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  04x04 - Future Tense
 Posted: 11/12/00 21:17
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Episode 404 - Future Tense

[Scene: Joey's Bedroom. Joey and Pacey are there doing some homework. Pacey is sitting in a chair and Joey is at her desk. ]

Pacey: I'm bored.

Joey: Good.

Pacey: Good? Mm-mmm. I thought you were supposed to be concerned about me in light of the recent tragedy I've suffered.

Joey: Pacey, it's precisely because of the recent tragedy you suffered that you could use a little boredom. Now keep reading.

Pacey: I'm serious here, Jo. What's the point of reading a book about the future when the future in the book is already the past?

Joey: Everybody's future eventually becomes the past, Pacey.

Pacey: Yeah, but 1984? Big whoop. It happened. It's over. It was no big deal.

Joey: And how would you know? You were in diapers at the time.

Pacey: Vh1 behind the music, thank you very much. The point is, these people in the fifties, they spend their whole lives worrying about what the future's gonna be like, and when it gets here, turns out it's ok. Except for that whole boy George thing, but who could have predicted that, huh? What's this stuff?

Joey: Oh, nothing. It's just junk mail.

Pacey: Junk mail?

Joey: It's just college mail that came over the summer.

Pacey: You get junk mail from Princeton university?

Joey: It doesn't mean anything. It comes from everywhere. I mean, like for instance, like I'm gonna go to St. Olaf college? Or, uh, university of Hawaii. Or, uh, Valparaiso university. Where is that? It's like in brazil or something.

Pacey: But you are gonna go somewhere?

Joey: Well, not right this second. I mean, it's early yet anyway, I mean, you know, maybe I'll just... Maybe I'll just go to one of those fictional colleges. You know, like on those lame high school TV shows that go on for way too long. And then, just in time to save the franchise, all of the sudden it turns out that there's this amazing world class college that's right around the corner where all the principal characters are accepted. Just to be safe, we should probably start the application process.

[Commercial Break]

[Scene: The college advisors office. There is a montage of scenes with the various cast members meeting with the advisor.]

Advisor: To make a fresh start today you wanna go to college?

Jack: Well, I did, until I realized how many little forms I was gonna have to fill out. But I--I--I--I intend to get started, I--I do. I've just been really busy with... Football. I know it's not gonna help me get into college. But I did start this thing, and I don't wanna quit until it's... Done.

Andie: I am so glad that I did this early action thing. Oh, it's just like this giant weight has been...

Joey: Placed firmly around my neck, I mean, it's a big decision. And it's not like I can afford to apply to a zillion places.

Dawson: Everyone just assumes I'm going to film school.

Advisor: And you're not?

Dawson: Well, I'm not ruling anything out. I mean, maybe I will, and maybe I won't.

Pacey: If the aptitude test says I'm well-suited for a career in law enforcement, it's obviously in some serious need of retooling. You haven't been talking to my brother, have you?

Jack: Ha ha ha! She said what?

Advisor: Your sister tells me you're not quite as far along in the college application process as you could be.

Jack: Do you know my sister?

Andie: Are you sure there's nothing else I should be doing at this point? I mean couldn't we call or something?

Pacey: How can anybody be sure where they want to spend the next 4 years of their life? And I'm so sick of answering these lame questions like... Where do I see myself in 5 years? Just wish me luck, lady. I'll probably still be here.

Joey: I'm actually the first person in my family to even apply to college.

Advisor: That can work to your advantage. Elite schools are generally looking for people with diverse backgrounds. You're at the top of your class, Joey.

Joey: The top top?

Advisor: Number 4, and your board scores are phenomenal. I think that you should be able to get into practically anyplace in the country.

Joey: And this must be where the "but" comes in.

Advisor: Well, the Ivys, Georgetown, duke, Stanford, I mean, these schools accept only a miniscule amount of the people that apply. And hardly anybody ever gets a free ride. So you're telling me I've set my sights too high? It's a crapshoot. Now, do I think that you're smart and talented enough to be one of those people that gets in? Yes. Do I think that you should prepare yourself for the possibility that you might not be one of those people? That couldn't hurt.

[Scene: The sidewalk outside of school. Jen is walking to school when Drue comes running up to her.]

Drue: Jenny! Jenny! What, you no longer answer to jenny?

Jen: Not since I left the 212 area code.

Drue: Not so fast. Can I walk you home? Carry your books? Buy you a soda at the malt shop? That's what people do for fun around here in Pleasantville, right?

Jen: Drue, I'm going to say this in the nicest way possible--go away.

Drue: If I didn't know better, I'd think maybe you weren't exactly happy to see me.

Jen: No! Really?

Drue: Here I am, your old chum from the big city cast adrift in a one-horse town with no decent Chinese food, and you don't roll out the red carpet, you don't sit with me at lunch, you don't introduce me to your friends.

Jen: Well, that's because you already seem to know my friends. They knew that you were here before I did, and they didn't warn me. I wonder why that is, huh?

