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  03x01 - Like a Virgin
 Posted: 10/17/99 07:03
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Episode 301
Like a Virgin
Original Airdate: September 29, 1999

In this episode: On the way home from his summer internship in Philadelphia, Dawson has an encounter with an alluring and sexy young woman (Eve). He falls asleep after baring his soul to her, and when he wakes she is gone. Autumn also finds Jack still living at Grams' house with Jen, an arrangement now as comfy as an old marriage and in an act of rebellion against conformity, Jen tries out for the cheerleading squad with great ironic flair. The school's new leader, Principal Green, demonstrates at the first assembly that he has an unorthodox approach. Dawson desperately seeks to avoid Joey, who has also changed the summer - she wants Dawson back. Eve's agenda soon becomes clear - to change Dawson's life by ending his virginity. Her efforts to do this in an unlikely place results in Dawson and Eve crashing his father's prized antique motorboat. Pacey comes up with a wild plan to throw a party complete with strippers, courtesy of Eve, to earn the money to fix the boat, but the boisterous event spirals out of control in more ways than might be expected, resulting in even more changes for our friends.

(Cut to a bus cruising down the street with destination of CAPE COD written on the front. 'Old Time Rock & Roll' is blaring in the background. Cut to the interior of the bus where Dawson is sleeping with his headphones on, head resting on his shirt. He wakes up and notices the girl sitting next to him. It's EVE. She says something to him but he can't hear because of the headphones. He takes them off.)

Dawson: Sorry.

Eve: You're drooling. On your chin. Saliva from sleep.

(Dawson moves to wipe it off.)

Eve: Did you know that you're a very heavy breather?

Dawson: No.

Eve: Oh, and an insinuating, conversationalist, just my luck. What's on your lap?

(Dawson looks at her.)

Eve: Not that! The movie, what are you watching?

Dawson: Oh, uh, Risky Business.

Eve: The one with Tom Cruise?

Dawson: Yep, and Rebecca DeMourney(sp?).

Eve: The one where they do it on the train. And it's unbelievably sweet and believable even though he's a virgin and she's a battle-scarred hooker who's done it with hundreds of men.

Dawson: It's more of a myth. Joseph Campbell meets Sigmeund Freud meets Holden Caulfield. A teenage boy passes into manhood with a sexual encounter with a beautiful woman who's essentially a fantasy character of his own creation.

Eve: Hey, you're adorable. What's your name?

Dawson: Dawson. Dawson Leery.

(They shake hands. Dawson has to pull away first.)

Dawson: You alright?

Eve: My father taught me. Always when shaking hands make sure the other guy pulls away first. It's a powerful advantage in all human intercourse.

Dawson: Actually...I meant your you have a fever or something?

Eve: No, it's just me. It's my temperature. I run a few degrees hot. So...when are you going to tell me about your girlfriend?

(Dawson looks at her. Cut to opening credits.)

(Cut to Joey holding a gas nozzle in a boat at LOGAN'S MARINA. She checks her watch. A figure approaches. It's ROB LOGAN.)

ROB: I'll take it from here, Potter.

Joey: You said you'd be here by eight o'clock.

Rob: Isn't that sweet? Little girl is nervous about missing the first day of school. Oh the Salad Days! I remember them well.

Joey: Spare me the Shakespeare, Rob. My last class ends at 2:30. I should be back here by 3:00.

Rob: Don't be late.

(Cut to two Eggos popping out of the toaster. Jack grabs them and puts them on a plate. Jen grabs that plate and another plate with two Eggos and takes them to the kitchen table and then grabs two glasses while Jack simultaneously pours milk into each one. Then, they both sit down to breakfast and they notice Grams watching them.)

Jack & Jen (simultaneously): What?

Grams: And how long have you two been married?

(Jack turns and smiles at Jen. They laugh. Cut to Pacey and Dawson in the Leery kitchen.)

Pacey: And what happened when you woke up?

Dawson: She morphed into pure oxygen air and just vanished.

Pacey: I hate it when that happens!

Dawson: It was the weirdest night. She was like the perfect girl and one minute she's sitting right next to me and the next, (he snaps), she's gone.

Pacey: You know, usually when I have moments like that happen, I have to change the sheets afterwards.

Dawson: Hey, she wasn't real.

Pacey: What about the one that is real?

(Dawson pauses.)

Dawson: What about her?

