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7.01 - The Way Things Are by BeatrizRC, Deb, Jessica

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Teaser: LAX airport

The airport is crowded, people going here and there, waiting, chatting... They have always gone to the airports to say good bye, to let go of each other, or totally the opposite: to make promises they never kept afterwards. But that was the past and they were ready to make some new, better memories.

Dawson Leery, dressed in jeans and a shirt with a brown jacket, is speaking on his cell phone and glancing at his watch from time to time as he paces back and forth in front of the gate where her plane was scheduled to land.

'Ten more minutes,' he thinks as he discusses some details of the upcoming episode of "The Creek' with Tina, one of the head writers.

The flight had been long and Joey was tired, even though she had been sleeping (actually she thinks she had even snored once, how embarrassing!) the whole trip. 'Business trips were so boring,' she sighs. At least this one was to L.A. and that was good, considering it would give her a chance to see Dawson again. They hadn't met again since that day on his dock and declared themselves to be soul mates. She can't wait to see him, her best friend. It is because of this that as they approach the airport, she becomes more and more aware of her surroundings and her excitement grows.

A big smile appears on her face when the captain announces they're about to land. She looks through the window impatient to see him, impatient to be with him again.

Dawson ends his call with Tina after prohibiting her from writing a Sammy/Colby sex scene. It just isn't time for that yet. His cell rings again and it's another of his writers. He answers it with a sigh, preparing himself for another argument. Looking at his watch once more he realizes that the plane should have landed by now. He walks to the airport screens as he speaks and sees that it actually has. He smiles and cranes his neck in anticipation. With no sign of her, he sighs and explains again the arc for the first half of the season.

She spots him first. He is immersed in the crowd of the people that fills the place. Glued to his cell phone, as usual. She smiles to herself and shakes her head. Dressed in a dark suit and a white blouse, the jacket opened, she walks towards him. His back is to her, talking in his "boss voice" to someone on the other side of the line. "Just keep it on hold until I get there later, ok? Don't--"

He is interrupted when two arms wrap around his neck from behind, pulling him closer to someone he knows very well. A loud kiss lands on his cheek, making him smile brightly.

"I'll call you later," Dawson says, and turns into her embrace. He hangs up his phone as they both hold each other close. Their hugs always come easily. What's hard for them is to end the hugs and they always seem to last a little longer than they should. But they are used to it by now and don't give it much thought anymore. It's one of their trademarks and it's truly comforting to hold each other again.

"Welcome to L.A.!" he says after a while, pressing his lips against her temple in a kiss as she closes her eyes and smiles.

"Thank you," Joey says, looking up at him as he rests his forehead on hers.

"I see you're as busy as always," she smiles, pointing with her head to the cell phone that was still in his hand. Dawson groans, putting the cell in his pocket and Joey laughs.

"A successful TV writer with his own hit show. Poor, poor, Dawson," she jokes with him as Dawson throws a mock glare at her and takes her bag. Joey wraps her arm around his waist.

"Yeah, I know. It's a hard, hard life," he jokes back, putting his arm around her shoulder, Joey leaning against him. They look at each other and laugh as they walk out the airport to Dawson's car.

"You look good by the way," she says, as the warm day of LA welcomes them.

"Shouldn't I have said that first or something?" Dawson says, making her laugh.

"It's okay, I forgive you."

"I'll say it anyway. You look beautiful. But what's new, huh?" he says, earning a playful shove from Joey, who bites her lip and looks at him with a big grin.

(Music of the credits starts playing)

"I've missed you," she says, resting her head on his shoulder. Her tone more serious now, her words sincere. She always misses him, that's the truth.

"I've missed you too," he admits as well, and smiles at her when she tilts her head up to look up at him.

They reach Dawson's car and have to let go of each other. Dawson puts Joey's bag in the back seat and the camera pans out as they chat animatedly. And then...

CREDITS


Leery's Fresh Fish

('Heaven' by Live is playing in the background)

It's a bright, sunny day. The restaurant is fairly crowded with families and couples enjoying the food and one another's company. A waiter is walking through the crowd carrying a tray. The waiter finally passes Jack's table, where he is trying to feed Amy, who is sitting in a high chair between Jack and an empty chair.

With a spoonful of baby food in his hand, Jack begins making airplane noises and he swings his arm around, bring the food closer to a smiling Amy. Just as the spoon gets to her mouth, she shakes her head and playfully slaps the spoon away, causing Jack to laugh and sigh loudly.

"Amy, honey, come on the airplane is bringing you your lunch!" Jack sighs, wiping the mush away from Amy's mouth and off of his hands. Looking around the restaurant briefly, he checks his watch and sighs again, obviously waiting for someone to join them.

"Oh, Amy, no!" Jack cries, gently prying the paper napkin from her mouth. She cries a bit but stops when Jack tickles her cheeks, making her laugh. Jack's so busy with Amy that he doesn't notice the unseen figure approach him from behind.

"I'm sorry but is this seat taken, sir?" the man asks, causing Jack to glance on him but keep his focus mostly on Amy.

"Yes it is, my boyfriend is joining us shortly," Jack said, making faces at Amy.

"Well he won't mind if I keep it warm for him then," the man said, coming around the table and settling in the chair, revealing his identity, Doug. Jack looks surprised at first, but then smiles.

"I'm sorry I'm late. Did you eat?" Doug asks, waving and making a silly face at a giggling Amy.

"No, I've been trying to feed little Miss Picky here, but the old fashioned airplane trick appears to be ineffective with this generation," Jack says, stirring the baby food with a spoon.

"Well, let me try something," Doug says picking Amy up from the high chair and settling her on his lap. Taking the baby food from Jack, Doug begins to sing softly, moving the spoon with the food closer to Amy. When the song finally finishes, the spoon is at her mouth and she opens happily to be fed. "Good girl! You're such a good girl!" Doug cooes, starting another song, which ends with Amy again eating from the spoon. Jack watches in awe but with a large, content smile on her face.

"You're so amazing," Jack says, grabbing a camera from his bag to capture the moment. Amy is still amazed with Doug, who is bouncing her on his knee, leaving little kisses on her messy cheeks and soft head.

"What are you doing?" Doug asks, noticing Jack fidgeting with a digital camera.

"I'm capturing the moment here. This is family bonding at its best," Jack laughs, frowning for a minute as he tries to set the camera.

"I have a better idea," Doug says, looking up and grabbing a young waiter as he walks by with a water pitcher, heading to another table. "Excuse me, would you take a picture for us?" he asks.

"Of course, sir," the teenage boy says.

"Okay, Jack, give him the camera before you hurt yourself and scoot over here," Doug says, shifting Amy in his lap as Jack drags his chair next to his, putting his arm around Doug's shoulder.

