Disclaimer:I own Mark and Cidy, but I think they'll end up married with a million kids so if you want that many people, take them. The rest of the peeps belong to ASP and all of the evil people who got rid of Jess! Thanky to SAmi for helping me with the title!!:D

A/N: Thank you so much to everyone who reviewed! I'm sorry it took longer than I tohught it would, but I kept leaving! Bad me!

Luke Rules: Yeah, don't worry, I'll explain that, I intended to, but that's not for another chapter or two, so...But yeah, it will be explained, and also, he's not really that far up on the achievement latter, seriously, they're both in the beginning stages, he just got a break and she didn't. Thank you for reviewing and I'll explain more in an upcoming chapter!

Okay, I was just thinking of my story, no idea why, and I was thinking about how I'm writing Rory and Jess...I have a question for you guys, do you think I'm writing Rory and Jess like Rory and Tristin? Because I didn't really think about it, I was just thinking about how they were in the beginning of season four, then I thought about how the basis of the whole Trory thing is they have an entire relationship based on hate. Then I thought of this. Then I freaked out and had to write this a/n, so could you please tell me if you think I'm writing this too Trory-like? Because if I'm going to do that it may as well be a Trory, *notices glaring* Sorry, that was a joke. *still seeing glares* Guys, it was a bad joke! I'm sorry! *dives into a ditch and hides* Just read it!

***

The next day at work Claire and Rory were talking, Jess came in and Rory pretended she didn't see him.

"So, who is this guy?" Claire asked, continuing their conversation as if Jess didn't come in, after all, Rory said he was "no big deal."

"No one," she mumbled, not wanting Jess to hear about him and not even knowing why.

"He's not no one, you said you had a date and that's why you couldn't-"

"Claire," Rory stopped her.

"Date?" Jess asked.

"Yeah, the date, today's date, it's my favorite combination of numbers. Really, who can beat...uh...today's date? See? You said nothing, there is no date that can beat it." Rory rambled.

"You don't even know what today's date is, do you?" Jess asked.

She looked at the ground, "No, not really, but as soon as I walk away I'll put it in a tape recorder and I will never again forget today's date."

"Well, you can mark it down as the day you humiliated yourself in front of Jess because you didn't want him to know you have a date Saturday night." Claire said.

"Not true, I couldn't care less if Jess knows. Jess, yeah, I have a date Saturday night. See? I'm not trying to keep it from him, now if you'll excuse me..." she stared at the ground and walked out of the lounge.

"Date huh?" Jess asked.

"Yep," Claire nodded. "His name's Mark,"

"Huh,"

"Yeah,"

Jess, still staring where Rory had left so quickly, absentmindedly opened the packet and poured it in his coffee.

Claire smirked, "Gonna put pepper in that too?"

"What?" he asked, snapping back to reality. He looked at the empty packet and realized that he dumped salt in his coffee instead of sugar. "Oh, still deciding, any opinion?"

"It probably wouldn't be as sweet," she said with a smile.

"Yeah, salt and pepper coffee, probably not how Starbuck's came about,"

"Probably not," she agreed as she shook her head with a smile and walked out just as Andy was walking in, "He so likes her," Claire said before walking off.

*

The week flew by quickly and before she knew it she was getting ready to go with Mark Saturday night.

"Shelly, did you 'borrow' my shoes again?"

"Uh...no,"

"That was not a very convincing no," Rory said.

"I didn't borrow them, I swear on my black sneakers!"

"You hate your black sneakers."

"Oh....right."

"Look in your closet, see if the shoe fairy put them in there again,"

"I'll look, you know, that fairy sure likes to frame me, they're probably- oh look! Here they are! It's that stupid fairy," Shelly shook her head.

"I'm sure," Rory shot her a look. "Tell your fairy to stay out of my closet unless it asks first,"

"I'll leave a note," Shelly nodded.

*

There was a knock at the door.

"That's probably him," Shelly said.

"Really? 'Cause I thought it was the pizza delivery guy, I hear he's a solid nine,"

"Haha, quit being sarcastic or I won't answer the door and he'll be left out there until work on Monday,"

"Fine, then I'll answer it," Rory shrugged.

