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  04x10 - Self Reliance
 Posted: 01/07/01 06:03
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Episode 410 - Self-reliance

[Scene: Dawson's House. Jack and Dawson are in his Dark room, talking while Dawson is developing some pictures he has taken.]

Jack: Oh, how does it feel to have a dream come true?

Dawson: Why? Do I look like I'm trapped in an elevator with Kate Hudson?

Jack: Dawson, come on. Last night at the holiday party, you kissed Gretchen Witter. I mean, you remember her, right? It's the girl you once described to me as your first crush.

Dawson: She photographs very nicely, doesn't she?

Jack: Ok. As much as I appreciate your attempt to feign coolness, ha ha ha ha. You can't tell me this means nothing to you.

Dawson: Oh, no, not nothing, but, uh, you know, virtually nothing. I mean, was she once the unapproachable, bikini-clad object of my preadolescent affection?

Jack: Yeah.

Dawson: Is she now? No. She's a friend. I would like to keep her one.

Jack: Uh-huh. Famous last words.

Dawson: Not every kiss has to be a life-altering event.

Jack: I know. Believe me, I know. All right. I got to go.

Dawson: Hey, can you take this with you to Jen's house, give it to Grams?

Jack: How do you know I'm going over there?

Dawson: Please?

Jack: Yeah, ok. We're driving up to Provincetown. We're going to something called a gay-straight team coalition.

Dawson: It sounds vaguely political.

Jack: Yeah. Well, that's what I'm afraid of. Other than that, it should be interesting. I know.

[They exit the dark room and Dawson goes to answer the front door.]

Gretchen: Hey!

Dawson: [Chuckles] hey.

Gretchen: I, uh, I came by to, you know, help clean up, since it was sort of my party and all. But you have obviously done that already.

Dawson: Yeah. Sorry.

Jack: Yeah, ok, I'm going to go.

Dawson: All right. Later.

Gretchen: Later.

[Jack seeing that he is in the way, leaves.]

Gretchen: Uh... Uh, look, Dawson, the reason I came by was because I reacted stupidly. When the whole mistletoe thing happened, I should have just cleared the air right then and there. I mean, that's sort of my policy on things like that.

Dawson: You have a policy on kissing your younger brother's former best friend underneath the mistletoe at holiday parties?

Gretchen: No. No. I just--I didn't say anything at the time because I was afraid that you might think that it meant something more than it did. I mean, you're young and—

Dawson: Well, I'm not that young.

Gretchen: No. No, right. Of course not. So obviously you didn't think that it meant something more.

Dawson: Um, obviously.

Gretchen: Because sometimes if we don't clear these things up, then they can get kind of awkward, and that would suck.

Dawson: Tell me about it.

Gretchen: So to sum up, uh, last night was strictly a season's greeting kind of a kiss.

Dawson: Uh, yeah.

Gretchen: Ok.

Dawson: Well, um...Happy holidays.

Gretchen: Happy holidays.

[Commercial Break]

[Scene: Outside the Potter B&B. Joey and Pacey are waving bye to Bessie and Brodie as they get into the truck to leave on their microphone.]

Joey: Bye. Don't worry.

[Bessie and Brodie pull away.]

Pacey: You know, this ain't going to be half bad. The 2 of us together. 3 nights alone.

Joey: Yeah, Pace, alone, with a toddler in his terrible 2s and a test tomorrow on transcendentalism. If that doesn't sound like a prescription for fun, I don't know what does.

Pacey: You know, we still haven't talked about last night.

Joey: Sure, we did. And we're both in agreement that you were the hit of the party.

Pacey: No, not that party. The other one.

Joey: What, the Leerys'?

Pacey: Yes, the leery party. You know, the one with the mistletoe where Dawson was kissing my sister.

Joey: Look, Pacey, please. I have too much on my plate right now to even think about that, ok? I mean, I'm up to my eyeballs in Thoreau, I haven't even started Emerson, and we have an hour left until Alexander wakes up from his nap if we're lucky.

[Alexander cries]

Joey: Brace yourself. This is where the fun begins.

[Scene: A Coffee House. Jack and Jen enter and go to the counter for some coffee, while waiting for the meeting to start.]

Jack: Take a look around please. This is totally not my scene.

Jen: How do you know?

Jack: Look here. For one thing-- one thing, I'm the only guy here with no piercings.

Jen: Jack, your scene, as you so quaintly refer to it, basically consists of me, Dawson, and it pains me to say it, Grams. Look, I know that this is hard for you, but you cannot spend your entire life surrounded by straight people. [To Counter] Hi. Uh, can I get 2 skinny vanilla lattes, extra hot, no foam?

[Toby, who is running the meeting, walks up from behind them.]

Toby: Hey, you here for the meeting?

Jen: Yes, we are.

