I never thought I'd be wind up
never thought I'd be standing where I am
guess I kinda thought that it would be easier than this
I guess I was wrong
one more time
"Sick Cycle Carousel" - Lifehouse
"Pacey!" Joey screams, her voice rising in pitch as the cold water splashes down her back. Her body recoils against the freezing liquid and she whirls around to face Pacey, anger flushing her cheeks. "You are going to pay for that, you cretin!" Joey quickly reaches down off the dock and splashes water up at him. He tries to avoid the spray but is unsuccessful in the attempt.
"Potter, that was uncalled for!" He yells as the front of his Hawaiian print shirt gets soaked through. Joey makes a mad dash down the docks away from him and Pacey is quickly in pursuit, both of them laughing wildly.
"No way, Pace, you deserved that. You didn't get anything you didn't ask for!" Joey calls back to him as she reaches the end of the dock, turning back around and teasingly sticking her tongue out at him. Pacey stops in his tracks, raising his eyebrows and giving Joey a mischievous look.
"Oh...really?" He inquires, taking a slow step toward her. Joey daringly stands still, planning to wait until the last minute to take off.
"Yeah, really." She stares him down, making him think that she doesn't believe he'll actually do anything to her.
"Hmmm...then I guess that means we've evened the score..."
"No way, you deserve a lot more than a wet shirt, Witter," Joey replies, warily watching him as he moves closer. He stops in front of her, his gaze penetrating her deeply and causing her to shiver. Giving her a smug smile, he casts his eyes downward to her wet tank top, which is clinging to her body tightly.
"I don't mind getting punished if you're my reward, Josephine," he murmurs. "The wet look is absolutely fabulous on you." Pacey leans in close and brushes his lips against her ear. "Especially when you're not wearing a bra." Joey blushes furiously as he draws back, crossing her arms over her chest.
"You're such a horny little-" Joey is cut off by Pacey's lips covering hers. Joey immediately loses herself in his kiss, pressing her body closer to his and letting her hands wander freely over his chest and back. Pacey plunges his tongue into her mouth, withdrawing a deep moan from Joey. Joey's right hand drifts downward, but Pacey pulls away as Joey's fingers slip under the waist of his shorts.
"Now who's the horny one, Miss Josephine?" Pacey teases playfully, catching her hands in his and drawing her back toward the boat with a grin.
"Pace, you single-handedly undermine traditional gender roles," Joey glares, earning an inquisitive look.
"Pray tell, how do I do that?"
"Generally women are considered to be the teases," she replies, moving as if she's going to kiss him but stopping about an inch away from his face. Pacey leans forward but she draws back slightly, making him chase after her lips. "But you...you're the biggest tease of them all."
"I can't help it. When you get all riled up, it's just so irresistably sexy. It's mostly for my own benefit, I am quite the selfish bastard," he takes a few more steps back toward the boat, Joey in tow. "You get all flustered and try to act like you're not hot for me, like you're not bothered. Then you realize that you can't pretend that you're not and you get angry and yell at me. After you run out of insults, you see that it's hopeless and plead with me to finish what I started. The whole cycle is incredibly amusing, while at the same time exceptionally winsome and attractive."
"I don't know whether to be appalled or enamored with all of that," Joey shakes her head sadly. "Maybe we should go down to the cabin and I can figure it out?"
"You don't want to race home and see Bessie? Perhaps dash over to Jen's for a little girl talk, discuss the many aspects of the cuteness of my ass?" Pacey grins. "Cause you know, she does think I have a cute ass."
"Everyone thinks you have a nice butt, Witter. It's common knowledge. But I alone get the privilege of knowing how great you are on the inside, as well as out." Joey stands on tiptoe and whispers in his ear: "And only I know how amazing you look naked." She nips his earlobe gently and then slides her mouth down his neck, her fingers working to open the top button of his shirt.
"Potter, are you trying to get me to make love to you before we can even get off the dock?" Pacey breathes, his eyes drifting closed.
"That'd be interesting. Our homecoming could generate even more talk than our leaving...can you imagine..."
"That good-for-nothing Witter and that Potter girl had sex on the dock yesterday afternoon...in broad daylight...almost everyone saw them...can you believe it? He had her down right on the deck!" Pacey chuckles, kissing Joey again and again.
"It'd certainly break my Ice Queen image," she replies and then gasps as Pacey's hands touch her breasts through her thin, wet shirt. "Oh god..." Joey kisses him fiercely, letting him know how badly she wants him. "One last time before we go back, Pacey," she whispers into his ear, her tongue lacing out to trace his earlobe. WIthout hesitation, Pacey picks her up right off of the ground and carries her onto the True Love.
