Love Returns Part Two by: Tiffany

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Classification: D/J

Spoilers: Takes place where part 1 ended, the inevitable cliffhanger! :) Enjoy! :)

Rating: PG

PS - I'd also like to thank my friend Lizzy, for creating the title to this series "Love Returns". Many thanks! :)

Love Returns: Part Two

Joey looks up at Dawson, and her heart began to sink. Dawson's face showed a smile, he's happy to see me, but it was his eyes that weren't sparkling, as they usually do. It's almost as if there isn't any life in them, Joey thinks to herself. As she steps on the windowseat, she notices a picture of her and Dawson. She reaches down and picks it up. A happy smile showes on her face. He was looking at this recently, and Joey was flattered.

Dawson could feel a lup in his throat. If she was going to be upset about this, he didn't know what he would do. He couldn't take anyone more criticism or backhanded comments about his behavior. He watches her face, and sure enough she was smiling. He relaxes his body. She isn't angry.

Joey hands it back to Dawson and their hands brush one another's. Joey catches her breath. Dawson flushes and turns his head away. The attraction is still there Joey muses, definitely a good sign. She steps into his room and quickly notices a few of Dawson's posters were taken down, and his large video collection was in big stacks on his floor.

"Actually I wanted to talk to you about something...but you're busy, I see." Joey begins to turn around, heading for the window.

"No, it's fine, Joey. Stay, please." Dawson says softly . He wants her to stay. It had been a while since she'd come through his window to see him. " want to talk about?"

"Ah..actually it's kidda umm..." Joey stammers, she decides to hold off for a moment, her curiousity getting the better of her. " Isn't it a little early for spring cleaning?"

Dawson begins to roll up one of the posters and slips it into a trash bag. "I'm getting rid of my posters. And my video collection, I was just going to give away. Were there any that you wanted to keep?"

Joey stares at him, slightly amused, thinking that he's lost his mind,Dawson Leery giving away his video collection, this has to be a joke, so she decides to play along. "Oh, yeah, Dawson. I'll take your favorite film of all time...'E.T'."

Suddenly, Dawson hands it to her quietly. "Here you go." And he turns back to look through others.

Joey looks at the tape, and sure enough, it was his original E.T movie. She waits for some kind of 'Gotcha, just kidding' and take it from her. But she quickly realizes he wasn't kidding. She walks around to the other side of his bed and sees other things, including his "Sea Creature from the Deep" movie tape, and the model of her head. She then looks to the floor and sees the model Jack had made for "Creek Daze" in pieces.

She stares in confusion at Dawson. "What are you doing? I mean..." She points to a few things on his bed. "Are you getting rid of this stuff?"

Not looking at her, Dawson says without emotion. "Yep, I think it's time everything goes, ya know? The posters, the movies, my childish ambitions to be a director, all of it. I need talent, and obviously I don't have it."

Joey raises her eyebrows. This was something totally off anything that was Dawson Leery, something she had never seen in him, ever. It was making her nervous, and even afraid. What had caused this change in him?

"What are you talking about? Dawson, you are extremely talented, who has told you otherwise?"

"I decided this for myself, Jo." He lies. "I have finally taken the binders off and seen what I really am!" He walks over and picks up his ET doll. "See, this? Now, what 16-year old guy do you know keeps one of these?"

Joey takes the doll from him. "This is your most prized possession. It's nothing to be ashamed to own. And you've never been..." She narrows her eyes. "Until now. What's gotten into you?"

Dawson's face remains stone cold, further making Joey afraid. He takes up his 'Sea Creature From The Deep' video tape.

"And this, Jo? A movie, a stupid, horror-classic created by a kid with apparently too much time on his hands...tramping around with a video camera, playing make-believe with his two best friends..thinking he's some director? Looks like a kid who needs therapy!"

"Look at me, Dawson." Joey replies quickly holding the tape in front of him. She hates the way he's trashing himself, and knowing it isn't true.

Dawson turns back to face her.

"May I remind you, this movie won at the Boston Junior Film Festival. First place, Dawson out of everyone who applied. The competition was heavy, with people older and more experienced than you, and you WON!" She cries out. "And you won because it was wonderfully directed and completely believable. You should be proud of yourself."

"Whatever." He sighs, taking another few things into his trash bag.

Joey watches as he picks up the model of her head and stares at it, debating whether to trash it or not. Dawson's face he remembers when he had first learned to kiss was with this head. He remembers staring at the head, while talking to his dad...confused about kissing the face of someone he thought was only a friend. A laugh escapes his lips. So much had changed since then.

