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
|Waking, Pacey felt the hot sun burning into his back and an emptiness in the bed beside him. He turned onto his back and found her standing in the mirror getting dressed; his head was heavy.
"Morning, Pacey..." Maria's reflection smiled back at him as she swept her hair into small barrettes. "Do you want some coffee? I made some earlier..."
He sat up in the bed, still incapable of coherent speech. "Shower?" The pelting water would force him into alertness. Maria approached the bed and took him by the hand, leading him into the bathroom. He caught his own reflection in the cabinet mirror, smirking at the state of himself. His hair stood up in messed spikes and his eyes were red bloodshot.
But, he had a hard-on. That had to be a good sign, meant he was actually still alive. He rolled Maria into his arms and nipped at her neck. "Care to join me?"
"Mmmmm... I really have to get ready for work, I'm picking up Liz's brunch shift today." She attempted to wriggle out from his naked embrace. "You go ahead."
"I'll be lonely...," he pouted, pulling her towards him again. "What time do you have to be there?"
"Then we have plenty of time..." He reached into the bath and turned on the faucet; Maria stood before him, fully dressed in her Crashdown uniform. Maybe that was what was getting him so hot? There was something about the mint green and silver that held him captivated. He needed to see it immediately against the porcelain tiles.
Maria was an easy convince. Pacey tore at her front snaps and pushed the cheap polyester from her body, easing it over her shoulders until it dropped to the floor. He went for her hair things next, gingerly pulling them from the blonde bob and placing them neatly on the edge of the sink. Her hands lingered in the air over his chest, nipples pricking towards him as he reached around and released her from her bra.
He stepped under the warm needles of the shower, pulling her alongside him and pressing her back against the cold tiles, wasting no time before slamming inside her. His mouth plundered hers, teeth clicking against each other, the water drowning out the mingled sounds of his growls and her moans. He held her onto him with her legs wrapped around his waist, the wall behind her as leverage; she screamed into his open mouth, the sound disappearing into his lungs.
He thrust into her harder and faster staring into her closed shut eyes until his turned black, pulling out and spilling himself onto the slick bathtub floor and easing Maria onto her feet. Covering her lips again with his own, he released her. "Now, you can get ready for work..." he breathed.
* * * * *
The Jeep pulled up to the curb in front of The Crashdown and Pacey stepped around to open the door for Maria's exit. The diner was overflowing with customers. She looked over his shoulder at the crowd and sighed heavily. "Ugh... Work."
"Looks packed, is it always like this on the weekends?" He scanned the groups of people clustered in front waiting for tables.
"Yeah... are you hungry? I could slide you in at the counter, I have pull, you know..."
"Mmmm... starving..." He dropped his lips to hers and kissed her rapaciously, releasing her from his hold and following her through the glass door.
"Stay right here, I'll get you a seat in a second." She waved to the waitress already on duty and walked quickly into the back swinging her hips. "I'll be on the floor in a second!" She called out to her co-worker before disappearing through the kitchen door.
Pacey waited patiently as a customer rifled through his wallet to pay the check. The man was barely out of his seat before Pacey slid into the vacant spot, turning his head towards the direction that she had gone off to. All he caught was the deep glare of Michael Guerin from behind the kitchen window, staring at him as he flipped burgers on the grill. Pacey smiled as Maria re-entered the room.
"What can I get ya, sweetheart?" She lilted in a mock-southern accent. "You look like a very hungry man who's had every ounce of his energy depleted..."
"Maria! Table sixteen's been waiting forever!" Came Guerin's roar from the back, he waved a spatula at her. She didn't even turn towards the sound, instead pulling out her order book and taking down Pacey's order.
"Just ignore him, he's an ass." Maria sent an icy stare in Guerin's direction then leaned down and pecked Pacey on the top of the head before heading off to flit busily from table to table.
Pacey was going to need a job soon, all this working reminded him.
Each time that Maria would put an order up at the kitchen, Guerin would scowl or otherwise berate her. Pacey watched half-amused. The guy was a truly miserable human being, walking around as if there were a potato chip in his ass that he was afraid would break. It seemed that Maria was doing her best to ignore him though, the packed restaurant taking up the majority of her thoughts.
Michael delivered his food himself, dropping it in front of Pacey with a clang of china on Formica. He propped himself with his elbow on the counter, the hot sweat and grease odor permeating the air around him. Leaning close, he growled into Pacey's ear.