Drue: Ok. Busted. I didn't tell them I knew you. I wanted to lay low, soak up some secondhand impressions of Jen Lindley, version 2.0. So, what do you say? You and me, one milkshake, 2 straws. Catch up on old times. I've missed you these past 2 years.

Jen: No, you didn't. You didn't miss me. You missed my idiotic willingness to try out any and all illegal substances that you happened to purchase in Washington square park. Remember?

Drue: Hey, come on. Not all that ecstasy turned out to be sinus headache medication. You make it sound like we never had any fun.

Jen: Drue, the kind of fun that we had, I don't have anymore. So I don't know what you're hoping to gain by this little trip down memory lane, but it won't get you anywhere.

Drue: Hey, it's not that I don't dig this whole hip-to-be-square thing you got going on, because I do. I just think we should hang out.

Jen: Hang out?

Drue: That's all. So what do you say?

Jen: No way. Not ever. Never gonna happen.

[Scene: The Leery Fish House. Gretchen is sitting at the bar filling out some forms, when Dawson comes in to the restaurant.]

Gretchen: Uh, they're closed.

Dawson: Uh, it's ok. I know the owner.

Gretchen: Oh, hey. Your mom's in the back. Some fish-related crisis.

Dawson: That's the only kind there is around here. So are you staking out a seat for the early-bird special or what?

Gretchen: No. Interviewing for a job.

Dawson: The bartending job?

Gretchen: Hey, I may not be coyote ugly material, but I can make a seven & seven with the best of them.

Dawson: I...Believe you. So, uh, how's it going, the interview?

Gretchen: Ok, I guess. Or at least I hope so. I really need this job. I was tending bar all summer up in Provincetown. And now that the tourists are gone, bye-bye, job.

Gale: Hey, sorry about that. Tonight's special just changed from red snapper to Ahi tuna. Hi, honey. You know, Gretchen, everything certainly looks great on paper, but I do have one more question. What are your plans for school?

Gretchen: School?

Gale: College. Are you going back any time soon? Because I was really hoping to find somebody who was willing to stick around for a while.

Gretchen: No, I, um, I'm on break, you know, indefinitely.

Gale: Is there a reason for that?

Gretchen: Not a very interesting one.

Dawson: So, mom, you want me to, uh, set tables or what?

Gale: Uh, yeah, honey, it is getting late. Um, you know what, Gretchen? Instant decision time here. Can you start tomorrow?

Gretchen: Yes. Tomorrow, today, yesterday.

Gale: That's great.

[Scene: The Football Field. Jack is practicing with the team, as Mitch watches over them. Andie comes walking up to join them.]

Mitch: Whenever you're ready. Gentlemen. [Blows whistle]

Jack: hey, what's up?

Andie: You are not going to believe what happened.

Jack: Something good, something bad, what?

Andie: Something good. Ok, you know Miss Watson, the college advisor? She actually called Harvard for me.

Jack: And?

Andie: And the woman she spoke to not only said that everything looked good, but she remembered my essay. My essay! Out of thousands! Mine!

Jack: That's great, Andie.

Mitch: McPhee! Break's over. Let's go.

Jack: Duty calls.

Andie: Ok. Go, team!

[Jack goes back to practice, and runs out to catch passes on several plays.]

Mitch: [Blows whistle]

[Jack goes diving for a catch and lands on his shoulder wrong dislocating it.]

[Scene: The school hallway. Jack and Andie are walking in the hallway, and Jack has a Sling on his arm.]

Jack: Yeow! Oh, ow! I got it, I got it.

Andie: Got it?

Jack: Ok, oh!

Andie: Oh, I'm sorry. I'm really, really sorry.

Jen: Jack, jack, that--that looks a lot worse than what you led me to believe.

Dawson: Yeah. My dad said you weren't even gonna be in school today.

Jack: It's fine. It's nothing. The worst part about it was the sound that it made when they popped it back in.

Andie: Oh, it was so gross. You guys, er does not prepare you for that kind of stuff.

Guy: Hey, McPhee. Sorry about the shoulder.

Jack: Oh. Yeah. Thanks.

Dawson: Anything else we can help you with?

Guy: Yeah. A bunch of us were just kinda wondering if the party was still on.

Dawson: What party?

Guy: Was it like a surprise or something?

Jen: Is what a surprise?

Guy: The birthday party.

Guy2: Hey, Lindley. Happy birthday. Party tonight, dude?

Guy3: You know it, dude.

Andie: Ok, Jen. You did not tell me it was your birthday. Happy birthday!

Jen: No, no, no, no. It's not.

Jack: Yeah, it's not. Her birthday's in may.

Dawson: So it's not your birthday, and yet people who call each other dude seem to be attending your birthday party. You might want to look into that.

Jen: Yeah. Ha ha.

[Scene: Outside the Potter B&B. Bessie is sitting on a bench when Joey comes up to join her.]

Joey: Can I ask you a question? What does it mean when you dream that your teeth are slowly receding back into your head and the world's leading experts are powerless to stop it?

