DISCLAIMER: Don't own 'em, so sue me if I'm using 'em. Spencerville belongs to Nelson Demille, and Planet Bob is from Titan After Earth.

Chapter 1: "Language is Failing Me!"

She walks up to the diner, hesitates, leaves.

His turn. He goes to the door, pauses before opening it, and goes back to cleaning the counter.

She comes back, gets as far as the door, balls her hand to a fist and poises to knock... only to let it drop limply at her side and step away.

He notices, throws the rag in the general direction of the counter, throws the door open and runs after her.

"Rory!"

Oh geez! Mariano, do yourself a favor, get a grip! Don't sound so freaking desperate!

"Rory!"

She keeps on walking away from him, and he considers giving up, before picking up his step and catching up to her.

Wow, deja vue, he thinks, as he remembers stopping one of her flights months before, she completely drenched and panicked, he wanting to help her, needing to be of some use to her, convinced as he was that he would never have her.

She eyes him.

"Rory..."

"That does seem to be my name, doesn't it?"

Wow, sarcasm. We're getting some response here. Better than the silent treatment we've been giving each other for the past couple of days; which, by the way, felt like a couple freaking years. Better yet, make that a couple of centuries.

"Do you... I'm..."

She keeps looking at him, her gaze is angry and fearful, and hopeful, and expectant. He throws up his hands in frustration.

"Language is failing me!"

She rolls her eyes when he admits to this, but notices him eyeing the surroundings and silently agrees with what she knows he must be thinking. Not here, on a sidewalk, in the middle of the nosiest town on the face of the Earth.

"Come on" she says, taking hold of his shirt sleeve.

It's deja vue all over again, when they had never even considered dating, but were friends, friendly, friendish, and he secretly wanted the girl and she was slowly coming out of her shell. She leads him to the bridge, and he understands she is not ready to be completely alone with him yet. Idiot! Mariano, you're a fucking idiot, a total asshole, an inconsiderate jerk...

"Jess" blue eyed, brown haired beauty stopping self-berating speech right now.

"Talk to me" she meets his gaze, searching him, and he lets her, no barriers and guard down. He can't protect himself now, not after everything that happened. That he let happen. That you screwed up, Mariano! And it's self insulting all over again.

He sighs.

"Rory..."

Where to start?

"Give me a minute" he pleads, and she nods as he gathers his thoughts... and ends up blurting out "I'm an idiot!"

"Huh" she replies, and frowns at him.

Wow. Scary.

"You need to do better than that, Jess, or I'm leaving" She moves to do just that, and is getting up, taking a few steps to get off the bridge.

"Please don't" he pleads with her. "If you go I'll never be able to... do... this" he gestures wildly with his hand.

"Alright" she replaces herself next to him, not touching but almost.

"Ok" he breathes "Let's try this. Ask me what you want, and I'll answer."

"The party" she says, emotionless as they come, and it wrenches his heart.

"Me being an idiot?" Oh, you don't say?

"We covered that"

True, that they have.

"I was upset. I shouldn't have come at all, but you wanted to be there for Lane, and wanted me with you, and I wanted to be with you, so I came. I had... a lot on my mind... and I took it out on you." He pauses. "Shit just keeps onpiling up".

This does not go unnoticed by Rory, who files it away for later reference and steels herself for the question she wants to ask next.

"Did you... you know... want..." She blushes, and he wants to smirk, but knows he can't.

Jess stares off into the water, trying to phrase what he's feeling.

"I'm an 18 year old guy, of course I wanted to... with someone as beautiful as you..." He meets her gaze "But you were right. Not there, not then, not if you weren't ready."

She keeps silent, and he continues.

"I wanted to talk to you first." He sees her nod "aside from that 'keep thinking what you're thinking' bone you threw me."

He sees her smirk, and knows they are getting somewhere. Again, he thinks 'scary'. Wondering whether he should reprimand her on plagiarizing his trademark facial expression.

"What did you have on your mind?"