Pacey: Well, today is the day. Dawson Leery and Joey Potter have been apart for months now, in fact, the whole summer has passed and the whole world is waiting to figure out what's going to happen.

Dawson: Maybe you and the whole world haven't heard me the last 50,000 times that I've said that it's over.

Pacey: Yeah, until she speaks to you.

Dawson: She won't.

Pacey: I think you underestimate the healing powers of time, Dawson. Time for Joey to forgive and forget.

Dawson: Even if Joey came up to me today and said I forgive and I forget, I wouldn't. I can't forget that this past year has been a hellish nightmare. I spent it verbalizing and angsting instead of living. I need to just learn how to exist, and question things later.

Pacey: Ladies and gentlemen, Capesidians of all ages, new and fresh from Philadelphia, Dawson Leery. Now, just to play devil's advocate here, let's say you go to school today and Joey comes up and starts apologizing. She does that cute little hair flip thing she does and locks those truly remarkable brown eyes of hers on you...what do you do?

Dawson: I'll tell her that it's over. That it's been over and that we're better off without each other.

(Mitch enters the kitchen.)

Mitch: Dawson, I'm off to my coaching conference.

Dawson: Alright...

Mitch: I'll write down the number of the hotel where I'll be.

Pacey: Coaching conference?

Dawson: What? You haven't heard yet? Substitute Mitch is Capeside High's new varsity football coach.

Pacey: Congratulations, Mr. Leery. How are our trusted Minutemen doing? What's the streak now...0 and 38?

(Dawson smiles.)

Mitch: Pacey, you have little faith. I can assure you as a former Minuteman myself that this season will be a winning one. Here.

Dawson: See ya on Sunday, Dad.

Mitch: Bye.

Pacey: Wait, you're just going to walk out like that? No father/son warning, no rules and regulations, no impending doom shall your sainted son misbehave.

Mitch: Good idea. Keep Pacey out of the house.

(Mitch winks and leaves.)

(Cut to Junior assembly in Capeside Auditorium. Jen and Jack are sitting together.)

Jack: If I start to fall asleep, don't wake me, okay?

(The cheerleaders walk up including the head cheerleader, Belinda.)

Belinda: Jen Lindley. How was your summer? Host, you know, gang bangs?

Jen: I have a really scathing comeback right now but I'm thinking that I should show you a little sympathy, seeing as the lypo didn't take...

(Belinda storms off with her herd of cheerleaders behind her. Jack and Jen laugh. Cut to Dawson and Pacey.)

Pacey: She should be here any minute. It's the junior assembly. She has to come!

Dawson: Pacey, that's enough, alright?

(Cut to the new principal speaking.)

Principal: Hello, I'm Principal Green. Like you, when I was a junior, I had a new principal and on our first day back he stood before us and told us some earnest and touching words. Words that were to usher us into what he called one of the best years of our lives. This is not that speech. We're living in a different time. You children are thinking like people twice your age.

(Joey enters silently through the back door of the auditorium and Pacey turns and glimpses her...)

Principal (cont.): ...The rites of passage that once existed before us are now almost extinct.

(Principal continues speaking...Cut to Pacey turning to Dawson.)

Pacey: She just walked in. She's right back there. Right over your shoulder...

Dawson: Pacey...

(Cut to Principal's view of the crowd.)

Principal: ...For example, like that gentlemen in the 5th row who's talking...

(Everyone turns and looks at Pacey. Pacey points at himself.)

Pacey: Me?

Principal: Please stand, sir.

Pacey: (muttering) That didn't take very long.

Principal: What's your name, sir?

Pacey: I don't suppose you'd accept Shaga Verra, would ya?

(The crowd laughs.)

Pacey: Pacey, Pacey Witter.

Principal: Mr. Witter. Mr. Witter I'd like to applaud you for being the first student I've met at Capeside who actually acts like one. I hope that someday you all will act as one. Reclaim your youth. Live, learn, screw up. I applaud you, Mr. Witter.

(The crowd applauses.)

Principal: Oh, and I'll see you on Saturday. In detention...

(Cut to the signups for cheerleading. Belinda, the head cheerleader, checks out the girl signing up.)

Belinda: Sally, who're we kidding? Lay off the hot dogs and try Four-H. That's where they're looking for the prize hogs.

(The girl walks off and Belinda turns to the other cheerleaders.)

Belinda (cont.): She only came over here in the first place because somebody made one too many Krispy Kreme pit-stops over the summer.

(The cheerleader is upset. Cut to Jack and Jen, watching.)

