Crossing Paths
Part 5: On The Right Road
by Laura
August 2001

Joey wakes up to the sound of someone knocking on the front door to her apartment and looks toward it, annoyed. Throwing the big pillows of the couch to the floor, she glances across the room at Dawson, who had fallen asleep in the armchair across from her about an hour ago. Her feet get tangled up in the quilt she had shoved off of herself as she got up, and she kicks it aside with a frustrated and grumpy sigh. Joey glances at the clock before opening the door and frowns even more deeply.

"What in the world could you possibly want at such an ungodly hour?" She snaps, then laughs sheepishly as she sees Pacey standing in the hallway, wearing a wife beater and navy blue wind pants. They're slung loosely around his hips and one of his shoe laces is coming undone.

"Well, I was out for my morning run and I thought I'd stop by and see if my delicious girlfriend was up for some exercise," Pacey grins, then laughs at Joey's somewhat amused expression. "Of the running variety, of course. Not that I'd mind what you were just thinking."

"You have no idea what I'm thinking, Witter," Joey says, smirking. She closes the door almost all the way, stepping all the way out into the hallway. She wants to tell him about Dawson before Dawson wakes up. Pacey leans forward and kisses her lightly on the lips and then smiles at her, too preoccupied with looking at his girlfriend to suspect anything is up.

"Yeah I do. I could always tell when you were thinking about something sexual because you bite your lip, do this funny thing with your hands, and you get this certain look in your eyes." Joey giggles, but then her laugh turns nervous, remembering who is just inside. Pacey starts to kiss her again, then stops abruptly. "But that is not the look. That is a look of..."

"That...was a look of I have a surprise visitor from out of town who is asleep in my living room at this very moment," Joey replies, looking anxious. She runs her hands through her hair and closes the door fully, stepping out into the hallway.

"Oh...and that visitor is...?" Pacey inquires cautiously, getting a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach. He now recognized the look she had been giving him. He’d seen it enough times during their teenage years to know exactly what that look meant.

"Dawson Leery."

"Dawson? He's in there right now?" Pacey asks, gesturing toward Joey’s apartment. “What is he doing here?”

"That’s a good question. Not entirely sure. He called me last night out of the blue and said, 'Surprise! Guess who's in Boston. I'm coming to see you right now.' He didn't give me much of a choice." Joey looks back to her apartment door, sighing heavily. "I didn't even get a chance to say no."

“Like you would’ve said no,” Pacey calls her on her obviously false statement. “You couldn’t ever use that two letter negative when he’s concerned.”

“Hey, that was a little on the hostile side,” Joey says shortly, feeling hurt. Pacey sighs and runs his hands through his hair, taking a deep breath.

“Sorry, I just…I don’t really know how to deal with this, that’s all.” He pauses, looking away for a moment. “Does he...I mean...did you tell him that I'm here in Boston? Did you tell him about us?" Pacey asks quietly, eyeing Joey.

"No, not yet. I haven't really had the chance. He got here about three hours ago and he regaled me with the details of the past few months and his trip here, so on and so forth. I could barely get a word in edgewise and just dropping the news about us suddenly didn’t seem to be the best idea. So I just let him talk and talk and eventually I pretended to fall asleep on the couch. He finally fell asleep about fifteen minutes after I pretended to. I, on the other hand, couldn't get to sleep though, obviously. Too much to think about. I actually thought about calling you but..." Joey stops, leaning back against the door and sighing once more. "I didn't quite know what to say. 'Hey Pace, our old best friend just popped back into our lives as soon as we got together...can we define our relationship right now, this very minute, so we can give this guy an explanation?' Doesn't sound too great."

"Well, let's get that matter out of the way right now. I consider us to be serious. I love you, you love me...we've felt this way since high school and now we're going to act on it. If he has a problem with that, too bad, but I'm not giving you up. And we really don't owe him an explanation, but since we do care about him, if he wants one he can have it," Pacey states straightfowardly, looking Joey in the eyes and cupping her face in his strong hands. Joey rises on tip-toe and kisses him gently on the lips, her heart light with happiness.

"That was the perfect thing for you to say."

