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  04x12 - The Te of Pacey
 Posted: 02/03/01 22:43
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Episode 412 - The Te of Pacey

[Scene: Pacey and Gretchen's place. Pacey is asleep on the couch, when Joey comes up to him carrying a cupcake with a candle in it.]

Joey: Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you

Pacey: [groans]

[Pulls the covers over his head.]

Joey: Happy birthday, dear Pacey

Pacey: No. Go away, Jo.

Joey: You better make a wish before I set this couch on fire.

Pacey: My wish would be for no further acknowledgement of today's hollow, symbolic meaning as a milestone in the life of Pacey Witter.

Joey: Ok. Except, now that you've told me your wish, it can't possibly come true.

Pacey: [Sighs] Look, I understand your naive enthusiasm, ok? I mean, what's the harm in celebrating a birthday? Everybody else does it. What you don't know is that every birthday I've had since I was 10 years old has been a complete disaster. I'm talking gut-wrenching, soul-searching, question-the-universe agony.

Joey: Well, at least you're not being dramatic about it.

Pacey: For example, my 12th birthday party, my first boy-girl party, I ate so much pizza and ice cream, I puked on Justine Sherman, a girl who I had a massive crush on. Remember this?

Joey: Mm-hmm.

Pacey: She then proceeded to call me Pacey pukey for the rest of the year, a quaint little nickname that my family picked up on and now resurfaces itself every year around this time to hearty laughs all the way around. Of course, it's probably not as bad as 16, the year that I threw myself a party and nobody decided to show up. That was good. Oh, yeah. I also failed my driver's test the same day. But neither of those will ever, ever beat 14, the day I was mauled by a dog. So, if you don't mind, this year I think I'll just skip it.

Joey: Hmm. No.

Pacey: Well, there may be one way that we could avert disaster-- if you and I were to spend a quiet evening alone, here.

Joey: I promise.

Pacey: Just you and me.

[She hugs hum and gives him a kiss and then looks over his shoulder and we can see the worried look on her face.]

[Opening Credits]

[Commercial Break]

[Scene: Dawson's House. Jack and Dawson are walking down the stairs carrying the supplies they used while painting the baby's room.]

Jack: So, you're grinning with anticipation for a certain date with Gretchen tonight, huh?

Dawson: I don't know if it's anticipation or nervous terror.

Jack: What's to be terrified about? You guys kissed, and she agreed to go out-- oh, no, no. I get it. I get it.

Dawson: What do you get?

Jack: Well, no, it's just--Pacey and Joey. Small matter of do they know yet?

Dawson: No, that's not it. I'm terrified because it's our first official date. I haven't seen her since the kiss, and there's a massive build-up. Pacey and Joey, if they ask me, I'll tell them. Gretchen will, too. It's really not a big deal.

Jack: No. It sounds like a great plan. Let me know how it goes, ok?

[Scene: Gretchen and Pacey's place. Pacey and Joey are sitting at the table eating while Gretchen is doing some stuff in the kitchen. Pacey is going through the mail.]

Gretchen: So, Jo, you got any big plans for Pacey's big you-know-what day?

Joey: Pace made me promise no big eventy stuff, so probably just a quiet night alone, me and him.

Gretchen: I can't believe he still thinks there's some kind of a birthday curse on him.

Joey: I know. Pretty ridiculous, right?

Gretchen: But what are you gonna do, though?

[Pacey stops when he comes to a letter]

Joey: What?

Pacey: Oh, nothing. I'm cool. I'm just gonna put some shoes on.

[Pacey leaves the room, and Joey goes over to Gretchen.]

Joey: What are you doing tonight?

Gretchen: What do you mean?

Joey: I'm throwing a last-minute surprise party for Pacey at your parents' house, and I want you to be there.

Gretchen: Oh, Jo. Bad idea. My parents are insane, and Pacey will kill you.

Joey: I know, but see, it was your mom's bad idea. She called me, and she was so excited and so sweet, and what was I supposed to say?

Gretchen: You could say no.

Joey: Yeah, but I said yes.

Gretchen: Well, this should be interesting.

Joey: Please come. I need as many friendly faces as I can get there. You don't have any plans, do you?

Gretchen: Plans? Tonight? Me? Oh, god. No. No. I'm pathetic. I don't have much of a life. Nope. No plans. Nothing going on with me.

Joey: So, you can come?

Gretchen: Yeah. Of course I'll come. You know, it'll be fun.

Joey: Good. Pacey is gonna kill me, isn't he?

Gretchen: Oh, yeah. You're dead.

[Scene: Gram's house. Grams and Jen are in the kitchen decorating some picture frames, while Grams is humming along to the music on the radio.]