"Okay, ready?" the waiter asks, both men breaking into a smile as Amy begins to do the same. "One, two….three." A flash goes off and both men relax, still sitting close together.

"You're really good with kids," Jack says with a smile, enjoying the view of his boyfriend and daughter.

"When you have as many nieces and nephews as I do, Jack, I hope that I would know at least something in that area," Doug says, looking at Jack and almost leaning in to kiss him softly on the lips as Amy's giggle breaking the moment. Doug holds Amy up in his arms as she continues to giggle and both men make her laugh harder and squeal as they continue to make silly faces and noises.


Interior of Dawson's car

Joey looks out of the passenger window, face alive and her eyes bright. “Stop craning your neck Jo. It makes you look like a tourist.”

“I am a tourist. I never got a real look around on the one memorable visit I made here years ago with Audrey.”

“And Eddie,” Dawson interjects.

Joey looks quickly across at him. “How would you know about all that?”

“Word in our little circle always got around. Besides how could I forget a time when Joey comes all the way to L.A. and doesn't visit.”

Joey's face instantly sobers and she says contritely, “I am sorry, Dawson.”

“Eh, you're forgiven, if and only if you keep your head in the car and stop the wide-eyed wonder thing. You're doing serious damage to my credibility.”

Joey laughs and returns her attention to the passenger window. “So sue me. Where are we going by the way? I am dying to see the set.”

“Then you're in luck,” Dawson smiles. “I have to tidy some things up there this afternoon if I'm to spend any quality time with you. Well got first to my house though. I thought you might like to get rid of your luggage first. We can change, go to the set and then I wanna take you somewhere for dinner. Is that ok?" he asks, glancing at her.

Joey nods and then leans her elbow on the inside arm rest, one hand idly playing with her shoulder length deep brown hair.

“I like it.” Dawson's simple statement brings her head around from the window to turn and face him. “I did notice. I admit that I can be the typical guy on most occasions and miss the obvious but this time I really did notice.” He smiles as they pull up to a set of traffic lights.

“Before you start wondering whether I have some deep issue that Jung would love to get his hands on that has triggered having half of my hair cut off, I don't. Quite simply, being the company's sole representative at this writer's festival, I thought I should sharpen and mature my image.” She finishes this statement with an unconscious straightening of her shoulders and quick upward tilt of her chin.

Dawson's warm laugh fills the car as he accelerates through the intersection. “What, it's not working?”

“No, it's working. That hair teamed with your formidable black suit makes you seem as mature as, well, Mrs. Tingle.”

At the mention of their former school librarian's name Joey leans over and gives a playful swat to Dawson's shoulder.

“I was just thinking how laughable this all is. Here you are, a company's sole representative and here I am with very few moments like this where I'm not arguing on my cell phone with someone at the studio or at the set or…”

“You mean we are a far cry removed from the widely snubbed convict's daughter with no prospects and the ridiculously short film obsessed geek who could only converse in Spielberg inspired subtext?” Joey interrupts with a smile.

“Yeah. Well, no. Actually when you put it like that all I have done is grow taller.” Dawson grins and checking his rear mirror, merges lanes.

Joey's eyes lose their light-heartedness and she voices quietly. “We may have doubted ourselves but I don't think we ever doubted the ability of each other.”

Dawson turned his head and their eyes meet. “You're right, Jo. I have never doubted what you would achieve.”

The moment is broken with Joey's glance at her watch. “Oh, Pacey should be at work by now.”

She reaches into her black bag finding her phone and deftly presses a number of buttons. The phone is pressed firmly against her ear and she folds her arms across her chest. “Hello, It's Josephine Potter here. I was just wondering if Pacey Witter was available, please.”

At the word 'Josephine', Dawson looks at Joey with his eyebrows raised. She rolls her eyes and turns, half-looking out the passenger window.

“Hi, Pace. It's me. Listen, you can stop worrying.” There is a pause. “Oh, you were too. The flight was uneventful except I think I deafened the man next to me with my snoring.” Joey giggles at the comment being made from the other end of the line. She opens her mouth to say something but her eyes dart to Dawson who appears to be concentrating very hard on the traffic in front of them. “We landed safely and on time, too. Can you believe that? Another pause. “Yes, Dawson picked me up.” Joey turns to Dawson. “Pacey says hi.”

Dawson's face relaxes briefly into a smile. “Hi, Pacey.”

“He says hi. Pace, you wouldn't believe the traffic. It took…what? Oh, ok. No, take it. I'll call you later. You, too. Bye.” Joey flips her cell phone closed and holds it still in her hands.

“Everything all right?” Dawson queries.

Joey nods, her eyes are warm as she looks over at Dawson. “Just another call he had to take. Nothing important" She pauses. "So, is your old bedroom set easily accessible or do I need a ladder to check it out?” Their shared laughter fills the car.


Ice House (Small office to the side of the kitchen)

Wearing dark pants and a white shirt with the neck unbuttoned, Pacey sits down and presses the line 2 button on the phone on his desk. He quickly lifts the receiver. “Hello. Pacey Witter speaking.”

He visibly relaxes as he recognizes the voice on the other end of the line and leans back in his chair running his free hand through his hair. “Danny. Danny Brecher. How are you, man?” Pacey gives a short chuckle. “Why does that not surprise me?”

He leans forward putting a piece of paper on the top of an untidily stacked in-tray. “Yes, you have heard correctly. I am back in Capeside and back in the restaurant business. Life couldn't be sweeter.” The expression in Pacey´s eyes belies his words and his voice holds a hint of sarcasm. “Well, I'm still open to all offers. You taught me that too, if I recall.”

“Wait. You're serious? In New Orleans? Yeah, I've been there. Great city. I have, um, let's say interesting memories of the place.” Pacey sits up straighter in his chair and his hand reaches for a pen which he spins between his fingers.

“Owning the Icehouse in a two-horse town as opposed to running a restaurant in a city like New Orleans? I'd be a fool to turn you down. It sounds a great opportunity Danny. I am honestly flattered that you thought to call.” A pause. “Definitely. Thanks man. I'll be in touch.” He replaces the receiver slowly with a broad smile, which soon fades as his eyes stray to a photo of a smiling Joey.

“The girlfriend doesn't know, does she?” Pacey´s thoughts are interrupted as he sees Maddie lounging in the doorway. He gets up quickly and steps past her into the kitchen.

“Doesn't know what, Maddie?” His voice is tired as he picks up a tray of glasses and walks to the bar.

“Don't be coy, Pacey. I can think of a couple of things. Our little affair a few months back. How hard you have to work here in between trips up to her New York love nest.”

“Look. I don't know what you are doing. Please just go. I have a lot of things to try and sort out this afternoon.”

