She lets out a deep breath and pushes back the tears that are threatening to overcome her. She can feel the burn in her eyes, the twist in her stomach. It is completely ridiculous, really, to cry over spilled groceries.

She reaches forward and picks up an orange that has rolled forward on the Manhattan pavement and sits back down, closing her eyes and clutching the orange close to her chest. She is sure she is making a complete fool of herself, sitting on the pavement, a tear in her pantyhose, clutching an orange to her chest tightly. But then again, she lives in Manhattan, and there are stranger things to see.

Rory Gilmore was never one for dramatics but sitting there on the pavement, she aptly considered today a day of cataclysmic proportions. It was a day when the universe aligned to make everything you do a failed effort. She had woken to find her alarm clock had not wakened her at the appropriate time and she was twenty minutes for a staff meeting. When she got in the shower, she discovered, with an appropriate amount of surprise, that the heater had malfunctioned yet again.

Arriving late for her meeting, her hair still wet on the ends (thankfully it was Spring in New York), she was informed that instead of the political turmoil she had been longing for, she would be covering the uprising of technology in society. Not a bad subject, but a tired one.

With slumped shoulders and a bruised ego, she had sauntered over to the coffee machine and not only managed to burn her tongue on the first sip, but spill the remaining on her new white blouse.

Needless to say, when Rory stepped out of her office building, she expected the heavens to open up and the four horsemen of the apocalypse to descend upon her. Instead, she was not-so-surprised to miss her usual subway home and was forced to shell out the extra cash for a taxi.

She sighs on the pavement and clutches the only solid thing she has left from today close to her chest, her eyes clenched shut tightly, wishing it were all just over. The eggs are cracked and spilling their translucent blood on the warm pavement and her knee is throbbing in muffled pain and she really, really, just wants to curl up in a ball and cry.

She hears a cough above her and she ignores it, clutching the ordinary fruit with a zealous passion. The obviously male voice coughs again and she lets out a small sigh, turning her blue orbs upward.

A familiar smirk and brown eyes and she feels like maybe she shouldn't be sitting on the Manhattan pavement clutching an orange because suddenly, she is embarrassed.

"I can honestly say-" It's a calm voice, amused, his hands shoved deep in his jeans. "That I never imagined I would see you here." A pause. "Like this."

He is smiling. She can see he is trying not to but she knows him (well, knew him) well enough to know that he is barely holding back a chuckle. He extends his hand down to her and she takes it gratefully, blushing slightly.

He looks down at the groceries surrounding her (now them) and then at the cut bleeding on her knee. He gestures towards it with the nonchalance she once found an adorable and frustrating idiosyncrasy.

"You okay?"

She nods dumbly as she still can't believe they are standing here, like this. He bends down to retrieve her broken and battered groceries and she watches the curve of his back, blinks away and bends down to help him.

"What are you doing here?" She mutters and it comes out a little harsher than she meant to. Her emotions always seemed to be amplified around him. He looks up with his dark amber eyes and searches hers.

"I live here." He says simply.

She nods and stands up with him, taking the groceries from his arm, clutching them to her chest. He picks up the orange with a comic reverence and bestows it to her with a slight bow. She chuckles and puts it in her bag, with the rest of her things.

He studies her for a moment, his eyes shining. "You look good, Ror."

Ror. One word. One simple epithet and she can feel the icy cold awful of the day wash away slightly. She smiles, genuinely, for probably the first time all day, all week, all month.

"You look good too Jess."

He smiles and nods, turns his body away from hers, and walks across the street, disappearing in the crowd of people always on the streets. She watches as his dark hair fades away in the crowd and smiles to herself, turning away, moving forward.

Not a bad day.