Part Seven of Something To Talk About
Disclaimer: Let's just say that I own Dawson's Creek as much as Dawson owns the rights to E.T.
Props: All right, I thanked my sister, my parents, my readers, my Grammy...how about my pets? Eh, okay. I'm not that desperate. I'll thank my friends, even though they'll never read this. To the Us- Benji, Shani, Jess, Nardo, Merg, Lindsay, Bethaboo, Beez, Alaina, Stace, Amy, and our newly acquired member, Kitty. I love you guys!
Anderson won the award for best documentary, and thanked Joey for
inspiring him to follow his dreams, which sparked Pacey's
jealousy. Joey and Pacey had a fierce screaming match, where
Pacey accused her of sleeping with Anderson. Joey ran from the
ballroom after breaking up with Pacey, and Dawson followed her.
Dawson told Joey that she didn't have a choice in who she fell in
love with. Pacey realized what an ass he had made of himself, and
went to apologize to her. When he asked for another chance, her
reply was, "I'll give you another chance. When Hell freezes
Joey sat silently, alone in the dark of her and Jen's hotel room. She couldn't sleep, so she had attempted to read a novel for her next book report. She couldn't focus, so she turned on the radio. Big mistake. The only station the hotel received was playing cheesy love songs. Not exactly what Joey needed to hear.
What I need is some Alanis Morissette, Joey thought. Man-hating music.
She stared into the dark and wondered exactly how that weekend had gone from a fun-filled mini-vacation with her best friends, to one of the worst weekends of her life in a matter of hours.
I hope Dawson wins that award. He deserves it. What kind of friend am I? I should be down there supporting him.
Joey rubbed her eyes wearily.
I should go down there. But I can't. I've already made a fool of myself in front of all those people, and I'm not going to do it again by showing my face in a fancy ballroom dressed in flannel pajamas. Besides, my eyes are probably all puffy and red from crying. How can Pacey have this much of an effect on me? He shouldn't. I should hate him. Why can't I hate him? Because you love him, She told herself.
I don't want to love him!
You don't have a choice.
"Oh, great. Now I'm talking to myself." Joey said. "I need therapy."
The door opened slowly, and Jen squinted as the light from the hallway flooded the dark room.
"Joey?" Jen said. "You're awake?"
"I couldn't sleep,"
"Oh," Jen shut the door, and walked over to sit on her bed. "How are you doing?"
"Don't shut me out, Joey. Let me help you."
Joey sighed. "It wouldn't have worked out anyway."
"How do you know?"
"I just do,"
"Jo, don't you think you should give your relationship another chance?"
"Pacey didn't mean to hurt you. He's was just scared of losing you."
"Why are you defending him? You're supposed to be on my side."
"Of course I'm on your side, but I think you're being a little unreasonable."
"I don't want a relationship with Pacey. Period."
"Fine. Then I'll support you a hundred percent."
"Thanks," Joey softened a bit. "Thank you for being such a good friend."
Jen smiled gently. "Any time."
"So, did Dawson win?"
"Of course. He's incapable of losing."
"Good. He deserved it."
"He thanked all of us in his acceptance speech,"
"I'm sorry I missed it,"
"Well, I'm sure he'll repeat it for you. He's probably in his room polishing the award right now."
Joey giggled. "That sounds like him."
"Yeah, it does," Jen tilted her head to the side. "How is this going to work, Jo?"
"What do you mean?"
"How are you going to avoid Pacey? You see him everyday, and how do you think you'll be able to stand it?"
"It's entirely possible for us to not see each other for months,"
"How is that going to happen?" She paused. "Wait a minute, you're not reconsidering the whole Paris thing, are you?"
"Actually, I am,"
"Joey, you can't leave,"
"Why not? I love you and Dawson, but I don't think I could stand to see him all the time. And leaving sounds like the best option."
"That's insane. Running away doesn't always solve things."
"No, but it makes it so I don't have to deal with them for a while."
"Then what happens when you come back? All your problems will be sitting here waiting for you."
"At least I'll have time to think them over without Pacey breathing down my neck," Joey sighed. "I haven't made a decision yet, Jen."
