A/N: This is my first adventure into Pen-Lender Land. LOL, I rather like it here. The weather's nice.Anyway, I am a die-hard Lit. Don't get me wrong. But lately, Rory has been…ticking me off. And I read Broken Angel by punkcatwitissues…and here I am in Pen-Lender territory. This is just Lane's thoughts on a whole myriad of subjects, set about a week or two after Raincoats and Recipes. So here it is:

Pen Lenders—Come With Me Redux

"Come with me."

Lane Kim, for the life of her, could not understand why Rory had said no.

Of course, she didn't really understand Rory that much anymore. Dean? Again? Come on, Rory. How stupid do you have to be…?

Lane sighed. Some people—like Dean—didn't deserve second chances. Especially when somebody else got hurt. Poor Lindsay. She came into the diner sometimes, either with her mother or a friend or two, probably wanting an army in case Rory was there. She always gave Lane wary looks—anyone who associated that closely with Rory must be dangerous. But Lane didn't care. She was always nice to her, figuring the girl didn't need any more enemies. Besides, she and Lindsay had something in common. Lindsay hated Rory, and Lane…

Well, Lane was starting to hate Rory a little, too.

Most of all, Lane doesn't understand why Rory is acting the way she is. Hurting so many people. Lindsay. Lane herself, a little bit. Her mother, even—Lorelai had been appropriately horrified at Dean's de-flowering of her daughter and said daughter's complete delusion about the whole situation. It was a good thing Lorelai had Luke when Rory ran off to Europe without her.

You know, Rory was a hypocrite. Yelling at Jess for running away. But Rory ran away all the time. Just, no one had the guts to call her on it.

Lane felt for Jess. He was the one Rory had hurt most directly. And all the guy did was fall madly in love with her. It happened to Rory all the time. Lane rolled her eyes. It didn't really happen to Lane as often, but at least she could think of a few better ways to have handled the situation.

God, what was wrong with Rory? It was romantic, Lane knew that for sure.

"Come with me."

If Lane had been in Rory's position, well, she would have gone. With one second thought—the band, of course. But still. Going away with Jess didn't mean forever. It didn't have to, anyway—only if she wanted it to. Didn't Rory realize that? Lane did.

For the first time in her life, Lane thought she was smarter than Rory Gilmore.

She sighed, imagining leaving Stars Hollow for some crazy love like that. Sure, it was insane, but that was living. At some points, it was bound to be out of control. But Lane liked that. As long as it was her choice to be out of control, well, so be it. Her life before…well, it had been interesting, that's for sure. But it was stifling. Nothing had really been her choice. Things were better now, of course. But she knew there was a bigger world out there. She could just imagine…

"Come with me."

Yes. Yes. I'll come. Yes, I'll go with you. Let me pack quick, before I change my mind. Help me with this box—my CDs. Very important, you know. And my sticks. Can't forget them.

And before her mind knows it, Lane has conjured up an entire scene. Climbing into Jess' beat-up, piece-of-crap car with a box full of music, a hastily-packed suitcase, and a backpack holding hotel fare and lingerie. Holed up in some tiny apartment in New York City—New York City!—with Jess—just the two of them—while she worked as a waitress, calling Zach and Brian every so often to persuade them to move to the city—more potential gigs, don't you know. Buying lunch from a street vendor, getting take-out for dinner at near midnight, eating it in bed with Jess—Lane blushes at the thought. She had thought about it a few times with Dave, but that was all. Their relationship never had the chance to progress that far. And now she was thinking about it with a guy that she never even dated and wasn't in the same state?

Lane, you must be going crazy, she told herself. But she had to admit, Jess was hot. And he probably knew what he was doing. Those eyes, that body, that mouth…she shivers. Aw, crap.

She was going to be in trouble, thinking thoughts like this…

The hell with it.

Closing her eyes, Lane lets the images take over: Jess' rough-and-gentle hands on her skin, heat rising in the farthest unknown reaches of her body. That mouth on her collarbone as he slowly lowered her to—

"Lane? Are you okay? You've been staring at the coffee machine for fifteen minutes." Luke's gruff voice breaks through her little foray into dirty daydreaming, and she's almost grateful.


I'm not quite sure about the ending. It's a little abrupt. But I couldn't think of anything else. Eh, oh well. I hope you liked it. Please review!