[Radio playing music]

Grams: Mmm. I love this song.

Jen: What are you so happy about?

Grams: Well, I'm happy because you agreed to do these fun Saturday afternoon crafts. You know, when I was a child, my grandmother taught me how to do the art of decoupage.

Jen: Well, I don't think I'm so good at it.

Grams: Oh, that looks fine. So, what are your big plans for this evening?

Jen: Well, unfortunately, I've got, like, 5 more hours of community service, which means that my Saturday night will be spent chauffeuring a bunch of drunk kids home from illicit teenage parties. It's for this organization called "responsible rides."

Grams: Well, that sounds like fun.

Jen: I don't know. I mean, all these lame hours of community service, and I don't feel like I've served the community once or learned a thing. It's just a big, fat waste of time.

Grams: Mm-hmm.

Jen: Ok. What is with you?

Grams: With me?

Jen: Yeah. Come on. You're all flighty and sPacey and-- my god, you are thinking about sex, aren't you?

Grams: Jennifer.

Jen: It's nothing to be ashamed of, grams. When two people fall in love, it is perfectly natural to daydream about sex.

Grams: I will admit I enjoy Mr. Brooks' company, but I most certainly am not in love, and, for the record, we are not having sex.

Jen: Be that as it may, I have to ask, have you had the talk?

Grams: What talk?

Jen: The safe sex talk. Grams, it's a prerequisite these days, plus, you gotta find out what this guy is into. I mean, it could be kinky. Could be S&M, toys.

Grams: Stop. Now, I know what you're trying to do. You're trying to freak me out because you hate decoupage or because you hope to be grounded so you can get out of community service tonight.

Jen: Did you just say, "freak me out"?

Grams: Well, it's not going to work, because when it comes to safe sexuality, I've got my bases covered, and when it comes to decoupage, the more you practice, the better you get, and when it comes to community service tonight, you're going.

Jen: You are very sneaky, you know that? You just turned around that entire conversation without ever having to admit that you were daydreaming about sex. I'm impressed.

Grams: I've learned from the best.

Jen: Well, that's true.

[Scene: The Leery Fish House. Gretchen is getting ready for the day's business, when Dawson comes in to talk with her.]

Dawson: Hey.

Gretchen: Hello there, handsome.

Dawson: Hi. I came by to see where you would like to be taken on our date this evening.

Gretchen: Right. The date.

Dawson: Yes, the date. Don't sound too excited.

Gretchen: Oh, no. Of course I'm excited. I just, um--there's been a slight change of plans. You see, my parents decided to throw Pacey a surprise birthday party. Joey was gonna tell you about it, but I told her I would, because-- because we're going.

Dawson: Ok. Uh, not much of a first date, but—

Gretchen: you know, I was thinking, actually, maybe we could postpone the whole first date thing.

Dawson: Why would we want to do that?

Gretchen: Well, look. You know, Joey and Pacey don't know about us yet, you know? And I'm not sure that his birthday party is the best place to come out of that particular closet.

Dawson: Yeah, but it's not like it's a secret.

Gretchen: Yeah, but nobody knows.

Dawson: Jack knows.

Gretchen: Nobody else knows.

Dawson: What, so that means we should hide it?

Gretchen: Well, no. I mean, not so much hide it, just not tell anyone yet.

Dawson: Ok, but in my experience, sneaking around is the best way to get caught doing anything.

Gretchen: We wouldn't be sneaking around. We're just postponing things.

Dawson: All right. Is this about Pacey and Joey, or is this about your family and you being ashamed to be on a date with me?

Gretchen: I'm not ashamed. Dawson, come on. You know my family. I mean, they're insane. Plus, yeah, this has something to do with Joey and Pacey. I mean, I think we need to be sensitive to them.

Dawson: Sensitive to them by lying to them? Gretchen, I've never known you to be anything other than straightforward. What's going on?

Gretchen: Look. I'm just not ready to go public with this. I mean, you can still come to the party and everything. I just—

Dawson: Yeah, but if this is something you feel you need to hide, then it's something we shouldn't be doing in the first place. I'll see you tonight.

Gretchen: [Sighs]

[Scene: The Community Center. Jen is speaking with the woman in charge of the events, and they are talking about her “chauffeuring” tonight.]

Woman: Once you and your partner are on the road, we'll keep in touch via walkie-talkie, ok?

Jen: Mm-hmm.

Woman: Do you have any questions?

Jen: No. Think I'm all set. Ready to round up some drunks.

Woman: Well, if you'll excuse me, I have some paperwork to do. You're gonna be riding with this young man here.

[They walk into the hall and Jen sees Tobey standing out there. The woman, seeing that they already know each other, leaves.]

