Aki- Okay, timeline, this is a different ending to whatever the name of th episode is in season six when Rory goes to Philly to see Jess at Trucheon books. It starts right as she is walking out the door...
Rory paused at the sound of his voice as she was halfway out of the door. She turned her head barely, catching sight of him in the corner of her eye.
"What?" she asked quietly.
"Don't go back to him," Jess said firmly.
She turned around fully now, to face him. She leaned against the doorpost and crossed her arms just below her chest. "What?" she repeated, her voice stronger.
Jess took a few steps closer to her from where he was standing across the room but still remained a measurable distance from her.
"Don't go back to him, Rory. Stay here….stay with me."
"Jess…" she said sadly, avoiding his piercing eyes by staring at a spot on the rug a few feet from where she stood.
"Come on, Rory," he said, his voice desperate now. "Don't go. You don't deserve him doing all this shit to you. I- I don't deserve you doing this to me…"
Rory looked up at him. "I already said I'm sorry-"
"That's not want I want to hear!" Jess snapped angrily.
Rory was stunned silent by his display of aggression.
"Look," said Jess, taking a tentative step forward, intentionally calming himself down. "He has done worst to you than I ever did. Than I ever would… Why are you running back to him again?"
"Because I love-"
"Don't say it's because you love him," Jess interrupted. "I can tell from your eyes it's a lie… You've never been a very good liar."
Rory averted her eyes from his again and instead stared at the far wall. She sighed sadly, blinking back tears. "I have to go back," she croaked.
Jess took another step towards her, "Then at least tell me why."
"Why what?" she questioned, turning her face back to him, eyes glistening, cheeks flushed in anger.
"Why you are choosing him when I am giving you a way out."
"You broke my heart," she stated easily, a touch of anger in her tone.
"So did he," Jess reasoned.
"That's not the point," Rory argued.
"Yes it is! What can he give you that I can't! I love you, I never stopped loving you. You're the only girl I think about. You think he loves you, but he hurts you over and over again. Why do you go back to him when you know he will do this? When you know he will cheat on you again?!"
"Because I expect that!" Rory screamed, the words flowing from her mouth before she could halt them. The phrase hung between the two of them for a wordless moment.
Rory dropped her arms to her side and hung her head, ashamed. Jess was confused.
"What do you mean?"
Rory raised her head and look so intently at Jess it almost unnerved him. All anger had dissipated from her being. Her crystal blue eyes welled with long controlled tears and her expression was utterly one of despair.
"You broke my heart and despite everyone's warning, even my own mother's cautions, I never expected it. Not from you," she paused for a brief second to regain her thoughts. She shrugged half-heartedly, "Maybe it was because I was so naïve or because I was so love struck... I'm more realistic now. Logan's a little rich playboy and he's always going to be that. He won't change despite how much I wish he would."
Jess didn't know what to say at the moment. He looked at Rory with interest. He had seen her from many things today. He saw her as the woman of his dreams finally coming back to him until she shattered this idealistic image as she pulled away from his kiss and nearly made him hate her, but as he observed her now she was so, so…real.
"…Then why are you going back to him…?"
She shook her head as to say, 'Don't you get it,' but answered. "I've seen the world, Jess. It's not beautiful, it's not perfect, it's not happy, and it's, and remember this, not honest. If I…if I ever got back together with you I know that little naïve piece of me would take over and want to stupidly trust you not to hurt me when I learned along time ago that you can't expect that from anyone. At least with Logan I know what to expect."
"Are you really that jaded to go willingly back into a relationship in which you expect to get hurt? That's crazy."
"It numbs the pain when you expect it… It's better than being caught by surprise!"
"No, I can't believe that. I think it would hurt even more because accepting that you are going to be hurt makes you feel pain everyday. Be free, Rory, be free of him, and this… You're destroying yourself. You're letting him destroy you," Jess half pleaded, half reasoned.
"What is it to you anyway?!" Rory shouted. "What is it to you what I do with my life?"
"I care, Rory. I care because I love you," Jess replied loudly, honestly.
"You don't love me," she retorted low and harsh.
"Yes, I do," affirmed Jess, staring her in the eyes for reassurance. He was finally close enough her to touch her. He reached out and let his fingertips brush the side of her arm just above her elbow. She pulled away from his touch.
"No," she said darkly. "You loved Rory Gilmore of Stars Hollow. Innocent and perfect with the whole world at her fingertips. Not hateful me. Not I who am in a self-destructive relationship and lost my virginity to a married man and doesn't trust the world anymore. I have lost all hope."
Jess was unperturbed by her proclamation. He could tell as the clouds left her eyes and the first tears ran unnoticed and unbidden down her flush cheeks that as she said all this aloud it was for the first time although it had been in the deepest and most desperate part of her heart for a long time now. As she let it out, she was letting go and giving in at the same time. She was revealing everything she saw wrong to herself and to him.
