Andie and Pacey stroll along the waterfront. Pacey tells her that he honestly believed that, when he invited Andie to the prom, he wanted to go with her, and he really wishes that had been true, but as soon as he got there, he realized he wanted to go because -- "I know why you wanted to go to the prom, Pacey," Andie interrupts, "and I'm sorry that it didn't work out for you. But at least you got to dance with her," she adds sweetly, even though it's obviously killing her. Pacey swears he'll do whatever it takes to make it up to Andie, but Andie says what it would take to make it up to her isn't something Pacey can do right now. Pacey's face falls, but Andie quickly assures him that she's not mad: "I just really feel bad for you." They keep walking. Pacey tells her that he plans to sail the True Love down to Key West this summer, "just me and the sea. How's that for Hemingway-esque, huh?" Um, only if you start drinking at eight every morning and shoot yourself in the head. ["Yeah, and you stopped annoying me, like, a year ago, so that's one more thing you don't have in common with Hemingway, Pace." -- Wing Chun] You can visit his house while you're down there, though; it's really nice. Andie asks when he leaves; he says "after finals." After a pause, Andie asks if he's told Joey how he feels; Pacey says Joey already knows how he feels, but Andie says, "I mean, have you really told her, Pacey?" She says he can't just leave without letting her know, that it's not like him to stand down from something like this or run away. "You have to tell her that you love her," Andie says, starting to cry, "and you have to try to get her back, because if you don't, I promise you, you will regret it." She made her bed, and she's got to lie in it, but I feel for Andie right now. "Maybe," Pacey mutters in response, but Andie says firmly, "No, Pacey. You will." Judging from the look on his face, he knows she's right.
The next day, Joey comes over to the Ranch to find Dawson reading outside, and she returns Gale's earrings, saying that she's not sure they're "her," but that she had "a really fun time wearing them." Um . . . okay. Except for the "fun" part, right? Anyway, Joey goes on to say that she can't deny she felt something when Dawson kissed her the night before, "something [she] wasn't expecting, and something that will probably always be there." Revulsion, I assume. Dawson regards her expectantly as she shakes her head and says, "But I can't keep hurting people, Dawson. And I can't choose. So I'm telling you the same thing that I told Pacey -- please don't make me? I'm not ready, and I can't do it." "Okay," Dawson says. "Okay?" Joey repeats, smelling a rat. "I'll wait," Dawson says firmly. Oh, for the love of Pete. Give it UP, Bad Hairi Krishna. "Call me an eternal optimist, but I have faith," he says smugly. Joey gives him a "the hell?" look, as if finally realizing the depths of his delusion, but Dawson ignores her in favor of blathering on about how he's "been on this soul-searching journey" for the last year, and he feels like he's finally come to the end: "And what I found -- is you." Joey looks dismayed by this, as well she should, but before she can bolt from her lawn chair to the Capeside County courthouse in pursuit of a restraining order, she spots Gale running across the lawn and into the house.