Story Title: The Seven Deadly Sins: A Series of Lit Vignettes
Chapter One—Sloth: The Unmitigated Joy Of Doing Nothing
Rating: T, for some possible language
Summary: A series of looks at moments we were robbed of in Season Three. A look at Rory and Jess being Rory and Jess.
Jess knocked on the door, after waiting for a full ten minutes in the car with the engine off and radio going. He assumed that she was just doing her girl thing of primping to make sure every hair was in place and changing her mind about her shoes three different times. He never understood why any of it mattered. Not only did she look good in anything, but if he had his way at the end of the evening her shoes would be off and her hair would most definitely be mussed. But that was beside the point. They had a system, which worked pretty well. He would tell her what time he'd be over, park in front of her house, and she'd come out so he wouldn't have to play the guessing game he liked to call 'Is Lorelai home?' every Saturday night.
Apparently tonight the system was experiencing technical difficulties. He got no response to his light knocking, so he pushed the doorbell, hoping that someone would answer soon. He could see the drapes moving at the Dell's house, and he didn't need a run-in with the woman in town known for her collection of lawn gnomes and cats.
"Rory?" he called to the closed front door. If he still got no answer, he was out of here.
"Door's unlocked! Come in!" he heard, muffled through the door, but his heartbeat was increasing as her next door neighbor's front door began to open. He tried the knob on the Gilmore home and said a silent 'thank you' to whatever allowed it to be unlocked. He slipped in the front door, closing it completely behind him just in case and entering the house--unable to care anymore if Lorelai was home or not.
He looked left and right, but saw no sign of life. Had he imagined her voice? "Rory?" he called out, slightly annoyed about the near run-in with a person whose last conversation with him had included her going into vivid detail about her last mammogram while she ate a hamburger. He involuntarily shuddered at the memory and took another step in the foyer.
"In here," she called weakly from the vicinity of the front room. He stepped into the living room to see her lying on the couch, the television on but almost no sound coming out of it. He frowned as he looked down over the arm of the couch as she continued to stare at the glowing television.
"Did we get our signals crossed?"
Now at least her head half turned so she was awkwardly looking up at his face. "What?"
"I thought we had plans for tonight."
She blinked. "We do."
"The plans I had in mind involved leaving the house."
She turned her head and sighed. "Oh. Uh-huh."
He sighed and walked around the couch. He scooped her saddle shoe-covered feet up and sat down, keeping her feet under his hands and nestled in his lap. She hadn't bothered to change out of her Chilton uniform after school, though the top three buttons were undone on her button-up shirt and she was missing the tie. He slid his hand up one leg as far as the knee sock covered and then came back to her ankle. "Whatcha' watching?"
"Dunno. I can't hear it."
"So, turn it up."
She shrugged. "Can't find the remote."
"Want me to look for it?" he offered.
She shook her head. "Nah. I like it better this way, I can make up what they're saying in my head."
He frowned as he looked at the screen. She had it on an improve comedy show, and he couldn't for the life of him figure out what the skit was about. "You okay?"
She leaned her head up just enough to prop it against the arm of the couch. "Huh?"
He shrugged. "You're laying here, barely coherent. Was Paris in one of her bug up her ass, my GPA is better than yours is days?"
"No. I'm just… hanging."
He believed her—he had to admit she didn't look or sound upset. Just relaxed. Like his mom did after a valium or three. Like a ragdoll in a coma. "So, you just want to hang?" he reiterated.
For a girl who rambled on about needing to make specific plans and being spoiled by those that wanted to call her their girlfriend, she was acting odd. He didn't think he was all that bad at it. Sometimes things came up, but he liked spending time with her. Especially when it was just the two of them, like this very instant. At least, he assumed they were alone.
He didn't know what she thought of Alex, or if she even thought anything of him. She never talked about any of the men her mother dated, which he didn't find all that odd. He sure as shit didn't think or talk about any of the idiots that his mother dated. He knew better than to get attached to any of them as a permanent fixture in his life, and he knew Rory was smart enough to have obtained a similar outlook.
The one thing he did like about this guy was the fact he seemed to like weekend trips. And he must have been at least a decent lay, because Lorelai was always game for taking off for the weekend to go with him, leaving her daughter to fend for herself. He slid his hand up her leg again, this time resting his open palm on her knee.
"So, you wanna hang here?" he asked, a knowing smirk on his face.
"I'm just too comfortable to move," she admitted.
He wasn't sure he liked the sound of that. They had a house to themselves, his hand was on her knee, and if she shifted at all, he was almost positive he'd be able to see up her skirt—able to catch a glimpse of what pair of panties she was wearing. If this was a true fantasy, she would have skipped the panties, but she was a practical girl, and practical girls wore panties under wool skirts, he was sure.
"So, just you and me, all night?" he squeezed his hand over her knee, looking for a reaction.
"Mmm-hmm," she murmured disinterestedly. "Oh, and maybe a pizza?"
"Is that a question?"
"Could you call? It's speed dial one," she gesticulated behind her. "The phone's on the little table in the hall."
He let out a sigh. He picked up her legs, creating his own opportunity in hopes of seeing black lace. He caught a quick glimpse of pink cotton and replaced her ankles on the couch cushion his ass had been occupying. "One with everything?" he asked.