"What can I say, I'm the perfect man," Pacey retorts charmingly, giving Joey a cocky grin.

"You can harbor those delusions all you want to, it doesn't make them true," Joey teases back, patting his chest. He pretends to be offended.

"You know, you can really bruise a man's ego with such harshness, Josephine. I think you're going to make me cry. Maybe you should do something to boost my self-esteem before I'm driven to do something drastic and hasty."

"Oh, is insulting your manhood all it takes to drive you to the brink? I wish I had known that in high school, it would've saved me tremendous amounts of irritation!" Joey grins widely, and Pacey gapes at her over-dramatically.

"Potter, that was uncalled for! This must be stopped!" He pulls her body to him, bringing her face about an inch away from his.

"And how do you propose to stop it?" Joey questions, playfully rubbing her nose against his and giggling a little as his hands move up her sides, his fingers tickling her back.

"Like this," Pacey replies and kisses her, his tongue entering her mouth and tangling with hers. She groans softly as he presses her back against the door, his hands roaming freely over her body.

"You silence me this way and I won't ever want to talk again," Joey murmurs between kisses, and he chuckles huskily. His hot lips move down to her neck, sucking on the soft skin he found there. She urges him closer, completely forgetting about her guest inside, just a few feet away.

"That would be a good world, us just kissing and you not talking," Pacey replies and Joey pushes him away jokingly, acting angry.

"You're such a pig."

"Yeah, but you love me," Pacey pushes her back against the door and her lips find his once more, her hands slipping underneath the thin layer of his wife beater to touch his flat stomach.

"Have I ever told you how incredibly good your body feels? It should be illegal." Joey whispers into his ear, her tongue tracing its way down his sharp jaw line. She knows he’s smiling even though her eyes are closed, she can just feel it. She doesn't get to find out his reply, however, since at that moment the door opens and both she and Pacey go tumbling into her apartment, falling onto the floor.

"I bet I didn't feel that good landing on you," Pacey murmurs before looking up, turning a bit red when he sees Dawson standing above them.

"Dawson..." Joey starts, trying not to laugh. "Um..."

"Pacey?" Dawson asks, not able to believe what he's seeing. "What are you doing here?" His voice rings with pure surprise and shock, his confusion written all over his face. Dawson just stares as Joey blushes, trying to wiggle out from underneath Pacey.

"I was using Joey as a cushion for my fall," Pacey replies jokingly as he gets up. "I don't think it worked too well. Next time maybe I think I'll set up some actual mats or something." He offers his hand to Joey and pulls her up from the floor. She re-arranges her clothes and smiles at Dawson nervously. The tension hangs in the air for a moment so Pacey scrambles to break it. "How are you doing, man?" Pacey offers Dawson his hand and Dawson shakes it slowly, gazing at his friend as if he’s not entirely sure that Pacey’s really there.

"I'm doing really I I didn't expect to run into you here. Not that that's a bad thing. I mean that it's a good surprise. How long has it been since we've seen each other? I didn’t know you were in Boston, I…well...what brings you around?" Dawson stammers, torn between happiness at seeing his friend and the confusion over the possibly compromising situation he had just found them in.

“I’m here to see Joey,” Pacey says simply, glancing at Joey to see if she wanted him to say the whole truth or not. He can’t read her expression. “I’ve been living in Boston since the beginning of this school year. I’m going to B.U. now.”

“And we’re dating,” Joey suddenly blurts out, then covers her mouth as if she hadn’t meant to say it.

“What?” Dawson exclaims, looking between his two friends with utter disbelief and dismay. “You’re dating? As in romantically?”

“Is there are non-romantic form of dating that I don’t know about?” Joey replies, laughing. Dawson doesn’t find it quite so funny.

“When did all this happen?”

“Oh…two days ago. It’s kind of funny actually. I didn’t know Pacey was here and Pacey didn’t know I was here, and one of my roommates met Pacey in a class and set us up on a blind date. You can’t even imagine how shocked I was when Pacey walked in and I found out he was the guy Rana had been gushing about,” Joey explains. “But Pacey and I just…”

“Decided to be a couple?” Dawson supplies, shaking his head. He still didn’t quite know how he felt about this. Part of him was hurt, another part was shocked, while yet another part of him was purely bewildered. Pacey was in Boston and he hadn’t known about it. Joey found out he was in Boston and started dating him and she hadn’t said a word. They’d talked for hours last night and she hadn’t mentioned a single thing about their mutual best friend not only being a few blocks away but also being her boyfriend. Her boyfriend! The concept was too strange; all through high school they’d fought and bickered and now they were going out?

