Disclaimer: All right, so here's the deal. Everything Dawson's Creek and Roswell
is copyright the WB television network and various other people. Infringement is
really, really not intended. Storyline is all mine, backstory is theirs, title
is from Albert Camus' book of the same name, I think it fits...
Category: After Hours
|There was a message waiting from Dawson when he got home from school. Sitting at the dining room table, he dialed Capeside.
"Hi, Mrs. Leery. It's Pacey. Is Dawson there?"
"Oh! Hello, Pacey... How are you? We miss you so much around here, there's been no one to eat all of my leftovers!"
"I really miss your fridge, Mrs. Leery... but it's getting better here. Very strange town, Roswell."
"Well, all that alien activity must get very draining, I'd suspect," she laughed. "Well, hold on, dear. I'll get Dawson. Take care of yourself and come back and visit us over the holiday, won't you?"
"Thanks, I'd like that."
"You're always welcome in our house, Pacey. Now hold on..." Gale called up to Dawson and Pacey heard him lift the receiver.
"D-man! Good to hear your voice!" Pacey did miss having Dawson to talk to, even if everything between them was very different than when they were kids. Dawson had been seeing Nikki Green for almost a year before Pacey had left town and they spent so much time together that Pacey and Dawson had grown slightly apart. But they still talked about everything and were still the best of friends; had been since before time, it seemed.
"Pace, how's Roswell? Joey said she's spoken to you about a hundred times and I was starting to get jealous. Sorry I haven't called lately."
"It's all right, man. I know how busy you are, and me too... I've been trying desperately to get settled in here, make some new friends and all that."
"And it's going... you know. It's kinda hard coming into a school three years in and trying to situate yourself in somewhere. I guess I'm lucky though, got me a date tonight."
"Yeah, king of the one word answers today..." Pacey laughed through the line. "Yeah... taking this chick, Maria, to some party out on some ridge. Sounds like fun, and she's cute."
"Oh yeah, a little romance on the horizon? Go get 'em, Pacey!"
"Yeah, well... it's all good. We'll see where it goes."
"You don't sound all that optimistic for a guy with a hot date... what's up?"
Pacey thought for a moment, he didn't have words to really describe the feeling that everyone and everything in Roswell gave him. "Dunno, really... I'm optimistic, actually. She's cute and sweet and all, but the people here are freaks, Dawson."
"Eh... they can't be any stranger than Capeside folk."
"Yeah, I guess you're right..." He thought about the little incidents that caused him to use those words; the momentary flash he felt when Isabel touched him, the feeling that she knew everything about him in the one, brief second, the odd conversation he overheard between her and Guerin, the constant look of secrecy on Max Evans' face, the feeling that all conversation stopped when he approached. Pacey heard his mother calling up to him. "Well, dude. It's dinner. I'll catch you later. Call me soon, right?"
"All right, Pace. Have a good time tonight!"
"I will man, and you take care of everyone back there, 'kay?"
"Bye." And he hung up the phone realizing how much he really missed home.
* * * * *
Staring into his closet, Pacey wondered what people wore out in this godforsaken place. Sure, it was September, but it was still hot as hell. He worried for a moment or two before pulling out one of his rote Hawaiian shirts and a pair of khakis. Whatever.
"Where are you off to, honey?" His mother stood at his open door and gazed inside as he stood in front of the mirror putting some gunk into his hair. It was his only attempt at really "getting ready". Feeling much like a tool, he stared at his reflection wondering when he'd decided to give a shit.
"I have a date, Mom. Shouldn't be home too late."
"Well, you enjoy yourself... I'm so glad you're starting to fit in here. Maybe I'm next?"
"Yeah... I'm sure you'll start to meet people soon, Ma. It's pretty hard starting over..." He said it as much for himself as he did for her. Sliding his hand over his hair one last time, he turned to his mother, "So?"
"She's a very lucky girl, Pacey."
"Thanks, Mom." He felt bad to leave her, almost. She was as lonely as he felt lately.
* * * * *
He had a map, damnit. Why the hell was it so damn impossible to find one freakin' street? In a few minutes, he was going to be officially late. Pulling over at a grocery store he'd probably passed four hundred times in his incessant circling, he pulled out the wrinkled scrap of paper she'd scrawled on and finally asked for directions.
He was precisely around the corner. Damnit.
He parked the jeep in front of her apartment building and rang the buzzer.
"Be right out!" She appeared at the window beside him and leaned out.
"Hey..." In a second, his night seemed to change tone. Maria looked hot, at least from the waist up, wearing a bright pink and iridescent tank top that strapped around her neck rather than her shoulders. Smiling at her, he leaned against the bricks.