Joey is happy to hear the laugh, and she reaches her hand to take the head from him. But he moves it from her reach.

"You aren't chucking this, Dawson." She says determinedly. "It's a momento. You always keep something from each of your movies."

"Hmm.." Dawson smiles. "I suddenly see an image of you with the fake blood all over your body." He rolls the head with his hands. "I might keep this for laughs."

Joey playfully shoves him and relaxes. "Now, there is the Dawson I know! Tell me what happened?"

Dawson looks at her quietly. He wants so much to explain his pain, his sorrow, everything.. with Joey..his best friend, Joey had always understood. But with everything that had happened between them, would she still? Would she still be able to 'feel his pain'? Dawson decides to take a chance.

Seeing him like this made her ache inside, it was soo real to her, the pain, as if it surrounded her whole self. She couldn't imagine what Dawson must be feeling, if she was feeling this.

Dawson begins to pace in front of her slowly, trying to organize his thoughts about yesterday, looking for just the right words, without losing it. All he wanted to do was 'take it out' on something or someone, and realizing it might be Joey if he wasn't careful, he kept his eyes away from her.

"Yesterday I decided to help Ms. Kennedy set up her movies and work room for class." Dawson starts off. "We were getting along great, we shared similar tastes in films and particular directors..etc.. She found out by 'word of mouth' that I created a movie, and asked to see it."

"And you showed it to her, right?" Joey asks.

"Yeah, I did..." Dawson's voice gets all low and his eyes go to the floor. "At first she said it was fine. But I got the impression that she wasn't being honest, so I asked her to be frank with it, and no sugar coating. She warned me first. But I wanted to kno..."

Joey watches Dawson prepare to say whatever Ms. Kennedy had throw to him. She had not been kind, Joey notices quickly, and she realizes this was the cause of his agony, what had drove him to giving up his dream.

Dawson takes a breath. "She said, and I quote "The film is completely uninspired. The production line is flat, the storyline is non-existent, even your dialogue is not believable."

Joey stands up quickly after hearing this and becomes angry. "She said what!"

"That's not all....Jo, there's more." Dawson says, running a finger through his hair. Saying the next part would be even more difficult for him.

"Alright, I'm calm. Tell me the rest." Joey sits back down again. She already wanted Ms. Kennedy on a silver platter, after what she'd said to Dawson.

"She also said.." Dawson continues, "It's a proposterous soap opera about a bunch of teenagers who talk too much. All that self-aware, self-referential, hyperboles, filled with cliches that are disguised as send-ups. It actually borders on plagerism."

"I'll kill her, Dawson!" Joey replies with anger. She watches Dawson's face, it looks like pure misery. Joey couldn't believe what she was seeing in his eyes. "You believe her, don't you? You think she's right?"

"Don't you see, Jo?" He gets frustrated and begins to raise his voice. "She IS right. The story is unrealistic, it's my fanasty world catching up with me!"

"How can you say that, Dawson!" Joey yells back with equal candor. "This story is completely realistic. You capture the essence of being a teenager, the insecurities, the problems, and with a dash of wit to boot! You're taking this woman's opinion as everything! How can you do that!"

"She's a screen writer from Columbia TriStar productions. How can I not take her opinion seriously!"

Joey stands up in front of him. "She's one person, Dawson. One person!!!" She holds up one finger. "Out of millions of hollywood directors, writers, and producers. Her word isn't God!"

"She knows films. And you don't believe in God, Jo." Dawson argues.

Joey turns his face to meet hers, and stares into his eyes. "Don't be smart!! Looks like we have to work on the self-steem issue. Sit down!" She points to the chair at his desk.

Dawson, totally shocked, takes a seat. He was determined that no amount of convincing would work. He just wanted to throw everything away and hide out...but Joey wasn't going to let that happen.

Joey pauses, calming down slightly, and begins straight away. "First of all, she doesn't know you! She's been here for a few weeks, Dawson! All she does know is that you are a film student in her class. She knows nothing of your accomplishments, talent, and other works you have done!" Joey flicks one finger, indicating #2. "Second, you are taking this entirely too seriously. So, she didn't like it. Brush it off!"

"You don't understand, Jo." He puts in before he could take it back.