Pacey and Joey sit down on the couch as they wait for Dawson to continue, wondering what he’s going to say or do.

“Guys, this makes no sense. You two never have felt that way about each other, why suddenly are you together? It’s so…random and…I don’t know!” Joey and Pacey exchange meaningful looks, each asking each other how much of the truth Dawson needs to know. Pacey raises an eyebrow and nods as Joey stares at him hard, tilting her head slightly. Dawson watches them, wondering what’s going on. They were discussing something with their eyes.

“Well, see the truth of the matter is, Dawson…” Joey starts, then stops. She fidgets in her seat, not sure how to tell him. “Back in high school…Pacey and I…”

“Joey and I wanted to be more than friends.” Pacey supplies, and Joey smiles gratefully, twining her fingers in his reassuringly. “We’ve always felt strongly for one another but we knew it would hurt you if we got together, so we didn’t.”

“You’re serious.” Dawson says flatly, not even believing it. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“No joke,” Pacey replies. “We…we kind of discovered our…”

“Mutual attraction.”

“Right, mutual attraction, in eleventh grade, but we set it aside,” he explains, watching Dawson carefully trying to gauge his reaction. Joey and he hadn’t really talked about how they were going to handle telling Dawson, since they had assumed they had quite a large amount of time before having to see him. Now Pacey was just guessing, hoping that the truth wouldn’t upset Dawson. “And when we ran into each other the other night…we discovered it had never gone away. And decided that now would be a good time to finally pursue a relationship.”

Dawson says nothing for a moment, leaving Pacey and Joey to wait in agony. Joey fidgets nervously, anticipating what she assumes is going to be an unreasonable, typical Dawson response. He had grown up so much over the past few years, but when it came to her, Joey still didn’t know if he had matured at all. He had always been overprotective and slightly childish, territorial, even. But now came the moment of truth. Would he accept Pacey and Joey as an item or would it be their high school nightmares come true?

The silence is unbearable.

“So…you guys really liked each other in high school?” Dawson finally asks, looking at the two of them. Joey nods. He sits down slowly in the armchair across from them, running his fingers through his blonde hair. “And you didn’t go out because you thought it would hurt me? You gave each other up because of me?” Joey nods again, beginning to feel that maybe Dawson wasn’t going to be upset after all. He gazes at Joey, his eyes soft and gentle. “Why?” The question falls softly on both of their ears.

“Because everyone knew you were still in love with Joey and I didn’t want to be the best friend who steals the girl and Joey didn’t want to create a rift between our group. We both valued your friendship, Dawson. We didn’t want to lose you.”

“Did you…I mean, do you love each other?” Dawson murmurs.

“Yes, Dawson, we do.” Pacey replies softly. “And it would mean a lot to us if you gave us your support.”

“I support you,” Dawson says. “I just…this is just a huge surprise. I was clueless about all of this. I just come to visit Joey and surprise her and I end up being the one left stunned. I just…I never would’ve thought…” He breaks off, sighing deeply. “I’d like to say I’m not hurt by the fact that you guys kept this from me for so long. That you have both felt this way since high school and you didn’t trust our friendship enough to know things would’ve been okay if you had gotten together two years ago.”

“Dawson, come on,” Pacey scoffs, laughing lightly to show he’s not trying to be mean. “If you knew that Joey and I wanted each other back then, chances were that you would’ve completely and totally flipped out and ended our friendship. You weren’t exactly the most clear-headed person when it came to your relationship with Joey.” Dawson looks to Joey, knowing Pacey is right but needing to hear her agree to believe it himself.

