Sorry everyone, I've never actually been in a bar. Well, I have, but never in the traditional bar sense. Haha, once I peed in a bar. I was little, like 12, and on vacation somewhere in the smoky mountains, North Carolina I think, and we were at some festival in the town and I had to pee, so my dad took me into this really sketchy bar and I peed. It was a crazy scary place. Anyhoot…. This chapter is going to be a teensy bit long. Just a heads up for you guys.

oooooooo

Jess walked through the apartment, picking up random articles of clothing and other things to be disposed of. After collecting his clothes to be washed and embarking on his way out the door, he saw something move, darting into Rory's room. He let the bag slung over his shoulder topple to the ground and swiftly made his way to Rory's door, now slightly ajar. Expecting to find her asleep, it was nearly two in the morning, an unusual time for laundry, but most convenient for Jess, he was shocked to find her bed neatly made, clothes strewn on the floor, and no Rory. Now, his mind temporarily askew from chores, he sat down, examining what she had done. He had helped her move in, but things had been edgy then, and he had never seen her room lived-in. It was much different from the room in Star's Hollow that he had sneaked a glance at on a forbid occasion. There was no college board; no posters of places dreamed of; no books, they were being shared with his in the living room; and nothing pink, flowery, or fuzzy. Instead, posters of rock bands adorned the walls: The Ramones, The Clash, The White Stripes, Foo Fighters, PJ Harvey, and Queen. Her sheets were a deep mauve and black. The only things reminiscent of her 'past life' were a few pictures: one of her and her mom, one of her mom with Luke at Luke's, one of Lane head banging, one of Paris ranting, and one of her grandparents. Her CD collection had managed to grow, taking shape in a messy heap in one corner. A few magazines were carelessly crumpled on one end of the dresser, and clothes hung half off of hangers in the slightly open closet. Sweater sleeves poked out of mostly-closed drawers, and a change of clothes was draped over a chair in the corner. This new Rory wasn't as neat, wasn't as girly, and wasn't as clean cut. Something about the idea of this new Rory excited me, giving me hope for something.

He was broken from my thoughts and observations by the sound of the key being pulled out of the door while it opened… and shut. Before Jess could escape, Rory was staring at him, touching his arm, and asking him what he was doing. "I…uh," he scrambled, but his mind as elsewhere, "I thought I saw something moving. I didn't want it to get you." Rory cocked her head to the side, staring at him for a moment, and opened her mouth to say something. Instead she, turned away, awkwardly taking off her shoes and kicking them under the bed. She dug through her sheets, frantically flipping them and lifting pillows before finding her treasure, a pair of shorts. She pulled them on under her skirt, and Jess turned away after realizing what she was doing. "Where have you been?" he asked.

"Work," she grunted.

"It's almost three in the morning."

"Yeah. I guess I should be more tired," she laughed, coming up behind me to signify that she was done. "Are you tired?" He shook my head. "Why are you up?"

"I was doing some laundry," he explained, following her to the kitchen and watching as she pulled out Styrofoam boxes. She pulled one out, sniffed it, placed it on the counter. She pulled out another, checked the written date on it, opened it up, considering it's content, and turned to Jess.

"Do you want this?" she asked, displaying a half eaten mushroom burger and some fries.

"If you don't," he shrugged. She handed him the box with another, and put them both in the microwave.

"You were doing laundry in my room?" she ask, half cynically, half jokingly, pulling out a fork and sitting cross-legged on the counter.

"I got sidetracked," he explained, pulling the food out of the microwave and handing it to her. He sat next to her, holding his own box on his lap. "My clothes are still by the door if you want to add anything." She nodded, poking at a meatball. "You don't usually work this late."

"A shift opened up, Jamie's on vacation. I can use a few extra dollars. With luck and good tips I can get thirty dollars an hour," she explained, leaning back.

"You're a waitress?"

"I didn't tell you that?" she asked, surprised at her own lack of compassion. "I'm a waitress."

"I see."

