DISCLAIMER: I own nothing, but the scary thoughts in my head that cause me to lay awake at night, repeating story ideas that pop in there so I won't forget them in the morning. God forbid I actually write them down at the time. . . I digress. You don't need to hear about my neurosis. I own nothing. The title is stolen, from Monty Python. For which, I blame my brother. Again, I dirgress.
BACKGROUND: Okay, this idea popped into my head one night when I was trying to sleep and won't let me rest until I get it out. It's based on a game my mom used to play with me when I was little. She and I would pick a day and I would get to be the mommy that day, and she'd be my daughter. So, in honor of my mother, the basic premise of this story is Rory is the mother of Lorelai, and Jess is Luke's uncle. All other ties remain in tact, i.e., Christopher is the father of Lorelai, Emily and Richard are Rory's parents. Liz is Jess' sister, Luke's mother. I hope it makes sense as we go along. It's a Lit/JJ. To my knowlegde, this hasn't been done before. Enjoy!
Rory Gilmore finished up the most pressing work on her desk and scraped together a few articles that needed more work into her briefcase before leaving for the day. She was the editor-in-chief of the Stars Hollow Gazette, and with her great organization and attention to detail, it was a smooth operation. She had started out 16 years ago, when she was 16 as a copyeditor, and slowly had done every job there was to do at the small newspaper, and began the job of editor-in-chief three years ago when her mentor retired. Her dream job was to be a foreign correspondent for a major news publication, but that dream had been put on hold indefinitely when she got pregnant at sixteen. She took her daughter, Lorelai, and came to this small hamlet from Hartford.
She thought about going home, but opted to stop at the local bookstore café, her favorite spot in town. It was run by the local brooding bachelor, Jess Mariano. The bookstore used to be a hardware store, run for years by his father, William, but Jess renovated it after his death. Rory had never known it to be anything other than a bookstore with a hardware sign over the door, which is just fine with her. She has no use for tools, but a good book is the best thing in the world to her. Add coffee to the mix, and well, this is her personal heaven. She walked in to see her daughter, Lorelai at the counter of the café.
"No. You're sixteen, you don't need a third cup of coffee in the middle of the afternoon!" Jess argued.
"Come on!" Lorelai shot him her best smile and gave her hair a twirl.
"Not going to work," Jess insisted, walking away. He'd known Lorelai since she was knee-high, and he'd been trying to discourage her caffeine addiction just as long. Rory smiled and walked up to hug her daughter.
"Is he being ornery again?"
"He's denying me service! I should call the Better Business Bureau!"
"Good idea," Rory agreed, smiling at Jess, who was now just glaring at the two women.
"Oooh, or you could print a nasty review in the paper, about how people should boycott the local bookstore because of the nastiness of the owner, how he was mean to a sweet young girl just trying to get a simple cup of java," Lorelai ranted.
Jess snorted when the phrase 'sweet young girl' came out, causing Rory to have to stifle a giggle. Not successful, her daughter shot her a glare, and she tried to cover it with a cough.
"Think I'm coming down with something. Hey, Jess, can I get a cup of coffee?"
"If it's to go, then yes."
"That's not a smart move. Who's your best customer, if not me? Shoving me out the door with a to-go cup could cripple your book sales."
"Fine. But one more peep out of her, and I won't show you the new shipment I got in today."
"You're holding out on me?" Rory jumped up, and ran behind the counter to get to the back room. Jess barred the doorway with his arm and shook his head.
"What have I told you about my backroom?"
"Not to go in there without you?"
"Not to go in there, ever. Period."
"Jess, you've got something good back there," Rory whined a little.
He smirked, causing her to blush. Which caused him to smirk harder, again, she blushed. This was a vicious cycle, it really was. Lorelai coughed, and then muttered something under her breath. Rory snapped out of her embarrassment to look over at her offspring, who was growing bored of the banter. Lorelai had the shortest attention span of anyone Rory had ever met. Jess claimed it was the daily intake of caffeine, and on more than one occasion suggested Lorelai be tested for ADHD. Rory tended to ignore him, saying she was gifted and was just naturally energetic.
"Mom, I have to get home, tons of homework."
"How's that fancy school treating you?" Jess inquired, somewhat interested.
"They seem to like homework. A lot," she informed him with a frown.
"Stop with the face, it's good for you. What do they have you reading in English Lit?"
"The Sun Also Rises," Lorelai retorted.
"Ugh, honey, I'm so sorry. Jess, give her a to-go coffee. She'll need it if she has to try to stay awake reading Hemingway tonight."
