Part Nine of Something To Talk About
Disclaimer: Yes, I confess. I own Dawson's Creek. It's so dreadfully annoying to be this brilliant.
Props: Thanks to Becci, Julia, the Angels, Christy, and everyone else who sent feedback. I love you guys!
Joey was thinking about Pacey in Paris, and he was thinking about
her back in Capeside. Joey's French friend, Sylvie, tried to fix
her up with an artist named Jean-Claude (as I hope you remember,
Pacey predicted that he would lose her to an artist named
Jean-Claude), which just made her miss Pacey more.
"Sylvie, give it a rest. I'm not going out with Jean-Claude, and that's final!"
"Josephine," Sylvie groaned. "I do not understand. You claim to hate this Pacey boy, but you sit on your bed and gaze at his picture for hours and hours. You say you can not forgive him, but you refuse to move on and see someone else. What is wrong?"
"I'm just not ready,"
"Well, it doesn't even have to be a date. You can call it simply two friends spending the day together. You can call it a business meeting if you want, just go!"
"Please, just let me mope on my own," Joey sat down on her bed and picked up Pacey's picture.
"Josephine, you have mail," Monique said, walking into the guest room and handing her the letters.
"Thank you, Monique," Joey glanced at the envelopes.
"Who are they from?" Sylvie asked.
"One from Bessie, one from Jen, and one from...oh, no."
"Oh, dear. Tell me the last one isn't from Pacey."
"It's perfectly normal if you have the urge to burn it,"
"Is it perfectly normal if I have the urge to read it?"
"I do not know. Well, go ahead and open it."
Joey shook her head. "No. I'm not ready. I'll read Bessie's and Jen's first."
"Okay. Well, I am going to get a snack. Call me if you need anything."
"Thanks, Sylvie," She ripped open Bessie's letter first.
How's Paris? I hope you're having a wonderful time. We miss you here, though. Bodie and I had to hire extra help at the Icehouse, and don't kill me, but it's Pacey. You wouldn't believe what a great help he is with Alexander, too. I was shocked.
Well, not much is going on here. I went to Mom's grave, and planted some new flowers for spring. Alexander came with me, and I introduced him to his grandmother, even though she wasn't really there, of course. Bodie wants me to bring the baby to meet Dad, but I'm not sure I want his first encounter with his grandfather to be in prison. He doesn't think Alexander will even understand, but I know you'll see what I'm thinking. I really just don't want to bring my little baby to jail, even if it is to visit Dad. Dawson and Jen have been helping a lot, too. They babysit Alexander whenever they can, and Bodie and I couldn't do this without them. But don't get the wrong idea, we need you! Come home, little sister.
Is Paris amazing? Take lots of pictures for me...the Eiffel Tower, and all the sights. I hope you're having a great time, Jo. You deserve it. Is the family you're staying with nice? I know, I know, you told me in your last two letters that they were, but I can't help it. I worry. Well, the baby's crying, so I'd better go see what's wrong. Enjoy the rest of your trip, and come home soon!
Joey sighed, and looked at the framed picture of Bessie, Bodie, and Alexander that rested on her night stand. She missed her sister, as much as she didn't want to admit it. She even missed Alexander, with all of his crying.
She tore open Jen's letter, and began to read.
Hey! How's Paris? Are you having a great time? I bet you are. Any hot guys? Give 'em my number! Just kidding, you know my heart belongs to Dawson. Dawson, by the way, says hi. He's bugging me incessantly. Tell him to go away so I can write this.
Hi, Jo! This is Dawson. How's France? I heard Spielberg is filming there, so if you happen to run into him, get his autograph for me. Thanks! All right, I'd better sign off now. Jen's beating me. Jen! Put the bat down! Oh, he's such a dork. This is Jen again. I finally convinced Dawson to go away. We miss you a lot, Jo. I hope you're having a great time. Did I already say that?
I miss you so much! When you come back, we're going to have the greatest sleepover ever! Lots of junk food and Brad Pitt movies. Maybe I'll even toss in a few Tom Cruise.