Jen: Now I know how anthropologists feel when they stumble across one of those lost tribes whose ancient rituals have remained untouched by time.

Jack: What I don't get is why anyone wants to be a cheerleader in the first place?

(Jen considers the thought and gets an idea.)

Jen: There's only one way to find out.

(Jen heads toward the sign up table. She starts to sign up.)

Belinda: Jen, what're you doing?

Jen: Signing up for try-outs.

Belinda: Lemme think about that... NOT!

Jen: You sure, Belinda? Haven't you ever wondered if I've got what it takes to hold the pom-poms?

(Belinda smiles.)

Belinda: Okay, Lindley. You're on. Tomorrow at three. Be prompt.

Jen: Will do.

(Cut to Pacey and Dawson across the room.)

Pacey: Principal Green seems cool. Good sense of humor. He was joking about that whole see you Saturday stuff, right?

Dawson: I'm not sure, Pace. He seemed rather...

(Dawson spots Joey and cuts his thoughts off mid-sentence.)

Pacey: Dawson... Dawson... Was there supposed to be a second part to that sentence?

Dawson: You were right. I'm gonna break. I'm gonna crumble-- It's Joey Potter at three o'clock.

Pacey: Oooh.

Dawson: Get me out of here. Anywhere.

Pacey: Anywhere?

Dawson: Someplace Joey Potter'll never find me.

Pacey: Well, for a mere $25, young sir, I think I have just the place.

(They turn to leave and Joey looks up in time to spot them heading the other way. Cut to Joey's house. Bessie is finishing dinner and Joey enters.)

Bessie: Hey, Jo.

Joey: No, I'm not Joey. I'm just the shell of her exhausted remains. I swear Bessie, if I have to work another hour for that nimrod of a boss --

Bessie: It's just that until the insurance money comes through, then we'll have enough for a sitter and I'll get a job.

Joey: No speech required. I remember the bargain, if you can call it that.

(Bessie sits down with Joey.)

Bessie: So? Tell me everything.

Joey: We got a new Principal.

Bessie: Not about school. About Dawson. What was it like seeing him again?

(Joey looks at Bessie's excited reaction and starts lying...)

Joey: It was great.

Bessie: So, what'd he say? C'mon, Joey, I spend most of my conversations with a teething baby, your sister could use a little vicarious pleasure.

Joey: He just looked at me and I looked at him. In that split second, it was like we forgave each other for everything. And then, of course, we talked about it until we were blue in the face. Just like old times.

Bessie: I'm glad, Jo. You two are meant for each other. If I'm sure of anything, that's it.

Joey: Yeah...

(Joey sighs...Cut to: Pacey and Dawson at a strip club.)

Dawson: I think I'm having a religious experience.

Pacey: That would be Wendy, who is a second year biology student at Woodtold(?).

Dawson: How on earth do you know this?

Pacey: It's in her bio. And, according to this, she also likes small children, big men, snowboarding and the color green.

(A waitress approaches.)

Waitress: What can I get you gentlemen?

Pacey: Well, I will have a couple of beers and my friend here will have a tall glass of milk.

(Dawson smirks and the waitress walks off.)

Pacey: You know, sitting here, something occurs to me, Dawson.

Dawson: What?

Pacey: The meaning of life. Specifically, yours.

Dawson: Not another diatribe of my manhood, or lack thereof.

Pacey: No, I'm serious here! I just had a blinding vision about the purpose of your junior year.

Dawson: You mean, besides the massive and dibilitated college anxiety?

Pacey: Yes, sometime during the course of this whole year you are going to get laid.

(Dawson laughs.)

Pacey: C'mon, man, in keeping with this whole new attitude thing you've got going. You met that girl on the bus, didn't ya?

Dawson: Yeah, and I put her to sleep with all the talk about my ex-girlfriend, Pacey. I think it's pretty safe to assume that I'm not going to be hearing from her anytime soon.

(The waitress comes and sets the glass of beer down in front of Pacey.)

Pacey: Thank you.

(She sets a glass of milk down in front of Dawson. Then, she slides herself between Dawson and Pacey, facing Dawson.)

Pacey: You know, this is actually a group here.

Waitress (to Dawson): You don't remember me, do you?

Dawson: Should I?

Waitress: Feel this.

(She places her hand on his neck. He looks at her surprised.)

Waitress: That's right.

(She stands up and takes of the wig revealing Eve, the girl from the bus.)

Eve: It's me.