Bessie: It means you shouldn't stay up all night stressing about college. You'll get in some place great, they'll give you tons of financial aid, and everything will be perfect.

Joey: Yeah, that's what I thought, too, until yesterday.

Bessie: What happened yesterday?

Joey: [Sighs] I had a meeting with a new college advisor.

Bessie: So?

Joey: I'm fourth.

Bessie: Fourth? Four--fourth in your class? [Gasps] Joey, that's amazing.

Joey: Yeah. It's amazing, but... [Sighs] Bessie, all of the places that I thought I wanted to apply to, they're looking for people who are number 4, and they're, you know, concert violinists, or they won the Westinghouse science prize, or they're legacies like Andie. I mean... Maybe I shouldn't even bother, I mean... I--I'd probably just be wasting the application fees.

Bessie: Your defeatist attitude has got to go. What does Pacey say?

Joey: Pacey's barely gonna graduate. I can't exactly cry on his shoulder about my tragic lack of extracurricular activities. If I tell Pacey how stressed I am, he's just gonna think that I'm this pathetic, whiny crybaby, you know?

Bessie: Look, going to one of these schools could open up opportunities you've always dreamed about, right?

Joey: Yes.

Bessie: So your dreams are your dreams, Joey. You can't apologize for them. Just talk to him. You'll probably find out they're his dreams, too.

[Commercial Break]

[Scene: The school hallway. Drue is walking in it, when Jen comes angrily up to him.]

Jen: Unacceptable.

Drue: Excuse me?

Jen: You throwing me a birthday party. Unacceptable.

Drue: So you found out about that.

Jen: Yeah, well, how could I not? I spent the entire morning fielding birthday wishes from complete strangers. My French class sang to me in French.

Drue: Oh, bummer. Hey, palmer.

Palmer: Hey, Drue.

Drue: Jason, I'll see you there, right, dude?

Jason: Oh, yeah. You know it, man. Excellent.

Drue: Isn't this great? Yesterday, I didn't even know that guy from a hole in the wall. Today, paesans. I'm telling you, this party's really been a great way for me to get to know people.

Jen: Good, but the fact that it's not my birthday, that--that puts no damper on the festivities, huh?

Drue: I like to think of tonight as an omnibus retroactive birthday celebration, you know? It covers all those parties we missed when we were apart, plus I'm doing a public service. We need to get you out of this funk you've been in since phantom freshman dumped you.

Jen: Ok, first of all, he didn't dump me. I dumped him.

Drue: Technicality.

Jen: Second, this isn't a funk. It's my personality. Harsh. Third, it's not my birthday.

Drue: Another technicality. Look, I want to let you in on a little secret, ok? Something the old Jen Lindley used to know. People are sheep. They need a reason to celebrate, ok, and that's where I come in. I give them something to celebrate. You.

Jen: Answer me one thing: Why on earth would I actually attend this little shindig?

Drue: Well, you can't miss your own birthday.

Jen: But it's not my birthday.

Drue: I know, I know, but everyone here thinks it's your birthday, so work with me, ok? If it's your birthday and you don't show up, I guess that makes you sort of a stuck-up.

Jen: You know what? Don't say it, Drue. I'd hate for endangered turtles to die while they're dragging the creek for your body.

Drue: Mmm. Starts at 8:00, dress is casual, but, uh, not that casual. You might want to go home first. Spiff yourself up a little, ok? See you later.

[Scene: A sidewalk in Capeside's shopping district. Jack and Andie are walking along the sidewalk talking to each other. Jack is in considerable pain.]

Andie: You know, Jack, things aren't as bad as you think they are. In fact, this whole injury could be a really good thing.

Jack: Oh, yeah. Let me guess. It'll give me more time to work on my applications?

Andie: Exactly, 'cause you don't want to get behind. Not like you already aren't.

Jack: [Sighs] look, Andie, I am in some serious pain here. Can you just lay off the lectures for a little bit, just until I get some pills in me?

Andie: Sure thing.

Jack: Thanks.

Andie: Although... You might want to consider that this whole experience could make a really great essay topic.

Jack: Yeah. Yeah, that's good. I'm gonna get working on that as soon as I get home. Are we done with this little shopping excursion of ours?

Andie: Almost. I just want to go in the bookstore and get a present for Jen for her birthday.

Jack: [Sighs] you know it's not actually her birthday?

Andie: I know. It just seems kind of rude to show up empty-handed.

[Scene: The Leery Fish House. Dawson and Gale are sitting at a table eating and talking to each other.]

Dawson: Mm-hmm. I am never eating a home-cooked meal again, am I?

Gale: Yeah. Looks like you're stuck yet again with 4-star gourmet cuisine.

Dawson: So, uh, Gretchen seems to be working out.

Gale: Uh, yeah, so far. I just wish I knew that she was gonna be around for more than a few months. Now, why would this incredibly beautiful and bright and talented young woman who could be off at college furthering her education choose to be back in Capeside tending bar?

