Author's Note: Hey guys! I have worked many weeks on this story, so please tell me what you think, it would mean a lot to me! I want to thanks Melissa so much for editing and helping me make this story, you are a genius! This takes place in the first season after Dawson and Jen have broke up, but before "Pretty Women"
Joey looked toward the ladder that she knew so well that led up to Dawson's window. Dawson didn't know this, but lately she would stay at the bottom of the ladder for a few minutes before making the short climb to the top. Sometimes her mind would take her to the first time she went up it. She was seven years old, and had seen Dawson around. She knew him well enough to know where he lived, so one day, out of pure boredom, she walked (she wasn't old enough to row yet) to his house. She saw that there was a ladder going up to his window, so decided to climb to his room. When she was at the top, she knocked on the window, and Dawson came over, opened it up, and introduced himself. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
Other times, she would cry before making her daily climb to Dawson's room. She didn't really know why. Maybe it was so that when she went to his room she could keep her emotions in tact when Dawson inevitably brought up Jen. Or maybe, it was because she was just so lonely. Dawson was really the only person that she trusted. She couldn't talk to Bessie, she was always fussing over baby Alexander. She couldn't go to Jen for the obvious reasons. Her and Pacey never could talk about anything too serious, especially when it came to her feelings about Dawson, so she couldn't go to him. That basically meant that her world revolved around Dawson Leery, and that scared her... a lot. So who in the world was she supposed to go to to talk about her love infatuation with her best friend? It was all bottled up inside of her, just waiting to get out.
However, sometimes she knew why she cried. She cried over the loss of her mother and father. She cried out her frustration of her job and schoolwork. Other times she just plain cried. Plain and simple, no reason at all; just tears spilling out of her eyes. Blame it on teen angst, or society even. But everything was better when she walked through that window. It was like walking into another dimension; another world, a fantasy world where she could be herself, not Joey the girl from the wrong side of the creek. Not Joey, the orphan, or the SS Icehouse waitress that always screws up your order. When she stepped into that window she was Joey Potter. Just. Plain. Joey. Today, she was already very upset. It was the anniversary of her mother's death. She didn't stop at the bottom of the ladder to cry, there were already tears in her eyes. Instead, she slowly climbed the ladder through blurred eyes due to the fresh tears waiting to come out.
Dawson had anticipated this day for about a week now. He knew how Joey felt about the loss of her mother. He remembered the day that her mother had passed. Joey had climbed through the window quietly, and just by looking at her face, he knew that her mother was gone. He knew that she was trying to be brave and not cry, but she couldn't do it, and broke down. She laid her head in his lap, and just cried. Dawson would stroke her hair, and comfort her the best way he knew how. She had talked a few days before about what she was feeling, and what she was expecting. She had said more to herself then Dawson, "Someone dying. You don't really give it much thought when it's someone else's family member. But, you never ever get to hear that person's voice again, or get to tell them that you love them, or touch them. All you have is memories, and even those fade away. It's just not fair how people can get ripped out of your life so suddenly. It throws everything off. The way you act, the way you talk, just how you are. I don't want her to die Dawson!" She said the last part through choked sobs.
He could hear her coming up the ladder right now, and he knew that she would be terribly upset. When she stepped into his room her face crumpled into silent sobs, and all Dawson could do was hold her to keep from breaking down himself. She fell into his arms with her hands over her eyes, and her shoulders slumped over. Dawson just held Joey tightly in a big bear hug, and he would occasionally give her a kiss on the head, or whisper calming words into her ear. They stayed like this until Joey didn't have the strength to cry anymore. When she looked up to thank Dawson, she saw that he had tears in his eyes. She said, "Dawson, why are you crying?" Dawson had to smile at her innocence, and replied, "I loved your mother too, Joey. She was like a Mom to me. And I also can't stand to see my best friend not only crying, but sobbing over something that obviously means so much to her. I can't stand to see you in pain." Inside, Joey felt a twinge of happiness knowing that someone truly cared about her and her well being, but it was overshadowed by the depth of sorrow she was feeling over the loss of her mother.
Desperately not wanting to think about her pain, she said, "So, what movie did you get? I'm in the mood for something from the romance/comedy aisle. Ya know, some movie where two people who are obviously meant for one another, but don't know it, fall in love, but first they have to overcome some kind of obvious obstacle, and of course they do it with a smile on there face. I just want two hours of mindless entertainment," she finished with a sigh.
