, his other bruised body parts would feel better, and he was a very lucky man. Everyone agreed with the doctor on that, they all knew it could have been worse. Much worse. Joey had called Jason that morning to see how things were going back in California.
"I'm fine Jason, you don't need to worry that much."
She heard the concern in his voice, "You know why I worry."
"Yes I do," she said in a huff, "but I'm a big girl and I can take care of myself."
She heard Jason hesitate before speaking again. "You-Know-Who came by the office yesterday."
"What!" Joey exclaimed, "What the hell did he want?"
Jason tried to calm her down, "I was out, but don't worry Mary said he didn't start any trouble. He was just wondering where you were............ and she told him."
"Just great," Joey grumbled into the phone, "he acts like an ass and now he want to know where I am."
"Have you told anyone yet?" Jason asked seriously concerned.
"Only Dawson, I told him about a week ago. He was really understanding," Joey spoke softly, "I don't know what I would have done with out the two of you."
"Hey," he said reassuringly, "it will be okay."
There was a moment of silence, "Why haven't you told Pacey?"
"Besides the fact that I haven't seen him in seven years?"
Jason laughed at her sarcasm, "Don't get defensive. You told me he was divorced."
"Yes, I know," she sighed and sank into a chair, "but there can't be anything between us and this is the reason why............ he could never accept it, and I can't ask him to."
A few moments later Jason got off the phone promising to call the next day and Joey closed her eyes. The conversation was emotionally draining, the whole situation was. She opened her eyes and turned to see Pacey standing in the living room doorway.
"Is there something wrong?" Joey asked as Pacey put his hands in his pockets and ambled towards her.
"Jen said that we should leave for the hospital and I was sent to fetch you."
Joey just stood up, nodded, and walked past him. She wondered if he had heard her conversation with Jason, yet he made no reference to it. So she pushed the thought out of her mind and went to find Jen.
Joey and Jen rode with Pacey in his car to the hospital. The Leery's had wanted to surprise Dawson with a coming-home-party and stayed at Jen's house to prepare. The ride was uneventful but full of catching up, though it was only Jen and Pacey who talked. Joey sat silently in the back of the car, staring out of the window. They got to the hospital in record time, due to Pacey's unique driving habits.
"Looks like your driving hasn't changed," Joey mumbled as she got out of the car.
Pacey smiled. "What was that? A comment on the way I drive? Just remember who has the keys to the car."
Joey felt herself wanting to revert back to her usual response of ‘bite me', but she decided to let it go.
When they arrived at Dawson's room, they were happy to see that he had already started the release procedure.
Jen went over to Dawson and gave him a hug. She was happy to see how much better he looked and happy that his head injuries did not cause any permanent damage, just some bad headaches for a while.
"Hey," Dawson was sitting on his bed, wearing the clothes his parents had brought him the day before.
They all talked easily until the doctor came in to see Dawson and they went to the sitting room to wait. When the doctor was finished, they went in again to wait for the nurse to bring the wheel chair. About a half an hour later, they were next to Pacey's rental car when Dawson let out a low whistle.
"Well Pacey, you've come a long way from that truck you always stole." The Mercedes was a far cry from the old blue truck.
Pacey pretended to be hurt, "I don't consider it stealing when it's from your family."
"Don't be fooled Dawson, it may be a different car, but it's the same driver. I suggest you fasten your seat belt and say your prayers," Joey quipped.
Jen and Dawson laughed at her remark, but there was a touch of uneasiness as they thought about what had gotten Dawson in the hospital.
The group piled in and Pacey took it slow this time, getting them all to Capeside unharmed.
"Could I please have another hamburger?"
Mr. Leery, who was in charge of the grill, turned to look at Joey with curious eyes as did the rest of the group.
"What? What did I say?" Joey asked when she noticed their attention was on her, it was then she saw Pacey smirk and open his mouth.
"Nothing much, just that the girl who used to eat like a bird has already eaten two helpings of potato salad, almost a whole bag of chips, and two hamburgers, but other than that............"
Joey had really tried, but she just had to say it. "Bite me Pacey," then a look of satisfaction crossed her face.
Pacey just laughed and turned to Jen, " I told you she couldn't hold out until Sunday, pay up Jen."
"That was not fair, you provoked her." Jen retorted as she sat down next to Joey on the bench.
Dawson finally spoke, "Who said life was fair?"
This time it was Joey who smirked
"What did I say?" He asked.
Pacey went inside to grab a coke as Joey made fun of Dawson and his philosophical turn. He had been only slightly joking with Joey just then. He wondered that if she ate this way how she stayed so thin, but then he did notice that she seemed larger in the waist. Then his mind turned to their conversation a few nights ago. Since that drive home, they had steered clear of any serious conversation. Though not by his choice, she hardly let herself be alone with him and Pacey had taken notice. He wanted so much to be close to her and he sensed that she wanted him too, yet something was holding her back, he just didn't know what. *I wish I knew,* Pacey thought and went to the back yard.
Later that day when the sun was going down and everything was cleaned up, music started to play. The notes filled the air and surrounded Joey as she sat on the porch wrapped in a blanket. Dawson opened the door to see her there, with her hands resting on her stomach and staring at nothing in particular.
"What don't you come on inside?"
Joey didn't look at him, like she had known he was there all along, "Just to hear you and Pacey sing songs from twelve years ago? No way, I'm not up for a trip down memory lane right now."
Dawson shuffled over to her, "I promise not to sing, just dance with me."
"Okay." Joey reluctantly said this as she stood up and they walked inside.
Inside the Leery's were dancing as well as Pacey and Jen.
"Come on," Dawson said as Mitch led Gail out of the living room and into the kitchen.
Joey had to smile, "You really shouldn't be dancing and to a corny song no less."
Joey was still a bit concerned, she had noticed Dawson touching his head and wincing as if in extreme pain. The first time she thought it was the headaches the doctor had talked about, but she was concerned none the less.
"Just for a minute?" He pleaded with his eyes, "then I'll sit down."
"Okay, then I get to pick the song."
Pacey and Jen had been watching her the whole time, but didn't protest as she put in a different cd.
Joey went over to Dawson, "Now we can dance."
All at once the ghosts come back
Reeling you in now
What if they came down crushing?
Joey had closed her eyes just wanting to feel the music, but a moment later she felt Dawson draw away. She opened her eyes to see Pacey cut in, yet she was too startled to do anything except dance. And soon enough, she found herself giving in.
Pacey was staring into her eyes, using all his self control not to kiss her. *But she's so close...* And Joey was looking into his eyes and trying to remember why there couldn't be anything between them. Though all coherent thought was gone and when she saw her damnation in his eyes, she didn't care. It was then that Joey knew she was right back to where she had been all those years ago. And when his lips crushed against hers, she gave no argument.
The song is #41 by the Dave Matthews Band (A great band)
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