"Don't sound so supportive," she accused, shooting a glare at me.

"I didn't. I mean… I'm not trying-" he stumbled.

She started laughing loudly, jubilantly, and hopped over the counter, dropping her food in the trash and leading the way into the other room. She started straightening things out, stopped, and wielded on me. "Look, I know it's a shitty job," she started, yelling, "and that's what I get for leaving college. I could be doing better; I know that. I'm not proud of myself, I know it wasn't what I was supposed to do, but you're my….. You're supposed to be supporting me!"

Moments passed by before either of us spoke again. Jess sat on the couch, gazing at the wall, and Rory visibly calmed down, eventually ending up in a position near the bookshelf. He broke out of his daze, abruptly jerking towards her. He opened his mouth, closed it, as if considering his words carefully, and opened it again. "I'm your what?" he whispered.

"You're my what? You're my…my. You're…"

"You're boyfriend?"

"I thought that… you and- with the," she rambled. "We were um.."

"We were being very friendly," he summed up, staring her down.

"That's one way of looking at it."

"So this is what you want?" he asked, walking over to her, putting a palm near her shoulder.

"This would be it," she laughed nervously.

"Good."

"Good."

"I," she started, averting her eyed to the floor, "um…three AM, sleepy," she murmured, wriggling out of his grasp and tip-toeing towards her room. "Night."

"Night, Rory."

oooooooo

"Just a second," Rory called, pausing the movie she was watching to head for the door. She wondered who it was. No one knew she lived there, so it must be for Jess. Remembering that Jess wouldn't be back until late at night, she prepared to tell the unexpected visitor to come back tomorrow. About to open the door, she paused to look through the peep hole, remembering her mother's lessons in apartment safety that she had received upon her start of Yale.

Meanwhile, outside in the hall, the visitor noted the person's feminine voice, having not known that Jess had a girlfriend.

Rory leaned against the door, tearing herself away from the tiny window into the hall. "Damn," she muttered, not prepared for this. He knocked again, this time growing impatient.

"I know you're home; just let me in."

Hesitantly Rory unlocked the door. By now, her hands were trembling, and she found it difficult to take the chain off the door. Finally, she opened the door, leaning against it for support.

"Luke…hi," she said quickly. Luke opened his mouth, but something caught in his throat. Rory opened the door wider. "So, coming in?" He nodded, stepping into the apartment.

"I'm here to visit Jess," he offered, answering her unasked question.

"Oh. He's not here; did he know you were coming?" she asked. "I mean he is here, just not at the moment."

"It was kind of a spur of the moment thing," he answered.

"How's home…how's…"

"She's good," Luke answered. "She's worried about you. She wants you to go back to school. And… she misses you."

Luke looked around, noticing the books. Jess doesn't have this many books. The apartment was decent. Nothing to brag about, but decent.

"I…I live here," Rory broke the silence, this time answering Luke's unasked question. "It's a long story. We have time, if you really want to hear it, because Jess won't be back till late. I was going to live with my grandparents; you probably knew that. I couldn't. I just- it didn't feel right."

"So are you two…" he began, motioning towards the rest of the apartment.

"Sort of. Nothing's happened or anything."

At that moment, the door opened, and Jess stumbled in. "Hey Rory," he called, not looking around, "the door was open. You should lock it when you're here alone, you know. Anyway," he went on, "Something happened with the owner so the place is closed today. I guess I…" He trailed off mid turn, seeing Luke and Rory.

"Jess, Luke came to see you," Rory said, staring at him.

Luke turned to Jess expectantly. "I didn't tell you," Jess said awkwardly. "I couldn't, Luke; you have to understand that. If she had wanted people to know she could have told them."

"You didn't tell me that you were living with Rory."

"Luke, don't be mad at him," Rory piped.

"You know what was going on and you knew what it was doing to Lorelai and you didn't tell me!"