All Dawson wanted to do was cheer Joey up. He never wanted to see another tear roll down her cheek, or another sob escape her throat. So, earlier that week he decided to take her away for one day. It would be her day. They would do whatever she wanted to do. But now, he wasn't so sure that was such a good idea. Maybe all she wanted to do today was sulk, and cry. And who could blame her? All she ever does is be strong, or at least act it. Joey liked her tough exterior; it made it hard for other people to get close. Maybe she just wanted one day where it would be okay to cry. One day that she could cry out her anger, and frustrations.
Joey recognized the look of bewilderment on Dawson's face, and in an annoyed voice asked, "What?" "Well, I wanted to do something special for you today. Ya know, something different from what you do every year. So, I kind of thought that we could establish a 'Joey Day' where you decided what we do, and where we go. However, I didn't think of the fact that maybe you wouldn't want to do anything different from what you've been doing, so please feel free to say no." Joey was the overwhelmed with the compassion in his voice, and had even thought earlier that it would be nice to do something different for a change. So, she said quietly, "I would love to do something else then cry all day. Thanks Dawson." And with that said, they left with their arms locked.
The two sauntered down the porch steps and into the car. Dawson opened the door for Joey, and after she was in, he shut the door and went to the drivers side. He knew exactly where Joey would want to go first. In fact, he was one step ahead of her. The day before, he had gone to "Flowers by Dymond" to pick up a beautiful bouquet of flowers.
Joey knew exactly where Dawson was headed. He knew her too well, and she loved him for it. The Capeside Cemetery was only a few miles away so they were there in under five minutes. When the car stopped in the parking lot, Joey didn't know if she had the strength, or tears rather to go to the gravesite. The last time she had been there was just over two years ago. She had been very lonely, and just needed someone to talk to. She did that often after her mom had died, but the visits had become more and more scarce over time. Joey hated to dig up the emotions and memories.
Dawson didn't know what to say to Joey. She was just sitting there like a statue; unmoving. He knew that that all she would be doing when they got to Mrs. Potter's gravestone would be remembering. He knew how much she hated remembering. The memories of what her father did, and the screams that her mother made on her death bed were still too much for her to handle. Finally, he intertwined his fingers with hers, and gave them a gentle squeeze. She broke out of her trance long enough to look at him and give him a sad smile. She reached down, unbuckled her seatbelt, and opened the door. Dawson let her be by herself for a while, he thought that she needed that. After about fifteen minutes, he got the flowers out of the backseat, and walked to Joey.
When she saw her mother's name on the tombstone, she didn't know whether she should cry or smile. She wanted so badly to be able to smile. Deep down she knew her mother was at peace. Sometimes Joey would look up in the sky and wonder what her mom was doing. Was she with Alexander? Was she watching over Dad? Or, was she looking down and smiling at her? That last thought comforted her. A week before her mother died, Joey came home from school and her mom called her into her room. She had stated very clearly, "When I am gone and you visit my gravestone, I don't want you to remember the bad times. I want you to smile at all of the good things that we have experienced together. When you feel like you want to cry, then do it. But when you can't do that any longer, smile. Smile, and let the wonderful memories flow back."
Joey knew that right now wasn't the right time to smile. She couldn't remember anything good to smile about. So, very slowly she sat down and let a silent tear run down her cheek as she ran her fingers over her mother's name. All she could think of was the day she had found out of the cancer. She remembered the first thoughts that had come into her head; 'I will live the rest of my life without a mother.' It hadn't been easy in the least. However, she was surviving, but barely. Every morning she would wake up and the first thing that would go through her head was get up so Mom's pancakes will still be warm. Then the reality of her life would hit her hard, and she would just sit there, and look straight ahead at the wall. She wanted to cry, but couldn't. Her heart was too hollow to let her cry, she was numb. So, she would get out of bed and take a shower. But now, she wanted to scream. She wanted to scream until everyone in the world was feeling the pain that she felt. Joey would go for a walk sometimes and see little girls running alongside their mothers. She wanted to tell the little girls to cherish every moment that they had with their mom, to enjoy it, and not plague their time together with a fight. But, it wouldn't make her mother come back, nothing could. She had this overwhelming feeling of nothingness inside of her. Like she didn't have anything to live for. Bessie didn't have time for her. Dawson only complained to her. And she had no other friends. Joey didn't know what to do, so she screamed. It started off choked and strangled, but it got louder and louder, and the sorrow in her voice became evident. She needed to feel like her presence on this earth was cherished by someone. Like if she disappeared from this world, she would be missed. Deep down she knew that someone would miss her, and that in someone's eyes she meant something. Of course she knew that, but there's a big difference between knowing and feeling.
