The Lost Weekend

Rory Gilmore walks towards her dorm room slowly. "Please don't be there, please don't be there," she thinks to herself. She stretches her hand towards the doorknob and listens closely. Silence. She slowly opens the door, peeks inside, and breaths a sigh of relief. Empty. She sits down at her desk and flips open the lid on her laptop. She checks her email and then opens up her statistics textbook. As she reaches for a highlighter, her hand freezes in midair. The door bursts open and a leggy blonde walks in, dragging a muscular guy behind her.

"Hey, Rory!" she exclaims.

"Hi, Stef," Rory replies.

"This is Phil," Stef says, pointing to the guy with her.

"Hi, Phil," Rory says, stretching out her hand. He only grunts in return. "Um, Stef, do you want me to leave?" she asks as she crosses her arms.

"Oh, would you?" Stef says. "We'll be quick, I promise."

"Yeah, sure. Call my cell when you're done."

Rory grabs her cell phone, keys, novel, CD player, and coat and heads outside.

~~~

Rory's college experience is a little different from what she imagined. Her roommate managed to make straight As, even though she only studied the guys in her classes, while Rory worked nonstop for her 4.0. To make matters worse, she didn't have a car, so it was hard to get home on weekends. Her weekend visits back to Stars Hollow were the only thing making college halfway bearable. But even Stars Hollow was changing. The Soda Shop was open and running and all her old friends were away at college. Life just wasn't following her list.

Rory tries to let the upbeat sounds of XTC lift her spirits, but it just isn't happening. She slumps against a column on the back porch of her dorm. She removes her headphones and just sits. Her cell phone rings.

"Hello," Rory answers, trying not to sound as angry as she feels.

"Well, hello sunshine."

"Jess," Rory sighs. The tension falls from her shoulders. "Hi."

"What's the matter with you today?"

"I'll give you three guesses, but you'll only need two."

"Stats sucks?"

"Well, yeah, but that's not the immediate problem."

"The slutty roommate?"

"Bingo."

"I'm sorry," he says. "You should do something about it."

"Like what? I've tried everything I can think of."

"Why don't you give her a taste of her own medicine?"

"What are you talking about?"

"I think you should go out there and find the prettiest little tennis player you can find and bring him back to your room for a few, uh, volleys."

"Right. I think my boyfriend back home might have a problem with that," she says with a laugh.

"Yeah, he might."

"But he is kind of a jerk. I mean, he hasn't come to visit me at all."

"Oh, no, what kind of an asshole are you dating?" Jess asks in mock horror.

"Well, one who's too dense to realize that solution won't work," Rory says, returning to her defeated pose.

"Don't be too sure about that," he says.

"Excuse me?"

"What are you up to this weekend?"

"I don't have anything planned," Rory says slyly, catching on to his game.

"Well, good, because you're asshole boyfriend is coming into town."

~~~

Rory taps her pencil on her notebook and nervously wiggles her leg in class.

"Wow, you're antsy today," says her friend Lindsey.

"Yeah, well, Jess is coming in to town this afternoon," Rory replies.

"He is?" Lindsey says. "Fun!"

"Yeah, but I can't think about anything else!"

"That would explain the pencil tapping."

~~~

Rory runs down the stairs of her dorm and flings open the door.

"Jess!" she exclaims, giving him a big hug. He sets his duffel bag on the ground and holds her for a few seconds before kissing her. "Mm, I've missed that," she says.

"Me, too," he says. "So, what's the plan for today?"

"Why do you think I have a plan?"

"Come on, you always have a plan," he says, reaching into her back pocket.

"Hey! No looking at the itinerary!" she says, trying to stop him. "This stuff is supposed to be a surprise."

"Oh, okay," Jess says dejectedly. "But can I still put my hand in your back pocket?"

"Fine," Rory says. "Is this all your stuff?" she asks.

"Yeah," he says, grabbing his bag.

"Okay, let's head up to my room."

Jess grabs her and gives her a deep, lingering kiss before rubbing her nose with his.

"Have I mentioned that I'm really glad you're here?"