Jen: Tobey.

Tobey: Hey.

Jen: My, my. Look what the cat dragged in. What are you doing here?

Tobey: It's the best place to pick up boys, the drunker the better.

Jen: I hear ya. So, really, what are you in for?

Tobey: Sadly, I am actually volunteering here of my own free will. What can I say? I'm a good Samaritan.

Jen: Well, good for me. Maybe you can serve to brighten these last few lame hours of indentured servitude.

Tobey: Ah! I live to give.

Jen: Actually, you know what? There's this birthday party that, if we're in the neighborhood, making our rounds, we could stop by, and Jack is going to be there, and I know he'd love to see you.

Tobey: Oh, you think? We didn't exactly hit it off the first time.

Jen: Maybe this time'll be different.

Tobey: Jen, not all homosexuals have to be friends with each other, you know.

Jen: I know that.

Tobey: Plus, I'm still not entirely convinced Jack's gay. I mean, maybe he's just pretending for the social cachet, you know? The chance to be a rebel outsider.

Jen: Wait. Listen. Ok. I know that you guys had your differences, but Jack is a great guy. He's fun and funny and built like a Greek god, but, more importantly, he's lonely.

Tobey: Please. Tell me you're not trying to set us up.

Jen: I'm just trying to set you up as friends.

Tobey: Good, because I'm taken, and Greg is extremely jealous.

[Scene: Outside the Witter House. Joey is leading Pacey along the side of the house blind folded.]

Pacey: Where are you taking me?

Joey: And why would you be blindfolded if I was going to tell you?

Pacey: I thought that we agreed not to celebrate.

Joey: But, uh, I changed my mind.

Pacey: Well, do I at least get to guess?

Joey: You can have one guess.

Pacey: Perhaps a remote dock. You brought some candles and some champagne and birthday cake that you are going to feed to me by hand while serenading me-- off-key, of course, and—[] whoa, dressed only in Victoria's secret lingerie, after which, you will lay me down under the stars and ravish me.

Joey: Close, Pace. Very close.

[She removes the blindfold and he gets to see where he is. He looks very disappointed that it is his family's house. They go inside, and find Mr. Witter sitting on a chair watching a hockey game.]

[Hockey game airs on TV]

Mr. Witter: Oh, you're here. Surprise.

Mrs. Witter: Oh, shoot. We missed it. Surprise!

[Mrs. Witter comes out to see that they missed their surprise.]

All: Surprise.

Jack: Happy birthday, Pace. Surprise.

Pacey: [Groans] ha ha!

Doug: Whoa. Hey, there's my birthday-cursed little brother.

Pacey: Ha ha!

Doug: Oh, I can't wait to see what disasters befall you on this joyous occasion. Well, let the games begin. Mom! I'm Hungry.

Mrs. Witter: Well, you are just going to have to wait a minute. Dinner's not ready yet.

[Commercial Break]

[Scene: The Hallway of the Witter House. Dawson is on the floor wrestling with 3 young children, when Gretchen walks up to them.]

Gretchen: Hey, you need help?

Dawson: Ok, guys. Let's take this out of the hallway, ok? All right. Ok.

Joey: Did you see that?

Jack: Yeah. That's funny.

[They look over at some pictures over the mantel.]

Joey: Very festive, no?

Gretchen: Been there since Christmas '86.

Jack: Oh, that's cute. I didn't know you guys had a dog.

Gretchen: “Had" being the operative word.

Joey: What happened to it?

Gretchen: We don't speak of that. Join me in the kitchen?

Jack: Sure.

[Jack goes and sits down in the chair next to Pacey, who is sitting on the couch with his sister Kerry. Kerry reaches into a bowl on the table and takes some chips out of it.]

Mr. Witter: No wonder your husband left you, you eating like a cow. You know, on my 18th birthday, I was trudging through a jungle in Da Nang, a machine gun on my shoulder, 50 pounds of ammo on my back. Saw a lot of tragedy that day, but I celebrated that night with a gorgeous, 30-year-old Vietnamese beauty, several times, I might add. [Chuckles] now, that-- that was an 18th birthday.

Pacey: I thought you had to be 18 to join the army, pop.

Mr. Witter: You calling me a liar, son?

Mrs. Witter: Now, John, just because Pacey's not out there defending his country doesn't mean he's not a man today, and I know if there were a war on--assuming they'd take him-- he'd enlist tomorrow. Wouldn't you, honey?

Pacey: Sure thing, ma.

Mrs. Witter: Pacey, why doesn't Joanna set the table?

Pacey: Her name's Joey, ma.

Mrs. Witter: That's what I said.