Soon her screams stopped just as suddenly as they started. She was beyond tired, she was exhausted. She felt numb, and her whole body was weak. She couldn't even keep herself on her knees anymore. She fell all the way to the ground so she was laying down. She clutched onto the grass as though if she let go, she would let go of everything that made any sense to her anymore. Joey knew that Dawson was behind her. She could always feel his presence. Now, all she wanted for him to do was hold her, hold her and never let go.
Almost telepathically, Dawson knew that Joey needed him more now then ever before. He knew that her screams and sobs were over more then just the loss of her mother. There was something more there that was bothering her. Maybe it was still the after effects of the loss. Knowing that she had to be the strong one, and never have a mother there to share any pain with. Dawson didn't really know, all he knew was that he wanted, and even more needed to hold her. He quietly walked to her, and leaned down so he too was lying on the grass. He pulled her hands from the grass that she was holding onto so tightly, and put his hands into hers. She seemed reluctant at first, but quickly gripped his hands very tightly. So tightly in fact, she stopped the circulation in his hands. But he didn't care. He knew that if either of them let go, they may never find each other again. Finally she stood up, still afraid to let go of his hand. They looked at each other for a long moment. The looks in their eyes always conveyed what they couldn't say. In the other's eyes, they both saw thanks, but not just thanks for this one moment, but thanks for being alive; thanks for just being there. And most importantly, thanks for the moments like this one when the could go to each other. Dawson handed Joey the flowers that he had laid on the ground. Still holding hands, she placed them on top of the grave, and smiled. It wasn't a big smile, but it was there, and that was all that mattered.
They silently walked back to the car. Only then, Joey let go of Dawson's hand. She felt like she would be okay, and life was again bearable to live so long as Dawson was there. As they climbed into the car, she smiled a small, almost happy smile, and said, "The Capeside Baskin Robbins isn't soundin' like such a bad place at the moment." Dawson got the hint, and said, "And away we go."
In the car, everything was silent. But, it wasn't an awkward silence, it was something the two did often when they had a lot on their minds. They would just sit together and think.
Dawson was thinking about how incredibly strong Joey is. He remembered when he had first met her. Even at seven she was tall, and a bit on the gawky side. She had always looked so uncomfortable in her own skin. But now.... now she had grown into this all around beautiful person. Joey couldn't stop thinking about where she would be without Dawson. Throughout her mother's illness, she basically took up residence in his house. They wouldn't talk though, they didn't have to talk to communicate. Instead they would sit, and 'talk' through their eyes. Whenever she was having a bad day, the one thing that kept her going was knowing that soon she would see Dawson, and when she did, he would know what to do. Most times, they would just look into each others eyes, or sit and hold hands, he would do anything to comfort her. However, sometimes Dawson knew that it would be a good idea to do something else, something different. People always said that Dawson was predictable, but she knew better.
"We're here." Dawson spoke softly as if his voice could break her.
She looked up at Dawson and smiled a little. "Let's go then," was her simplistic response.
They walked in and headed straight towards the end of the line waiting to order their ice cream. Joey remembered a game that Bessie had taught her the week before. She decided it would be fun to play with Dawson, who knows, it might even make her laugh a little. She turned toward Dawson and said, "The other week, Bessie and I were working at the Ice House, and there weren't very many people there. Only a few couples. She said that when she was our age her and her girlfriends used to play a game when they were bored where you look at couples and try to guess if their dating, engaged, or married. The people who are dating are always talking and laughing. The couples who are engaged are the ones that always look into each others eyes and smile a lot. And the married couples always just sat there eating their food." Dawson laughed a little at the last one, but responded, "You mean like that couple over there?" Joey's gaze shifted to where Dawson was pointing. She chuckled a bit when she saw a couple who looked to be in their early thirties just sitting there eating. They actually looked tired, then she saw two small children run up to them, and she could understand their situation. She always did admire parents who had multiple small children. After one afternoon with Alex, she decided that adopting children in their early teens was the way to go.
"Or look at the couple over there." She said continuing the game. They played this for a few more minutes until they reached the front of the line. After they had ordered, the cashier rang up the total to $5.51. Joey reached in her pocket to get her money, but Dawson stopped her. He said, "Uh, uh, uh, not so fast Potter. It's 'Joey Day,' and on 'Joey day', Joey doesn't pay for anything, Dawson does." Joey smiled appreciatively, and they sat down.
