A Matter of Convienence

Author's Note:

The two most obvious facts in Dawson's Creek are as follows:

Dawson is gay. Jack is straight.

This fic is AU, but those two facts could not be messed with. It's my first P/J fic...so...tell me what you think.

CHAPTER ONE:

"You have to tell her, you know," Michael murmured, running his hands over his lover's body.

"I know, it's just...I don't want to hurt her, you know? We've been together so long," Dawson frowned.

"Well, isn't the distance thing reason enough to break it off?"

"Yeah, but I want to be honest."

"About time."

"Look, you know this wasn't easy for you either."

Michael shook his head, "Isn't she at all weirded out that you haven't pressured her for sex?"

"I think it's a relief when she gets home. You'd be amazed how uptight she is in some areas."

"She's a stripper, how uptight can she be?"

Dawson gave him a look. "She's not a stripper."

"Might as well be, for all they wear at that club."

"Seriously, you'd be surprised about her. She hates to be touched."

"Then why does she do it?"

"Needs the money. Financial aid won't give her shit with her dad's money."

"Dude, you're rich, why not fork it over yourself? Can be like, 'How about I pay for that, hon...and oh by the way, I'm gay.' She won't even care at that point, believe me."

"My parents would kill me."

"Ahh...so they don't like you dating a st-waitress?"

"Not particularly."

"Well, would they like me any better?" Michael pouted.

Dawson sighed, "Probably not."

"You can't let them make you deny this part of you."

"I'll deal with it...when I get back."

"That's a year from now, Dawson."

"I know...I just...this is new to me."

"You've never noticed that guys turn you on before us?" Michael asked wryly.

Dawson sighed, "I just wish it wouldn't hurt so many people."

"At least you got over that crush on Pacey."

"Oh God," Dawson muttered, "What a nightmare."

"So how is he doing with what's her face...Red Dye #4?"

"I think he's on 12 now, it's tough to keep track."

"You know who he'd be perfect with, if he got his head out of his ass," Michael chuckled.

Dawson frowned, "Who?"

"Joey."

Dawson snorted, "They hate each other."

"You know what they say about love and hate," Michael grinned.

"If only life were that simple."

"You could always pay him to seduce her."

"What kind of sicko do you take me for?"

"Well, apparently the traditional way to break up is lost on you."

"You don't understand, we're best friends."

"Blah blah blah."

"Fine, if you come up with a way to hook her up with Pacey," Dawson rolled his eyes, "Let me know."

Michael sighed, "The things I do for you."

***

"Remind me, again, why you're never supposed to hit a woman?" Pacey asked Jack through clenched teeth as Joey walked away from them.

Jack laughed, "Relax, Witter. Tell me about that girl you were with the other night."

"You'll have to be more specific than that," Pacey grinned, pouring drinks.

"Unbelievable. What is it about you, man?" Jack shook his head.

"Women hang over you constantly, McPhee," Pacey rolled his eyes.

"Yeah, I just...they're not her."

"You're getting pathetic on me again, Jackers."

"I'm surprised you're not used to pathetic, Pace," Joey jumped into the conversation with a smirk.

"I try to ignore the waitstaff as much as possible, so it doesn't count," Pacey muttered in annoyance, "Whaddaya need, Princess?"

"Table 14 wants Sex on the Beach."

"I thought you gave up on those services, Potter," Pacey grinned, grabbing glasses.

"Bite me, Witter."

"We're in public, Jo, I think that's a little innapropriate."

"Just get me the fucking drinks, Pacey," Joey turned a glare on Jack, who was laughing.

"Sorry, Jo," he stopped laughing quickly, looking away.

"Have you crawled back to Jen yet?" Joey glared at him.

"Jo, look, if she wants to see someone else, that's fine," Jack muttered.

"Right," Joey rolled her eyes, taking the tray of drinks from Pacey. "Don't be a dumbass, McPhee. Though he is remarkably hot, I'll give you that."

Pacey's eyes snapped in her direction, "Who?"

"CJ, the guy Jen's seeing now, since her loser boyfriend didn't feel the need to call her," Joey glared at Jack. "She's not going to just sit around and wait for you."

"I didn't ask her to."

Joey snorted and walked away.

Pacey shook his head.

"What, man? I thought you wanted company. Playa's gotta do what a playa's gotta do and all that."

Pacey winced, "Please never say that. I prefer to simply consider it keeping my options open." His eyes slid to the non-option at Table 14, leaning over the table as the Club logo 'Paradise' glittered off what he grudgingly admitted to himself, wasn't a bad ass.

"Checking out my girlfriend again, Pace?" Dawson came up to the bar with his friend Michael.

"Worried, D?" Pacey grinned lazily.