Pacey: Course you did. Just kill me now.

[Jack tries to adjust the chair he is sitting in, while Pacey just buries his head in his hands. Mr. Witter looks over to see Jack.]

[Chair creaking]

Mr. Witter: Now, who the hell are you?

Jack: Me? I'm Jack, sir. We met a while back on a fishing trip.

Mr. Witter: Don't remember.

[Scene: The Dining Room table. Joey is setting the table, when Pacey comes in to talk with her.]

Pacey: Would you mind if I ask you just what the hell you were thinkin'?

Joey: What do you mean?

Pacey: You promised me, you and me alone, tonight. You looked me in the eye and promised.

Joey: Ok. Your family, out of the kindness of their hearts, wanted to throw a party for you for your 18th birthday. What was I supposed to say?

Pacey: My family could give a crap about me or my birthday. This is just an excuse for my father to get a little bit drunker than usual, have some birthday cake, tell me I'm a disappointment, and then pass out in his chair while watching when animals attack.

Joey: Ok. So they're not perfect, granted, but they're your family, Pace. Don't you get what that means? The least you can do is make a little bit of an effort.

Pacey: It doesn't matter what kind of effort I make. I'm still gonna fail.

Joey: Fail? Fail at what? Pace, what are you talking about?

Pacey: Nothin'.

Joey: Look at me. I promise you that we will get through this night together, unscathed, and everything's gonna be ok, I swear. Ok?

Pacey: [Sighs] How I wish that were true.

[Scene: The kitchen. Dawson is cleaning up some dishes when Gretchen comes in with the 3 children, and goes over to talk with Dawson.]

Gretchen: Hey, did anyone ever tell you you are the master at giving the cold shoulder?

Dawson: Uh, I'm not giving the cold shoulder. I'm just mingling.

Gretchen: Yeah, with everybody but me.

Dawson: Am I the only one who remembers our earlier conversation?

Gretchen: I'm just trying to forget it. See, I'm hoping that we can come to some mutually agreeable solution for our little problem. Plus, I want to kick your ass at monopoly.

Kids: Come on.

Gretchen: You guys ready to play?

Kids: Yeah. Yeah. Come on.

Gretchen: Well?

Dawson: Ok. I'll do it for the children.

[Scene: The Community Car. Jen is driving, while Tobey is sitting in the passenger seat, on route to pick up their first kid of the night.]

Jen: So, what gives? I'm still waiting to hear about this mystery boyfriend of yours.

Tobey: Greg?

Jen: Mm.

Tobey: Well, not much to tell, really. I mean, god knows why, but he is head over heels for me, and he's perfect. Jack's polar opposite, actually. Gorgeous.

Jen: Wait a minute. You don't think that Jack is gorgeous?

Tobey: Well, in a fratty sort of way, I guess, but Greg, he's jams dean, you know? I mean, brooding, tortured, deep.

Jen: Jack is brooding, tortured, and deep.

Tobey: I'll take your word for it, but Greg, he's perfect. I mean, he's blonde and beautiful, and he's been out since, like, the age of 12. Yeah, and his mother is a famous lesbian who teaches feminist poetry at Harvard, and he's totally smart and completely comfortable in who he is. He's just-- he's a man, you know?

[Scene: The porch outside the Witter house. Pacey is sitting outside on the steps, when Joey comes out and walks up behind him and puts her arms over his shoulders.]

Joey: You know it's not that bad. I mean, we've been here for 45 minutes without a major crisis and only 2 hours to go. At the most, 3. So, legally, you're... You're not allowed to still be mad at me for throwing this thing.

Pacey: I'm not mad at you.

Joey: You're not? So what's wrong? Why... Why are you so upset?

Pacey: Um...Well... I'm upset... Because, uh... Because I didn't... I just, uh...

Joey: You didn't what?

Pacey: Can we not talk about this right here? Do you mind if we just take a little walk?

[They begin to walk away, when mr. Witter comes out.]

Mr. Witter: Sneaking off to smoke some marijuana?

Pacey: What?

Mr. Witter: Come sit on the couch. I want to talk to Joey. Come on.

[They go inside and sit down on the couch.]

Mr. Witter: I just want to thank you for putting thoughts of college in my son's head.

Joey: Oh. Mr. Witter, while I'm happy that Pacey wants to go to college, I don't think I can take all the credit for that.

Mr. Witter: Well, I got to blame someone, 'cause Pacey's "big dreams" means I'm gonna have to finance another drop out's half-assed education.

Pacey: Gretchen didn't drop out of school, pop.

Mr. Witter: Oh, really? 'Cause I didn't realize working as a bar maid in a fish restaurant qualified as a university education. Then again, I'm just an uncouth, uneducated police officer, putting his life on the line every day for the people of this town. What do I know?

