Disclaimer: Nothing's mine except for the idea. I also did not come up with the phrase "sleeping next to is like sleeping next to a furnace" I read that in one of the many amazing stories created by Minisinoo. I have used it without permission but I love the saying in its original context...it was quite brilliant.
AN: So I've eventually crawled from under the rock I've been living under to scribble this in my journal while I was away on vacation. I've also started about three other stories due to the fact that I felt that there was a lack of both good lits and just those feel-good stories. So...enjoy.
Summary: A candid look into Rory's thoughts as she watches Jess on the subway on their ride home. A glimpse on how they work as a couple and the funny quirks that they have. AU/Literati/Future/One-Parter.
When we first started living in the city, I was terrified of riding the subway. I was always afraid of getting on the wrong one and if that didn't scare me enough I was also afraid of not knowing when and where to get off. So I remember that for the first few months I either refused to go on the subway alone or I checked the maps so much that I looked like a tourist. Everyday until I was comfortable, Jess would have to ride the subway with me to work and I would wait for him to pick me up at night. It was pathetic, I knew it, but I couldn't help it. Jess thought it was endearing...that's the word he used...endearing, but I think it was just so that I wouldn't think I was an idiot for being afraid.
However, that was then and this is now.
Now, I love the subway. I love the different people who I can watch and I just enjoy the ride. Now, I don't need Jess to pick me up anymore but once a week he'll pop by my office and we go have dinner and we ride the subway home together. It's the domestic part of him, that part that insists that we have at least one sit-down meal once a week. He's come a long way from that bad-boy misunderstood persona; he's still a little misunderstood I think, but less so. Although, at times it still seems that I'm the only one who gets who he really is. And that doesn't even bother him; he says I'm the only one that matters. I blush and I look away when he says things like that, but it's sweet and we both know that I enjoy that kind of stuff.
Everyday when I was going home, I notice how every New-Yorker at one time or another, fall asleep on the subway. Maybe because I wasn't born into the city I can't seem to sleep when I ride the rails. But it's amusing to watch Jess doze on his rides. It's funny actually because he's one of the lightest sleepers I have ever seen. He can pop out of bed at a moments notice and he's always the first to wake. But that's when he's sleeping in our bed...it's a total different subject when he's on the subway. He's interesting to watch because once the subway starts moving he's out like a light, but he's never overslept his stop. He always is able to wake just as the subway stops at our station. So that's our pattern–he sleeps and I watch. I watch other people when I'm by myself but I watch him whenever I get the opportunity.
He's always so solid when he sleeps on the subway–other people heads' lull back and forth, but he just leans back and he doesn't move. He also doesn't lean on my shoulders like a child would lean on a parent but that doesn't mean he doesn't like to touch. It's always the littlest of touches. His leg is next to mine; connected from the knee to the hip and that's it.
His hands are folded neatly in his lap over his black messenger bag that he carries to work. I make fun of him for that, I say he looks like a college kid when he carries that instead of an adult who is going to work. He smirks but never really replies, he just always lugs around that bag everyday. Right now, his latest novel sticks out from one of the side pockets next to his bottle of water. He prefers thin paper-backs for his trips to work, so we own a lot of double copies of books. One is normally a hard-cover and another copy of it on paper-back for traveling.
We still have about six stops to go and so I turn to watch him some more. His eyes are gently closed–not squeezed shut like some people and his black lashes wisps over his lids. Once in a while I see that his eyes dart back and forth under his eyelids and I wonder what he's dreaming about. Is it about me? I wonder all girly and childishly and I chuckle to myself about my behavior. He has that effect on me–he's able to turn a grown woman of twenty-five into a teenager thinking about her crush.
The subway jerks at its stop and people rush in and out but he still doesn't stir all. The air conditioner starts to get a little cold and I scoot closer over to him and I loop an arm into the crook of his elbow. I snuggle in and he still doesn't movie a muscle; it's like he knows it's me and he doesn't have to worry about moving. I like that he knows the difference between my touch and others. I like having that affect on someone. You read about that in books and you see it in movies but it's definitely different in real life, especially when it's your life.
Our station is approaching and like clockwork before it comes to a complete stop, his eyes flutter open and he's wide awake. He's unlike me because when I nap it always takes a minute for me to realize where I am. But it's different with Jess; he was raised in the city and he knows how to do these things. The train stops and he doesn't even have to look, he just reaches back and grabs my hand interlocking all of our fingers. I've never brought it up but he always holds my hand like that–with our fingers woven together, not the other way around where hands are just clasped together. I like that. A lot. It makes me all giddy and mushy inside. His hand is warm in mine and it's still a mystery to me how he can be so warm all the time. I'll tell you, that's convenient when winter comes along...sleeping next to him is like sleeping next to a furnace.
