Summary: Slight AU. Set during the summer before Rory's freshman year at Yale. Everything that happened in season three applies, but I added a few twists. "I'm giving you permission to break me. And now it's up to you." Literati.
A/N: This is my first continuation GG fic so I apologize if the characterization is a little spotty.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, as usual. If I did I wouldn't be sitting here right now, you can trust me on that.
She let her eyes drift open at the sounds of thunder in the midnight sky. They automatically drifted to the alarm clock by her bed and in red lighting it screamed 3 a.m. at her. She sighed, pushing the covers out of the way as she got up and went over to the window. She traced clear paths of water down the window as the storm continued outside. Tiny little droplets, vaguely resembling her tears that had fallen just a few hours prior, were forming puddles on the ground outside. She couldn't help but smile to herself. She pressed her palm fully against the glass and shivered a bit at how cold it was. It was nights like this that she used to be scared of. She'd run into her mom's bed and make her hold her to fight off all of the scary booming noises outside. Now she thrived on them, the storms unconsciously reflecting her own inner turmoil.
It had rained the night she realized she was in love with him.
It was an ordinary night, they had been reading on the couch together, teasing each other every now and then. She hadn't even registered the heightened state of her senses as he read aloud to her. She claimed she was too tired to follow the words but they both knew it was a lie. She wanted to hear his voice, feel the utter paradox of emotions that shot through her at the sound. She closed her eyes and snuggled into him, lazily wrapping her arms around his waist. She smiled when she heard his heart pounding inside of his chest, giving away his calm exterior. Maybe it was that moment, maybe it was when he kissed her goodnight and left her mindlessly gripping the door paneling, her other hand on her lips, her breath coming to her in short little gasps.
Maybe she had known it all along.
She shook the thought from her head and went back to her bed, crawling under the covers and pulling them tight around her. She closed her eyes, pushing all thoughts out of her head and firmly willing sleep to come again. It was hopeless. Her mind drifted back to the morning after her realization, when she had opened the door to find him soaking wet on her front porch.
"Hey," he greeted.
"Can we go somewhere?" he asked, and she recognized a hint of desperation in his voice. She nodded.
She grabbed her coat off the rack and threw it on, slipping on a pair of flip flops and taking the hand he offered her. She shut the door behind her and laced their fingers together, walking with him in the pouring rain.
To her surprise, she didn't mind the water dripping down her skin. They went to their bridge and his hand fell from hers as he sat down. She sat next to him and looked over at him, smiling when she saw the raindrops dripping from his eyelids.
"Can I ask you something?" He nodded. "Why did you drag me out here in the pouring rain? We could've very easily stayed at my house." He smirked.
"You didn't invite me in," he teased. She rolled her eyes.
"I used to take walks in the rain back in New York. It calmed me down enough to go back home and deal with whatever guy my mom had home that week." She winced. He didn't notice, keeping his tone even and his face stoic. "I always wondered why people thought it was romantic."
"So you dragged me out here to…find out?" He looked at her. "Well that's what it seems like you're getting at. I mean what other purpose could you possibly have for dragging me out into a storm in Stars Hollow at nine in the morning on a Sat-"
He cut off her rambling by kissing her. She was shocked at first but gave in a couple seconds later, cupping his face in her hands while he wrapped an arm around her waist to pull her closer. His other hand trailed the soft, wet skin of her face and he swore he felt her shiver.
They pulled away moments later and she was left in a daze, her eyes fluttering open and shut in an attempt to focus again. He rested his forehead against hers and the contact was all she needed to come back to the moment.
"Rory, I-" He paused. She felt her heart speed up and willed him to say the words that she knew were begging to fall out of his mouth. "We should get you home before you get sick," he whispered. She nodded, swallowing back a few drops of rain that had dripped into her mouth, trying to hide her disappointment.
A loud, irritating beeping sound brought her back to her room. She groaned and slammed down on her alarm clock, forcing it to leave her at peace for a few more precious minutes.
"Rise and shine!" Lorelai called out cheerfully as she entered her daughter's room a few minutes later.
"Mmfgh," Rory replied.
"Nope. Get up, today is our first day back and we have things to do! Up, up, up!"
Rory pulled the covers over her head and burrowed further into them, trying to block out her mother.