Joey: Mr. Witter, I really don't think Pacey will be dropping out. I think he's going to do great in college. Just you wait.

Mr. Witter: I appreciate the youthful optimism. My prediction: If he doesn't drop out he'll flunk out. It's a waste of his time and my money.

Mrs. Witter: Oh, honey. Just because Pacey flunked a class or 2 in high school, doesn't mean he's going to do the same thing in college. Right, sweetie? But I have faith in you, and I know that one day my faith will pay off. So, no matter how many times you let us down, sweetie, my faith will be there to pick you right back up.

Mr. Witter: Your faith and my bank account.

Mrs. Witter: Oh, John!

Mr. Witter: I'm just saying Pacey should set his sights on something he can accomplish, like refrigeration and heating repair. We always knew Gretchen was college material.

Mrs. Witter: Oh, yeah.

Mr. Witter: But Pacey... You remember when he was a kid and he wanted to be a veterinarian, and you always said,

Mrs. Witter: I always said, "dog groomer, honey. What about dog groomer?"

Mr. Witter: Exactly. Someone has to be the dog groomer.

[Scene: In the basement. Dawson is with the 3 kids by the couch, while Gretchen is setting up a special lamp of hers.]

Dawson: So what exactly is the surprise you guys are waiting in the dark to see?

Kids: Yeah, we want to play monopoly.

Gretchen: Oh, patience, little ones. I have something better than monopoly. Watch this.

[She turns on the lamp and the dark room is filled with tiny sparkling lights, as they all sit down on the couch to watch the lights dance across the ceiling.]

Kids: Whoa! Whoa!

Gretchen: It's cool, huh?

Dawson: It's beautiful.

Kids: Yeah.

Gretchen: My grandmother, your great-grandmother, gave me this gift when I was a little girl. And we would sit down here for hours, staring up at the stars. And she would tell us this story. It was about a princess named Isabella. You see, Isabella was a star dancer. And she was meant for a life dancing amongst the stars. And she was blessed because she could fly from star to star. But she was cursed, too. Because for every star she'd visit, there'd be another one she left behind. And that was her plight. Forced to live eternity dancing amongst the stars, free as a bird...But alone. It's tragic, huh?

Dawson: Not really. Think of all the stars she got to visit and how much better she made the lives of the people she met there.

Gretchen: But Dawson, she leaves.

Little boy: If Isabella visits, I don't want her to leave.

Gretchen: Oh, you don't, huh?

Kids: Me, either. Me, either.

Mrs. Witter: Kids, come wash up for dinner!

Kids: Aw,

[Scene: Upstairs in the living room. Mr. Witter is still watching hockey as Pacey stands in the hallway watching everyone, with a disappointed look on his face. Joey walks up to join him.]

Mr. Witter: What's wrong with you, ref?

Joey: Don't believe them, Pace. You are gonna go to college and do amazing, you know that? There's nothing that they can say about it. Gonna shock them all. I know you are.

Pacey: Well, what if I don't? What if they are 100% correct, and I am simply too stupid to do anything worthwhile with my life?

Joey: What are you talking about? Pace, what's going on? This can't just be about your birthday.

Pacey: No, it's not just about my birthday. Let's take this to the basement, huh?

[They go downstairs and turn on the light, but are shocked to find Dawson and Gretchen making out on the couch.]

Joey: Wrong room.

[Pacey turns and leaves and Joey follows after her.]

[Commercial Break]

[Scene: The dining room table. Everyone is seated around the table, as Mrs. Witter brings out the food.]

Mrs. Witter: Ok, everybody... In honor of Pacey's birthday, I have made his favorite: Chipped beef on toast.

Pacey: Nope! That's Dougy's favorite. Mine's spaghetti and meatballs.

Mrs. Witter: Nah-ah-ha. When you were a little kid you always begged me to make you chipped beef on toast.

Pacey: That's right. I forgot. I always pretended to hate chipped beef on toast, in a vain attempt to mask my true feelings of love.

Doug: I love chipped beef on toast.

Pacey: We've established that, Doug. Thanks for the input.

Mrs. Witter: Oh, nuts. You know what I forgot?

Pacey: Spaghetti and meatballs.

Mrs. Witter: Ketchup. Joanna, will you go grab the ketchup? It's in the, uh, fridge.

Joey: Sure.

Mr. Witter: Dig in, everybody. Here, honey.

Doug: Mmm!

Mrs. Witter: Mm-mm-mm-mm-mm!

[Scene: The kitchen. Dawson quickly follows Joey in to try and talk about what just happened.]