Maddie laughs. “These 'things' wouldn't involve yet more trouble with the water pressure would they? Or perhaps Matt is late for work again? Maybe, just maybe, you haven't heard back about that application for more outdoor dining spots on the street.”

Pacey shoots his head up quickly from under the bar bench where he's been quietly stacking glasses. “How would you know about all of that?”

“Oh, my darling Pacey. You are so naive.” Maddie gives another harsh laugh. “My husband wasn't very pleased with our little indiscretion and he has enough anger and friends in this town to make life just a teensy,” she holds her fingers close together, “bit tough for you right now. Just consider this a friendly warning.” Maddie smiles and turns to leave. “Bye Pacey. You have a great day.”

Pacey stands very still, his face taut as he watches her go.


Dawson's house in L.A.

As they exit the brawl of the city, Joey is surprised to find out that Dawson actually lives outside of it all.

"I thought you lived near the studio?" she asks to him.

"Yeah, that was until a few months ago. I needed to break off from it. Being so close made it too easy for me to go there every now and then even if I didn't need to, just to check on things. Too much stress. Plus, it is harder for journalists to get here."

Joey shoots a glance to him as he sounds totally serious. She starts to wonder if something is wrong. She's about to ask when he speaks again.

"Well, here we are," he says, smiling proudly at her. She smiles back, still a little pensive.

Dawson turns the car in the curve and enters a private property. After driving through a little forest they make it to a colonial style house by a pond. Joey's eyes go wide in delight.

"Dawson, this is... beautiful!"

"Thanks," he replies, satisfied with her reaction. It had been more or less his very own when he saw the place for the first time. Dawson parks in front of the house and they both exit the car. He grabs Joey's bag and leads her inside. "So welcome to my humble home, Joey Potter."

She throws him an "as if" look. Dawson laughs and she smiles in response as they enter the house.

"Okay, let's take this to your room".

She follows him as she gazes here and there, not missing a detail of the surroundings. "This looks really great, Dawson. Don't tell me you've added decorating to your list of talents, please. Too much perfection can't be good."

Dawson laughs. "Nah. A friend helped with some ideas and then I just hired a decorator."

And with that he opens the door of a room at the end of the corridor. Joey is once again amazed and totally taken back by the beauty of it.

Decorated in a colonial style, the queen size bed is in the middle of the room, a three steps stair leading up to it. A curtain of muslin falls over it. The night stand is made of wood that matches the closet and the desk. The shelves on the wall are full of books and there is a beautiful imitation of a Rembrandt hanging on a wall. The views of the window are of the pond that is by the house.

When she says nothing, Dawson speaks, looking at her amused. "I take it you like it?"

"Wow."

Dawson laughs, leaving her bag over the bed. "Make yourself comfortable," he says. "The bathroom is here," he walks to a door Joey hasn't even noticed and opens it, leaving it for her to inspect.

"Ok so... see you in a while," he says before walking to the door.

"Dawson," Joey calls him and he turns around, looking at her with curiosity.

"Yes?"

"Is this room always like this? I mean, the bed and all..."

Dawson smiles, shrugging his shoulders. "Well, I made some changes around when I knew you were coming. The valance definitely one of them," he laughs and thinks about it before speaking again "Remember how you used to say when we were younger you would have liked to be a princess in a castle?"

"Oh God, when was that? Only you would remember it," Joey tilts her head to a side and smiles, looking at him "I think it was before my mother died and I became a total grumpy bitch, wasn't it?"

"I'll reserve myself the right to answer in the presence of my lawyer."

They both laugh and he's about to leave again when Joey once more stops him.

"Dawson?"

Once again, he turns to her. "Yes?"

"Thank you," she says softly.

Dawson smiles at her warmly. "You're welcome."

He closes the door with no noise and Joey is left there, in the middle of the room. Her hands on her hips, she turns around and takes in everything. A kind of nostalgic smile, sad but sweet at the same time appears across her face.


Interior office of Capeside Police Station

Doug is sitting at a desk typing on a computer. He reaches into the cardboard box next to him and lifts out a large slice of pizza. “Sweet of you Jack. Really. Very sweet.”

Jack straightens from where he has been leaning over the office counter. He too is eating pizza. “Sweet had nothing to do with it. I thought bringing you dinner may just hurry you up. The movie starts in less than an hour.”

“So Grams is fine to look after Amy tonight?”

Jack is slower to respond as he finishes a mouthful. “Yeah, she's thrilled. How did we ever find time to spend together when she was still in New York?”

“There's nothing like a live-in grandmother who willingly doubles as a baby-sitter.” Doug grins. “How has she been today anyway?”

“Grams? Okay. She had to rest this afternoon but apart from that she's been her old self. She's talking about getting involved with the church's craft group.”

Doug frowns thoughtfully as he takes another slice of pizza. “We're going to have to make sure she doesn't over do it. I mean she's not cured, she's in remission. I'd hate for her to spend more time having treatment in New York. She has to go there enough for the check-ups.”

“I don't like our chances of making Grams do anything,” Jack laughs. “I'm just thrilled she's come this far. I thought that Jen's death,” Jack's voice breaks, “would be the final straw. But it seems to have given her the strength to go on for Amy.”

Then the front door of the station swings open and Pacey walks in. There is a dejected slump to his shoulders. “Hey Jackers.”

Jack looks up. “Hi Pacey. Everything all right, man?”

“Dougie here?”

Doug stands up from where he's been sitting and walks over to the interior side of the counter. “What is it Pacey? Missing Joey already?” Doug's teasing smile fades as he notes the expression on Pacey´s face.

“The short version is I've been offered a job running a restaurant in New Orleans with our mutual friend Danny Brecher. Right now, considering all the problems at the Icehouse, I can't wait to get on a plane and get as far from Capeside as possible. Oh, and those little problems I've been having at the Icehouse? Let's just say Maddie's husband doesn't care too much for me and is enjoying making my life hell.”

Doug looks quickly at Jack who is silent and absorbed in his pizza. “Well, what does Joey think about all this?”

“Ah, big brother. That's where things get really messy. She thinks life is pretty wonderful right now with me traveling up to New York during any spare minute. It would be hard convincing her to move to New Orleans. I mean, she might. It's just that this is the best offer I've had in a while and I don't know if I should take it.”

Doug interjects. “Surely she would understand that you want to take this opportunity when you think about all the trouble you've been having at the Icehouse. Pacey?”

Pacey pauses. “Um, I haven't wanted to worry her with all that and considering that I've just learned who's behind all of it, I certainly won't be jumping on the phone with the latest update.”

Doug shakes his head angrily. “Pacey, you're a fool. You've only been with her a few months and already you're keeping stuff from her! I told you ages ago you and her will never work. Stop chasing the impossible and grow up!”