Jess smacked Rory's hand when she reached for the coffee pot, and smiled at Lorelai.
"That's one of my favorites. Are you liking it?"
Lorelai shrugged. "It's okay."
"Well, if you want to discuss it, I've read it hundreds of times."
"God, you really have a sad little life, don't you?"
"Excuse me, what's your favorite book?" Jess turned his attention to Rory, still trying to reach for the pot of coffee.
"What? I have excellent taste in books."
"You like Ayn Rand." His tone was disapproving.
"Again, I have taste."
"Out, out of my store!" Jess pointed to the door.
"Just call me Oscar. Get out! Take your daughter home so she can read quality writing."
Rory rolled her eyes and herded her daughter towards the door. They began the trek home, talking about the events of the day. Rory was listening to Lorelai give her the play by play of the latest happenings at Chilton, the private school that she had recently started at. Rory had to borrow the money for the tuition from her parents, which she had finally relented to do in desperation. This meant that the girls had to report to a weekly dinner in Hartford, and put on airs that Rory hadn't been a major disappointment to her parents by scandalizing them 16 years ago.
"Mom, are you listening at all?"
"Hmm? Yeah, sorry honey. It's been a long day. What do you say to pizza?"
They arrived home at long last, Rory sorting through the mail and playing back messages as Lorelai bounded into her room and dropped off her increasingly weighty book bag. She was slowly adjusting to the increase in homework from her old school, Stars Hollow High. She was the smartest girl in her class there, and here she was near the top, but definitely had competition. But she liked competition, she thrived on it. Her goal was to go to Harvard, and nothing could stop her now. She changed out of her uniform and flopped onto her bed, to start some of her piles of homework. Rory popped her head in and smiled.
"Hey, pizza's on its way. Oh, and your dad called."
"What'd he want this time?"
"Sounds like to chat."
Lorelai rolled her eyes. Her dad called every week, but always seemed to miss her. You'd think after sixteen years he'd figure out that she had school in the middle of the afternoon and would call later.
"I'll get right on that," she said sarcastically.
"I think you've been hanging around Jess too long," Rory laughed, wandering back out of the room. Rory went into the kitchen put her work on the table. It was her favorite place to work, as she could spread everything out fully to her satisfaction. She got to work and stopped only to eat with her daughter. They ate in front of the television, the only place in the house that wasn't overrun by paperwork. Lorelai looked at her mother and shook her head.
"When did we become a paper mill?"
"We both have lots to do, I guess. We're growing up," Rory smiled as she took another piece of pizza.
"We need to get out of here."
"We could get dessert at the café. You can pick Jess' brain for possible test questions. I can edit some stuff in the big comfy chairs," Rory added.
"You've twisted my arm," Lorelai smiled and nodded in agreement.
The girls finished eating and headed out to torture Jess some more. He was surprised when Lorelai had actually showed some interest in the Hemingway book she was reading, commenting there was some hope for her yet. He wrote out some things for her to think about when reading the next few chapters and walked over to where Rory sat, working.
She looked up at him, surprised, and gave him a little smile.
"You're willingly going to refill my cup? No begging?"
"I'm tired. I make the offer once, then it's gone."
She held out her cup, gratefully. He poured the liquid in, steam pouring off the top.
"Thanks. It's going to be a long night. Some people have no sense of grammar. These supposedly educated people."
Jess laughed bitterly. "Education is overrated. Well, to some extent. Some people are just beyond instruction."
"Am I in store for one of your rants?" she asked excitedly.
"You've got strange pleasures, you know that, right?"
She shrugged and looked at him. He shook his head and wandered off to start his closing ritual. Rory and Lorelai were in there a lot while he was closing. He flips the sign, turns up his stereo, blasting punk music while he counts out the register and cleans the café area, before straightening some of the messier shelves and vacuuming. When Rory asked him why he leaves some of the bookshelves messy, he just answered with a simple, 'people like to sort through the books, it's like a scavenger hunt.' She found herself staring at him while he worked, which didn't go unnoticed by Jess. He finally smiled at her, which caused her to realize what she was doing and look quickly back down to her work. When he was almost done, she gathered her things back up and pulled Lorelai from her position on one of couches, having been curled up reading.
"Thanks, Jess," Lorelai said, waving the paper of questions at him as she breezed through the door.
"Same time tomorrow?" Jess asked.
Rory nodded, blushing still at having been caught staring at him. He watched them walk down the block and sighed to himself as he locked the door and trudged upstairs to his apartment.
AN: Well? Review, please? Pretty please? With a Jess on top? (Oh, that I could offer that).