Toby: Ooh, thank god. We need more lesbians with descent haircuts. I'm Toby.

Jen: Jen. Uh, but I'm actually just here as a friend. Jack, Toby. Toby, Jack.

Toby: Have we met?

Jack: No, I don't think so.

Toby: I've definitely seen you in something. I know, you're the gay football player. Uh, uh, last year from the news. We always wondered about you. Hey, uh, I'm sorry. Was I wrong? You're not the gay football player?

Jack: No, no. I am. It's just I'm not comfortable with labels like that.

Toby: So-- I see. And which label bothers you more? Gay or football player?

[Scene: Outside Mr. Brook's House. Dawson and Mr. Brooks are walking while talking about the film that Dawson is going to make.]

Mr. Brooks: A documentary about me. And what do you get out of it?

Dawson: Well, I get a chance to learn about filmmaking. Picture-making. Sorry. A lot of good directors have dedicated themselves to studying their cinematic forebears. Truffaut and Hitchcock. Bogdanovich and john ford. Billy Wilder and Cameron Crowe. I know you never heard of him.

Mr. Brooks: I lied. Talented fella, shaggy-haired. Doesn't hold a candle to, uh, handsome fella, L.A. Confidential. Best picture of the nineties.

Dawson: So you have been to the movies since star wars.

Mr. Brooks: My A.A.R.P. Card gives me a nice discount at the rialto.

Dawson: So what makes L.A. Confidential so great?

Mr. Brooks: You really want to know?

Dawson: I wouldn't be here if I didn't.

Mr. Brooks: Come back tomorrow to lesson number one of the A.I. Brooks school of cinema.

Dawson: So you'll do it?

Mr. Brooks: Producer credit above the title. You'd be director in name only. Like Fleming in gone with the wind. You got a problem with that?

Dawson: No problem at all.

[Scene: The Coffee House. Toby is talking to the people gathered there, while Jack and Jen sit at a table in the back of the group, try to talk to one another about how much Toby is into this.]

Toby: ...Because he was gay.

Jack: Oh, god. If I hear the word gay one more time, I'm going to scream.

Jen: Jack, it's just a word.

Jack: It's in every sentence the guy says.

Toby: So--our new people-- Jack, wasn't it? Why the, uh, sudden interest in joining our little coffee klatch?

Jack: Well, I--I, uh—

Toby: Up! On your feet.

Jack: Ahem. I was, uh, coaching a pee-wee soccer team over in Capeside, and I—

Toby: Ah, say no more. And the parents fired you when they found out you were queer? Though, of course, they were very careful not to fire you because you were queer.

Jack: I wouldn't exactly put it that way.

Toby: But it's what happened, isn't it? So, uh, what'd you do?

Jack: I did the only thing I could. I--I left.

Toby: But you didn't protest. You--you didn't put up a fight. That's not exactly a giant step forward for gay rights.

Jack: I wasn't thinking about gay rights at the time. I was thinking about the kids.

Toby: Ah, of course. Though as everybody here knows, the only way to make society any better is to confront prejudice head-on. Which brings me to our last order of business. You can sit down now. As those of you who read more than just the sports pages now, 2 of our favorite lesbians, Anna and Sarah, got kicked out of Stardust Lanes in upper Weymouth last week for kissing. Now, the owners claim that they're against all forms of public displays of affection, gay or straight. And we plan to put this policy to a test.

Jack: God forbid future generations of gay teenagers are denied the right to bowl.

Jen: Jack, we're keeping an open mind here, ok?

Toby: I'm sorry. Uh, you two in the back? Do you guys have something you'd like to share with the group?

Jen: Yeah, no. We were just wondering what time for bowling.

[Scene: The Potter B&B. Joey is trying to study, when she hears some banging which disturbs her. She gets up and goes into the kitchen to find Pacey and Alexander sitting on the floor beating on some pans.]


Joey: What, may I ask, is going on in here?

Pacey: Well, we're just doing some reorganizing.

Joey: What happened to reading him to sleep?

Pacey: Well, he got a little antsy. I just--I let him tire himself out.

Joey: I should have known better, Pacey. You always do this.

Pacey: What?

Joey: You get him all riled up, and now he'll never get to sleep, and I'll never get a chance to study.

Pacey: You can study right now. Look. I'm telling you. I got this whole baby putting-to-bed thing under control.

Joey: Out.

Pacey: What? Of the kitchen?

Joey: No, of the house. As in good-bye, sayonara. You're sleeping at home tonight. Your home.

Pacey: No. Wait. You can't kick me out. You need me here.

Joey: No, I don't.

Pacey: Yes, you do.

Joey: Hat.

Pacey: Ow, ow, hair! Face! Ok!

Joey: Coat.

Pacey: What is it? Look, I can put on my own clothes.

