Lost in Mystic Creek
The bed shook as three-year-old James Mariano jumped up and down rapidly, slowly rousing his parents from their sleep.
Jess Mariano groaned in frustration, letting one eye peek open to peer at the time. As he registered that it was only 5:42 in the morning, he tightened his grip around his fiancé's shoulder, Rory Gilmore. He didn't want her waking up this early, especially because she had a hell of a lot to do to meet his son's standards. Even more so because it was his birthday.
"Go back to sleep," said Jess groggily. "You're barely three feet high. How can you have all of this energy?"
"Birthday, Daddy!" The over-exuberant child screamed loudly. Next to him, he felt his fiancé stir as she turned to him, one eye opened blearily.
"Hmm?" She barely got out, before letting her eye close again. "Do I feel a birthday boy in the room?"
"Yup," He nodded excitedly, running over and plopping himself on top of his parents' intertwined arms. "Birthday boy present, Mommy."
"Why do you have to encourage him?" Jess moaned, turning over to face her. "He's got enough excitement in him to last for the day. Please, don't fuel the fire."
"Aw, look at big old Grumpy," Rory cooed, tapping the side of Jess's face with her palm.
"Jeez," Jess grumbled, burying his face into his pillow. "You're just as excited as he is, aren't you?"
"Don't you know it," Rory smiled, kissing him on the cheek quickly before turning back to James. "So, is the birthday boy ready for a big day full of cake and presents?"
James nodded enthusiastically, his smile getting impossibly wider by the second.
Jess re-emerged his face from his pillow, turning to smirk at Rory. "Have you forgotten the curse you set on your son from last night?"
Rory then glared at him, her eyes narrowing.
"Well, big boy, Mommy swore she wouldn't get you any presents today for spilling milk all over her party dress. Good thing I got it off her in record time, or we'd be present-less today."
Rory blushed, reaching over to slap his shoulder lightly.
James turned to his mother, an apologetic look on his face. "Mommy, I didn't mean to make you naked. It was just milk."
Rory sighed. "It wasn't your fault I was naked afterwards."
"So you didn't care?" He asked, his blue eyes lighting up in happiness.
"Oh, I didn't think she minded at all," Jess smirked, slipping his hand around her waist, patting the bare spot between her tank top and pajama pants.
"Jess," She warned, turning her head to glare at him.
He took the opportunity to kiss her full on the mouth, smirking as he pulled away.
"Cooties!" James cried, launching himself towards his mother. He wiped her mouth clean with his sleeve before planting a kiss onto her mouth. "See, all gone."
"I liked your kiss way better," She smiled, embracing him.
"He gets his good genes from somewhere," said Jess, leaning over to ruffle up James's hair.
Rory sat up, looking like she got a sudden burst of energy. "James, I think your old enough to know--"
Jess widened his eyes. "Hell no. I don't think he's old enough to have that talk."
"He's not," she said quickly. "I was talking about his birthday."
He looked at his fiancé with a puzzled expression.
"What about my birthday?" James asked eagerly.
"When I was little, my Mom would tell me all about the day I was born whenever I had my birthday," Rory explained, kissing his forehead. "I think it's story time."
"It's not a very good story, Rory."
She snickered at Jess. "You're just too proud to admit that you fainted."
"Fainted?" James inquired.
"Your Daddy fainted, which means he thought it was so yucky that he closed his eyes and wouldn't wake up for a long time." Rory chuckled. "It's nothing to be ashamed of, Jess," she said pointedly.
James giggled, putting his hand over his mouth.
"Well, you weren't so great either, Rory. The poor doctor had to put up with your annoying wailing."
Rory sent a glare at Jess, widening her eyes. "It hurt. You try having a body pushed out of your—"
"No need for graphic detail, thanks. I had enough of a picture to last me a lifetime at the hospital."
She took her pillow and slammed it against him. "What are you complaining about? You fainted after the second push! You met your son the day after he was born. You saw nothing."
James had his hands over his ears at this point.