Hey, you'll never guess what happened. Abby got arrested! She and Roger Fulford came to the dance drunk, and someone reported them. Dawson just came back. He wants you to know that he and Pacey are the ones that reported them. He says revenge is sweet. Go away, Dawson!
All right, he's gone again. How are you? Pacey misses you a lot, and he's miserable. I practically have to drag him to school every morning. Dawson and I literally pull him out of bed on the weekends, because he doesn't want to face the day without you. I know you probably don't want to hear this, but it's true. You know I'm on your side, Jo, but the boy loves you. And he's really sorry. I know you don't want to forgive him, and I don't blame you.
What he did in Boston, and at the airport, were both horrible. But maybe when you come home, you could at least consider it? I don't mean go back to the way things were, but you could just be friends or whatever. Think about it. What else? Um, not much is happening. Dawson started writing a new script, and he's trying to convince me to be the female lead. So far, my answer is no. It won't change. The script is about a girl and a boy who are in love, but the boy did something terrible, and the girl won't forgive him for it. Sound familiar? Dawson really needs to stop writing scripts about us. Everyone says he's very imaginative, but all he ever does is steal storylines from our lives. I think we should do a mass suicide, and see what he does. He'd probably write a script about a group of friends who killed themselves. Oh, Dawson, Dawson. Come home and help me kill him...
"Have you opened Pacey's letter yet?" Sylvie asked.
Joey looked up. "No. I don't know if I'm going to."
"You know what I think?"
"You think I should burn Pacey's letter and go out with Jean-Claude."
"Well, yes, but I also think that you need a jour des femmes."
"A girls' day. We'll hang out, eat food that's bad for you, things like that."
"Sounds good," Joey smiled. "For once, what you think is right."
"Hey!" Sylvie cried, with mock anger. "I am insulted."
Joey tossed the unopened letter on her pillow, and followed Sylvie out the door.
"Tell me again what I'm doing here," Pacey moaned, leaning back against the counter at the Icehouse. "It's my day off."
"You," Jen said militantly. "Are going to stop moping around here like a zombie."
"How the hell do you think you're going to win her back like that?" She glared at him. "Stand up straight."
"Jen, Dawson, I really appreciate your little boot camp tactics, but do you really think my posture is going to make Joey take me back?"
"Do as she says," Dawson ordered, trying to sound furious, but failing miserably.
Jen bit her lip and tried not to laugh at Dawson's weak attempt. Pacey noticed, and smiled. He stood up, and stuck his chin into the air.
"Yes, General Leery, sir!"
"Good," Dawson walked over to stand in front of Pacey. "Now, get down and give me fifty!"
Jen collapsed into laughter, at the thought of Dawson being a general in the army. It was just too much. Pacey grinned, as Dawson glared at Jen angrily.
"Jen," Dawson said pointedly. "You're not exactly helping."
"Sorry, Dawson," She apologized, then fell into another fit of giggles.
"You know, General Leery," Pacey said, trying to hold back his own laughter that was threatening to break through. "You're her superior. You can have her court-martialed."
Jen fell against a stool, unable to support herself and laugh at the same time. Bessie stood behind the counter and watched, shaking her head.
"You all need serious help," Bessie teased. "Maybe you should look into group therapy."
"Not a bad idea," Pacey agreed, eyeing Dawson's army get-up. "D-man, I gotta ask. How many war flicks did you rent to prepare for this?"
"Five," Dawson admitted.
Pacey rolled his eyes. "Dawson, I'm beginning to wonder about you."
"Are you kidding?" Bessie snorted. "I've been questioning his sanity since the first day I saw him. He was three months old, and I could already tell he had issues."
"Gee, thanks, Bess. I've always loved having you as a surrogate big sister." Dawson said dryly.
"Just kidding, Dawson. You had the good sense to be Joey's best friend, so you're all right in my book."
Pacey slumped back against the counter at Bessie's mention of her sister.
Jen groaned. "Pace, come on. You can't fall into a zombie state everytime someone mentions Joey."
"I hate this," Dawson said, watching his best friend sadly. "We have to do something, Jen. Or else we're going to lose Joey and Pacey to some underworld zombie existence."