Joey: Look, Pace, look. I appreciate that your intentions are good, but I think I can handle this way better on my own.

Pacey: Oh, yeah? Who's going to look after the baby?

Joey: Good-bye.

Pacey: I'm looking after the baby!

Joey: Bye, Pace. I'll see ya tomorrow.

Pacey: What—

[Joey pushes him out the door and closes it.]

Joey: Ok, Alex, bedtime. Now we can either do this the hard way, or we can do this the easy way, but, please--

[knock on door]

Joey: Pacey! [She opens the door to find that it is a couple of people and not Pacey.] What part of good-bye do you not underst—

Man: Uh, we saw your sign. We could really use a room.

Joey: Sure. What's 2 people? [They enter and there are 2 other children with them, which come in screaming.] 4?

Man: Thanks.

Joey: Welcome.

[Scene: Gretchen and Pacey's Place. Pacey is sitting at the counter eating when Gretchen comes into the room.]

Gretchen: What are you doing here? I thought you were at Joey's.

Pacey: Oh, I was, but, uh, she kicked me out. Which, funny enough, leads me to this question that I've been meaning to ask you. Which is, uh... What the hell were you thinking kissing Dawson at the Leerys' holiday party the other night?

Gretchen: Oh. You saw that, huh?

Pacey: Oh, yeah, I saw that. And so did somebody else I know. You know, and as much as I would love to erase that image from my mind, I'm afraid it's pretty much burned in there irrevocably. So. Please, please, explain yourself to me. Tell me why you had to kiss Dawson and not somebody else your own advanced age?

Gretchen: Do we have to talk about this before I have my coffee?

Pacey: Yes.

Gretchen: Ok. Look. It was an accident. Pure mistletoe, ok? It meant nothing. He knows that, I know that. It was just a kiss.

Pacey: There's no such thing as "just a kiss." Especially not in Capeside.

Gretchen: Didn't you people ever play spin the bottle?

Pacey: No. Unfortunately that quaint, little eighties tradition of yours had gone the way of the dodo by the time I hit puberty.

Gretchen: And besides, why do you care who Dawson kisses?

Pacey: Personally I don't care. But someone that I know does.

Gretchen: Ok, then why aren't you at Joey's talking to her instead of harassing me and drinking all the orange juice?

Pacey: I'm not a complete moron, you know? I tried that already.

Gretchen: And?

Pacey: And she said she hasn't had time to run her mind over it yet.

Gretchen: Oh. Big lie.

Pacey: Yeah, huge lie. So now I've really got 2 options. I can either take the highroad and pretend like I believe what she's telling me, or I could take the low road, force the issue, and just come off looking like a world-class jerk. What do I do, Gretch?

Gretchen: I think you should just be the best boyfriend you can be. I think you should be understanding and sweet and kind.

Pacey: Kind. And if none of that works?

Gretchen: Force the issue. Be a world-class jerk. You can do it, Pacey. I know you can. I have complete and total faith in you.

[Commercial Break]

[Scene: Capeside High Classroom. Joey is studying frantically when Dawson comes in and takes the seat next to her and notices her trying to study.]

Dawson: Are you ready for this test?

Joey: Oh, sure, yeah. Why wouldn't I be?

Dawson: Well, I've never seen Joey Potter with Cliff Notes before.

Joey: Dawson, they are just a supplemental study aid.

Dawson: Yeah, right. You would tell me, right, if something were wrong?

Joey: Sure.

Teacher: Ok, people. Success in the copy room. Now as a change of pace, this test includes short answers as well as essays.

[Scene: Capeside High School Hallway. Jen and Jack are walking down the hall to his locker.]

Jack: I'm not going.

Jen: Oh, I think you are, Jack.

Jack: I'm not. Look, this whole group thing is just--it's a bad idea.

Jen: Come on, what group thing? We're not joining the Manson family, we're just going bowling. It'll be so much fun.

Jack: What--that's impossible, ok? In the entire history of its existence, bowling has never been fun. Funny, yes, but not fun.

Jen: All right, ok. So we don't have to bowl. We--we don't even have to, uh, to rent those shoes. We can just go and hang out and make some new friends.

Jack: Oh, yeah. Like that guy Toby? No, thanks.

Jen: Oh, come on. I think he's sweet. What?

Jack: You would.

Jen: Uh, meaning what?

Jack: Meaning the guy loves you. He practically started drooling on sight.

Jen: Oh, please. He does not love me. He just worships my more diva-like qualities. I happen to think he likes you... You know, beneath all that militant, angry, young, gay men posturing, which is sexy.

Jack: Yeah, very far beneath. The guy's a fascist dictator. And for the record, even if I wanted to meet new people, which I--I don't, it's totally an unnatural way to do it.

Jen: All right, fine. Point taken.

Jack: I mean, it's like, hi, I'm gay and that's all I am. How weird is that?