Dawson looked at Joey with concern in his eyes and asked, "Are you doing any better Jo?" Joey looked up from her chocolate ice cream with carmel syrup on top, and replied, "Much." Dawson smiled in response. They went on to talk about how much they hated Coach Carter, their World History teacher. All he did was talk to the jocks, and he had recently told all of his students that their work load in his class would decrease drastically so they could all focus on spring sports.
As soon as the two finished bashing their teachers and peers, they left and walked to the car. As they got inside, Dawson asked Joey, who by this time was in much better spirits, what she would like to do next. "Hand me your cell phone." Joey commanded in response. The phone was Dawson's newest prized possession, and he didn't let just anybody use it, including Joey. So, naturally his response was a look, to which Joey replied with, "Dawson, don't do this. I'm just going to call your mom and Bessie, to ask them a question." Dawson opened his mouth to question her, but she put her hand over his mouth to shut him up, and succeeded. Joey dialed the phone, and from what Dawson could grasp from the one-sided thirty-second conversation with his mother was that they were going for a little road trip to Boston for the day. Dawson was to say the least elated to be spending more time with Joey. Next Joey rang her sister, who was happy to comply with Joey's plans and let her do what she wanted. Bessie knew how hard this day was on her little sister, besides she trusted her and Dawson.
When Joey clicked the 'power' button on his phone to turn it off, he said, "So what is it you have in mind for the rest of the day Ms. Potter?" "Well, Mr. Leery, I was hoping we could drive to Boston for the day. You know, do what we did when we were younger, and forget about Capeside and its problems." By problems she meant hers'.
Dawson knew exactly what Joey was talking about. When he, Joey, and Pacey were all fairly young, eight or so, Mr. Potter used to take the three on day trips every alternating Saturday to Boston. They would spend the day by the lake. Even though they could do that every other day in Capeside, it was different and special for them all to go someplace else. The three each had a picture from one of those special trips in each of their rooms. They were all sitting on the grass, fishing poles in hand, with a look of content on their faces. Joey's dad had taken the picture without them knowing. Dawson remembered what had happened afterward. Joey had been scared by the sudden bright flash, and jumped a bit. She had been sitting between the two boys, so she had inevitably scared the two, therefore accidentally making them drop their poles in the water. Joey and her father had found this incredibly amusing, whereas the other two didn't, and pushed Joey in the water. Dawson likes to block the rest of the day out of his memory, but the three did have some pretty severe colds for the next week and a half...
Dawson could tell Joey was thinking about the same incident, and they both turned toward each other and laughed. Dawson said, "You know, I loved those trips so much that I had my copy of that picture duplicated and I keep it in my wallet. He pulled it out and showed the folded picture to Joey. She took the picture into her hand and said sadly, "That may be one of the only good things my father ever did."
"Well, it was a damn good thing at that, too!" Dawson exclaimed trying to break the sudden tension. Joey laughed and said, "I don't feel right about going without Pacey. I mean, as much as I hate the guy, I kind of want him to go." "I know what you mean. Do you want me to turn around and get him?" Joey nodded her head vigorously as Dawson turned his car around.
"Pacey, listen. Today is the anniversary of the death of Joey's mom." Dawson began. "Don't think that I didn't remember man. Joeys my occasional friend too." Pacey said defensively. Dawson laughed at the usage of the word, 'occasional.' "I know, I know, sorry. So I wanted to get her mind off of it all. Ya know, take her out for a day of fun. I asked her where she wanted to go. Then we started reminiscing about how the three of us used to go to Boston on the weekends, and we decided to go there. But, we couldn't go without you. So what do ya say? Wanna go?" Pacey was thrilled at the prospect of spending the rest of the day with his buds in Boston. He quickly ran inside grabbed his jacket and hopped in the car a few minutes later. "So, your parents are letting you go?" Dawson questioned. "Yeah, my mom has been feeling sorry for me lately, so she said I could. And surprisingly, my father didn't seem to object, just murmured something about rain." Pacey responded. As inconspicuously as possible, Dawson leaned over to Pacey and whispered in his ear, "Promise me you'll go easy on Jo for today. She's already taking everything really hard. So no matter how bitchy she acts, just do it ok?" Pacey just smiled, leaned back, and smirked, "You got it bad man."
