Summary: Jess cracks.

Spoilers: Seasons 1-4

Timeline: 4 weeks after Last Week Fights This Week Tights

Disclaimer: Not mine. No money

Dust to Dust

The mirror was dingy. It needed cleaning. If Luke ever saw this mirror, he'd be disgusted.

Hell, at this point, Jess was disgusted.

But that wasn't news. Jess was disgusted with everything.

The hole-in-the-wall apartment. The job. Himself. His family. His friends. Nothing seemed right, somehow. Nothing seemed to want to work.

Everything looked so dark.

He was skinny.

He'd never seen himself so skinny before, but he wasn't eating much. Partially because he couldn't afford to, and partially because somewhere along that past four weeks, he'd lost his appetite. Hot dogs made him want to throw up.

Nothing sense made.

'Made sense,' he corrected himself. 'Must have the proper word order. Anything less won't do.'

He stared in the mirror. He needed a shower.

"You just took a shower," he muttered to himself, pulling at a strand of damp unruly hair. He looked closer into the mirror, brow furrowed. "Who are you?"

He wasn't him.

Him wasn't he.

Word order.

He stepped back from the mirror and walked out into the main apartment. It always looked the same. Two mattresses (Both alike in dignity, in Fair Verona where we lay our scene). Lots of stuff (books, cds, guitar case, movies) scattered around. There was a small shelf dedicated to dishes, glasses, forks, knives and spoons.


They have their own place in their little world. They sit on the left of the forks.

"Where do I go?" he asked the shelf. Of course, it didn't answer. He smirked absently. "You're a shelf."

When did he get like this?

'Like what?' he thought. "I'm crazy," he said aloud. "I think. I think, therefore I am. I think."

He picked up a glass and studied it a little. Glass half-empty. Glass half-full. Glass with no water. Glass with lots of water. Glass dropped on the floor.


He dropped- well... threw- the glass on the hardwood floor, and it shattered with that high-pitched sound that glass makes when it dies. Cracks, not dies. Glass can't die.

He sat on the floor with his legs sprawled before him, looking down at all the pieces spread, and picked up a bigger chunk of glass. He looked it over, crossing, and uncrossing his eyes.

"What happens when...when..." He pressed the glass to his finger and dragged it across the skin there, drawing blood. He didn't flinch, although he thought maybe he should. He bit his lip, and concentrated.

And the next thing Luke Danes knew, he was sitting in the waiting room of some run-down hospital a few blocks away from Jess's apartment.

The doctor came out and informed him that his nephew had, in fact, lived, and Luke blew out a sigh of relief. Then he vowed to kill Jess for pulling a stunt like this on a Monday.

He walked back into the small grimy room, and found Jess lying in the small bed. Pale, wrists bandaged up heavily and elbows tied down to the bed. Luke slowly made his way over to the younger man's side, and pulled up a seat.

"Hi," Jess said, as if nothing was wrong.


"It's not my fault!" Jess said suddenly.

Luke sighed.

"The spoon told me to do it."

Luke put his face in his hands. "Jeez..."

"Door won't open."

Luke sighed as Jess scratched at the diner's glass door. "Jess, you gotta put the key in, remember?"

He stared at his uncle, and then back at the door. "Key."

Luke nodded. "Yup. Key." He pulled out his key ring. "See?"

Jess reached out and tried to grab it, but Luke kept it out of his reach.

"Doctor said no sharp objects."

Jess frowned deeply and swayed back and forth on his heels. "Knives are bad," he said quietly.

Luke nodded. "Yeah, Jess. They are." He opened the door, and Jess walked in slowly.


"He's not here, Jess. No one's here, see?" Luke asked. "We're closed."



"We can't be closed," Jess told him, looking distraught. "We can't be closed, we're not closed. We have to open the door so people can get in, because if... if people can't get in then... then they can't..."

Luke sighed. "It's okay, Jess, I'm gonna open in a minute, okay? Why don't you go get a book from upstairs?"

Jess stood still, staring at the counter.

Luke raised his eyes to the ceiling. "Jess..."

"It's all dirty."

"Go upstairs, Jess."

Jess rushed behind the counter, and dug out a bleach rag. He ran it under the sink, and then turned and began to scrub the counter.

"God... Jess!"

He looked up, eyes wide. "Ssshhh. People are trying to sleep!" He went back to scrubbing the counter.

The door opened again, and Jess jumped back a little from the counter, staring.

The occupant of the doorway stared back.


Luke sighed. "Lorelai, we're not open yet."

"I kinda thought since we're dating now, that shouldn't really matter," Lorelai replied absently. "What's he doing here?"

"I'm taking care of him," Luke replied.

Lorelai shook her head in confusion. "Taking care of..."

"It's still dirty!"

Lorelai looked to Jess, who was still scrubbing the counter. He looked awful, and was still wearing his leather jacket, which looked a little bulky around the end of his sleeves. His hair was more disheveled than usual, and he didn't look at all like himself.

"Why won't it come clean?! LUKE!"

"I'm right here, Jess," Luke said, walking over to the counter. "It's clean."

Jess shook his head. "No. No, no, no, no, no!"

Luke took his nephew by the shoulders. "Jess."

He looked up, his eyes wild.

"Go upstairs, okay? Sit on the couch, and read a book."

Jess nodded slowly, and put the rag down. "Okay." He slowly walked to the stairs.

"Jess, don't go into the kitchen."

"Kitchen?" Jess asked absently.


Jess nodded and disappeared.

Lorelai watched him. "What...I..."

Luke sighed, and took a chair down off of one of the tables. "Sit."

She did.

Luke took another down and sat backwards on it, across from her. "The doctors say he had a breakdown, and now he's...he's having problems... really bad problems...He tried to kill himself."

Lorelai's eyes widened once more.

"They don't even know if he meant to," Luke went on. "With medication and therapy, they say that he should be back to normal... mostly, but he needs time. A good place to stay, and somebody to watch out for him."

"Where's Liz?"

"Don't know," Luke replied.

"This should be her responsibility," Lorelai argued. "Not yours. You shouldn't have to bail him out again."

"He needs me, Lorelai. I promised him-"

They heard a loud noise from upstairs, and both stared at each other before rushing up to the apartment. They found Jess sitting in a pile of books on the floor, sifting through them.

"Jess?" Luke asked, kneeling down, picking up the books.

Jess grabbed at the books Luke had gathered. "Not done! Have to find it!"

Lorelai softened. This was for real. The desperate, sad look in Jess's eyes. The books on the floor. He'd taken his coat off, revealing thick bandages around both of his wrists.

This was for real.

She knelt next to Luke and took the nineteen-year-old gently by the arms. "Hey, Jess. It's okay, okay? We'll help you find it."

Luke glanced at her, but didn't question her sudden understanding. "I'm gonna go get his medication."

Lorelai nodded and took the book from Luke as he got to his feet.

"Go?" Jess asked, watching his uncle worriedly.

"He'll be right back, Sweetie," Lorelai said. "Now. What are we looking for?"

Jess looked confused. "Looking...?"

Lorelai nodded. "Yeah. You've got all these books. What are you looking for?"

Jess dropped the book he was holding and curled up. Looking. Seeing. Finding. Looking. What did he want? What was it? He'd wanted it so badly, but he just couldn't remember anymore. "Looking?"