Disclaimer: These characters are so not mine. This particular scenario is though.
The Late Night Phone Call
It was one of those crystal clear winter nights where the expansiveness of the universe seems even grander than usual. Rory Gilmore stood outside her new apartment in New Haven, staring up at the sky. With every breath her nose tickled from the cold, and she absentmindedly rubbed her hand across it to stop the sensation.
She was snapped back to reality by the sound of her cell phone ringing. She immediately checked the caller ID, and sighed with relief and a slight hint of terror as the name JESS flashed on the little screen. After taking a moment to gather herself, Rory pressed "answer" and put the phone to her ear.
A short silence ensued as Rory tried to make her mouth form words. Jess spoke before she succeeded.
"Rory?...Are you there?...Hello?"
"Hi Jess," Rory finally managed to squeak out.
"There you are…Hi."
"Yup. Hi Jess."
"Yes, you already said that," Jess teased gently.
"Oh, yeah. I guess I did. Sorry. I just…uh, well, I wasn't sure you heard me the first time so I thought I'd say it again. I didn't want you to think I wasn't going to say hello, and I didn't really know where else to start, and then it just kind of slipped out again, and then I realized I'd already said it and it was too late to take back so…"
"You called me earlier?"
"Yes, yes I did. I have some news for you. And I wanted to talk to you. Oh! And I read your book. I really liked it, though I must say you've let Hemmingway influence your writing a bit too much. Not that I got bored or fell asleep reading your book or anything like that. I don't want you to think that either. Shoot. Uh, can I just go back to just saying that I really liked your book instead of comparing you to an author you know I can't stand?"
Jess couldn't help smirking at Rory's nervousness. He even had to admit to himself that he missed her rambling a tiny bit; the rest of her he missed a lot, the rambling however...
"I'm glad you liked it, Rory. Your opinion means a lot to me."
"Yeah. That's, uh, sort of why I called. Kind of. I just wanted to make sure you knew…I'm proud of you. I really am; for getting your life together, for writing a book, for not beating Logan up...
"…I'm not done yet, Jess. I want you to know that your opinion means a lot to me, too. Maybe more than I realized before you came back…again. And maybe more than you realized, either. Do you know where I'm calling from? My new apartment in New Haven. I just started spring term at Yale. I'm back. I went back. And I'm talking to my mom again. More than just talking, actually. You know, she and I are finally getting back to the way we were. Only different. Different, but better somehow. I've grown up a lot these past two years, these past couple months. And now, I've been able to open up to her and trust her in a way I haven't really since the whole Dean…umm…well, I'll get to that later, but…"
"Rory! Stop for a second. Why are you telling me all of this?" Jess' mind was busily trying to wrap his mind around the words flying out of Rory's mouth.
"…You were right. About all of it. Me. My grandparents. School. Logan. I had let my life slip into something I didn't think I had any control over. I became someone I barely recognized. And you came back, and for once, you had yourself together, and my life was…well, fallen apart. It really put things in perspective."
Rory shivered slightly in the cold, and pulled her coat tighter around herself.
"Oh, thanks a lot, Ror," Jess said with a hint of amusement in his voice.
"Haha. But seriously, Jess, this whole thing with me having issues and making poor decisions goes back, further than just Mitchum telling me I didn't have what it takes to be a journalist last spring."
"Wait? Who, told you what?"
"Logan's dad, but it doesn't really matter. I realized something after talking to my mom the other night. That's why I called you. All of this…it started a year and a half ago, maybe earlier, but I really think this all started when..."
There was another long pause as Jess sat silently, waiting for Rory to continue, and Rory sat silently, trying to make her mouth form the proper words. Finally, Jess' curiosity got the best of him.
"When what Ror?"
"….When you came to my dorm and asked me to run away with you…"
There was another silence on the line, but Rory thought she heard Jess suck in a deep breath.
"Rory, I…that was a long time ago. I can say I'm sorry all I want, but…"
"No, Jess, I don't think you understand!"