Okay, so it wasn't just from the waist up. Maria emerged from her building swaying her skintight jean clad hips at him. He must have given her exactly the reaction she was looking for, as she passed, she spun around on her practically stiletto heels.
"Very nice..." He nodded with leering approval. "I feel underdressed."
"You look fine, I'm generally overdressed for Roswell. Come, we go." Maria led him to the car and jumped inside without waiting for him to chivalrously open the door.
They made their way in a comfortable semi-silence as she gave sparse directions and fiddled with the radio dial, radio was also sparse in Roswell, New Mexico.
"It's right over that hill, see where the lights are coming from?" There was a glow in the desert sky ahead of them and Pacey could already feel the pulse of bass-heavy music. Coming up over the road, they saw a world of cars parked on the flat clearing and pulled into a spot.
"Let me open the door for you this time..." He smiled, crossing around to her side of the Jeep. "Gotta let a guy do the right thing every now and again, you know?"
Maria smiled back at him but he had already seen the look of discomfort pass her face.
"What?" he said, following her staring eyes and fallen mouth. He saw nothing there.
"Nothing," she said, and took his outstretched hand, climbing down from the car onto the hard-packed dirt. "Come on, let's get some drinks and have a good time. Alex is already here, there's Isabel and Max's Jeep." Maria pointed a few spots over at the unmanned vehicle putting on a look of faked comfort. Pacey tried to pretend it didn't exist.
He kept her hand in his and she didn't pull it away, although he could feel her slight resistance. He wondered how bad she had it for the Guerin fuck and if there was any way that he was going to make her push it off long enough to maybe get some tonight, figuring that even though this date was probably all about making him jealous, Pacey still saw an attraction between himself and Maria. Right now, that was good enough.
* * * * *
He felt a clap on his back as he waited on line for the keg. Turning, he knew he would find Alex.
"Hey man, where's the better half?" Pacey joked, referring to Isabel.
"Oh... Isabel went off with her girlfriends the minute we got here. She's around here somewhere..." The look on his face was sour and sad.
"Sorry, Whitman... Here, suck back a few of these... forget all about that wench." Pacey handed him a blue, plastic cup and put his arm around the other boy's shoulder. Alex pumped the keg and poured another couple of pints.
"Go ahead," he said, indicating in the direction of Maria standing alone, leaning against a post of the large tent. "You're on a date, better keep an eye on her before Michael gets here."
"What's the deal with them? Am I just headed for a fall?"
"Depends on how much you like her, really. I mean, I've known Maria for most of my life and she'd never fallen for anyone like she did for him, but they've been on and off for a long time now. More off lately, though." They wove through the tight crowd towards her. "So I guess you've got a pretty good chance. Who knows? I'm the last person who'll ever understand women."
Pacey nodded towards him, knowing that he was in precisely the same boat. Comprehending girls had never been his strongest suit.
When they reached Maria, she was chatting amicably with Liz and Max. Pacey handed her a plastic pint and said hello. He scanned the crowd, it seemed as if the entire school and more were at this thing. Beyond the tent, lights rotated above the gyrating crowd and a DJ spun records from a high platform, you could feel the steady slamming bass in the pit of your stomach.
"You gonna dance with me, or do I have to find someone else?" Maria leaned into Pacey, whispering into his ear. The hairs on the back of his neck rose.
"I'm not a big dancer, honestly." He dropped his voice to the same husky tone of hers, insuring that she wasn't going to take off on him. From behind her, he saw Guerin make his way through the crowd, same miserable look on his face as ever. Taking her hand into his, he brought his arm around her neck, "But, I'll make as go at it." He lead her away from the tent and to the dancefloor.
She hadn't seen Michael enter, or if she did, she was playing it off rather well. By the time they got into the crowd of dancing bodies, Guerin was over with the rest of the group. Pacey didn't have to look to know he was probably watching the direction they disappeared to. Maria's arm went around his body and her leg between his, she moved smoothly to the rhythm of the pounding music as Pacey attempted to hold his own, trying not to think.
That was the one thing he had learned from his ballroom lessons with Joey back home, stop thinking and counting and let the music lead you. Girls liked a man who could dance, even if it was relatively mediocre.
Her hands traveled downward, settling in the small of his back and she pressed her midsection towards him, their lower halves cemented together and her back arching her away from his chest; a euphoric beam on her face as he held her suspended in the crowd. He pulled her back up to him with a hand on the back of her neck.
