A/N- Okay, this is just simple one-shot P/J diddy. I heard the song "If You Could Only See," and I was inspired. Simple as that. I heard the song and thought, "this reminds me of Pacey and Joey." Thus, I decided to write this. I know I should be working on my other stories, but I couldn't help it; it was BEGGING to be written...And I have NO idea if some things in here are accurate. I don't know if there are apartments that overlook Boston Bay, but if there AREN'T, please don't bust my little happy bubble. I don't live in Boston; I live in Texas. Therefore, I would have no way of knowing. Anyway, I may change some things to my liking. Pacey and Joey are both 26 years old in this, Pacey and Joey never dated, and Pacey never became a stockbroker. Well, that's enough from me. Please enjoy. ^_^ Oh, and the Season Finale doesn't exist, but a few things from it did happen. Meh, you'll see later...
Disclaimer- Okay, I don't own Dawson's Creek or any of the characters. Though I wish I owned Pacey...oops, did I say that out loud?
Joey plopped down on the couch and grabbed the remote. She had just gotten home from work and she was physically, as well as mentally, exhausted. She was currently living in Boston with her roommate of two years and childhood friend, Pacey Witter.
Now the normal person would say, 'Those two MUST be dating; a man and a woman don't simply just LIVE together.' However, if you were to ask Joey Potter, she would simply say they were friends. Two friends living together in a platonic environment.
As she flipped aimlessly through the channels, she stood back up and walked into her bedroom. The apartment was fairly spacious and had two decent-sized bedrooms, a shared bathroom, a small kitchen, and a small living area. Joey loved it; she wouldn't ask for anything more.
Despite Pacey's job as top chef at the local restaurant and Joey's job as a successful book editor, the two decided to room together in the modest little apartment over-looking Boston Bay.
Joey let out a dejected sigh and began rubbing her tense neck muscles. She grabbed a dry towel from her closet and walked out of her room. She turned and entered the single bathroom, closing and locking the door behind her.
She peeled off her clothes and turned on the hot water. Testing the water with her hand first, she climbed into the steaming stream of water.
Allowing the hot drops of liquid to soak her hair and body, she closed her eyes. Today had been a hard day.
About thirty minutes later, Joey walked out of the shower feeling refreshed. A sense of renewal had come with the hot shower and Joey was feeling a state of relaxation set in.
She wrapped the fluffy pink towel around her wet body as she opened the door. Seeing that Pacey wasn't home yet, she stepped out of the steamy bathroom and walked across the hardwood floor, leaving wet footprints in her wake.
The moderately cheap carpet felt soft to her bare feet as she entered her bedroom. Towel-drying her hair, she pulled out a pair of Pacey's boxers and a tank top and slipped them on. She wasn't sure exactly how Pacey's boxers ended up in HER drawer, but she wouldn't question it. That was a mystery for another day...
Hanging the towel on the doorknob, Joey walked back into the living room, reacquainting herself with the couch's many comforts.
Just as she was reaching for the remote again, she heard the lock click open and a sluggish form enter the room.
Without moving an inch Joey called out, "Hey Pace."
A grumbled reply was the only response he offered.
Joey felt the couch sink a little bit lower as her roommate's six-foot-two frame joined her on the relatively small couch. His legs were draped slightly over hers and his head was hanging off the arm of the piece of furniture.
"Hey Jo," he said dejectedly as he let out a sigh.
She pursed her lips at his depressed exterior. For the past week or so, he had come home depressed. Whenever she confronted him about it, he hurriedly changed the subject. It was beginning to worry her.
"You okay?" she asked, just as she had every day since this strange behavior began.
"Yeah," he replied, just as he had every day since his strange behavior began.
Just like clockwork.
But today was going to be different. Joey refused to be brushed off again.
"Pacey, there's something bothering you. I'm not sure what it is, but you can tell me," Joey persisted.
Pacey just shrugged. "I'm fine, Joey. There's nothing wrong."
"Then what's with the depressed sighs and sluggish entrances? You come home depressed every day. I just want to know what's wrong. Maybe I can help," she said with compassion, slipping her hand into his comfortingly.
He brushed her off again, waving her hand away. "It's nothing Jo. Nothing's wrong," he said flatly.
A wave of hurt passed over her features. She didn't understand why he couldn't just tell her.
He let out a sigh and turned to look at her. Capturing her eyes in his, he continued. "Sorry if that came out wrong. I guess I just haven't been in the best of moods. I don't mean to take it out on you...it just kind of happens," he admitted.
