Short…pretty short. I guess I just love Rory and Jess doing normal, everyday things, like renting movies and arguing over what to have for dinner and giving each other old-couple kisses. It's so lovely. And of course, I love the idea of Rory picking Jess above all others. This is a story that I wrote almost two years ago, I guess, near the beginning of season 5. Maybe even the summer before it. I didn't think it was very good at the time, but I was cleaning out my computer files (as I learned from Rory; when he doesn't call, be productive) found this, read it like someone else had written it, and loved it. So here I post it,asking you all to keepin mind that this happened before any of the season six guest appearances of Milo.
ASP owns. But I'll take feedback anyway, just because I'm a kind person.
After Lorelai and Luke moved into the house Luke had lusted after for years, the pending question was what to do with the apartment over the diner.
For just over two decades, Luke Danes had lived immediately above his establishment. Even when his short-lived marriage to someone who WASN'T Lorelai Gilmore (the reason why the marriage was doomed from the start) found him taking residence in a neighboring community townhouse, he still lived above the diner 99 of the time. He opened so early and closed so late that it was almost as if the diner never closed- townsfolk and travelers alike could take comfort in the fact that at all hours, Luke was somewhere in that building.
His upcoming marriage to Lorelai Gilmore- his second, her first- both elated and frightened the people of Star's Hollow. Two of their own, whom everyone had predicted would end up together anyway, were officially declaring their intent to spend the rest of their lives together. There wasn't a dry eye at the town meeting when Lorelai burst in ten minutes late, flashing her left hand for the entire world.
But the idea of the space above the diner being empty was unthinkable. Most agreed that the apartment was far too small for two newlyweds, but even they said that Luke could simply expand the room as he had done when his nephew lived with him.
Two hundred and thirty-three. That's how many words it took to bring up Jess. It's actually quite surprising that it took so long- he was all Star's Hollow could talk about for a while. After almost three years of no contact whatsoever, he just showed up. No one knew he was coming, no one had time to hide the breakables and lock up the children, because he just drove into town one day.
While Star's Hollow had obviously not known he was coming, this trip hadn't been so random for him. He got there during Rory Gilmore's college graduation party. Fate? Or careful planning.
Everyone who'd watched her grow up over the years and a handful of other graduates, her boyfriend Logan included, assembled in the town square to feast upon the delicacies of Sookie St. James-Belleville, beaming the most sincere of smiles upon their princess. Rory herself, in a dark blue shirt and skirt set, couldn't stop smiling either.
She'd done it.
She'd made it through Yale and all its hazards. She'd survived roommates from hell, teachers from hell, exams from hell, and a good deal more that belonged in the aforementioned place. And now, she was free. She was among her biggest fans after graduating with honors and a job at the Hartford Times.
When she saw him standing there, leaning against his car as the bright sun beat down on his black-leather clad form, she didn't believe it was really him. The last time she'd seen him, he'd been begging her to come away with him. It had been an impromptu request. He didn't even have the destination in mind at the time. But he'd asked, and she'd refused. Which was how they'd found themselves so far apart. In reality, he was only in New York. But the mental distance was so much greater.
She'd turned back to her boyfriend, taking one of his hands, telling herself this was real while Jess was not. Repeating that mantra to herself, she expected Jess to be gone by the time she turned back. He wasn't.
The two had disappeared from the party for a few hours, stunning everyone. No one knew where Rory had gone until Kirk claimed he'd seen Jess 'lurking' around, and everyone nodded sadly. Patty explained to a clueless Logan and his friends Rory's greatest weakness, her Achilles heel, the good girl's sweet downfall.
The inevitable confrontation between Logan and Jess had happened, and would have escalated into yet another physical fight over this same girl, had Rory herself not stepped in and demanded they both get back in line. Logan had apologized. When Rory was out of sight, he sucker-punched an unsuspecting Jess. It wasn't returned though, and Jess disappeared from everyone for several hours. Until Rory was getting ready for bed alone.
