Summary: AU. She forgave Logan and told Jess she's in love with him. But wait. Rewind. Let's try and play it out differently this time. Lit.
Disclaimer: Do you really think I own these characters? Really? Good God.
A/N: Alright, so … I knew that Jess' return was going to be angsty. I knew that and I was prepared for it. Or at least I thought I was. But then seeing them together again, seeing their chemistry and watching his face crumble when Rory told him she was in love with Logan … I'll admit, I cried. And I haven't been this upset over that show since the "no" scene.
So here's the Sam take on the past two episodes, because really, would the Rory we all fell in love with have ever forgiven Logan? Really? I think not. Maybe I'm crazy, but that's not the girl I remember. Reviews are love, and yes, this is my third continuation fic that I'm starting in this fandom/pairing in a time span of two weeks and yes, I will find a way to keep up with all of them. Patience is a virtue, my friends.
Huge, huge thanks to Nina for making me transcripts from 6.18 and being so patient with me throughout that whole process. She gets huggles and kisses and thank you fic as soon as she gives me her requirements. Lots of dialogue from the episodes is used in this, so you'll recognize quite a bit of it.
And if I don't get any reviews for this I won't bother with continuing it. ;)
"Rory, come on," Logan sighed and took a step closer to her. She folded her arms tighter across her chest and backed up instinctively, shaking her head.
"When have I ever given you reason not to trust me?"
"When you had sex with an entire bridal party!" she practically screamed, arms dropping to her sides in frustration. "How can you not see where I'm coming from?"
"I didn't know we were still together! I thought we'd broken up! Did you hear a word of anything I just said?"
"All I heard was a hell of a lot of bullshit to try and get your girlfriend back. But guess what, Logan? I'm done. With you, with us, with the drinking and the partying and the fights; all of it."
"Rory…" he took another step toward her and she glared at him icily, blue eyes frozen over, indifference and anger battling for dominance in her gaze.
"You need to leave. I'll be by tomorrow to pick up my stuff."
Logan stared at her as she turned around and stormed back into her new-old-apartment, a hopeful look dawning on his face when she shrieked in disgust and backed into the doorway.
The look faded when he heard Paris and Doyle's mumbled apologies as Rory walked back into the room and locked the door behind her.
It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off her shoulders when she set her key on the counter. Despite the slight feeling of regret that washed over her with the action, the overwhelming relief and freedom that came with it was enough to make her smile.
Rory sighed and looked around the apartment one last time, checking every drawer and corner for anything that was ever hers. She found a book lying on the floor next to her side of the bed – cringed at the description her mind had come up with – and carefully picked the book up as her blue orbs flooded with recognition.
She bit her lip and sank down onto the mattress, flipping through the pages for the first and millionth time since she'd received the book from the author himself. She'd read it more times than she could remember, dog-earing certain pages that stood out to her for one reason or another. Despite the copy being almost brand new, it looked worn and well-read and she would've called him to ask him to write in it for her if it wasn't his words that were typed onto the thin paper.
The front door opened with a soft, but audible, click. She was so caught up in reviewing her favorite passages (which, to be honest, could be found on almost every page) that she didn't notice the intrusion until she saw a head of blond hair above the top of the book cover.
"Figured you'd be done by now," Logan said quietly. He tossed his keys onto his bureau and Rory pursed her lips, shutting the book and gently putting it in her jacket pocket.
"Wanted to do one last sweep," she explained coldly. "If you find anything you can send it to me."
He chuckled mirthlessly as he carelessly tossed his jacket onto the bed and ran his hands through his hair in exasperation. "We're still going to see each other, Ace."
"Doesn't mean we have to be civil," Rory retorted. She gracefully stood from the bed and walked out of the room, grabbing her purse from its position by the door and letting her eyes triple-check the place as she walked out.
She got as far as the elevator before he put a hand on her arm in an attempt to stop her.
"Don't touch me," she bit out. Logan jerked his hand back as though he had been stung. Like a jellyfish, she thought, and the healing process would be twice as perverse as the wound.
"Ace," he pleaded. Rory leveled a glare with him and crossed her arms over her chest defiantly.
"And don't call me that," she hissed. Her cell phone rang and she shot him one last glance before pulling it out of her bag and stepping onto the elevator.
The metal doors made his form grow thinner and thinner as they slid closed, and she let out a relieved sigh when he was no longer in sight, one hand glued to her cell phone and the other affectionately grasping the book in her pocket.