Jen: It's--you know, it's totally weird. It is.

Jack: Just because a bunch of people show the same sexual orientation doesn't mean that they have anything else in common.

Jen: I know. You're right.

Jack: Why are you agreeing with me?

Jen: Easy. I'm going without you.

[Scene: Mr. Brook's House. Mr. Brooks is sitting in a chair while Dawson films everything he is talking about.]

Dawson: Is it true that there are only 6 stories?

Mr. Brooks: No, only 3. Guy loves girl. Guy gets girl. Guy loses girl. What in the hell are you doing?

Dawson: Moving the camera.

Mr. Brooks: You want to make your viewer seasick?

Dawson: No.

Mr. Brooks: Well, hold the camera steady. Get over there. Unobtrusive.

Dawson: Don't you think that kind of thinking is a little outdated?

Mr. Brooks: Good enough for Howard hawks, good enough for you.

Dawson: Yeah, but you can't just write off all the technological advancements that we've made. I mean, movies like fight club and the matrix. That kung fu sequence alone—

Mr. Brooks: Kung fu? Next you want me to know about gladiator pictures.

Dawson: Which would be your cue to tell me what you think was wrong with gladiator.

Mr. Brooks: A tad over the top. Lacking in complex human emotions.

Dawson: Which is what made L.A. Confidential so great.

Mr. Brooks: That and a sexy blond. There hasn't been a picture that good since the man who shot liberty valance. You have seen that one, haven't you?

Dawson: Yeah. The great love triangle. Like a lot of great movies.

Mr. Brooks: Well, what's your point? Ahem.

Dawson: Well, I thought you might have one.

Mr. Brooks: Do you know why so many great pictures are about love triangles? Simple. For every piece of happiness, there's also a piece of unhappiness. If you haven't told both sides, you haven't told the whole story. All right? I think we're done for the day.

Dawson: Hold on. You can't just quit when you get to the good part.

Mr. Brooks: Oh, yes, I can. I'm the star. No star, no picture.

Dawson: Well, you've been going on all afternoon about the importance of asking fundamental questions about truth, honor, and friendship. Now that I finally ask them, you got nothing to say? Who was this girl who made you give up filmmaking?

Mr. Brooks: That's what you want to hear. The salacious details.

Dawson: No. Complex human emotion.

Mr. Brooks: All right. Come back after supper. I'll try to dredge up some painful memories for you.

[Scene: The Potter B&B. Joey is putting away some groceries while talking to Alexander about the test, and he just sits on the counter looking at her.]

Joey: So I messed up the short answers, but who knew that Thoreau actually was Emerson's handyman anyway? I mean, I think the worst it possibly could have been was a b-minus. Who am I kidding?

[Alexander playing on floor]

Joey: It's a "C." I know it. I'm dead. Alexander, please do yourself a favor. Stay off the road to overachievement. I'm telling you it will lead to nothing but heartache.

[Pacey enters carrying a bag of groceries.]

Pacey: Hey. Went shopping.

Joey: Me, too.

Pacey: Oh, well, you can never have too many groceries. Especially if some more unexpected guests drop by like last night.

Joey: Well, then I'll take care of it like I did last night.

Pacey: Come here, baby. All the way up? The top floor?

[Baby fussing]

Joey: Is this some sort of intervention or something?

Pacey: What? What, you got the hiccups? I just thought I'd come by and cook us some supper, you know? Build some Lego castles. That way you could study.

Joey: I don't need to study tonight, Pacey. I needed to study last night when I kicked you out, remember that? Is it all coming back to you now?

Pacey: Oh. Judging by your mood, I'd say the test went really well.

Joey: It really doesn't matter, ok? It doesn't matter how I did on that stupid test. 'Cause I can't really undo it. And I can't retake it. It's over.

Pacey: So you're really this upset by some stupid test?

Joey: I'm sorry if I can't let things roll off my shoulders, Pacey. I don't really have the energy to buck up and be in a good mood, ok? I'm tired. I'm so tired of worrying about Alexander, and I'm so tired of waiting on people, and I'm so tired of doing everything by myself.

[Alexander fusses]

Joey: Come here, Alex.

Pacey: Look, Jo, you don't have to do it by yourself, ok? That's why I'm here. I want to be able to help you. I just can't help you if you won't tell me the truth.

Joey: This is the truth.

Pacey: No, it's not. The truth is what's really bothering you is what happened between Dawson and Gretchen.

Joey: Uh, I am not upset about Dawson and Gretchen.

Pacey: No, ok. Maybe you're not, but you are certainly upset about Dawson and you.

Joey: That is not true.

Pacey: That's not true?

Joey: No.

Pacey: Then please tell me the truth. Because it's certainly not about you and me, you know. I haven't screwed up for at least a day or 2.