(Dawson smiles. Cut to commercial break. Cut to Dawson and Pacey walking up to Dawson's house.)

Pacey: (beginning of sentence cut off on my tape) -by little Creekside village, Dawson Leery has once again proven successful in his endeavor to avoid Miss Joey Potter. Although, I am starting to question your committment to la vida loca.

Dawson: Why? Because I didn't talk to my ex?

Pacey: No, man! Because you didn't hook up with bus girl last night!

Dawson: Number One, she was working. And you saw me give her my number, it's up to her to use it.

Pacey: And if she does?

Dawson: She won't.

Pacey: Dawson, I wouldn't be so sure of that.

Dawson: What is the likelihood of someone of that degree of life experience and sexual liberation to take regard in someone who is having to take their PSATs.

(Dawson opens the door to his house finding...Eve in his living room.)

Pacey: Oh, I'd say about the chances of finding her in your living room.

Eve: Hey Dawson.

Dawson: Hi, um, what did you, um, I-I'm sorry, um, h-how did you, um--

Pacey: This is excited teenage male for "How did you get in?"

Eve: I thought I'd surprise you and take you up on your offer for a date. It was hot outside and the door was open so I let myself in.

Dawson: It's Capeside. We don't exactly lock up...

Eve: Hm, interesting. What else don't you do?

Pacey: Oooh, (to Dawson) I need to talk to you for a second.

(Pacey pulls him into the kitchen.)

Pacey: Normally, at this point in the plot, the best friend exits stage left leaving the brand new Dawson Leery all alone with the mystery woman in his parentless house.

Dawson: (laughs) I'm freaking out. This is a little too high in the too good to be true category.

Pacey: I understand. But as someone who's been there before, I'm telling you, all you need now is some separation. A little time to calm down, catch your breath, and realize that you are in complete control of this situation.

Dawson: I am not in complete control.

Pacey: Oh but you will be.

(Pacey grabs the keys to Mitch's boat and holds them in front of Dawson.)

Pacey: The boat.

Dawson: What about it?

Pacey: I think you should take it out for a little spin.

Dawson: Pacey, that's my dad's boat. Dad being the possesive in that sentence.

Pacey: Under the circumstances...

(Dawson and Pacey lean around the corner and look at Eve.)

Pacey (cont.): I think he'd understand.

(Pacey looks at him and takes the keys and drops them into Dawson's hands. Cut to cheerleading tryouts. A girl is up on stage getting ready to start. The music begins and she starts cheering.)

Girl: (in the tune of 'I Don't Want to Wait' by Paula Cole) We don't want to wait, for this game to be over, we want to root right now--

(Belinda sounds the horn.)

Belinda: Thank you! Next!

Girl: Um, I didn't get to finish my cheer.

Belinda: Um, Stacy. Get a mitt, and catch a clue. It's your third year trying out for the Minute Girls. Your waist line is thicker and your hairstyle is even more outdated. The only reason we even let you get this far is because we wanted to see what lame song you picked to cheer to.

(Belinda sounds the horn again and the girl walks off the stage.)

Belinda: Next up, Miss Jen Lindley!

Jack: (to Jen) Are you sure you still want to do this?

Jen: Are you kidding me? Now more than ever.

(Jen walks onstage.)

Belinda: I'm sure you'll dazzle us, Jen. I mean, we all know how flexible you are.

(Jen gives her an evil look. She grabs the microphone.)

Jen: When you see Belinda and her clique in the hallway, you're desperately wishing you were walking with them, aren't you? You think that maybe if you were wearing the right shoes, sporting the latest hairstyle, and using the hottest shade of lip gloss, then maybe they'd toss a glance in your direction. Have you ever wondered why they force their narrow minded views down our throats? Maybe it's because they have an inkling about what's in store for them after graduation. Cut to 25 years from now when Belinda McGovern wakes up feeling empty. Maybe it's because her Dartmouth-educated-lawyer-husband Ted has run off to Tiawana with her daughter's roomate from boarding school. Or maybe it's because the twins, Timmy and Tommy, call her my her first name and their live-in housekeeper, Mom. Or maybe it's because of her 2 o'clock, 5 o'clock, 7 o'clock and 9:15 showdown with her bottle of Prozac. Her life has become a domestic wasteland. Avoid this fate. Don't become another cookie cutter, blonde, size 4, rah-rah-sis-bam-boom, mindless, soulless, spineless wench. Screw these auditions. Screw cheerleading. And screw Belinda McGovern.

