A/N: The answer to last chapter's quote game "Try ducking."is Luke in Dead Uncles and Vegetables (2-17). I have jumped ahead ten years. Luke and Lorelai have been married for ten years now and still only have Rory. Richard and Lorelai have a decent realtionship but Emily still has lingering resentment. Just so you know, despite all the shit that Dean put Rory through I still think he was a decent first boyfriend. And because I think that I am still having Dean featured as the guy we all fell in love with in the first and second seasons and the first half of season three.


Chapter Six: Gotta Love High School

September third 2001, Rory Danes-Gilmore awoke with a start. Something was different in the air. Something new was about to begin. The fall had come and with it came Rory's favorite time of the year. School starting. Rory loved school. She loved to learn and read. Rory was starting her junior year at Stars Hollow High. She was excited because she had all honors classes this year. Sadly that meant she wouldn't have any classes with her best friend Lane Kim.

She was the second one up that morning. Her father Luke was always the first up because he ran the diner. Rory loved her dad. Although he wasn't her real father, she had known him since she was five. He was everything to her and her mother Lorelai. Luke let them move into his apartment over the diner when her mom's apartment building caught fire. He loved her like she was his own and in so many ways Rory was Luke's through and through.

Rory went to her closet and opened it up and stared at it's contents. This year was going to be different. This year things were going to change. She pulled out a pink sweater, her good jeans and her brand new white and pink Converese sneakers. She brushed her hair back into a low ponytail and secured the loose tendrils with pink butterfly bobby pins. She checked her reflection in the mirror before leaving her room. She was ready for the first day of her junior year of high school.

She walked into the kitchen and sat down at the table. Her father was standing at the stove flipping and frying something good. Despite his best efforts Rory was still a coffee addict like her mother. Luke turned around and set a plate of pancakes and scrambled eggs in front of her.

"You know you are the only kid on the planet who actually likes going to school on the first day," he commented. "I once tried to turn the calander back to June one year before my mom got really sick. She didn't buy it though."

Rory laughed because Lorelai had told her that once before. Both of her parents couldn't understand where Rory got her love for school. Neither one of them ever enjoyed it as much as Rory did. Butr it was a nice feeling to be introduced at the PTA meetings as the parents of the best student we've ever had.

After Rory had finished her breakfast she kissed her parents goodbye and headed off to school. She met up with Lane outside Miss Patty's and waited for Lane to change out of her "Mrs. Kim" approved clothes and into her real stuff. They then walked into Stars Hollow High together. The only class that Rory and Lane had together was homeroom. They sat right next to each other and compared their schedules.

"Can't you be dumb in one of your classes so I can have someone to talk to?" Lane complained. "This year is going to suck!"

Rory heard about half of what her friend was saying. Someone very tall with shaggy brown hair and bright green eyes, dressed in jeans, a t-shirt and a black leather jacket had walked in. Rory was smitten. The boy sat down in front of Rory. The teacher began the roll call.

"Lorelai Danes?" the teacher called.

"Actually it's Rory," Rory replied.

The teacher made a note in her roll book and moved on. "Dean Forrester?"

"Here," the boy in front of Rory answered.

"Dean Forrester," Rory thought. "Such a nice name."

School was a blur for Rory. She came out of her last class heavily burdened with six very large textbooks in her backpack and one more that she was carrying. She dragged herself to her locker and put away the ones she didn't have to take home to read for the night. She needed her chemistry book, French book, Pre-Calculus book, and English Lit book. With each of those being almost three inches thick added to her notebooks for each class and the other books she was reading just to read them made for quite a full backpack. Knowing her luck Rory just knew that her locker would be the one to get stuck and not open.

She stared at her locker. Balancing her books in one arm she began the battle with her combonation lock. Just as she was going to get it open her books toppled over and scattered all over the place.

"Great," Rory muttered, bending down to pick up her books. "My own fault though. Mom told me guys like 'em dumb."

"Do you need some help?" a deeper voice asked from behind her.

