A Waste of Time by: Rachael

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Joey was walking around the airport trying to find the gate that Pacey was supposed to come through. She was so anxious when she finally found it. The plane had just pulled in to place and started unloading. She stood on her tip-toes to get a better look at all the people flooding through the gate. Then, she spotted him looking around in all different directions for her.

Pacey stepped off the plane and was now searching for Joey. There were so many people around and he wanted to find her so badly. It had been about two weeks since they had last seen each other. He spotted her, jumping up and down, waving her arms. He ran to her as quickly as he could, being careful not to knock anyone over. He scooped her up in his arms and began kissing her passionately. It was as if the whole airport stopped. It was just them now. They just stood there and kissed for about 5 minutes, then eventually broke away.

"Well, hey there, Potter," Pacey grinned devilishly.

"Hey, yourself," Joey returned quickly.

"Do you have any idea how much I have missed you over these last few weeks? Now it is finally here, I never have to leave again. Thatís a long time Jo, forever. Are you sure you want me around for that long?"

"I am positive, Pace. I have just about went crazy the last few weeks without you. I missed you madly. What on earth would make you think I wanted you to leave? And remember, I asked you to stay."

"I might remember something to that effect......" he said as he began kissing her again.

She pulled back and looked in his eyes and could see so much love. "We better get out of here before something starts happening and they have to remove us from the airport," this time she was grinning.

"Lead the way, Potter," he stated as he kissed her one more time while they were on their way out.

In California...........

Dawson was working furiously trying to finish the season finale of "The Creek". Everyone was on his case about it, even though, he was the creator/producer. It was a show that mirrored his own life, he could end the season in the same path his life had been down his freshman year of high school. But, he didnít want it to end that way. He just couldnít think of what to write. Things in his life had turned out the way they should, he knew that. He just didnít think that the show should go down the same path as he had. He decided to think of something else for a few minutes. Joey (in a platonic way). He was so happy for her. She was finally getting what she deserved, Pacey. He knew they had been through so much and a good part of it was from him. He was past that now. Of course he loved her back then, but now it was their friendship that mattered. He was happy for Pacey, too. Even though in the beginning he blamed this all on him, now he just thought, who wouldnít be able to fall in love with Joey? Even Jack did, and he is gay. He laughed to himself. Now that the three of them were friends again, things were better than ever, except that he missed Jen. He wished that had not ended the way it did. He loved her so. She was in a good place now. While doing all this thinking, he couldnít help but let his mind wonder to someone else. Someone that he saw in Capeside, but hadnít seen for years before that. Someone who has turned into one of the most beautiful women he has ever seen, whom he never thought he would begin to develop feelings for, and he had, even though they had only been around each other a short while, he knew the feeling and it was only going to grow stronger.........................

The phone began ringing. Startled, he slightly jumped, then picked it up. "Leery," was all he said.

"Hey, Dawson, still hard at work on the season finale?" Andie chirped on the other end of the phone.

"Andie, I was just thinking of you," he blushed on the other end, even though she couldnít see him.

"Really? What about me?" She was hoping he had been thinking the same thing she was when she decided to pick up the phone and call him.

"About how beautiful you are," He couldnít believe he just said that.

"That was really sweet, Dawson. Have you been thinking about me a lot lately?" she asked.

Suprised at her reaction, he decided to tell her the truth, "Yeah, I have. Is that weird to you?"

"No, not at all, seeing as how I have probably been thinking the same things you have."

"Really?" he asked.

"Yeah, really. I really enjoyed the time we spent together in Capeside, Dawson. Things have changed so much, you have changed. Why donít we try and get together sometime soon?"

Dawson, now confused, "How exactly are we going to do that? I live in L.A., you live in Boston."

"Oops!" she exclaimed, "I guess I got so wrapped up in our conversation, I forgot to tell you..... I am moving there next week, I opening my own practice."

"Thatís great!" he seemed a little overly excited.