Joey: You know what? You haven't. You never do. You are the perfect boyfriend, and you win the perfect boyfriend contest. You beat Dawson. Is that what you want to hear, Pacey?

[Alexander fusses]

[Commercial Break]

[Scene: The Potter B&B from room. Joey enters the room, after putting Alexander to bed, and Pacey is sitting on the couch waiting for her.]

Pacey: Is he asleep?

Joey: Yep.

Pacey: I did the dishes.

Joey: Thanks.

Pacey: You know, I didn't come over here tonight to fight about Dawson.

Joey: Yes, you did.

Pacey: Yeah, you're right. I did come over here to fight about Dawson. But only because I don't want this to become one of those things that we never talk about, then I look up one day and you're gone.

Joey: What things, Pacey?

Pacey: Oh, things like the future.

Joey: We talk about the future.

Pacey: No, Joey, we talk around the future.

Joey: That is not true. [Sighs] I don't know why it should bother me, this Dawson and Gretchen thing.

Pacey: But it does bother you. It's ok that it bothers you. I just want you to be able to tell me that. Don't shut me out from these things.

Joey: Pacey, I do think about the future. I do.

Pacey: So what do you see when you see the future?

Joey: Us. Me and you, Pace. We grew up together. And see, Dawson and I, we didn't grow up. We are in that house, in Dawson's bedroom, eternally having the same argument over and over again in this endless cycle that goes on and on. And...I can't stop it. Because whenever I'm around him, I become 15 again.

Pacey: Well, ahem, if that's the problem, and, believe me, this isn't easy for me to say, you have to talk to Dawson. And then would you please call me?


[Scene: The Bowling Alley. Toby and Jen are getting ready to start bowling.]

Toby: I have no idea how you and Mr. Quarterback got to be such good friends.

Jen: Uh, simple. We're both terminally unlucky in love. Oh, and he--he's not the quarterback. He--they throw him the ball and he catches it.

Toby: Ah, a love of sports. No wonder we get along so famously. [Jack enters the Bowling Alley.] Ah, there he is. Captain America. I thought you said he wasn't coming.

Jen: He wasn't. I kind of blackmailed him into it. [Jen waves Jack over to join them.] Jack. Hello. Over here.

Jack: Hey.

Jen: Hey, you changed your mind.

Jack: Ah, fake surprise. It looks good on you.

Jen: Toby, you remember Jack?

Toby: Yeah, how could I forget? Nice jacket.

Jack: Oh, yeah, thanks.

Toby: He's kidding, right?

Jen: About what?

Toby: The jacket. I mean, it's, like, ironic, right?

Jen: Or something.

Toby: He got it at a thrift store.

Jen: No, no, that's really his jacket.

Jack: What, is there a problem?

Toby: Uh-uh, no.

Jen: No, no, but I think it's time to bowl. Toby. Pink.

[Toby takes the pink Bowling ball from Jen and goes to take his turn.]

Jen: Hmm. He is sweet, huh?

Jack: Heh. I'll get some shoes.

[Scene: Mr. Brook's House. Dawson is sitting behind the camera filming Mr. Brooks as he talks about his life.]

Mr. Brooks: I started hitchhiking to the west coast. It was out of Chicago I hooked up with route 66. You've heard of that, haven't you?

Dawson: Yeah, sure.

Mr. Brooks: The TV show, no doubt. Bet you haven't read Grapes of Wrath, either.

Dawson: I saw the movie.

Mr. Brooks: How come I'm not surprised by that? Ah, john Huston. Now, there was a director.

Dawson: John ford directed the Grapes of Wrath. Directed all those early Henry Fonda movies. Young Mr. Lincoln, drums along the Mohawk.

Mr. Brooks: Oh, yeah, I guess you're right. Huston didn't make his first picture till treasure of Sierra Madre. Maltese falcon, yeah. That was Huston's first picture, not sierra Madre.

Dawson: Mr. Brooks, if you're not feeling well, we can do this some other time. Um, can I get you some water or something?

Mr. Brooks: Oh, that'd be good, yeah. Water, ice, bourbon. Hold the water, hold the ice.

Dawson: Uh, not quite sure that's such a good idea.

Mr. Brooks: I don't give a tinker's damn about your opinion. If it's too much trouble for you, I can get it myself.

Dawson: Never mind. Sit right there. I'll get it.

[Scene: The Bowling Alley. Jen and Jack are talking while Toby is away.]

Jen: Jack, are you embarrassed to be here?

Jack: On gay bowling night? Yeah, I'm embarrassed. Not the gay thing, though. The bowling.

Jen: All right, I'm with you. I admit, the bowling thing is kinda wack, but, you know, its heart is in the right place, and people need to be willing to stand up for what they believe in.

Jack: You're beginning to sound like your new friend Toby.