Dawson: Because maybe college isn't the be-all and end-all that parents make it out to be. You know, I mean, maybe once you get past the rhetoric of all these great books that nobody reads, college is basically just a holding pen for 18- to 22-year-olds. Like one of those airports that everybody has to stop at on their way to someplace else? Kind of like prison with a better meal plan.

Gale: Please tell me you're saying these things for the adolescent thrill of getting a rise out of your mother.

Dawson: It's true, mom. Most people aren't in college to learn. They're there to kill brain cells and co-mingle with the opposite sex.

Gale: Well, not that I'm complaining, but how did I end up with the only 17-year-old in the country who thinks that sounds like a bad idea?

Dawson: Well, I'm not opposed to those things. I'm just saying I think the whole idea of higher education is a little bit of a misnomer. You know, I think people should call things what they are.

Gale: Like when people are running away from their problems, they should admit they're running away from their problems?

Dawson: Are we talking about somebody I know?

Gale: Well, honey, your father and I couldn't help but notice that all of the college applications arriving in the mailbox seem to be coming from zip codes more than 1,000 miles away.

Dawson: Right, and you and dad never suspected that your movie-obsessed son might want to go to school in California?

Gale: Well, honey, we don't have a problem if you want to go to California or new Mexico or Alaska if that's what you really want. We just don't want you to make a decision that's gonna affect the rest of your life based on the wrong criteria.

Dawson: [Sighs] like?

Gale: Like the desire to put an entire continent between you and a certain girl we both know?

[Scene: Pacey's House. Joey and Pacey are there talking to one another.]

Joey: If I tell you what's bothering me, will you promise not to laugh at me or tell me I'm insane or insist that I should just get over myself?

Pacey: I think I can probably do that, yeah.

Joey: [Sighs] I found out yesterday that I'm fourth. My class rank. I'm fourth.

Pacey: [Laughs] that's your problem? That's not a problem. If anything, that's a reason to quit studying.

Joey: I don't even know why I bother. I knew you wouldn't understand.

Pacey: Ok, I'm sorry. That was bad. Can we try that again? Yeah? But this time, you've gotta cut out all that stuff about being number 4, 'cause I know that can't possibly be the reason you're so bothered.

Joey: Well, no, it's... It's just that I always thought that if I did well in school, that these doors would open for me, you know, and--and maybe I was just being naive. Maybe I've just set these goals that are really unrealistic, and you know, certain people get into certain places because of who their parents are, how-- you're not even listening.

Pacey: Uh, no, I was listening. Look, we should just all have your problems, you know? You're sitting here as a girl with one of the brightest futures on the face of the planet, talking to a guy who's not gonna get into any school where they don't give him his own tools.

Joey: Put your shoes on. Let's go out.

Pacey: Out? We can't go out.

Joey: Yeah.

Pacey: You know, just when this conversation starts to get emotionally complex, you want to bail. Who's the guy in this relationship?

Joey: You are, and as the guy, you have a choice. You can either stay here and prove how sensitive you aren't, or we can go to Jen's un-birthday party.

Pacey: Right. I'll get my shoes.

[Scene: The Party. There is a large house that the party is being thrown at, with 50 or so people throughout it partying. Jen and Dawson arrive, and start looking around.]

[All screaming, laughing]

Jen: ooh. Look at that. There he is, our host. You know, on a good day, he'll ruin your chances of getting into the college of your choice, convince you he's the sausage king of Chicago, and wreck your father's car, but somehow, you'll end up thanking him.

Dawson: Can I ask the inevitable question?

Jen: Was he my boyfriend? No. Was he an indiscretion? Yes.

Dawson: Ah.

Jen: But to be quite honest, I'm not quite sure what he remembers. We were both chemically altered at the time. I don't think I need to go any further than that.

[Cut to the Punch bowl. Drue is serving drinks, when Joey and Pacey come up to him.]

Pacey: It's exciting. Can't get enough.

Drue: Witter. I knew you couldn't resist a party. I see you've brought the prim reaper.

Joey: We came for your immortal soul. That is, if you got one. Actually, I'd just like a drink.

Drue: Mm-hmm. Here's one for you and for you.

Pacey: Thanks. Oh, no, no, no. I don't think so. It is a proven fact that you, madam, cannot hold your alcohol.

Joey: So let me get this straight. You can drink at parties and I can't?

Pacey: Yes, because as you so rightly pointed out, I am a guy, and if I'm going to get in trouble for being a guy, I think I should at least get to act like one every once in a while... You know, with your advance permission and approval. Of course, I wouldn't, you know, do it without asking first.

Joey: That's fine.

Pacey: That's fine?

Joey: Yeah. We'll both be guys tonight. Cheers.

[Commercial Break]

[Scene: Jen's Birthday Party. Jen finally comes up to confront Drue.]

Jen: Drue.

Drue: So, the guest of honor finally decides to honor me with her presence.

Jen: Mmm. Unavoidable. Listen, I'm working on a little theory. This isn't your house, is it?