"You never answer the door when a guy comes over! Are you insane?"

"Why not? You're supposed to leave him outside all night?"

"No, you're supposed to have your friend let him in."

"Well then, let him in,"

"And you shouldn't be in here, go to your room,"

"Yes, Mom,"

"Rory,"

"Just let him in," Rory rolled her eyes.

"Fine," Shelly sighed, going to the door.

Rory smoothed her skirt out and grabbed her cell phone, slipping it in her purse.

Mark walked in after reciving a greeting from Shelly.

"Hi, Mark,"

"Hi," he smiled, "Are you ready?"

"Yes, I am," she nodded, joining Mark and waving a goodbye to Shelly.

*

About 10 minutes after getting there Rory took a break to the ladies room where she pulled out her phone and called Lorelai.

"Hello?"

"I forgot how much I hate dating,"

"Rory?"

"No, your other abnormal daughter who hates dating,"

"Oh, hi Tory,"

"Not funny,"

"Sorry, what's wrong?"

"Okay, I cannot believe I was stupid enough to do this again, I tought I'd sworn off dating. Dating sucks."

"You didn't start talking about anything gross like the urine mints or the weird moles that-?"

"No, I toned it down, I was just staring at the light and I babbled something about one aluminum can being enough energy to keep a 100 watt lightbulb running for 3 and a half hours,"

"Oh, well if lights freak him out then you have a bigger problem than your rambling,"

"That's true, but the point is that I rambled and I hate dating,"

"Oh, hon, we all do,"

"You hated dating Luke?"

"Well...no, but he's Luke,"

"Well, that doesn't help me," Rory pointed out.

"Okay, go back out there avoid all gross topics, he doesn't need to know where babies come from, what happens to mints if he doesn't wash his hands after using the little boys' room or how many people die of liposuction every year,"

"That was one time and that guy brought it up,"

"Well, I'm just saying,"

"Fine, I guess I'll go back out there,"

"That's my girl. If it's too horrible take another bathroom break and call Shelly, she can come down with something very horrible that will make you have to go home,"

"Except that she answered the door and he saw she was fine,"

"Oh...well, she got Bumpitis and her finger will fall off if you don't get her to the hospital immediately, you can get Bumpitis in a matter of seconds,"

"There's no such thing as Bumpitis,"

"Blasphemy! You dear old mother almost lost her finger from that,"

"Luke said you just bumped your finger on a door helping him carry a box,"

"And THAT'S why you must make men carry boxes while you watch, let THEM get Bumpitits."

"So, avoid gross topics, call Shelly and tell her she has an imaginary illness if it gets worse and if in any case a box needs carried make him do it?"

"Exactly,"

"Okay, fine. I'm going to go back out there before he thinks I got lost."

"There was a long line,"

"Okay, got it," Rory hung up.

Rory sat down, "Sorry, there was a long line,"

"Oh," he nodded in understanding.

**

A few minutes into their dinner Rory was bored out of her mind, Lord of the Rings, historical pro-wrestling conversation and monster truck babbling seemed so familiar...

"Have you ever read Oliver Twist?" she asked.

"I think I read it in school, but I don't remember liking it,"

"Oh. What about Atlas Shrugged?"

"What?" he frowned.

"Taking that as a no. Um, who's your favorite author?"

"I don't really have one," he said.

"How about movies? Do you like John Hughes films?"

"Uh, I saw St. Elmo's Fire, yeah, it was cool,"

"I love John Hughes, with the exception of Maid in Manhattan he's wonderful,"

"Yeah," he nodded, clearly uninterested.

"What about music? Bjork, have you ever heard Bjork?"

"What's a Bjork?"

She paused for a second to see if he was serious. "Bjork? She sings; her music's great. You've never heard of Bjork?"

He gave her a blank look.

"What was that you were saying about The Rock?"

"Oh, well..." and then he continued to ramble and she started comparing him to Dean. Dean won.

**

The waiter wouldn't even bring the food out for what seemed like hours, Rory was ready to say she wasn't hungry and go running out of the building. However that would be mean, so she suffered through the SECOND conversation about how much cooler Kane looked when he had the mask.

