Notes: Future Rory/Jess. Based on the spoilers for episode 21 (?) -- so
don't read if you don't want to get an idea of what's going to happen. 
So, here's to the hope for a little closure ... 
 
Thanks to Elise because without her, this would be a total mess filled
with typos (I'm sure some still remains) and grammatical mistakes. But 
hey, we tried ... so thankya muchly Eliser, for the encouragement/
feedback/allthenonsense, you're a doll & I adore you. 
 
Disclaimer: I claim no ownership of the characters who are in this story.
All rights are reserved to Amy-Sherman Palladino (&others), and the WB. 
 
 
 
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In The Rain

He shows up at her doorstep one day, soaked in rain water from the summer storm; this is how she finds him when she goes to open the door. He says nothing, does nothing, but pleads for her to let him in with his eyes. She sighs while the battle between her head and heart breaks loose. Somewhere along the line however, she figures that her heart has won the battle, but contemplates if it has enough strength to win the war.

Wordlessly, she lets him in.

They are standing face to face now—neither of them speaking, neither moving, neither touching. Still soaked, he reaches up and runs his hand down his face, wiping away the raindrops that still lingered on his skin; the water on his jacket continues to drip down, landing on her carpeted floor.

He looks up at her, apologetic, but she continues to prolong the silence. He wonders how long he will have to wait until she asks him the real reason why he is here—in her house—covered in rain.

"I'll get you a towel," she announces suddenly, and excuses herself from the room.

While she is preoccupied, he looks around at her home and takes everything in. He knows that this might be the only thing that he can have from her. So because of this knowledge, he lets everything sink in—the Tiffany lamp in the corner, the pieces of literature on the couch, the picture frames scattered around the room, the …

"Here." He hears her voice, and makes a note of it in his head. He knows that what he is doing seems utterly ridiculous, but he also knows that he might never see her again after today. So wordless still, he takes the towel from her and attempts to wipe away the rain water. After he is done, he sets it on the floor and notices that she is shuffling her feet.

Still face to face, they stand without an exchange of words.

She is confused; he is a jumble of emotions.

Both are waiting for the other's first move.

And in true "ex-love" fashion, they move together—stumbling, falling …

"I, uh—" They both say. "You go—"

Now she is blushing, and he thinks this to be ridiculously awkward. Hypothetically, it is he who should be making the first move; after all, it was he who showed up at her doorstep. But if they were actually doing hypothetical talks, then hypothetically, he really shouldn't be here at all.

"Do you—uh—want to sit down?"

Funny, he thinks; she didn't want to sit down the last time. But he replies, "Umm, no thanks." She nods, and he still thinks it to be amusing that history is once again repeating itself. But then again, he's always had a misunderstood sense of humor.

"Okay," she replies.

"Umm…" he knows that he should just spit it out, but something inside of him pushes the words back. He thinks it to be his head, and wonders which will win the heated battle inside of his body. Head vs. Heart? Nowadays, he doesn't know which to follow.

And like always, it is she who will break the silence. "Look, Jess …"

He snaps his attention back to her and quietly notices that her eyes are closed as she is talking. He wonders if this is how they will spend the rest of the conversation—she with her eyes closed and mouth moving, and he not saying a word.

And then she asks the question that he's been waiting for. "…can you just tell me why you're here?"

Suddenly, he is very uncomfortable in his own skin and begins to rub his neck a few times more than necessary. He knows that he should say something now...

"… because I thought that you said all that you had to say when I saw you last." She reminds him with eyes still closed.

Finally, and miraculously, he finds the will to speak. "That's partly why I came."

When he says these words, her eyes shoot open, and she fixes him with a blank stare. Now she is at a loss for words. Looking at the floor, she sighs, "Jess, come on … you can't keep doing this."

He tries to speak, but is at a sudden loss for the proper words.

She is waving her arms around now, as though trying to make a point without dialogue. Exasperated, she gives up and says in a tone of defeat, "You can't keep doing this! You can't keep coming back and, and … leaving again! I mean—"

"…that's partly why I'm here though." He cuts in, desperate and anxious.

She chooses to ignore the comment and continues, "... I mean, God, Jess—don't you think, don't you think that twice is enough? First it was New York, you ran away, you came back and we kissed. I thought that was going to be the end of it. Heh, boy was I wrong. And-and, then it was California—once again, you ran away—and once again you came back. And we all know what happened—"

"I know."

"I-I can't deal with this anymore. You know what? I still don't know what to make from the last time I saw you. And-and … I really don't know what to do this time." Her face is red from the outburst, her eyes watery and bloodshot.

While she tries to collect herself, he attempts to dig inside of himself, trying to find a logical reason why he shouldn't run away. Again. Maybe that's what she was hoping for; but then again, he has come this far …

"Rory, I know I screwed up," he begins slowly. "But when I told you that … I loved you … I meant it."

"Jess—"

"I meant every single word," he says, not letting the subject go.

He watches her take a deep breath before asking, "Okay. But I still don't know why you're here—still here, for that matter. I-I thought we'd already cleared that up the last time."

Now it is he who takes the deep breath before speaking, "Yeah, umm ... I just came to see if there was any possibility that we could … patch things up between us."

She snaps her eyes to his and lets out a cold, humorless laugh. "Us?"

"Yeah, I—"

She shakes her head in quiet desperation and retorts, "Come on Jess. There is no 'us' anymore. There hasn't been one since you left … "

"Rory."

"Why now?" She asks.

"I—"

"I mean, are you coming back to Stars Hollow?"

He shakes his head slowly from side to side, tasting bitter defeat.

"Long distance? Letters? E-mails?" She laughs again, but he fails to see the humor.

"Rory—" He tries again, but to no avail.

She looks into his eyes and says ever so firmly, knowing full well the game that he never intended for them to play, "Jess … "

He suddenly feels the urge to flee, but forces himself to stand his ground.

"… I can't run away with you."

He knew this, of course. And later, he will be damning his heart for bringing him here in the first place. It was ridiculous to even think of asking her to do this impossible thing. She had a life, after all. He wasn't a dreamer, or a romantic—so how did he actually convince himself that she would give everything up for him?

He's brought her nothing but disappointment and grief, and he's brought her the same package this time around. He doesn't blame her for not wanting it. Sighing, he places his attention to her face for the final time, and notices the twin tears that are rolling down her cheek. He steps closer and wipes them away with his thumb, feeling her soft skin underneath.

"I know." He whispers.

She nods and goes to look down at the hand that is still touching her face.

"I love you," he says for the last time. When he says this, she wills herself to bring her eyes back to him, her lips trembling. One last time.

"Me too," she whispers as he steps back.

Then, without another word, he turns and shuffles out the door to rejoin the storm. It is still pouring, harder than ever. As he walks to his car, drops of water manage to make their way into his mouth; he finds them salty and warm.

He knows it is not the rain.

~ ~

 
-laughing to find
a noone's more
by far than you're
alive or i'm
crying to lose
(as down someone
who's we ungrows)
a dream in the rain.
-e.e. cummings