Joey took his hand in her two much smaller hands, still holding his gaze. "Pace, we're friends. Friends tell each other when something's wrong. Just tell me what's bothering you; maybe I can help," she said, hoping to finally be enlightened.
He let out a light, almost sarcastic laugh. "No, I don't think so. It's one of those unsolvable things," he said.
She raised he eyebrows skeptically. "Unsolvable, huh?"
He allowed a small smile to escape his lips. "Yes. Unsolvable."
"Well hit me with your best shot, Pace. ENLIGHTEN me," she said, now grinning broadly.
He let out a light chuckle. "Maybe later, Jo. What I'm REALLY in the mood for is some pizza. Do we have any leftovers or must I order more?" he asked, shifting the subject.
Joey rolled her eyes. He had managed to do it again. Change the subject. And just when she was finally getting somewhere...
"Didn't we have that yesterday? And the day before that? And the day before that?" she asked, feigning exasperation. She would play out his game. He had to give in SOME time. She didn't want to push him for fear of pushing him farther away.
"Yes. But one can NEVER have enough pizza," Pacey said, wagging his finger at her and morphing back into his normal self.
"Is that so?" she asked, raising her eyebrows. "I beg to differ."
"Well then you can go and differ in that little corner and buy yourself your OWN dinner," Pacey quipped good-naturedly, planting his feet on the ground and walking to the phone.
"Nuh-uh-uh!" Joey protested, shaking her pointer finger at him. "You're a chef. Cook. Now."
"No way! I cook for other people ALL DAY! When I come home, I should be in the lap of luxury," he said cockily, picking up the phone to dial.
"Luxury? PIZZA every night is luxury?" Joey said, her voice full of disbelief.
"You underestimate its greatness, Potter. Besides, luxury is in the eye of the beholder," he said simply. Pacey then dialed the all-too-familiar number to order himself, and possibly Joey, some pizza.
"Greatness? Pacey, you are delusional," she said, rolling her eyes and smiling.
"That may be so, but I'm happy that way. You want some pizza?" he asked, gesturing to the phone.
Joey let out a sigh of defeat. "Fine. Fine. But don't think this will become a regular occurrence. Tomorrow we are having REAL FOOD!" she said, attempting to sound authoritative.
Pacey just grinned cheekily. "'Course not, Potter. Wouldn't dream of it," he said goofily.
She let out a sigh of mock-exasperation as she made the trek back to the couch. She fell backwards onto it and allowed a smile to form. Pacey may not be opening up now, but she was sure he would. His wall was crumbling quickly. Sure, she had a wall herself, but luckily he wasn't going to great lengths to destroy it. She preferred it that way.
Pacey and Joey lay sprawled in the living room, empty pizza boxes carelessly scattered throughout the room.
Joey lay across the length of the couch while Pacey lay upside down on the floor, his legs resting in Joey's lap.
"I can't...move..." Pacey grumbled to himself.
Joey nodded her head, though she knew he couldn't see her.
After a few moments of silence, Joey's voice cut through. "Hey Pace? Now would be a good time for you to explain," she noted simply.
"Explain what?" he asked, feigning ignorance.
"Don't play dumb..." Joey muttered, yawning.
Pacey sighed, knowing he couldn't get out of it. Even if he could, he hardly had the energy for it.
"I guess I'm just realizing I may be forever destined to be a nobody. I may never move forward with my life. I mean, I'm 26 years old and I haven't done anything different with my life. It's bleak and boring and I'm not even that good at it. I'm doomed for failure, Jo. I always have been and I always will be," he said suddenly, staring at the ceiling.
Before she could respond, he continued.
"I've lost contact with everyone but you. Dawson has disappeared into movie land, Jen and Jack are in New York, I haven't spoken to Andie since graduation, and God knows what happened to Audrey...You're all I have left. Not that that it's necessarily a bad thing...it's just I never realized the magnitude of my uselessness until last week. You, however, are successful. I'm proud of you Jo. I just don't know what's wrong with me..." he said, still staring at the ceiling.
"Pace-" Joey began.
"I think I'm going to head on to bed early," he said, slowly retracting his legs from Joey's lap and standing up. "Night, Jo."
She watched as he closed his bedroom door behind himself. She couldn't believe he thought that...
Something had to be done.
Joey called up Dawson on his cell phone. She had an idea but she might need someone's help to get it done.
'Hello? Dawson Leery speaking.' The all-too-familiar voice rang through the phone.
"Dawson! It's Joey. I was wondering if you could do me a favor..."
It was a Saturday morning and Pacey had just retrieved the morning paper along with a cup of coffee from across the street. He walked back up the stairs to his and Joey's apartment. He then opened the door only to be greeted with a frenzied Joey. Pacey cocked a curious eyebrow at her.
