Chapter 8 – Persuasion
A/N - I am so sorry this update took forever and a day. Life got in the way of writing, and then I've been feeling really uninspired. If this chapter isn't up to par, that's why. I felt I could have done a better job with this, but I wanted to post something. I would love feedback on how you guys felt about this chapter. If you hated it/loved it/thought it was average – I want to hear it. I got so much great feedback on my last few chapters, and I just wanted to say I love all the people who take the time to read, review, favorite, and follow this story SO much.
I'm doing this at the beginning to explain some of the references for those of you who aren't native to the New York City area. The MoMa is the common abbreviation for the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York Magazine has this approval matrix where they talk about current people and topics in the news and place them in one of four quadrants in order to definitively rank someone's actions in terms of whether or not it is highbrow/lowbrow and brilliant/despicable. Persuasion actually is the last novel that Jane Austen published before she died.
"Why can't I just throw up?" Rory throws her head down in frustration, accidentally knocking her head on the porcelain of the toilet. "Ow!" She drunkenly yells in frustration. She uses one hand to rub her now-red forehead, and the other to secure the pink-bedazzled tiara to her head.
"This is a hot mess." I laugh, clumsily attempting to tie Rory's long brown hair into a ponytail so it stops falling into the toilet. I unexpectedly hiccup and lose a couple of strands from the bundle. "Fuck, I'm not doing much better."
"By all means, stand here and watch my self-destruction unravel." She tilts her head sloppily toward me. She lifts her finger with something potentially witty to say, but drops it resignedly. "You can write a book about me called Portrait of a Drunk Journalist as a… I don't know actually. I've got nothing."
"Come here, Courtney let's go back to rehab." I gently pull Rory away from the toilet, still laughing, into my arms. To stop the world from spinning, I lean my head against the tiled wall of our bathroom.
"No way. I'm too rock and roll right now for a stint in rehab." Rory says sardonically, her voice muffled by my navy dress shirt. She curls up into my lap and I kiss her hair. It momentarily distracts me from how dizzy I am, but the weight of her body against my stomach inevitably makes me more nauseous.
"Lorelai sure knows how to throw a bachelorette party, huh." I remark. "Can't say the same for Matt and Chris."
"What did Cheech and Chong do to my poor baby?" She coos, wrapping her arms around my neck.
I laughed. "Honestly, the last thing I remember is chugging a bottle of tequila and throwing this stupid looking piñata Chris carried around his neck the whole night off the Brooklyn Bridge." I struggle to remember the rest, before adding thoughtfully. "Chris was pretty pissed about the piñata. I think there was an actual gift inside, but he didn't exactly disclose that information."
She snorts, sitting up slightly and stretching out her arms. "I think my kidnapping was fun." Her eyes widen, and she lifts up her shirt to reveal a red, slightly swollen tattoo. "I got a tattoo. I'm still drunk, so I'll probably be more horrified by it in the morning."
"What am I looking at?" I pick up my head to get a better look at her stomach. "It looks like a Rorschach test gone wrong."
Rory laughs again, digging in the pocket of her jeans to pull out a crumpled napkin with pizza stains and some sort of haphazardly drawn doodle. "I gave this to the tattoo artist and told him to 'make my artistic vision a reality'."
"I'm an artist." She explains pragmatically, appraising the greasy napkin with a mixture of pride and shame.
"Yeah, something like that."
"Hey!" She says defensively, snatching the napkin back from me. "It's abstract."
"I've been to the MoMa before, don't remember seeing that there."
"Yeah well… I'll leave that out of my interview with New York Magazine. I'm highbrow and brilliant." Rory sleepily smiles, climbing out of my lap to lie down. She kisses me softly on the lips before she gets up and gently tugs at my hand. I join her on the hard, cold, yet surprisingly comfortable tile floor. I lean forward to kiss her again, but she is surveying my face with a vacantly happy expression.
"You look like Peter Petrelli." She states definitively.
"I'm the more attractive version." I correct her.
"And what powers do you have to offer me, as the sexier Peter Petrelli?"
"Offer you…" I repeat to myself, shaking my head in mock disapproval. "What am I, your indentured servant?"
"Something like that."
"I have…the power of seduction." I suggest charmingly, grazing my fingers along her bare midriff.
"Ooh I like that one." She purrs into my neck, pressing her body against mine. "Wait a second—why is my copy of Persuasion on the sink? I thought you were going to read it." She pulls herself away from me, distracted by the dilapidated paperback novel sitting on the ledge above us.
"Ror – I told you I read it already." I lie, hoping that in her state of inebriation we won't have to get into this discussion for the third time this week.