"Well, technically Luke-"

"Technically nothing Jess! You say that we should talk more. Now when I tell you that my fiancé's kid ran away shouldn't you tell me that she's living with you?" Luke was enraged now, standing up and waving his arms in the air. Jess was trying to remain calm, but quickly growing impatient. Luke's comment went unnoticed by both men, but it didn't get past Rory.

"You and Mom are getting married?" Rory squeaked.

"Oh man."

"I have to go," Rory yelped, running for the door. Without a word, she was gone, having grabbed simply her purse by the door. Jess stared after her; Luke ran a hand through his hair.

oooooooo

"Does anybody know where my mom is?" Rory asked, frantically running into Luke's.

"Rory, doll, where have you been?" Babette enthused.

"Babette, please, have you seen my mom?"

"Sorry honey, last I saw of her was yesterday."

"Rory?" Lane asked, coming out of the back.

"Lane, thank God, have you seen my mom?" Rory questioned, running to the counter.

"She went home about ten minutes ago," Lane answered, clearing a few plates. "Are you okay?"

"Yeah I just have got to get home," Rory called, already on her way out the door.

Rory ran all the way to her house. She found the door unlocked, and ran in without knocking. "Mom!" Rory screeched.

"Rory? Is that you?"

"Mom!"

"Rory," Lorelai yelped, embracing her daughter roughly. "Don't runaway like that. How could you do that?"

"You're going to marry Luke."

"What makes you say that?" Lorelai questioned.

"You didn't tell me."

"And how exactly would you have liked me to reach you? On your mystery phone? By magic mail?" Rory just blushed, not answering. Lorelai, frantic now, grabbed Rory's shoulders. "Who told you?"

"A friend," Rory stated, not being strong enough to reveal to her mother about her living situation.

"Well I didn't tell you…Luke must have." Lorelai paused, considering this thought. "Luke knows where you are."

"Luke does not know where I am," Rory assured her.

"We're not even married and he's already and infidel," she muttered. Lorelai pulled out her cell phone, dialed a number, and waited. "Luke where are you?" she demanded. "…visiting Jess?" Moments of silence

"Mom-" Rory started.

Lorelai jerked her head away from the phone. "Are you living there?" she asked Rory. Then, into the phone, "Is she living there?"

"She's…" Luke began.

"Oh my God," Lorelai groaned, dropping the phone.

oooooooo

"It was terrible," Rory blurted out before Jess could open his mouth. She dropped her bag by the door, crawling next to him on her bed. She leaned her back against the wall, letting her head rest on Jess' shoulder.

"I'm sorry."

"What are you doing in here?" she asked, looking around her room.

"I wanted to make sure I saw you," he replied, fingering a loose thread on the comforter. "I didn't know if you would just come in here and go to bed."

"It's early," she stated questionably, glancing around her looking for a clock, "Five twenty-seven. I'm not going to bed just yet."

"So what happened?"

"Oh," Rory sighed, attempting to bury her face entirely in the crook of Jess' neck. "she did this whole dramatic false faint thing and she got really pale and ghostly. Then she started freaking out and being hysterical. Next came the waterworks: her crying about how she would have preferred I stay with my grandparents. Next she raved about the amount of people I could have gone to besides you. This list, much to her dismay, fell short, and that point was never really proved or elaborated on after that."

"So…when you left…"

"I believe that last stage of the conversation was when I told her that I missed her and that I still wanted to be her best friend. I told her that I loved her and that none of this had anything to do with her and that I wanted to be able to hang out with her like we used to. She told me that in light of my latest decisions about leaving Yale and my current situation and lifestyle with you that she didn't see how our relationship could remain the same after so much has changed. She told me that she had to be the mom, and she has to demonstrate that she does not approve and does not accept the choices I have made." She got up, beginning to pace. "Where's Luke? Is he still here?"