[Toby comes up to join them and Jack goes to take his turn.]

Toby: How is Captain America doing? Oh, my god, he's even good at bowling.

[As Jack comes back and Jen tries to make his escape.]

Jen: Well, I'm thirsty. Um, you?

Jack: Yeah.

Jen: You?

Toby: No, thanks.

[Jen leaves.]

Jack: You know, I'm gonna bite. Captain America?

Toby: Superhero. Marvel comic. Don't worry, it's a compliment. He's not gay or anything.

Jack: Oh, ok, I see. So that's what all your comments are about. I'm not gay enough for you? I don't fit into some pre-existing stereotype in your head?

Toby: I see. Is, uh, is all this getting a little too gay for you?

Jack: Yeah, as a matter of fact, it is getting a little too gay for me. I gotta--I gotta admit, I--I just don't understand the point to it. To your group, to the way you guys act, to your whole holier-than-thou attitude.

Toby: You wouldn't. I mean, not from where you're sitting at the fun and popular table with all the other football players and cheerleaders. But in the real world, the one that the rest of us live in, people who fit in, like you, beat up people who don't, like me. But you don't get that, do you? You know what? You've probably never had a rough day in your entire life.

Jack: Hey, you don't know me well enough to assume anything about me or how rough it's been for me or--or what my life is like or what it's cost me to get where I am.

Toby: Which is where, exactly?

Jack: Anywhere but here.

[Scene: Dawson's Bedroom. Joey is sitting looking out the window waiting for Dawson, when he comes into his bedroom to surprised to see her.]

Dawson: Hey.

Joey: Hey, Dawson. Um, your mom said you'd be home soon, so I thought I'd wait. I hope you don't mind.

Dawson: No.

Joey: I brought you these Counting Cows cds.

Dawson: Joey, these are yours.

Joey: I know, I--well, I just figured that we could pass them back and forth whenever we had something we needed to discuss.

Dawson: Ok. Uh, what do you need to discuss?

Joey: See, this afternoon, in Kasdan's class, I lied. I wasn't ok. I totally blew that test. You know, Bessie and Brodie, they were gone, and--and suddenly these people just showed up at the B&B. And I had to get all these rooms ready, and then I had to take care of Alexander, and I tried to stay up all night cramming, but I fell asleep somewhere in the middle of chapter 7, "the bean field." Don't laugh. This is tragic.

Dawson: You're gonna die if you get a "b" on a test.

Joey: Basically.

Dawson: Well, how did you get into that situation in the first place? Wasn't Pacey with you?

Joey: Yeah.

Dawson: And he wasn't helping?

Joey: Um, I kinda wouldn't let him.

Dawson: You know, you should have let Pacey help you. Especially with Alexander. I mean, he's great with kids. Mostly 'cause he still is one. I meant that in a good way. Um, here. Open your Christmas present.

Joey: Dawson, you shouldn't have done this. I don't have yours. It's not Christmas yet.

Dawson: I know. Open it.

[Dawson hands her a gift and she opens it and finds a picture of her and Pacey hugging by the Christmas tree.]

Joey: It's beautiful.

Dawson: Yeah, I'm gettin' better, aren't I?

Joey: No, that's not what I meant. I-- I meant—

Dawson: I know what you meant.

Joey: The party was fun.

Dawson: Uh, yeah. Had its moments.

Joey: Like you and Gretchen.

Dawson: Um, that was not a moment. That was merely a holiday tradition.

Joey: So, what's the deal? You guys friends or—

Dawson: Yah, we're friends. What else would we be?

Joey: I thought since you guys were kissing—

Dawson: A, please. Sophisticated, cool, 21-year-old college girls don't generally fall for dorky high school seniors.

Joey: So, you're not interested in her?

Dawson: Even if I were, she's not interested in me, so why ruin a perfectly good friendship?

Joey: These things don't always have to work that way. Look at us. After all that's happened? And we're friends. If we weren't, you wouldn't have... You wouldn't have given me this. And I wouldn't be sitting here telling you to do whatever your heart tells you to do. Truth is, Gretchen would be really lucky to have someone like you. [She bends over to give him a kiss on the cheek before leaving.] Thank you.

[Commercial Break]

[Scene: Capeside High Classroom. Mr. Kasdan is sitting at his desk going through some papers when Pacey comes into the room.]

Mr. Kasdan: Pacey Witter. I thought we weren't destined to meet today until fourth period. Or would you like to hang around in junior English and have another go at Bartleby the Scrivener?

Pacey: Uh, no, thanks. Mm-hmm. I should prefer not to.

Mr. Kasdan: Bartleby-based humor. Very impressive, Mr. Witter. So what can I help you with?

Pacey: Well, uh, you guys in A.P. English had a test yesterday, right? A big test.

Mr. Kasdan: Yeah.