Drue: [Gasps] I'm shocked. Here I welcome you and 65 of your closest friends into my home, and this is how you repay me, by, uh, accusing me of what exactly? Misrepresenting my place of residence? What could I possibly gain by such a tactic?

Jen: Well, plausible deniability. I know what you're doing. See, if you throw a wild, raucous party at your own house, chances are you will get caught. But if you throw the same party at some stranger's summer house, there's nothing to link you to the scene of the crime, and voila-- plausible deniability.

Drue: Hey, you know, that's a pretty sophisticated theory you got going on there.

Jen: Well, I'm a pretty sophisticated kind of girl. Yeah. Oh, and I almost forgot the best part. The thing that really elevates this whole "happy birthday, Jen" thing from a mildly amusing runner to a potentially ingenious little plot twist.

Drue: Uh, and that would be?

Jen: Should the cops happen to show up and ask who's responsible for this mess, all the drunken masses are gonna remember is that it was Jen Lindley's birthday party.

Drue: So it's just absolutely impossible that my intentions are pure, that all I wanted tonight was for you to have a good time.

Jen: [Sighs] well, I wouldn't say that it's absolutely impossible, but I'd put the chances somewhere around 3%.

Drue: [Laughs] you know what? I have a theory about your theory. I think the first half is right. I think this isn't my house. Because maybe my house isn't the type of house that would impress anyone in this town, least of all, you. Maybe my house isn't even a house.

Jen: And what's this, some sort of riddle?

Drue: Mmm. The party calls. See you later, birthday girl.

[Cut to Dawson and Joey sitting in the party talking to one another. Joey is really starting to get drunk.]

Dawson: So, uh, number 4 with a bullet, huh?

Joey: How do you know that, Dawson?

Dawson: Kenny Reiling and friends have already established a betting pool.

Joey: [Sighs] kind of pathetic, isn't it? I mean, 12 years of being a total control freak about school, practically giving myself an ulcer hunting snails and building balsa wood bridges for extra credit, and where does that get me? Fourth.

Dawson: Joey, fourth is amazing. I mean, the race isn't even over yet. That what you're doing tonight? Celebrating?

Joey: [Laughs] yeah. The future. Whoopee!

Dawson: Joey, everything's working out exactly the way you always wanted. Between your grades and your sat scores, you can go anywhere.

Joey: Not you, too, Dawson. I mean, can't 2 people sit down and make small talk without the subject of college coming up? I mean, isn't that possible? I mean, what's next? Are you gonna ask me, uh, where I see myself in 5 years?

Dawson: I don't have to. Aren't you the same girl who wanted to be an anthropologist or an oceanographer?

Joey: [Laughs] yeah. Dawson, do you have any idea how much money anthropologists make? And besides, I was just saying that to get your goat. I mean, your buttons are so easy to push. Well, were so easy.

Dawson: So you never really had any desire to do great and heroic things with your life? See faraway places, uncover lost civilizations. When it comes right down to it, you'd be just as happy hanging around here in Capeside?

Joey: I didn't say that. Don't put words in my mouth.

Dawson: I'm just trying to figure out why someone who's about to reap the benefits of something she's worked for her entire life, she's trying to drown herself in some 80-proof fruit punch.

Joey: Look, don't do this, Dawson.

Dawson: Ok. Cheers.

[Cut to Drue sitting at a table getting ready to play some cards, when Pacey comes walking up looking around for Joey.]

Drue: Ok, that looks good. Poker time, gentlemen. Who's playing? Hey, how about you, Witter? You up for a little game of cards, or, uh, you have to ask permission from the old ball and chain?

Pacey: Yeah, I'd be happy to just find the old ball and chain right now.

Drue: Uh, yeah, I think I saw her talking to Dawson. Oh, no, wait. That's wrong. She took a walk with the birthday girl, which is why you should stay here and play cards with us. So, what do you say? 5-card draw. You in or out?

Pacey: Well, it's your money.

[Cut to the outside docks. Joey and Jen are walking on them and come to a stop at the end.]

Jen: All right, Joey. I think that we've walked far enough. Now, what did you need to tell me? Is here good?

Joey: Yes, here is good. Good, because I... Would like to make a toast. All the love and happiness in the world to my friend, Jen Lindley, on her birthday.

Jen: Well, thank you very much, Joey, but, um... You do know it's--it's really not my birthday.

Joey: That's all right. [Laughs] I mean, we're not really friends. [Both laugh] I'm just kidding. I'm kidding, I'm--I'm kidding. We are. I think we are. Do you think we are? I can't really even pinpoint exactly when we became friends--

Jen: you know what, Joey? Let's not delve too far into it, 'cause then we'll just remember why we're supposed to hate each other.

Joey: I don't hate you.

Jen: Oh—

Joey: I love you.

Jen: [Laughs] I know—

Joey: I do.

Jen: No, Joey, Joey, you love everybody tonight. Joey, let me ask you something. Mmm? Do you think that you can summon up enough brain power to answer one little question?

Joey: Is it about our future?

Jen: No. No, it's purely about the present.

Joey: Shoot.