Rory turned around and saw Dean standing behind her. Rory picked up the rest of her books and stood up. She had no idea that he was as tall as he was.

"Umm, no, but thank you anyway," Rory stammered.

"I'm Dean," the boy said introducing himself. "My family just moved here from Chicago."

"Chicago? I've never been there. I've never been out of Connecticut," Rory stammered.

Dean looked at her in the way that she was supposed to say her name also. "Oh. I'm Rory. Rory that's me. Actually it's Lorelai. My mother named me after herself. She claims that if men can do it why can't women. Personally I think a lot of medication went into that decsion." Rory stopped when she noticed Dean staring at her with a quizzical expression on his face. "I never talk this much."

"That's fine. So do you think we could get some coffee later? I heard through the guys on the basketball team that Luke's has the best coffee in town."

"Oh it does. I would know. The owner is my dad. He makes the best pancakes," Rory said. "Speaking of whichI have to go. If I'm not there the second school gets out Dad gets really overwhealmed with the after school crowd. It was nice talking to you."

Rory spead off across the street to the diner. Dean watched her go. A normal boy would have shrugged off Rory's behavior as she was not interested but not Dean Forrester. There was something that intrigued him about Rory. She was nothing like the other girls at the school that he had met that day. She was smart, he figured that based on the higher level books that she had with her. She was nice to look at too. He decided that he would make it his mission to get to know this Rory.

Rory entered the diner and went right up to her father's office to set down her backpack and books. On her way down she grabbed the white apron that was hanging on the hook and made it into the kitchen just as the after school soccer kids showed up. They took up three whole tables and were being noisy. Two things her father couldn't stand. Rory quickly took over the situation and got the kids exactly what they wanted and began the rest of her afternoon diner chores.

She refilled coffees, took late lunch orders, made sundaes for the dance class and bested Kirk in their daily I Love Lucy trivia battle. Before she knew, it was five and time for her to head home with dinner for herself and her mom. She walked home in the crisp fall evening, taking in her small town. She walked past Nanna Mia's old house that now had strange people living in it. She passed the remodeled apartment building where she and her mother lived before the fire. That wonderful fire (not at the time) that helped push her mom and dad closer together. She walks up the steps of the house that her parents bought before they even decided to get married.

"Mom! I'm home!" Rory yelled into the house. "Dad sent dinner! He included a salad that he expects you to eat!"

"But I hate salad!" she heard her mother yell from upstairs.

"But Dr. Morgan said that if you changed your diet things might be easier for you and dad to conceive," Rory retorted.

For the past ten years Luke and Lorelai had tried in vain to have another child. Nothing seemed to be working. She carried so much guilt that she was unable to give Luke the one thing that he wanted most in life. To bring his child into the world. She would get pregnant but somehow in her 18th week she would miscarry. Dr. Oliver Morgan, Lorelai's OB said it could be a myraid of things that were causing the miscarriages. But she was convinced that it was somehow her fault. That somehow, someway she wasn't good enough to carry Luke's child full term.

It was around ten that night when Luke came home from the diner. It had been a long day and he was looking forward to coming home to his two favorite women. He found them asleep on each others shoulders with Pretty in Pink playing in the background. Rory's Pre-Calculus book lay open on her lap and her French book on her mother's lap. He closed each book and set them on the coffee table. He shook Rory's shoulder to wake her up so she could go to her own bed and not sleep on the couch.

"Come on Princess, time to go to your own bed," Luke said softly.

"Is the movie over?" Rory asked. half asleep.

"Not yet but you've seen it at least a thousand times. You know how it ends," Luke replied. "Come on, you have school in the morning."

Rory stood up and stretched and plodded into the kitchen and into her room. Luke waited until he heard the door shut then he picked up his wife and carried her up to their room. He laid her gently on their bed and kissed her softly. It pained Luke greatly that he was unable to give Lorelai another child. He figured it had to be something he was doing wrong. But in all actuallity it was neither one of them soley.

"I love you Sweetheart," Luke whispered, after tucking her into the covers. "Don't lose heart, we'll get our baby."