Lorelai rolled her eyes and yanked the covers off of her, smiling when Rory shot up in bed.
"That's more like it," she cheered.
"Mom!" Rory whined.
"Coffee's in the kitchen," Lorelai grinned as she left the room. Rory groaned and got out of bed, pulling a robe on as she made her way into the kitchen and sat down.
"What time is it?" Rory yawned, pouring herself a cup of coffee.
"Eight," came her mother's simple response.
"Ok, I'm going to take a shower and then we can go to Luke's." Lorelai nodded and swallowed back more of her coffee.
"Sounds good, sweets."
Rory made her way into the bathroom and was in the shower only a couple moments later. Letting the water trickle over her body, she tried her hardest to erase her dream. She wasn't supposed to be thinking about him, she was supposed to hate him. She did hate him, or at least she told herself she did. Summer in Europe had been amazing, not allowing much room for thoughts of him but occasionally, when she'd step into a book store or somewhere that reminded her of Luke's, she would think of him. It hurt, to know that moving on wouldn't be as easy as she'd hoped, but what hurt more was that she knew she'd never see him again to tell him just how awful he was.
She turned the water off and stepped out of the shower, wiping some fog off the mirror to look at herself. She didn't look any different to the usual observer, but exterior appearance can betray a person, and she knew that from experience now. She shook her head to clear her head and went back to her room to get ready for Luke's.
"Coffee," the Gilmore girls chorused as they took a seat at the counter. Luke looked up from the table he'd been at and grinned.
"Europe didn't change you, I see," he teased, handing the other customer's order to Cesar and putting two mugs in front of them.
"Never!" Lorelai gasped as he filled their mugs. He shook his head.
"Shoulda known. So how was the trip?"
"Amazing. The books lie, it's even more amazing in person. It was so beautiful, Luke," Rory rambled. He grinned again.
"I'm glad you had a good time."
"How was the cruise?" Lorelai chimed in.
"Oh…uneventful," Luke said nervously. Lorelai eyed him warily.
"Uh-huh. Come on, cough it up."
"I told you, it was uneventful."
"I don't believe you."
"I don't care."
"Tell me what happened!"
"Fine," she sighed. "At least give me more coffee so that I can mope about my lack of information." Luke rolled his eyes but refilled her cup.
"More coffee, Rory?"
Rory didn't hear him. Her attention was directed at the stairs, expecting him to come down them any minute. Luke followed her gaze and sighed.
"Rory," he tried again. She snapped out of her reverie and looked at him, eyes wide. "Coffee?"
"Oh…yeah. Thanks, Luke." He nodded and refilled her cup before moving off to help the other customers around the diner.
"You ok, sweets?" Lorelai asked in concern.
"What? Oh…yeah, I'm fine, mom."
"If you say so."
"I do say so."
"Well ok," she sighed. "I have to go meet Sookie; you'll be ok by yourself?"
"Yeah, I have to go see Lane anyway."
"I'll see you back at home later," Lorelai said as she hopped off the stool and kissed her on the forehead. "Bye sweets!" she called over her shoulder as she left the diner.
"He called," Luke said as he went back behind the counter.
"What? Who?" Rory asked in confusion.
"Jess." She closed her eyes for a second. It had been so long since she'd heard his name.
"Oh," she said softly.
"He's in California, with his dad. He said it's sunny." She nodded.
"I've heard that." She paused and looked up at him. "How is he?"
"Good. He's good." She nodded.
"He asked about you."
"Did he?" she asked, trying to seem nonchalant about it.
"Yeah, I told him you were in Europe." She nodded again.
"He called me on my graduation day," she said quietly, absentmindedly tracing the rim of her mug with her finger.
"He didn't mention that."
"Probably not. He didn't say anything but I knew it was him."
"He's an idiot, Rory." She laughed bitterly.
"That's what they all told me and I didn't listen, did I?" He sighed. "I have to go meet Lane. Thanks for the coffee," she said as she jumped off her stool and left the diner.
Luke went back to serving customers and glanced up when the bell above the door rang. He had to do a double take.
Like I said, this is my first continuation GG fic, and I know that the characterization is probably off and I apologize for that, I will work on it. I love reviews; I could eat them for every meal of the day and never tire of them so I'd love to get some. Thanks for reading!