(The crowd stands up and applauses loudly.)

(Cut to Logan's Marina. Rob opens the door to the back room to reveal Joey in mid-change.)

Joey: Hey! I'm changing here.

Rob: Man, I'm sorry. I didn't know you were back here. I wanted a Coke.

(He grabs a Coke from the fridge.)

Joey: You just happened to "get thirsty" right when I'm standing here half naked?

Rob: I hadn't noticed that coincidence. (He takes a sip.) You know what, I think I'm in the mood for a 7-UP instead.

(Rob gets a 7-UP and takes a long drink.)

Rob: I'll knock next time.

Joey: Next time I'll lock the door.

(Cut to Dawson on Mitch's boat with Eve.)

Dawson: What're you looking at?

Eve: You should take off your shirt.

Dawson: --Any particular reason?

Eve: I'd like to see you with it off. What's the matter, too brazen for you?

Dawson: No. Yes. I mean... sometimes I just think I was born in the wrong time. The wrong century, even.

Eve: What? Tights and powder and a wig more your style? Or just: club her over the head and drag her into the cave?

Dawson: Well.... The latter choice does have a certain appealing simplicity. I'm sorry. I guess, I'm a little nervous.

Eve: How come you're nervous?

Dawson: The same reason you're not.

Eve: Oh, but I am.

Dawson: You are?

Eve: Of course. Listen, Dawson... anything that's worth anything is scary, or dangerous, in one way or another.

Dawson: That's a fairly extreme world view--

Eve: Not at all. Without fear, there would be no accomplishment. No testing of our limitations. No fun.

Dawson: Who are you? And where do you come from?

Eve: You said it yourself, Dawson. I'm a fantasy of your own creation.

(Eve moves up really close to Dawson and puts her arms around him.)

Eve: I can feel your heart. Beating.

Dawson: You can?

Eve: It's going a million miles an hour. Slow down.

Dawson: Huh?

Eve: The boat.

(Dawson slows it down.)

Eve: That's better. Reduce speed. The problem with teenage sex is that it's something you "do"... it's something you "get done." You're a virgin, aren't you, Dawson?

Dawson: What comes become virgin?

(She smiles and moves in front of him.)

Eve: Everything but.

Dawson: Everything but what?

Eve: That's what comes "before".

(She kisses him. Dawson pulls away.)

Dawson: Careful. I can't see.

(She starts moving slowly downward.)

Dawson: What.... What're you doing?

Eve: Well, if you're not going to take off your shirt....

Dawson: What's your name?

Eve: Eve. You can call me Eve.

Dawson: Eve. That's a biblical name.

Eve: I'll try and live up to it.

(Eve goes completely out of picture "below the border", if you know what I mean. Cut to the boat, crashed, at Logan's Marina. Joey saw the accident.)

Joey: Oh my God! Are you alright?!

Dawson: I..(realizing it's Joey) I think so.

(Eve laughs and comes into view.)

Eve: Crashes are so intense.

Dawson: Joey, this is Eve. Eve, this is Joey.

Joey: And suddenly everything comes clear.

Rob (to Joey): Wait a minute. You know this moron?

Joey: I thought I did.

(She walks back up the dock. Cut to commercial break. Cut to Rob calculating damages.)

Rob: Salvage charges plus yard costs plus carpentry and painting, I'd say you're looking at three-grand easy. Provided none of the gaskets blew, or engine mounts cracked, as result of the collision.

Dawson: Three thousand dollars?

Rob: Give or take.

Dawson: I should've gone down with the ship.

Rob: No argument here.

(Dawson walks towards Eve, who is sitting on the dock.)

Eve: Things could be worse.

Dawson: That's what they said to King Lear before he lost his mind and his daughter killed herself. Or was it the other way around?

Eve: Come on, Dawson! No one was hurt, and you'll never forget this day as long as you live.

Dawson: That's what I'm afraid of.

Eve: Everybody wants life to go smoothly. But the truth is, it's the mistakes that keep things interesting.

Dawson: Another treacly truism and my sweet tooth is gonna start to ache.

Eve: Wait a second! You're mad at me!

Dawson: It's made me crash...

Eve: Made you what?! I didn't make you do anything!

Dawson: Maybe I'm just not ready. For any of this.

Eve: Ready? Dawson, I've known you for 48 hours, but I think it's safe to say that you gotta stop living from the neck up.

(She starts to leave.)