“It’s true. You would’ve hated us both. Perhaps things would have mended in time, but we really feared the possibility of losing you all together. But that was you then. And this is you now. You’re grown up, your view of the world is broader and you’re wiser, and the same with us. Our lives are still intertwined, but you and I, we don’t need each other like we used to. We have lives of our own. And Pacey and I want to be together and while we want you to like the idea, if you don’t, we’re still going to be together. We have more faith in each other now than we did back then. We know things are going to be okay as long as we stay with one another.”

Dawson pauses for a moment, looking at Joey quizzically.

“Where is the real Joey and what have you done with her? Those hopeful and romantic words would have never left her cynical and bitter mouth. You sound like you’re about to burst into a Broadway love song.”

“I’m still the same old Joey, Dawson. Just a lot happier.” Dawson is quiet, looking back and forth between his two friends for almost a whole two minutes before finally saying something.

“Well.” He begins, then stops. “Well…I guess I should say congratulations?”

Joey and Pacey smile in relief, and Joey throws her arms around Dawson’s neck, kissing him on the cheek. “Thanks, Dawson.” She murmurs as she hugs him tightly. Joey moves back so Pacey can give Dawson a half-hug, the kind of hug that two guys give one another that seems awkward and sweet all at the same time.

Dawson is still clearly coming to terms with the news, too flabbergasted to come up with something to say. He stands there feeling slightly stupid, wishing that one of the two of them would say something.

“Um…you guys up for some breakfast? Maybe we could go out, get something to eat, catch up? Reminisce?” Pacey suggests, looking between Dawson and Joey. Dawson smiles and sticks his hands in his pockets, shifting on his feet.

“Naw, I think I’ll pass,” he says, shrugging. “Why don’t you two go out and have a nice breakfast together. I think I’m going to go and find a hotel, get settled, maybe get some sleep. I was up driving almost all night, so…” Dawson gestures to the door. “I should go.”

“D, you don’t have to go to a hotel. Why don’t you just come stay at my place?”

“Or you’re more than welcome to claim the couch as your home base for a few days,” Joey offers. Dawson shakes his head no.

“Thanks guys, but I think it’s going to be the Sheraton for me. I do have a lot of work and stuff that I brought with me to do this weekend and I kind of need my own space to do that. You don’t want to be near me when I’m getting frustrated over a project. I’ll end up wreaking so much havoc that you’ll never want me to visit again.”

“Are you sure, Dawson? Because we’re both more than happy to have you. It’s no problem.”

“I know it’s not,” Dawson waves Joey off, grinning. “And I love you guys for that. But…I think that after I retreat to my hotel and get some much needed shut-eye, we should get together for dinner and a movie.”

“As long as we go see a new movie and you don’t make me dig out my hundred year old copy of E.T.,” Joey retorts.

“Damn, my plan is foiled.”

“Joey’s a smart one, she won’t let you get away with a thing,” Pacey chuckles, wrapping his arms playfully around Joey’s waist and kissing her neck. Joey giggles as his fingers tickle her sides, and she swats him away. Dawson watches, a small, sincere smile spreading lightly across his boyish face.

“I’ve missed you guys,” he says, the sincerity of his tone stopping both Pacey and Joey’s laughter. “I really have.”

“We’ve missed you too, D,” Pacey replies just as honestly, his gaze locking with his best friend’s. They both nod, neither looking away until Dawson finally breaks it.

“I should get going. I’ll call you when I get to a hotel and let you know where I’m staying and all that. We can makes definite plans for tonight.”

“Sounds great,” Joey replies, following Dawson back to the door. He picks up his large overnight bag from the floor and hefts it over his shoulder. “We’ll be eagerly awaiting your phone call.”

“Sitting by the phone in pure anticipation,” Pacey adds teasingly. “The suspense will just about kill me.” Dawson rolls his eyes.

“Yeah, and I’m the Easter Bunny.”

“I knew it! I just *knew* it!” Pacey exclaims, clapping his hands together and then pointing at Dawson. “I always suspected…”

“Bye, Pacey…” Dawson says, opening up the door while shooting Pacey an amused look. “I’ll talk to you later, Jo.”

“Bye, Dawson.” Joey gives him a small wave good-bye as he closes the door. Pacey turns to Joey as the door clicks shut, a satisfied smile on his face.