The next day was strange for Rory. Everytime she saw Dean, she would turn away and try to keep herself hidden. It wasn't hard being that they had no classes together. That all changed that afternoon as she was doing the inventory at the diner. Dean opened the the door to the diner and walked inside. Rory, who was behind the counter did not have enough time to duck before Dean spotted her. He walked up to the counter and sat down on the stool two seats from the register.

"Umm, you can't sit there," Rory said. "That's a reserved spot."

"You're kidding right?" Dean asked, half shocked and half amused.

"You don't get it. That particular stool is claimed. No one else but that person can sit there," Rory expanded.

Luke came out of the kitchen and saw Dean sitting at his wife's spot. "You can't sit there!" he barked.

"I told you so," Rory said in a sing-song voice. "You wouldn't listen. Dad, it really isn't his fault. He is new in town and has never been in here before. He doesn't know all the small town rules yet."

"In all honesty sir, she did try to warn me," Dean sputtered.

"Don't explain yourself, just move over one," Luke demanded.

Dean stood up and moved over one stool. He looked over at Rory who was trying very hard not to laugh at the situation. It was so funny to see new people try to sit in her mother's spot. The funniest one was the daily battle with Kirk. Kirk could never understand that Lorelai had claim to the stool next to the cash register. Once Luke was satisfied that Dean was not in his wife's spot he went back to the kitchen.

"What the hell just happened?" Dean asked Rory.

"That is my mom's seat. No is allowed to sit there but her," Rory explained. "Her name is on the stool. Underneath it. She had to do that because Kirk told her that it didn't have her name on it."

"Who is Kirk?" Dean asked. "I've heard him mentioned before."

"Kirk is the Jack of All Trades, Master of Nothing. Kirk is Kirk. He can't be described," Rory said. "I really should get back to work. I'll see you later."

Rory quickly got back to work. She cleared tables, took orders, and poured the coffee. Around five the phone rang. Rory picked it up. "Luke's," she said.

"Is that my favorite niece?" the voice on the other side of the line said.

"Aunt Liz?" Rory asked, puzzled. Liz never called unless she needed money, a place to crash or if whatever guy she happened to be with at the time was leaving her again. "Why are you calling?"

"I need to talk to your dad," Liz said. "Is he there?"

"Just a second," Rory said covering the mouthpeice of the phone. "Caeaser, where's Dad?"

"Storeroom. You need him for something?" Caeaser asked.

"Tell him Liz is on the phone," Rory said, painfully.

Rory made small talk with her aunt while Caesar went to get Luke. Rory told her about school, Lane and the other townies that Liz still knew. It was only seconds that she was talking to Liz but it seemed like hours before her father took the phone from her.

"Yeah, I'm working. What else would I be doing?" Luke said. He paused for a second. "Well what kind of trouble? You don't know, but you want to send him here? Liz you'll never change!" Luke took a breath. "I have to talk to Lorelai about it first. It's not just me that were dealing with here Liz. You have to take Lorelai and Rory into consideration as well. I understand that Liz, but I don't know how I can help. I will call you tomorrow after I talk to Lorelai and Rory. If they agree than he can stay. Only if they agree."

Luke slammed the phone back down on it's cradle. He looked over at his daughter. She had that puzzled look that Lorelai would give him when he would question some strange thing she had done. "We'll talk about it later," Luke said. "Go on home. You must have homework to do."

"Yeah, thanks Dad," Rory said. "FYI, I don't mind if Jess comes to stay with us. It'll be nice to get to know him again."

"I'm glad you think that Rory," Luke said. "But I still have to discuss it with your mom."

Rory walked on home thinking about the fact that her cousin could be moving in with them. The last time she had seen Jess was at her parents wedding. After that Jess and Liz went back to New York and they barely heard from them. The Danes' heard from Liz and Jess almost as often as they heard from Rory's biological father Christopher. Rory would like to hear from Christopher more, but she had her Daddy and she was glad that she had him.