Dawson: Don't go!

Eve: You're going to have to do a lot better than that.

Dawson: I'm thinking about something I read once. That a man's character is his fate.

Eve: And?

Dawson: And this isn't me, Eve. I don't meet strange girls on a bus. Or drive my father's boat without permission. Look what happens when I do. Unmitigated disaster.

Eve: Well that's too bad. Because this girl just wants to have fun.

(Eve leaves. Cut to Jen walking down the Capeside hallway, in a trance. Jack catches up with her.)

Jack: What's the matter, Jen? You look like your dog just died.

Jen: I don't have a dog.

Jack: I know that.

Jen: That's right, you know that.

Jack: Jen...what is it?

(A cute "popular" guy walks by, grinning at her and gives her a congratulations.)

Jack: Who was that?

Jen: No clue. I'm going to have to leave school. Immediately.

Jack: Why?

(Around her, girls giggle and say hi as Jen continues in her trance.)

Jen: The unthinkable has happened.

(Principal Green walks by.)

Principal: Good going, Ms. Lindley.

(Jen smiles.)

Jack: What? You've become popular?

Jen: Worse. Follow me.

(Jen heads to her locker and starts opening it.)

Jen: It was a coup d'etat. A mutiny. A slave revolt. Belinda McGovern has been excommunicated by her brainless bishops.

Jack: Help me out here. I don't think I understand.

Jen: (She shows him the pom poms) They're the golden ones. With the rhinestone-studded handles.

Jack: Don't tell me they made you a cheerleader?

Jen: Oh, no.

Jack: Thank God.

Jen: They made me Head Cheerleader.

Jack: That's cool.

(Jack cracks up laughing. Jen throws one of her pom poms at him. Cut to Joey and Bessie out front of Joey's house with laundry.)

Bessie: But I thought you said --

Joey: Forget what I said. I was lying, or at least, hoping for the best. The truth is, Dawson's been dodging me for the past two days.

Bessie: Dodging you? And then crashing Mitch's pride and joy? It's like one Dawson left for Philadelphia, and another one came back.

Joey: Yeah... his evil twin.

Bessie: Oh sis...

Joey: Yet another chapter in the Joey Potter sob story. Penniless girl from the wrong side of the tracks copes with a felon for a father, a slave driver for a boss, and a two-timing boyfriend -- okay, ex-boyfriend. I keep expecting them to put me on daytime TV between Ivory Snow commercials.

Bessie: Don't go there, Joey. You haven't spent a summer pitying yourself. Don't start now.

Joey: At least, he could've told me... then I wouldn't feel like such a fool.

Bessie: About the girl, you mean?

Joey: One look at her, and I knew: she's everything I'm not. Wild, confident, blonde... I feel like the little kid. Always the one getting left behind.

Bessie: Listen, I remember the time when there was another blonde in the picture.

Joey: Yeah... and look how well that turned out. Besides, it's different now.

Bessie: Yes. It is.

(Cut to Dawson and Pacey in Dawson's living room. Pacey's reading a magazine and Dawson's searching under cushions of the couch.)

Pacey: Look on the bright side. At least her jaw didn't lock.

Dawson: Remind me to start cracking jokes when your execution looms just hours away. Two more nickels, a shoelace, and a pair of sunglasses I lost two years ago. I now have a combined total of forty-two dollars and seventy-eight cents. Even if I sell my DVD player, I'm still close to two-thousand dollars short.

Pacey: Congratulations, Dawson. Next to Bill Clinton you will have paid more for a certain service than anyone I know.

Dawson: If I don't come up with this money, I'm gonna pay with my life.

(The doorbell rings. Dawson opens the door to find Eve.)

Dawson: Hello.

Eve: Didn't think you'd see me again? Did you?

Dawson: Didn't know if I wanted to.

Eve: Well, I'll get outta your hair. I just wanted to bring you this.

(She gives him an envelope. He looks inside.)

Eve: There's about four hundred dollars in there. It's a collection.

Dawson: A collection?

Eve: I told the girls at the club the story. They thought it was so cute they took up a collection of last night's tips.

Dawson: "Cute." I'm now officially mortified.

Pacey: Never underestimate the kindess of strippers, Dawson. Lady Eve, on behalf of my luckless buddy here, we gladly accept this contribution.

Dawson: No, we gladly don't.

Eve: Why?

Dawson: Because. It's your money and it's my problem.

Eve: You were right, I pushed you too far, too fast...