Dawson Leery stands by the boat house, watching, stunned. He hadn't expected to see them home, to see them so soon. Much less making out on the dock flauntingly, as if they didn't care who saw them. Dawson stares as the pair disappears into the cabin below. He didn't know if it was curiosity or a masochistic urge, but he had to know. He had to know so he knew how to face them. Dawson walks down the dock slowly, stopping a few yards away from Pacey's boat.
He didn't have to get any closer to discover his answer. Even a person as oblivious as he was considered to be could realize what was going on by the sounds of Joey's moans and cries of pleasure which emanated from below. They are both loud. They are both so loud. Dawson wants to scream, to cover his ears, to do anything that will keep the sounds from being permanently imprinted in his mind. But it is too late. The sound of Joey's voice as she screams out Pacey's name, as she gives herself to him, will forever echo in his memory.
He takes one step closer, wishing to God that maybe what's happening between his two ex-friends isn't what he thinks is happening. Maybe they are just making out, maybe Pacey is merely touching her; still horrible, but far less horrible than the alternative. Joey was supposed to be his first, and he was supposed to be hers. Summoning up every ounce of will power and repressing every bit of decency within him, he glances through the small window and immediately wants to throw himself head first into the water. Joey is on top of Pacey, her long thin legs straddling him, her perfect body rocking back and forth against him, her hands clutching at his chest, his hands on her breasts. It is really happening. He watches in horror as Joey begins to tremble, and they both suddenly cry out. Joey's body collapses against Pacey's and her lips meet his in a long, slow and lingering kiss.
Blinded by tears, Dawson turns and runs back down the dock, his heart breaking into a million pieces. It wasn't until now that he fully realized that he had been holding out the hope that Joey would regret choosing Pacey, that she would see that she made a mistake. Now he sees the only mistake is his. Joey is more in love with Pacey more than ever, or at least it appeared that way. She'd given her virginity to him, that much was obvious.
He heads toward home, trying to recoup and regain a sense of stability, feeling as if the cold, hard exterior he had been trying to build up all summer long was rapidly falling apart and he'd return to the sobbing, warblish mass that he'd been in June. That was the person he didn't want Joey Potter and Pacey Witter to see. He didn't want them to know how they had destroyed him and how they had hurt him, how his life had crumbled to pieces around him the second Jen Lindley told him that Joey had run off with Pacey for the summer.
Dawson had planned to be cool and calm, cold and cutting. He would have noted Joey and Pacey's return and been civil, deliberately keeping them both at an arm's length while demonstrating how much better off he was without them and how life in Capeside had been improved by their absence.
That was never going to happen. Because the fact of the matter was, Joey Potter had crushed his heart and Pacey Witter's role in the situation had crushed his soul. He was smashed to bits, slowly glued together again, and now in one fell swoop he was back on the floor in pieces.
Not watching where he is going as he heads up the dirt path along the creek toward his house, Dawson doesn't notice Jen walking toward him from the opposite direction. He almost races by her but she stops him with a firm but friendly hand.
"Hey, Dawson. You planning on saying hello to me or were you just going to breeze by and ignore me?" She smiles, but her grin fades as she realizes he's upset. "Whoa, what's the matter? What's wrong?"
"Pacey and Joey are back," Dawson mutters, looking out toward the creek and trying to hide the fact that he's been crying. Jen's heart momentarily leaps with excitement at the thought of seeing her two friends again, but that feeling is quickly replaced with worry.
"They're back? You saw them?" Jen inquires. Dawson scuffs his foot in the dirt, sighing.
"Yeah, I saw them."
"Down at the docks..."
"So..." She pauses for a moment, not quite knowing what to say. "Did you...did you talk to them? Did they say anything to you?" Dawson just squints off into the distance, the bright sunlight reflecting off the clear water of the creek brightly. Jen gives him a minute, thinking he's just trying to get his act together, but he doesn't say anything. "Dawson, can you at least tell me what happened and if you're okay? You look terrible and you're kind of scaring me here." Dawson looks at her, trying to summon up the strength to say it.
"I was just walking by...I was going home...and there they were, the two of them..." Dawson crosses his arms in front of his chest and sighs, avoiding Jen's questioning gaze. "They were kissing and playfighting, teasing...the kind of stuff couples that make you nauseatingly sick do...and I was going to just get out of there. I didn't want to talk to them, most certainly not then. I wasn't ready to...to..."
"I know...so what happened? Did they see you and-"
"Uh, no, they most definitely didn't see me. Didn't have the faintest clue that I was there. Didn't notice me as they made out on the dock, didn't spot me as they starting taking each other's clothes off, and certainly didn't know I was present when Pacey carried Joey down to the cabin, where they proceeded to...." Dawson trails off, not able to continue. Jen's eyes widen in surprise, understanding what he was trying to say. "It's my fault, I should've just left the instant they started kissing, you know? I don't know why I subject myself to this on purpose. I mean, it's over, right? Joey chose him. Joey chose Pacey. Why should I even care? They're not my friends anymore, they don't have to mean anything to me. They can do what they want!" Dawson shakes off Jen's touch as she tries to rub his arm comfortingly.