"Practice?" He breathed headily into her ear over the voluminous roar.
"You're pretty good at this dancing thing." He smirked at her, mustering up every ounce of sex appeal he could find.
"You ain't so bad yourself..." Her body still moved in time, swaying slowly but perfectly to the beat. Her face glistened in the humidity of hundreds of bodies, her shined lips sparkling and parted. He would kiss her the moment her face neared his again.
She spun around in front of him; her backside forced against his midsection as she bent at the waist and shook her short hair out. If they didn't get off this dancefloor soon, he might have a little episode. This dancing thing didn't seem all that bad, for the first time. Pacey held her hips and tried to move with her. If this was any indication, she was probably a kick-ass lay.
Her back slammed up against his chest and her hands grasped his thighs, ass grinding into him. Wrapping one arm under hers and across her chest he pulled her neck back towards his open mouth and pressed it against his lips, she turned around in his arms. Through the smoke-coated haze, Michael Guerin watched them. Pacey closed his eyes when he kissed her.
* * * * *
"Have fun out there?" Guerin attacked, as they settled in the line at the keg.
"Go away, Michael." Maria glared at him, her hand still on Pacey's around her waist. Pacey just looked at him; no challenge in his eyes, simply looking. There might have been a little smirk on his lips. Maybe.
"Can't do that, Maria. You think I don't know what you're doing out there? This is just a ploy to try and make me jealous. Well, it ain't gonna work." Pacey still held her, ignoring Guerin's pathetic attempt to work him. Maria reacted in kind.
"Think whatever you want, Michael." Her voice dropped. "I'm over you." And she turned away from him into Pacey. They were next in line.
"Can I pour you a beer, Guerin?" He smiled, enjoying the momentary conquest.
"Fuck you." He receded back into the crowd, away from them.
As soon as he was out of sight, Maria turned her attention away from the direction that Michael had disappeared to and back to Pacey. "I take it you're a pretty confident guy, huh?"
"Not particularly, but he's been pissing me off since I got here. Look, it's okay if he knows what he's talking about." Pacey didn't mean that. Honestly, it would be even more annoying if she was really only there to entertain Guerin's jealous streak. He knew that it was at least part of the reason, though.
"Huh?" She took a long sip off her pint, leaving shiny lipstick behind on the rim of her cup.
"That's not the reason, but it might have been the bonus byproduct." She paused. "But, it's definitely not why I'm still hanging around you, Pacey." Her fingernails raked up his khaki-covered thighs. "Finish that beer and let's go back and dance again, I don't want to talk about Michael Guerin anymore."
"No arguments there." They wove through the throng until they were head off by Liz, Max and Alex. "Hey, guys."
Alex's eyes were sagged, Pacey figured he was nearing the point of having too much to drink. His voice slurred slightly when he spoke. "What's up?"
"Nothin'... We were going to go dance some more, what are you guys up to?"
"Max and Liz keep trying to ditch me in the crowd so they can go off and do whatever it is that nauseatingly happy couples do at these events, Isabel is dancing with some basketball player out there, and I'm drinking beer. Wanna get another one?" He was definitely on the road to hammered. Maria and Liz were deep in whispered girl-conversation, Pacey bent to her ear and told her he'd be right back.
"Max?" Pacey indicated towards the drink tent.
"No thanks, I'm not a big drinker. Bring one back for Liz, though..." Max stayed tight to his girlfriend's side. Pacey wondered for a moment how long they'd been together, they seemed already married. Scary place for two high school seniors to be.
When they returned with re-filled beverages, Max, Isabel and Michael were deep in hushed speech. Pacey handed Maria and Liz their drinks and stepped behind her, slipping his arm around her thin waist again. She leaned back into his chest. "You wanna get out of here soon? Take a drive or something?"
"You want to leave?" She leaned in and said something he couldn't hear into her friend's ear. "Let's stay a little while longer, is that okay?" She said coming back to him, tipping her head back onto his shoulder.
"Sure." He turned his attention back to Alex and Max while the girl's fell into another conversation. Alex's eyes we're glued to Isabel's lips watching her speak. "Alex, you better slow down if you're at all planning on driving home tonight." Like he should talk.
"I'm all right, this is gonna be my last one." Alex yelled over the din.
Pacey nodded and made the same resolution in his mind. Max and Michael were arguing now, their voices coming louder over the crowd; Pacey couldn't make out what they were saying. Isabel looked torn between the two sides, she kept butting in and speaking heatedly, waving around them. Finally, Michael turned and took off stubbornly, Isabel and Max charged after him. Liz watched them go and started in kind, but Maria held her back.
