AN: Ficlet, one parter. Set between They Shoot Gilmore's Don't they, and Let the Games Begin. What happened between Rory and Jess' interaction on the bridge and the next morning at Luke's? They're not together then they are. So here is my idea of a few deleted scenes, if you will.

Lorelai and Rory walked back home after standing the middle of the gymnasium as Kirk did his victory lap around them. They had been in an embrace as Rory cried on her mom's shoulder. A confused and disgruntled Lorelai had managed to guide Rory back out of the gym and on their way home.

"Do you want to tell me what happened?"

"You weren't there?"

"No, I was still getting my shoe fixed. I went with Luke."

Rory let out a long sigh and began to try to explain to her mother the events of the ten minutes she missed.

"I was dancing with Dean, and God, I was so stupid, I kept looking at Jess, and staring at Jess, and talking about how annoying Jess was--,"

"I'm guessing Dean got upset about the Jess quotient," Lorelai interjected.

"Yeah, and rightfully so! I mean he was completely right."

"Right about what? Mommy's not making the necessary mental leaps here."

"Dean started yelling about how I liked Jess and Jess likes me and how he tried to ignore it but couldn't anymore. That we were over, then he just stormed out."

"Wow, who knew Dean had it in him."


"Well, I'm sorry you had to end like that, but come on, Rory. You kissed Jess last summer, and you've been trying to pretend you didn't ever since."

"I know. I'm horrible!"

"You aren't horrible, you're just confused."

"I'm not confused. Dean did the right thing. I should have done it sooner."

"So you are okay with the break up?"

"Yeah. I think I really am."

"Whoa. So where were you when I got back? And where did Jess disappear to with Barbie?"

"I went to the bridge to think and get away from everyone. Jess showed up there right after I got there."

"Man, he doesn't waste any time, does he?"

"Mom, stop."

"You're defending Jess? He's the reason you're in this mess. You aren't together, are you?"

"No. We just talked. I said Dean was right, he said he was a jerk for yelling at me in front of everyone, and then he said he had to go take care of something and left. So I came back to the gym."

"Probably an overnight convenience store robbery."

"You just want to hate him, don't you?"

"Sorry. So, it's been a rough night, I say we go home and sleep until next month."

"Sounds like a plan."

Rory leaned on her mom the rest of the way home, and neither one of them spoke another word. When they finally arrived home, Rory went into the bathroom and washed all the makeup and tears off and brushed her hair out before changing into her pajamas. Lorelai had gone straight upstairs and fell asleep on top of her covers without even changing. It was sort of tradition for Rory to find her mother 16 hours after the marathon at the kitchen table with a robe on over her marathon dress sipping coffee. Usually Rory was exhausted after the marathon, and she'd never danced in it before. But with the events of the night, she just laid awake in her bed thinking about what Jess had said to her.

"He was right. About, everything."

She heard his words over and over. She saw the hesitant look on his face. What was their problem? If they liked each other so much, why were they doing this? Trying to ignore it just seemed to be hurting themselves and everyone around them.

She was so lost in thought; at first she didn't hear the sound at her window. The knocking got slightly louder. She jumped up and ran to the window, hoping it was Jess, afraid it was Dean. She opened it and was relieved to see Jess, shaking from the cold, looking up at her.

"Can I come in?"

"Yeah, get in here," she stood back, allowing him to easily climb in her window. She hurriedly shut the window and turned to face him.

"You're still up."

"Very astute of you."

"I just thought maybe after dancing for 24 hours you'd be out already."

"I've got some stuff on my mind."

"Me too. So I broke up with Shane."

"Is that where you went?"


"Did she take it okay?"

"It's not like we were serious. It wasn't a big deal, just one of those minor details to get out of the way. No wailing and gnashing of teeth."

"Out of the way of what?"

"Of us."

Rory's breath caught in her throat. Did he want there to be an 'us'? Was she ready for it? Wasn't there some unwritten law about the respectable length of time that should go by before jumping out of one relationship and into another?


"Sorry. I was thinking."


"You want there to be an us?"

"Yeah. I do."

"It's just, after I got back from Washington, I assumed you didn't."

"Why, because of Shane?"

"That and you barely said two words to me at any given time I saw you."

"You don't get it at all, do you?"

"Get what?"

"Rory. You kissed me. Do you have any idea how long I'd waited for you to do that?"


"Ever since I met you, you flirted with me, I would flirt back. I knew you were with Dean, and it killed me, but I assumed you wanted to be with him. But when you kissed me, I thought it was different. I thought maybe you wanted to be with me."

He looked everywhere but at her. She didn't notice this though, as her mind was reeling. Never had she thought she had such an influence on his emotions.

"Rory, look. You left. Without a word. I heard about it later working at the damn diner from Patty, who by the way was all but molesting Dean when he stopped in one day. She asked where you were, and he told her about your trip. I had no idea you'd left at all until then."

"You've left me without a word before."

He let out a long sigh. She had him there. He had no good answer for that, other than truth.

"I thought that was best. I'd just wrecked your car and broken your wrist."

"Well, you were wrong."

"So were you. You should have told me you were leaving."

"I tried, to write you. The words just wouldn't come out right."

"Look, I've thought about this. I figure we're not very good at being apart. We should probably try being together."

Rory smiled. He was right, they sucked at trying to avoid this. It had seemed inevitable for a long time now. It'd been a year now, they'd spent basically lying to themselves.

"So, we're together now?"

"If you want us to be, I'm all yours."

She nodded and smiled. He grabbed her by the waist and hugged her tightly. As they drew back, he kissed her cheek and smiled. She realized she didn't see his true smile enough. She'd seen it twice before, and it seemed to be reserved only for her.

"You should probably get some sleep."

"Yeah. I'll see you tomorrow at the diner?"

"Yeah. I'll see you then."

"Goodnight, Rory."

"Night, Jess."

He tucked her in bed and gave her one last look as he climbed back out into the cold night. He walked back to the diner slowly, relieved for these games at long last to be over.