See You in Eternity
Disclaimer: I wish...
"What? No way!"
"Pacey, we are not naming our daughter after a flower,"
"You liked Rose,"
"Rose is pretty,"
"But Azalea's cool and original,"
"Out of the question,"
"What are you, kidding me?"
"No, you're impossible!"
"Gimme a break,"
"Fine. You suggest one."
"It's old and tired and totally not creative,"
"No, you're hopeless!"
"Wait a minute," Pacey said, a thoughtful expression on his face.
"Hope! It's perfect!"
"What are you talking about?"
"We should name our daughter Hope,"
Joey tilted her head and considered it. "I like that. Hope."
They stared down at their brand new baby girl, Hope.
"You take this name thing way too seriously, Jo,"
"She's our daughter, Pacey,"
"She's an egg!"
Their health teacher, Mrs. Maslow, walked up behind them. "The important thing is to think of that 'egg' as a real baby," she said gently. "Treat it as you would if it weren't an egg, but an infant."
"So, does that mean if I'm hungry I can't toss it into a pan and scramble it?" Pacey asked.
"Would you do that to a real baby?" Mrs. Maslow asked.
"Depends on whether or not it was bugging me,"
The class laughed. Joey glared at him, wondering for the ten millionth time how she always got stuck with him on projects.
Mrs. Maslow ignored his response. "Pacey and Josephine, what did you name your daughter?"
"Hope," Joey answered.
The teacher smiled politely. "That's fine. What were some other considerations?"
Pacey spoke up before Joey could reply. "Esmee, Azalea, Saffron, and Mitzi." Mrs Maslow raised her eyebrows questioningly.
"Those names were never considered," Joey argued. "Elizabeth and Rose were."
"No, Jo, those names were never considered," Pacey smiled. "Admit it. You liked Mitzi."
Joey rolled her eyes.
Mrs. Maslow moved on to Jen and Dawson, who were sitting behind their friends. "Jennifer and Dawson, what did you two name your son?"
"Ryan William," Dawson answered proudly, smiling at Jen.
"That's a wonderful name," the teacher commented. "I can see you two are working quite well together." She glanced disapprovingly at Pacey and Joey over her shoulder.
Jen caught Joey's eye and shrugged hopelessly. Joey shook her head, as if to say "It's not your fault."
Mrs. Maslow continued around the room, checking with each "couple". When she finished, she walked back to the front of the room. "I know you all think that having children is fun and games, but it's serious work. You'll keep these children for two weeks, and each time you break it, I'll take ten points off your grade. Remember, you can't leave babies alone. They must be taken care of night and day. This project will be fifty percent of your final grade, so I suggest you all take it seriously." She looked at Pacey pointedly.
"All right, class dismissed."
Joey picked up her 'baby', and held it gently in one hand, while trying to pull her bag over her shoulder with the other. She turned, and began walking out of the classroom.
"Hey, wife! Wait up!" Pacey called.
Joey walked faster, trying to avoid her 'husband'.
"Joey!" He slowed down to a walk when he caught up with her. "All right, I can take Hope after fourth period so you won't have to deal with her during gym."
"I can handle it," she said in a clipped voice.
"Don't worry about it. I'll meet you in front of the locker room after third period."
"That's okay, but thanks for the offer."
"Joey, she's my baby too,"
"Look, Pacey," Joey sighed. "I'm really quite touched that you want to be the big man and take care of your baby, but I don't need your help. I intend to get an A on this project, and that won't happen with you goofing off all the time. So I'll take care of the egg, and you just stay out of my way, okay?"
"No, it's not - " he started to say, but she was already gone.
"This whole 'egg as a baby' concept is insane," Jen commented, looking out over the gym class from her seat on the bleachers.
"Tell me about it," Joey said dryly. "Well, at least you got Dawson as a partner. I'm stuck with Capeside's own Jim Carrey wannabe."
"Consider yourself lucky. Dawson's taking this whole thing way too seriously. He's practically planning how to pay for the egg's college tuition!"
"Ugh. Guys." Joey shook her head. "Why can't we just be single mothers? It'd be so much easier."
"Maybe not easier, but a lot less hectic. Dawson and I are going to have some serious issues. Maybe we should look into marriage counseling."
"Let's make it group therapy. I think we could all use some right about now."
"Potter! Lindley!" the overly masculine gym teacher, Ms. Bally, called.
"Are you gonna get down here and play some ball, or what?"
"I think we'll pass, but thanks for the invitation!" Joey yelled back.
Ms. Bally shook her head, and walked back to the locker room.
"How much you wanna bet she's going in there to watch lesbian pornos?" Joey asked.