"I know. I guess it's kind of selfish, but we're just becoming good friends, and I don't want to lose you already."
"Well, just promise me you'll think before you make a decision."
"Of course I will,"
"Good," Jen laid down at pulled the blanket over herself. "Then let's get to sleep. We have a long, tense car ride home in the morning."
"Where should we stop for lunch?" Dawson asked.
"Nowhere. I want to get home as quickly as possible." Joey replied.
"Sorry I'm not driving fast enough for you," Pacey said snidely.
"I'm not really hungry anyway," Jen cut in.
"Well, what if Dawson and I are hungry? Do our feelings matter at all?" Pacey argued.
"Sorry, Pacey, but I really don't want my name attached to your's right now."
"I guess I'm not good enough for any of you then, huh?"
"Don't make us out to be the bad guys here, Pace. This is your own fault." Dawson said.
"It's always my fault,"
"Well, whose fault would you like it to be?" Joey yelled. "You scream at me in front of hundreds of people, and accuse me of sleeping with Anderson, and you think it's unfair that we're blaming you? You're responsible for your own actions, Pacey!"
" Yeah, well, I apologized. I'd think you'd have a little more forgiveness in your heart, Joey."
"You should know by now that I'm not a forgiving person,"
"I should've stuck with Tamara. She forgave easier."
Jen winced. "Cheap shot, Pacey. You've got to work on controlling your temper."
Pacey shook his head. "Yeah, so it was a low blow. Sorry if I'm slightly irratible, but my girlfriend just broke up with me."
"Hate to burst your denial bubble, but she had good reason. You're lucky she didn't punch you." Dawson pointed out.
"Thanks for the support, man. I always knew I could count on you in times of trouble."
"Don't you dare say that, Pacey. Dawson has always been there for you when you needed him." Joey said.
"Still defending him, huh, Josephine? I guess you never really got over him after all."
"God, Pacey, stop it! You know Dawson and I are just friends."
"You always did like him more than me," Pacey snorted. "I guess I should've expected this. I could never compare with Dawson."
"This is too childish for even you," Joey rolled her eyes. "You're so paranoid. I don't have feelings for Dawson as anything but a friend, okay? I love you, and we'd still be together if you weren't such an ass!" Pacey slammed on the brakes so hard that Joey and Jen fell forward against the seats in front of them.
"What the hell was that for?" Jen cried.
Pacey turned around to face Joey, ignoring Jen's outburst. "You love me?"
"Let's not get into this," Joey muttered.
"No, I think we should get into this," Pacey said quietly. "Jo, why didn't you tell me?"
"Because I didn't figure it out until you accused me of sleeping with Anderson. It hurt so much, Pacey. And that's when I realized that only someone I love could hurt me that badly."
"I love you, too,"
"Now it doesn't matter,"
"Of course it matters. I'm really sorry, and I understand why you're angry, but please don't hate me."
"I don't hate you, Pacey. But I can't be with you anymore."
"Why not? Why can't we forgive and forget?"
"Because I can't forget," Joey shook her head. "Besides, it won't do us any good. I'm leaving in a week."
Pacey laughed nervously. "Where are you going?"
"Joey, you can't leave now,"
"Why not? I can't stay here."
"How are we going to work this out if you're on another continent?"
Joey laughed harshly. "You're still not getting it, Pacey. We're not going to work this out. It's over."
"It's not over, Jo. It can't be."
"It has to be."
"If you go to France you'll fall in love with some French artist named Jean- Claude and I'll lose you forever."
"You already have," she said quietly.
"So," Dawson said uncomfortably, after a brief silence. "Jo, you want to hear my acceptance speech?"
Joey climbed through the window, silently praying that she wouldn't see Pacey lying on the bed. She breathed a sigh of relief when she saw that it was only Jen and Dawson.
"Hey, Jo," Dawson said. "Just in time for our last official movie night before you leave."
"Great," Joey smiled weakly. "Pacey's not coming, is he?"
"No," Jen answered. "We decided your last night here should be happy, not painful."