"Short of flying Pacey to Paris, what can we do?" Dawson's eyes lit up.
"No way, Dawson," Jen shook her head. "Do you have any idea how clichéd that idea is? I mean, please. Anything that was done on Blossom is an automatic no-no for real life."
"You're right," Dawson agreed. "So what do we do?"
"The only thing we can do," Jen sighed. "We wait."
"Sylvie?" Joey asked, sipping her café au lait. "Have you and Jean-Claude ever dated?"
"No," Sylvie laughed quietly. "No. We have been best friends since we were babies. He's not interested in me that way."
"Ah," Joey smiled. "But you think of him that way, don't you?"
"Yes, a little," Sylvie admitted. "I don't know. Often I think that if we were together, it would just mess up our friendship. But sometimes, I see him and I just want to...oh, Josephine, you couldn't possibly understand." Joey choked on her chocolate pastry. "Excuse me? Sylvie, I invented this predicament. You see, I had this...thing...for Dawson for God knows how long. But it didn't work out. We weren't meant to be. I fell in love with Pacey, and Dawson fell for Jen."
"See? You are right. Jean-Claude and I...we would never work out. It was stupid of me to even think such things."
"Hold on just a minute, Mademoiselle Benureau. Just because Dawson and I weren't right for each other doesn't mean that you and Jean-Claude aren't. You'll never know unless you give it a chance."
"What if things don't work out? Then I'll have lost my best friend."
"Yes, but what if he's your one true love, and you never gave it a shot? Besides, if he is your best friend, and things don't work out, you should be able to remain friends."
"I wouldn't even know where to begin,"
"Just tell him, Sylvie. Life's too short to waste it being embarrassed, or hesitant, or..." She paused, suddenly realizing her own advice. "Angry."
"Ah," Sylvie grinned. "Josephine is believing her own words now."
"I'm such an idiot," she said softly.
"Yes, yes. Aren't we all?" Sylvie laid some money on the table, and took Joey's arm. "Come, Josephine. I think it's time you read that unopened letter."
Back at the apartment, Joey ran upstairs to the guest room, after leaving Sylvie on the phone with Jean-Claude. She fell onto her bed and ripped open the envelope.
Well, I'm not actually sure I'm going to send this, and if I do, I don't know whether or not you'll read it. I just have to write down how I feel. You have to know that I'm sorry. I've never been so sorry about anything in my life, and as you well know, I've done some things to be sorry for. I know what I said was stupid, both at the awards ceremony and at the airport. I knew you hadn't slept with Anderson, but I couldn't even stand the thought of you knowing him. I guess I felt threatened. Stupid, huh? I was afraid of losing you, and I still am.
But what scares me the most is how much the thought of losing you kills me. I'm afraid of how much power you have over me, how much control you have over my life. It's hard living like this. When we were together, I didn't even think about it, because I thought we were invincible. Typical Pacey, doesn't realize anything until it's gone. Well, when you were gone, I understood that you are my life. As much as I love Dawson and Jen, and even the Leerys, Bessie, Bodie, and Alexander, you're all I have. I'd die for you. And that scares the hell out of me.
So, I'm letting you go. I have to form a life without you in it. You started your life without me by going to Paris, now I have to do it too. I have to let you go, for my own sanity. As much as I truly hate to do it, I have to. And I'm going to ignore every fiber of my being that's telling me to climb on the next plane to Paris and make you come back to me. Because I know that you'd turn me away, and I know that it would kill me. I guess this is good-bye, Josephine. I'm going to miss you, even though I'll try to forget everything we had. I hope you have a great life without me, I honestly do.
Joey read the letter three times, then she collapsed into tears. Sylvie heard her friend's sobbing, and ran up to the guest room.
"Josephine?" Sylvie asked softly.
Joey managed to call together enough energy to hand Sylvie the letter. Sylvie read it, and sighed.
"Well," she said quietly. "Maybe it should have remained the unopened letter."
Joey's eyes glazed over, and she looked up at Sylvie with a blank stare.
"Burn it." she said unemotionally.
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AUTHOR'S NOTE: More
soon. Hope you liked it. Feedback, guys! -Ainz
Write to Ainsley