“Well. That wasn’t so bad, was it?”

“Not bad at all.”

“I was expecting a huge disaster, perhaps the apocalypse. But we got a wee bit of rainfall and then clear skies. Not what was in the forecast at all.”

“Do you realize you sounded exactly like Jon Stewart when you said that?” Joey observes, grinning crookedly. Pacey raises an eyebrow.

“Compliment or insult?”

“Compliment, you doof.”

“Of course…Jon Stewart is awesome, as am I. We have a lot in common.”

“Yes…the short, thirtysomething, Jewish comedian with an award-winning cable show and Pacey Witter, the tall, twentysomething, non-religious college student with nothing but a whole lot of loans to pay off. I see the similarities just piling up.”

“Quiet, you. You’re the one who brought it up. And who says I have nothing? I have you, and that’s everything,” Pacey says and Joey laughs.

“Oh, god, that was so corny. I don’t think I’ve heard anything so bad in my life,” Joey replies. “Or so sweet,” she adds, kissing him on the nose. They’re about to fall into a deep lip lock when the front door to Joey’s apartment opens and Heather and Steve walk in, obviously finishing a kiss of their own. Joey looks at her roommate in surprise.

“Joey!” Heather exclaims, her jaw dropping. “Hey…didn’t know you were home. I thought you were at Pacey’s.”

“Pacey’s here,” Joey informs her, eyeing her two friends with a coy smile. In the madness of Dawson coming over last night, she had entirely forgotten that Heather had spent the night out, which was unlike her. “What exactly is going on here and when did this happen?” She laughs, and Heather just shrugs.

“Last night after a whole lot of booze and even more self deprecation,” Steve remarks, chuckling. “Heather and I ran into one another, we talked about how sickening the two of you were in your throes of love and passion, yada yada yada, we’re making out in a closet somewhere, amongst mops and floor cleaner.”

“It was terribly romantic,” Heather smirks.

“And we’re planning to continue this sweeping epic of love and adventure.”

“Or we might just occasionally use each other for sex,” Heather amends, and Joey can’t tell if she’s joking or not. Heather rolls her eyes at Joey’s expression. “Jo, I’m kidding. I’ll leave the casual sex thing to Rana.”

“Speaking of Rana,” Pacey cuts in, “Chris told me this morning that she deserted him last night at some club and went off with another guy.”

“Really?” Joey isn’t surprised. “That figures. Her attention span is shorter than a two year old’s when it comes to guys, and she was getting really fed up with Chris anyway. Was Chris upset?”

“Judging by the blonde that came out of his bedroom this morning wearing his dress shirt, I’d have to say he’s not too torn up about it.”

“Well, that’s too bad,” Heather shrugs. “I figured that the two of them were meant for one another, in their incredible shallowness and great appetite for sex. I guess we should be thankful Rana’s so easygoing about guys.”

“Why?” Joey asks, not getting what Heather is saying.

“Well, imagine if she was the type who got attached to all the mean she dates. With you moping about all year and me and my eternal feminist fire, if Rana had been in a constant state of mourning after every relationship, I think this place would’ve self-destructed,” Heather explains. “I’m going to make some breakfast, anyone want some?” Heather makes toward the kitchen, turning around to ask her friends the question. Joey raises an eyebrow at Heather.

“You’re going to make breakfast.”

“Well, it’s not often that I’m up this early and in a good mood, is it?” Heather retorts. “We should celebrate.”

“By getting food poisoning?”

“Ha ha. Very funny. Pacey, I can not possibly fathom what you see in this girl.”

“Funny, I can’t either,” Pacey rubs his chin, scrunching up his eyebrows and pretending to think really hard. Joey smacks him upside the head. “Oh, yeah, now I remember. She jogged my memory for me.”

“Are you going to physically abuse me?” Steve turns to Heather questioningly. Heather walks over to him, kisses him lightly on the lips and then slaps him jokingly across the face. Not hard, but hard enough.

“You can bet on it.”


"You do realize that we have the whole place to ourselves," Joey points out, sitting down on the edge of her bed and glancing at Pacey. He's sitting at her desk, intently checking his e-mail.