"My flight arrives on Tuesday." Andie was getting excited, too.

"Can I pick you up at the airport?" he asked.

"Sure, I arrive at 5. All my things are being shipped down, they will be there a few days after me. I still have to look for an apartment, though."

"Well...... You can stay with me until you find one, if thatís okay?"

"Sure, then Iíll see you Tuesday at 5."

"Okay, bye, Andie."

"Bye, Dawson."

Dawson sat back in his chair totally content with himself. Was this really happening? Was there someone else out there to love besides Joey Potter? Yes, there was, and he had a feeling he had already found her. Suddenly, he had an idea for the season finale. He began typing away on his laptop. He almost couldnít wait until Tuesday.........

Joey pulled her car into the parking spot in front of the building. "Well this is it," Joey said.

"Come on, Jo, itís not like this is the first time we have been to the apartment together."

"I know, it just seems different now, because you donít have to leave anymore. We are going to wake up next to each other every morning."

"I know, itís going to be so wonderful...." Pacey said as he leaned in and kissed her.

"All right, loverboy, letís go in," she said slyly as she pulled away.

For the next few hours they unpacked the things Pacey had carried on the plane and made room for his other stuff that would be arriving in a few days. Everything was so perfect. As Pacey was making his way from room to room, clearing spaces and figuring out where everything was going to go, he couldnít help but notice how many pictures of him or him and her were around. He didnít know how he couldnít have seen it all those years. All those years he loved her from a distance, she had loved him back. But, he had never seen it. Jen had tried to tell him quite a few times, but he still refused to see it. They could have been happy so long ago. At least now they could be, it wasnít too late. Joey was still in the bedroom, making room for his stuff in the closet. He peeked in the door and was watching her. She was so beautiful. He was happy, he was happy Dawson was happy for them and, for once, not causing trouble. He was glad they were all friends again. Joey turned and looked up at him. "What are you staring at, Witter?" she said coyly.

"Just the most beautiful woman in the world," he said as he walked over to her. They stayed locked in each other's eyes. He stopped just in front of her, still staring at her. He reached out slowly and took one of her hands, then the other. He was playing with them in his own hands. "I want to hold these hands forever," he said quietly, pulling her towards him. He had his arms wrapped around her now, caressing her back. Then he moved his hands up to her face, cupping it in his hands. He kissed her slowly and pulled back. "I want to kiss you every day for the rest of my life," he said. "I canít believe that we have wasted so much time not being together, but at least now we are." She stared back at him lovingly, happy tears welling up in her eyes.

"I am so sorry, Pace, I donít know what made me run all those times. It is my fault we wasted all that time. But, you are right, at least we are here now. I love you so much, I donít know what I would do without you."

"Well, you wonít ever have to find out, Jo," he said as kissed her once more, this time not pulling back. They kept on kissing until they made their way back to the bed, falling into each other, both of their lives feeling right for the first time in a long time and no longer feeling as if things were a waste of time.

Paceyís eyes fluttered slowly as he was beginning to awake. He looked at the small arm stretched across his body, then he turned to see the beautiful face that went with it, still sound asleep on the pillow next to him. If someone asked him, he probably wouldnít begin to describe how happy he was. He slipped quietly out from under her arm and slid out of the bed. He went over to his coat and pulled out a small velvet box. He opened it and just stared at the ring. He wanted to wake her and give it to her that second. But, he wanted everything to be right when he did it. He wanted it to be perfect. He wanted to get down on one knee and all that. He still thought it might be a little soon. On the other hand, why waste anymore time they could be spending together? Just as Joey had said they wasted all those years not being together, even though they wanted to, why waste time now? She started to stir, so he quickly placed the box back in his coat. He turned and laid down on the bed to face her. She opened her eyes, staring him directly in the face.

"Hey," she said softly.

"Hey," he said back. He leaned over and kissed her on the forehead. She grinned at him practically from ear to ear.