"You definitely didn't. I left it on the sink purposefully because I know you never read it in the bathroom. If you had read it, it wouldn't be here anymore." She explains seriously, ignoring the incredulous look on my face.
"That makes so much sense. So it was Colonel Mustard in the bathroom with a candlestick, then?" She rolls her eyes.
"You're a lot easier to figure out than a game of Clue."
"Easy to say when you are incapable of beating me." I mumble triumphantly.
"Maybe, but this is different." She insists. "This is high stakes."
"At what point in this world did American Idol become high stakes?"
"Ryan Seacrest is always high stakes, Jess. You should pay a little closer attention to the world around you." I decide to change the subject.
"Every time you make me read Jane Austen a little part of my soul dies."
"And the Academy Award goes to…"
"…you know she actually died a little bit after finishing this book? It is probably cursed." I muse impishly, interrupting her. "Do you want me to die? I don't want to die…" I trail off ominously, but it is to no avail. Even a highly intoxicated Rory Gilmore can see through my bullshit.
The next thirty seconds unfold a little too quickly to fully comprehend. Rory stands up quickly to grab the book, but loses her balance, smacks it off the counter, and falls back into my arms on the floor. The book falls into the toilet, and the momentum of Rory's fall finally pushes her to her knees over the border to projectile vomiting into the toilet, into the water, and all over the now soggy, destroyed novel. Rory looks into the toilet, horrified. She has committed the sacrilegious act of destroying a book. For me, it is a blessing in disguise.
"No, no it's okay, I can still save it." She clumsily reaches into the toilet for the book, and I stop her before she sticks her hand into a toilet bowl of puke.
"I am too drunk for this!" I yell, eliciting laugher for both Rory and myself. I peer into the toilet and the sight of the soggy paperback book covered in the pink chunky substance that is Rory's vomit and back at Rory, shaking my head.
Three hours later, we have switched positions. Rory is cradling my head against her chest as I alternately moan in pain and add to the growing, disgusting stockpile of puke that is our toilet.
"I don't think I'm gonna finish that book." I groan into the toilet bowel, .Rory is curled up on the floor next to me, continuing to rub my back in comforting circles.
"Unless you want to fish it out and read between the soggy lines, I'm absolving you of all responsibility when it comes to reading that book." Rory laughs, in better spirits that me right now. She kisses me softly on the lips when I manage to peel myself away from the toilet, joining her on the hard, cold, yet surprisingly comfortable tile floor. I kiss her again.
"You taste like vomit and tequila." She murmurs into the kiss, pulling away mildly disgusted.
"Really feeling the love right now, Ror." She pulls herself closer to my body, and I instinctively wrap my arms around her in response. "I promise you, yours isn't much better."
"Tired. Need sleep." I sigh, scooting sideways closer to the door so that Rory has more room. We fall into a comfortable silence.
"Jess," She mumbles again, almost inaudibly. "Set your alarm for seven a.m."
"Why would I do that?" I groan, reaching out in the darkness of the bathroom for my phone. "It's five in the fucking morning."
"Because," She whispers, "We're getting married tomorrow."
"Huh." I open my eyes to look at Rory for a second, and can't help but smile and kiss her on the cheek. "I guess I could wake up early for that."
"The toilet is completely clogged with our vomit right now." She laughs at the thought of this. "Pretty decent precursor to the rest of our lives."
"And I don't have to read that piece of shit book anymore since we destroyed it with said vomit." I remind her happily. "The rest of our life sounds pretty cool right now."
"We're too romantic." Rory says with a sigh, nestling her head into the crook of my neck.
"We should probably tone it down." I agree with her, closing my eyes.
Rory doesn't respond at first, and I find myself getting sleepier and sleepier. She speaks suddenly after three minutes. "Fuck Clue."
I keep my eyes on a now-sleeping Rory. I grab a bath towel off the rack and throw it on top of us as a makeshift blanket. We're getting married tomorrow and I'm sleeping on the bathroom floor next to the person with whom I'm going to spend the rest of my life. We spent the entire night puking into a toilet that was actually pretty broken to begin with and we probably clogged it again, and our superintendent is going to take it out of our deposit, but really that's all just white noise to me. Who gives a fuck. There's this incredibly person who I managed to find in this fucking world and she is my person in this world She is lying next to me with a doodle of a tattoo that she's going to have a stroke about tomorrow and vomit stains caking her favorite pair of jeans and she has never looked more beautiful to me in my entire life. I know she wouldn't hear me if I said anything so instead, I just pull her a little closer to me and fall asleep just like that, on the cold, yet surprisingly comfortable tile floor.