Wham! He has been hit with the mother of all questions.

"Again. Me, being an idiot."

"And again, I say, we have covered that..." She has a hint of amusement in her voice, and were this conversation any different he'd tell her something along the lines of a 'Ms. Gilmore, are you implying you enjoy your boyfriend being called an idiot?' But this conversation is anything but.

"Remember when I showed up at Lane's?"

"Mrs. Kim ran you off with a cricket bat."

He winces at the memory that so clearly amuses her.

"I told you I was going to school. That I was going enough..."

"Oh... Oh... Oh..." She utters, as understanding and all of its ramifications come tumbling upon her.

"Jess!" she almost yells. She feels like launching in a tirade.

But doesn't. Now is not the time to play the angry girlfriend. She will have time for that later. Now, they need to get through this without causing any more damage. Whether that is possible or not is a bet with unknown odds.

He watches as realization writes itself all over her face, and jumps when she calls his name. He really can lay blame with no other than himself. He knows what's going through her mind. No prom, no graduation, disappointment. Boyfriend who's beneath her, who doesn't come up to her standards, who's going to hold her back, who hurt her. Way to confirm everybody's opinion Mariano. Way to screw everything up as usual.

"Jess" she calls him out of his reverie, speaking his name gently, before he gets so deep in his self accusation he can't help but drown in it.

"That seems to be my name" Oh, yeah, sarcasm. If she doesn't leave now she'll marry me. Wow. Where did that come from?

"So... what now?"

"Don't know" he answers truthfully.

"There is something else, isn't there?"

Ouch. Painfully to the fucking point, Rory. I guess I deserve that. Before 'let's get Jess out of this mess' Rory, there is 'I need every single fucking detail' Rory. He wants to go back to his walls and his sarcasm, his scowling, eye rolling, glaring, and silence, but he can't. He seems to have lost the ability to do that when it comes to her. And this is hardly a detail, Mariano, this is huge, mind blowing fucking huge...

"Remember my life story Ror?" he throws it out like a bait, which she takes and chews on thoughtfully.

"Let's just say that the guy who gave me the Y chromosome decided to make an appearance" he spits bitterly out, and hears a small gasp coming from her.

"He lives in California, mans a hot dog stand, and wanted to see me."

"Oh..."

He proceeds to tell her about the guy who hogged the table by the window, his showing up in the evening at the diner, his anger towards Luke who decided to keep one secret too many.

"And you gave him coffee?" she asks, utterly at a loss for intelligent questioning. She needs to wrap her mind about this, work out in her pretty little and incredibly intelligent head the way to stand by Jess without him pushing her away.

She wants to leave, go home, and think all of this through and through. She wants to make lists, and talk to Lane, or Lorelai, or write in her journal, or whatever... she wants to hold him, kiss him, push him into the lake, scream at him or something... but she only sits there, locking gazes with him. This is probably the most information Jess has given her in such a short amount of time. Coming to think of it, this is definitely the most talkative Jess has been in a while.

"Ror?" he asks carefully "Still on planet Earth?"

"Nope... on planet Bob" she replies, emerging from her elaboration process.

She stands up and turns to go home, Jess watches her go, when, at the end of the bridge, she turns around and looks at him expectantly.

"Well? Aren't you going to walk me home?"

He all but runs to her, and she wraps an arm around his waist, while her hand reaches down, 'contact again' ,and pulls the proverbial book out the back pocket. She glances at it.

"Spencerville? DeMille?"

"Hello, were you talking to me a few minutes ago?"

"Oh... yeah... It does speak to anger and angst, doesn't it? Am I Annie Prentis to your Keith Landry?"

Too easy. Too easy. Too easy...

"And Dean is Baxter"

She rolls her eyes. They walk home, both of them knowing they still need a solution to this mess.

A/N: I'll be one of those pathethic fanfic writers who asks for reviews. Please. Just to see whether you guys like it, and have any suggestions. M. For other details, go to my bio. Big, great news stored in there. :)