"Oh, please. You were the one that was bitching about me not being there when I woke up. I recall you saying that I couldn't see him until I apologized."
"I did not!" Rory yelled childishly.
"You guys are funny!" James called out, now laughing out of control.
Rory smiled widely and reached over to take James into her arms. "And you're silly. I think you had enough of story time." He nodded, pretending to wipe sweat across his forehead. Jess rolled his eyes. "Honey, why don't you wait for us outside and I'll be right out to make you breakfast."
"Sounds excellent," James recited, as he had learned that word the week before. He paused when he made it to the door. "Birthday breakfast." He pointed a finger at his mother.
When Rory nodded, he left the room with a satisfied grin.
The second he did, Jess rolled over and pulled her closer. "This wasn't how I planned on waking you up." He let his hand travel dangerously down her stomach. "It would have been a lot more pleasant."
Rory slapped his hand away. "Are you crazy? We have to get dressed."
"James can wait." He leaned in, brushing his lips against her's. She gave in, wrapping her arms around his shoulders. He flipped them around and pressed his body against her's, biting her bottom lip softly. This resulted in parting her lips, which granted entrance of his tongue into her mouth.
The second this turned more heated, Rory pulled away, panting.
"Don't say anything," he pleaded. "Rory."
She grinned. "Jess, can you be a little more desperate? It's morning and our kid is waiting. You're not stupid. You know there's absolutely no way of this happening."
Jess shook his head, wrapping her up in a heated kiss once again.
"Jess," she mumbled into his mouth.
"Mommy!" They heard this scream from the other room.
"See," She told him, rolling off of his chest.
"Duty calls," Rory told him, making a bee-line for the door and leaving him groaning.
Rory tethered a cluster of balloons to a tree nearby the cake table before turning around and looking at the birthday scene she and Jess had created. There were several tables set up around the modest sized backyard, a large table she set up for guests to place presents on, and an open area for the young kids to play in.
She felt a pair of arms encircle her from behind, and she smiled.
"It's quiet," Rory stated. "Where's the big boy?"
"Running around naked in the front yard," He replied, obviously at ease. "I told him he could since it was his birthday, and his birthday suit is most appropriate." He kissed her neck, chuckling against the small bit of bare skin.
She turned around so quickly, he was sure that his lip was bruised. "You're kidding. Because if you aren't kidding, you better go out there and find some clothes for our kid to wear. Now."
He smirked. "What if I don't?"
"I'll hurt you."
"Oh yeah?" He seemed to be turning everything into a sexual innuendo.
Rory let out a sigh and smacked his arm. "What if someone sees him, Jess? You can't just let him do whatever he wants!"
"No one's gonna see him."
"You don't know that. Are you trying to turn this day into a nightmare? The guest's will be here in an hour and I'm not even changed! Now I have to run out there and bathe a screaming kid." Rory looked at his smirk and frowned. "And get that smirk off your face."
Jess widened his eyes. "Rory, relax. He's a kid."
"Easy for you to say. You're not the one that has to do everything around here."
"Everything is not breakfast and balloons."
She shook her head. "Shut up and go get him."
"Yes ma'am," He grumbled, marching towards the front of the house.
"Hey, Kiddo," Jess screamed, "get your naked butt over here!"
"No!" James screamed back, giggling and eluding every type of capture Jess attempted with him. Suddenly, Jess stopped, and simply said,
"I guess you're not in the mood for a surprise then…"
"A surprise?" James questioned cautiously, slowing down his naked gallop across the yard.
"I've got a surprise. And believe it or not, bad birthday boys that run around nude in the front yard don't get them," Jess exclaimed, knowing full well his plan would work.
"I want it! I want it!" James yelled, running full-force towards Jess. But, he didn't get the surprise he expected--- instead he got captured into Jess's strong hold, and forced into his birthday party outfit.
"You said I could be naked, like Mommy! It's no fair!" he whined childishly.