When Luke got hom that night he went right to Lorelai. They talked quietly in their room about the Liz Issue. Lorelai had her issues. Mostly they were about the stress that Jess could bring to their lives. Dr. Morgan said that part of Lorelai's trouble of holding onto the pregnancies was her stress level. Adding a troubled teenage boy to the mix could cause some serious stress to their lives.

"I don't know about this Luke," Lorelai sighed. "What kind of trouble is he getting into? Is it drugs, petty theft? Hanging out on the wrong street corner at noon on a Sunday? I have to know these things before I allow it around my daughter."

Luke looked pained at the claiming of Rory. Rory was just as much Luke's daughter as she was Lorelai's. "You know what I mean Luke. I know you made a promise to Jess when he was younger that if something ever happened that he needed to get away from Liz, but with everything we're trying to do in our lives I don't think adding a moody, troubled teenage boy to the mix is going to do us any good. Hon, I'm not saying no and I'm not saying yes. I just need some more information."

"I know Sweetheart. I told Liz that I wasn't going to say yes until I talked to you. I understand your fears about Jess coming. I don't think he's getting into real trouble. I think he's become a 17 year old boy and Liz can't handle him anymore," Luke said."Let's just give him a chance and if it doesn't work out, he'll go back."

Three days later the Greyhound bus pulled into Stars Hollow. Luke saw it from the diner. Stepping off the bus was a skinny black haired kid. He was toting an old green Army duffel bag and looked around the small town. Luke left the diner and walked over to the kid.

"Jess," Luke said.

"Luke," Jess replied, with zero emotion in his voice.

"Well this is the town," Luke said waving his hand around the square. "Let's head over to the house so you can get settled before the girls get home."

"Girls?" Jess questioned.

"You remember my wife Lorelai and your cousin Rory?"

"Oh yeah."

Jess and Luke walked over to the house. The school had a day off so Rory was out with Dean. As much as Luke hated the thought of his daughter dating, he did like Dean. Dean was a good kid. He worked at Doose's Market, got fairly good grades and played ice hockey for the school team.

"Rory? You home?" Luke called into the house. When no one answered Luke realized that the house was empty. "Ok so you're room is upstairs. You'll start at the school tomorrow. And after school you'll work in the diner with Rory until seven."

"Is that the price of living with you? Work in the diner?" Jess asked, sarcasticly.

"Look here Jess," Luke began. "I am taking a big risk in taking you in like this. I don't know what went down with Liz and I really don't care. But while you are under my roof you will respect me and my family. Is that clear?"

"Yes sir," Jess said. "Just so you know, it wasn't Lizzie's idea that I come here. It was mine."

The words were lost to Luke when the back door slammed shut. Luke heard the sigh of frustration come from his daughter. Something must have happened on their date.

"He's is so, ahhh!" exclaimed Rory as she walked into the kitchen. She stopped dead in her tracks when she saw that her father was not alone. "I didn't know anyone else was here. Hi, Jess."

"Rory," Jess replied, shortly.

The two teenagers stared at each other the same way they had when they were five years old. There was the same air of hostility that had been there. rory had thought she had gotten over the crap that Jess had put her through the Christmas he had stayed with them but she hadn't. Jess was the one that glued the tree to the floor, Jess had been the one to eat all of her mother's Oreos. Not Rory. Rory was the good one. The pair of cousins stared each other down, until one blinked. Being that Jess was the one to blink first, Rory knew she would be the one with the upperhand this time around.


A/N: I know it has been too long since I updated this story but I just haven't had the muse to write more of this particular story. I'm all for L/L right now and can't help but waniting to join the others in boycotting the show until we get rid of Chirstopher. I had a dream the other night that David Sutcliffe's show I'm With Her came out of cancellation and we got rid of him. Sadly that was only a dream.

Anyway here's a new quote for the quote game. I have been watching all of my DVDs trying to find the perfect quote for this round. This one may be a little tricky (hopefully). Here we go. "Well if it isn't Kirk the Jerk."

I love the construtive reviews. Keep them coming!