Jen laughed. "I'd believe it." She looked down at the egg lying on a few layers of napkins between them. "Hope, huh? That's a pretty name."
"Thanks. It was Pacey's idea, if you can believe it."
"I wanted something artsy, but Dawson insisted on going traditional and conventional," Jen rolled her eyes. "How boring. I mean, Ryan William? There's no uniqueness there."
"Well, we were just the opposite. I wanted Rose or Elizabeth, and Pacey was spouting out names like Mitzi and Saffron."
"Uh, that's a little too unique. I was thinking more along the lines of Isabel, or Paige, or Ramsey. But no, there's no chance of that with Dawson."
"We should've ended up with opposite partners. You and Pacey, and me and Dawson." Joey said. "Actually, I don't think I could handle being married to Dawson. It's a little incestuous."
"So you're definitely over him?"
"Definitely. He's all yours."
Jen blushed. "Is it that obvious that I like him?"
"No, but I know you. I can see through your whole 'We're just friends' routine."
"I'm just afraid of getting hurt. If something happened and we broke up again, I don't know if I could handle it."
"Do you think I'm being ridiculous?"
"No, of course not. But you can't put it off forever because you're afraid. Think of what you're missing out on right now."
"Good point. We could be together if I wasn't such a wimp."
"You're not a wimp, Jen. You're human."
Jen smiled. "You're pretty good at this advice thing, Jo. Maybe you should have a column in the paper."
"Yeah, right," Joey snorted. "I doubt it."
"I know. Not heavy in activities."
"Well, you're not exactly Miss Pep Squad either,"
"Oh, could you imagine? 'Rah rah! Go Minutemen!' It makes me want to puke."
"Me too," Joey agreed. "In Cliff Elliot's helmet."
"Or Roger Fulford's socks,"
"Or Grant Bodine's jock strap," Joey laughed.
"Remember when you slugged him and ended up in detention? What I wouldn't give to have seen that."
"It was pretty fun," Joey admitted. "But what I could never understand was how you actually dated Cliff. The guy's about as interesting as a pencil sharpener."
"I was trying to get over Dawson," Jen shrugged. "But you're wrong about one thing. He's not as interesting as a pencil sharpener."
"Oh, yeah," said a voice from behind them. "And I bet Dawson is just a pillar of fascination."
They turned around.
"Abby," Joey groaned. "Don't you have anywhere else to be?"
"Yeah," Jen added. "The boys' locker room doing ecstasy, perhaps?"
"Haha," Abby made a face at them.
"Do you get your kicks from eavesdropping on other people's conversations?"
Joey asked. "Or do you just not have a life of your own?"
"Well, personally, I find you two as dull as your friend Dawson, but you never know what you're going to find out," She smiled evilly. "It's very interesting, Jen, how you've managed to keep your true feelings for Dawson underwraps. I'm sure he'd love to hear how you really feel."
Jen closed her eyes for a moment and sighed defeatedly. "Abby, if you have even one ounce of humanity and sympathy left in you, you'll let me tell Dawson."
Abby tilted her head to the side, as if deep in thought. Then she sat up straight and smiled. "Sorry to disappoint you, but no."
Joey grabbed Abby's arm and dug her nails into the skin. "I'll try a different approach. Abby, remember when I slugged Grant Bodine?" Abby nodded, her face becoming more pale by the minute.
"Well, if I could take on a star football player, don't you think I could take on a miserable, nosy little bitch like you?"
Abby didn't reply.
"Tell Dawson what you heard, and we'll find out," Joey let go and pushed Abby away. "Now, be off, before someone drops a house on you." Abby tried to regain some dignity, and glared fiercely at Joey. Then she turned and walked down the bleachers and into the girls' locker room. "Thanks, Jo," Jen said gratefully.
"No problem," Joey smiled. "Let me know if she does tell Dawson, and I'll take care of her. That's something I would thoroughly enjoy."
"Okay," Jen picked up Hope and held her in her hand. "I must say, Joey, she's a beautiful egg."
"Oh, yes. If she wasn't my daughter, I'd be tempted to eat her."
Jen laughed. "This is going to be an interesting two weeks, I can tell you that much."
"Interesting," Joey raised her eyebrows. "That's not exactly the word I would've used..."
"She won't let me help at all," Pacey complained, shoving a french fry into his mouth. "It's not fair. I don't even get to help raise my own daughter."
"I can't believe you want to help do schoolwork, when Joey's giving you the perfect chance to do dick and still get an A." Dawson commented. "Doesn't that sound a little unlike you?"
"Yeah, but isn't it a good thing that I want to help?"
"Yes, very good,"
"Then why the hell won't she give me a chance? I could be a good father. Besides, it's just an egg. How much work can it be?"
