Chapter 2

It's a lovely day. The sun is shining and a cool breeze keeps the town of Capeside quite pleasant. Seagulls fly overhead and dance against the wind. Spring is in the air and dozens of boats travel freely about the bay area. Dawson and Joey stroll down the port dock, entering down town. They walk side by side but keep enough distance between them so as to give off a platonic vibe

Downtown Capeside is crowded. They pass hundreds of people as they walk. Tourist season is in full bloom and it is the busiest time of the year. Storeowners put up signs and items in their store windows and restaurants are packed. It is the week before the Capeside Annual Regatta Weekend and everyone is buzzing.

"Sure is a nice day.", stated Dawson as he looks upon the sea water.

"Yep." replied Joey, her eyes focused on the street.

Dawson turns to his best friend and sighs quietly to himself. Something about her perplexed him. Dawson was aware that they hadn't spent much together lately but the times that they did, she seemed distant. It was as if his presence bugged her somehow.

Joey walks with slow exaggerated steps. Her head is down and she watches her feet as she walks. her dark hair blows in the wind keeping Dawson from seeing her face. He had no idea how she was thinking and for the first time, Dawson felt like he didn't know Joey Potter.

Dawson shakes his head sadly as they travel down Main Street. He felt terrible and had no earthly idea why. When Joey was upset he was upset, so he had to find out what was going on in Joey's head. He takes a deep breath and proverbially steps over the edge.

"What's bothering you Joey?"

"Huh", asked Joey looking up from the street. She looks back down at her feet. "Oh nothing, I'm fine."

Fine?! Joey, you haven't said three words to me since we left Pacey's boat and I find it a little disconcerting. I thought I was your best friend. We use to tell each other everything but now, I feel as if I barely know you."

Joey scowls in frustration.

"Well Dawson, you did brush me off for about four months! Forgive me if I seem a little distant. And you're one to preach about being best friends. You pushed me and the rest of your friends away so you could hang out with the jezebel, Eve."

Dawson wanted to respond but couldn't. Joey's words hurt him but she did have a point. The past few months had been a blur. He had spent most of his junior year grounded because an evil Femme Fatal, ironically dubbed Eve. She swept into his life unexpectedly and rocked it, flipping it upside down. She had made it a habit to ruin his day, all the while using sex as a weapon. It was the most infuriating yet most erotic time of his life. He would forever remember the name Eve but with the memories came the regret. Dawson had single handedly alienated himself from his best friends all for some hot chick he barely knew, and had yet to mend the fences.

Dawson sighs openly.

"Alright Joey, fair enough, but I want to fix things between us. I want to go back to the time when we could tell each other anything. You're my best friend and I care about you very much."

He takes her arm so that she stops walking.

"I want to make things right, Joey. Give me a chance."

Joey sighs heavily and looks back down to her feet. She couldn't look Dawson in the eyes. It hurt too much. Dawson had been Joey's first love and she use to believe that he was her soul mate, but now she wasn't so sure. Joey found herself turning away from the past and looking to the future. Suddenly, an image of Pacey flashes through her mind and she isn't sure why.

"Things change Dawson. I've changed; you've changed. Nothings the same."

"They don't have to Joey! Not if we don't want them to!"

"Yes they do Dawson, whether we like it or not." she said, "I don't know if I can ever go back to the way things were."

"We have to try." pleaded Dawson, placing a hand on her arm, "We've been friends for too long. We can't just let it go? Can we?"

"I don't know Dawson. I just don't know." stated Joey, pulling away from him.

"How can you say that, Joey?"

"Because Dawson, you broke my heart.", she replied, walking away from him.

Dawson wanted to follow her but something in her eyes deterred him. He thought it best to try another time. It was true that time had changed things between them but one thing was certain, Dawson wasn't giving up.

Jennifer Lindley, Jack McPhie, and Andie McPhie chat jovially as they head toward the Capeside docks. The Capeside High's upper classmen were given permission to miss school. Capeside High extracurricular clubs and organizations had stands set up around the downtown area. They were all cooking food or having some sort of fundraiser. Jen, Jack, and Andie so happened to be assigned to the Junior Class Hamburger Stand.

Everyone around them seemed to be in good spirits and they were no different. The three friends were enjoying their day off from school and were just glad to be in one another's company. The Capeside festivities were in full bloom and the town was anxiously awaiting the famous boat race and fireworks display.

"Isn't the Regatta great?" asked Andie excitedly, "I love all the fun stuff we get to do."

"Well I'm just glad we get to miss class today." replied Jack, carrying a box of hamburgers.

"I agree. The time away from school is always a plus." said Jen, helping Jack with the workload.

"Oh hey guys, there's the hamburger stand!" informed Andie, pointing through the crowd, "C'mon!"

Andie cuts through the crowd quickly and shouts for the other two to follow. She is as excited as a kid on Christmas.

"She really needs cut back on the perkiness factor." said Jenn sardonically.

"Yeah, tell me about it." replied Jack, rolling his eyes.