Joey knew what Dawson was saying to Pacey, and tried to hide a smile. 'He's sweet, too sweet for his own good' she thought. She had decided to sit in the back of the car. She was a little tired from all that the morning had brought her. Soon she found herself off in a land far, far away; aww. Dream land. A place she frequently tried to visit. However, this dream wasn't like her usuals. She didn't end up in the Caribbean, with her skin drenched with a deep tan, and Dawson at her side. No, this dream was most definitely different. She found herself running. She was running like she could never stop. Then she had run herself into a corner and she had to turn around. She turned around and saw her father chasing her. In her dream, her first reaction was to run to him and give him a big hug, but she stopped herself. He had a look on his face that scared her, it more then scared her. He had fangs and claws and was trying to hurt her. She screamed. She screamed for Dawson, and her mom, and Pacey. Even in her dream she surprised herself by yelling out the last name, but she knew he would protect her. Slowly she started to deteriorate. Little by little, she was wearing away. Within moments she was gone, only thing that remained was her voice. Soon, her father was enveloped in whiteness. But her screaming didn't cease. She couldn't stop. She was screaming and crying and shaking.
Dawson stopped the car abruptly. The screams from Joey were really scaring him. He didn't know what was going on with her lately. Besides the obvious, she seemed really depressed for some reason. As soon as he stopped the car at the nearby rest stop, both him and Pacey jumped out of the car and into the back to the hysterical Joey. They shook her awake and within seconds she came to. She started to cry uncontrollably at the thought of confronting her father. She threw her arms around Dawson, and he held her just as tight. Pacey gently smoothed Joey's hair and took the keys from Dawson. Dawson looked up at Pacey with compassion and thanks in his eyes as Pacey climbed into the front seat and started to drive toward Boston.
They arrived in Boston around two o'clock P.M. Joey had eventually fallen back to sleep in Dawson's arms as Pacey drove the rest of the way. When they had reached their destination around two P.M., Dawson gently shook Joey awake. She seemed to be in a much better mood. But only she knew why; another dream about Dawson and her running off to Vegas and eloping. Yep, she was most definitely in a better mood.
They all stepped out of the car as Joey said tentatively, "Thanks guys." She was refering to earlier in the day when she had woken up screaming. Even if they didn't always get along, she relized how lucky she was to have not just one, but two best friends. Dawson just smiled at her, and Pacey leaned over teasing, "No prob kid" as he tousled her hair. Joey playfully ran after him. After a few minutes of the two play fighting, they saw a small family restaurant across the street. They agreed that it was a good time to eat seeing as how they hadn't even seen food in hours. The three friends were all starving.
As they walked into the restaurant, Dawson noticed the hostess looking at them with disdain. It was always the same, older people always stereotyped teenagers as incompetent animals always stirring up trouble some way or another. Joey seemed to notice this to, and said to the women, "Hi, table of three please." Then she turned toward the guys and said, "Ya know, Pacey, just tell me if I'm out of line here, but I always did wonder if the rumors were true about you and your English teacher. Did you sleep with her?" Pacey laughed and responded, "Oh, Jo, I more then slept with Ms. Jacobs!" Dawson laughed and turned toward the waitress who looked shocked and disgusted all at once. She picked up the menus and very quickly led them to their booth. Joey slid in one of the sides first and Dawson quickly sat next to her. Pacey noticed this slick move by Dawson and smiled as he took his seat opposite the two 'friends'.
As they ordered their food, Dawson showed the picture of the three to Pacey. He looked at it and instantly laughed. "Oh man, that's got to be one of the best days of my life, but one I wouldn't mind forgetting." Joey smiled in agreement at the memory, "But you know the best part was spending the next week at Dawson's getting over our horrendous colds. Then going to school for a week to find that Pacey got mono and inevitably gave it to the two of us," She finished looking at Dawson. It was now his turn to laugh and said, "But you both know those couple of weeks were something you can never forget." "Well, yeah, but they aren't necessarily good memories Dawson. I think we watched E.T., what a hundred times? You agree with me Pace?" Joey questioned. "Oh most definitely Jo. But we can't forget the one good thing from that experience." Joey looked at him in agreement knowing exactly what he was talking about. "The homemade ice cream my mother made for you two when you complained about having to watch E.T?" Dawson asked. "Oh, but of course." Pacey said. "Most definetly," Joey said without a quiver of doubt in her voice.
