Fancy Meeting You Here

Rory sat at her small desk in her small cubicle filing away the many papers that sat on her desk. She had started this job three months ago. It wasn't what she first imagined as her dream journalism job, but everybody had to start somewhere. She had been steadily working up the corporate ladder of The Times and she was proud of herself. It was something she was doing on her own and she knew that the longer it took, the more proud she would be.

She sighed as a small stack fell onto the ground. She reached from her chair and tried to grasp the paper that was a fingers width away from her grasp. She reached al little further and tilted precausciously on her black chair.


Rory let out a small squeak and tipped over in her chair, falling to the ground. She looked up to see her friend Veronica smiling at her from overtop the cubicle. She had met Veronica when she first came here and she was a friend when she needed one. Veronica had helped her adapt to the new place and the somewhat frightening reality of the adult world. No college barriers, no cushioning. Everything was real.

"Great news babe." Rory stood up sitting herself back in the chair giving Veronica a wary look.

"Another blind date?" Veronica bit her lip guiltily and Rory shut her eyes tight, running a hand across her forehead. One of Veronica's specialties was setting Rory up on blind dates. Horrible blind dates. Blind dates with terribly rude, horrible, egotistical men.

"Veronica! I told you I wasn't going to go on another one!"

Veronica's eyes widened slightly and she shushed Rory.

"Jeeze, don't yell. Please, just this last guy. I promise last one."

"No. I told you. I hate these things, it's a complete waste of time."

"Just go, maybe it'll be different."

Rory gave her a look. "You said that last time."

"Well, you never know." She gave Rory a hopeful look. Rory closed her eyes and groaned.

"Fine." Veronica let out an excited squeak clapping her hands together. "But I swear to you. This. Is. The. Last. One."

"I promise babe, I promise."

Veronica turned and walked away leaving Rory to think about yet another unavoidably disastrous night.

"God." She muttered before continuing to file.

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"Come on dude, the chick is hot."

Jess stopped walking and turned to face his friend. "One, never, ever, refer to me as dude again and two, how do you know if she hot? It's a blind date."

"Come on Jess. Do it."

Jess sighed, turning back around and continuing to walk. "I don't do blind dates."

"Oh don't give me the 'I'm too cool for blind dates bit'."

Jess raised an eyebrow and smirked. "What Dave? I am."

Dave punched him in the arm and smiled. "You haven't been on a date since, whats-her-name. You need to get out man. You're hanging around the apartment way too much."

Jess had shared an apartment with Dave for about a year. He met him at a concert at one of the local bars and they both needed a place to stay. So they decided to combine incomes and get a place together. Jess hated to admit it but he liked the guy. One of his few friends in the world.

"Fine." Dave stopped this time and looked at Jess.

"What was that?"

Jess rolled his eyes and bit back a smile. "I said fine."



They walked in silence for a few more moments until Dave burst out laughing. Jess raised an eyebrow and turned his face towards him.


"You're going on a blind date."

"Shut up."

Dave just laughed harder and Jess rolled his eyes, walking faster, hands shoved in his pockets. Dave followed behind him, doubled over in laughter.

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Rory arrived at the restaurant early, taking a seat at a small booth in the corner, lit with a candle. The exit was nearby so if the date got really bad, she had an escape route. She tapped her fingernails on the tablecloth and checked her watch. He still had a couple minutes, so he wasn't late yet. God she hated blind dates. There was no way of telling if you clicked with the person or not. There was no way of telling if you had any physical attraction to the person until it was too late. The person was there and there is no way of getting out of it. You have to sit and listen to them go on and on about their lives and die or boredom.

Rory was twirling a fork between her fingers mindlessly when she dropped it and it clattered to the ground underneath the table.


She ducked underneath the table and reached for the fork. She grasped it and noticed to her left a mans legs. She closed her eyes in momentarily preparation and pulled her head back out of the table, her hair momentarily hiding her face.