Dawson: It was still my fault.

Eve: I feel responsible for what happened. And I don't feel responsible that often.

Dawson: It doesn't matter.

Eve: Just take the money...

Dawson: I can't.

(Pacey puts on the pair of sunglasses Dawson found. He looks in the mirror. He gets an idea.)

Pacey: Hang on a second...maybe these ladies don't have to give of their wallets. But if they could give their time and considerable talents...

Eve: I like where you're going with this.

Dawson: I don't.

Pacey: We'll throw a party. Here. Tonight.

Eve: It's genius! You'll make the cash you need in two hours tops!

Dawson: It's insane! I will not turn my house into a strip club! No way!

Pacey: Teenage boys will come, Dawson. They'll come for reasons they can't even fathom. They'll turn up in your driveway, not knowing for sure why they're doing it, and arrive at your door, innocent as children. "Of course, we won't mind if you look around," you'll say. "It's only twenty dollars per person." And they'll pass over money without even looking at it. For it is money they have and breasts they lack. No, Dawson. Teenage boys will come. They will most definitely come.

(Cut to the Leery house at night. Pacey is standing outside with a LONG line of teenage males.)

Pacey: Step right up gentlemen, with money in hand. For you are about to enter the Leery house of inequity. Oh and gentlemen, Chino here (motioning towards the muscular man) has strict orders to break any part of your body that touches the ladies, (to guy in front of line) understand? Alright, get up there!

(Cut to Dawson walking through his house full of strippers dancing on tables. Eve walks up to him counting money.)

Eve: At the rate we're going we'll have something left over for Jerry's Kids.

Dawson: There's something so not right about this.

Some Guy: This is so freakin' awesome!

Dawson (to Eve): Are you alright?

(She nods.)

Dawson: I'm going to go lay down.

(Cut to Dawson in his bedroom. He lays back on his bed.)

Joey: Hey.

(Dawson turns to find Joey sitting at his desk.)

Dawson: Hey.

Joey: Rager downstairs, huh?

Dawson: Yeah. Less than a week into Junior year and already my life's in complete and utter upheaval.

Joey: Then I'm probably the last person you want to see.

Dawson: You're a lot of things, Joey. You're never the last person I want to see.

(Joey gets up and moves to sit by him on the bed.)

Joey: Dawson, um, I'm sorry. Not just about today. About everything. About my dad, I was wrong. However, in that total moment of adolescent anger and upset, I lashed out at the one person who cares about me the most. Who I care about the most.

Dawson: You should have called me, Jo. Or written. You should have contacted me.

Joey: I should have done a lot of things. But I was so....ashamed. I figured I'd ignore life for awhile. But you can't do that forever, can you?

Dawson: No, you can't.

Joey: Who is she?

Dawson: Eve? I just met her.

Joey: Are you two...

Dawson: Hardly.

Joey: Did you miss me?

Dawson: You know I did.

Joey: Good.

(She moves up standing above him.)

Joey: Because I missed you, too.

Dawson: It's not the same anymore, Jo.

Joey: It doesn't have to be the same, Dawson. It's a new year. It can be different. It can be better.

(Joey pulls her shirt off and stares at Dawson as we cut to commercials. Cut back to Dawson and Joey right where we left. She moves in closer then...)

Dawson: No.

Joey: What is it? What's wrong?

Dawson: Everything. This is not you.

Joey: I can be sexual, Dawson.

Dawson: I know you can, Joey. But we can't do this. Not now. Not like this. Put your shirt back on.

(She's embarressed.)

Dawson: I'm sorry if you're hurt.

Joey: Hurt? Why would I be hurt, Dawson? I hope you're not delusional enough to think it was some embarrassing attempt at getting you back. Besides, if sex is all you're about these days--

Dawson: Sex is not all I'm about, Joey. And you, more than anyone, should know that.

Joey: I am not responsible for your sexual inexperience.

Dawson: I'm not blaming you...

Joey: I never stopped you from being with someone else.

Dawson: That was particularly clear when you dumped me twice.

Joey: You had time, Dawson. There was plenty of time for you to have all the fun you wanted. It's not my fault if you're still a virgin.

Dawson: I love you, Jo. What happened between us or didn't happen was because both of us wanted it that way.

Joey: (whispering) What's wrong? What's so wrong with me?

Dawson: It's not you. It's us. I can't go through all that again. You say it will be different, but it won't be.

Joey: You don't know that.