Dawson: Joey, hey, uh... Look, I'M...I'm really sorry that you had to find out about it like that. I don't want you to be upset.

Joey: So, what... Are you guys like, dating now?

Dawson: Well, uh, we... This was going to be our first date, but plans changed.

Joey: But you are a couple?

Dawson: Uh, we haven't really defined our relationship yet.

Joey: But it is a relationship?

Dawson: I don't know.

[Joey leaves and Gretchen enters.]

Gretchen: Listen, um...

Joey: Oh! Found it. Excuse me.

Gretchen: What the hell do we do now?

Dawson: Um...I don't know. But I think we can probably move beyond the "should we/shouldn't we tell them" question. By the way, she thinks we're a couple now.

Gretchen: Well, did you tell her we were a couple?

Dawson: Um...No, I told her we had a date.

Gretchen: So, you told her we were dating.

Dawson: I told her we hadn't defined the relationship yet.

Gretchen: And what did she say?

Dawson: She said, "but it is a relationship."

Gretchen: Is it a relationship?

Dawson: I know what I think. I want to know what you think.

Gretchen: I--I don't know what I think.

Dawson: Well, I think that this was never about Pacey or Joey or your family or coming out of any closets. I think this is about you, and I think you need to figure out what you want.

[Dawson leaves and Pacey enters.]

Gretchen: Ok, let's talk about it.

Pacey: No, let's not. Today is not the day, Gretchen. I mean, any other day that I was to find you making out on the basement floor with Dawson, of all people, I would probably freak out. And then we would have words. But not today. Today, I don't want to talk about it, I don't want to think about it, in fact, I'd like to pretend it never even happened, 'cause frankly, I got bigger problems on my mind.

Gretchen: Which are?

Pacey: A conversation that I am supposed to have with Joey that will impact the entire rest of our relationship. Not to mention, explain why I've been in such a state of utter despair today.

Gretchen: Pacey, what are you talking about?

Pacey: You know what my advice to you would be? To just stick to your own dramas, because they are much more entertaining.

Gretchen: Pacey... [Sigh]

[Scene: The Community car. Jen and Tobey are driving various groups home. First a young buy, and then 2 girls, one obviously wasted.]

[hysterical laughter]

Guy: And then...Then I realized that she doesn't love me. She loves him, huh? That's why she was having sex with him in...In the bathroom!

Girl: There's gonna be beer bongs, keg stands, body shots. You got to come.

Jen: You know, I think that maybe we should get your friend home.

Girl: No, she's fine.

Girl 2: I think I'm gonna hurl.

Jen: Oh, no!

[Scene: The Witter Family Room. Pacey is opening the gifts that they have brought him.]

Everyone: Whoo...

Kerry: It's an ashtray.

Pacey: Yeah. Thank you, I've been meaning to take up smoking.

Mr. Witter: Uh, that one's from me.

[Mr. Witter points to a large package, which Pacey opens.]

Pacey: Fireworks.

Everyone: Ooh! Ahh!

Pacey: It's just what I've always wanted. Thanks, pop.

Mrs. Witter: You know, I, uh, recently read an article in, uh, ladies home journal, that said a fun way to bond with your kids, uh, on their birthday, was to recall a favorite memory from their childhood.

Pacey: Oh, joy.

Mrs. Witter: I guess I'll go first. And, uh, my memory would have to be when Pacey was a baby. It was such a relief to finally have a late bloomer. Never bothered anybody. Used to fall asleep in cardboard boxes.

Doug: That's right.

Kerry: And then there was the time we almost left Pace at 31 flavors.

Doug: I remember that, yeah. We were practically driving away when this lady flagged us down with Pacey just wailing in her arms. I swear, we would have driven home before we realized he was even gone. I'll tell you, he was so upset that he peed his pants. That's right. Your uncle, he peed his pants!

[Everyone laughs]

Pacey: Thanks for that one, Doug.

Doug: You like that, huh? Uncle peed his pants.

[Gretchen, seeing his discomfort, tries to help.]

Gretchen: You know my favorite Pacey memory? When I was in fifth grade, there was this bully named Max Brody. And he was the meanest kid you'd ever want to meet. And one day, he pushed me off the swing set. Hard. I, um, I split my lip open. And Pacey, who was in second grade at the time, was sitting over in the sand box. And when he saw max push me, I've never seen anybody run so fast. And he just started punching and kicking him, screaming, "stay away from my sister!" But that's Pacey. The bravest guy I know.

Mr. Witter: Brave and foolish. As I recall, Pacey came home crying because that bully beat the pulp out of him.

Mrs. Witter: I remember that.