"Better keep your strength up." He stared Pacey down and backed away.
Pacey watched him walk back to the kitchen really not bothered by the show of territory, Michael was simply attempting to piss on what he thought was his. Clearly, he had another thing coming. Whatever. He dug into his food voraciously, putting all of the insipid drama out of his mind and concentrating on the full plate in front of him.
When Maria next crossed his path, he laid down his fork and reached out to her. "Hey, I'm gonna cut out in a minute..." He pulled her towards him. "What are you doing later?"
"You don't tire out, do you?" She giggled lightly. "I'm supposed to do girl things with Liz and Isabel, but I can probably blow them off. Pick me up back here at eight?"
"You got it." He dropped some cash onto the counter and slipped his arm around Maria's waist, catching a look from the burger boy and smirking back at him with a coy, little wink. He kissed her quickly and moved towards the door and his waiting Jeep.
Driving home, Pacey thought for the first time that it might not be so awful having to spend the rest of the year in Roswell. Most of his days so far had been spent waxing melancholic about the eastern seaboard, missing his old bedroom for whatever it was worth, or getting otherwise nostalgic about Capeside High and his faraway group of friends. He even missed his mediocre job at Screenplay.
But, things were looking decidedly up. His classes had turned out to be relatively easy, he'd met at least one guy to hang out with, even if he was a bit of a bonehead, and he'd hooked up with a decent chick who actually put out. If you left out all of the weirdness in the air around him, he actually might even be able to say he was doing better than he did back home.
It wasn't really all that hard.
* * * * *
"Pacey? Is that you?" His mother's voice called out through the house, she was in the kitchen.
"Yeah, Mom..." He followed the sound to where she stood, scrubbing an already pristine tabletop.
"My god, I've been so worried about you... Where have you been? Oh, you really should have called. If your father wasn't the Sheriff, I would have called the police by now!"
Pacey was floored. Never had his parents put the slightest thought into his whereabouts; he had spent days sleeping on Dawson's floor without word one from them and they had never once inquired after him. The thought hadn't even crossed his mind to call home.
He looked at her quizzically. "I'm sorry, Ma. I spent the night at a friend's. Pop's not out looking for me or anything like that, right?" That was the last thing he needed, his father scouring the streets for his punk ass.
She sat down at the kitchen table, finally tossing the sponge into the sink. "I'm sorry, honey, I know I'm overreacting, your father's said the same. It's just that ever since... well... your brother died, I can't help but feel like my children are slipping away. Your sisters are all gone, Doug... Pacey, you're all I have left..." There were tears in his mother's eyes.
He felt bad for her, really he did. But, he couldn't help but feel like the second choice in his parents' affections. Doug was gone and suddenly they gave a shit? "Too little, too late," came to mind, but he shoved it back inside. He put his arm around her shoulder, never wanting to see his mother upset, he did love her no matter how hands-off she had been in the past.
"I'm sorry, Ma. I'll call the next time and let you know I'm okay... Look, I'm still really tired and I'm going out later, so I'm gonna go upstairs and take a nap, okay?"
"Go ahead, honey... do you want me to wake you up for dinner?"
"Sure. Thanks, Mom." He took the stairs up to his room two at a time. Lying back, he pulled his shirt off over his head and sank into the pillows.
* * * * *
This had to be a dream. Pacey lay in the middle of the desert, nude in a dune of soft sand that felt like talc under his fingers. The sun blazed onto his body, but he didn't feel its heat, blinded by the rays lasering into his eyes. He closed them slowly and sank deeper into the sand.
A shadow covered him, shading his eyes from the searing sun, a silhouette he couldn't place, a halo of long hair on a tall, full-figured form. He felt hands on his body but wasn't being touched. He heard his name on the wind.
Blinking back the sun, he tried to adjust his eyes but still couldn't see. When his hands reached out to where the figure stood, he felt nothing and extended further. The figure backed away without moving.
Pacey felt as if his body was locked to one spot. He tried to sit, but was tethered to the ground by invisible ropes at his ankles and chest. Fear spread through him, an anxiousness that held him captive like the twine. Opening his mouth, he couldn't scream.
"You're fine, stop fighting." Isabel's voice.
Pacey's mind spun like a leaf caught up in a hard breeze. He knew that he was sleeping, but it all felt so real. Too lucid to be simply dreaming, too incoherent to be awake. Long fingers tangled in his hair, pulling and twisting; he thought he might cry out if he could. The figure knelt beside him and the sky turned dark.