"So you work for a publishing house."
"Yeah," Jess chuckled and sat back in his desk. "I take it you got my letter?"
"Kirk delivered it this morning," Luke said gravely. Jess smirked.
"He still scared of me?"
"I have no idea. He handed me your letter separately, though. I half-expected it to explode from the look on his face."
"Good to know some things never change," Jess grinned. His co-workers wandered into the publishing house, loudly conversing over the group of girls they'd just seen on the sidewalk and he rolled his eyes. "Hold on," he muttered. When he turned around to shout at the guys to shut up they had already made their way upstairs. He rolled his eyes and turned back to the conversation.
"Well, look, I just wanted to call and tell you I got the letter; check in, you know," Luke said awkwardly. Jess nodded to himself and idly tapped his pen against his desk.
"I know," he returned.
"Good. So you're good?"
"Good; things are good," Luke agreed. Jess nodded again and smirked a little.
"So …" he sighed quietly. "How's she doing?"
Luke hesitated for a fraction of a moment. "Last time I checked, she was good."
"Still at Yale?"
"Still at Yale," Luke confirmed. Jess smiled at the pen that was tapping steadily against his desk and nodded.
"Good. If you see her…"
"I'll tell her, Jess."
"Paris! Why does the living room smell like a garden?" Rory shouted. She sighed and dropped her bag on the floor. When she stood up and breathed through her nose again she scrunched it up in disgust and waved her hand in front of her face. A weekend in Stars Hollow had not prepared her for an overly-flower-scented apartment when she got home.
"There was an odd smell coming from the corner and I ran out of the good spray so I had to settle for botanical garden dream," Paris replied as she walked into the room. "I know, it's terrible, but you'd love it if you had been here for the previous smell."
"Did something die in the wall again?"
"Possibly," Paris nodded, "The manager claims they're looking into it."
"Oh," Rory nodded in acknowledgement. "Botanical garden dream, then?"
"Okay," Rory grinned and picked up her bag to carry it into her room. "Did I miss anything exciting while I was gone?"
"Doyle moved into a hotel for a night because we got into another argument."
"Paris, that's awful."
"We worked it out. He's in class right now. Oh, and Pinocchio stopped by a few times. Seems he lost his puppet master," Paris said wryly. Rory rolled her eyes and sat down on her bed.
"What'd he say?"
"The usual," she shrugged and affected a deep voice, "Tell Rory I stopped by; I love her; I'm sorry." She shrugged again. Rory groaned.
"How long until he gives up?"
"He was rather persistent the last time you two broke up."
"Hmph," Rory pouted. After a pause, "I'm swearing off men."
"Hallelujah," Paris agreed.
She stared blankly at the wall and listened closely to her mother's words in confusion. "The real Paul Anka?"
"The dog Paul Anka," Lorelai clarified. Rory blinked and listened to the rest of the story, stopping it at random intervals to clarify as to which Paul Anka her mother was referring to. By the time she hung up she was convinced Lorelai had finally gone off the deep end and forgotten how to swim.
Rory shook the somewhat-disturbing thoughts of her mother's dream from her head and grabbed her purse to go to the newsroom. They had a little more than twelve hours until deadline and she had yet to complete her ex-boyfriend's assignment on text book pricing for the new edition of the paper.
She didn't notice the invitation lying in the stack of mail by the door.
Two days later, Luke was staring at the painting in front of him with absolute confusion. The things that some people considered art just baffled him. This particular picture seemed to have no actual point. There was no title, either, which only heightened his annoyance with the new generation and their lack of shape. What was the point of looking at art if you couldn't even pretend to understand it?
"So my eyes don't deceive me."
He blinked and turned around, ignoring his nephew's ever-present, always-cocky smirk. "First thing's first, what the hell is that?"
"It's an abstract painting."
"But what is it supposed to be?"
"Check the title," Jess shrugged.
"I did; it's called Untitled."
"There you go."
"I give up," Luke rolled his eyes and fought the urge to stare at the painting again. He wouldn't ever figure it out, so attempting to do so would only end in pain on his end.
"So you got the invite," Jess commented.
Luke nodded, "I got the invite."
"I guess I didn't think you'd come."
"You guessed wrong, nephew."
"Cool," Jess nodded and gestured around the room, "So you want the tour?"