"…seriously, Rory, did you have to call me to tell me I'm responsible for everything that's been screwed up in you life for the past couple years. Great. Thanks a lot."
"No, Jess! Stop! Please let me finish."
The sinking pit in Jess' stomach settled a bit, and then began sinking again when he heard her sniffling on the other end of the line.
"Jess. Maybe you shouldn't have asked me to run away with you, but, you didn't really do anything wrong there. Illogical maybe, impossible maybe…"
"You going somewhere with this, Rory?"
"...Yes. You told me you loved me and you wanted to be with me, and that I could trust you. I was angry with you, and upset that I'd just been through an entire year with absolutely no one interested in me, and then suddenly, in the same night, I had both Dean and you thrown back into my life. I was having some pretty scary high school flashbacks, right then. Anyway, I was hurt and…telling you I didn't want to be with you, that I didn't love you, was my way of hurting you back. It was silly, and childish, and just the first in a long line of immature decisions that brought me to the point where I was when you last saw me – miserable and aimless"
"I'm sorry, Rory, but I'm still not sure where you're going with this."
"Are you going to come back for Luke and my mom's wedding?"
"Uh…segue much there, Rory?"
"Um…well, I was just thinking. I know you have your life in Philadelphia now, and I still have two years of Yale left, or maybe only a year and a half if I take those classes this summer to make up for last fall…Anyway, I'd like it if we kept in touch. Called, emailed…I don't know…met up in Stars Hollow sometime? Or…uh…maybe…umm…we could even visit each other? Or, you know, I could visit you if the trip is too much for you to make…"
"Um…I had sex with Dean."
"While he was married. And when I first slept with Logan it was in an awful 'no strings attached' experiment...my brilliant idea by the way…"
"Rory! Please. I am so lost right now."
"Jess, did you know I've never really made love to anyone? Seriously, it's kinda sad. I've been having sex for two years, and I've never slept with someone I was in actually love with who was in love with me, too."
"Uh...still a little lost here, Ror."
"I gave myself to Dean, and all he gave me was a scarlet 'A' on my chest and a broken relationship with my mother. I gave myself to Logan and all he gave me was a Birkin bag…oh, and another rift in my relationship with Mom."
"I…don't really know what to say, Rory. What does this have to do with me…with us?"
"So, Logan and I broke up that night in the bar, after you left."
"Wow, Rory, you really need to work on this segue thing…"
"Duly noted. Actually, Logan and I had a big fight that night, and he assumed we were broken up. I had to find that out from his sister. He tried to win me back, but I finally got him to sit down and actually talk with me. Our relationship was based entirely on partying and having fun. Not exactly the deep-seated connection I want…need…to be happy. He was upset, and he brought you up again. He asked if you and I ever slept together, and if I still had feelings for you. I told him it was none of his business, and he said that if I had slept with you while I was dating him, it was his business. I told him that no, not only had we not slept together but also that was the first time we'd seen each other in months, but…"
"But as I said it, I felt almost…regretful…I don't know, and I couldn't bring myself to answer the second part of his question, partly because I wasn't sure how to answer it. Finally, he got fed up. We're over now. For good. And it's for the best, too."
"So…you're saying what? You may still have feelings for me? And you are asking if we can keep in touch and visit each other? You'd like to know if we can get together for…what? A late night booty call? Maybe hook up at your mom's wedding?..."
"Jess! That's not fair!..."
"…because that's not going to happen, Ror…"
"…I didn't mean…"
"I'd want more."
"You said that sleeping with Dean and Logan were immature decisions that had a bad affect on your life. I refuse to be another bad decision you make. We've been through enough crap already, it's amazing we're still on speaking terms; I don't know if we could take another major blow up like that."
"Uh, yeah. So…"
"So…what? Rory, we've both…been through a lot…since the last time we were actually together. Hell, that conversation at your grandparents' house was the first real conversation we'd had in two and a half years."