Pacey: Well, let's suppose for a moment that you had this person in your class who is normally a phenomenal student—

Mr. Kasdan: he or she?

Pacey: You think we could keep it at "they" for right now? Just for argument's sake, remain gender-neutral?

Mr. Kasdan: And contribute to the further corruption of the English language as it is spoken on the north American continent. Please, by all means.

Pacey: Ok. Let's suppose that this person needed to retake that test.

Mr. Kasdan: Because of illness?

Pacey: No—

Mr. Kasdan: family emergency?

Pacey: No, not exactly.

Mr. Kasdan: Well, then, case closed.

Pacey: Mr. Kasdan, if you could just hear me out for one second. This student, honestly, is under an incredible amount of pressure. She sets these ridiculous goals for herself, she's not willing to accept help from anybody, she's under the false impression that if she gets one single "b," the entire universe is gonna start to fall apart.

Mr. Kasdan: She?

Pacey: Uh, yeah. She.

Mr. Kasdan: Ahh. I think I understand where you're coming from, Mr. Witter.

Pacey: Oh, you do.

Mr. Kasdan: But I still have to say no. If I bend the rule for one person, I have to bend the rules for everybody.

Pacey: Well, I had to give it a try.

Mr. Kasdan: Which you did. Admirably.

[Scene: The walkway along the water front. Jack is unlocking his bike when Toby comes up to him carrying some flyers.]

Toby: Nice town you've got here. I, uh, I figured I'd come by and hang some flyers. You know the gays. We're, uh, always recruiting. By the way, um, you're officially kicked out of the alliance.

Jack: I'm crushed.

Toby: Ah, I can tell. Look, there's something about me that obviously intimidates you.

Jack: It's not my fault, and I'm not gonna let you push me around any more than I should have let those damn soccer parents.

Toby: Finally, something we agree on. Look, you're right. I don't know you. And I can't possibly understand your life. A-and if I jump to conclusions based on appearances, it's just because-- well, that's the way I've been treated my entire life. Hey, when I was 9 I used to walk home through this baseball field. All these older kids would hide in the dugouts and wait for me to walk by. They'd call me fag, sissy, queer. The full spectrum. Till my older sister would come along and scare 'em away. I mean, that's when you really know you're gay, when your sister has to fight your battles for you. But you don't know what that's like, do you?

Jack: No, I don't. But that doesn't make me any more straight.

[Scene: Capeside High library. Joey is highlighting a lot of stuff in the book she should have read for the test, when Mr. Kasdan comes up to join her.]

Mr. Kasdan: A more prudent approach... Would be to have read the book before the test.

Joey: I blew it, didn't I?

Mr. Kasdan: C-minus. Certainly not your finest hour. But then I'm guessing you already knew that, considering the little visit I had this morning from your-- I hesitate to use the term "better half."

Joey: Pacey?

Mr. Kasdan: He asked me to give you a second chance. I said no, of course. However, Ian Prange was at the orthodontist again, so I'm giving a make-up tomorrow, and if you'd be interested in retaking the test, you could do that.

Joey: I--I--uh--please. I mean, I--I--I would really, really appreciate—

Mr. Kasdan: don't thank me yet. I'm planning to penalize you half a letter grade.

Joey: Ok.

Mr. Kasdan: And, by the way, you're doing some serious damage with this highlighter.

[He takes the highlighter from her and highlights a particular sentence and Joey reads it aloud.]

Joey: "Near the end of March 1845, I borrowed an axe and went down to the woods by Walden pond, nearest to where I--"

Mr. Kasdan: What's the most important word in that sentence?

Joey: Woods?

Mr. Kasdan: Borrowed. The important thing to remember about the transcendentalists is that while self-reliance is a most admirable trait, Thoreau wasn't really all that alone out there by Walden pond. He had neighbors, friends, people he could rely on. We should all be so lucky.

[Scene: Mr. Brook's House. Dawson enters as a woman comes out of one of the side rooms.]

Dawson: Mr. Brooks? Oh, uh, I'm sorry. I can come back later. I just—

Louise: I know. He told me. See, you've been really tiring him out with that video of yours.

Dawson: Oh, not intentionally.

Louise: No, I think that you are the reason that he's not taking his medication. W--he says it's because it makes him forget things, and I said, "well, forgetting can be a good thing," and then he said, "but not when you're making a documentary."

[Mr. Brooks joins the two of them.]

Mr. Brooks: Louise here has a big mouth. Loves to chat with nosy teenagers. You'd think I was paying her to talk. Nurses can be replaced, you know.

Louise: I know. I will see you tomorrow.

Mr. Brooks: All right, the secret's out. Not to worry, I'm not dead yet. I'm just holding short waiting for a clearance. So what can I help you with?

Dawson: I, uh, left my video camera here yesterday.