He walked around the corner and glanced disinterestedly at the crowd of people that was milling around the room, chatting excitedly with each other. His eyes fell on a familiar face and he stopped dead in his tracks, hands clenching nervously in his pockets.
"Well isn't this just a day of surprises?" he drawled. She smiled at him and he returned the gesture, his hands relaxing almost immediately at the bright look in her eyes.
"I didn't RSVP," Rory shrugged. "Sorry."
"Ah, this isn't an RSVP thing," Jess promised. "Showing up's cool."
"Good," she grinned. He grinned in turn and she looked around the room in interest. "So this is Truncheon books."
"Yeah, this is Truncheon," he nodded.
"I like it," she nodded. "It makes me feel like I instantly want to create something. Give me a pen. Give me a paint brush." She blinked, "That's Luke."
Jess nodded and started leading her toward his uncle. "Yeah, there's a definite 'Jess Mariano, this is your life' vibe here today." He turned his attention to his uncle and didn't notice the way Rory nervously bit her lip and rocked back on her heels.
Jess promised to meet his coworkers at the bar later, waving them off as his attention focused on the last person left in the store. She was sitting with her back to him, her attention focused entirely on the book she held open in her hands. He smirked to himself and grabbed a stool, pulling it over and plunking down next to her.
"You know, you don't have to read it again," he smiled at her. Rory closed the book and looked at him, a shallow blush rising in her cheeks.
"I know I don't," she turned to face him and they both stilled when their knees touched fleetingly. Jess shook it off and fell back into the conversation, focusing on the novella that was still being grasped tightly in between her palms.
"God, there are so many things I would change in it," he commented as he leaned closer to her.
"Like what?" she smiled.
"I'd keep the back cover. Everything else goes," he made a sweeping gesture with his hands and she chuckled.
"You know why I love your book?"
"It doesn't remind me of anything. It's not a rip-off," she explained, "It's just you."
"High praise, Miss Yale Editor," he teased. Rory reddened adorably.
"Yeah, well, I don't get to write as much as I would like," she shrugged. "I'm mostly assigning, motivating, hand-holding, and re-writing," she nodded.
"And you love it. Every minute of it," he smirked. "Come on, tell me you don't."
"I do," she nodded, "I do love it. It's exciting."
"You look happier than when I saw you last," Jess said quietly. He nervously rested his hands on his knees, consequently brushing his fingers against her skin and she bit the inside of her lip nervously.
"I am," she agreed.
"So you fixed everything?" he smirked and waved his hands in a jazz-like fashion, earning a smile from her.
"Yeah, everything's fixed."
"I'm glad you're here," he said huskily, brown eyes locking onto blue as he leaned closer to her.
"Me too," she whispered. Their lips met a moment later and she shivered from the familiar feeling of his lips on hers. He moved his hand to her elbow, brushing his tongue across the seam of her mouth faintly, barely a ghost of a touch as she raised her hand to his face and cupped his cheek gently.
Rory broke away first and breathed in and out shallowly, resting her forehead against his and closing her eyes for a moment. She opened them again and smiled shyly at him, that giddy high school feeling filling her senses as she watched him try and catch his own breath.
"Hi," she whispered, quietly. Her breath brushed across his mouth in a whisper and he swallowed thickly, leaning in and capturing her lips for another kiss.
Jess smiled when he pulled back from her, his hands resting comfortably on her hips. "Hi," he returned quietly. Rory smiled at him again and he tugged lightly at her belt loops, attaching his lips to her neck as she straddled his lap.
She squirmed to make herself more comfortable and let out a gasp when he found that spot behind her ear, that spot that Logan had only found once and neglected after that. She attempted to say his name when he trailed hot, open-mouthed kisses across the angle of her jaw, but the sound was lost against his tongue when he met her mouth again.
Jess tightened his grip on her waist and pulled her closer, moaning quietly when she scraped her nails across his scalp and pressed her hips against his.
"How far are we from your apartment?" she gasped when they parted. Her eyes were a sultry shade of blue he had never seen on her before and he buried his face in the crook of her neck, groaning against her skin. Rory ran her fingers through his hair soothingly, pressing chaste kisses against his temple while he regained his bearings.
"I have a bed upstairs," he murmured against her ear. She smiled and impatiently tugged him back for another kiss before climbing off his lap and holding her hands out expectantly.
