A/N: Future Lit, AU set after Last Week Fights, This Week Tights. One-shot, though I will consider a second chapter in Rory's POV if enough people want it. Review please.
Everyday he wakes up staring at the ceiling, alone of course. The mould on the ceiling has been growing slowly but surely, much like his misery. He gets up, showers, eats a quick breakfast, then catches a bus to work a five hour shift. He has a routine. His job is alright he supposes; he spends most of his time re-shelving, cataloguing, or organising. His boss is a nice guy at least, and lets him read on the job where there is no more work to be done. Although lately, there is a lot of work – the shop is being redone, modernised. He will miss its dusty shelves, but he tries not to care.
At the end of the day, he returns home, looks in the fridge, and eats congealed leftover Chinese food. When he's finished he sits on the couch and reads the New York Times; skims it really, till he finds things written by her. He pours over them, devouring every word as if she's speaking only to him. When he's sucked every page dry, he leaves the paper carelessly on the coffee table, pretending he won't put it away to read again later.
Everyday he sits at his laptop, frowning at the screen, brow creased in concentration. He writes, and the words pour out of him like they never could when he was with her. He thinks bitterly how ironic it is that when he is with her he can never say what he really wants to say, how he can only express how he feels when she's not around, which is ridiculous if he thinks about it, because he only feels when she's with him. He tried to tell her how he felt once – he messed it up, and she didn't care anyway, and he will be forever haunted by the expression in her beautiful blue eyes when she told him no.
Everyday he picks up the phone, dials the number he knows off by heart. Just like before, he rings her with nothing at all to say. Unlike last time though, he hangs up before she can pick up, not letting the phone ring even once. He is terrified of what she might say if she picks up, that she might tell him that she doesn't love him again.
Tonight is a different story. Tonight she answers before he can hang up. "Hello?" He says nothing in return; he's paralysed, can't even hang up the phone. "Hello?" She repeats.
He can't hang up, can't even speak. He tries to feel satisfied with saying nothing at all, but cannot – he owes her too much. "Rory." He says at last, his voice whisper soft.
"Jess?" She sounds… relieved? "How've you been?" He doesn't answer her, too busy trying to think of an out of the conversation.
"Jess?" She repeats.
"I-I have to go." He says unoriginally.
"Oh. Okay." Is she disappointed? "Jess, about last time… I didn't…"
"I didn't mean it." He says quickly, sure that she is going to apologise for her behaviour. He doesn't want her apologies, doesn't want her to feel sorry for him.
"I've got to go." He repeats.
"Okay. I guess I'll talk to you another time. Maybe we could meet for coffee."
"Maybe." He agrees, though he knows neither of them means it. "Goodbye Rory."
"Goodnight." She responds.
Without thinking he adds quietly, "I love you."
She hasn't hung up yet. Oh no. "What?"
"Nothing." He hangs up, goes to bed, ready to start his routine again.