A waitress came up to their table to take their orders. She seemed to be kinder then the hostess who had shown them to their booth. Dawson and Joey decided to share a plate of chicken fingers; its been their favorite dish since they were small. Pacey decided on a popcorn shrimp platter.
They talked about nonesense until their food came. They all had to wait awhile for their food to cool since they all ordered something that came hot. After a minute or so Pacey said that he didn't care if it was hot, he was starving. He picked up a piece of shrimp and quickly brought it to his mouth to keep from burning his fingers. He tried to keep the food in his mouth but it was just to hot, and had to take it out. The other two laughed at him, and Joey exclaimed, "Eww," and continued to cackle at his expense. Pacey looked embarassed for a second, but quickly recovered and excused himself to the little boy's room saying, "Nature's callin'."
After Pacey had relived himself, they all sat down to a pleasent, late, lunch. They were all quiet for the majority of the time, except for a few giggles from Joey. Pacey, who was trying to get back at her for laughing at him earlier, was playing footsie with her in hopes to piss her off. He did get a few warning glances from Dawson, who was upset that Pacey wasn't living up to his promise to leave Joey alone. But, Joey didn't mind to much. She was in a much better mood now that she was sitting next to Dawson.
When they paid the bill, they left in search of their favorite lake. It had been years since they had visited Boston, so they weren't absolutley sure where the lake was. After asking a few locals for directions, they found what they were looking for. They stood in front of the body of water almost in awe. The lake brought back so many good memories. Before Dawson realized that life couldn't be scripted, before Mr. Witter had labeled Pacey as the family embarrassment, and before Joey's life had literally fallen apart, this was where they went to have fun. This was their haven when they were nine. This is where they all became best friends forever.
Suddenly, the silence was broken by Pacey, "I'm going to rent some fishing poles, why don't you two crazy kids go find a spot, " and walked toward the fish shop. Joey and Dawson walked to the side of the lake that they always sat at when they were young and took a seat. "Jo, are you crying," Dawson asked with concern present in his voice. "Yeah. Its just that this place brings back so many memories, ya know?" She mused. "Yeah, I know what you mean." Dawson said as he put is arm around her shoulder as he continued, "Who woulda thought? We're sitting here again, six years later with such drastically different lives." Joey laughed an almost happy laugh that Dawson hadn't heard in months.
He got serious and said to Joey, "I've been worried about you lately Jo. Do you want to tell me what's bothering you?" He paused before continuing, "I mean what's bothering you besides your mother." Joey sighed, she had a feeling this talk was coming, but she wanted Dawson to know so she said nervously, "Dawson, put yourself in my shoes for a minute. A dead mother, jailed father, and a sister with a biracial child born out of wedlock. You live in a what I guess you could call a house, and have been labeled as your basic white trash. You go through everyday thinking no one loves you, much less cares, but try to hide your hurt." Dawson was a little offended that Joey thought that he didn't love her. "Jo, I care about you," he said in an almost pleading voice. "You see, I know that Dawson, but I don't feel it. I mean, your my best friend, and the only person that I can talk about anything serious to. Pacey's the kind of guy I can laugh with even if I'm laughing at him. Jen's a bitch, and all me and Bessie do is fight, but Dawson, you're the only one I can really talk to. So, you have got to understand my hurt when I go up your window and want to talk about what a bad day I'm having and have someone to share it with, and all you do is complain about Jen." By this time Dawson was getting a little mad at Joey for thinking that he only complained and never listened. She continued, "It's ok to talk about that kind of thing, I mean, that's what friends do. But, that's all that we ever talk about. Sometimes I feel like your taking advantage of our friendship and use me to complain to about neighbor girl," she finished. By this time Dawson was really pissed at Joey for thinking that he took advantage of their friendship. He couldn't hold it in any longer and exploded, "Joey, how could you think that? I don't take advantage of you! Your the only one I can talk to too, and sometimes I just want to talk about Jen, I want to get over her Joey! I figure I will sooner if I talk about it!" Now Dawson was yelling. Joey was silently kicking herself for answering Dawson's question and making them fight, not to mention ruining her day, but yelled back with just as much gusto, "Talk about, Dawson? Try obsess over it! She's all you ever even think about!" Dawson shouted, "How would you know Joey? How would you know if she was all I thought about? Lately, I've been wondering if you do anything besides talk bad about Jen and think up ways to make her life miserable, how would you even have time to know what I am thinking?" Joey was on the verge of tears hearing Dawson's hurtful words. She answered him in a calm almost inaudible voice, "Why are you doing this to me Dawson? Why today of all days do you have to fight with me? Wasn't this my day? I've had all of these emotions bottled up inside of me for months, and you had to choose today to question them?" She finished with the tears spilling over her eyelids and onto her cheeks. "I'm going to the car." And with that, she left in search of the automobile.