Michael muttered something that sounded like 'ecstatic' and Pacey frowned at him.

"What was that?"

"Nothing, man. Hey, did you see that house near here that Dawson's been bitching about forever?"

"In a movie or something once, wasn't it?" Pacey rolled his eyes.

"Not just any movie! Spielb-"

The other men covered their ears hurridly, avoiding whatever movie-making atrocity was about to spew forth.

Joey approached the bar, eyeing her friends in confusion. "What on...oh, you're talking about movies again?" she grinned at her boyfriend.

He sighed, kissing her forehead. "How's your night going?"

"Same old, same old," she shrugged. "What about you?"

"Just enjoying my last week before I take off," he smiled.

"You know how much I'll miss you."

"What, with all this?" he grinned, indicating the various aspects of Club Paradise.

"Yeah, you know you love it here, Jo," Pacey jumped into the conversation, apparently willing to risk his ears at this point.

"Yeah, I can't wait to dress up as...Hell's Angel...or whatever the hell this is supposed to be," she grimaced, indicating her tiny white costume, complete with wings.

Pacey smirked, his eyes following the path her gesture indicated. "Ah, you pull it off pretty well, Potter. Just keep the talking to a minimum."

"Advice that I give you on a daily basis is not applicable to anyone else, Pacey."

"Just concerned about your tips, Potter. Silent and Sexy. Good for business."

Joey pouted, "Oh, don't worry, Pace, I'm sure we can come up with an easier gameplan for you."

"I like a challenge."

"Oh, you're challenged," she grinned, snatching a beer from in front of him and turning away before he could respond.

"What's the tally, Jack?" Michael grinned.

"Joey's up by two at the half," Jack grinned.

"Oh, please, you saw the mad dash from the battle field. I know fear when I smell it, gentleman," Pacey's nodded confidently.

Dawson rolled his eyes, "I think that's the shit you're full of, Pace."

Pacey's lips twitched and he moved to give his friends more beer.

"What did I tell you?" Michael turned to Dawson.

"Yeah, you might have something, man."

Jack frowned, "What are you talking about?"

"Oh," Dawson shrugged, "We were just talking about Pacey's plans for this place."

Pacey snorted, "You know I'll never get the financing to own this place."

"You want to buy Paradise?" Jack asked, "When did this come up?"

"I think you were in a drunken binge...something about an adodis-like creature dating Jen?" Pacey smirked.

Jack grimaced. "Could you be more specific?" he asked wryly.

The rest of the guys chuckled. He'd spent the last couple weeks in a drunken binge after Jen dumped him.

"You know, I might be able to talk to my parents about it," Dawson turned to Pacey again.

Pacey's eyes shot up. Dawson's parents were loaded. "Really? Man, that would be incredible. You sure they would go for the whole theme?"

Dawson shrugged, "Guess we'll see, huh?"

"Yeah, thanks, man, I owe ya," Pacey smiled for the first time that evening for a reason other than getting a rise out of Joey Potter.

***

"So did he cry?" Jen asked eagerly as her roommate walked in the door at 2 am.

"Which one?" Joey asked, tossing her purse to the side and diving to her bed.

"Jack, obviously, when you told him about CJ."

"Shouldn't you be focusing on a healthy relationship with CJ rather than the pain you're causing your ex?" Joey lifted her eyebrows.

Jen waved away the nonsense of Joey's suggestion. "Half the fun in moving on, my dear sweet Joey, is to know that your ex has not. Tears are encouraged."

"Very mature, Jen."

"Oh come on, Joey, you're female. If Dawson left you to hang out for weeks with a bunch of frat guys without so much as a call, wouldn't you be pissed?"

"Better a bunch than one," Joey grinned, winking at Jen.

"Hah! Yeah, that would hurt. Definitely not Jack's problem," Jen grimaced, "If anything, he's too heterosexual for my liking."

"You'd rather he was bi?" Joey raised her eyebrows.

"I'd rather he was sensitive and approachable...communicative."

"Yeah, I see what you're saying," Joey smiled, "You're definitely describing a gay man. But there are a few..."

"Who, Dawson?" Jen groaned, "You're practically married."

Joey shuddered, "There's a scary thought."

"Oh, come on. Don't you wanna tie the knot, get in on the trust fund...all that?"

Joey rolled her eyes, "Only funds I'm worried about right now are mine." She picked up her FAFSA for the next year and tossed it over her shoulder.

"Don't stress out about that, it'll work out."

"My scholarship is only going to cover half of it...I can't pay off the rest of it unless I worked full time at Paradise."

"Ugh, with all those guys groping you? What's up with that? If you really don't make that much, they should give you tons of loans."