He raised an eyebrow, "Here?"
"Why not?" she shrugged daintily. "I don't think I have the patience for a car ride to your place," she grinned at him. Jess bit his lip and stood up, intertwining their fingers and kissing her again as he started backing up the stairs.
She giggled when they tripped over almost every step, refusing to detach her mouth from his even when they both fell and landed in a tangled mess of limbs on the landing at the top of the stairs.
Rory sighed against his neck and pressed kisses all along his shoulder, laughing quietly in his ear when she took it gently between her teeth. Jess ran his hand down her spine and she closed her eyes, shivering at the sensation. Her teeth nipped at his earlobe again and she soothed the bite with her tongue before settling down next to him and resting her head on his chest.
"So tell me why we never did that in Stars Hollow?"
He laughed and looked down at her, adjusting on the pillow until he could see her comfortably. She smiled up at him and pressed a kiss to his chin, idly tracing patterns across his stomach with her hand.
"Beats me," he whispered as their lips met softly, slowly. He wrapped his arm around her waist tighter, groaning sensually against her mouth when her hand slipped past his stomach and beneath the sheets.
"Mm," she sighed when they parted, adjusting until she was straddling him, hands resting lightly on his chest. "Was that my fault?" she grinned and lowered her head like she was going to kiss him, her mouth hovering over his for a moment before traveling lower and trailing across his pulse point.
It quickened beneath her lips and she smiled against his skin.
"Ya know, I vaguely recall a few instances where you stopped us before we did anything," he groaned when she bit down on his nipple, "Interesting," he breathed. His hands tangled in her hair and Rory smiled up at him, crawling back up his body and placing a chaste kiss against his mouth.
"Silly me," she giggled breathily.
Jess grinned and sat up, carrying her with him and attaching his mouth to her neck. "I guess," he ran his tongue across her pulse point, "We'll just have to," and kissed her neck, "Make up for," he nipped at her collarbone, tightening his grip on her hips, "Lost time," he breathed against her breast.
Rory pressed a kiss against his throat, carefully climbing out of bed so as not to wake him. She tugged his shirt on and breathed in deeply, a giddy smile falling across her lips as she groped around on the floor for her cell phone. Her hand closed over the small object a moment later and she quietly snuck out of the room, making her way into the bathroom across the hall.
Her mother answered the phone groggily and she winced slightly.
"Hey, mom," she whispered. Lorelai yawned and returned the greeting.
"Is everything okay, sweets? You're not usually one to call at …" Rory listened as she shifted around in the bed to see the clock. "One in the morning? Why are you calling at one in the morning?"
"I need to tell you something."
"I gathered that."
"And I need you to promise you won't freak out when I do."
"But sweetie, if you're shipping of to Iraq then I think I'm entitled to at least a small hissy fit." Rory rolled her eyes.
"I slept with Jess," she blurted. The line went quiet and then Lorelai coughed loudly into the phone.
"I'm sorry … what?"
"I slept with Jess," Rory whispered again.
"When did this happen?"
"A couple hours ago."
"A couple … Rory!"
"I know," she sighed and picked at the hem of his shirt. She could still smell his cologne in the fabric and it made her smile in spite of the conversation she was having at the moment.
"Philadelphia? Really? This isn't just a late, misplaced April Fool's joke?"
"No, it's not. I'm really in Philadelphia."
"And you slept with Jess."
After a pause, "Are you okay?"
"That depends. Are you?"
"Never been better," Rory said seriously.
"Well then yay for Jess sex."
"Please don't ever say that again."
"Yeah, didn't feel right."
"Good," Rory laughed quietly and leaned back against the wall, taking a deep breath. "I'll call you tomorrow when things are a little more … defined."
"Definition is good. Send me a dictionary if it makes things easier."
"Will do. Don't dream about vortexes tonight."
"Don't get pregnant."
Rory hung up the phone with a smile. She bit her lip and held the phone firmly between her palms, biting down on the speaker to keep from giggling. She opened the door and jumped when Jess leaned against the doorframe, an amused smirk on his face. He chuckled lightly and apologized for scaring her.
"No, I just … must you sneak around in the dark like that?"
Jess considered the question for the moment and then smiled slowly. "No, but it makes life fun." She giggled before she could stop herself and wrapped her arms around his neck, kissing him soundly.
"Take me to bed, Dodger."
"As you wish."