Kerry: What about the time that Pacey got up at 5:30 in the morning and decided to make pancakes for the whole entire family?

Pacey: Come on! [Pacey buries his head ion his hands.]

Kerry: But he set the kitchen on fire and scraps died of smoke inhalation.

[Mr. Witter leans forward to tell a tale.]

Mr. Witter: All right. I have a Pacey story—

Pacey: Oh, enough! Enough. Look as much as I love being publicly eviscerated on my own birthday, I think we can all guess what the theme of this happy anecdote is going to be: Pacey messes up yet again. Am I right? Pacey kills the dog. Or pees his pants, or pukes, or gets the pulp beaten out of him. But you know what else the theme might be? The theme of every birthday I've ever had. Well, the theme of my entire life, for that matter. No one gives Pacey a break. Everybody expects the absolute worst out of Pacey. Pacey gets the short end of the stick. Pacey gets fireworks and an ashtray, and chipped beef on toast for his birthday, and endlessly harassed because how dare he want to go to college so he can possibly get out of this place? But you know what, dad? You and your wallet can breathe easy, because I don't think I could go to college even if I wanted to, because I found out today that the only school I thought would take me, my fallback school, rejected me. So I'm not going to college. So I guess, at the end of the day, you guys are right. I'm going to end up exactly where you thought I would. A complete and utter failure.

[Pacey storms out of the room and goes to the front door and opens it. Only to find Jen and Tobey standing outside it.]

Jen & Tobey: Happy birthday to you...

[He pushes past them and leaves the house, as Joey tries to follow.]

Joey: Pace!

[Commercial Break]

[Scene: The front door. Dawson grabs his coat and walks over to it, while Joey is putting her coat on.]

Joey: What are you doing?

Dawson: I'm going with you.

Joey: Dawson, I think I n handle this on my own.

Dawson: Uh, you don't have a car. Pacey took yours. Come on. Let me take you.

Joey: Fine.

Mrs. Witter: Janet...

[Scene: Standing in a hallway. Gretchen and Jen are talking when Jack comes up to them carrying some cake. Tobey is standing next to the front door.]

Jack: Jen. Cake. You look hungry.

Jen: Thank you. You've had some, right?

Gretchen: Yeah.

Jack: Excuse me. [Walks over to Tobey] Toby. What are you, uh... What are you doing here?

Tobey: Why, I'm, uh... I'm here to make you uncomfortable, of course.

Jack: I'm not...I'm not uncomfortable. It's... You know... So...How, how's the club going?

Tobey: You mean, uh... The gay club. Where all the gay kids hang out and be gay together? It's, um, it's doing smashing. And, uh, what about that club of yours? Um, what's it called? Self-hatred and denial. How's that going, Jack?

Jack: Yeah. Excuse me.

[Scene: The Mitch mobile. Dawson is driving Joey around in an attempt to find Pacey.]

Joey: Um... For the record, Dawson, I can honestly say that I don't care right now if you and Gretchen are a couple, or if you're dating, or if you're in a relationship, or if you're just periodically groping each other. I mean, you guys can run off to Vegas and elope for all I care, I have much bigger things on my mind right now.

Dawson: Well, good, because I have no idea if we're dating or a couple or in a relationship, because she won't tell me. And every time I get close to finding out, she freaks.

Joey: Well, that's the Witters for you, Dawson. In relationships they tend to keep their emotions close and their weaknesses even closer, and it's not because they don't care, it's just... It's because they care so much. And...Well, the good news is, is that eventually they always tell the truth. However, it's often after you've... After you've selfishly ignored all the signs that they've been suffering.

Dawson: Joey, it's not your fault Pacey didn't get into college.

Joey: I know, but it's my fault that he thinks that he disappointed me, because I said that he'd definitely get in.

Dawson: There's the potters for you. They tend to believe in people more than they believe in themselves. It's a real character flaw.

Joey: Yeah, we should probably just go back. I don't think we're ever going to find him out here.

[Scene: The Capeside Marina Docks. Pacey is sitting on a box at the end of the pier and he is shivering because he isn't wearing a coat, when Mr. Witter walks up from behind him, carrying a coat.]

Mr. Witter: Hey.

Pacey: Hey.

Mr. Witter: Thought you might be needing this.

Pacey: Thank you.

Mr. Witter: Here. [Hands him some gloves and sits down next to him.]

Pacey: How the hell did you know where I was?

Mr. Witter: I didn't. The station got a call from a house boat about a creepy guy lurking on the dock.

Pacey: Oh.

Mr. Witter: So what are you doing lurking on the dock?

Pacey: Just want to be close to the water.

Mr. Witter: You know, I never told this to anyone... And I will personally hunt you down if you breathe it to a soul. But I got rejected the first time I applied to the police academy.