Pacey walked up to Dawson and knew that look on his face instantly. That look was the look that Dawson had every time he came to him after a fight with Joey. "Something tells me we're not going to be needing these fishing poles, huh?" Sadly Dawson responded, " 'Fraid not Pace."
Pacey knew Dawson would just want to sit by the lake and think about Joey and his undoubtedly immature squabble, so he let him be. Pacey fished with no luck for about half an hour while Dawson looked down at the lake. Soon, it began to rain. It was coming down fast and hard. The two ran into the safety of the fishing shop where Pacey returned the poles. Dawson pulled his cell phone out of his coat pocket and dialed his phone number. He told his mother about the rain, and she told him to stay at motel in Boston, she would wire him some money. It was already five o'clock and the rain didn't seem to be letting up, so it only seemed logical to stay there for the night. Dawson then let Pacey phone his parents. Mr. Witter seemed to be delighted to be getting rid of Pacey for another couple of hours.
Pacey then brought up a fact that could no longer be ignored. "Umm, Dawson, where's Joey?" Dawson sighed, "She went to the car." "And you let her? I understand that you two were fighting, but man, this isn't Capeside! And Boston isn't exactly known for its kind people!" "Pacey, I know. Let me just call Bess, then we can make sure she made it to the car safe, ok?" "All right, fine."
Joey walked away from Dawson mad as hell. She didn't even remember where they had parked. All she knew was that it was across from the restaurant they had eaten lunch at. She had to stop a few times to ask people where that restaurant might be. After making a few wrong turns, she eventually found it and took out a spare key that Dawson had given her to the car. She quickly jumped in and shut the door, it was beginning to rain.
She was turning the radio to the station she preferred when their was a tap on the window. She screamed and jumped to the other side of the car. Through the rain it was hard to make out a face, but when she looked closely she could see two men with tall frames. She sighed and opened the door to look at Dawson and Pacey.
Pacey had a smirk on his face when she opened the door and Dawson's face was like a stone, showing no emotion. "I called my mom and she said to go ahead and stay here for the night. She's going to wire us some money. And I called Bessie for you." Dawson said not making eye contact with Joey. "Don't do me any favors Dawson," she spat. "Why does everything have to be so complicated with you Jo?" "It doesn't Dawson, you just bring out the best in me, " she smiled feigning sweet. "Kids, stop fighting. Let's just go find a motel. Then you can resume fighting there," Pacey joked. They hopped in the car, and went in search of the nearest Holiday Inn.
Dawson walked up to the front desk to sign in. Joey stayed back and took a seat in the lobby, and Pacey sat next to her. "You know Jo, he's sorry about whatever you two fought about." "How would you know Pacey?" Joey snapped. "Don't get mad. Your not the only one who knows the looks on his face, Jo. I can tell when he's mad, angry, happy, or whatever other emotion you can think of. And he sat by the lake for half an hour looking sorry." Joey sighed in frustration, "I'm sorry for being so harsh Pace. I just can't stand him sometimes. Why can't he just step out of his little the-world-revolves-around-me-fantasy and open his eyes to see what's right in front of him?" "You really like him, don't you Jo?" Pacey said quietly so Dawson wouldn't hear. He knew that when he said this he would risk Joey hitting him, but he had to say it. Joey almost felt like crying, "Yeah, I do." She said quietly. "Okay guys, I got two rooms across from each other, rooms 212 and 214. I figure Pacey and I can share a room, and Joey, you can have the other one to yourself." Dawson had interrupted their moment. He handed Joey her key, the time apart had made the two calm down a bit. However, they were by no means on good terms.
Joey took a long, hot shower as soon as she was in her room. It wasn't often that she got a room to herself. She was always either sleeping in the living room, or Dawson's room. She hardly ever got any privacy. So, she planned on making this night a very good one and enjoy it. She thought back to what all the day had brought her. From crying to being happy; from screaming, to being happy; from having nightmares to falling asleep in Dawson's arms; from visiting her childhood to yelling at Dawson; to now. Her life was in emotional turmoil.