"He left a while ago," Jess replied, getting up in an attempt to calm Rory down. She offered a weak smile. "Come on. I'll buy you a drink."

oooooooo

"It's just a bar, Rory. Come on," Jess laughed, reveling in Rory's innocence and uneasiness in the environment. She nodded, clinging closer to him. They sat at the bar, and Jess ordered two beers. Rory had only been in a bar twice: once with her mother, during her bachelorette party and once on a date that her grandma had made for her at the end of last year. This being the first time that she had actually sat at the bar, Rory found it a whole new experience.

"This is fun," she muttered, staring down at the foaming drink placed in front of her. Jess lifted his glass, taking a few rather large gulps of the beverage; Rory lowered her face to her mug, quietly slurping off the top layer of froth.

An hour passed by. They had each had two or three drinks, not enough to really affect anyone. Suddenly Jess got off his stool and looked around. "Hey, uh, I'll be right back," he hesitated, staring down a hallway behind him. "Is that okay? Will you be alright?" he asked, remembering her earlier uneasiness in the establishment.

She nodded, staring after him as he walked off. Not five minutes had passed before Jess' stool was filled. Rory turned to the man beside her, "This stool is taken."

"Don't look like it to me."

"Well it is," she stated, turning back to her drink.

"Where'd your brother go?" a second man asked, filling in the seat on the other side of her. Suddenly Rory felt uncomfortable, silently wishing that Jess would hurry back from wherever he was.

"No where," she replied forcefully. "My boyfriend will be right back."

"Oh too bad," said the first man, "Miss Pretty here is taken."

"We'll just have to steal her away then, Jet," she second man said, now circumventing Rory entirely, addressing his friend.

"I don't think so," Rory cut in, reminding herself not to panic.

"Hey," Jet began, grabbing Rory's shoulder, "we know of this…thing later. You coming?"

"No," she answered, horrified, shrugging of the hand.

"What? Are we intimidating you?"

"I've already got plans," she informed them.

"Oh yeah? What are you planning on doing?" the man to her right asked, replacing his hand.

"Excuse me," said a familiar voice from behind her, "I'd appreciate it if you would give me my seat back."

Both of the men looked up at Jess. "No," the second man said, matching Jess glare for glare.

"Well then," Jess began, not missing a beat, "I'm going to have to take her now." Simultaneously, Jess grabbed Rory's arm, pulling her up, and removed the foreign hand off of her shoulder. "Get your drink," he whispered to Rory, grabbing his. As they moved to a table in the corner, the two men grinned after them.

A half hour later, Jess, slightly disturbed by Rory's increasingly odd behavior and seemingly lack of drinks, began encouraging Rory to finish her drink. He noticed her strange actions, unlike her usual ways. She was more and more free, less worried about small things she usually kept her mind trained to. That's when Jess remembered the guys crowding Rory, and it all came to.

"I've got to get you out of here," he mumbled, lifting Rory out of her chair, letting her lean on him.

"I'm not done," she moaned.

"We'll come back later."

"But the drinks and the food…shluermeher," she began, but her words rapidly started to slur together.

"Hey man," one of the men from the bar called to Jess, "where you taking her?"

"Home."

"What the hell for?"

"You better shut your damn mouth," Jess threatened, struggling to hold Rory up.

"What?" the man repeated.

"Your lucky I don't beat the living shit out of you."

"Well why don't you?" asked the second man from the bar.

"Busy," Jess replied

"Hey, relax man; she's just a lay."

Before he could stop himself, Jess found his fist in contact with the man's face. In turn, the man stumbled back, examining the fresh blood on his fingers against his face. "She's not just a lay," Jess yelled, recoiling.

The bartender looked up. "Get out before I call the cops," he said, maintaining the threat towards Jess.

"Gladly," he spat, leading Rory out the door.

"Jess, Jess," Rory chanted, stupidly. She giggled. "Go ask Alice, Jess. Go…ask…Alice. Jess?" she mumbled, brushing her hands against his face.

TO BE CONTINUED….

oooooooo

Dum duh dum dum duhhhhh.

Okay, I've never done this before. I want to keep on going with this chapter, but I think it's getting too long. I'll start the next chapter right here, though. It'll just be a continuation.