Jen: Do you happen to know where Drue lives?

Joey: Ding, ding, ding. I do know the answer to that one. Drue lives in an apartment at the yacht club with his mother.

Jen: Ok, and what--what about his father?

Joey: Taos, new Mexico, I think. I guess he ran off with some new age chippie. Nice, huh? Left them high and dry.

[Cut to Jack and Andie inside sitting on a couch talking to each other.]

Jack: "You, too, can get into the college of your choice." Please tell me that's a private joke between the two of you.

Andie: It's not a joke. It's a very helpful book.

Jack: Maybe so, but as a birthday present or an un-birthday present, it pretty much sucks.

Andie: Ok, what's your problem?

Jack: My problem is that... Not everyone wants to spend every waking moment of life thinking about college, and some of us want to actually enjoy the remainder of our senior year, Andie.

Andie: And I don't?

Jack: No, you don't, 'cause ever since you finished your applications, all you've been doing is getting on my case about mine, Andie. Look, don't get me wrong, ok? I'm--I'm happy for you. I'm glad that everything's going so well, and you've got everything... Under control... But I don't need you to control my life... And you certainly don't need to branch out into Jen's.

Andie: Oh, so you want me to just stand there and watch as you back yourself into a corner and totally ruin your entire future?

Jack: Andie, it is not my future that I'm concerned about at the moment, it's the present. Look, 24 hours ago, my senior year officially began to suck. The only thing I was looking forward to this year, the only reason I fit into this damn high school was 'cause of football. I don't even have that anymore. So can we please just forget about the future for now? Just for tonight? Ok?

[Cut to Joey and Jen. Andie comes up to join them.]

Andie: Oh, there you guys are. I've been looking all over for you.

Joey: Well, except here, 'cause if you would have looked here, you would have found us, 'cause this, Andie, is where we are.

Jen: [Whispering] ignore her. So, where's jack?

Andie: He's avoiding me. Am I too controlling?

Both: Yes.

Andie: Thanks for the vote of confidence.

Joey: Andie, it's not a judgment. Some people like salad dressing on the salad, and some people like it on the side.

Andie: Ok. Well, you know, it's just I want everyone that I know to be able to live up to his or her potential.

Joey: Well, I have great potential as a waitress.

Jen: [Laughs] that's great, Joey. What do you say that we get out of here, all right? I've got somebody that I owe an apology to.

Joey: No, no, no. Stay here. Before anyone leaves this spot, we have a very important question to answer. Where do we really see ourselves in 5 years? And not the version that you answer to your college advisor. Come on.

Jen: All right. Um, I plan to be starting work on my master's thesis, "are men necessary?"

[All laugh]

Andie: and I guess I'll be in P.R. 'Cause I mean, that's all I've really ever been good at in life is painting a happy face on disaster.

Jen: Andie.

Andie: Well, you know. Think about it. [Laughs] ok, you're up.

Joey: Um... You tell me.

Jen: All right, all right. That's an easy one. Um, you will have graduated from a ridiculously expensive ivy league school, moved to New York, where you will have taken a job in a funky soho art gallery where your starting salary is actually less than a year's tuition.

Joey: [Laughs] now, why New York?

Jen: Because New York is finishing school for cynics like us.

Joey: I'm not a cynic.

Jen: [Laughs] ok, you're not exactly sunshine personified, Joey.

Joey: [Laughs]

Andie: Ok, ok, you guys, come on.

Joey: Right here, right now, let's make a deal. In 5 years, we'll get back together, and we'll see if any of these predictions actually came true.

Jen: Deal.

Andie: Deal.

Jen: Ok. Shall we?

Joey: We shall. Oh, wait. You guys, how are we gonna remember the date? It's not really Jen's birthday.

Jen: I'll remember.

Joey: Do you promise?

[Cut to inside the party. Jack and Dawson are walking talking to one another.]

Jack: So, you think we're the only 2 people not having fun at this thing?

Dawson: It's hard to tell. Everybody else could be having fun, or they could just be imitating the fun they've seen people have in movies.

[A guy walks past them, and slips knocking over a huge pile of cans. The two guys behind the pile who were building jump up and chase the first one past Jack and Dawson.]

Jack: [Laughs] yeah.

Dawson: Should we, uh—

Jack: no, they're guards. They're slow as hell. They'll never catch him.

Dawson: I forget you actually know these people.

Jack: Yeah, well, it's all part of being on a team, I guess, or sitting on the sidelines as it may be. Right. I don't know. You know, it's funny. You think something's making your life a living hell, and then when it's gone, It's... You really miss it. [Looks over and sees Joey.]But then again, I guess you probably know that feeling.

Dawson: [Laughs] yeah. Yeah.

[Cut to the Poker Table. Drue, Pacey, a woman and several others are playing. The woman begins to take off her top because she lost the hand, when Joey comes up to them. ]

Drue: Excellent. I love this girl. It's like she's trying to lose.

Joey: Strip poker. I leave you alone for 2 seconds, and you end up playing strip poker?