Across the hall, Dawson and Pacey were both lying down in their respective beds looking at ceiling. "Dawson, what are you going to do about Joey?" Pacey inquired. "God, I don't know Pace. It's so weird with her lately. One minute were best friends, the next she's lashing out at me. I refuse to contribute it all to PMS. I just don't know what to think. Our friendship has been like a roller coaster, and confusing the hell out of me." Pacey laughed, "You want to know what I think?" "Hell, my day couldn't get any worse, why not?" "In my humble opinion, I believe that your friendship with Joey has jumped over the friendship line without the two of you knowing it. You have both outgrown the current status of your relationship and are ready to take it to the next step. Pacey paused for a moment and looked at his friend and saw that he didn't believe a word he was saying. Finally he decided he should tell Dawson what Joey had told him earlier. "Dude, the girl is in love with you. She told me in the lobby only seconds before you walked up to us. And I think you feel the same way about her, your just not letting yourself admit it. But man, you can't deny it any longer, you two were made for eachother."
Pacey didn't let Dawson respond before he pushed him out the door and in the direction of Joey's room.
Joey heard the door knob turn as she was getting dressed. She quickly used a towel to cover herself up as Dawson walked in. He was looking down as he walked to Joey's bed deep in thought. Before he could look up, Joey snapped harshly, "Ever heard of knocking Dawson?" Dawson looked up, blushed furiously and turned around quickly. "Oh, God, Jo! I am so sorry, I didn't know you took a shower. I wouldn't have just barged in if I knew." He apologized. "It's ok, we need to talk anyway. Just stay like that for a sec, I'm almost dressed." Dawson could hear her pull her shirt over her head as she said, "Okay, you can turn around now."
Dawson turned around and looked at Joey. After hearing Pacey's words, he saw her in a new light. He always knew that Joey was very attractive, but he never thought of her as beautiful before, like he did now. It was strange how one person's words could open up your eyes like that. "Umm, listen, I'm really sorry about earlier...." Dawson began but was cut off by Joey, "Ya know what Dawson just forget the fight, it isn't really the issue at hand. We're both sorry it happened, so let's just forget it ever occurred." Dawson laughed a little at her abruptness, but agreed. "I know that our friendship has been anything but simple this past couple of months and I'd like to apologize for that." "But, Dawson, it wasn't your fault. I'm the one that's been acting like a bitch." Joey said. "Maybe you have been acting a little on the bitchy side, but I played a big part in it. I was just talking to Pacey, and he told me everything I already knew, just wasn't ready admit. Your right, I have been taking advantage of your willingness to listen to me lately. I see that now. I have also been ignoring you a little too much too. But not until literally five minutes ago did I know why." "Why is that Dawson?" Joey asked bewildered. "Because I love you, I just didn't want to admit it. I didn't want to risk throwing away the only thing that makes sense to me because I started having feelings for you that went beyond friendship. So, I tried to ignore them. But you can only ignore them for so long until they catch up with you. I am so sorry for putting our friendship through all of this these past months. Can you forgive me?" Joey was grinning from ear to ear. "Of course I can forgive you, Dawson." Dawson quickly walked to Joey, picked her up, and spun her around while they laughed. Joey thought, 'Dawson is always going for the cheesy happy endings, some things will never change,' but she didn't care she loved that about him. After they finished laughing, Dawson leaned down and kissed Joey. It started off sweet and innocent, but grew more and more passionate. They were both lost in the kiss and never wanted to stop, but there was a very hungry Pacey knocking on the door ready to go to dinner. They regretfully separated as Joey whispered, "I love you too." Dawson just beamed. When they walked out to greet Pacey he said, "So, guys, am I safe to be assuming that I will have my own room tonight." The happy couple just smiled.
As the years went on, it was tradition to spend every anniversary of the death of Mrs. Potter in Boston. Though every year, Joey and Dawson were not always a couple. Sometimes Pacey was with Joey. Others they were all just friends. And there were a few occasions they weren't even speaking to each other, but it didn't matter. They always went despite the given circumstances. It was their special day to celebrate their special bond. In the end though, Joey and Dawson did get happily married. Pacey eventually married Tamara Jacobs after they bumped into each other ten years after their first meeting. And until their dying year, they all went to Boston and fished. They ate at that same restaurant where that rude waitress eventually started to look forward to their yearly visit. And they stayed at that same motel where they always requested the same two rooms, room 212 and room 214.
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