"Jo? What are you doing and what did you put in your coffee?" he asked as he slipped off his coat and approached the woman. It was starting to get chilly outside.
She stopped and turned to him, an innocent smile on her face. "What? Me?" she asked, blinking innocently and cocking her head slightly. "Nothing."
He raised his eyebrows skeptically. "Really? You seem to be in a pretty big hurry considering you aren't 'DOING anything'..." he said, quoting the words 'doing' and 'anything' with his index and middle fingers.
She smiled. "Of COURSE I am! I have to get this place cleaned up!" she declared simply, continued her frenzied cleanup.
Pacey allowed his eyes to graze the appearance of their apartment. "Looks clean to me," he commented.
She shook her head. "Nope. It's not. We're having visitors tonight and we need as much space as humanly possible. Will you please move that over there? Thanks a bunch, Pace," she said, smiling broadly.
"Visitors?" he asked skeptically, moving the aforementioned piece of furniture.
"Yes. Visitors," she said happily.
"To whom do we owe this pleasure?" he asked, setting his coffee down on the coffee table and plopping down on the couch.
She turned to face him. She was still clad in the boxers and tank top she had worn the night before, and her hair was thrown up into a messy bun atop her head. He adverted his eyes when he felt the heat in his cheeks begin to rise ever so slightly.
'This is JOEY POTTER,' he scolded himself internally. 'You don't deserve her, nor does she have any interest in you. You're only going to get yourself hurt...'
"You'll just have to wait and find out," she said cheekily, her tongue peeking out from in between her teeth as she grinned.
He let out a light laugh, still not making eye contact as he took a sip of coffee. "Sounds intriguing. It's not any of those obnoxious work friends of yours, is it?" he asked with clear distaste in his voice.
She crossed her arms across her chest. "Do you take me for a fool, Witter? Not even I would do that to you! Ummm...again," she said, still grinning at the last time she had invited them over.
"Good," he said simply.
"Though I will admit it was QUITE humorous last time," Joey said, standing up straight. "'You remind me of a parking ticket, you have 'fine' written all over you!'" Joey mimicked her friend perfectly, squeaky voice and all.
"Yeah, yeah. Shuttup Potter," he said, rolling his eyes. That had been an embarrassing night...Joey still wouldn't let him live it down...
"'Do you have any raisins? Well then how about a date?'" Joey said with a laugh, reciting yet another unwanted pick-up line that had been hurled in Pacey's direction that night.
Soon enough he joined in her laughter. He couldn't help it; her laughter was contagious.
After a few moments of laughter, Joey and Pacey managed to contain themselves.
"I was surprised you kept your composure the whole time. I thought for sure you would've been all over the poor things. Alas, the tables turned. In most cases you would have ditched me and charmed the pants off of the woman showing any sign of interest in you. And even those who weren't," she said with a confused grin.
'That's because I wasn't interested in them...I was interested in you...' he thought to himself before ending the thought. That thought would get him into trouble.
Pacey shrugged. "I guess even I have my limits," he said, taking another sip of coffee.
She let out a light laugh. "Well, how about you get off your lazy butt and help me clean this place up, hm?" she said, trying to drag him off the couch. The keyword in that sentence was TRYING.
"Nooo...can't you see I'm relaxing?" he protested, firmly gripping the back of the couch.
"Can't you see I'm WORKING?!" she said, yanking on his waist even harder.
"Yes, and you were doing a LOVELY job without me. Really, you don't need me! You're an able-bodied woman capable of doing things by yourself, right?" he said, grinning and clutching onto the couch even tighter.
When he refused to relent, she finally let her grip loose and laid her head on his side, looking up at him with the most pitiful doe-eyes. She stuck out her lower lip slightly into a pout.
He opened his clenched eyes to see what she was doing. When he saw her looking at him like that, he abruptly closed his eyes again.
"Paaaaceeeyyy...please?" she asked pitifully.
He kept his eyes clenched tightly and he shook his head. As long as he didn't look at her...
"Paaaaceeeyyy..." she said, cocking her head slightly, her arms still around his waist and her head still on his side. "Come on...you don't want to make me do ALL the work by myself, do you?"
He opened one eye slightly to peek. They made eye contact and he found himself unable to pull his eyes away. His eyes were captured in her deep brown orbs.
They lay there silently for a moment before Pacey managed to force out a reply. "O...kay..."
Her face visibly brightened as she gave his waist a quick hug before jumping back onto her feet. "Thanks Pace! You're the BEST!" she declared as she continued cleaning.
