In the quiet room, Joey finds Pacey moping on a couch. She tells him mock-sternly that he's violating the buddy system. He makes a sardonic comment about "the most tuneless music known to man." ["Watch your mouth, pal -- that was the Chemical Brothers!" -- Wing Chun] She in turn makes a crack about having failed to dress in "what can only be described as an homage to Japanese animation." Oh, all right: heh. More convo about how it's not their thing, and then a smooch, and then Joey shoots him a sidelong glance and asks if he remembers how they used to play "barnacle for your thoughts." Instead of a barnacle, she crowns him with a neon glow necklace and compliments him on the Caesar look (shout-out to our boards? I think so), and Pacey admits that he misses the "True Love." "I miss her too, Pacey," Joey says sadly. Pacey puts his arm around her.
Off to the side of the main dance floor, Dawson catches up with Gretchen and offers her a glow necklace. She reacts less than keenly, so Dawson asks if something's wrong, and she sighs and says there's no easy way to ask what she's going to ask, so she'll just put it out there: "Is it possible, even in the vaguest way, that you're here because you think there's a chance something might be happening between us?" Dawson says in a patronizing tone that there is something happening between them: "It's called friendship." "And that's all you expect?" she asks. Dawson wants to know if he did anything that made her think he expected more, and she says no, she feels ridiculous, it's totally out of the blue, and Dawson cops to having a huge crush on her back in the day, "but I don't think that's where either one of us are at [sic] right now." "At"? Whatever, Me Generation. "So where are we at?" Gretchen asks. Dawson reprises his customary poor-betrayed-me aria, saying that "when that boat sailed last summer," he lost his two best friends, but he's moved on and made a new friend in Gretchen: "You're easy to talk to, you give really good advice but I don't expect anything." Gretchen smiles warmly as he yammers on about how it's the opposite, it's nice to "be in the present with somebody," yadda, and his hair seriously looks like he's understudying the role of the depressed brother in Crumb: The Musical. Gretchen chooses to believe Dawson's post-hippie in-the-now blithering and changes the subject, asking, "Dance or bounce?" Dawson gives her a condescending smile and repeats, "'Bounce'?"