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But please you know you're just like me
Next time I promise we'll be
Perfect strangers down the line
Lovers out of time
So far I still know who you are
But now I wonder who I was...
Angel, you know it's not the end
We'll always be good friends
The letters have been sent on."
~ "Perfect" By Smashing Pumpkins ~
He turned around and there she was standing just like a rose. He couldn't move himself to speak. She's stunning, he thought to himself. She stood in the door opening, one hand placed on the frame and her hips curved out towards the other side. She had on black, strappy stilettos whose heels were so high and thin that it puzzled Dawson. Just years ago she refused to put on a dress and could barely walk in one-inch heels. She was wearing a long, black overcoat on top of a creamy shirt and black pants that slightly went out at the bottom. Her hair was swept down across her shoulders, wisps in her face. It was different now since Dawson last remembered it. She had cut it some to a nice shoulder length with bangs swept off to the side and changed the color to a rich chestnut. Her make up was minimal, but wonderfully accentuated her features. Her black eyeliner caused her eyes to appear smoky, mysterious, and serious all at once. She had on brown eye shadow and a light pink pastel lipstick. In the crook of her left arm she carried a small handbag. Stunning, Dawson repeated to himself. So much more self-assured and glowing with confidence like she had finally grown into herself. Or so it seemed.
"Jo...," he said quietly walking towards her.
"I'm sorry, Dawson," she said suddenly breaking into tears. "I can't do this." With that she ran out the door and into the hallway.
"Joey wait," Dawson yelled as he ran out the door and after her. She kept running until she reached the elevator.
"Come on," she said impatiently pushing the already lit down button. She looked right and saw Dawson running towards her. She pushed it again, but the elevator came no sooner. "Damn." She decided on the stairs.
"Joey, please stop," he yelled following her down the emergency staircase.
"Monsieur," a bellboy yelled following Dawson, "you're not allowed to go that way."
Dawson paid no attention and kept running after Joey who by now was running through the lobby. Some guests stopped about what they were doing to watch the fiasco astonished by the famous director running after a mysterious woman. Joey kept running through the lobby. All the blood in her body rushing to her feet. All that went through her mind was that she had to get away. She brushed her hair out of her face after nearly bumping into a guest. He had just looked at her angrily and continued walking. Now a crowd of tourists and their luggage blocked her. Joey pushed the luggage aside and elbowed her way through the crowd.
"Watch it," one of the woman from the tourist group muttered. "Lucky ass running from Dawson Leery. Hey, here he comes."
"God, Jo, please stop," he yelled coming up towards the tourist group. The parted for him as he ran by.
"I can't," she said momentarily turning around and stopping before running again.
"Joey, don't do this," he yelled after her still running.
"Monsieur, you can not run in the lobby," the bellboy yelled still running after Dawson.
"Can't," Joey said as her heel suddenly broke and she fell to the floor. She sat on her bottom in the middle of the lobby crying. She took of the shoe with the broken heel and looked at it sadly. She sniffled trying to stop from crying. Compose yourself, she told herself. She stared at the floor avoiding the stares of the onlookers that had probably formed. A hand appeared before her face. It was strong and welcoming. She lifted her head up and saw Dawson looking down at her with a sympathetic smile. She took his hand and he helped her up off the ground. She continued to stare at the ground not meeting his eyes as he consistently stared at her.
"You're beautiful," he said finally. She looked up at him suddenly.
"No I'm not," she said blushing. Same old Joey, he thought. She started to brush off the dirt on her coat and comb her hair with her fingers. She wrinkled her nose before saying, "I look like a mess."
"No you don't," he said taking her hand away from her hair. The both looked down at their hands intertwined. She could picture Jen saying, "Definite sparkage." His heart began to flutter and his pulse race. Her own heart was beating a thousand times a second and she could feel butterflies in her stomach. Her knees went weak and she sank almost falling again.
"Whoa there," Dawson said grabbing her arm. "Do you want to go inside the café and talk? You know, in there, there's no chance of anything…well, happening. You running or…um…temp…"
"Temptation," she said finishing his sentence and finding her confidence again. "I'd like that. To talk, that is."
"Okay, good," he said leading her inside the hotel café, "cause for a minute there I thought you were going to run again."
"No, momentary lapse," she said taking a seat across from him in a booth. "I'm glad I fell. I came all the way across the world and I'd hate to leave without anything." He looked up at her. Did she mean what he thought she meant?
"Well, there's a lot of great souvenir shops," he said.
"That's not what I meant, Dawson, and you know it," she said. "Can we cut to the chase?"