"You're right, I don't." She answers quickly. "This is your dream, and it has been for years. It's all you ever talked about with me, all you ever wanted to do with your life. You're just tossing it away!"

Dawson stands up in front of her. "This hasn't been easy for me to do, Jo! You think it was easy taking these posters down, easy to look at my collection and not feel sad..or anything. It felt like I was ripping my heart out."

"Then don't do it, Dawson. I told you once before: You are the most amazingly talented person I've ever met. And I'm your biggest fan. You remember that?"

Dawson doesn't say anything. He's feeling a bunch of emotions at once. What she had said touched him deeply. It made his heart beat faster. He did remember when she said that. At Pacey's 16th birthday party, making up after lover's quarrel earlier in the was so long ago since they had been like that just...happy.

Joey smiles, hoping to get him to laugh. "See, you have a fan. Are you going to let your official Dawson Leery: Great Filmmaker fan club member down!"

Dawson makes a face and starts to laugh. It was too funny, he thought, watching her get all upset about this. She always looked so cute when she was angry, all frazzled, beautiful as ever....

"Care for an autograph, my dear lady?" Dawson jokes taking up a pad and pen. He was happy. Joey believes in him..but he always knew she did, it was just a while since she said it.

Joey rolls her eyes at him . "Let's not get carried away, Dawson."

"You can't blame a guy for trying." Dawson then stops laughing. "Thanks, Jo."

"For what? I mean..I only confirmed what is already true about yourself." She answers fingering his ET doll.

Dawson places his hand on his shoulder. "Thanks for everything. What you said meant a lot to me. I needed to hear that..I was losing faith in myself."

"Your welcome." Joey looks at the bare walls of his room. "Let's put your room back together, Peter Pan."

Dawson goes over to his large pile of video tapes. "Yep, that's me, I'll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up, not me!"

She notes the slight sarcasm in his voice. "You have no idea how much of a turn on that quality is."

Dawson thinks he heard wrong, and raises an eyebrow curiously. "Really? Have you met someone with that particular quality?"

"Hmm...I've had experience with it." She nods looking downward.

Dawson couldn't believe it. "Are you flirting with me, Ms. Potter?"

Joey laughs nervously, taking the posters out of the trash bag. "Let's just get your room together."

A comfortable silence begins as Dawson and Joey put everything back in its place. Dawson alphabetizing his tapes and placing them back on his shelf. Joey standing on a chair hanging up his posters.

She smiles at him from across the room. "I can't believe you were going to give me your 'E.T' movie. When we were eight, you wouldn't even let me borrow it for the day, claiming it was too sacred to leave your bedroom! I should have taken it when I had the chance."

"Much appreciated that you didn't take it." Dawson says, sliding his JAWS series into place. "Then I'd have to beg for it back."

"And you wouldn't get it, trust me." Joey answers, holding up his Amistad poster, deciding where to put it. She decides on one of the doors to his closet. She walks over and begins to tape it up.

"So, what are your plans today?" Dawson asks putting in the last of his videos and standing up.

Joey thinks about it quickly. "Well, I have none actually, some art sketches to do later on. And yourself?"

Dawson smiles. "Actually, I want to try out my car for the first time today. Mitch brought it over last night, I wasn't home."

Joey finishes up with the poster and stands up next to him folding her arms across her chest. "Great. Does it at least have the basics every teenager could possibly want..power stearing..air-conditioning, and a CD player?"

Dawson gets his jacket and slips it on. "Don't I wish! It's pretty standard, AM/FM radio is the best thing I got. I guess dad found it in some used car lot across town. I should be grateful, really. I mean considering my behavior at my birthday party."

Joey laughs out loud, remembering the event with a light heart now. "You made a funny drunk. And falling in your cake was classic, wish I had a camera."

"More like a ridiculous drunk, Jo. I nearly ruined every relationship in my life. I doubted anyone would talk to me after that." Dawson answers.

He takes a set of keys from his desk and turns around to Joey again. "Would you like to come for a drive with me?"

Joey smiles. "Yeah, love to." She suddenly remembers why she came to his house in the first place. "Because I have something I need to tell you."

Okay yes..what did you think! Another envitable cliffhanger, well I kidda like doing these, but if they stink, let me know! I wanted to do this part, because to me Dawson and Joey are always there for each other, even though their friendship/relationship is in the air. And Dawson really needed her here, as a friend, and it worked out nicely, I think. Please, e-mail me comments, I love feedback, and need it!! E-mail me, Tiffany,!!

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