"Last time I checked…" he said slowly, just above a whisper as he closed the diminishing gap between them. He tucked a wayward strand of her dark hair which had attached itself to her damp cheek behind her ear. "They were the same person."
Rory had titled her head up, unable to break her gaze with those dark brown eyes. Jess cupped her face lightly with his calloused hands, titled her head even more before planted a soft, tender kiss onto her lips.
Rory closed her eyes and refused to let herself to think. To think that this was Jess, her ex-boyfriend, or that fact that she had another boyfriend. Instead she let herself be absorbed in the moment and the simple, chaste kiss that she somehow found hard to associate with Jess.
After a moment, or maybe a million moments, Rory wasn't sure for she had lost all sense of time, Jess pulled away.
Rory opened her eyes reluctantly, not wanting to abandon her euphoria of nothingness, but when she did Jess was standing there, a barely visible smile on his lips. One you only have noticed if you had know him well or were standing as uncomfortably close to him both of which applied to Rory.
"They're the same?" she asked, her voice a whisper.
"Mm Hm," He answered with a nod, as he wiped her tears away with a thumb of one of his hands that still remained lightly on her face. "We just got to teach you to believe again."
"We?" questioned Rory, brow furrowing, confused.
"If you'll let me…"
Rory turned away from Jess's touch and step back a pace as though she was undeserving of his affections. "Please," she begged, "Don't make this harder then it already is…"
Jess' eyes narrowed as if he couldn't believe that she was doing this…
"Rory," he said, stepping toward, she backed up. He stopped, looking a hurt. "If you turn around and walk out that door you are giving up your one chance to start over. To be happy again, you deserve that much."
She shook her head. "Look at your life, Jess," said Rory, motioning around the Truncheon Book store showroom. "You're living the dream here. You deserve to be with someone who has not given up on life."
"Rory, without you none of this would have ever happened. You not only made me believe that I could do something more with my life. You convinced that I had to do something more. You may think you have lost all hope, but you are the most hopeful person I ever knew. You haven't lost yourself completely, not yet."
"How do you know?" she asked, voice shaking.
"Because you're still here."
Rory cocked her head to the side, puzzled. "What does that prove?"
"It proves that you had enough hope to wait and hear me out because I might have the answer to save you from your misery, even if you didn't consciously realize that's why you did," Jess answered, cautiously shifting forward and gauging her reaction. She didn't budge, so he took a full step towards her.
"I'm ready," Jess continued talking, knowing with every reassuring word he spoke the more and the more Rory wanted to stay. "You know I am. That's not what you're scared of. You are scared that you, for once in your life, are not ready. But you are, Rory, you are. Look at your life. You made up with your Mom, remember? Moved out of your grandparent's house, got a job, and went back to Yale. And you're probably doing a double a load of work to catch up if I know you correctly…"
Rory blushed but nodded in agreement to his assessment.
"See, I'm ready, and you are more ready than you think… you fell, but you fixed your life up."
"Only because you told me to."
"I just gave you a shove in the right direction. You did it yourself."
"But," Rory paused as if a surprisingly realization had come to her and spoke to herself more than Jess, "I couldn't have done it without you." She looked at Jess, eyes wide in an amazed way that reflected a younger version of herself in them.
"Not too long ago I said the same thing to you… We need each other."
"But…" she protested as Jess saw the doubt pour back into her features.
"Rory, I want to be with you. I fear a part of me always will, but if you leave now… I can't hold on forever. You can't ask that of me."
Rory looked up at him, suddenly her face was decided, her eyes showing the strength she had had inside all along. "I never would," she assured him.
He closed his eyes and remorse coursed through his veins. This was it, he assumed, she was leaving. She was letting him go when he couldn't let her go.
His eyes shot open as he felt her fingertips on his cheek. She was close to him, much too close for this to be a farewell.
"I never would," she repeated, her voice wavering. "Because you'll never need to." A new tear rolled down her already mascara smeared face. She did not attempt to wipe it away, neither did Jess. It was a happy tear.
"You mean…" he couldn't finished. Rory nodded with a small smile. He looked at her. She was still weak, she was still scared, but she was trying and at the moment that was all he was asking of her.
"Now, I'm much too emotional to drive, can I stay here tonight?"
"I'll make you a bed on the couch," replied Jess with one of his own rare smiles, wrapping an arm around her shoulders and leading her away from the door into the interior of the building.
"And coffee?" she asked, yes, hopefully.
"Of course." Right now Jess would give her anything she asked for, just because she stayed.
Aki- Inspiration strikes in weird places. Earlier today when I was swinging (on the swingset in my backyard, which I pretty much do daily, I kow it's weird, but I am not getting into that write now) this came to me and I ended up writing down and expanding it and decided to upload it. Right now this is a one-shot but this could, in the far future mind you, I am way to busy with two other fanfics at the moment to start another, become the first chapter of a longer story, but again, not for a while... pleeze review!