We start to file out of the subway and he leads me off with him guiding in front and with me following closely behind at his back. When it gets really crowded on the subway or wherever we might be, he always walks in front of me, leading the way. He's a really protective person–always has and always will be. He never got to be attached to anything when he was young, whether it be parents, friends, or homes. So naturally, it took me about three years before he could be totally comfortable with the idea that we were an–us. Finally he got the idea and the natural instinct of him protecting the ones that he loves seeped through and landed on me. I'm fine with it. He's never been over-protective, just enough to make me know that I'm loved.
The people around are pushing like every city-dweller does during rush hour and we try to squeeze on through the crowd. They come closer and he grips my hand while I step closer behind him. Strangers are getting a little close for my comfort especially the guy to my right who's staring at me, which I can only classify as a leer. Even after all these years in the city, I get scared and I try to move away but I can't. Holding even tighter onto Jess's hand, I loop one of my fingers from my free hand into the back loop of his jeans. Jess has always been amused by my simple action that I apparently repeat when I get scared but I shrug it off and he just smirks. I tug on his hand and he turns around to give the guy a look. I call it his 'don't mess with me' city look. The guy turns away and we make it through the door and onto the platform. Here, there's more room to breathe and we walk side by side. That's how he is in the very end...he doesn't lead me when it's not necessary; we're equals and that makes me happy. You know, I've learned that the Princess doesn't always want to be saved and swept off her feet, she just wants to be known for who she is and the security you get when you're really loved. I have no problem with people joking that I'm Stars Hallow's princess anymore because I'm that kind of princess, the one that likes the security.
We step on the escalator and he hugs me from behind. It's a simple gesture; he likes to touch and I'm happy to give that to him. I think it's because he's trying to make up for what he didn't have as a kid, so he always touches me when he can. It was interesting to watch that part of his personality unfold because once I got him to understand the fact that I wasn't leaving, it was like I awoke the need for human companionship. His arms are at my waist and his chin is on top of my shoulder. He tickles my neck with his breath as he whispers into my ear, "Still get spooked on the subway?" He's amused and I don't have to turn around to know that he's teasing me.
"You would think that you would want to stop some guy from staring at me."
He smirks. "I'm not worried; you're not going anywhere."
"You sound so sure; who says I'm not just buying my time until something better comes along?" I reply haughtily with my chin up in the air.
We step off the escalator and begin to walk once again.
"Who would keep you company in bed? You're telling me that somebody else can make you scream like I can?" He's such a cocky smart ass.
Appalled, I turn to swat at his arm. "Pig!"
He laughs casually and remarks, "Plus, I love you too much to let you go."
"Too late, no way to redeem yourself." I won't give up so easily; besides, it's always fun pretending that our only care in the world was the one that stood in front of us.
We've walked the couple blocks to our apartment and he unlocks our door. "You're sure there's nothing I can do?" He smiles boyishly and with so much charm that I always give up.
"Nope." I pout.
"Well, I'm sure I can think of something." That devilishly handsome smirk appears. The same one that lured me in many years ago. The exact duplicate of the one he always gives that makes me think un-lady like thoughts. It's the clone of the one that makes me want to melt into a puddle of Rory every time he delivers one to me. It's the one that is reserved only for my eyes to see.
He invades my personal space and pulls me into a kiss.
The room spins away.
My striped blouse lays on the arm of the couch.
His black pants are discarded onto the wood flooring.
My pencil skirt is forgotten by the bathroom door.
His dress shirt falls on the top of the unlit bedroom lamp.
I lied. There's always something he can do.
It's three in the morning and I still can't sleep. I'm exhausted but sleep eludes me tonight. He sleeps close to me, facing me instead of behind me, spooning my back like he usually does. He's just a couple of inches away from me and I can feel him exhaling every breath that he takes.
I'm cold and I try to slip further down into the covers but I can't find the warmth that I seek. I resolve to scoot closer to him and on the first touch, he pulls me into him and tucks me into his body. I'm pulled into the crook of his shoulder and I can't resist burying myself further in and laying a gentle kiss there. He stirs. He's sleepy with his bedroom eyes and he looks so young. He comes in for a kiss and lingers on my bottom lip. I'm impatient and with a quick swipe of my tongue over the front of his teeth. I elicit the response I'm looking for. He moans my name, a sound that resonates deep in his throat, and it makes me want to throw him down and have my way with him. He kisses my quickly with a sweetness that only I know about and pulls back to fully look at me. "Can't sleep?"
I shake my head.
"Why?" His voice is deep with sleep and his breath tickles my cheek.
A slow steady smile appears over his dark features. "Three weeks."
"Three weeks until I make a honest man out of you."
He chuckles. "Is that even possible?"
"Maybe, I don't know. I'll give it a shot." I shrug.
He smiles and kisses me again. This time it's longer, filled with passion, excitement, and promise. He pulls me close and covers us with the comforter. His breathing begins to lull me to sleep, and I catch a glimpse of the light that streams in from the window that bounces off the diamond on my ring that rests delicately on my left hand.
It's finally my turn to doze off and sleep.
AN: Drop a line please, I'd really appreciate it. Thanks. On a side note, if you're interested in being a beta-reader please email me.