Then she caught glance of something behind him and she stretched her neck to see more clearly.

Her jaw dropped and apparently it went along with whatever Mark had been saying because he chuckled and said, "I know,"

But she didn't care about --or even know-- what he was saying, she saw Jess walk in, and he had the ditzy blonde who thought Jennifer Aniston was at the concert!

She quickly looked away when Jess glanced her way and noticed her.

"Oh, I know," she smiled at whatever Mark said.

"Do you? I didn't think you watched it, it was so long ago,"

She bit her lip, "Uh, yeah, I did,"

"Well, what did you think of it? I loved the whole concept."

She pushed her hair behind her ear, "Well, I had sort of a split opinion, you know?"

"Yeah, I guess it really depends on the person. Which characters did you like?"

"Oh...well, the one...oh, what was her name?"

"Her?" he frowned slightly.

"I meant his," she corrected at his response.

"Which one was he? I probably know his name, I was crazy about the show. I scared people," he smiled.

"I'm...I think...I can't remember if it was his character or the actor...I think his name was...Ed, or Edward, or something like that,"

"Ed?" he frowned.

She grimaced, guessing that there wasn't an Ed in the show.

"Do you mean Ted?"

"Ted! Yeah, that's it," she nodded happily.

"Wow, I wouldn't have thought you'd like him,"

"No? Um, why not?"

"Well, his character just seems....not what I thought you'd go for,"

"Oh, well, he wasn't exclusively my favorite or anything, I just sort of liked him,"

"I'm surprised."

Rory took a sip of her wine, wishing the building would burn down so that they could leave.

"Hello," she heard a voice greet.

She glanced up, "Hey, Jess, hi...I'm sorry, I forgot your name, Cindy was it?"

Jess smirked.

"Yeah, I'm Cindy, you were at the concert weren't you?"

"Yes." Rory glared at the arm Cindy had draped on Jess' arm.

"So, this is your date?" Jess asked.

"Yes, this is Mark, Mark, this is Jess," Rory introduced. "And Cindy," she added as an afterthought.

"Hey," he offered a smile.

"Hi," the bubbly blonde greeted.

Jess just nodded.

"So, I didn't expect to see you out," Rory commented, actually wanting to talk to him because her date was incredibly boring.

"You're not the only one who can go out," he said.

She fought a scowl knowing --or hoping-- that he was only here with Cindy to spite her. "Right,"

"The concert was so fun, wasn't it?" Cindy said still smiling.

"Yes, it was great," Rory nodded, "Did you ever find Jennifer Aniston?"

"No," she said sadly.

"Huh, imagine that." Rory remarked uninterested.

"I know, she must've left," Cindy nodded.

"Yeah, well, I'm sure she would've loved to stick around to meet you, you're absolutely amusing,"

Cindy giggled, "Thanks," she glanced at Jess, "She's nice,"

Jess stared at her blankly, "Uh huh,"

"I agree with Paris, she's quite the catch," Rory said with a sarcastic smile.

"Jennifer Aniston was there?" Mark asked, half excitedly.

Jess smirked, "As is he,"

Rory glared at him, "Well, I hope you have a stimulating dinner, I have no doubt the conversation will be refulgent," she said sarcastically.

"And you do realize that we are the only two of the four here that actually know what refulgent means, right?" Jess asked.

"Have a nice dinner, Jess,"

"Right back atcha," he said, leading Cindy to their table.

Rory took another sip of her wine, thinking, Okay building, you can catch fire anytime now!

"Who was that?" Mark asked.

"My boss," Rory muttered.

"He didn't act like your boss,"

"No, he acted like an idiot, that's just him,"

"No, he acted more like a spiteful boyfriend,"

Rory frowned, "I wouldn't have gone out with you if I had a boyfriend and --wait, did you just mistake Jess for my BOYFRIEND?"

"I'm just saying that's how he acted." Mark said.

"Mm, yeah, okay," Rory played with the hem of the table cloth. "You know what? I actually have to use the restroom, I'll be right back, okay?" she smiled.

"Okay," he nodded.