"Sure," he said more than willingly. A waitress came over and they ordered some drinks.
"I admit there for a moment I didn't think I was ready, but I'm scared. I think I have a right to be after what happened."
"I know you think I'm going to hurt you again, but I'm not going to," he said sincerely. "We made mistakes. We didn't communicate. This time we're older and wiser and we've learned from our mistakes and we won't make them again."
"Can you promise me that, Dawson?" she asked. He sat silent and her lips began to tremble realizing he might not be able to.
"No," he said finally, "but I can promise you I will do everything in my power to prevent you from being hurt. Joey, there's no such thing as love without pain. That's why they say no pain, no gain. You have to know that hardships are always going to be there and sometimes they'll hurt, but the key is to try to solve problems before they become hardships."
"How would you solve my current problem?" she asked. He gave her quizzical look out of confusion. "I've been having a reoccurring dream or nightmare is more like it. I walk down a hall feeling guilty as hell and ready to apologize to my boyfriend who has not made the slightest action to fix what seems to have gone wrong in our relationship. I open the door to his dorm and I see him and with some random girl who lives on my floor naked together in bed."
"Can't we let it be forgotten?" Dawson asked rather tired of it. "Please, Jo, it's in the past."
"I can't forget," Joey said, "because it will always be in my memory, but I can remember. I was watching a tape, The Fab Gang one." Dawson smiled at the memory. "It brought back all these memories of you and me during senior year. Of our little game and all those sleepovers. I started to remember how happy we were and how much I felt apart of something important and loved."
"You are loved, Jo," Dawson said taking her hand from across the table. "You always will be by me."
"See, I don't want to remember those times and feelings. I want to feel them right now and live them, Dawson," she said leaning towards him. Then she whispered, "Kiss me, Dawson."
Dawson stirred in his sleep. He felt warm skin next to his own and quickly his eyes fluttered open remembering what had happened. There she was in his arms, finally. Her head was placed lightly on his bare chest and her hair flowing all over the pillow. The blanket was tucked snuggly beneath her arms covering her up to her neck. He sighed contently as he wrapped his left arm tighter around her waist and brushed her hair behind her ear with the other. He placed a small kiss on her forehead. He closed his eyes and opened them again to assure himself it wasn't a dream. Still here, he thought as he glanced at her again. Her body began to squirm in his grip as she rubbed her eyes with her fists.
"Morning," she whispered groggily as her eyes finally opened. He bent down and lightly kissed her on the lips. "What time is it?"
"Six am," he responded. "When do you have to go back home?"
"My plane leaves at seven in the evening," she answered sadly. "How soon can you come back to the states?"
"As soon as I can, I'm there, Jo," he said lacing his fingers through her hair.
"Guess what I dreamed last night?" she asked.
"Please, Jo, don't start this again," he said desperately.
"No, Dawson," she replied, "not that. I dreamed about the time that you first kissed me senior year. Remember that?"
"How could I forget," he said smiling. "You were sleeping there in my arms like always and I just lost it. Lost all control of myself and kissed you in your sleep. Plus Jen played that prank on us earlier with the poster. I guess that was the final push I needed."
"Yeah, Jen has a way of giving you that final push," Joey said laughing as she reminisced. "She and Pacey packed that Fag Gang tape in my suitcase on purpose. We have great friends, Dawson. They truly care."
"I know," he replied. "I just wish I had kept closer touch with everyone these last couple of years. I miss everybody. I can't wait to see Jen and Pacey again, in person."
"Can I assume that means you're coming to Los Angeles definitely?" Joey asked looking up at him.
"Not just that, Joey," he answered, "but I'm staying. Wherever you are is where I want to be." Joey lifted her head and kissed him on the lips. Suddenly there came a loud noise from the other room. Joey jumped and Dawson chuckled at her reaction. She swatted him in the arm with her hand. Dawson made a fake "ouch" look.
"What was that?" she asked nervously.
"Relax, jitterbug," he said laughing lightly. She gave him a look. "It's just room service delivering the paper. I requested the New York Times every morning."
"Dawson, you're in a Paris hotel and you requested the New York Times to be delivered to your door?" she asked looking at him perplexed.
"Yes," he stated simply. "See, when you're a big star you can get whatever you want delivered to your door."
"Oh, I see. So that's how it works. You get famous, you get big head," she said jokingly getting up. She got out of the bed as Dawson watched her put on one of his shirts. "I'll go get that paper, your highness."