Mr. Brooks: Oh, sorry. Sorry about that. There it is. See? I didn't steal it or anything. Probably beyond me, major motion picture director that I am, to figure out how the damn thing works, anyway.

Dawson: [Chuckles]

[Dawson begins to take the camera off the tripod.]

Mr. Brooks: Hey, hey, wait a minute. What are you doing? You can't abandon the A.I. Brooks story, epic motion picture in progress.

Dawson: W-well, the nurse said that, uh—

Mr. Brooks: Look, I'm not gonna be around forever. Might be nice to leave something behind, you know, for people to remember me by. Since the A&E biography folks aren't gonna get to me any time soon, would you still be willing to direct this little picture of ours?

Dawson: Sure.

Mr. Brooks: All righty then.

Dawson: So, uh, where do you want to start?

Mr. Brooks: When I was hitchhiking to the west coast, I tried to stay on route 66, you know, but I had to take such rides as I could get, and so somehow I ended up in Las Vegas, stranded at a little diner. That's where I met her. The girl from your movie. Ellie Andrews, waitress. Born and raised in Vegas and hated it. Said she couldn't understand why people would go out in the desert to take chances they'd be too afraid to take at home. Said she'd rather gamble on life than on the roll of the dice. One day a ride came by, toward L.A., And, uh, before I could say good-bye to her, she jumped over the counter and came with me.

Dawson: Just like that?

Mr. Brooks: All the way to sunset and vine. God, I miss her. A good woman. You'd have liked her. I miss her.

[Scene: The Potter B&B. Pacey enters the door to find Joey waiting for him with a huge smile on her face.]

Pacey: You rang?

Joey: I thought I'd call my boyfriend 'cause I need a little help with something.

Pacey: Where's Alexander?

Joey: Watching a video in Bessie's room.

Pacey: Ok, now I'm starting to get suspicious. What's going on?

Joey: I wanted to say thank you.

Pacey: For what?

Joey: The test. You got Mr. Kasdan to let me retake the test.

Pacey: I did? I mean, I know that I did, but I didn't know that it worked. This is great. So, how'd you do?

Joey: Oh, I go take it tomorrow after school, so, um... Tonight... [She begins to kiss him when he stops her.]

Pacey: Uh...

Joey: Is there a problem?

Pacey: Well, you tell me.

Joey: I did what you asked. All ghosts locked firmly away. Except for the ghost of Christmas future. And there's really no reason...

Pacey: Well, there is something else we probably should be doing.

[Scene: The Potter B&B front room. Pacey is sitting in a chair by the fireplace quizzing Joey from Flashcards, while she sits on the floor in front of him with Alexander.]

Pacey: "Trust thyself."

Joey: Emerson.

Pacey: What transcendentalist magazine was edited by both Emerson and Thoreau?

Joey: The dial.

Pacey: Transcendentalism took its name from Kant's critique of...

Joey: Pure reason.

Pacey: Wrong. Practical reason.

Joey: Oh. Practical reason.

Pacey: Uh, where was brook farm?

Joey: West Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Pacey: You're good.

[Scene: Outside the Leery Fish house. Gretchen comes outside to find Dawson stand outside waiting for her.]

Gretchen: Dawson! Just in time.

Dawson: You didn't miss anything yet.

Gretchen: They got a good one this year, don't you think?

Dawson: Uh, yeah. Yeah. Actually, I didn't come for the ceremony. Uh, I came to talk to you.

Gretchen: Oh. Oh, well, just don't tell your mom that I'm out here. She thinks I'm doing inventory in the stockroom.

Dawson: Ok. Um, do you like to gamble?

Gretchen: Um, are we talking bingo or more serious stuff?

Dawson: Uh, anything. 'Cause I--I don't. I never understood why anybody did it. Uh, heh, until today.

Gretchen: Dawson, if this has to do with what happened the other day, I think I know what you're gonna say and I—

Dawson: I like you. There. I said it. I like you and... That kiss meant more to me than just happy holidays. And everything I said the other day was a lie. Well, not a lie, because I think I meant it at the time, but I was basically just trying to fool myself because I didn't want to screw up our friendship, and I was gonna let that fear stop me. But I don't want to, and I'm not going to, because I don't want to learn that lesson at 17 or at any time, for that matter. And you can tell me that you're too old, and you can tell me that I'm too young, and you can tell me that I'm not over Joey, but nothing you can say is gonna change the fact that I said it. And I'm really glad that I said it because you're worth risking everything for.

Gretchen: What am I gonna do with you?

Dawson: Just tell me the truth.

Gretchen: The truth. Sometimes a kiss is just a kiss, and sometimes a kiss means...

[The Christmas Tree lights up and Dawson seeing where this is going finishes her statement.]

Dawson: Happy holidays.

Gretchen: Happy holidays.

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