Set at the end of "True Love".

In the True Love

Pacey had told Joey he was leaving and he had asked her to go with him.

"Just you and me Joey and the open seas. We can go where we want, do what we want away from Capeside and from..." he was cut short.

"From Dawson?" she finished.

"And what's wrong with that? You love me not Dawson no matter what you say to him and what you say to yourself. Cut those strings Joey come with me." Pacey pleaded as he held her.

"Don't you see I can't. If I lose Dawson I lose a family. The only family that I've ever known. I'm not ready to do that," she said apologetically, "maybe when you get back I would've had time to desensitise Dawson to the whole you and me idea..."

Pacey had had enough. He wanted to rant and scream but Joey's eyes started to brim with tears. He didn't want to hurt her anymore.

"OK," was all he could say and then started kissing her,"then give me something to remember on those lonely nights without you."

Joey lifted her doe brown eyes and smiled, kissing him back. Only Pacey could make her feel so complete and alive. Their passion rose and their love was sealed.

Next day at the Leery Wedding

The wedding had been beautiful. She couldn't believe Gail and Mitch were renewing their vows. It was so romantic and a great excuse for a party. But Joey didn't feel like much of a party girl tonight. She smiled and went through her paces. Dawson watched her so intently it was stifling. But no, she had made a decision. Her place was with Dawson. They had been friends forever. They were each other's safe harbour. They were family. It didn't matter that silently her heart was breaking. It didn't matter that she was drowning. It didn't matter that staying with Dawson she was letting go of the only person who truly understood her, challenged her, infuriated her, drove her to despair and back, and completed her. Pacey would eventually forget and forgive, after all he loved her. This was the right decision, she was sure of it. Then why she wondered, were tears silently crying down her cheeks.

"So, you tired?" Dawson queried suspiciously.

Joey was taken by surprise, wiped her tears as she jumped woken out of her trance and timidly looked at Dawson and then quickly looked down, "Yeah, it's been a long day."

They both seemed uneasy.

"Well don't just stand her the two of you, the party has started. Come on let's go dance!" Gail said as she grabbed both their arms and pulled them towards the dance floor. Joey couldn't deny Gail.

As she was being pulled in, she happened to look at the clock. 5pm. He was leaving now and she wasn't. She was staying still and he was moving forward. Her instinct and sixth sense told her to run, to run as fast as her legs could carry her to the pier.

The sun was about to set and Capeside harbour was looking beautiful. The glistening summer hues flickered and danced on the water calling Pacey to start his voyage. He was ready. He packed his last few things. He had asked her to stay but to no avail. Pacey wasn't a quitter but Joey had made it quite clear how she felt. There was no longer any point to this disaster. This trip would be a fresh start for everyone. Hopefully 3 months away would allow things to heal between Dawson and himself and also give his heart time to heal. Standing on True Love Pacey heard footsteps...

"Hey all ready and packed?" Doug asked with an apologetic smile. He understood the anguish Pacey was going through. He knew his brother and sometimes better than he knew himself.

Pacey took a deep breath and smiled, lowering his head in his Pacey way, "Yep...all done. Ready for the seven seas...well not quite."

"Well Mum and Dad wish you a safe trip and Mum said to ring once a week or else she'll send the coast guard after you," Doug relayed with a smirk and continued, "and Pace have you really thought about this? Is this the answer? Running away?"

"Doug we've been through this over and over and over. I am NOT running away. I'm going on a trip that I've worked hard for and I'm going to enjoy myself. I'm thinking of myself and no one else for a change," Pacey said as he stepped off the True Love, "and you big brother stop worrying. I'll be fine and I'll ring. I need to do this."

Pacey looked Doug straight in the eyes and smirked his boyish smile that had won so many hearts, gave his brother a strong hug then a pat and stepped back onto his boat. Doug helped him push off from the pier. He waved and Pacey waved back. He was off. As he looked back he hoped in vain to see Joey running towards him yelling stop! But all he could see was an empty pier. Goodbye Capeside, see you in 3 months!