Jack reaches out and lays a hand on Doug's arm. “Hey. Go easy.”

Doug looks at his watch. “I'm just going to check on Amy. Jack and I are running late.”

Doug turns and walks back to his desk and picks up the phone. Jack smiles sympathetically at Pacey. “I'm sorry Pacey. I'm sure he didn't mean all that.”

Pacey glares over the counter towards Doug desk. “Listen, Jack. You don't have to make apologies for him. Knowing my brother I'm pretty sure that he meant every word.”

Jack's eyes meet and hold Pacey´s. “He was right about one thing. You should tell Joey. Tell her everything.”


Corridor in the studio where 'The Creek' is being filmed

Dawson is slightly ahead of Joey as they walk down the hall. As they walk past a set of office windows along the passageway, various people nod and smile at Dawson and at one point a door opens and a stack of papers is thrust into his hand.

A short woman with cropped black hair is seen beckoning at Dawson wildly form one of the offices off the corridor. Dawson stops and rests an arm against the open door. “Yes Tina?”

“Dawson, I really think you need to reconsider the whole sex issue. There are so many possibilities if we take that path. I really think it could be just the thing we need to add some extra spice to the show.”

Dawson puts his hands up quickly. “Tina…”

Joey leans forward, slightly on tiptoe, over Dawson's shoulder. There is a mischievous glint in her eye. “How about something with Crisco? Is that the kind of spicy we're talking about?”

Tina nods uncertainly. “Well, that's an idea. I'm not sure how it would get past the censors but it's - “

Dawson quickly interrupts. “I will definitely meet with you and hopefully clear this up for the last time. Is 3:30 tomorrow okay?”

“3:30's fine.” Tina's interest returns to the computer screen in front of her.

“Oh, and Tina…” Tina's head lifts at the sound of Dawson's voice. “This is a very old friend of mine, Josephine Potter.”

Joey waves briefly. “Hi.”

They both turn away from the office and as they walk towards a large double set of doors at the end of the passageway, Dawson laughs poking Joey in the ribs. “Jo, you're so bad.”

“What? Don't tell me you've figured out the whole Crisco thing at last?” Joey asks in mock surprise.

Dawson grins. “I had forgotten how valuable your input is on a project.”

“Listen, Dawson,” Joey retorts as he pushes open one of the large doors. “You couldn't afford me as your producer nowadays.”

Dawson laughs and moves past a collection of cameras and prompt screens towards a canvas chair marked 'Director.' “No, I'm sure I couldn't.”

Dawson sits down. “Here. Have a seat, Jo.” He pulls another chair close to his and begins flipping through the papers now in his lap.

Joey continues to stand and look around. Her eyes are bright taking in the sights and sound of The Creek's set. “You know, Dawson, I never get tired of seeing you surrounded by all of this. Each time everything seems to be bigger and even more amazing.” She sits down and continues, “So, what's with all this sex talk? Spielberg would be appalled.”

“I know, I know.” Dawson shakes his head. “There is such a perception that teen drama is all about sex. I'm trying to show that it goes so much deeper than that. It's all about the sweaty palms, the romance, the wanting.”

Their eyes meet and they smile at each other, but after a moment Joey looks away, focusing her attention back on the set as she looks around in wonder. Seems like every time she visits one of his sets it's just bigger and better than the last time.


Capeside, Jack's living room

Pictures of Grams, Jack, Doug, Amy and Jen are everywhere, on top of tables and on the mantel behind the couch, where Grams is sleeping with the television on. She snores lightly and has a half smile on her face, dreaming of happy times from the past or possibly the future. Dressed in her apron, her arms are sprawled out on the couch, as if she passed out there from exhaustion. The sound of a phone breaks the silence and she stirs slightly after the first ring. After two more rings though she is roused from her sleep and gently reaches over for the phone.

"Hello?" she says sleepily, rubbing her eyes and brushing down her apron.

"Is this Mrs. Ryan?" the voice says.

"Yes, may I help you?" she says, a bit more awake now.

"Mrs. Ryan, my name is Grace Brown, I'm a social worker with the city -" the woman starts, with a matter-of-fact tone to her voice.

"Ms. Brown, what can I do for you?" Grams interrupts, slightly annoyed. This isn't the first phone call she's had like this.

"Mrs. Ryan, I was calling about your great-granddaughter Amy Lindley-" Grace says

"Ms. Brown, Amy is fine thank you. She's doing well and is very much loved and cared for," Grams says with a tone in her voice, stiffening a bit in her posture on the couch.

"Mrs. Ryan, I'm sure she is but I wanted to ask you a few more questions about Amy's care," Grace starts again, a bit flustered with Grams' tone.

"Ms. Brown I appreciate you calling but Amy is fine. She is more than properly cared for and couldn't be happier, despite the tragic loss of her mother, Jennifer. So, please let me get back to my pie in the oven and leave this and us alone. Please. Thank you and good-bye," Grams says with a matter-of-fact tone, hanging up after her final word. For a moment she sits on the couch, taking deep breaths, looking over to one picture of Jack, Doug and Amy, which was taken recently.

"Well, that is that," she says, rubbing her hands together and heading into the kitchen to check on her pie.

'I'm so sick of these people, these social workers calling and bothering us,' she thinks, getting lost in her thoughts. 'I know they mean well and have to check up on Amy because Jennifer is gone and Amy's father is not in the picture, but they've been calling routinely now for a few weeks. Is it all really just routine? I should say something to Jack and Doug because they are her parents and have a right to know, but I don't want to bother them. Jack is still upset about losing Jen and with his job, Doug, his family and now a new daughter, I just don't want to make him worry about anything. It has to be nothing right?'

Still lost in her thoughts, the sound of the alarm goes off and she jumps for a minute before taking a deep breath and removing the fresh pie from the oven, pushing thoughts of the phone call out of her head. Although just then, the phone rings again.


Capeside Police Department

Jack is sitting in Doug's office on a chair with Pacey sitting opposite him. There is an uncomfortable silence between them, mirroring the scene with Doug earlier. The silence is broken when Doug comes back in from phoning to check on Amy. Pacey and Doug are hesitant to say anything to one another, while Jack feels a little caught in the middle.

"Look, Pacey, I'm sorry about what I said earlier," Doug finally says, standing akimbo in front of Pacey who rises so they are face to face.

"Dougie, it's fine. I came to you for advice and you gave it to me," Pacey says glumly.

"Pacey, you wanted my advice and after thinking about it a bit more, here is what I can really offer. Forget about what I said before," Doug says, leaning his hands on Pacey's shoulders. "You have to be honest with Joey and tell her the truth."

