Okay, I know I said I wouldn't follow up on fast forwarding A Simple Twist Of Fate, but I lied. I've been trying to warm up on writing a Philadelphia-centric chapter of that story, and this is me (ineptly) attempting it.
I have zero chance of doing this justice, being a failed Birmingham, Alabama hipster myself and never having been to Philadelphia or any American Northeastern city at any point.
But I found an article here about a Vodka flavored pizza and I had to write about it.
So, standard disclaimer here: this takes place in the A Simple Twist of Fate timeline. Rory's child is fathered by Jess and by March 2018 they have been married for a while. If you want to know more about how that happened, read the regular fic.
(If you're curious about what happened to Logan, he married Odette and had a very nice life himself).
So on with the story!
Scarpetta Philadelphia wasn't one of Rory and Jess's usual haunts.
They lived in the historic district of Philadelphia, and they liked it. If they went out to eat (which wasn't often, since they did have an 11-month-old daughter) they usually chose High Street or Capofitto. If they were really adventurous, they went to the Independence Beer Garden. Rory had finally completely weaned their offspring the week before she went on her book tour, and they were slowly getting back to being a couple that occasionally imbibed adult substances.
Very occasionally. There was trouble fitting that around a new book, a book press to run, and a toddler who was beginning to realize her potential for household destruction.
Rory's book had done modestly well. It wasn't a runaway best-seller, but there had been write-ups in a few national papers, and Rory had done some local TV interviews as well. It seemed to be selling better digitally than it did print, which was mostly Rory's doing. Jess had no passion for e-books beyond realizing their necessity. After all, he had spent days taunting Rory about the fact that e-book sales had gone down in their more recent "courtship" days before certain test results had turned their relationship in a completely different direction. Rory understood the format and knew how to market it in a way that he hadn't, and that had definitely been an asset to their business. Despite what almost all of their colleagues had warned them, their business – and relationship – worked better when it had a husband-and-wife team at the wheel as opposed to just him.
Things were looking better for them financially, and both of them began to wonder if they would be better off selling the townhouse and settling down in a neighborhood that was slightly kid-friendlier. The idea of more offspring had been floated a few times, but they couldn't handle it given the cramped space they still existed in. Rory was still very lukewarm at putting aside her pills any time soon: she had handled her new career and motherhood a lot better than she thought she would, but she had heard a few too many of Lane's horror stories about raising twins, and she didn't know if they were up to the challenge of two kids. Luke and Lorelai were invested grandparents (as were Liz and TJ – well, they tried, at least) but they still lived almost four hours away.
Biological issues aside, that topic was tabled for the near future. The baby had been dropped off at Liz's house for the weekend with the implied understanding that she would gravitate over to her other grandmother's the following night, and Rory and Jess were going to sit down at this nice restaurant and consume a pizza marinated in vodka.
And maybe they were going to drink some shots. A lot of shots. It had been a difficult week.
"Are you making us do this to prove you're not a bot?" Jess asked Rory after he had downed the first two shots of vodka and the first slice.
He had expected the taste to have tapered off because the vodka had been baked into the food before it got to them. It hadn't. There was vodka in the cheese. It was in the sauce. It was in the crust. It was everywhere.
His head was beginning to swim. He reached for another slice.
"If I wasn't a bot before, I might be now," Rory retorted as she and Jess clinked shot glasses. She had already polished off three slices of pizza and was starting in on the shots.
They called an Uber afterwards instead of risking getting in their car and ended up repeating the actions that had led to their sudden parenthood on the living room floor.
Sometimes they got a little too carried away with their alone time.
"Did you save me a slice?" Lorelai asked two days later as she handed over her squirming granddaughter.
Rory shook her head, still remembering the fearsome hangover she and Jess had spent most of Saturday recovering from. "It wasn't what I expected."
"First night out in a while, huh?"
Rory brushed her daughter's black hair out of her eyebrows as she squealed. "You could say that."
Lorelai grinned. 'I have a better idea for next time." She whipped out her phone and showed Rory the headline on her web browser
Rory was currently glad that Jess was outside talking with Luke because she knew that he would be incensed.
A Philly's Cheesesteak pizza? At a pizzeria in Queens?
"This is violating the integrity of our city's vaunted food traditions," Rory told her mother.
They quickly made plans to visit there the next time the two of them were alone in New York.