Dust to Dust Chapter 7

The therapist leaned forward in his chair and sighed. "The truth, Mr. Danes, is that he has stopped talking in session, and when he was talking in session, it was nonsensical."

Luke sighed and glanced at both Liz and Lorelai. "That's our Jess."

"So…what do you want us to do?" Liz asked. "He never talked to us even when he wasn't loony-tunes."

Luke rolled his eyes at his sister's comment.

The therapist cleared his throat. "Well…I wanted him to write down what he was feeling…but he hasn't been very cooperative. I feel that he may respond more positively to one of you."

"We can ask Rory," Liz suggested.

"No," Luke protested. "We can't keep taking advantage of her. She's got work to do."

Lorelai nodded. "I can sit with him for a while."

"No, you don't have to do that," Luke said gently. "I'll sit with him."

"Hey, I can sit with him just as well as you can," Liz objected. "I'm his mother."

At that moment, the door to the office opened, and Rory came in, obviously rushed. "Hey. Sorry I'm so late."

Lorelai gave her a confused look. "Rory, sweetie, what are you doing here?"

"You told me you were meeting with the therapist."

"But I didn't say you had to come."

She shrugged, and sat down next to her mother. "I wanted to. What are we talking about?"

The therapist cleared his throat. "I was saying that we've been trying to get Jess to write down his thoughts, and one of your presences might be helpful."

"Has he started writing again?" Rory asked. "Because he was having trouble with it."

"We think it might be good for him if he tried," the therapist replied. "The last time we tried, he got frustrated and threw his pencil across the room."

Rory frowned. "What if he talked and one of us typed it up for him?"

"Again, I think it would be better if Jess wrote."

"He only gets frustrated when he really can't do something," Luke pointed out.

"His handwriting is different now than it used to be. It's bigger, and a little sloppier," Lorelai added. "Maybe that's what he's frustrated with…"

Rory nodded. "It used to be very small, and very neat."

The therapist sighed. "So you don't think we should try and get him to write?"

"I can come with my laptop, and type up what he says," Rory volunteered.

Lorelai sighed. "Rory, maybe you shouldn't."

Rory gave her mother a confused look. "Why not?"

"Because you spend every spare moment you have with Jess," Lorelai said. "You've got school, and the paper, and you should be having fun. You're in college."

"So? I like spending time with Jess. I want to spend time with Jess."

"Listen," Lorelai said seriously. "I know you miss him. And I know that you feel in some way responsible for his being here, but you need to live your life."

"I am living my life," Rory snapped. She turned to the therapist. "I'll come by tomorrow with my laptop to see Jess." With that she got up and left the office.

Lorelai sighed and muttered an "excuse me" before rushing after her daughter.

Liz sighed. "Can I see Jess?"

The therapist nodded. "Follow me."

Luke sighed and sat back in his chair as Liz was led out. "Dammit," he muttered.

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"Rory."

She stopped and turned to her mother.

"Rory, I don't want you to come here anymore."

"What!"

Lorelai sighed. "It's…you're spending too much time here. Have you made any friends at school since you've gone back?"

"A few," Rory replied. "Mom, I'm fine. I want to be here. I want to help him."

"And I want you to have a normal year at school."

"I am!" Rory cried. "What makes you think I'm not?"

"You spend most of your time here!" Lorelai pointed out. "It's not your fault he's like this. He's not your responsibility!"

"He's my friend!"

"And you're his friend! He wouldn't want you spending so much time here!"

"Stop talking about him like he's dead!"

Lorelai sighed and paused for a moment. "Rory, he's not yours. He's not your son, or your brother, or cousin. He's not your boyfriend. He's not your-"

"He isn't yours either," Rory snapped.

"But Luke is mine," Lorelai said softly. "And I am here for Luke. I help Jess for Luke."

"So, what?" Rory asked, visibly getting upset. "All these months, you've been faking actually caring about Jess because he's Luke's nephew?"

"Of course not," Lorelai said. "But I wouldn't be here all the time if Luke and I weren't together."

Rory said nothing.

"So what are you doing, Rory? Is this pity? Or guilt?" Lorelai asked, crossing her arms.

Still, she said nothing.

Lorelai's eyes widened. "Oh, sweetie, no."

"I should get back to school," Rory said quickly. "I'll be here tomorrow afternoon with my laptop if you need to reach me." With that, she rushed toward the front exit of the hospital.

Lorelai watched her go, and felt Luke's arm wrap around her.

"What was that all about?" Luke asked.

Lorelai bit her lip. "She's in love with him."

Luke gave her a confused look. "What? How is that…? I mean…Jess isn't even Jess anymore…he's…"

She shook her head. "Jess is always going to be Jess to Rory."

Luke grimaced and took Lorelai's hand. "Come on. We should go see Jess, and make sure Liz isn't terrorizing him…"

Lorelai frowned and followed Luke, looking back at the door that Rory had left through.