Lovers, and Lunatics
Part Three of Something To Talk About
Disclaimer: I don't own Dawson's Creek, a fact of which I am well aware. Stop rubbing it in! Besides, if you were to sue me, all you'd get is my Got Milk? ad collection, my shrine to DC, and my bulletin board of pics of my best friends, the Us. So don't sue me, please.
"Dawson," Pacey said, banging on the bathroom door. "Dawson! Stop messing with your hair and let me in! I've got to brush my teeth!"
"I want to make a good impression on the panel, Pacey,"
"They're going to judge your film, not your hair!" Pacey said. "Besides, we don't even see the panel until tonight at the awards ceremony."
"First impressions are everything,"
"Not necessarily true,"
"Name one occasion in which the first impression was not totally essential,"
"Your first meeting with Jen when she first came to Capeside. You acted like a blubbering idiot, but she still fell for you. God only knows how that happened."
"I did not act like a blubbering idiot,"
"Yes you did," Pacey rolled his eyes. "Come on, Dawson. Let me in."
"Did I really act like an idiot?"
"Yes, but it doesn't matter now. Hurry up!"
"Why didn't you tell me this earlier?"
"Tell you what?"
"That I made a bad first impression on Jen,"
"She must have thought it was a good first impression because you two are together now. That's all that matters. Now, if you don't hurry up and let me in, you'll never even get a chance to meet the panel and make a good first impression because I'll shove that hair brush down your throat."
"All right, all right. Pushy today, aren't we?" Dawson pushed open the door and stepped out.
Pacey sighed. "Finally."
"So, Joey," Jen said, running a brush through her hair. "You and Pacey are getting pretty serious, huh?"
"Yes, I suppose so," Joey replied cautiously. "Why?"
"Just making an observation," Jen smiled innocently.
"What about you and Dawson? All smooth sailing?"
"Yes," Jen sighed. "He's amazing. A million times better than Cliff or Roger or Billy or any of those guys in New York. I think I'm falling in love with him, Jo."
"I think so,"
"How do you know?"
"Like whenever I think about him or whenever I'm near him I just get this feeling in my stomach. And it's like he can fix all my problems and I always feel better when he's around. It's a million different things. I can't describe it."
"What's the matter? Do you think he doesn't feel the same way?"
"No, actually, I'm pretty sure he does,"
"Then why do you sound so...surprised?"
"I don't know. I guess I never really thought about it before. Falling in love. On some level I think I'll always feel like Joey Potter, the girl from the wrong side of the creek that nobody wants."
"But you're not. You're Joey Potter, the girl Pacey wants. And my friend."
"I've never really had a female friend. I've never had a friend at all, aside from Dawson and Pacey. So thank you."
Jen looked genuinly surprised. "You're welcome."
"So," Joey said, clearing her throat uncomfortably. "Which shirt should I wear?"
Pacey stared blindly at the map. "Okay, this thing isn't making any sense at all."
Joey looked over his shoulder and rolled her eyes. "That's because you're holding it upside down, dipwad."
"Oh, right. Like you're the queen of the map world."
"No, but I know that when the steeple of the Old North Church is pointing down, something's got to be wrong,"
"That's a church?"
"Pacey!" Joey said in exasperation. "What did you think it was?"
"I don't know. I guess I thought it was some kind of modern architecture."
"An upside down church. Real creative." Jen said dryly.
"Leave him alone," Dawson defended his friend. "The guy's never had to use a map before. We live in Capeside. If you have to use a map there, you're either incredibly stupid or blind."
"Well, Pacey's not blind..." Joey teased.
He glared at her. "Not funny, Josephine. Let's see you get us to Cheers'."
"Cheers'! Are you kidding me? I'm not setting foot in that place!"
"Because we're in a beautiful city, and I'm not going to waste my time at a bar!"
"Well, where do you suggest we go?" Dawson asked.
"I don't know. Anywhere but there."
"How about the Museum of Fine Art?" Jen offered.
"That is a good idea," Joey said approvingly.
"Oh, no," Pacey groaned. "No wayare you dragging me to a museum on my vacation."
"I'd have to agree with Pacey on that one," Dawson glanced at Jen apologetically.
"Fine, then we'll go to our museum and you go to Cheers' and we'll meet at the hotel at four o'clock," Jen suggested.
"Why four o'clock? The awards ceremony doesn't start until six." Pacey asked.
"It starts at six?" Jen repeated. "Better make that three o'clock."
Dawson and Pacey exchanged a look.
"See you later," Joey said, waving as she turned and walked away from Pacey and Dawson.
"No good-bye kiss?" Pacey asked, looking at Dawson. "Why do I feel like we just made some monumental mistake by not going with them to the museum?"
"Because we probably did,"
"Why don't we go after them?"
"Pacey," Dawson sighed. "Because if we went after them, we wouldn't get to go to Cheers'."
"Do you have the slightest clue where we're going?"
"No I do not,"
"Then why are we still walking?"