Pacey: You did?

Mr. Witter: Yep. Let me tell you, Pacey, it was devastating.

Pacey: I know I'm not college material, pop. But I just really, really wanted it.

Mr. Witter: Now, look, son. I--I know that I've been hard on you about school, and, uh... It's not because I don't think you're good enough to go or to get in. Pacey, I just don't know if it's the right thing for you. I don't know if it's ever been right for you. But ask me if I think that you're meant to do great things... And by the way, I never did get to tell my "remembering Pacey" story. It was about your tenth birthday, and... I got you fireworks. And you said it was the best present you ever got. And we set them off out back, down by the water, and you... You were really happy, Pacey. And so, I was, too.

[Scene: The Community car. Jen and Tobey are getting ready to call it a night and are heading back.]

Jen: What would you think if I made this "responsible ride" activity a regular thing?

Tobey: What? This from the cynical Jen Lindley. I guess nothing is truly as it seems, huh?

Jen: Kind of like, um, you were really mean to Jack because your whole beau "Greg" is just a fabrication.

Tobey: What?

Jen: Toby, it's fine, ok? I mean, I know that you like Jack. Why else would you have gone so far out of your way to be mean to him tonight? And why would you have invented this fictional character? I--I mean, come on. A jams dean clone? Oh, with a, with an award-winning poet lesbian for a mom? I mean, it's too good to be true.

Tobey: Yeah, but it was good.

Jen: When you dream, you dream big, huh? Listen, my advice would be, um... If you are interested in Jack and...The... Well, the best way to get in his life is to be his friend, and that requires being nice. Now, I--I know this may be a new concept to you, but I think that you might find it effective.

Tobey: You are...You are such a bitch.

Jen: Right back at you.

Tobey: Hmm.

[Scene: Outside the Witter house. Pacey and Mr. Witter are walking up to it, and there are no lights on inside the house.]

Mr. Witter: Well, that's odd. Where'd everybody go?

Pacey: My guess would be the red lobster. To wash away all memory of mom's chipped beef on toast.

[Laughs]

[They go inside, and everyone jumps out.]

everyone: Surprise! Happy birthday to you happy birthday to you happy birthday dear Pacey happy birthday to you

[everyone cheers]

[Scene: Outside in the back yard. Dawson is sitting alone in front of a bonfire, when Gretchen walks up from behind carrying some wood.]

Gretchen: You know, I've been thinking. You're right. Tonight...It wasn't about my family, or Pacey and Joey. It was about me. See, I know how I feel about you, Dawson. But I'm scared, because...Because, what if I leave soon? I want to have this thing. Whatever it is with you... I'm afraid I'll hurt you when I go.

Dawson: But Gretchen, I'm leaving, too. At the end of the year. That's not the point. The point is right now. And right now, you're here. And so am I. So let's make the most of this, and not be afraid.

Gretchen: Sometimes I don't know if you're wise or just naive.

[Both laugh]

Gretchen: But I think it's wise. The real question is, how did you get to be so fearless?

Dawson: I want Isabella's story to have a happy ending.

Gretchen: Me, too.

[They kiss each other very passionately.]

[Scene: The back porch. Pacey is looking out at his family in the back yard having a great time, when Joey walks up from behind him.]

Joey: Hey, Pace.

Pacey: Hey.

Joey: Sorry I threw you such a bad party.

Pacey: Naw, that's not your fault. It's the curse.

Joey: I know how you must be feeling. You don't have to feel that way. Because one... One rejection isn't anything. It's definitely not the end of the world.

Pacey: It's not really about the rejection. That just makes it real. You and I are just on opposite paths, Jo. On different roads. And we are heading farther and farther away from each other.

Joey: I don't think so. I think both roads lead back to the same place. Right here. You and me, Pace. That's the one thing that won't change. Not if we don't let it.

Pacey: I got to be honest. This is getting harder and harder.

Joey: Well, then, we'll try harder.

Pacey: Mmm...

Joey: Hey, Pace?

Pacey: Yeah?

Joey: Happy 18th birthday.

Pacey: [Chuckles]

[They watch some fireworks go off, and kiss each other before heading down to join the rest of the group.]

[fireworks]

Kids: Hey, look!

[Everyone talking]

Mr. Witter: Ok, everybody up the hill! Let's watch the big one! Get ready for the fireworks. The big one's coming.

Kids: There they go! There they go! Look up there, gram!

[Everyone talking and laughing]

[Mr. Witter walks up to Pacey and throws his arm over his shoulder.]

Mr. Witter: Happy birthday, Pace.

Pacey: Pop.


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