Author's Notes: Here in a short little "ficlet" is my only attempt at writing fanfiction. I shall always consider myself more a reader than a writer. It was inspired by news that Jess was leaving 'Gilmore Girls' at the end of season 3, and watching the movie adaptation of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations, with a haunting, movingtheme song, too late at night.

The title comes from a line of Dickens, fittingly. But I changed it, reversed it a bit, due to circumstances. Pip says (or as they rename him "Finn" in the movie) at the end, "I took her hand in mine and we went out of the ruined place; and, as the morning mists had risen long ago when I first left the forge, so the evening mists were rising now , and in all the broad expanse of tranquil light they showed to me, I saw the shadow of no parting from her. "

Disclaimer: "Gilmore Girls" and "Windward Circle" (the Jess spin-off that never was), are the property of Amy Sherman-Palladino, Dorothy Parker Drank Here Productions, and the WB.

The Evening Mists Were Falling Now

She stopped about half a block away, and just stood there, watching him, for awhile.

He had his hands in his pockets, and was staring at some distant place. Occasionally, he'd look up at the sign marked "Bus Stop" before fixing his eyes far off again. He remembered the last time he stood here. But this time he wouldn't be coming back so soon. Or ever. He was sure of that this time. And it wasn't exactly like she could follow him to California either.

She approached him slowly. He looked up when he heard her footsteps. He smiled faintly at her. She forced her lips to curl up gently in reflection.

He started to shuffle his feet, awkwardly.

"Where's Luke?" she finally said, when the silence became too much.

"Oh," he replied. "It's the lunch rush…"

"Oh," she said, as if understanding. She did understand: Luke was never very good at 'Goodbye's. She was starting to learn that neither was she. "And, your…dad?"

"Meeting me at the airport. He had some things to take care of in Hartford."

"Oh." She soon found the appeal of that spot in the distance. They stayed like that for awhile, shoulders touching squarely, quietly.

"It wasn't supposed to be like this," she said, all of a sudden. He knew what she meant. He had spent a year chasing after her, only to have it end so quickly. "Not like this."

"Yes it was," he said. She looked at him then. He was still far away. "Look, just don't…don't…"

" 'Don't' what?" she asked. "Don't forget you? No, I couldn't. Never."

No, not forget him. He thought he might be able to handle it if she forgot him. But not- "No," he said. "Just… Don't think of me as a mistake. As some phase you went through…"

She kept her eyes on him. "Jess…"

"I mean, I didn't expect it to turn out exactly like this, but I knew… I mean, you…" He choked on the words.

"No," she said, firmly. He finally met her eyes. They were glazed with dampness. He wondered if his were the same. He nodded slowly.

"But, hey," she said, after awhile. "I mean, I'm sure Luke would love to have you for Thanksgiving. Or even maybe sometime over the summer."

"Yeah." But they both knew he wouldn't come. Somewhere along the line it had been silently decided that they weren't going to look back. Neither of them. Now, parts of both of them wished they could take the agreement back.

"Even if it's just to give Taylor some false sense of security for awhile," he said. They both tried to laugh then. They both succeeded, somewhat, before their smiles faded again.

She felt like there was something more she should say. But she couldn't think of what.

He could tell. "Rory-"

She kissed him then. He put his hand on the back of her head, holding her still for awhile.

When they pulled apart, the bus had pulled up to the curb. They stood facing one another, holding each other at the elbow, until the doors opened.

"I'll…I-" he started, but didn't get very far.

"I know," she whispered. "Me too."

They both nodded one more time, before he picked up the bags beside him. They kept their gazes in front of them, as he walked off. She began to leave then, too.

When she heard the bus start, she stopped in her place, back still turned. Her head threatened to twist around, to look back, but didn't. She stayed there for a few more seconds, listening as the sound of the bus got farther and farther away, before she crossed her arms across her chest, and continued to walk.