~~~

As soon as he sets down his bag, Jess pulls Rory close to him. "Time for a proper hello kiss," he says, leaning in close to her. He is close enough to see the green specks in her blue eyes. He touches his lips to hers and she returns the gesture with greater pressure. He slides his hands up her back and strokes her hair. She leans into him, digging her fingers into his shoulders. Jess's hands move down her back and play at the hem of her shirt and waistband of her jeans. He strokes the bare skin on her back. The pressure of the kiss deepens, both of them hungry for the other.

"Oh my god," Stef says, opening the door.

Jess and Rory shoot apart like a firecracker. Jess runs a hand through his hair and mutters something under his breath.

"I'm so sorry, Stef," Rory says.

"This is something I never expected," Stef replies.

"Hi, I'm Jess," he says, offering his hand.

"Nice to meet you," she says, shaking his hand.

"Um, Stef," Rory says, "I told you Jess was coming and that we'd want some privacy."

"Yeah, sorry, I was just coming in to get some stuff to take to Phil's."

Rory and Jess sit down on Rory's bed. Stef babbles awkwardly as she gathers shampoo, toothpaste, and other essentials and puts them in her backpack. Rory sits up straight, staring at the blank TV; Jess slumps against the wall, picking at his thumbnail. As Stef finally zips her backpack, says goodbye, and exits, Rory lets out her breath and Jess sits back up.

"I am so embarrassed," she says.

Jess laughs. "Don't worry about it. We weren't doing anything wrong." He leans over to her and tackles her. They roll around on her bed for a few minutes before she sits up.

"Um, excuse me? I'm working here," Jess says.

"We're going to be late!" Rory exclaims, jumping off the bed and grabbing her hairbrush.

"Late? You actually do have a schedule for us?"

"Not really, we just have dinner reservations at this really cool place downtown and we're going to miss them if we don't' leave, like, now."

"Oh, okay," he says, pulling his shoes on.

"Don't worry," Rory says slyly. "We'll be back soon."

~~~

Jess opens his eyes slowly. He is lying in Rory's bed in Rory's dorm room. The soft early-morning sun is trying to work its way through the bent plastic blinds. He looks over at the sleeping figure in his arms. He kisses Rory's bare shoulder. She sighs but doesn't wake. He nuzzles his nose into her hair and falls back to sleep.

~~~

"Hello?" Rory asks, grabbing her cell phone and untangling herself from Jess.

"Guess who!"

"Mom?" Rory says, her eyes widening. "What are you doing here?"

"I had some shopping to do and I thought I'd drop by and see you."

"Okay, I'll come let you in," Rory says, flipping the phone shut. "You need to leave," she says to Jess, dragging him out of bed.

"What?"

"You, leave. My mom, here," she says, struggling to put on her pajama pants.

"Rory?" Jess asks.

"What?" she bites. "I thought you were in the process of leaving."

"One leg is inside out."

"Thank you. And go. In the closet, if not away."

"Fine," he says, pulling on his tee shirt, getting in the closet, and closing the door.

Rory races down the stairs and walks quickly to the door.

"Rory, my love, my life," Lorelai says when Rory opens the door.

"Hi, Mom," Rory says.

"You aren't happy to see me?" Lorelai pouts.

"No, I am, it's just that." Rory's voice trails off.

"Oh, did I wake you up?"

"Yeah."

"And someone else, too?"

"Mom?"

"You've got a boy in your room," Lorelai taunts.

"Yeah, I do," Rory sighs.

"Ooh, who is it?" Lorelai asks. "Is it that guy from your English class? Or your lab partner?"

"No, none of them."

"Well who is it? This school has hot guys!"

"He doesn't go here."

"Oh," Lorelai says. She thinks. "Where does he go?"

"He isn't in college."

"Oh, I get it, an older man."

"Mom, stop," Rory protests. "Jess is here, okay?"

"Jess?"

"Yes, Jess."