She pulled the hair out of her face and tucked it behind her ear looking up at the man standing at the table. "Hi, I am-"

She stopped immediately, her voice lost. She had no idea where it went but it was gone. Way gone. Depths of hell gone. Her eyes widened and she looked at the man in front of her.


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Jess walked into the crowded restaurant and sighed, looking around. He spotted a table in a corner where a young girl was sitting, with her head under the table.

"Great a wacko." He muttered, hands shoved in his pocket. He looked to the left and saw an exit. She wasn't looking, he could slip out and avoid this night.

"Damn conscious." He walked over to the table and stood, watching as the girl rummaged under the table. She was wearing a light pink dress with a yellow sweater over top matching the embroidered flowers on the bottom. She was skinny and had pale skin, dark brown hair. She came back out from underneath the table but her hair momentarily hid her face.

She had a fork clutched in her hand so she wasn't crazy. A plus, Jess thought to himself. The mystery girl pushed the hair out of her face and Jess froze. He knew those eyes. How could anyone forget those eyes? He watched as they widened and she struggled to find words.

Eventually her mouth opened and her voice came out scratchy.


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She sat there clutching a fork staring at the man who left her life 5 years ago. He had longer hair and he didn't do it up all crazy like he used to. But his eyes were the same. His eyes were the same deep, captivating brown.

She swallowed and stared, him staring as openly as her. His eyes were wide in amazement and he seemed immobile.

"Your hair." He motioned to her head and she realized his voice was the same. She ran a nervous hand through her hair and gave a nervous smile.

"Yea, I changed it."

"Yea I figured." Awkward silence once again fell over the pair and Jess directed his eyes to the far wall. Rory looked around as well opening her mouth and closing it several times before speaking. "Sit."

He jumped slightly as if he had forgotten she was there. He nodded and slid into the booth across from her, knees colliding by accident. She immediately pulled away, moving closer to her side of the booth. He took of his jacket and Rory realized that he was wearing a nice button down shirt with black slacks. She had never seen him done up like this, he preferred the more casual approach to style when she knew him.

She couldn't help it, she let out a snicker. He gave her a surprised look and smiled at her. At that moment all the ice between them melted away. Her rejecting him, him leaving without a word, the rash proposal, the angry fights, everything. Her snicker turned into a full blown laugh and Jess just watched.

He had missed her laugh.


She looked up at him trying to control herself but then burst out laughing again. She managed to leak out a few words in between laughs. "You are dressed up."

The actual realization of it caused Rory to erupt into another fit of laughter. Jess just smiled at the woman before him.

"Yea, and how is that funny?"

Rory just laughed harder.

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Rory lay on the couch facing the television, watching pictures float mindlessly across the screen. The Fountainhead lay to her left, closed on the ground. She had just finished it and she had the satisfaction of when you just finish a book. That feeling like you just accomplished something. But also that emptiness that now it's done. The world you have been living in for the past couple of days is over, nothing else left.

A young girl running into the room pulled Rory out of her thoughts. When she saw Rory on the couch, the young girl ran over and jumped into her lap.

"Hiya Mommy."

Rory smiled and smoothed back her daughter's hair, kissing her on the forehead. "Hey honey."

"Tell me the story."

Rory regarded her daughter questioningly. "What story?"

The young girls eyes practically bulged out of her head and she bounced up and down excitedly on her lap. "The story. The one about you and daddy."

Rory nodded and rested her chin on top of her daughter's head smiling at her husband who sat at the kitchen table working.

"It's a long story. Are you sure?"

The girl nodded vigorously. She had her mother's deep icy blue eyes and her father's dark skin. She was a beautiful, perfect girl.

"OK. Well, it all started many years ago when I was just 17, your dad moved here from New York and moved in with your Uncle Luke. I had a boyfriend and your dad was just so jealous that he decided to do everything he could to try and woo me." The girl snickered and sneaked a look at her father who now sat watching his two girls from the table.

"He outbid my boyfriend at the basket festivle and one night, when I was tutoring him, he took me out for ice cream."

"Whats tutor?"