"Yeah..." he said quietly to himself, calming his nerves and closing his eyes for a moment. He knew he could never deny her anything. She could talk him into anything and she knew it. Joey Potter was well aware of the power she held over him; she just didn't know to what extent...
He sat up straight and took another sip of coffee, letting out a deep sigh. He might as well get to work before Joey decided to pull that stunt again. He didn't know how much more of it he could take...
It was about six that evening and Pacey was perched on the couch, flipping through the channels carelessly as Joey made final preparations. He didn't know how, but one way or another he managed to get his way OUT of final preparation. Maybe it was his threat of burning dinner...
Which would be finished in another ten minutes.
Ten minutes later, he looked at his watch and stood up to get the food out of the tiny oven. He had no clue who was coming that night, and it was bugging him beyond belief. Joey was relentless and REFUSED to enlighten him...
Joey came out of her bedroom in jeans and a light sweater. He couldn't help but notice how beautiful she looked...
"Hey Pace," she said cheekily. "Dinner ready?"
"Yep. And I'm assuming by your attire that this is no formal visit?" he asked with eyebrows as raised as he placed their dinner on the counter to cool. Joey had insisted on Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo, so of course Pacey cooked her some Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo.
"My, my...perceptive today, aren't we?" she said as she leaned over and smelled the food. "Mmmm...smells good."
"Of COURSE it does; I made it after all," he said, waving a spatula at her.
"Funny," she said, giving him a mock skeptical look before grinning again, her tongue sticking out from in between her teeth. "Cook, slave boy!"
He gave Joey a look of mock horror. "Slave boy? I think not, Jo. In fact, I think I'll go on strike just for that. Cook your own dang French Bread!" he said jokingly, crossing his arms.
Joey's eyes widened in playful horror and shock. "No! Don't take the French Bread! ANYTHING but the French Bread!" she exclaimed. "I'll burn it!"
"Then I guess that's your own fault, is it not?" he said, raising his eyebrows mockingly.
"Nooo!!! Please forgive me, oh great Chef Pacey! Please forgive me for my offense and ignorance of your greatness!" she said, clutching his arm dramatically.
"Hmm...On your knees, Potter," he said teasingly.
She scrunched up her nose. "Nice try, but no dice."
Pacey shrugged and went to work on the French Bread, tucking it in the oven to crisp and cook. "Oh well, I'll take what I can get," he said, sending a grin back at her.
She wandered over to fuss over the living room while Pacey watched her. It was often difficult living with her. Not because she was necessarily unpleasant to live with or anything...It was just one of those things.
Pacey figured he had loved Joey all his life, yet he couldn't quite pinpoint when it changed from simply 'Dawson's Other Best Friend' to 'Friend' to...something more.
But he knew he didn't deserve her; she was far too perfect. He was the black sheep of his family, and had no significant achievements. She, however, was...perfect.
He was shaken out of his thoughts when the timer on the oven went off, signifying the French Bread being ready.
While he was setting the bread next to the pasta on the counter, he heard a knock and Joey animatedly exclaim that she would get it.
He shrugged and removed his oven mittens; however, a wave of confusion passed over his features when he heard familiar voices float through the apartment.
When he peeked around the corner, he saw the faces of his high school friends; Dawson Leery, Jen Lindley, Andie McPhee, and her twin brother Jack McPhee.
Pacey blinked with confusion.
"Try to contain your enthusiasm, Pace. We wouldn't want you to hurt yourself," Andie said with a smile, watching Pacey's perplexed and confused expression.
"What are you guys doing here?" he asked after a moment.
"What, not excited to see us?" Jen asked with a quirked eyebrow.
"No," he said, the shook his head. "Wait, yes. Wait. No? Ah, I'm confused! YES I'm happy to see you," he said, blinking. He was only serving to confuse himself further. "Just a bit surprised."
"Well, surprised is good," Jack said as they all walked in; Pacey nodded slowly, still trying to process everything. Where did this whole thing come from?
"Is this completely random, or have you been conspiring behind my back?" Pacey asked skeptically, only half-kidding.
"Oh, conspiring of course, Pace. Not even WE could all just HAPPEN to show up the same day. We're good, but not THAT good," Jen said, wagging her finger at him as she plopped down on their couch.
Pacey shrugged. "Works for me."
The group of reunited friends caught up with each other's lives as the hours passed. Dawson's teen series "The Creek" was a huge hit, and he was rolling in the dough; living large in Hollywood. Andie was getting married within the end of the year, and said she expected them ALL to be there. Of course they all agreed. Jen was staying with Jack and her daughter, Amy, in New York. Grams had died the year before, so Jack was there for her. He was currently seeing someone in New York, and luckily there was no problem regarding Jen and Amy.