Dawson: Yes, I do. And so do you. Joey, another year like last year and I can promise you, there will be no more love left between us.

Joey: So is there anything else?

Dawson: Yes.

Joey: So you love just don't want me?

(Dawson doesn't answer. Joey starts crying and exits the room through the window. Cut to Pacey downstairs at the rager as Dawson comes down. Pacey interrupts everyone.)

Pacey: Kids, could I have everybody's attention please? Ladies and gentlemen, and esteemed exotic dancers, I'd like to present to you, the man that made this all possible, Dawson Leery.

(The crowd applaudes.)

Pacey: I think the preliminary results of our little pledge drive are in so Gino, if I could have the envelope, please. The unofficial tally of tonight's festivities comes to $3,162! Now, you can call me crazy, you can call me insane, but I think it's time to open this place up to the public. What do you say?

(The crowd cheers. Cut to Eve dragging Dawson through the crowd.)

Dawson: Where are we going?

Eve: I have a surprise.

Dawson: I think I should probably stay and make sure nobody burns my house down, right?

Eve: And why would you do that?

Dawson: Probably to avoid figuring out whether or not I'm going to sleep with you.

Eve: Follow me, Dawson. And all secrets will be revealed.

Dawson: Go ahead, I'll be right there.

(Dawson pulls Pacey off a table with a stripper and takes him outside on the porch.)

Dawson: She wants me back.

Pacey: Joey?

Dawson: Yeah. And as we speak the ever-tempting Eve stands in the wings waiting.

Pacey: Always comes down to this, my friend, doesn't it? The Madonna or the Jezebel...

Dawson: You should have seen her, Pace. She was standing before me as innocent and as beautiful as she's ever been and I wanted her as much as I ever have. But, I don't know, as large of a part of me that wanted me, there's as big of a part that knows that now is not the right time for us.

Pacey: Yeah.

Dawson: But I need to know she's okay. Could you talk to her? Maybe watch out for her for a couple of days?

Pacey: Oh, no, no, no.

Dawson: She needs someone. She'd never admit it, but she does.

Pacey: Dawson! Man....

Dawson: You'd be doing it for me, Pace. Please.

(Pacey nods. Dawson smiles and leaves the porch. Cut to Dawson meeting Eve on the dock, she's in a boat.)

Eve: Want to go for a ride?

Dawson: Is it yours?

Eve: It's my boss'. I talked him into letting me borrow it.

Dawson: I was kind of hoping that we'd graduated from the open ocean to dry land.

Eve: If at first you don't succeed...

Offscreen: DAWSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Dawson turns to see his Dad back.)

Eve: Who's that?

Dawson: That's my father. Next stop at the home from hell.

Eve: Listen, Dawson, you're one step away from the rest of your life. Get in.

Dawson: I crashed his boat and I wrecked his house. I can't just leave.

Eve: There's nothing you can do tonight. Be honest. What's going to change between now and tomorrow morning?

Dawson: Nothing...except maybe me.

Eve: Last chance, Dawson.

Dawson: I can't.

Eve: You know, I don't know who's the bigger mystery. Me....or you.

(She smiles and drives the boat away from the dock as Dawson stares after her. Cut to Joey sitting on her dock, crying. She looks up to see Pacey rowing to her house.)

Pacey: Ahoy! Anyone ashore?

Joey: What are you doing here?

Pacey: Well, a funny thing happened. I got in Dawson's rowboat and it magically drifted to your dock.

Joey: Magically drift any closer and I'll kill you.

Pacey: I almost believe that.

(Pacey ties up the boat and jumps up to sit beside her. She looks at him angrily.)

Joey: He told you, didn't he? Didn't he?

Pacey: What do you think?

Joey: I think I hate you both.

Pacey: You're gonna hate what I'm going to say even more. He did the best thing, Joey. You two need to be apart now.

Joey: How would you know what I need?

Pacey: You're probably right. I'm sure I don't have any idea what you're going through. How hard it is to let someone go. How painful it must be to know that as right as you two are for each other, it doesn't mean you're right for each other right now. I wouldn't know a thing about that. About how it makes you want to scream, or hit someone... or cry.

Joey: Of all the people to see me like this, it had to be you.

Pacey: It's a new year, Joey. You never know, we could even end up friends.

Joey: Pacey, I'm upset enough as it is.

(He smiles and pulls her closer.)

Pacey: Hey Potter. C'mere.

(She leans against him and starts crying. Cue ending credits.)

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