"What the hell is up with the three of them, it's like drama central?" Pacey inquired with the group.
"Nothing." All three said at once, all too quickly.
"Yeah, right..." He looked at them sidelong and took Maria's hand again. "Whatever... Dance?"
She gazed in the direction that they had run off to. Max, Isabel and Michael were still talking heatedly, not far from where they'd started. Pacey rolled his eyes at Alex. When she brought her head back around to him, she nodded. "Yeah, come on." She took Liz and Alex by the hands as well, "You too... come on. Let's have some friggin' fun for a change. Not everything always has to be so damn serious."
* * * * *
He was glad when she decided it was finally time to get out of there. The party was fun, there was more than enough beer left to go around, but there was always a point when you've had enough. He had had enough. Plus, Maria had gotten him so damn worked up on the dancefloor that he welcomed the chance to get her alone.
"You want me to take you home?" His way of figuring out where they should go. They could go back to his house, but there was a good chance that his father had just gotten home and would be sitting on the couch winding down. The idea of trying to smuggle Maria up the stairs and into his room without incident was not even worth trying, and Jeeps don't exactly have romance written all over them at all.
"Let's say goodnight to Liz and them, I want to make sure that Alex is okay to get home on his own." She pointed in the direction of the chill room, a tent filled with comfy cushions and couches; softer ambient music slowing down the vibe.
"'Kay." This was not going in his favor, he thought. Wiping the sweat from his brow, he followed her inside.
"Hey, you guys. We're gonna take off..." The group was sitting in a cluster, the argument from earlier clearly over. Alex sat with his head tipped back on the couch, Isabel beside him.
"I'm going to drive Alex's car, he can pick it up from our house tomorrow," she assured them, noticing Pacey and Maria's inquisitive expressions.
"Oh, good... Well, catch you guys later... Maria?"
"'Night!" She said towards most of them; then adding, ""Night, Michael," in a more singsong tone of voice. He glared at them both.
Pacey was absolutely not going to let Michael get under his skin, he'd already paid far too much attention to him already. Enough for a fucking lifetime, really. Lifting his arm around Maria's shoulders, he led them out of the tent and to the parked car.
They were alone and it was about time. He closed the door for her and walked around to the driver's side, getting in alongside her. Before he keyed the engine, he turned to look into her eyes. "I had a really good time tonight," he started.
"Me too... And, well... I'm sorry about Michael." She turned her eyes to her lap.
"Forget about Michael, I have..." Pacey reached out and touched his hand to the side of her face, turning it up to him with his thumb.
She opened and closed her mouth, running her tongue quickly over her lips and flexing a muscle in her jaw. Pacey moved in closer, his eyes locked to hers. Their lips met without tension.
She was sexy, no doubt. Pacey ran his hands over her bare shoulders and down her lithe spine, their tongues met and danced more passionately than the two of them had on the dancefloor.
"Nice..." He breathed, his voice saturated with musk.
"My mother's away for the weekend at a trade show." Bingo. That was easy. They untangled from each other's arms and Pacey started the engine. He pulled out of the lot, gravel kicking up behind them as they tore out.
* * * * *
They had barely made it into her bedroom before he had her pressed against him, remembering back to what it was like to be close to someone for one reason and one reason only. Maria was a nice girl, and maybe they might have something, but right now, Pacey concentrated all his attention on the moment. The rest would have to work itself out after the fact.
He lifted the hem of her shirt and pulled it over her head. "Wait..." She broke away. Sitting on the edge of the bed, she stared into his eyes, filled with base longing. "I don't want you to get the wrong idea about me..."
Now she decides this?, he thought to himself briefly before sitting beside her. "Maria, there is no wrong idea," he said honestly. "You're a nice girl, and very sexy... is that the wrong idea?" Bending to kiss her again, he ran his hands gently over her arms, lacing his fingers through hers.
She softened in his embrace and their kissing became more heated, soon their clothes lay in a discarded heap beside the bed. Pacey had felt real passion before, and this wasn't it. There wasn't that feeling of sharing yourself with someone you've fallen madly in love with, or the blazing need to be with this person you've been waiting to touch. There was need and there was passion, but it was empty.
That's not to say that when he slid inside of her he didn't want only to be there. His cock throbbed hard against his body, her long fingers wrapped around it and guiding it to her entrance, their skin slick with sweat; Pacey sighed heavy as her legs encircled him. With her lying beneath him and their lips kissing angrily, they slammed against each other until satisfied.
When it was over, he rolled beside her and promptly fell asleep.
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