She made a beeline for the bathroom not even noticing the blonde at the sink, she dialed the number, muttering "Pick up, pick up, pick up,"

"Hello?"

"Shelly! Thank God! I need you to call me in five minutes at the most and tell me you have Bumpitis and you're dying so that I 'have' to leave my hellish date and come save your life,"

"That bad?"

"Yes,"

"What's Bumpitis?"

"Questions later, saving me now!"

"Right, okay, I'll call you in five minutes,"

"Good bye," she hung up, sighing and walking out of the restroom.

She took her seat and put her napkin in her lap again, "Okay, I'm back," she smiled.

"No line?"

"No line," she varified. "So, have you eaten here before?"

"Just once," he nodded.

"I've never been here, I like it,"

"We'll have to come here again," he smiled.

Inwardly she thought, Yeah, right, like that's going to happen. She just offered a smile and suffered through five more minutes of conversation.

**

Monday morning at work she didn't bother telling Claire about the date when she asked, instead she just made a face and went, "Dating sucks."

"That good, huh?" Claire smiled.

"Actually I hear it was hellish," Jess said with his trademark smirk.

"My date was not hellish," Rory objected.

"Cindy said it was,"

"She was probably talking about you." Rory quipped.

"No, our date was anything but hellish, besides, she said you said it, something about Bumpitis, by the way, what IS that?"

"Cindy knew how to pronounce it?" Rory asked in mock surprise.

He shot her a look.

"Yeah, but no, our date wasn't hellish, it was great,"

"Which explains why you left before they even brought out the food," he nodded.

"My roommate had an emergency, not that it's any of your business,"

"Oh, yes, imaginary illnesses are horrible," he nodded solemnly.

"Oh, and yours was so much better?"

"Well, she was definitely stimulating," he smirked.

"Yeah, right, she's the Scarecrow, except without the knowledge oh who Lincoln is,"

"Well, yeah, when she's talking minutes seem like hours, but once you shut her up..."

She caught the suggestive undertone, "Ew, gross!"

"Hey, you asked." he shrugged.

"And I will never do it again," she said

"Fine by me, I won't even bother asking about YOUR date, I saw him," he made a face.

"Well, at least MY date was more intelligent than a rock,"

"But less intelligent than Dean," Jess replied. "Not a very wide range, I know,"

"You're just saying that because you don't like anyone I date,"

"Not true, I loved Dean, I wanted you to marry him and have a little Deana and Dean jr. running around by now. I was very disappointed when you left him for me," Jess shook his head, pretending to be disappointed.

"I did not leave him for you," Rory spat back.

"Oh no? That's not what you said,"

"He left me,"

"Oh please," Jess rolled his eyes, "If you wouldn't have been so hung up on me he never would've left you,"

"You are so full of yourself,"

"No, I'm just stating a fact,"

"I was not hung up on you, I....I was stupid and I was going through my bad boy phase, that's it, just a phase,"

"Even if that's true it doesn't change the fact that the reason you and Dean broke up was me,"

"Maybe so, but it was an extremely stupid choice," she said.

"Was it?"

"Yes, it was. Leaving my perfect boyfriend for a guy who was just going to leave me anyway, that is the definition of stupid!"

"He wasn't perfect, he was a Neanderthal," Jess corrected.

"Whatever, at least HE didn't skip town on me, that's what made him a better boyfriend than you," she fired at him. But then she thought she saw an almost hurt expression in his eyes, only faintly and only for a second, then he went back to being a stoic. Then she wished she hadn't said it.

"I mean, in the aspect of being around when I needed or wanted him to be,"

Jess shrugged, "Like I care if you think he was Super Boyfriend,"

"Well, he wasn't SUPER Boyfriend, just...he was a good boyfriend and he didn't deserve what I did,"

He thought for a brief second, "Neither did you," he said before walking to his office, leaving her in complete shock.

Did he just partly apologize? she wondered.

***

A/N: Hey! Okay, this was a long-ish chapter, not super long, but not super short, that's because I was mean and made you guys wait again! I'm sorry!!! PLEASE REVIEW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All of my reviewers --Yes, I mean you-- rock!