"That I am aware of," he responds. "I just have to check this. I'm supposed to be getting an e-mail about this group project I have to do for one of my classes. We have to meet sometime this week to start preliminary work."

"Aren't I supposed to be the responsible scholar in this relationship?" Joey stands up and goes to him, resting her arms on his shoulders. She slips her hands down the front of his shirt, her fingers splaying over his upper chest and rubbing slightly. "You're the one who is supposed to be begging me to stop doing my work." Joey bends and kisses his neck. Pacey shuts her laptop with a smile, pulling away from her touch and turning to face her.

"It's nice to have the roles reversed," he remarks. "You sound sexy when you're pleading?"

"Oh really? Oh, tell me *exactly* how sexy I sound," Joey pouts, purposefully pleading now. Pacey smirks at her attempt.

"Only when you're honestly pleading, not mocking me out," he tells her. Pacey wraps his arms around her waist and pulls her closer, lifting up her shirt and laying butterfly kisses along her flat stomach. Joey smiles down at him, trying not to giggle due to her ticklish tendencies.

"Do you think Heather and Steve are going to work?"

"Heather and Steve? I don't know," Pacey replies with a small shrug, pulling Joey down. She makes it easier for him, willingly sinking down to her knees so they're at eye level with one another. He leans forward and kisses her on the lips tenderly, his fingers playing in her soft hair. "I don't really know either of them that well yet, do I? I don't know if I should be predicting the course of their relationship."

"Well, I think that they could stand a chance. Maybe. I think they're going to be one of those couples who constantly break up and make up. It should provide us with endless amusement," Joey theorizes.

"Yes, we can watch their crazy spats from the sidelines, occasionally telling them how great it is in the land of complete emotional contentment."

"Emotional *and* physical contentment," Joey corrects. "You do realize that now that Heather and Steve are together, we're constantly going to be vying for alone time in this place."

"We better make the most of this window of opportunity then, shouldn't we?" Pacey grins, pulling Joey to him for another kiss, this one longer and more passionate. Joey smiles against his mouth, already working on tugging his shirt over his head.

"Of course we should. It's already been twenty-four hours since the last time and I'm experiencing signs of withdrawl."

"You're addicted to me?"

"You bet your ass."

"And a cute ass it is too," Pacey remarks and Joey sticks her tongue out at him before he pulls her shirt over her head and casts it aside.

"Gotta love your modesty. At least I know I'll never have to utter a single compliment about you in the entire course of our relationship. You take care of that quite nicely all by yourself."

"It takes a lot of hard work to keep this ego up."

"It doesn't take much work to get other parts of you up," Joey teases, brushing her hand against the bulge already forming underneath his khakis. She pulls the zipper down to give him some relief, licking her lips in anticipation. Slowly, she then moves her hands to the front clasp of her baby blue bra, slipping it off of her body gracefully. Pacey moves to kiss her again, but she pulls away slightly, giggling when he groans in frustration.

"You are the devil, woman," Pacey murmurs and pulls her to him, his lips burning into hers. Talk forgotten, they both stand up together and move onto the couch effortlessly. When they are together, Joey always felt completely in tune with Pacey and they were able to move together as one without communicating out loud. She lays back into the soft, white cushions of the couch and watches as Pacey begins tugging down her shorts and panties. Casting the clothing aside, Pacey moves to lay down with her, but she catches his strong hands in hers and stops him.

"You're severely overdressed," she points out, gesturing to his shorts and boxers. He grins in the special way that had always sent tingles down Joey's spine and obligingly strips down. Joey openly admires him, her eyes drifting all over his finely toned body. She can't keep the breath from catching in her throat, still unable to fully process just how beautiful Pacey truly is. Everything about him just seems so perfect, inside and out.

Pacey gazes at her, also taken aback at how incredibly breathtaking she is. He could scarcely believe that after years of dreaming about her, fantasizing about making love to her and reliving their one night together in high school, here he is. Joey is laying here before him, her body awaiting his touch and her heart just as much his and his was hers.