"Tutor is when you help someone learn. See, your daddy thought he was too cool for school and he didn't do any of his school work. But hes learned his lesson, haven't you Jess?"

Jess smirked and nooded empmhaticly. "Yes, don't eat ice cream and drive a car."

The little girl laughed and Rory rolled her eyes. "Anyway, we went out for ice cream and your daddy got us into a car accident. He didn't mean to and I broke my arm."

The girl gasped and covered her mouth.

"Yes, and Uncle Luke sent him back to New York. When I found out, I was really sad because I liked Jess. We were friends and it wasn't the same without him. He was the only one in all of Stars Hollow who read as much as me and he was someone I could talk to. I think I started to like your daddy that night so the next week I went to New York to go see him."

"Really?" Her eyes widened in excitement.

"Yes, and we spent the entire day shopping and eating. I went back to Stars Hollow and apparently he could resist my girlish charm so he convinced Luke to let him move back to Stars Hollow. He showed up at Aunt Sookie and Uncle Jackson's wedding and guess what?"


"I kissed him! I don't know why but I did. And I felt guilty because I had a boyfriend so I went to Washington and didn't talk to him the whole summer. When I came back, I thought he would wait for me but he didn't. He had a new, evil girlfriend named Shane. She was very ugly and I think she was a witch."

"A witch?"

"A witch." Jess snorted from the kitchen table and Rory playfully glared at him. He muttered something that sounded convincingly like 'jealously' but continued to listen politely. He loved this story. Almost as much as his daughter did.

"But then me and my boyfriend broke up and your daddy broke free from the witch and we were boyfriend and girlfriend. We had so much fun together and I loved your daddy very much. But one day things went bad and he left. He left without saying a word and I was very sad. I tried to convince myself that I didn't love him anymore and I did for a while. But then he came back and he said he loved me. I was shocked, I didn't know what to say but he left again before I could say anything. I told myself that he didn't mean it and I went on with my life. I pushed your daddy far back in my mind."

Jess listened intently. Rory had never shared this with her daughter, or him before. He never knew she felt all this.

"And I went back to school. And guess who was there? Your daddy. He said run away with me and I seriously considered it but I couldn't. I had to go to school and my whole life was here, I just wasn't ready. When I told him all these things I could see his heartbreak and he left. I cried for three whole days because I knew I would never see him again and he was the person I loved and it hurt. But I pulled myself together and I went on with my life. I finished school and got a job. There was a person at my job who set me up on a blind date and guess who was my date?"


"Yes. It was daddy and we talked. He told me he was sorry about everything and I told him I was sorry about everything and we talked. I realized how much I still loved him, can you imagine, after all those years? And the next couple of months, we went on many dates until on our 8 month anniversary, your daddy said he loved me very much and he knew that I was someone he could spend the rest of his life with. He also said he never stopped loving me. He asked me to marry him!"

The tiny brunette squealed with delight and clapped her hands. Jess just smiled as the memories flowed through his mind.

"After we were married, I found out I was pregnant with you." She poked the little girl in her stomach and the little girl giggled. "And you came into our lives making it perfect, Stella. Our Stella."

Stella smiled and gave her mom a hug. "That's my favorite story."

"Mine too." Rory let her eyes wander to her husband who sat watching and smiling. He stood up and stretched, turning to his daughter.

"Hey Stel, why don't you get into your special clothes."

The little girl widened her eyes and rushed off into her room, excited. Rory got up off the couch and walked over to Jess, putting her arms around his neck. He placed his hands on her hips and leaned in to kiss her. She gave into the moment and smiled against his lips.


Rory turned to see her daughter smiling wearing black pants, black shirt, and a black hat. Rory sighed.

"Jess, you promised."

Stella held a screw driver and waved it in the air. "Are we going to switch the street signs again?"

Jess smiled walking over and squatting down to her level. "You can get on my shoulders."

The little menace smiled and ran out the front door. Jess followed grabbing his coat on the way out.

"You're terrible."

He smirked and responded. "Just passing on the legacy."