"Except the man who is technically my father appears to have brokered a large investment firm," Joey grimaced.

"Oh, suck, won't he give you money, though?"

"I would rather be keelhauled than ask him for money."

Jen grimaced, "I'd research the subject more before you made a decision on that one, Jo."

Joey shrugged, yawning. "What time's your first final?"

"Not until 12, but I'm getting up at 7 to study with CJ."

"Then why are you still up?" Joey rolled her eyes, crawling beneath her sheets.

"You didn't tell me how long he cried yet," Jen complained.

"Three hours, Jen," Joey yawned, fighting off oblivion for a few more seconds. "I've got two finals back to back tomorrow."

"Did you reset your alarm?"

"Oh...yeah," Joey sighed, she should do that.

And that was the last thought in her head as she slipped out of consciousness.

***

"Joey?" Jen's voice roused her and she sat up, bleary eyed.

"Yeah?" she asked, confused.

"Don't you have a final now?" Jen asked.

Instantly awake, Joey's eyes flew to the clock.

11:50 glared back at her, taunting.

"SHIT!" Joey threw off the covers, leaping out of bed to slip on her shoes. She didn't bother changing, she had an hour to complete a two hour essay test. The idea that she had completely missed her first final danced in the back of her mind, but she didn't allow herself to think about it. Instead, she focused on her vocabulary. Perhaps if she started out with all the four letter words she knew, she would be in essay writing form by the time she made it to class.

Fucking hell, what else could go wrong?

***

"I can't believe you leave in two days," Michael sighed.

"I know," Dawson hung up the phone.

"So who was that?" Michael asked.

"The owner of that one house," Dawson shrugged.

"You're leaving, yet you thought you'd look into real estate?"

"I told you, it was in--"

Michael cut him off quickly, "Yeah, yeah, so they aren't gonna sell it to you?"

"No," Dawson muttered, "Apparently the house has sentimental value to them, so they're only selling to couples who can 'enjoy it like they did.'"

"Bitter much?"

"Nah, it's just nothing's working out. I just need to get out of here, I guess."

"So that talk about backing Pacey didn't strike your dad like you were hoping?"

"Apparently Pacey isn't someone they imagine when then think of commitment," Dawson chuckled, "...and buying a club would be a huge one."

"True enough. You know he'd be great, though, so what's the deal?"

Dawson shrugged, "Apparently, my parents don't agree."

"Sucks for Pace, he'll never get where he should be without people trusting him."

"Tell me about it."

"DAWSON, LET ME IN!" banging came from the door.

Michael opened the door to have it swing at him wildly as a scantily clad angel came through the door in a huff.

"Hey, Jo...what's up?"

"I flunked TWO finals, Dawson!"

"Jo, I'm sure it's not that bad, you probably did better than you think," he tried to reassure her.

She paced the kitchen, glaring at him, "NO! I missed them! I wasn't even there for one and only for half of the other!"

"Why'd you miss them?"

"I forgot to set the alarm, I was just so exhausted," Joey sank into the chair next to him, her shoulders shaking as tears rolled down her cheeks.

Dawson sighed, wrapping his arms around her. "It'll be okay, Jo."

"I'll lose my scholarship, Dawson...I've been working so hard and I only have a year left."

"You can get loans, Jo, you can pay them back."

"Yeah, my credit is just that great," she muttered.

"You can declare independent from your dad, Jo, you're already paying your own taxes."

"The only way the fucking FAFSA people will let me be independent is if I'm 25 or married," Joey muttered bitterly.

"You could ask your-"

Joey's head shot up. "Never."

"Okay," Dawson backed off immediately. "Did you talk to your teachers?"

"Sure," she laughed humorlessly, "You'd be amazed how much they love to hear that you were up late working at Club Paradise and couldn't manage to wake up for class."

"Joey..."

"I need to use the bathroom and clean up before work," she sighed, "I'm sorry I'm such a mess."

He smiled and kissed her hand softly. "Don't worry about it. I love you. I'm here any time."

"I love you too," she smiled, getting up and going to the bathroom.

Dawson sighed, turning to Michael, whose gaze rested thoughtfully on the closed door of the bathroom.

"I know that look, should I be scared?"

"Shut up, Dawson. Genius at work."

***

The plan was intricate and lovingly created. It focused on the goals of each individual and, Michael felt, the greater good of society in general...just because that sounded nice.

He explained it to Dawson very carefully and waited for his approval.

"Man...that...would actually solve all our problems."

"I know," Michael grinned.

"So...how does one go about telling his girlfriend and best friend that he thinks the best solution for all concerned would be for them to get married?"

"I'm not sure, I'm just the mastermind," Michael grinned, "But I'll give you fifty bucks to watch."

TBC