A/N: Hey guys...I finally got myself a new story. I waited until I had a few chapters written before I posted to make sure I could get into this and wouldn't abandon it. Well, right now, I can promise you at *least* 6 chapters. So yay!! Now I just have to type them all up. Joy. Anyway, review if you like it. Hell, review if you don't. Just let me know how I'm doing. Thanks for reading!!

Smells Like Trouble

Chapter 1

"Oh, oh! I win!" Jess Mariano threw his hands in the air.

Rory Gilmore frowned. "What? You cheated! You can't move the goal posts like that!"

"Who says? Show me the official rules and you got yourself an argument. Otherwise..."

She rolled her eyes. "There are no official rules for bagel hockey, Jess. We made the game up."

"Alright then," he replied. "I made the game, I changed the rules, so no penalty on my part...Therefore I win."

Rory balled up a napkin and threw it at him. He raised his hands, easily blocking the paper from hitting it's target [his face]. He retaliated, throwing it back at her. It bounced off her nose.

She grinned, handing it to him. "Alright, fun's over. We have to get to school."

He sighed, sailing the napkin over the counter and into the trashcan on the other side. "Luke!" he called. "Rory and I are going now!"

Luke Danes, Jess's uncle and legal guardian, poked his head into the diner from the kitchen. "Bye. Have fun."

Jess and Rory left the diner and climbed into her car.

"Have fun," Jess mocked. "Right. Since when is school fun?"

"Maybe you could answer your own question if you showed up to class more."

He glanced over at her as she put on her seatbelt and started the car. "I wish you would come with me sometimes."

"Just because I let you use my car doesn't mean I have to go with you."

Jess shrugged. He was always skipping class. Especially now that Rory got a car and gave him a copy of her keys. She trusted him, though. He was her best friend, after her mother, of course.

His skipping class had gotten so regular, no one was surprised to see his empty chair in class anymore. The real surprise was when the seat was actually occupied.

Rory pulled onto the road that would lead them to Hartford, a town less than an hour away from Stars Hollow, where they lived.

"Besides," she added, slowing down to the speed limit, "I still don't understand why you won't you take Tristin with you."

"Please," Jess scoffed. "He's your friend, not mine."

"I don't see why you don't like him," she replied. "You two have so much in common."

"Doubtful."

Rory glanced over at her best friend, reaching over to pat him on the leg. "Okay, okay, I give up."

"Good."

Half an hour later, the two of them were walking down the halls of Chilton, the prestigious prep school they attended, on their way to class. Rory stopped short, as did Jess, when Tristin DuGrey called out a greeting.

"Hey Mary."

Rory smiled, stopping at his locker. Jess leaned against the wall, somewhat annoyed.

"Hey Tristin."

"What are you doing on Saturday?"

Rory shrugged. "Jess and I were thinking about driving to New York for the day. It's been ages since we've been there. Why, what are you doing?"

"I was thinking about throwing a party. I was hoping you'd come."

"That sounds like fun." Rory glanced at Jess, who inconscipuously shook his head. Her face fell in disappointment, and Jess's face softened.

"We could always go to New York next weekend..." He trailed off with a sigh. He really didn't like this guy.

"Really?" Rory's face lit up.

Since when does she care about Chilton parties, anyway? Jess wondered. But then—seeing her face light up like it did just then, he didn't much care.

"Exactly. So you'll come then?" Tristin asked Rory.

"We'll come," she responded, linking her arm through Jess's. Jess glared at Tristin, but he chose to ignore it.

"Of course. I'll see he both of you there." Tristin slammed his locker closed, backing away. He pointed at Rory. "Saturday at eight, don't forget."

She shook her head, watching him go as the bell rang. Turning to Jess, she said, "This should be fun, huh?"

"We'll see," he told her, leading the way to their first class.

Once school was out for the day and Rory had driven Jess back to Luke's, she grabbed a coffee to go before heading home. She had a lot of homework, plus stuff for the Franklin, the school newspaper. She figured she'd get an early start on it all, since tonight was movie night.

Every week, Rory and her mother, Lorelai, picked a designated "movie night", in which they would go rent some movies and buy enormous amounts of junk food as snacks. It was a wonder how they still kept their slim figures. Most movie nights Jess joined them, if Luke would give him the night off.

After about twenty minutes of studying, the phone rang. Rory hurried into the living room to search for the phone. Luckily, this time she found it before it stopped ringing.

"Hello?" she asked breathlessly.

"Hey, what are you doing?"

"Jess? I dropped you off only—" Rory glanced at her watch, "—twenty minutes ago."

"So?"

She sighed. "Homework. I'm doing homework."

"I should have guess you'd already have your nose in a book," he laughed. "Need help?"

"Jess, you never come to class. You don't even know what we're studying."

"I'm smarter than anyone there," he boasted. "Try me. Let me help. Just tell me what you're doing."

"I don't really need help," she insisted. "Aren't you supposed to be working?"

"Yeah, but I'm trying to find an excuse to leave. I'm tired."

"So why don't you just tell Luke that?" Rory asked.

"Hey says I use that excuse too much and when it's actually true, he doesn't believe me anymore."

"Stop lying and maybe he'll learn to believe and trust you one of these days," she told him.

"Hey. I resent that." Rory laughed, and he was quick to ask again, "You sure you don't need help?"

"Bye Jess."

"Bye," he mumbled.

Rory hung up the phone. "What am I going to do with him?" she asked herself, shaking her head. She glanced back at her homework and frowned. She really did need help with her homework. Sighing, she picked the phone back up and dialed the number to Luke's Diner, listening to the familiar greeting.

"Hey, is it really busy today?"

* * * * *

The next few days flew by, and before Rory and Jess knew it, it was Saturday morning.]

The two had stayed up late last night watching movies, and Jess ended up crashing on the couch.

Rory yawned, stepping out of her room to find Jess in the kitchen making coffee.

"Bless you," she said as he handed her a cup.

He grinned. "Excellent timing."

"Yeah, well, what can I say—it's a gift."

"Ready to go?"

She frowned in confusion, sitting down at the table. "Where?"

"New York."

"I thought we were going next weekend. Today's Tristin's party, and I don't want to miss it."

"Since when do you care about Chilton parties, anyway? You don't even like those kids—you've told me so a million times."

"I know, but I want to go to this one. Do I need a reason?"

Jess didn't answer for a moment. Then he shook his head, sighed, and went to get himself a cup of coffee.

Rory knew that sigh. That was a 'You disappoint me' sigh. She stood up and walked over to him so she could look him in the eye.

"Are you seriously going to be mad at me if I decide to go to this part tonight?" she asked in astonishment.

"Sounds like you already decided. So go."

"I'm not going unless you are."

"We're not joined at the hip, Rory. We can do things by ourselves," Jess responded sarcastically.

Rory reeled back. "Alright then. Maybe you should leave."

"Ror, I didn't mean to—"

"Thanks for the wake up call," she cut him off, raising her cup of coffee.

"I'll see you later, Rory." Jess turned away from her.

"Goodbye."

Rory watched him leave, his head bowed and his hands in his pockets. She sat back down at the table, touching her forehead to the cool surface of the table.

'I hope he comes,' she found herself thinking.

Glancing around at the empty house, she was almost sorry that she had declined Jess's offer to go to the city. They always had so much fun on their trips.

No. He got mad for no reason. It was almost like he was jealous of Tristin. But that was impossible. Jess didn't think of her like that. They were best friends—he was just looking out for her.

Yeah, that had to be it, she decided. In that case—he'd come around. Sooner or later, one of them would apologize, and things would get back to the way they were supposed to be. Just like always.