"All right, have a seat, and let's get started," Dawson pressed the play button of the remote control, and the opening credits of E.T. flashed on the screen.
Joey laughed. "Not again."
"I tried to talk him out of it, but he wouldn't listen," Jen said. "The guy is determined when he wants to be."
"This is the only movie I would even consider playing on your last movie night, Jo. It's perfect."
"I'm going to miss this," she said. "God only knows why, but I will."
"We'll miss you too, Joey," Jen smiled.
"Oh, will you two be quiet? You're going to miss the movie." Dawson complained.
Joey and Jen exchanged a look.
"Some things never change," Jen said.
Joey shook her head. "Some things aren't supposed to."
Joey looked around the airport sadly. She was surrounded by everyone she loved, except the one person she loved the most. Pacey wasn't coming, but that was her fault. She asked him not to come. Of course, deep down inside she was hoping that he wouldn't listen to her, like he usually did. But he wasn't there. And she was about to leave for Paris without saying good-bye to the one person who mattered the most.
Mr. Leery stepped forward and gave her a hug. "I'll miss you, Joey. Have a great time, and don't forget to call."
"Thanks, Mr. Leery. Keep Dawson out of trouble for me."
He grinned. "No problem."
Mrs. Leery reached over and wrapped her arms around her surrogate daughter.
"I'm so proud of you, Joey. Have a wonderful time."
"Thank you," Joey said, her eyes starting to water over.
"Jo, I don't know what I'm going to do without you around to taste my creations," Bodie said. "It's gonna be rough, but you deserve this. Be safe."
"Jo," Bessie sighed. "Well, half the time you're a bitch and an obnoxious brat, but..." She smiled softly. "I suppose I'll miss you too. Have an amazing time and when you get back, expect to be working double shifts at the Icehouse."
Joey laughed. "Thanks, Bess," She kissed her sister, then the tiny little baby in her arms. "Bye, Alexander."
Jen gave her a huge hug, and tugged on a loose strand of her hair. "Thanks for being my only female friend, Joey. I'm going to miss you a lot."
"I'm going to miss you too, Jen,"
Dawson didn't hug her. He didn't need to. They smiled at each other, and instantly knew what the other was thinking.
"Have a great time, Jo,"
"Thanks, Dawson. Keep my spot warm at Movie Night."
"Flight 435 to Paris, France is now boarding at Gate 27." The monotonous voice over the intercom said.
Joey took a deep breath, and picked up her carry-on bag. "Well, here goes."
"Do you have your ticket?" Mr. Leery asked.
"Yup," She held it up for him to see. "Nothing left to say, is there?"
"One more thing,"
Joey turned around, her face softening. "Pacey, what are you doing here?"
"Now, it's time for me to get my say, Josephine," He said angrily. "You're being selfish. How can you leave without thinking about how this is going to affect anyone else? Don't you care at all?"
Joey watched him in disbelief.
"You have to get over this. You can't go to Paris. I'm not going to let you."
Jen winced, knowing how Joey would react.
"So, go tell the ticket agent you're not going, because you have to stay in Capeside. I need you here, whether you like it or not."
"Typical Pacey," Joey smirked. "I'll send you a postcard from Paris." She turned and walked over to the ticket agent. Then Joey walked through the doorway, and was gone.
"Pacey," Dawson said, shaking his head. "That had to be the stupidest thing you ever did."
"I thought what I did at the awards ceremony was the stupidest thing I ever did,"
"Well, you just topped yourself,"
"Thanks again for your support, Dawson," Pacey said sarcastically.
"Pacey, I know it hurts to see her leave, but how could you order her to stay?" Jen asked.
"I don't know. I just couldn't stand to see her go."
"Well, let's all get back to Capeside," Mrs. Leery said. "It's time we start living our lives without Joey."
Pacey stayed, after the others left the airport. He sat down and watched out the window, as other planes came and left. Because it had finally set in. Joey was gone. And she wasn't coming back for a long time. He had lost her forever.
* * * * *
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Hope
you liked it. Send feedback to Ainz email@example.com. Part Eight will
be out soon. -Ainsley
Write to Ainsley