Ignoring Logan's immature whining from the living room (she made him sleep on the couch, she wouldn't do THAT in her mother's house), she readied herself until she heard a tap at the window. History repeats itself.
That was two years ago. Logan was a distant memory, and the apartment above the diner was empty. Up until this point, Rory had lived with her mother and commuted to work, while Jess lived in the seedier part of Hartford, and commuted to Star's Hollow. Rory hated his apartment- it was perpetually dirty, in a bad area, and the neighbors were not the most upstanding people. But he continued to live there, and drive back and forth everyday in his outdated Mazda.
When the apartment over the diner opened up, Rory saw it as a Godsend. Jess worked at the diner. Why couldn't he live there too? In fact, she could share the space with him; Lorelai's move meant she either had to stay in the old house by herself or relocate. Being a 24-year-old rising reporter, she didn't have the money to keep the house, nor the desire to live there alone. So she pressured Jess to take the apartment, for both of them.
It would be small, but it held some good memories. Memories that neither had ever let go of, no matter the mental distance between them. And when they were together, it felt like they hadn't lost anytime at all.
Rory could be very persuasive when she wanted to be. Jess took the apartment, despite the fact that he did not want to be a part of Star's Hollow once again. He took it just for Rory, and let her know it loudly, and a lot. She just giggled and asked him to help her drag her stuff across town.
It took several months to fully move them both in, and it was incredibly crowded. Between all their books, Jess's hair gel, and Rory's clothes, there wasn't much room for the two of them. But they made it work.
About a year later, Dean Forrester moved back into town. His not-so-ancient divorce from Lindsay Lister had ended of bad enough terms, partially thanks to not-so-innocent-after-all Rory, and the air had only recently cleared enough to allow him back. This was because Lindsay was once again engaged. In his mind, this opened up the way to Rory- he knew she was living in town. He took up residence yet again in his parent's house, not caring how pathetic he looked. It was only temporary, until he found another construction job.
His first day back, he went to Luke's for a cup of coffee. The familiar faces around him jazzed him so much that he kept forgetting any time had passed at all. He saw Miss Patty come in, and politely greeted her before asking where Rory was. From the sly look she shot Babette Dell at the counter, something was amiss. That's when Jess Mariano slammed the sugar on the counter to get his attention, and asked him again what he wanted.
Dean had sneered, asked him what he was doing there. 'Working', was the smartass answer he knew he'd receive in a 'duh' tone, and Jess matched his sneer.
"Where's Rory?" he asked, getting over his shock at seeing Jess standing there, and everyone around him just accepting this turn of events. He wondered how long Jess had been around briefly before Jess let out a laugh.
"Never mind, I can see you don't know."
"Oh, I know." The entire diner was shooting each other looks, something Dean picked up on. They weren't nervous looks, but amused looks. They knew something he didn't.
"Can you tell me?" he asked, growing tired of Jess's presence. Wiping his hands on a towel, Jess walked to the stair entrance.
"Ror! Someone to see you!" he yelled up, then turned back and smirked at Dean.
What the hell?
Dean still carried the picture of a sweet 16-year-old Rory in his mind. He was not prepared for what walked, no, waddled, down the stairs.
'Rory's pregnant,' he thought incredulously, looking from customer to customer, waiting for one of them to tell him what was going on.
"Dean?" she asked, not sure.
"Who…who did this to you?" was the only thing he could think of to say. Jess made a sound between laughing and choking as Rory raised her eyebrows at the remark.
"Uh…my fiancée," she laughed at the look on his face.
"That'd be me," Jess helped as Dean stood there with his mouth open. Not having any idea what to say next, Rory turned to Jess.
"We need toilette paper," she told him, before going back upstairs to their shoebox home, made even more crowded by the recent addition of a crib. Jess nodded and returned to work, glancing up every few minutes at the man sitting at the counter saying nothing.
"I guess you're not going to congratulate me." Dean shook his head, paid, and left.