hellowonderland: (pacey joey // eyes)
[personal profile] hellowonderland
Title: Her Mouth Waters ((Hot Salt))
Author: Trixen
Summary: Summer without Pacey, inevitably turns to fall. A Pacey/Joey show, for realsies. Re-write of Season 3 finale/after.
Category: Dawson’s Creek

Joey dreams in saltwater.


A darkling Capeside, Joey thinks. Shutters groan in the wind, the hot sky presses down down down, curling in on itself. There might be a hurricane, Bob says from the TV. His voice is earnest, gelled like his hair. The Coastguard recommends that everyone stay out of the ocean. Could get dangerous out there!

She scowls. A proper one, her lip twisting up, her dark eyes like dry riverbeds. Dangerous. And she can picture it, skyscrapers of water, foam white like the skin of a mermaid, a boat there, a pinprick of light on a gigantic rolling raging blue.

But he’s probably far enough away by now, she thinks, he’s probably far, far away. Joey feels it then, like nausea, and the back of her throat closes over.

The phone rings and for some reason – maybe it’s the insistence of it – she can tell it’s Dawson.

Joey ignores the sound and wipes the window down with disinfectant. One swoop of her arm and done.


“Movie?” Jen asks.

Joey pauses, in the midst of putting her hair up in a ponytail. It’s grown, long and dark down her back, straggly, gross. She can’t be bothered to cut it. “No.”

“Oohhhkay,” Jen drawls, sitting back against the porch swing. There is a spot of sweat between her collarbones, like a dime, shiny and sexy. Joey wishes she could be like that – open up to the heat, instead of feeling defeated by it.

“Sorry.” She mutters it, and her tone leaves a lot to be desired, but Jen just shrugs.

“Missing him?”

Joey blinks at her. “No.”

“Yeah, I am too.”


Dawson tries to kiss her in mid-July.

She pushes him away and she isn’t gentle about it. What other choice is there? He falls back against the dock and she almost laughs. That would be a major mistake. If there’s one thing Dawson can’t stand, it’s being the butt of a joke he had no idea was even being told.

“Joey—“ he looks offended.

“What?” she sneers, can’t help herself. “What did you expect, Dawson? I’m not a doll – don’t pass me around.”

“I wasn’t passing you around,” he says, even more offended. His mouth compresses in one prim line. “I thought—I thought you wanted this.”

“What gave you that impression, Dawson?” she asks, her tone as cold as snow. Unyielding.

“You stayed. Forgive me for reading into it.” He huffs a bit. “I thought it meant something. But I can see that was an erroneous assumption.”

She’s exhausted suddenly. Could sleep for summers. “Yes, it was.”

He doesn’t say anything else after that. He doesn’t try to kiss her. Not again, not that day nor the next.

Joey breathes out, and breathes out. Her lungs expand, and she breathes out, in, out, in.


School is starting in three days. Her stomach hurts all the time, a quick, sharp, sick feeling. She knows what it is – desire. Nervous desire.

And yet, there is no sign of him.

Haunting the marina day and night won’t help, but she does anyway, walking to-and-fro, thinking she can almost feel it beneath her feet. The waves. The hills of salt, perfect in their formations.

He isn’t there for the first day.

Or the second.

By the third, Joey wonders if he is dead.

By the fourth, she hopes he is so she won’t have to face the truth.

By the fifth, she thinks she’ll find washed up pieces of driftwood on the beach, a few pieces of bone, a Hawaiian shirt.

By the sixth, she just wishes




“Tell me why, I don’t like Mondays,” Jen says.

“I don’t know, why?”

“It’s a song, Joey.”

“Is it?”



Jen breathes out noisily. “Okay, Joey not to be a bitch – or maybe to be a total one of those – but are you ever going to wake up?”

What. “Wake up?”

“You were the one who rejected him. And believe me – I saw how much you hurt him. So why are you doing an Anna Karenina impression?”

“I didn’t reject him. All I asked for was time.” Joey thinks this is about the thinnest argument she’s ever made, but no way is she ditching it now. “Just time.”

“And he’s giving it to you.”

“Three months of time—not—“

“Did you think you’d get to choose?”

“I don’t know.” Tears sting her eyes and Joey feels suddenly embarrassed, furious. “I thought he’d be back for school.”


They both turn. And he is there, like her dream of saltwater, tanned and fresh and strong in front of them, hands roughened by sails and sealing wax. He smells like – like, like oh she could take a bite of him and Joey’s mouth waters, her tongue curls in between her teeth.

“You.” She whispers it. “You.”

In actuality, she doesn’t say a word. She walks away, because opening her lips seems like a dangerous thing to do.

She imagines words spilling out of her mouth like pennies on a copper floor, irretrievable.


He doesn’t speak to her again for a few days. She sees him in the hallways, laughing, joking, even chatting with Andie, his arm around her casually. So, they’ve made up. Swell.

Dawson isn’t speaking to anyone, and Joey feels guiltily relieved about this... can’t even fathom speaking with him, seeing his bristling disapproval and judgment. She’s tired of fitting the mold he’s so desperate to make her fit. She’s so tired of being the toy he picks up off the shelf, the virgin he’s being so noble as to wait for, the Joey Potter down the creek.

She can’t, she just can’t. Her skin will come apart if she tries.

And then, it happens.

She is sitting on the grass around the corner from the gym when she should be in class, sketching something in her notepad. Crayon wax stains her fingertips.

He drops down beside her with a quiet, “Hey, Jo.”

“Pacey,” she says steadily, not looking.

He breathes out with a wry chuckle. “How was your summer?”

“Busy.” She pauses. “The B&B was busy.”

“Good, good.”

Silence. His thigh touches hers, ever so slightly, and she can feel the hair roughened skin there, hot from the sun and flushed from the pulse of his blood in his heart.

He touches her head. “You need a haircut.”

“Spoken like a true gentleman.”

“Look at me, Jo.” His voice is rough, hoarse. It catches her between her legs, deep down low.

“I can’t,” she whispers.

And then she does. His eyes are fire. He runs the back of his hand down her cheek so she can feel the slight bump of his knuckles and then presses his forehead against hers, sighing his frustration, and she is shuddering already, so quick and then he kisses her.

He kisses her.

Her arms open, her legs open, and clothes are unnecessary.

She thinks of English class, their studies of the poet Sharon Olds. Words crowd behind her eyes

the boy
with skin the light sinks into

my mouth waters hot salt

There in the quiet corner behind the gym, with the sun and the sky, she finally, finally speaks her truth, lets herself out of the prison of skin and expectation, lets Pacey sink

in, in, in, him her boy sailor.

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