The breath returned to his lungs in a gust.
"What's going on? Where are we?" He spoke to Isabel even though it seemed he was alone.
"This is your dream, a figment of your imagination. You are wherever you want to be."
There was no motion around him, not from his own body and not from the air. The figure was gone but its voice still remained.
"Tell me what you're doing here." Its tone was stern and Pacey felt the fear returning; a twist in his gut, deep inside him, tight as the restraints that held him hard against the sand. His fingers dug into it going nowhere.
"I don't know, I was sleeping."
"You're still sleeping." A breeze warm around him, caressing him slowly without hands. He felt his body responding to the light touch and he urged himself against it. There was an icy pain in his chest, this shaky feeling of both fear and arousal, or arousal from fear. Pacey tried to brush it off, but felt his temperature rising and the ache in the pit of his stomach becoming wider and all encompassing. "Why are you in Roswell and what do you want with us?"
"What the hell are you talking about?" He was getting angry. He tried to move his arms, but even they were locked down at his sides now. He began to fight against them, raging against the pain of the ropes he couldn't see burning into his limbs. They seared as he fought them, his mind getting more and more anxious, his body betraying him. Straining against them, he sat up in a bolt.
He was in his bedroom, blankets wrestled onto the floor and a tree wracking against the closed window calling his name.
* * * * *
After dinner, Pacey got into the shower. The unsettled feeling after his nap wouldn't go away, his stomach fought him to keep the food down. It was almost eight and he needed to get out of his house, but the water felt good on his skin; liberating.
He pulled himself together, leaving his house with still-wet hair that would dry in the wind. The streets were mostly dark, small lamps illuminating the sidewalks and storefronts bright calling patrons in from the street. Pacey eased into a parking spot in front of the Crashdown and waited for her.
When she waved at him from the window, urging him to come inside, he shook his head in the negative, beckoning her out to him. She waved him in again.
"Pacey, come inside..." She unlocked the door and stuck her head out to call to him.
"Fine..." There was something hanging in the air above him, he felt. A lingering feeling that refused to dissipate. He wanted to get as far away from it as he could, except that it was inside his mind. He couldn't run away from his own mind. Smiling, he hoisted himself over the doorframe and met Maria at the door.
"I'll be ready in a few minutes, it's taking longer to get out of here than usual. Come, have a soda with Liz, Max and Isabel." She grinned and took his hand, leading him to the only occupied booth.
Isabel... That was what was hanging over him. As soon as he heard her name he remembered her voice in his dream; angry and impatient. Sitting beside Liz in the booth, she smirked at him without saying a word.
"Hey, Pacey... You guys have a nice time last night?" Liz inquired innocently.
"Great, actually... How about you? Didn't see you out on the dancefloor much."
Max laughed. "You couldn't have seen anything past yourself out there last night, the way you two were dancing."
Arms encircled his neck from behind. "Pacey's a pretty good dancer, I wouldn't knock him, Max. He looks better than you do out there." Maria traced Pacey's jawbone with a finger and flitted away again to finish sweeping up.
Isabel's eyes burned into him, he couldn't imagine how everyone else didn't notice, how Maria didn't notice immediately. Pacey rested his elbows on the table and leaned forward, towards her. "I had the strangest dream earlier, and I swear you were in it."
"Oh?" She looked innocently towards her brother who was glaring at her with piercing eyes. These two were complete freaks.
"Yeah, I was out on the desert and you were asking me questions that I had no answer for. It was bizarre, of almost nightmare proportions."
"Hmmmm... that's too bad." That smirk again.
"Okay, ready! I just have to change out of this thing..." Maria hopped over to the table and pulled Pacey by the shoulder. "What are you guys doing? Pacey and I don't really have plans, do we?"
"Not really... figured we could just hang out. Unless you have other ideas?"
"We're going to go see a movie. Did you bring the paper, Max?" The couple started paging through the newspaper. Isabel moved in closer to Pacey.
"Tell me more about this dream of yours... what was I wearing?" Michael emerged from the back room and approached the table.
"I never did really see you, that's the thing... it was weird. I was out in the desert, and you were there, but you weren't really there. And it was super hot, or something... I don't know, really." Pacey felt strange trying to make any sense of it all, it sounded even lamer coming out of his mouth. "The thing I remember most is that you were angry, and I was..."