"I love you, Pace," Joey said, still smiling. "I know that, Jo. I love you, too. More so than I could ever describe." He leaned again, this time kissing her on the lips. He could still feel the butterflies. He knew now that they would never go away. They both pulled back at the same time. Joey half rolled over on top of him.

"So, why donít you go into the kitchen and put some of those culinary skills you have to use?" she gestured playfully.

"Why donít you come and help? You can direct me, since I donít quite know where everything is." He poked her in the stomach.

"Okay, just let me freshen up and put something warm on and Iíll be in." She poked him back and quickly kissed him on the forehead in the process of hopping to the bathroom.

He got up and slid on an oversize sweatshirt and his pajama bottoms on, making his way to the kitchen. "Their" kitchen, he couldnít help but think. He started rummaging around, trying to think of what to cook.

In the bathroom, Joey finished brushing her teeth and came back into the bedroom. She slid her pajama bottoms on and was looking around for a top. She noticed Paceyís coat hanging on the back of the chair. She picked it up and let herself be swallowed by it. She cuddled herself, taking in Paceyís smell. How she loved that smell. It hadnít been around for so long. It was back, all around her. She was so happy. She was thinking of old memories and new ones she hoped they would have as she was gazing out the window. Sliding her hands down, she put them in the coats pockets. She felt something........ She lifted the small black box up, her eyes getting wider the closer she got. She opened it slowly. It was the most gorgeous ring she had ever seen. It was platinum, with three diamonds, one big one and a small one on each side. On the inside, it was engraved "true love". She could feel tears forming in her eyes. How long has he had this, she wondered. What was he waiting for? Was it not obvious that she loved him, that she didnít want to wait or waste time anymore?

Pacey had managed to find all the pots, pans and some other things he thought he might need. He was in the process of making some orange juice and he started to wonder what was taking her so long. It had been a good 20 minutes. He sat the oranges down on the counter and slowly walked to the bedroom door. He barely pushed the door open, careful not to make any noise. He saw her standing by the window looking down at something. Then he noticed she had his coat on! "Joey..."

She turned around and had the small box in her hands. She was crying. "Iím sorry, Pacey. I put on your coat because I was cold and I smelled your smell, the smell that I love so much, I just go wrapped up in it, I didnít even realize what I was doing. I just put my hands in the pockets," she was rambling.

He walked over to her and put his hands around hers, he reached up slowly, wiping some of the tears off her face. "Itís okay, Jo. Itís for you."

"I know, but I just didnít know what or when or whatever."

"Well, since you found it, I guess now is as a time as any, Potter!" he tried to joke. She was still crying, but she smiled.

"Wait, Pace. How long have you had this?" she questioned.

"Truthfully? Ever since the day after you walked into my restaurant in Capeside." He blushed, not sure of what she was thinking.

"What have you been waiting for?" She poked him in the ribs, now trying to joke.

"I donít really know. I just wanted it to be perfect for you." His eyes were now starting to water. She put the ring in his hands as she spoke.

"Donít you understand, Pace. It is perfect. You are perfect. WE are perfect. It doesnít matter where we are, how dressed up we are or any of that stuff. It also doesnít matter what anyone else thinks. I know "they" might think it is a little soon. But "we" know. We know that we love each other, that we are meant to be together. I know........ That this is what I want. True love is what I want."

Pacey couldnít remember the last time he cried this much in his life. He took the ring out of the box and held it up. "Joey, I want true love, too. I know this is it. So, say that you will be my true love forever. Say that you will "STAY" forever. Say that you will be my wife." That wasnít so hard, he thought.

Now Joey was fully crying also. They just stared at each other for a long time. Finally she just looked up with a tear streaked face and said, "I will." He slid the ring onto her finger and kissed her.

"Okay, what you say we get back to breakfast!" He suddenly swooped her up off the ground and carried her into the kitchen.

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