"The truth? What truth should I start with? The part about Maddie's husband running me out of business or the truth about how this amazing job offer has come up and I want to take it and take her with me?" Pacey says, exasperated.

"Everything you told us tonight," Doug says, squeezing his shoulders.

"Tell her everything?" Pacey asks.

"Yes, because if you start keeping things from her and you're dishonest, it'll just get worse as time goes on. After awhile, everything will catch up with you and you'll wish you were honest from the start," Doug says matter-of-factly.

"Pacey, you want things to be different with you and Jo this time around right?" Doug asks, rolling his eyes slightly.

"Yes," Pacey sighs.

"Then be honest and up front with her on everything. Include her in your life. Your problems are her problems because you're a team. Don't leave her out and push her away. If you're honest, you're relationship can only get stronger," Doug says, watching Pacey´s face slowly turn into a smug smile.

"Well, well my big brother, Dougie, dispensing useful relationship advice. Anything else to share, Dr. Phil?" Pacey laughs, giving Doug a tight hug.

"I'm serious, Pacey. If you start keeping things from Joey, you always will keep things from her. If she loves you and wants to be with you, you guys will get through this together. You just have to open up to her," Doug says, looking Pacey right in the eyes.

Pacey diverts his stare to the floor. "I really want to believe you Doug -" Pacey starts.

"Trust me here, Pacey. I've rarely misled you on relationship advice before. Now go home and call Joey and talk to her and tell her what's going on," Doug interrupts, walking over to open his office door.

Pacey takes a deep breath, still unsure about what he should do. "Okay I'm going. Thanks Doug, Jack. Have a good night," he says, walking slowly out the door with Doug shutting it firmly behind him. Lost in his thoughts, Pacey turns around to head back to Doug but sees the door shut and sighs, walking out to his car.


Inside a L.A restaurant

The restaurant is a fancy one. Candles and little light bulbs are everywhere. Their table is almost in the center, to their right a dance floor where some couples dance languidly. Music is being played by a string quartet. The place is quiet and calm. It invites deep and intimate conversations.

"I know I sounded excited over the phone, and I was but... I don't know, Joey. It's just that my Spielberg days are so far gone," Dawson tells Joey, who is sitting in front of him across the round table. "I have fond memories of the movies I watched of his when we were younger, and I still think some of them are very good, but I don't know. It's more like a childhood dream, and I'm not sure it's good for me to chase it."

"Oh come on, Dawson! That's exactly the point!" Joey argues back at him excitedly. "How many people can say that they have been able to make their childhood dreams come true? But now you can!" She waits for his answer but he just looks at her. She sighs. "Plus, you told me you were really stressed with the show. Maybe you need a break, to take a step back, and then come back with renewed energy.”

She sees the doubtful look on Dawson's face and now it's him who sighs, playing with his fork. "I think it's great you're being offered this chance" she says quieter now. "Childhood dreams are so hard to realize. You grow older and more cynical and suddenly one day you realize they're not there anymore".

(“There you'll be” by Faith Hill starts playing in the background)

When I think back
On these times
And the dreams
We left behind

The light bitterness in her tone makes him look up at her. "Seems like you're talking from your own experiences. Aren't you happy? Don't you have now everything you had always dreamed of?"

I'll be glad 'cause
I was blessed to get
To have you in my life

Joey bites her lip and smiles at him with her typical half smile. "Yeah, well... I'm just saying what's sad is when you stop dreaming.”

When I look back
On these days
I'll look and see your face
You were right there for me

"And tell me Joey Potter," Dawson says as he leans forward, closer to her, really intrigued now. He thought she was absolutely happy with the life she was having nowadays, but it seems like maybe she's not. He thinks her talking about her problems might help. "What did you use to dream?"

In my dreams
I'll always see your soul
Above the sky

She laughs as she sips of her drink and rolls her eyes, half smiling once again. "You were my only dream," she says.

In my heart
There always be a place
For you for all my life

"Nah, that's not true." She looks at him, surprised as he leans back in his chair. "Can't you remember what you told me at the beauty pageant? How you wanted to go to Africa, or the jungle, or wherever? You wanted to do exciting things. You wanted to change the world."

"And so did you with your Beatles songs."

I'll keep a part
Of you with me
And everywhere I am
There you'll be

Dawson laughs. "Yeah, that's true." He takes a sip of his drink. "And look at me now. I love my job, but it's not exactly what I've always dreamt of."

Well you showed me
How it feels
To feel the sky
Within my reach

"Keep on dreaming, Dawson. Don't ever stop doing that. And what's more important, you make people dream with your job. That is priceless." She pauses. "But if you feel like something is missing... maybe you should try something new. And maybe this offer is what you were waiting for."

And I always
Will remember all
The strength you
Gave to me

He is pondering her words and is about to say something when someone approaches their table.

"Mr. Leery?"

They both look up at the stranger. Joey's a little surprised, although she is starting to realize what Dawson's life in L.A is like and to understand what he had said in the car as they got closer to his house. Dawson is not surprised at all that someone has approached their table and interrupted their meal, so he just smiles at the girl in front of him.

"Yes, that's me," he says politely.

"Hi, my name is Kristen. I'm sorry to interrupt like this, but I just wanted to congratulate you for your show. It's such a sweet and touching love history. Sam and Colby make me want to find my other half out there and share everything with him. I know that sounds dumb but... I don't know how to explain it..."

The girl starts to blush, knowing that she is not making a great impression.

"Thank you, that's sweet of you" Dawson tells her gently "I really appreciate your opinion.”

"Thanks," she smiles at him "Well, that's all. Sorry for interrupting."

"No problem."

"And just... just don't break them up, okay? Give us a reason to believe that love can overcome all obstacles. I know Sammy can be quite a... difficult person sometimes." Dawson can't help but notice Joey shifting in her seat and he tries to suppress his smile. "But Colby definitely brings out the best part of her. And she helps him chase his dreams. That's what makes them so special. Well... good night."

She blushes once again and leaves. Dawson and Joey just look at each other and smile.

Your love made me
Make it through
Oh, I owe so much to you
You were right there for me

"So, I can be quite a difficult person sometimes, huh?" she glares at him jokingly.

"God knows you are," Dawson says laughing. Joey glares at him and suppresses a smile with no success, so she ends up grinning openly at him and laughing. 'Cause I always saw in you
My light, my strength

"A toast, Dawson says all of a sudden, raising his glass. Joey quickly follows suit.

"Because dreams do come true," he smiles.

"Because we have friends that help us chase them," she replies.

And I want to thank you
Now for all the ways
You were right there for me

They sip of their wine and then smile at each other, looking at each other's eyes.

You were right there for me
For always


Jack and Doug walking down a street.

The street is silent and quiet, only a few people passing them by every now and then. Doug is walking with his hands in his pockets while Jack kicks distractedly at some little stones.