"Jess from Stars Hollow Jess? Jess Luke's nephew Jess? Jess the hoodlum that you broke up with in June Jess?"

"True for the first two, but, um, we never really broke up."

"You never broke up?"

"Well, we did, but we decided to get back together."

"When?"

"Um, at Grandma's graduation party."

"Wow."

"Mom?" Rory says as Lorelai sits down on the steps. "Are you okay with this?"

"Yeah. I mean, it's kind of a shock. Here I am, thinking you've been single for the past 4 months when you were really single for 4 hours. How Melanie and Don of you."

"I wanted to tell you, but, well, you know."

"Yeah," Lorelai said. "So, where is he now?"

"In my closet," Rory says, smiling.

"In the closet, eh?" Lorelai says. "Better be careful when he comes out!"

"Haha, very funny, Mom."

~~~

Lorelai and Rory walk into Rory's room. Rory walks over to the closet door and opens it.

"Come on out, Jess," she says. "Lorelai knows."

Jess comes out looking slightly sheepish. He runs his hand through his hair and says hello to Lorelai. They all stand in Rory's tiny dorm room in awkward silence.

"Anyone need coffee?" Lorelai asks.

"Yes," Rory says, finally exhaling.

"I could use some," Jess says.

"Okay, Rory, take us to the best coffee in the city!"

~~~

The walk to the restaurant is painfully silent. Rory is scared to death at the prospect of spending the entire day with her mother and her boyfriend, both of whom hate each other.

"Ooh, look," says Lorelai, "I really love these shoes. Rory, Jess, come see."

"That's cool," Jess says, "I'll go on ahead."

"Okay," Rory replies. "See that coffee mug sign? That's where we're going."

"K, I'll get us a table," Jess says, walking away.

"What are you going to do?" Lorelai says.

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, I seriously don't think you expect Jess and me to spend an entire day together."

"What's wrong with that?"

"Um, well, for one thing, I can't stand him, and, oh, then there's that tiny fact that he hates me."

"He doesn't hate you," Rory says.

"Um, you can say that, but his eyes say another."

"Yeah, I know."

They stand in silence, contemplating the situation.

"Look," Lorelai says. "You and Jess spend the day together doing all your gross kissy stuff and I'll preshop, check out the good sales, put the pretty things on layaway and then tomorrow, we max out all our credit cards."

"Mom, I don't want you to spend the day alone."

"I know, sweets, but do you really trust Jess alone all day? He'll break something. Or someone."

"He's not that bad!"

"I know, but my trip is a surprise so I wasn't expecting your full attention, anyway. Although I was hoping you'd have to study or something."

"I know, Mom," Rory says, putting her arm around her and leading her towards the restaurant.

~~~

"Excuse me, I need to go to the ladies room," Lorelai says, getting up from the table.

Jess leans over and whispers in Rory's ear: "Don't you need to go, too?"

"Nope," she whispers back.

"But don't you women all pee together or something?"

"My mom and I are independent women," she replies.

"Yeah," Lorelai chimes in. "Like Destiny's Child."

"Shut up and pee," Rory says. She waits until Lorelai's gone before she leans in and kisses Jess full on the lips.

"Is that for ditching me this afternoon?" Jess asks.

"Nope, it's a preview."

"What?"

"Mom's going to preshop today so that we can have some time together."

"Preshop?"

"It's where she goes and looks at stuff and picks out all the good stuff and has the salesladies put it on hold until we can shop together tomorrow."

"You crazy women," Jess jokes, leaning in and kissing Rory.

"That's why you love us!"

"You. That's why I love you. I leave that other crazy lady to crazy men."

~~~

"Mm, that was nice," Rory says, leaning over and kissing Jess.

"Well, that's always been the stronger points in this relationship."

"Yeah, but it was particularly strong tonight," Rory says, leaning into him.

"Well, thank you," he says, leaning into her and kissing her neck.

"And you know, I never thought the Clash was particularly sexy, but I think anything is sexy with you around."

