Dawson's Creek
Four Stories

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The Scarlet N

I cannot abide the Levi's karaoke ads. We get it. Next campaign, please.

"Seems Like Old Times." Not the season-three kind of old times, I hope.

Frankie Sweet Music croons in the background as we pan down to Dawson standing outside the Rialto. Joey walks past, spots him in the ticket line, and greets him warmly, asking what he's doing there. He says he felt like getting lost in a crowd, and she guesses she "had the same impulse." She offers her condolences "about everything," and Dawson thanks her, saying that the last few days "have sucked in ways [he] didn't know were possible." Not watching your own show, then, Big D? He asks how the ski trip went. Joey does a lot of head-shaking and guilty grinning and says that "it was fine." "Did I miss anything exciting?" Joey finally makes eye contact, then freezes. Man, I've known three-year-olds who lied better than this girl -- and any other three-year-old on earth could see that she's lying, too, and yet people who have known her all her life never seem to catch it. Anyway, after groping for what seems like a month for something to say, Joey comes up with "Jen bruised her foot!" Dawson quotes Mr. Brooks in saying, "Alert the media!" Joey grins guiltily some more, thinking she's off the hook, but then Dawson asks if she and Pacey had fun. Joey makes "oh, yeah, sure, you know" noises. Dawson eyes her for a moment, then points to the theater: "Shall we?" Joey pauses, then asks if Dawson would rather "go someplace and...talk." Dawson smiles broadly: "Yeah. I would like that." Strangely, James Van Der Beek doesn't look unattractive in that shot. It's a sincere smile, and he looks...well, not "good," because I don't find him fetching at all, but on occasion, when Dawson isn't acting like a dickwad and when Van Der Beek actually is, you know, acting instead of flapping all the cartilage on his body, I can almost see how people think he's cute. Except for the hair, which still looks really wrong on, like, a cellular level. Look, don't fire me, I just drove to Pennsylvania and back and I'm exhausted. So, Joey says she'd like that too.

Cut to a diner, where Dawson asks if he can tell Joey something: "It's not exactly a secret, but I haven't told anybody else yet." Of course he can. "Mr. Brooks put me in his will." Joey lowers her coffee cup, shocked: "Really?" Does that mean...? Yes, it means Mr. Brooks left Dawson money. He's kidding, right? Nope. "Well, what're you gonna do with it?" Joey asks, seeming happy for him. Dawson says that Mr. Brooks's will explicitly stated that Dawson do something "great" with the money, and that Dawson shouldn't go blowing it on women and booze -- but if he chooses to do so, he should blow it on great women and great booze. Heh. I miss Mr. Brooks. "Well, no pressure there," Joey cracks, sipping her coffee. Dawson guesses he could pay his entire college tuition. Damn, Mr. Brooks left him that much? Joey suggests, "You could make a movie." "Yeah, I could," Dawson muses, and then says he feels weird thinking about spending it: "It'd be one thing if I'd won the lottery, but..." "No, I understand," Joey says. Dawson cocks an eye at her. She sips her coffee again, then looks around and back at him: "What?" "You seem different." Oh, for god's sake. Like she'd look any different. Whatever, writers -- WHATEVER. Stop demonizing sex -- IT'S SEXIST. Joey, a little rattled: "I do?" Yeah -- did she change her hair? Joey says no, and squirms. Dawson assures her that "it's not bad different, it's good different," but before he can put his finger on it, she uneasily suggests that they get out of there. "Sure," he chirps in response, then makes a "something's rotten in Denmark" face and slides out of the booth to follow her.

Waterfront. Dawson and Joey sit on the swing-set where they canoodled in "The Kiss," and Joey laughingly starts to say, "The last time we were here," and Dawson finishes, "...was a very different time." "And to think we thought things were complicated then," Joey says, still half-laughing, and Dawson laughs too. After a pause, Joey gathers her strength: "Dawson, I'm really sorry." You know, Joey, when you keep apologizing, it encourages Dawson to think that you actually did something wrong, which you didn't. Dawson tells her it's no big deal, he's dealt with it as best he can, but Joey doesn't mean What Went Down Last Spring -- she means not "being there for" him during the whole Mr. Brooks situation. Dawson again tells her not to worry about it, but Joey says she "should have been there, giving [him] everything that [he's] given [her]." Like what, a hard time? Dawson doesn't respond, and Joey goes on to say that she's made some big choices and decisions, and she might "wake up one day and realize that all there ever really was was friendship." Dawson stares into the middle distance, then looks back at Joey as she adds, "And if I wasn't any good at that, then...where does that leave me?" Dawson smiles a little and reassures her that she's not a bad friend: "I don't get to say it much anymore, but -- you're my best friend. You always were." He starts to say that no matter where she goes, or with whom -- "you'll always have a piece of my heart," Joey finishes for him, smiling. "Something like that," he whispers. She nods, "Yeah," and smiles some more. The forties jazz kicks in again as Dawson qualifies that with, "Not a huge piece," and she says, "Oh, no, no, not a huge piece," and they bat it back and forth, and she sticks her tongue out at him.

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Dawson's Creek

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