"I wonder if Pacey took your advice and told Joey what's going on?" Jack asks, sending one of the rocks to Doug's feet.

"I hope he did, but I have this nagging feeling that he didn't or something came up to prevent him from telling her everything," Doug says with a sigh, joining Jack in the game, and kicking the rock back to him.

"Do you think he'll ever tell her?" Jack asks, dropping the game after a while and walking closer to Doug.

"I hope so, especially if he really wants to have an open and honest relationship with her. He has to trust her with the good and the bad and believe her when she says she's with him," Doug says, rubbing his forehead.

"Aren't you glad we're not part of the teenage melodramatic crap anymore?" Jack asks with a smile, rubbing Doug's broad shoulder from behind him.

"More than you know," Doug laughs, looking over at him lovingly.

"Promise me you'll always be honest with me about everything," Jacks says with a serious look on his face, walking around to face Doug.

"I'll always be open and honest with you if you are with me," Doug says with a half smile as they resume walking.

"Good. Because we're a family now - you, me and Amy. Families have to stick together," Jack says.

"I have no plans on leaving you or Amy. You mean too much to me," Doug says, reaching out to hold his hand.

Jack smiles at him and they kiss as they reach their destination.


Kitchen at Dawson's house

Dawson reaches up and opens a kitchen cupboard, pulling out a tall glass. “How about something to drink, Jo?”

Joey is sitting at the breakfast bar, chin in hands and laughs. “No, thanks. I honestly don't know how you can fit another thing in that stomach of yours! Do you normally eat so well?”

“Normally, no. If you were brave enough to open the fridge you would be confronted with a dubious looking block of cheese, a wilted head of lettuce and flat soda.” Dawson opens the refrigerator. “Well what do you know? There's juice and beer in here as well.” Dawson slowly pours himself a glass of juice.

“Dawson?”

“Yeah, Jo?”

“How can you stand it?”

“Stand what? The photographers camped near our table that trailed us here from the restaurant? Or the six people that interrupted our meal just so I could sign their napkins? Or was it the nice and oh-so-accurate little article in the paper on my humble beginnings?”

“Well, all of it.”

“Jo, I hate it. I know that sounds selfish and pretentious. After all, career wise I'm pretty close to where I've always wanted to be. I know I should be grateful for where I am, but still.”

Joey smiles in understanding and adjusts her position on the barstool. “Doesn't necessarily mean that you have to love all that goes along with it.”

“I think the main thing that frustrates me is that I just don't get it.” Dawson walks to the breakfast bar and sits on a stool next to Joey.

“Don't get what exactly?”

Dawson pauses as he takes a long mouthful of juice. “Why anyone would find me or what I do remotely interesting enough to leave a good meal and come and talk to me. I mean, it's ludicrous. I just never thought someone as terribly dull and boring as me would ever attract attention.”

Joey arches an eyebrow and rests her head on the breakfast bar, her long arm cushioning her neck. "Come on now Dawson, you know that's not true. You were never dull, just boring" Dawson glares at her pretending to be offended and she laughs. "Let's not forget that this isn't quite your first brush with fame anyway."

“Why do I get the feeling from just looking at you that you're going to bring up a moment that I've long since buried?” Dawson gives a mock grimace.

Joey smirks a little. “Well now that you mention it, I was thinking of all the attention you got from your fantastic and very public performance with Eve.”

“Now see, that is not fair. That wasn't me. It was someone else in my body, a moment of madness.” Dawson shakes his head as he drains the last of his juice.

“Speaking of Eve”, Joey says. “Which of the characters is potentially involved in the spicy sex scene you're trying to veto?” She lifts her head, eyeing Dawson expectantly.

“Mmm, I don't know if I can say Jo. I don't leak spoilers.”

Joey pouts. “What, even ones that have no chance of happening?”

“All right. When I see that look I'm defeated. It's Sammy and Colby. Some of the writers and network heads think that it should be a natural progression and could pull in big ratings.”

Joey laughs. “Oh boy, it never really was a natural progression though, was it? In real life I mean.” She eyes Dawson with a gleam in her eye bordering on flirtatious.

Dawson chooses not to be goaded. “As I told you earlier, it's just not what I want the show to be about.” He stops for a moment and then turns with a grin to Joey. “That girl though, that harassed us at dinner. She would probably love Sammy and Colby to…you know.” Dawson wiggles his eyebrows at Joey.

“I'm sure that a healthy proportion of your fans would love to see them take it to the next level. Hey, sex sells books, too.”

“And speaking of books, are you prepared for the festival tomorrow?” Dawson queries.

Joey nods. “I'm really here to look at potential new talent, note current trends in genre and meet with a couple of our writers who are based in California. It will be a nice change from being stuck behind a desk.”

They both are quiet, absorbed in their own thoughts. It is evident that they are comfortable with the silence. Joey is the first to speak. She shakes her head slowly in wonder. “Who would have known our very brief love story could be so interesting to people?”

Dawson's eyes smile back at her. “And people don't even know the half of it.”

There is another silence but now the air is heavy with the import of his words. The phone in Joey's bag starts ringing, abruptly shattering the awkwardness.


Pacey´s boat, Capeside

Pacey is laying the length of his bunk. He's still in his work clothes and has removed his shoes so his feet in socks hang over the edge of the armrest. He has his phone in his right hand and is holding it to his ear. As he waits for the other person on the line to pick up he chews his left thumbnail.

“Jo! I'm glad I caught you. Have you had dinner?”

There is a long pause and Pacey looks absently at the wall. “Really? It might be a good dish to try at the Icehouse. Did they serve it with capers? Oh, you're still with Dawson.”

Pacey´s gaze focuses on the digital clock on his DVD recorder. “Does Dawson remember?”

The curtness of Pacey´s tone increases. “Well, it matters to me, Jo. That kind of information is really relevant to my bread and butter, no pun intended.”

Another pause. “No, I'm sorry. I've just had a really long day.”

“Yeah, work was okay. I'm sorry I had to cut you off before. I had another phone call.”

“Funny you should ask. It was Danny Brecher. Yeah. You remember him?”

“That's right, Civilization.”

“Does seem like a lifetime ago, doesn't it?”

“He's fine. In New Orleans of all places. Great town, New Orleans.”

“What did he want? He was just making contact. He did have um, ah…” Pacey resumes chewing his nail. “Well, a couple of suggestions.”

“Nah, nothing important. You know, menu ideas, roster issues.”

“Oh he did mention... never mind. I should really let you go. It's getting late here. Good luck tomorrow. I miss you.”

“Love you, too.”

“Bye.”

Pacey slowly puts down the cordless phone and then suddenly punches his pillow with his fist.