Joey opened the front door and bent down to pickup the paper. She stood up and looked at the front page. She scanned the headlines before taking out the Calendar section. She felt a pair of arms wrap themselves around her waist as she stood in the doorway ready the Calendar.
"Nothing, Dawson," she said pointing to the front page of the Calendar. "Maybe it's finally safe to go home."
"Hmmm, I should wait till I get the sure word from my agent," he said between kisses on her neck. She giggled as continued to trail kisses up and down her neck. She turned around to face him and took his hand in her own between their bodies. He kissed her again, this time on the lips as they stood in the open doorway.
"Humph," came a voice called. The two turned around to see a bellboy watching them with a smug look on his face. He had been watching the famous Dawson Leery in sweat pants and no shirt kissing a mysterious woman in his shirt that barely reached her thighs in the doorway of a hotel room in Paris. Oh, the possibilities. Dawson gulped uneasily as Joey blushed and the bellboy took notice. "Don't worry, Monsieur. This won't leave my mouth."
"Thank you," Dawson replied sincerely fumbling in the pockets of his sweat pants. "I don't have…"
"There's no need," the bellboy replied leaving. "Much happiness to you two."
"He was nice," Joey stated walking back into the hotel room with Dawson in tow. She closed the door after herself before entering the kitchen.
"Yeah, but don't let 'em fool ya," Dawson replied. "They're not all like that."
"So I've learned," she said quietly beginning to make a scrambled omelet. "Still like your eggs scrambled?"
"Absolutely," he said coming up behind her and wrapping his arms around her waist once again. "I can't remember the last time I've had a cooked meal. I practically live off room service and restaurants these days."
"I can tell, skinny," she said smiling. But he wasn't skinny at all. His chest was broad and strong. His arms were firmer Joey could definitely tell as he constantly held her. His hair was also darker and longer and a bit wavy. He had definitely grown into himself, Joey thought. He began to kiss her neck again. "Dawson, I'm trying to cook."
He continued unaware to the noise of the door opening. Scott stepped inside noticing no one was in the living room he continued walking through the hotel room. He heard noises coming from the kitchen and followed his ears. Finally he came upon Dawosn and Joey embraced in a passionate kiss in the middle of the kitchen as the omelet began to burn.
"Well, hello," he said putting emphasis on the 'hello.' Dawson and Joey broke apart and looked at Scott who stood smiling widely at them. They blushed once again for the second time at being caught.
"Um…Scott this is Joey," Dawson said regaining his normal color. "Joey this is Scott, 'Mr. I Don't Have to Knock,' my agent."
"Oh, but I did too," Scott said. "When no one heard me over the muffled smooches I took out my key."
"I should go change," Joey said tugging at the bottom of Dawson's shirt. She retreated to the bedroom after blushing once more.
"Dawson, my man," Scott said patting Dawson on the back as Joey changed in the bedroom. "Way to go. She's hot and I won't have to listen to you moan anymore either."
"Thanks for the support," Dawson said sarcastically. "And there's much more to Joey than looks. Everything she is inside…"
"Well, of course," Scott replied, "but it's outer looks that make first impressions."
"So what are you boys talking about?" Joey asked coming back inside dressed in a pair of Dawson's drawstring pants and the same shirt.
"You," the both blurted out at the same time. Joey rolled her eyes and Scott continued, "And the reason I came here. I just came back from LA and everything seems to have died down. It's safe to go back."
"Dawson, you can come home with me," Joey said excitedly as she hugged him.
"I'll leave you two lovebirds alone to mate," Scott said as Dawson kissed Joey. He left the hotel smiling to himself.
"Home is where the heart is," Dawson whispered into Joey's ear.
"No, home is right here," she whispered back, "in your arms."
"I have one last letter for you," he said breaking away from her.
She looked at him curiously and bewildered. He took her hand and led her out onto the balcony. They were 5 stories up looking over the street and nearly in the clouds. He pointed towards the sky, but Joey didn't see anything. She looked at the clear sky again and saw nothing but scattered clouds and birds.
"Dawson, what's going on?" she asked baffled. "Where's this letter?" He put his hands on her waist and positioned her so she was facing towards where a small plane was flying. Suddenly Joey gasped as she saw the plane flying with a banner flowing behind it that read:
December 16, 2010
I love you with all my heart. True happiness for me only exists in you, my rose.
The next part will be the epilogue (done already, I'm becoming quite efficient) and that's it. Finished. I'm sad to be ending this series and very proud of it at the same time. Please send feedback. Tell me if you're sad the masterpiece is ending :-) or happy this crap is ending :-(.
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