Pacey: Originally this was just poker-poker, until I started kicking his ass. Then your friendly neighborhood co-worker decides to change the stakes on me, but I'm finished now, and, uh, we can just leave.

Joey: Why leave? There's a half-naked chick in the room.

Pacey: It's just a game. Up until now, nobody's taken off anything other than socks.

Joey: So, it's just all good, clean fun?

Pacey: Yeah, exactly. Just good, clean, American guy fun.

Joey: Mmm. Deal me in.

Pacey: Excuse me?

Joey: You heard me. Now, what does a girl have to take off in order to play this game?

Pacey: Ok, that's enough. [Claps] it's time for us to leave now, 'cause you see, you're drunk, you're bordering on disorderly, and you are definitely insane. So get up. Let's go. Shall we? Finished? Stand up. Let's go.

Joey: You want me to stand up?

Pacey: Yes, I'd like for you to stand up now.

Joey: And why would I do that?

Pacey: Because you are forcing me to make the ultimate guy maneuver.

Joey: Pacey, uh, you can put me down now, Pacey. I'm fine.

Pacey: Shh. Shh.

Joey: I'm fine.

[Commercial Break]

[Scene: Inside after the party is over. Jen and Drue are sitting together next to a cake with lit candles.]

Jen: I can't believe I'm saying this, but thank you. For the party. Turned out to not be so horrible.

Drue: Well, thank you for coming. Uh, I hope I got the number of candles right.

Jen: [Giggles] it'll do. So should I make my wish?

Drue: No, first your present. I'd hate for you to squander it on something that may actually be in this box.

Jen: [Sighs] listen. Drue, I'm sorry. About your parents. Joey told me. And... And I'm sorry I--I just assumed everything would be the same. That was stupid of me.

Drue: It was. What are you waiting for? Open your present.

Jen: All right. But you didn't have to do this.

Drue: I know. I know I didn't have to. I wanted to.

[Both giggle]

Jen: what the hell is this?

Drue: I think you know what it is.

Jen: Ecstasy. Drue, I thought that I made my feelings perfectly clear on this subject.

Drue: You did. Too clear. Which led me to suspect the lady was protesting too much.

Jen: God! I am really an idiot. You haven't changed a bit.

Drue: Oh, and you have? Please. Your hairstyle, maybe, but people don't change. Not that much.

Jen: Yes, they do. They grow up, they accept responsibility. They realize that "die young and leave a good-looking corpse" is not all it's cracked up to be. I don't want your present, Drue.

Drue: Fine.

Jen: But since you've become such a paragon of responsibility, I guess it won't bother you if I just leave it right here. For safekeeping.

[Scene: Jack's Room. Jack is there when Andie comes up to his room.]

Andie: Hey. I just wanted to make sure that you got home ok.

Jack: Yeah, I--I hitched a ride with my, uh, my one good arm.

Andie: Oh. I thought maybe, uh, Dawson gave you a lift. Not that I care one way or the other. I'm not going to get too involved in your life or anything.

Jack: You know, this is all your fault.

Andie: I know. That's why I'm here apologizing.

Jack: I'm not, uh, copying the apology part.

Andie: I'm sorry. I really am. I'm sorry I haven't been more understanding about football. And I'm really sorry that I got all over your case on college.

Jack: Keep going.

Andie: You want me to abase myself further?

Jack: basically, yeah.

Andie: Ok, jack, you seem to think that I am, like, really obsessed with the future, and I'm not. I mean, really, I don't want it to get here any quicker than you do.

Jack: Yeah, well, you have a funny way of showing it.

Andie: Look, in less than a year, my life is going to be completely changed. I mean, everything is going to be different. I'm gonna live somewhere different, I'm gonna have different friends. I mean, everything is going to be different, and you know in times of uncertainty, I look for things that I can fix.

Jack: You cant fix me, Andie. I mean, you gotta let me make my own mistakes in my own way in my own time. And it's not just for me. I mean, you gotta work on letting go of things you can't control.

Andie: Like where you're gonna go to college.

Jack: Or where I'm gonna go to college.

Andie: Agreed. But do you realize that next year is gonna be the first year ever that we're not gonna be in the same school together?

Jack: [Chuckles] hey. I tried to start kindergarten without you.

Andie: What?! That is such a story that mom and dad told you. And besides, how could your version of the story possibly be true when everybody knows it's a fact that I, the more responsible one, am definitely the older sibling in this relationship.

Jack: Heh!

Andie: Yeah!

[Scene: Outside the Potter B&B. Pacey has just driven Joey home, and is getting her out of the car.]

Pacey: All right, you.

Joey: I can't walk, Pacey.

Pacey: Before, I had to drag you kicking and screaming, but now you wanna be carried? No.

Joey: It's a woman's prerogative to change her mind.

Pacey: Ah, but tonight you're one of the guys, remember? And guys walk. So come on, number 4. Out you get, watch your head.

Joey: Uh... I don't really feel so good.