"You. Backroom. Now." Michael grabbed at Isabel's elbow and led her forcefully past the door.
"The fuck?" Pacey stared after them, mostly ignored by everyone else at the table. He stared at the closed door until Maria returned. Out of her uniform, she wore a silky magenta skirt and skintight burgundy top; Pacey's mind quickly switched to more important things, like the fact that there was no way she was wearing a bra under there.
"What's up with them? Izzy & Michael are just about to kill each other back there..."
"Dunno. Maybe she's trying to dislodge the stick up his ass and he's resistant." No one laughed.
"What do you say, Pace? Movie? Or should we just get out of here and take a drive?" She snaked her arms around his neck again and he tipped his head back to look into her eyes.
"I'm voting for the drive..."
"We'll catch you guys later... I clocked out, Liz, but if you need Michael to lock up I'm sure he can. Have a good night!" Maria took Pacey's hand and pulled him out of the booth.
"Night, kids. Be good!" Max was decent guy when he wasn't being so quiet, he might even be able to be considered normal if he wasn't so weirdly uptight. Pacey knew that Michael was his best friend, and it was almost strange that he didn't seem to care whether Pacey dated his ex-girlfriend. That was pretty stand-up, in Pacey's eyes. But, then there were the bizarre looks and hushed tones that generally pervaded.
Whatever, it wasn't as if these were the only people Pacey would get to know in this town. They were just the first.
He snapped the door closed behind Maria and she leaned back in the passenger seat, her feet in high-heeled slides on the dashboard. The skirt she wore slipped up her thighs and before turning the key in the ignition, he reached out to scratch his nails over the bare flesh.
"You look great..."
"Oh?" She turned towards him and licked her gloss-covered lips, her leg pressing into his hand, which he eased further up her thigh. "Where do you want to go, Pacey?"
"Hmm? Oh, go? You're the native, you tell me..." He had been lost in an anticipatory haze for a moment. "Does it ever cool off out here, or is it always this hot?" He asked, not intending the double entendre.
"It's always this hot, but the weather cools down." She leaned forward to fiddle with the radio dials, her legs spreading just slightly in invitation. "Drive out away from town, I have an idea of how to cool you down." Smiling wickedly, she pressed back into the seat. Pacey's hand lay on the elastic edge of her panties and he traced it slowly with the tip of his finger, teasing her. He scraped a nail over the center and her legs opened instinctively, her head threw back and her lips parted. He drove.
In minutes, they were on a dark road lined with nothing but desert and brush. Pacey's fingers danced teasingly over her crotch, feeling the moist heat radiating off her. Moving away, he downshifted then returned his hand. Her breath coming in ragged gasps, she looked at him and barely uttered, "Make a right up there."
Saying nothing, he slid his finger just into the edge of her underwear, brushing against her swollen lips as her mouth fell open and her body reached out towards him. The moisture slicked around his finger as he slid into her. "Next left," she said in a moan, her eyes wide.
It was difficult to drive with his cock raging painfully behind his zipper. She motioned for him to pull over under a small grove of woods and he was relieved. The moment the engine stopped, he lunged for her. Never releasing her from his grasp, he pushed the flimsy material that had kept him from her aside and used his other hand to push her seat all the way back. The Jeep had never been a good place for action.
Beautifully exposed, the moon glistened off her dewy skin.
Kneeling as best he could on the floor of the Jeep, she pushed him away with a hand and opened the door. Her face was flushed. "Follow me..." How she could walk was beyond him.
Maria slipped into the woods, parting the bushes that stood between them. He did as he was told, as if he had any choice in the matter whatsoever.
Through the brush and trees was a dark reservoir; black water reflecting in the twilight. She stood on the rocky bank and bent over to remove her panties from under her skirt, tossing them towards him. Then, crossing her arms over her chest, she pulled the tank over her head and dropped it at her feet. Pacey stood motionless feet away, watching.
"Are you coming in, or what?"
"Thought I'd watch you first..." His entire body was one shaky, raging hormone. Maria took a few steps towards him.
"You can watch later, participate now." She moved closer and began to pull his shirt up over his chest, trailing her fingers softly over his tender skin. His hands went to the waistband of her skirt and she turned around in his arms walking away, teasing him. He discarded his shirt on a pile of rocks and his pants a few feet away. The closer he got to her, the further away she moved.
The water lapped against the rock sides quietly, almost completely still in the windless night.