"That's much better," Joey whispers and makes a movement for him to come to her. Pacey gently moves above her, careful not to lay his weight upon her. Joey's delicate hands drift over his arms as he places his hands on either side of her head, her eyes meeting his in an intense gaze. Tilting her head up, her lips graze his before she lets her head sink back onto the arm of the couch, beckoning him to come closer. Pacey lets his body down on top of hers and she lets out a tiny moan of pleasure as their bare skin came into contact, his hardness laying intimately between their bodies. She gives into Pacey's kiss, her fingers twining into his hair as she grants his tongue access to her mouth.

His hands travel over her body, roaming over her breasts, arms, stomach and thighs before letting his mouth follow suit. Joey's eyes drift shut for a second when his mouth closes over one of her taut nipples, but the sight of him teasing her is too arousing, too tantalizing to ignore.

"Pacey..." She breathes lightly, feeling an impatience to have him inside of her like she had never felt before. Her body is already crying and screaming out for him, the idea of foreplay just an unnecessary step at the moment. "Pacey, I need you now." Joey murmurs, directing his lips back toward hers and urging her body against his.

Pacey groans in response. Moving slightly, he positions himself at her entrance and slides slowly inside of her in one movement. Joey sighs in pleasure, feeling warmth rush through her body. Loving him was an adrenaline rush, an aphrodisiac like she'd never felt and a carnal desire that rocked her to the core. They move together, falling into perfect rhythm, matching one another thrust for thrust until the first wave of their orgasms crashed. Tearing her mouth away from his passionate kiss as she comes, she cries out his name. He sinks down on top of her, both of them breathing wildly out of control.

"Pacey?" Joey finally murmurs when she manages to gain control of herself.

"Yes?" Pacey asks, his voice tender and loving. He props himself up on his elbows and stares down at her, brushing her hair away from her face.

"Can we do this forever?"

"I wouldn't have it any other way, Potter."


"Hello?" Dawson taps lightly on the front door to Pacey's apartment, finding it already half open. "Pacey?" He walks in slowly and cautiously, not sure if he should even be coming in at all. Someone Dawson doesn't recognize comes tearing out of a bedroom, frantically trying to tie his tie and not having much success as he runs toward the door. "Hi...the door was open so I hope you don't mind...I'm here for Pacey. Is he here?" Dawson gets no answer as the man hurries to the bathroom, throws on way too much cologne and bolts for the door, his tie still hanging loose around his neck.

"Pacey's not here," Chris mutters as he brushes past Dawson. "He'll be back soon. Just sit down or something and wait. I have to go, I'm late." He pulls on his shoes without bothering to untie them, shoving them on and almost falling over in the process. He's about to head out the door when he crashes right smack into Tasha, who was walking in. She laughs at him in his distress.

"Oh right...dinner with the folks tonight. Love the outfit," she tells him, gesturing to his conservative ensemble.

"Screw you," he mutters and runs out, leaving Tasha and Dawson alone. Tasha glances at Dawson, who is dumbfounded, and shuts the door gently. The guy standing in the middle of Pacey's living room looked very familiar for some reason, but she couldn't place it.

"Hey...have we met before? You're one of Pacey's friends, right?" Tasha asks after a moment's silence, realizing that Dawson isn't about to say anything.

"I'm one of Pacey's friends, but we haven't met before," Dawson replies, offering her his hand. She shakes it with a smile. "I'm Dawson Leery. I was friends with Pacey in-"

"High school, right," Tasha nods, suddenly placing his face. "I've seen pictures. Nice to meet you. Does...does Pacey know that you're here?"

"We're supposed to be meeting to go out to dinner, but he's not here yet..." Dawson shrugs, feeling uncomfortable. "Pacey's roommate - or at least that's who I'm assuming that was - told me he was supposed to be back soon."

"That'd be Chris. He's a pig," Tasha informs Dawson simply, sitting down on the couch. "Here, sit down," she gestures to a seat.

"Thanks," Dawson says, glancing at her. She is pretty; she almost reminds him of Jen, in a way. "Are you a friend of Pacey's then, I take it?"

"Yep, I'm Pacey's dilligent sidekick," she tells him with a smile. "What brings you to Boston?"

"Well, I came here to visit Joey, actually," Dawson replies. "But then I discovered that Pacey was here too, so..."