"Because they can still see us, and stopping is a sign of weakness. They'll descend upon us like vultures if we seem any less than 100% self-confident. They're guys. They can't help it. They have small brain cells."
"Oh," Joey said as they turned a corner. "Can we stop now?"
"Well, then what do we do?"
"Joey, Joey, Joey," Jen sighed. "When in doubt, hail a cab."
"Ah, right. I forgot that one."
Jen stepped out into the road and raised her hand. Instantly, a bright yellow taxi appeared in front of her. Joey followed Jen into the backseat.
"The Museum of Fine Arts, please," Jen said briskly.
"Ah, no prah-blem," the driver said, with an obvious Jamaican accent. "You girls from around here?"
"No," Jen replied.
"I from Jamaica," he told them. "Is a beautiful place. You go to Jamaica?"
"I get you a good deal. You want?"
"I take you there myself,"
"You say anytink besides the no?"
"Ah, no prah-blem,"
Joey listened to their conversation in awe. Jen was obviously a pro at handling annoying cab drivers. It must come with the territory in New York, Joey thought.
"You beautiful girls,"
Jen ignored him.
"I tink you try modeling. I help you. You want?"
Jen sighed impatiently. "Can you please just get us to the museum."
"The museum," he repeated. "I no go to museum."
"Yes, that's where you're taking us,"
"No, I no go there,"
"Then let us out so we can get another cab,"
"No, you no get out! If you no pay me, I lose my job and my ten kids will starve!"
"I'm sure. Well, if you don't bring us to the museum, then we won't pay you and all of your children will starve. So, take us where we want to go."
The driver eyed her curiously through the mirror. "You police ladies?"
"Then why you so mean?"
"I'm not mean," Jen rolled her eyes, as the cab pulled to a stop.
"Here is the museum. I tink you pay me thirty dollar."
"I think you're mentally deficient if you actually expect me to pay you that much," Jen handed him a ten dollar bill.
They climbed out of the taxi and walked up to the large brick building.
"You're good at that," Joey said.
"Thanks. Cab drivers are a real bitch in every city."
"He doesn't really have ten kids, does he?"
"No way. Probably doesn't have any. If he does, he definitely doesn't financially support them."
"This is beginning to depress me,"
"That's city life for you,"
"Promise me I'm not going to end up living in a city with ten kids by a Jamaican taxi driver who doesn't pay child support,"
"I promise you won't end up living in a city with ten kids by a Jamaican taxi driver who doesn't pay child support," Jen said. "A Mexican fortune teller, maybe. But not a Jamaican cab driver. No way."
Dawson and Pacey sat silently at a table in Cheers', sipping cokes and occasionally glancing at the Celtics game on television.
"Tell me again why we'd rather be here than with our girlfriends," Pacey asked.
"Because this is the sight of one of the most famous television shows of all time," Dawson repeated monotonously, as if he didn't even believe his ownwords.
"And we care because..."
"Then why don't we go find Jen and Joey?"
"It's a sign of weakness,"
"And we care because..."
"If we appear anything less than 100% self-confident, they'll descend upon us like vultures. They're girls. They thrive on male weakness."
"Right," Pacey nodded. "But we're still alone and bored."
They sat quietly for a few more minutes.
"All right. Let's go." Dawson decided, standing up and putting on his jacket.
"Right," Pacey followed him out of the restaurant.
"Yeah?" Jen tried to cover up her yawn.
"Are you bored?"
"Of course not. Why ever would you ask me such a thing?"
"Because that's the tenth time you've yawned in the past twenty minutes."
Jen smiled apologetically. "It's not that I don't love the museum, Jo. I just miss Dawson."
"I miss Pacey too," Joey said, then added. "But don't ever tell him I said that."
"I won't," Jen laughed. "Why don't we go find them?"
They turned around and walked toward the exit of the museum.
"Tell me that's not who I think it is,"
Jen looked to where Joey was staring. "Uh, oh."
"Uh, that's not who you think it is,"
"Hey, there you are!" Dawson exclaimed, coming up from behind them, followed by Pacey. "We've been looking everywhere for you!"
Jen and Joey exchanged a worried look.
"Hi, Jo," Pacey said quietly. "You're not mad, are you?"
"No of course not," Joey said quickly. "Let's get out of here."
She and Jen grabbed their boyfriends' arms and began dragging them toward the exit.
"What's the rush?" Dawson asked.
"No rush," Jen replied. "Shh! Don't be so loud, Dawson."
"Loud?" Pacey repeated. "What's going on?"
Suddenly, a voice yelled over the noise of the crowd. "Deborah!"
Joey froze, and stared at the tall, walking J. Crew ad that was coming toward her. She swallowed nervously. "Anderson."
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hope
you liked it. Sorry it took so long, but I've been majorly busy
since I got back from my cruise. The cab driver in this chapter
is modeled after a driver we had in Jamaica. Coco was his name.
What a loser! Anyway, as always, let me know what you think.
-Ainz ****Special Thanks to Becci Wooster for sending an e-mail
that inspired me to finally finish this chapter.****
Write to Ainsley and let her know what you think!