"But you, apparently, still knew me better than anyone else. And I listened to you when I wouldn't listen to anyone else. Probably because I knew you…I don't know, had been through rough times, too. Maybe because I know you had questioned what you were going to do with yourself before, too. And maybe just because me believing in you, even though others didn't always agree, and you succeeding, made me realize that maybe I should believe in the people who believe in me. Like you…like my mom, like Luke…"
"I know you well enough to know when you're not happy, no matter how long it's been. You weren't happy when I saw you."
"And now? Can you tell if I'm happy now?"
"You're back in school and you're back with your mom; yeah, you sound happier, but I think you still have a while to go before you're really happy again."
"Huh. So what are you suggesting?"
"Well, actually, you were the one who first suggested something, but…Rory, I would love to keep in touch with you, to call you and email you."
"And, I think it would be great to see you at Luke and Lorelai's wedding, and maybe, sometime we can work out a way to visit each other."
"I feel a 'but' coming on…"
"You're right. BUT, I think we should leave it at that for a while, and not make any promises we can't keep. Or do anything…uh…rash."
"That sounds…reasonable. Very non-immature. You realize though that I'm going to be the maid of honor at the wedding, right?"
"Again, what has that got to do with anything?"
"Well, as my mother has told me repeatedly, it's my job as maid of honor to help my mom with the planning, throw her a bridal shower, and, of course, make out with one of the groomsmen."
"Oh? Is that so?"
"Yes, it is so, but you see, it looks like the groomsmen may consist of you and Jackson. That's it. So you see, that puts me in an awkward position, because Jackson, of course, will be too busy doing silly things like paying attention to his wife to make out with me. But that's actually perfectly fine, since she's a bridesmaid, so she's allowed to make out with a groomsman, too. Unless, of course, you'd like to challenge Jackson for Sookie?"
"Um, no thanks. I could never date a chef. Too finicky."
"Aha. Clearly. So…"
"So…I think we should see when we get there. In the spirit of not making promises we can't keep."
"Oh. But even if you can't promise, that doesn't mean you don't…uh…I mean, in a hypothetical someday-maybe-I-think-I-hope kind of way maybe feel that…?"
"Ror, you've been it for me since the first time I laid eyes on you."
"But I'm not going to screw this up again by not telling you how I really feel, or by pushing you away, or by jumping into something that will put me on the same level as those other guys. I want more. You deserve more. We deserve more."
"Well, that's good to know. So, what does that mean exactly?"
"That means when…if…you give yourself to me, what you get in return is…me. All of me."
"Oh…wow. Jess. You really are…different. I think I like it."
"Yeah, well, two and a half years and a dump truck full of life experience can do that to a person."
"I suppose. So, I should go. It's cold and I've been standing outside for a little privacy. I should go now; get inside, get warm, put some headphones on and listen to music while I do work so I can't hear Paris and Doyle in their bedroom."
"I don't know whether that deserves an 'Okay, then' or a 'Yikes'. Either way, it sounds like you should go. Good luck with that."
"Yeah, thanks. So we're…good?"
"Yeah, we're good. I'll talk to you later, or actually…I'll call you. Tomorrow?
"Wow, you saying you're going call at a specific time? I'm thoroughly impressed…although, I guess I should wait to see if the follow-through is as good as the lead-up."
"Rory," Jess growled into the phone.
"Tomorrow, I get it. Goodbye, Jess."
Rory hung up her phone and took one last lingering glance at the expansive sky. As she breathed in a slow smile spread across her face and she dialed another number and put the phone to her ear again.
"Hi, Mom. I smell snow…You too?...You really think? Snow tomorrow night?...I hope you're right mom, about it snowing, and the good things that happen when it does."
A/N: My first published fic. I'm hesitant to do more than a one parter because, you dear readers, deserve a decent update schedule on a continuing story.
I'd really appreciate your reviews, even if it's just a simple 'Hi' and whether you liked it.