"You didn't know he was here? He's a great one for secrets, isn't he?" Tasha remarks, half joking but half serious. The look on Dawson's face clearly shows that he needs an explanation. "I've known Pacey for what I consider to be a good length of time now and I just found out that you and Joey Potter existed no less than twenty-four hours ago."


"I was a bit surprised."

"Understandable. I didn't know about him and Joey either, so don't feel too out of the loop."

"Well, in truth, that just happened a few days ago. Neither of them knew the other was here, so I don't think they were deliberately hiding anything from you."

"No, well...well, I kind of meant...about the stuff going back all the way to high school. The whole secretly being in love with each other thing."


"Now it makes sense, though, you know? Looking back? I don't know how I didn't see it."

"What do you mean?"

"The way they looked at each other, how they acted together, little things like how softly he always touched her...stuff like that. Things you really don't think about then but when you take a step back and look at the big picture, it all adds up. And it all becomes very clear."

"I know what you mean. Pacey's behavior often puzzled me...he never seemed all that interested in love or women...but when I found out about all made sense."

"Exactly the same with Joey. I was always asking her why she wouldn't date anyone, and now I know why. She was still in love with Pacey. It's things like that, you know...looking back in retrospect. Makes you wonder what you're missing right now, what's right under your nose that you just aren't seeing."

"I know! Something really huge could be happening right now in our lives and we might not even realize it until four years from now," Tasha exclaims. "Really puts you in a different frame of mind, doesn't it?"

"Sure does," Dawson smiles, all the tension and shyness he felt about sitting alone with someone he didn't even know just slipping away. "I think you and I might be kindred spirits."

"Definitely on the same page," Tasha agrees. "I guess we have Joey and Pacey to thank for our new clarity."

"We gave you clarity?" Tasha and Dawson look toward the door, where Joey and Pacey are walking in, hand in hand. "That's something I never thought I'd be handing out to anyone."

"Sorry we're late," Joey apologizes. "Time sort of got away on us."

"Forgiven," Dawson quickly says, not even wanting to entertain the thought of what the two of them were doing that made time fly by so quickly. "But I'm starving, so you guys better be right about this restaurant."

"It's great, you'll love it," Pacey reassures him, turning to Tasha. "What are you doing here, Tash? I thought you had study group tonight."

"Cancelled. I thought I'd come over and bother you but I've been bothering Dawson here instead."

"Why don't you come along with us and bother me some more?" Dawson suggests, to both Joey and Pacey's surprise. "Have you eaten yet?"

"No, not yet," Tasha replies, pleased with the offer. "Pace, Jo, do you mind if I tag along?"

"No, of course we don't," Joey says, laughing.

"I think you're footing the bill though," Pacey adds. "Or maybe Dawson can treat? What do you say, buddy?"

"I think that you're as delusional as ever, Witter," Dawson retorts, grinning widely.

"Happy to provide you with a constant in your life. Now everyone ready to get some food?" Everyone nods and the four happily tramp out of the apartment, Pacey turning off the lights and locking the door.

Dawson heads down the hallway first, Tasha following slightly behind him. Dawson turns and says something to her and she laughs, falling into step beside him. Pacey and Joey lag a few paces behind, Joey observing the pair with interest.

Pacey twines his hand in hers and looks at her, knowing she's up to something.

"What are you plotting now?"

"What do you think of that?" She points ahead of them, and Pacey raises his eyebrows.

"That? As in Dawson and Tasha? You're kidding."

"I can tell already that they get along really well, why not?"

"They just met...aren't you jumping the gun a little?"

"No...I'm just acknowledging the possibility of potential there."

"And there's potential there?"

"A definitely possibility of it."

Pacey throws a skeptical glance at the pair ahead once again, then turns back to Joey.

"You really think so?"

"I think they look cute together. They're both our friends and they immediately hit it off. Look at'd think we weren't even here." She gestures to them, and Pacey finds they're already deep in conversation as they wait for Pacey and Joey to reach the elevator. "You don't think it's possible?"

Pacey laughs gently, shaking her head and bringing their intertwined hands up to his mouth, kissing the back of hers.

"Potter, at this point in my life, I'd think that anything is possible."

The End


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