When it started getting late, the group had to start to leave. Pacey had eventually worn off the shock and had managed to enjoy catching up with his friends. They all vowed to keep better contact to avoid losing each other completely.
As soon as the last person had left, Joey closed the front door and turned to see Pacey sitting on the couch. She couldn't read his expression.
The woman sat down next to him and rested her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes as the radio played softly in the background.
"Pacey..." she said softly, causing Pacey to shift slightly.
She lifted her head from his shoulder and turned in place so she was facing him. "You don't really think that you're nobody, do you?" she asked seriously.
"Well, it's the truth, so I don't see why not," he said with a shrug. "There's really no use in lying about it."
"Why do you think that?" she asked, wanting to know how he couldn't see how far he'd come.
"Because it's true. I had done nothing monumental with my life, I have a mediocre job, and my life is boring. You are an amazing editor, Dawson's a DIRECTOR, Jack is helping Jen out with her DAUGHTER, and Andie's getting MARRIED," Pacey said with mild exasperation.
"Mediocre?" she asked.
"Well it's less than exciting."
"Do you enjoy it?" Joey questioned.
"Than stop complaining," she said with raised eyebrows. When he furrowed his eyebrows at her, she gave him a half-smile. "Trust me, enjoying your job is much better than having a flashy, but boring, job."
He shrugged. "I don't know...I just seem like I'm insignificant, you know?"
She gave him a reassuring smile. "You aren't insignificant, Pacey. I know that I doubt I'd have made it this far without you."
Pacey furrowed his eyebrows in confusion. "Come again?"
Joey shrugged and smiled. "When we first moved in together to split the rent, I wasn't even sure if I was any good at what I did. My boyfriend at the time was less than supportive, as you so often told in case I ever forgot your opinion, and I had been turned down for the job I wanted so badly. You kept pushing me to persevere; kept me from quitting. Pacey, without you there's no telling what I'd be. You're the only one I've kept close contact with, but I'm thankful it was you. I'm sure years ago I would be cursing the stars, but as we know I wasn't the most intelligent teenager on the face of the planet-"
"I beg to differ. You were pretty darn intelligent. Nice? Not so much," he pointed out.
"Shush, don't interrupt me," she said, furrowing her eyebrows, and he shut his mouth. When she was sure she had his attention back, she got serious again and continued. "But seriously, I doubt anyone could have inspired me not to give up like you did. I'm glad I got stuck with ya," she said, her lips curving into a grin. "There's no other ex-juvenile-delinquent I'd rather share an apartment with," she added with a large grin.
"Very funny," he said, whacking her with a pillow.
She giggled and covered her head. "It's the truth! Every word!"
He couldn't help but smile as she returned to her original position, sitting cross-legged next to him. What would he do without her? Her smile could cheer him up any day.
Joey looked towards the radio as a song began playing.
"Hey Pace..." she said, getting the man's attention.
"Yeah?" he asked with his eyebrows raised.
"Would you care to dance?" she asked with a grin as she stood up and held out her hand.
He let out a chuckle. "Are you serious?"
"Very. Come on! Let's see if you remember those dance classes!"
"Jo, that was in the eleventh grade..."
"Details, details!" she said with a bright smile, her face animated. "Come on! Just one song!" she said, giving him the 'puppy-dog face.'
As much as he tried, he couldn't resist. Just as always, he could never deny her. Not that he was COMPLAINING about a dance with her...
"Fine, fine," he said, feigning exasperation and reluctance though he was grinning. "Just one song..."
Pacey stood up and took Joey's frame into his arms. Unlike their attempts in high school, they were comfortable with each other; no longer were they dead-set on keeping as little physical contact as possible.
Joey rested her head on his chest while he watched her; he couldn't help but stare. He could smell the faint scent of her perfume mixed with shampoo as he held her close.
When the song ended, neither made an attempt to leave the comfort of the other's arms.
Joey looked up at him and stared into his deep blue eyes. Without warning, she leaned upwards and pulled him into a kiss.
With no hesitation, Pacey returned the kiss with equal affection as he placed a hand behind her head, feeling the silky strands of her hair slip through his fingers.
Once they parted, they continued staring into each other's eyes. However, instead of trying to dissect it piece by piece like they would have as teenagers, they simply accepted it; at least for the moment.
Another song came on and without a second thought, they continued to the steady motion of the songs, two people drawn together by the hands of fate.