Grams, Jack and Doug in Capeside

Grams watches as Doug and Jack flirt lovingly with each other and sighs. She feels old and tired, but she knows she has to tell Jack. Better now that Doug is here than when he is not. Jack might need him.

"Grams, why so serious?"

She's not surprised Jack has noticed. He seems to be in a perpetual state of taking care of her whenever he's at home, noticing every little change of mood or health that she goes through. He worries too much.

Grams pats the spot near her in the sofa and Jack sits down there, even though his first intention was to go upstairs and check on Amy. Doug also realizes something is about to happen and sits in the armchair next to the sofa.

"There's something I need to tell you, Jackers."

Despite her solemn tone Jack can't help but smile. Since Jen died, Grams has adopted that nickname for him and uses it from time to time, making him feel warm and fuzzy inside.

"It's about... some phone calls that I've been receiving."

"Phone calls? From who? About what?" Jack asks surprised.

"Social workers. Asking about Amy, about you... I thought at first that they were just routine calls, so I said nothing. But in the last week, they have become quite frequent and I´m afraid something might be going on."

Jacks face goes pale and Doug stands up, resting a hand in his shoulder. "W--what do you mean something might be going on?" he asks, worry written all over his face.

"Grams," Doug interjects. "What exactly do they ask when they call?"

"Well, they ask me if Jack is at home, where is Amy at that moment, if she has been ill, if Jack and her are still living here, if Jack is moving out of here at some point and leaving the baby with me. The greatest parts of the questions seem to be centered on Jack."

A heavy silence fills the room, the implications of it all clear.

"This is all because I'm gay, isn't it?" Jack asks the obvious, resentful.

"This was bound to happen, Jack," Doug tells him. "I'm just surprised it didn't happen sooner."

Jack looks at him, upset. "What do you mean this was bound to happen? Is it that I'm not a good father to her??"

"Oh come on dear, you know he didn't mean that," Grams intercedes on Doug's behalf. But Doug stays calm, not holding against Jack what he just said.

"I'm saying that we're still in a small town with some small minds, and that there is a lot of people out there who just won't support gays parents raising a baby."

"And is that why you haven't wanted to move in with me just yet? You were waiting for all of this to happen and you didn't want it to cloud your brilliant reputation as a cop?"

Now Doug is slightly upset. "That's not the reason and you know it. We've talked about this a thousand times."

"Whatever. I need to make a phone call."

With that Jack exits the room and Grams and Doug just look at each other.


Pacey´s boat

Pacey sits on his hammock, staring blankly at the television screen, not really paying attention to what is happening on the screen. He needs to think and swaying in the hammock has always helped him produce the answers to problems, big or small.

'This is a really big opportunity,' he says to himself, fidgeting with something in his hands. 'I could get away from Capeside and the whole New England area. I could start over and have fresh start with Joey.'

He smiles to himself, picturing them together in New Orleans. His smile widens at the daydream of them together in an apartment, acting like a happy couple madly in love with one another.

'We could start over, no one would know us or know where we came from. No one would know about our dysfunctional families. We could get new friends, build a completely new life together. No pasts lingering over our shoulders, past mistakes and regrets holding us back. Joey could find a job down there in publishing or work at the restaurant with me. We could get married, start a family and have it be a family-run business eventually. I could buy it from Danny eventually and run it with Joey.'

His smile slows a bit and he has a bittersweet look on his face. 'But we would leave everything here. No families close by to lend advice or moral support. I would see Doug, Jack, Amy and everyone at holidays and occasional vacations. Joey's close to her family so that might be hard for her to just up and leave them here and move with me to New Orleans. Everything would change with this job. I wouldn't be Pacey Witter, black sheep of the proud Witter family. I wouldn't be the old town joke, the guy that slept with his high school English teacher and barely graduated high school. I could see what life is like away from here, away from the only place I've ever known. Joey's in New York, Dawson is out in LA and I'm still stuck here. Maybe this is my time, my time to really break out and do something on my own, stop being a townie and take a chance. This job could be very good for all of us.'

Sighing, he lies down and folds his arms behind his head. 'Now… how exactly do I tell Joey?'


Dawson's bedroom

Dawson lies on his bed, his back resting against the headboard, his laptop over his legs. He is typing when Joey appears in the door frame, dressed in her pajamas. Dawson looks over at her.

"Hey," he says.

"Hey," she says back as she approaches the bed and sits at his side. "What are you doing?" she asks, peeking at the screen.

Dawson sighs. "Nothing really. Just trying to write. But it's not happening right now."

Joey nods her head and leans on the headboard, tucking her hair behind her ear. "I couldn't sleep," she says, simply.

Dawson laughs. "I see."

Joey smiles at him and rolls her eyes. Her gaze rests now on the home theater system Dawson has in front of his bed. "Wow!" she says, admiring it. "Can you imagine what we could have done with this in your room?"

Dawson laughs as she stands up and walks to the DVD player, grabbing the remote and flipping through his DVD collection. She smiles as she picks up a DVD and shows it to him, an eyebrow raised. It's Indiana Jones IV. Dawson laughs and shrugs his shoulders. Joey laughs too, looks at the DVD in her hand and then back to Dawson. “I'm game if you are.”

“Do you even have to ask?” he jokes, laying his laptop on the floor.

“Silly me.” A giggle escapes her lips. After inserting the DVD, she grabs the remote and joins him. They lie on the bed, both watching the beginning of the movie intently. Without conferring they have assumed the familiar positions of Joey being on Dawson's right.

The light flickering from the large plasma screen at the end of the bed is the only observable movement in the room except for Joey occasionally tucking a stray piece of hair behind her ear.

“Who would have thought that there would be a 16-year gap between Indiana Jones III and Indiana Jones IV?” Joey murmurs thoughtfully from her prone position on the bed.

Lying on his stomach beside her, Dawson turns his head. “Joey, I am duly impressed. Yes, Steven made number three in 1989 and the relatively youthful classic we are currently watching was released in 2005.”

“I don't know why you are surprised, Dawson. Part of the job description for being your friend was to watch Spielberg and know almost as much about him as you did.”

“Yes, well, you retained that kind of information a lot better than Pacey ever did.”

“Be nice,” Joey retorts kicking Dawson's foot with her own.

“I am being nice. How is everything back home?”

"Okay, I think. He said he'd just had a busy day but I suspect something else may have happened. You know Pacey. Sometimes is hard for him to be completelly honest when something is bothering him and he takes his time. He eventually does though" she frowns her eyebrows "I think".

Dawson looks at her but says nothing. Then he chuckles softly.

“What?” Joey asks, looking at him.

