- ❝ If I'm loyalty, Dawson, it's only cause you cast me in the role. You're the storyteller, you know? You see everything and figure out what it means. You're the guy who builds this fantastical world. You just let the rest of us live in it ❞
Dawson and Pacey consider each other best friends at 15, having known each other since they were five. Their teen years especially spotlight their differences with Pacey exhibiting bravado, albeit to mask his low self-esteem, and chasing girls, flirting constantly and taking chances while Dawson is more tentative and feels a bit challenged and threatened by Pacey's outgoing personality, although Dawson would never admit this.
Pacey and Dawson became friends as kids, likely around the time they were five. They've always lived in different worlds, which Dawson is somewhat aware of in their teen years. Pacey's father is emotionally abusive, a disease he passes on to his oldest son, Doug, who continues verbally abusing Pacey well into his teen years. As a result, Pacey doesn't like being in his own house and his friendship with Dawson alleviates his circumstances a bit. Pacey describes that as a kid he would just walk through the front door and make himself at home, and he has a good relationship with Dawson's kind father, Mitch. When they were about 10 years old, Dawson and Pacey decided to camp out in the woods where they built a fort together. They buried their most important possessions at the campsite and made an oath to cement their friendship, becoming blood brothers.
The contrast between the contemplative, aspiring film auteur and the cocky bravado of Pacey is evident as the boys enter high school. Pacey agrees to help Dawson with his projects, starring in his home movies alongside their other childhood friend, Joey. As school is about to start again, the boys both get caught up with respective romances. Their first moment of competition comes as Jen is cast in Dawson's film and she shares a kiss with Pacey, who goes a bit overboard to tease Dawson, succeeding in making him jealous.