Determined to forget his encounter with Joey, Pacey decides to check out the local festivities. He plops down onto the dock, quickly anchors his feet, and gazes along the sea. The weather is mild and sailboats could be seen all over the water vista. He smiles, cramming his hands into his pockets, and strolls down the dock. He quickly enters down town and passes several vendor stands, selling one thing or another. However, none of them catch his attention. Capeside is extremely busy and he is forced to weasel his way through the crowd.

Pacey begins to feel better as he takes in the surroundings. He was the first to admit that he usually saw things from a negative point of view. He was always fighting with his dad, struggling with school, or facing the trials of a doomed relationship, which left him in a consistent state of melancholy. But the Regatta had a strange affect on him. It had always been a great childhood memory. As a kid, Pacey anticipated the arrival of the annual Regatta. He enjoyed the food and the fireworks, but what he loved the most was the sailboat race. Pacey had dreamt of one day captaining his own sailboat and racing her in the Regatta. And this year his dream could come true, if Dawson's parents agreed to sponsor True Love.

Pacey continues down main street until one of the stands catches his eye. He quickly eases through the mass of tourists and strolls up to the Capeside High hamburger stand. The waiting line is long so he is forced to wait to reach the front of the stand. As he approaches the front, Jack sees him from the corner of his eye.

"Hey Pacey, what are you doing down here?" asked Jack, handing a customer his change. He gives Pacey a humorous looks. "I thought those only in good academic standing were allowed to work the hamburger stand."

"Well you know, I ducked out of school early. Pacey J. Witter cannot be confined by something as trivial as school rules." he replied with a cocky smile.

Jack chuckles, tending to the next costumer.

"Principle Green is going to throw a fit."

"What?" said Pacey nonchalant, "I doubt he even knows I'm gone."

"Yeah right, Principle Green knows everything."

Meanwhile, Andie hands a child a hamburger and then drops the money into the cash box. She hears Pacey's voice and quickly freezes up. She swallows down the lump that had formed in her throat and mops her forehead. Nervous chills run down her spine. She feels her heart rate increase and her heart feels as if it were going to explode out of her chest. She watches nervously as her brother and ex-boyfriend chat. Every time Pacey came near, Andie looses herself. She looks upon Pacey and fights back the tears that sting at her eyes. Andie still had feelings for Pacey and getting over him proved to be more difficult than she first thought.

Like Dawson, Andie had messes things up with her significant other. She had cheated on Pacey and for the life of her, had no valid excuse as to why. Pacey had been the most important person in her life and like an idiot, she let him slip away. Andie desperately wanted a second chance but Pacey wanted nothing of it. He agreed to remain friends but Andie wanted more, so much more. And she was determined to get him back, no matter the cost. When Andie McPhie wanted something, God help those that stood in her way. She was going to try her damnest to get him back. She rounds up the courage and approaches her brother and former boyfriend.

"Hello Pacey. Would you like a hamburger?" asked Andie, nudging in next to Jack.

Pacey turns to Andie. He smiles lightly, shaking his head. His gentle gaze shoots daggers into Andie's heart.

"No thanks Andie, I'm not hungry. But a soda would be nice."

"Sure thing, Pacey." replied Andie with a wink.

Jack and Pacey continue their conversation, while Andie retrieves the soft drink.

"Here you go Pacey, one ice cold Coke." stated Andie, placing the can on the counter.

"Thanks Andie." replied Pacey, taking up the Coke and pulling the tab, "How much do I owe ya?"

"Oh don't worry about it. It's on me."

Jack hears this and can't help but roll his eyes. He knew Andie still had feelings for Pacey and didn't particularly approve. Jack believed that Andie's obsession with Pacey was becoming borderline neurotic. Regardless, Andie was determined to win Pacey back, no matter what people thought.

The soft drink crackles and fizzes as Pacey brings it to his lips. He smiles first at Andie but then quickly takes a drink. After taking a second swallow, Pacey turns to the crowd and quickly notices Dawson, who was edging through the masses. Pacey pauses for a moment, observing his friend with keen eyes. He sees Dawson holding a small bouquet of flowers and smiling merrily. Pacey feels his heart drop. He knows the recipient of the flowers without even asking. And sure enough, Dawson cuts across the street and heads straight for the Potter B&B pancake stand.

Joey is working the pancake stand when Dawson places the flowers before her. Pacey sees all of this and his frowns openly. And here he thought things were looking up. This quick change of emotion doesn't get past Andie. She matches his gaze to see what he is looking at.

Andie peers across the street to Dawson Leery embracing Joey in a hug. Clearly he has just handed her flowers. But why would this make Pacey frown? Suddenly, a soda can, still filled with liquid, crashes to the hard ground. The can is crushed and slings soda across the way. The unlucky crowd is doused in soda. Pacey looks apologetically to the crowd, but without saying a word, cuts through the crowd, heading back to from which he came. It's at that moment, Andie realizes what has just transpired and the thought kills her inside.

Oh my god, she thought, Pacey has feelings for Joey.

To Be Continued ...