“Well, it's just that…” He eases up into a sitting position and leans his back against the headboard. “I keep thinking I should be experiencing some weird form of deja vu but there's nothing. I mean, movie night was a complex ritual that you and I performed for years and well, tonight it feels ridiculously simple.”

Joey grins and moves up the bed to sit next to Dawson. “I did wonder at the lack of a diatribe against the values of your peer group and I have yet to hear you search for hidden subtext in the movie.”

Dawson smiles back at Joey. “And I, too, note a distinct lack of double edged snark and hefty doses of bleak realism.”

“Ten years later, we finally emerge from under the fallout that the arrival of our hormones created,” Joey says, shaking her head in wonder.

Dawson studies the remote control for a moment and then turns to Joey. “We are doing better than Spielberg. He took 16 years to rediscover Indiana.”

“Subtext!' Joey warns in mock anger.

With a quiet laugh Dawson stretches one arm behind his head. “Seriously, Jo, I am so glad that we aren't 15 anymore. I feel privileged to know my best friend Joey Potter, editor extraordinaire, at 25.”

“You know, Dawson,” says Joey reaching for his hand. “At long last I think we might be getting this right.”

"It's about time," he says, smiling at her.


Jack and Doug in Amy's room.

Jack enters the room. It's a small one, the walls are painted in a soft pink color and there are stuffed animals everywhere. A couple of posters with Walt Disney characters hang in the walls. It's a room obviously decorated with love.

There is also a huge pic in a frame of Jen and Amy that had been taken at Gale's wedding. Jen was holding Amy in her arms, telling something to her that was making the little girl laugh and squeal while looking at her mother adoringly.

Doug enters the room carrying a giant Winnie-the-Pooh that he places in the corner, next to the window.

"Is Grams feeling better?" he asks to Jack, who is standing by the bed where Amy is sleeping.

Jack nods his head. "I told her not to feel bad, it's not her fault. She was just the messenger."

Soon they both are watching Amy, who sleeps peacefully in her tiny bed. Jack sits at the edge of the bed and brushes off the hair of her forehead. Blond, curly, and soft. Doug sits in a chair at front of the bed.

"And how was your call?"

"She told me to look for advice. To talk to a lawyer. See how far all this could go. Find out the possibilities."

"She's right," Doug says, a sad tone creeping in his voice.

"I know." The bitterness in Jack's voice is more than obvious. It pains Doug to see him like that, but he really doesn't know what he can do to make it better.

After a few moments of silence Jack speaks again, his eyes fixed in the form of the little girl lying in the bed.

"Look at her," he says, a knot forming in his throat. "So beautiful. So... pure. The mere thought of someone thinking about taking her away from me makes me feel sick to my stomach. She's the only thing left of an epoch that has been gone for years. Her mother and I used to be like thieves, always together, here and there. Then we started our own lives and lost contact for a long time. Then she came back to my life just to leave me again. But before doing that she gave me the greatest present ever: this little person. She loved me and trusted me enough to ask me to take care and raise her daughter." At this point his eyes look to the picture on the wall. "God knows I'm not gonna let anyone take her away from me. I'll do whatever is necessary. Whatever it takes."

The look on his face tells Doug that he's serious and that he will. It's been hardly more than a year since he and Jack have been together, but he knows him well enough to know that he always does what he says he'll do.

"For now the best thing you can do is get some sleep. You have classes tomorrow early in the morning, remember?" Doug says softly.

Jack turns to his boyfriend and smiles at him lovingly. Doug smiles back and rises from the chair as Jack kisses Amy's forehead. They walk hand in hand to the adjacent room, Jack's room.

"Could you stay for a while?" Jack asks, turning to Doug, his voice in a pleading tone as he gets rid of the jacket.

"Of course I can."

With that they throw off their shoes and crawl into bed. Jack rests his head on Doug's shoulder and they link hands.

"I just don't get it," Jack says, after a moment of silence.

"What don't you get?" Doug asks, looking at him, their faces only inches apart.

"Why people can't understand that love is only love. It doesn't matter where or who it comes from. It's always good".

They just look at each other and then Doug kisses him lightly on the lips.


Inside Dawson's room.

The light in the room is now dim as Dawson and Joey are lying in Dawson's bed. They've been talking for what seemed like hours and although the conversation slowed down long ago, Joey didn't feel like returning to her bed and Dawson never asked her to.

Facing each other, their legs folded and their knees almost touching, Joey's hands are near her face. Dawson's left arm is folded, his face resting on it. His other arm is lying over his hip.

"I don't want to go to the meeting tomorrow," Joey says in a complaining tone of voice, faking a sob.

Dawson laughs. "I'll go to your meeting if you go to the studio. You can defend Sammy's virtue."

"Ha ha. Funny."

Dawson laughs again and Joey smiles.

"Is really that bad?" she asks, causing Dawson to whimper, since he was almost asleep. She laughs softly. "Sorry."

"Is what really that bad?" he asks her, confused and fighting to keep his eyes open.

"The fights with the writers."

He laughs bitterly. "You have no idea. They want to ruin Sammy and Colby for the lamest reasons. They think a couple together on TV is not only boring but a detriment to the show.”

"But you won't let them, right? You won't let them ruin it. We were apart for the stupidest reasons in the real world. Don't let that happen in the show."

Now Joey's eyes are the ones closing. She is hardly aware of what she is saying.

"Our obstacles were always so... unnecessary. Promise me you won't let them do that.” She closes her eyes, finally falling asleep.

Dawson looks at her for a moment before replying. "I won't."


Pacey in Capeside.

It's early in the morning and as Pacey pours himself some coffee before heading to the bar, his eyes land on the phone again and again. After a sleepless night, he feels like crap and all he wants is some reaffirmation from Joey that everything is going to be okay. That she will move in with him to New Orleans. Why wouldn't she? She could start her own publishing firm there or something. He's sure once she knows the whole truth behind his decision and his need to move out of Capeside, she would understand and support him fully.

Yes, she would. She will.

Convinced, Pacey can't wait anymore, suddenly the urge to tell her everything too strong, and he picks up the phone and dials her number. He leans on the kitchen table, the phone in one hand, the coffee in the other.

"Hi, this is Josephine's Potter voicemail. Leave me a message with your phone number after the beep and I'll call you back. Thanks.”

Defeated, Pacey sighs and hangs up. He stares out of the window, the coffee getting cold in his hand.


Dawson's bedroom

Joey's cell phone is on the night stand, next to the lamp. She turned the phone off hours ago, not wanting any interruptions. It was movie night, after all. She sleeps just a few inches away from Dawson, her arm stretched out, her hand hanging over the edge of her side of the bed. They both are lying on their backs sleeping peacefully. Their breathing is gentle and regular. Soft sighs as they shift positions fill the room from time to time.

There's nothing that can touch them at this moment.

CREDITS


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