One Crazy Summer Part Seven by: Tara

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"I'm so bored I can't take it anymore!" Joey pressed her nose up against the screen window and sighed.

It had been raining for three days, the humidity levels were at an all-time high and she, Pacey, Jack and Jen had spent most of their waking hours that week playing cards on Grams' porch.

"I'm going to rip out every hair on my head if I have to stay cooped up in here another minute."

"Trying to increase your chances of getting a date, Jo?" Pacey cracked sardonically, perusing the cards in his hand before he discarded a few.

Jen rolled her eyes as she dealt new cards to the guys. Joey had been irritable for the last two days and it didn't help that Pacey was baiting her at every chance he got. Their bickering was wearing on her last nerve. "Cut it out, you two," she said, as she fanned herself with the discard pile. "It's too hot to argue."

Her intervention earned her frosty glares from both of them. Jack, who had been concentrating on the cards at hand, spoke now. "So,what's the plans for tonight? How does glorious ole Capeside celebrate the fourth?"

"Well the parade was canceled thanks to these wretched downpours and the fireworks that they usually shoot off down at the pier are probably a no-go too." Joey said glumly, flopping back down in her seat.

"Don't worry Joey, it's supposed to clear up by 3." Jen piped up cheerfully.

"Since when are you such a patriotic spirit anyhow?" Pacey asked frowning. He had no intention of watching fireworks without Andie. He still hadn't heard from her and he was feeling miserable. It wasn't helping that he'd been finding himself staring at Joey just a little too long and a little too much the past few days.

"I was hoping a stray firework would hit you in the ass. Sorry if we're not all as grouchy as you, Mr. Cranky. What's your problem anyhow?"

"My problem is you. You've done nothing but whine all day."

"What's it to you? You're just testy cause you're not getting any, now that Andie's gone. All that unused testosterone going to waste." She smirked, and walked back over to the window.

"Joey!" Jen exclaimed in shock, but they all ignored her.

"Like you'd know anything about it, Miss Ice Queen," Pacey shouted angrily, throwing down the cards and standing up. "You're so sexually repressed, you'll probably be a virgin till your 50."

"Pacey, that's enough, man." Jack tried to interject, well aware that the conversation was getting out of hand.

The room practically crackled with tension as Joey turned back to shoot a cold glare at Pacey and crossed her arms over her chest. "Well if my choices are nothing or a cretin like you, I'd take nothing any day," she growled.

"That's it! I've had all I can take of your smart-ass remarks, Josephine." He was charging across the room before anyone could stop him. He bent down and threw one arm around Joey's thighs and put the other arm around her lower back, lifting her up and slinging her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.

"PACEY! Let me down!" Joey squealed in surprise. Jen and Jack were watching wide-eyed, and couldn't help but start laughing as Pacey carried her across the room, kicking the screen door open and going out into the pouring rain. They jumped up and ran outside, not wanting to miss a minute of the drama that was unfolding. "Pacey Witter, you put me down right now! You are so dead! I will tear you limb from limb…" Her shrieks carried across the lawn as Pacey strode forward with purpose. Joey was kicking and slapping for all she was worth, but Pacey simply tightened his grip.

In a considerably better mood now, he grinned. "I always had a feeling you'd be a screamer." He stepped onto the small dock that led out to the creek. "Well, maybe this will chill you out."

Her eyes widened and she yelled for Jack, who was now standing at the edge of the dock with Jen, to stop him. But Jack simply shook his head,laughing too hard to be of use anyhow. Pacey swung her off his shoulder and unceremoniously dumped her in the creek. Sputtering, Joey surfaced a moment later and began swearing like a trucker, when she saw Jen, Jack and Pacey doubled over in laughter. She swam to the other side of the dock and rose up on her elbows behind Pacey who was too busy laughing to notice her, giving him a solid shove forward. He lost his balance and tottered on the edge for a moment before falling in with a huge splash.

Now it was Joey's turn to grin triumphantly, as Pacey bobbed up to the surface next to her, wiping the water from his eyes. He slicked his hair back and looked at her with an evil grin, "Oh you think your little stunt was funny do you?" He grabbed her shoulders and they began wrestling to see who could dunk the other first. Laughing and splashing each other good-naturedly now, Pacey yelled out to Jack and Jen, "Come on in the water's fine." They looked at each other and shrugged, kicking off their shoes and racing down the dock and into the water. A huge splash fight started and no one noticed as Grams returned home from shopping, peering out at the creek with a frown and clucking her tongue.

"Swimming in the rain! Those children will catch their deaths with cold. Mark my words." Sighing, she walked into the house and let the screen door slam behind her.

"So what was all that this morning with you and Pacey?" Jack asked Joey, a few hours later as they sat in the back yard.

Jen's weather prediction had come true and the sun was beating full force now. Jack and Joey had voted to drip-dry, while Jen took a shower and Pacey changed into some clothes that Jack had lent him.