Pacey: Well, guess what? You're gonna feel even worse tomorrow morning. And you still won't be any closer to getting into the ivy-covered institution of your choice.

Joey: Pacey. I've been doing some thinking.

Pacey: Yeah. Drunk thinking.

Joey: Maybe... Maybe that's not what I really want. Maybe I just wanna stay here. You know, I mean-- I mean, look, it's--it's really beautiful here and... And I could just--

Pacey: just what? Stay here and work as a waitress all your life? Come on. I mean, forgive me if you're losing me here, Jo, but to be perfectly honest, you haven't made the slightest bit of sense all night, even before you were drunk--

Joey: I wanna be with you, Pacey. I wanna stay and be with you.

Pacey: [Sighs] Hon, if you wanna be with me, then staying here would be a really stupid idea, considering I don't plan to be here. I plan to be wherever you are.

Joey: Really?

Pacey: Yes, really. Not that you deserve to hear such things right now.

Joey: I know, I know. It was a very stupid thing to get drunk.

Pacey: Yes, it was. I mean, let's face it here, Jo. You are destined for academic glory, and your boyfriend is circling the drain, which is a problem. In fact, that is a very big problem, but you couldn't possibly have thought that you could solve all of your problems in one night, with alcohol of all things.

Joey: No.

Pacey: No. Because alcohol, you know, it has that effect on problems. It just never solved them, ever. And I would hate to think that I fell in love with a moron.

Joey: So you're in love with me, huh?

Pacey: Well, not currently, no. Right now you're just some crazy drunk girl I gotta get in that door without waking up all the paying customers at her sister's b & b, but generally speaking...Yes.

Joey: May I kiss you right now?

Pacey: Yes, please. Mmm! Mmm-mmm-mmm! Mmm-mmm-mmm! But I'm still not carrying you.

Joey: [Whispering] please.

Pacey: Nope. [Laughs] you can give me the eyes, it's just not gonna work. Oh, come on, honestly, you don't—[ ][mumbling] Jo, what, I look like I just fell off the turnip truck? You think I'm gonna fall for this? Jo... Halfway, that's it, I swear. I'm not kidding. My back's killing me here. Well, I guess since you're up here—

[Scene: The Lerery Fish House. Gretchen is cleaning up, when Dawson Enters the bar area.]

Dawson: Oh. I'm sorry. I saw the lights on. I thought you were my mom.

Gretchen: It's ok. She went home early.

Dawson: Oh, so, uh... Congratulations on the job.

Gretchen: Thanks. I feel like I owe you one.

Dawson: Oh. Huh! Can I take a rain check?

Gretchen: Oh, we're not gonna drink. But for every quarter that I bounce into that glass, you're gonna tell me one thing that's bothering you.

Dawson: How do you know something's bothering me?

Gretchen: Please. [Laughing] oh, there! See? Perfect. So spill.

Dawson: All right. Earlier this evening-- ahem. My mother accused me of wanting to go to school in California so that I could run away from my problems.

Gretchen: And you think she's right.

Dawson: I don't know. I mean... Past few weeks, I've seen plenty of things that would make me wanna run screaming to the opposite coast.

Gretchen: Like?

[Quarter lands in glass]

Dawson: don't make me answer this.

Gretchen: Come on. This is much more therapeutic than drinking.

Dawson: [Sighs] I've seen how much she loves him. I've seen it in her face. I've seen them hold hands, I've seen them kiss, and tonight, I saw them fight, which is something I've basically seen them do every day of my life since the first grade, but—

Gretchen: but not like this.

Dawson: [Sighs] I think it was actually worse than the kissing.

Gretchen: You know, Dawson, it might interest you to know that I did take one film class in college.

Dawson: Was it a monumental waste of time?

Gretchen: No. It was great, actually. But you know what my teacher said was the most bogus line in Hollywood cinema?

Dawson: What?

Gretchen: "There's no place like home."

Dawson: The wizard of oz.

Gretchen: Exactly. It's what everybody remembers about the movie, but it doesn't resonate with the rest of the story. Think about it. You know, home is this desolate, gray dust bowl of a place where some nasty old lady is trying to kill your dog. And oz is—

Dawson: Technicolor.

Gretchen: And sure it has its problems. You know, poppy fields, flying monkeys--

Dawson: talking trees.

Gretchen: But along the way, you make friends. Good friends. With people that you never even knew existed when you were growing up. Straw people, tin people—

Dawson: and lions.

Gretchen: Exactly. And you help each other realize that all the things you wanna be you already are. And it's fun.

Dawson: Well, if it's so much fun... Then what are you doing here?

Gretchen: I don't recall you getting to ask any questions as part of our deal.

Dawson: Well, what if I can bounce a quarter in that glass?

Gretchen: Never happen.

Dawson: You're not even gonna let me try?

Gretchen: You can try, but you're just gonna have to use your own money, because I worked very hard to earn these quarters.

Dawson: You're not gonna loan me one lousy quarter?

Gretchen: No.

Dawson: I don't think that's fair.

Gretchen: [Laughs] well, that's too bad.

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