"I'll pretend that's a hypothetical question."
"Right," he sighed, moving to the phone. Once the line had been picked up, he was placed on hold. "How am I on hold? For one, they see this number on caller ID and they know to pop two pizzas and a cheesy bread in the oven."
"Oooh, cheesy bread," she muttered, then gave a big yawn.
He rolled his eyes and gave the order for the pizza and cheesy bread as soon as Joe took him off hold. Joe apologized for the wait, and then asked if he liked the hold music. After a short, yet particularly draining, conversation as to why playing Kenny G was not a good idea, Jess hung up and walked back to the couch. Deciding a different tact was in order, he crouched down in front of her head. Her eyes refocused on his, and she smiled. He gave her a half smile, his lips already intent on meeting hers softly. His forehead nudged hers, and he ran a hand through her hair as he brushed his bottom lip over hers. Testing the waters, as it were. When she didn't pull away, he sucked her lip between his and opened her lips with his tongue. She sighed contently but didn't give an aggressive show.
"Rory, come on," he urged.
She shook her head at him as he pulled back in frustration. "Jess."
"I'm not trying to push," he sighed.
She flopped her head back against its cushion. "I know. And I like that, it's just," she sighed. "I've had a really long week. Tests, presentations, Paris, Mom, Friday night dinner," she listed off the many things that kept her away from him throughout the week. "Tonight is the one night I get to do whatever I want. And I want to do nothing."
He frowned. "Why didn't you just say so?"
He was even more put out now than he had been with his near conversation with Babette. It was too late to pick up a shift at work, and no way was he closing the diner tonight. Saturday night was Kirk's night out, and he stayed until the last possible minute, enjoying each precious second of freedom outside of his mother's house and annoying all in his presence.
She put her hand on his arm. "I want to do nothing, with you."
Now he was confused. He knew being committed to another person lent itself to doing things he didn't want to do and for reasons he didn't always understand, but this girl he was doing his damnedest to be committed to wasn't one to make it easy on him. "What?"
"Haven't you ever just done nothing?"
He thought for a moment. If nothing else, there was always a good book to be reread. He assumed she was the same way. She carried four for fun around with her wherever she went. When did she have time to do nothing? "Nope."
She pointed to the end of the couch. "Lie down."
This was one of those trust things. He should just go with it, for her, to make her happy. But he didn't exactly work that way. "There isn't room."
She rolled her eyes. "Just, do it? Please?"
She was batting her damn eyelashes. What's worse was, it was totally working. She was working him like a comic at a club with a two drink minimum. He glared at her, but he removed his shoes, then hers, and went to the other end of the couch. He sat down, then slid his jean-covered legs down toward her butt. She intertwined her legs with his, his knees tucked between hers. He looked down at her, then to the television, which he had to admit, he had a better view of from this angle. Leave it to the Gilmore girls to acquire the perfect position of the TV to be seen from a horizontal position.
He heard another contented sigh.
"So, what do we do when the pizza comes?"
"I have that covered," she assured him.
"Okay," he said, not wanting to know exactly what that entailed. "So, what do we do now?"
"Nothing. Isn't it wonderful?"
He had to admit, lying all tangled up with her, even fully dressed, didn't suck. In fact, it was kind of relaxing. The silent TV was oddly hypnotizing.
"I read that book you gave me," he said, his level of interest not even registering in his tone.
"It wasn't bad."
"Told you. His first book was better. It was way more bitter and cynical. It reminded me of you."
"But the library lost their copy."
"You don't own it?"
"I can't afford to buy every book I want to read," she repositioned her head slightly to look down the line of their bodies to meet his eyes.
"Right," he agreed, understanding the notion as he'd grown up in a single parent household with no money to spare the same as she had. Half the time rent money had gone to his mother's pot habit. But unlike Rory, he'd taken on many jobs at a much younger age. No one understood why he felt compelled to hold down two jobs since they'd started going out, but he knew that tomorrow night she'd find her very own copy of that author's first embittered novel on her pillow.
They lapsed in and out of conversation over the course of the next few hours. He marveled at the ease at which she called out for Joe to come on in and help himself to the money on the table. But he sure as hell didn't mind when Joe plopped the pizza and cheesy bread down within reach on the coffee table. Before he knew it, there were only a few scraps of overdone crust laying in the open pizza box, and the front door was opening with no prompt from inside. He was so close to sleep, his muscles so lax he wasn't sure they'd support his weight if he tried to stand up. Lorelai stood over the back of the couch moments later, looking down at what had been going on in her house. He tried to brace himself for the coming lecture, sour looks, or declaration that it was time to call it a night. He had no earthly idea what time it was.
"I'm going up to bed. Lock up before you go?"
He looked from mother to daughter and watched in amazement as the younger, his girlfriend, nodded unenthusiastically. "Yeah, sure. Night, Mom."
"Night. Jess," she gave him a brief nod, which he returned and tried to process the mutual acceptance as she disappeared up the stairs. If Rory found it odd, she didn't say so, and he let the disruption of their doing nothing together time fade into the background, like the TV with the sound that had never been turned up.