"I don't know," Jess jokes. "It might have been you."

They cuddle for a few minutes before Jess picks up a book from Rory's bedside table. "You reading this for class?"

"No, just for fun. It's good. I'll bring it to Stars Hollow when I finish it."

"Thanks," he says idly. He stares at it for a few minutes in silence.

"Is everything okay?" Rory asks, sitting up and wrapping her arms around his shoulders. "I mean, I don't know if I made myself clear, but this was very, very nice. I mean, as nice as it could get."

"No, I got that."

"Well, then, what's wrong with you tonight. First everything's wonderful and you're perfect, and now you're not even talking to me."

"Nothing's wrong. Or everything. I don't know."

"Yeah, well, cut the James Dean act, okay? I'm not a fan. And you're pissing me off."

"Ooh, I'm pissing Rory off. I must be acting pretty bad."

"You know what I mean."

"Yes, I always know what you mean. Geez, Rory, You've known me for two years. You'd think after two years of knowing me, you'd know that I always get exactly what you're talking about."

"I know. That's one of the things I like about you."

"One of the only things."

"What do you want me to say to that, Jess? That I love you for all the right reasons? Because after a year of putting up with your shit, you'd think you'd get it by now."

"Yeah, well, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I need to hear it."

"Well, you just did. Even though you piss me off, piss my mom off, piss my grandmother off, hell, piss the entire town off, I love you. Even though you totaled my car, broke my arm, ruined my relationship with Dean, and nearly ruined my mom's relationship with Luke, I still love you. Even though you make me swear and scream and cry, I still love you."

"I make you cry?"

"Yes, you make me cry. Do you think that after doing all that shit I just mentioned, I'd just sit back and laugh?" She takes a deep breath before continuing. "Do you know what it's like to go to a school like this and have a boyfriend like you? One who didn't even graduate from high school, who has no plans or future beyond tomorrow? To have a boyfriend who never comes to visit and therefore seems like someone I just made up? Even though I love you, none of these country club brats can seem to imagine a life with someone not exactly like you and it breaks my heart that they don't understand how wonderful you are and I have to put up with that. All without you not here."

"Oh, God, Rory, I'm so sorry."

"You should be."

He reaches over and envelops her into an intense embrace. She finally breaks down and starts sobbing. Jess just holds her and whispers into her ear and she just sobs.

"I'm sorry, Jess," she finally says, wiping her eyes.

"Don't be. It's all my fault."

"No, I didn't mean to put all of this on you. Especially not tonight. Not this weekend, when you came all the way here and you've been so wonderful." She kisses him for a long time. "Thank you."

Jess kisses her back and the lay there in melancholy contentment until they fall asleep.

~~~

"When is your mom going to be here?" Jess asks, stuffing the last of his clothing into his duffel bag.

"Any minute," Rory says. "This weekend has been great, Jess. Really." Jess doesn't respond. "Jess."

"I'm sorry, Rory."

"What for?"

"I can't do this anymore."

"Do what?"

"This. This long distance thing. This whole boyfriend of an Ivy League girl. I didn't even graduate from high school and you're going to one of the top three colleges in the country. I don't deserve you."

"Jess, I don't even care about things like that."

"I know you don't. And that makes me deserve you even less. Last night just proved how much I hurt you and I can't do that anymore."

"So it's over?"

"Yeah."

Rory sits in silence. No tears. No anger. Just stoic silence.

"Rory, please, say something," Jess says, his voice catching in his throat.

"I, I don't have anything to say."

Jess kneels down beside Rory and puts his head on her knees. "You know I love you, right?"

"Yes."

"And you know everything I've done is because I love you."

"Yes."

"And you know that I'm doing this because I love you."

"Yes," she says, finally letting a tear slide down her cheek.

"Well, your mom is going to be here soon and I don't think I can handle her 'Jess and Rory are broken up' victory dance right now." He stands up, hugs

Rory, gives her a final kiss, and walks out the door.

Rory lays down on the bed and sobs until her phone rings.

"Mommy?"