"Dawson, the problem is that whether you like it or not...Pacey and Joey do mean something to you. You can pretend that they don't, but they have been your best friends for almost your entire life. What they do matters immensely to you and that's not something you should try to stop. The second you stop feeling, you aren't a full person anymore."
"What's the point of 'feeling' when all that gets me is a constant amount of pain? You want me to *want* to feel hurt over the fact Joey and Pacey are having sex? Cause I know I don't. I would rather not feel anything at all than have to sit here and sort through a whole new series of emotions that are brought up by this!"
"Fine, then don't think about it, Dawson," Jen retorts. "I dare you to. Let's see how long it takes before you start having nightmare after nightmare of Pacey and Joey having sex in your room. Cause of course that's where it would take place in your nightmare, if I learned anything in psychology, the place of ultimate betrayal, the place most private and personal to you. You really want to wake up thinking about that in the middle of the night?"
Dawson looks at Jen, frowning. "I really think you should've never taken that class. That's all I've been hearing about all summer long."
"Sorry. But it does make sense." Jen says. "I think you should just...I dunno...why don't you write them a letter?"
"You don't have to send it, Dawson. Just do it to get all your thoughts out, to work through how you feel. Because the sooner you come to terms with this, the better off you're going to be," Jen says seriously, taking Dawson's hand in hers and giving it a squeeze. "I know this has to be incredibly hard for you, especially since you've abruptly stumbled upon more information than you ever wanted to know or could handle, but since you know it now, it's not going to go away."
"I know," Dawson mumbles, wishing he had just had the willpower to have not looked. To have walked away and pretended he didn't care. But alas, he had chosen to be stupid. Now he had to deal with the consequences. Jen watches him carefully as his expression shifts, trying to gauge the thoughts that are going through his head. "Maybe I should do that."
"Great. And then after that's done, you and I can work on your "Oh, I'm so surprised you're back, I had no idea," face. You'll need tremendous amount of practice to keep that "Yeah, I know you're back, I saw you two doing it already," look from prevading your face," Jen jokes, nudging Dawson with her elbow. He cracks a smile.
"Not funny, Jen," he mutters, shaking his head. They begin walking toward home, but after a few steps Dawson stops. "Can I wallow in despair for like an hour at least before beginning this healing process?" Jen pretends to consider it, then looks at her watch.
"All right. One hour. I'm timing you."
"Hey, Dougie!" Pacey shouts to his brother across the basketball courts, laughing as his brother gets hopelessly beaten by one of his co-workers. The annual Police-Firemen basketball game in September usually provided Pacey endless amusement, but Doug had decided that this year was the year he was going to practice beforehand. It wasn't helping much. Doug calls a time out and runs over to his little brother, surprised to see him!
"Pacey! When did you get back? And what's with the hair?" He asks, gesturing to his shaved head. Pacey shrugs.
"Cut it," Pacey explains, and Doug rolls his eyes.
"Really." Pacey grins. "Did you just get in?"
"About an hour ago. What's the deal? You here to get some practice at getting whipped so you can do it with gusto in a couple'a weeks?"
"Hardy har har. I'll have you know that I've improved greatly over this past summer, and I'm going to be a huge help to our team this year."
"Yeah, saw that massive air ball you threw as I came in. How many points was that one worth?"
"Shut up. You can't do much better."
"I might not me the next Michael Jordan...not even the next Kobe Bryant, but I can at least hold my own, Dougie," Pacey says.
"Then maybe you should join the team," Doug dares.
"Maybe I will, " Pacey retorts. "At least I wouldn't let the ball be stolen from me by a 55 year old overweight fireman with a prosthetic hand."
"The hand scared me! I didn't know he had a fake one and then all of a sudden, bam! There it was. It was a bit of a shock, excuse me!" Doug defends himself. "Enough of that. How was the trip?" He pauses. "How's Joey?"
"Joey is great. The trip was great," Pacey says, his grin telling all. "Best time of my life."
"So you and Joey are definitely together now, eh?" Doug winks. "Don't think you're going to be having any make-out sessions at my humble abode, little brother. I'd rather not have her Very Berry lipstick smeared on my couch."
"The fact you know what shade she wears is scary, man," Pacey remarks. Doug rolls his eyes again.
"Get off the court, Pacey," he pushes him gently. "I have to practice."
"Yeah, I know, Doug, gotta keep up that masculine facade. I'm sure your extensive knowledge of cookware and Barbara Streisand will aid you in getting those foul shots down."
"You know, I really didn't miss having you around, little brother," Doug replies, heading back to his game. Pacey just laughs and heads home, eager to call Joey and see how Bessie had taken her homecoming.
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