She slipped the skirt off her hips and stood just feet away nude in the moonlight, burgundy patent slides still on her feet; she turned on her heels and kicked them off behind her, slipping into the pitch reservoir and diving under.
By the time she came up for air, he was directly beside her. Her fingers scratched at his thighs and he pulled her against him, their bodies slick in the clear water. He reached between her legs and slid inside her pushing her against the rocky side of the pool, eager to bring her back to the point where she was in the car.
Lifting her weightlessly out of the water, Pacey eased her onto the side and found stable rock to stand on. She rested on her hands behind her, looking down at Pacey, the water rolling off her skin in long rivulets that shone in the twinkle of the sky. He touched her lightly, running his hands over her legs and parting her knees, sliding his fingers deep inside her as she let out a long, guttural sigh.
He nipped his teeth at the insides of her thighs, the rock at the perfect height for him. Bringing her body closer to his, he watched her face change as he breathed hot over her center, his fingers still easing in and out of her slowly. And then out of her. He replaced them with his lips. Maria's body tensed as his tongue found her clit and he pressed against it, circling then retreating to the cleft of her sex. His hands went around her body, grasping at her backside holding her to his face as he brought her closer and closer to the edge without allowing her over it. Her cries echoed against the towering rock mesas.
As his tongue penetrated her, she pulled him into her, her fingers tangled and twisted through his hair until she screamed his name. Pacey ran figure eights over her as she crossed the line, he pulled her back down into the water, her back pressed hard to the limestone as he slid into her finally. Finally.
Maria's body was still warm as she wrapped her legs around his waist and he pumped into her slowly, teasing her with his length and retreating again. Their lips met and they kissed for the first time since that morning he realized, as his tongue entered her mouth and he slid it along its roof; his pace quickened inside her and her arms wrapped around his neck.
Her soft lips attacked him; strength in the face of such tenderness. He plowed into her, he couldn't help himself, rocking his body into hers with a gentle force that showed no mercy for either of them. His closed eyes with nothing but darkness behind them and the sound of splashes against them; he came in a bubbling volcano between her legs. Roswell would swallow his come with their drinking water that night.
He kissed her again and slid out onto the rock pulling her up to lay beside him on the rocks.
"Did that cool you off?" She said, slipping her hand between his legs.
"For now." Pacey raised an eyebrow at her and rested his head on her chest her heartbeat slowing under his ears. He wanted to be able to talk to her like he would be able to with Joey, but words never came out of sexual context. It was entirely possible that they would never have anything to say at all. He kept his mouth shut and let his hands do the talking, running gently over the length of her legs as he closed his eyes and allowed his mind to go blank.
* * * * *
There was a message from Joey on his pillow when he returned home. In his mother's hand, it read:
Joey called. She asks, "Want company?" and says to call her ASAP. Pacey looked at his watch. Sure, it was far too late to call her and he'd probably hear about it for years to come, but he found himself dialing nonetheless. Screw it, she couldn't just leave a message like that and expect him not to wake her ass up.
The phone rang a few times and he heard the handset rattle off the cradle and onto Joey's nightstand, she answered in a muffled voice, no words other than "Mmmm?"
"I'd love some company, you bringing the beer?"
"Pacey? Pacey! You got my message!" She seemed to wake up quickly.
"I did. Pretty damn oblique, I might add..." He laughed.
"And then you decided to call and wake my whole house up at... 4am! Pacey, it could have waited until the real morning, you know..."
"I couldn't help myself, Jo. Are you really thinking about coming out for a visit?" The idea of it sent him reeling. In Pacey's mind, it had been like he would never see any of his friends again, intermittent phone calls were hardly enough.
"Yeah, actually... How does in a week grab you? There's a stupid senior class field trip that I really don't want to go to and I'd already saved up the money for it, but it doesn't sound like all that much fun. Plus, I miss you, you bastard. Can I come out and stay with you? I already passed it by your mom and she was okay with it..."
"Well, it seems like you've already gotten it all worked out, so why not? Man, Jo... It'll be amazing to see you, I've missed you too, you know..." Would dancing around the room be totally out of order?
"I know you have. So, I'm gonna book a flight tomorrow. When I wake up. Again. I'll call you when I have the arrangements, okay. And Pacey? Get your own beer..."
"For you, baby... Anything. OK, I'll talk to you tomorrow, go back to sleep."
"Tell Alex that. Night, Pace..." The phone clicked off on the other end and Pacey replaced the handset on the nightstand.
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