"The banter you mean? Pacey and I have always argued. We just haven't done much of it this year." Joey shrugged nonchalantly.

"Banter? I'd call that all-out fighting. You guys were vicious."

"Just a relapse I guess. I used to hate him but he's been surprisingly nice lately. Almost too nice. He's probably up to something." Joey trailed off lamely, knowing she was babbling.

Jack was quiet, sizing her up. It was clear Joey was definitely uncomfortable with this topic. "Hate him? Or love to hate him?"

Joey shrugged, feeling a little defensive. "What's the difference?"

"Well it just seems like there's some strong emotions there."

"Whatever," Joey rolled her eyes and laid back on the grass, clearly dismissing the topic. She didn't think it would be appropriate to tell him about the weird attraction to Pacey she'd been fighting off lately. Maybe she'd been a little harsher than usual to him this morning because of that. But seeing as how Jack was Andie's brother and her ex-boyfriend, it would be all kinds of awkward to mention it to him. Besides, she was relatively sure the whole Pacey thing would go away in a day or so. It was just a little case of momentary insanity caused by the ungodly hot summer. It had to be.

The screen door slammed and Jen and Pacey came down the lawn towards them laughing and joking. The foursome made plans to meet later that night for the fireworks on the pier. Pacey proposed that he'd pick up Joey first since her house was closer to his and they'd head out to find a liquor store. For some unknown reason, he said he was sure he'd be served. Joey rolled her eyes, more delusions of grandeur. Definitely insanity.

Pacey slammed the hood of the truck down, flicked off the flashlight and swore. His fan belt had snapped. They weren't going anywhere. He looked in vain for a car or phone box on the quiet street. They were stuck just over the top of a hill on a road overlooking the ocean, that ran parallel to the ruins. He had figured it would be shorter to get to Grams this way than going through town, but now he wished he hadn't. He went around the back of the top tell Joey, who reacted as he had expected.

"WHAT? You mean we're stuck here in the middle of nowhere!"

"We're not exactly in the middle of nowhere Jo, a car will happen by soon enough." The dusty road was deserted.

"You and your bright ideas," she said frustrated, mimicking Pacey's baritone. "Let's go try and score some booze. Let's take this road, it's a shortcut."

"You think I'm any more thrilled about this than you? We're gonna be here a while so stop your yapping. Hopefully Jack and Jen will realize it's taking us a little too long to get there and send out the alarm." Yeah and they better do it soon. A secluded road, fireworks and Joey, not a good combination, he thought.

"What are you doing?" she asked as he climbed into the back of the pickup.

"What does it look like I'm doing? Look, as much as I like to be the optimist here, who knows when someone's going to come by. We're in a perfect spot to watch the fireworks we might as well make the best of it." He shook out a blanket and laid it down on the floor of the truck. Against her better judgement, Joey begrudgingly climbed up and sat down beside him.

He reached into the bag next to him, "Brewski?"

Joey shook her head, looking distastefully at the bottle. The last thing she wanted to do was get drunk with Pacey in a broken-down truck on a deserted road.

He chuckled at her upturned nose and twisted the cap off the bottle. "Should've known."

"What's that supposed to mean?" She spit out with venom in her voice.

"It means I should've known better than to think a prude like Joey Potter could loosen up a little and have some fun."

"I am not a prude," she said hotly. "You're just an oversexed animal."

"Oversexed!? I am a perfectly normal teenage male. It's not my fault you're used to Dawson and Jack."

"Just cause they're gentlemen-"

"It has nothing to do with being a gentleman, it's about lust Joey. Jack's gay and Dawson's even more clueless than you are. It took him what 10 years to get up the nerve to kiss you? It'll probably be another ten before you actually do anything more than that."

Her failure as a sexual siren was a touchy subject for Joey. "Yeah well, Not everyone acts on their base instincts all the time, like you Pacey."

"No, they don't but maybe they should. In fact, you should try it sometime Jo, maybe even take off the chastity belt. Then again, you're probably frigid anyway." He lashed out in nervousness and guilt at the mental images their conversation about Joey's sexual urges were bringing to mind.

She was practically boiling over with anger now and Pacey thought he could almost see the steam curling out of her ears. "FRIGID!! I AM NOT FRIGID!!" Joey screamed.

"OK so you're just a regular old prude then." Pacey couldn't help but bait her, taking another swig from his bottle calmly.

"PRUDE!…I……I…ARGH!" She screamed in frustration. Then she turned to Pacey and slapped both hands against his chest, grabbing his T-shirt and crumpling it in her fists, yanking him forward to her. His eyes widened, and he wondered if Joey had snapped. Her face couldn't have been more than an inch away from his as she said slowly and deliberately in a very low voice, trembling and tight with anger, "For the last time Pacey, I …AM…NOT…A…PRUDE." Then she leaned forward and kissed him hard, and his world exploded.

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