"That's a great attitude,"
"Sorry, Dawson, but not all of us can be perfect fathers," Pacey shook his head. "I mean, seriously. Did you really need to open a bank account for your egg?"
"Being a father is a big responsibilty, Pace. And besides," Dawson smiled sheepishly. "I'm trying to impress Jen."
Pacey raised his eyebrows. "Forgive me, Dawson, but don't you think you may scare her off by taking this thing so seriously? Come on, a bank account for an egg?"
"I don't know what else to do,"
"Do what I do. Just tell her."
"Yeah, right. And that works so well." Dawson said sarcastically.
"Are you insulting my flirting tactics?" Pacey asked with mocking anger.
"I'm hurt, Dawson. I'm truly hurt."
"Hey, guys," Jen said, sitting down next to Dawson.
"Hey, Jen," Dawson brightened significantly.
"Hello, dearest wife," Pacey said, as Joey fell into a seat next to him.
"Hello, dearest asswipe," she shot back.
"Aw, Jo, I didn't know you cared,"
"I don't," Joey placed their egg gently on the table, and grabbed a french fry off his tray.
"Hey, baby girl," Pacey poked his 'daughter', and grinned. "Has Mommy been taking good care of you?" He stared at the egg, then sat up when she didn't reply. "All right, I've come to a conclusion. Our baby's a deaf-mute."
Joey rolled her eyes at Jen and Dawson. "That's why I never let him take care of the egg."
"Unfair. You haven't given me a chance. I'd be a good father if you'd let me."
"I'll just bet you would. If I left Hope in your care, the next time I saw her she'd be sitting on a plate sunny-side up with a side of bacon."
"Come on, Jo. You really think that little of me?" Pacey asked, frowning. "I mean, bacon? It's just horrible to eat dead animals."
Joey sighed. "I want a divorce."
"I want custody of Hope,"
"I want visitation rights,"
"Every other weekend,"
"Six months with you, six months with me,"
"In your dreams!"
"No, dear, my dreams are much more interesting than that."
"Every weekend and some holidays,"
"Every other week,"
"Not a chance!"
"It's my final offer,"
"Every other week, and I keep the house,"
"I keep the car,"
"I keep the furniture,"
"I keep the bed,"
"The bed? That qualifies as furniture."
"Yes, but I want the bed for the memories..."
"Oh, ick. Take the bed. I don't want any of those memories."
"In that case, I'll take the shower, the couch, the kitchen floor, the hot tub, the pool, the - "
"I take it back. You can have the house."
"Guys?" Dawson spoke up. "You do realize that you're not really married, right?"
"Of course," Joey said, after a brief silence. "We were just kidding."
"I'll bet," Jen smiled knowingly.
"New topic," Pacey decided. "Where's Ryan William?"
"Yeah, Jen. Where is he?" Dawson asked.
"Abby's babysitting for me," Jen replied lightly.
"WHAT?" Dawson cried. "Are you insane?"
Jen laughed. "I'm just kidding, Dawson. The egg's in my locker." She paused. "Or did I leave it in gym? No, I know exactly where it is."
"Where?" Dawson asked anxiously.
"In the bottom of my bag,"
Dawson stared at her in disbelief. Jen just smiled, and shook her head.
"Relax, Dawson. I'm kidding. Ryan is right here." She reached into her bag and pulled out their egg.
Jen and Pacey exchanged an incredulous look as Dawson grabbed the egg and searched its entire shell for any cracks.
"Looking for signs of abuse there, Dawson?" Pacey asked.
"Just making sure he didn't sustain any injuries in Jen's bag," Dawson replied.
"Dawson, dear?" Jen said slowly. "You feeling all right?"
"Well, because you've opened a bank account for an egg," Jen bit her lip. "Doesn't that sound a little insane to you?"
"It's fifty percent of our final grade, and I just don't want to fail," Dawson lied.
Pacey shook his head and laughed. "I'll bet."
"Anyway," Dawson said, glaring at Pacey. "Why don't we take the kids bowling tonight?"
"Bowling?" Joey repeated doubtfully.
"It could be fun," Pacey spoke up. "We haven't been since Dawson's tenth birthday."
"I'm in, if you are, Jo," Jen said.
They watched Joey expectantly.
"Come on, Jo," Pacey begged. "It'll be cool."
"All right," Joey agreed reluctantly. "But you guys can't make fun of me if I suck."
"Jo," Pacey teased. "Would I ever make fun of you?"
Joey groaned. "Why do I get the feeling that I'm going to regret this?"
"Regrets never do any good," Pacey said. "Because today, Josephine Potter, is the first day of the rest of your life!"
"Somehow, that doesn't seem like much to look forward to,"
* * * * *