"It's very fair. Now, once your eighteen and want to make the lifestyle choice to be arrested for indecent exposure, I won't fight you." Jess grabbed him and held him like he was a sack of potatoes. "Everyone's getting here and you're not even there to greet them. Do you think they'll be giving you presents if they can't see you?"
James grinned. "Lemme go to Mommy."
Outside, they were met by "happy birthday!" cheers and smiling toddlers, toddling forth to meet the birthday boy. After James was situated, Jess walked over to Rory, and glued himself to her waist.
"Jess!" Rory sighed. "Finally. You left me alone here."
"Yeah, for two seconds." He let himself examine her in her new dress. She wore a red-striped strapless spring dress that went down to her knees. He had to stop himself from kissing her right then and there. She looked gorgeous. "Hmm…interesting dress."
Rory giggled, knotting her fingers through his'. "Thanks."
Jess closed his eyes, resting his head on her shoulder. "I'm very proud of you. You're being completely anti-social with me."
She ran a hand through his hair, making it slightly more unruly. "I am not. Pacey and Joey just haven't gotten here and I am not conversing with the soccer Moms."
"Can't even make the sacrifice for your own son, huh?"
He bolted straight up in his chair when he heard Joey's voice call his wife's name. Rory smiled widely and stood up to greet the couple. Right now, the only person in view was Joey, the slight bump that was her stomach making her glow.
Rory hugged her closely. "Jo, look at you. You look amazing."
Jess had been dragged to this spot on the lawn also, so he rolled his eyes, waving. "Yup. Rory looked twice your size when she was 5 months along. 'Wasn't pleasant." That earned a shove from his wife.
"I don't look anything close to amazing." Although Joey said this, she blushed. "I mean, look at you. You are super-model skinny and don't even do exercise."
Rory shook her head. "Gilmore's don't do exercise."
Joey laughed. "We've been through that."
Jess let out a grunt. "Okay, are we done with the 'no, you're prettier' part of the greeting?"
"Yes, I'd like to know," Pacey interrupted, resting his chin on Joey's shoulder. "We all clearly know who the winner is," he stated, gesturing towards himself.
"Oh, yes," Jess stated sarcastically. "You're obviously the beauty queen of the three."
"Jess, play nice," Rory scolded him.
Jess smirked. "Just a little playful banter between friends."
"Yes, and now that we're done completely mutilating this topic of conversation, I've got some news for you all." She gestured for them to sit down.
"Well, enlighten us," Rory told her, turning to glare at Jess before he had a chance to shoot out anything sarcastic. It was obvious Joey had something important to say, and she didn't want him ruining her moment.
She guessed he got the hint, because nothing came out of his mouth.
"In case there are some challenged people here, I am pregnant," Joey began, turning to smile at Pacey. Pacey patted her knee, signaling her to continue. "But, the change here is that I'm pregnant, with a little girl."
Rory squealed like any good friend would, and launched herself at Joey, wrapping her up in a strong hug. "Congratulations!" Rory cried. "Girls are way better than boys."
"Oh, really?" Jess asked, smirking at Rory. "We'll just see about that later on."
"Please, you two are like a bunch of rabbits," Pacey cut in. "Spare my little virgin ears and store all of those sexual innuendos for the bedroom."
"Pacey!" Joey turned to him, a stern look on her face.
"But excuse me. If these two weren't so in touch with their sexuality-" He was interrupted by a small voice in the direction of Rory and Jess.
"Mommy, what's sexuality?"
Joey blushed. "Wonderful, Pace."
"Hey, who knew the kid was such a mental sponge," He told the group, turning to hide some laughter behind Joey's back.
"Honey," Rory began, turning to Jess for some help. "Sexuality is…Oh! Look, James. You're friends want you to play hide and seek with them," Rory told him. "Go be a good birthday boy and play with them. We'll talk about this later."
"But, Mommy! Daddy says if I hear a new word, and I don't know what it means, I should ask," he whined. "It's no fair if you don't tell me!"
"Hurry, they're counting without you," Rory warned him, giving him a little push towards the flock of toddlers.
Jess chuckled loudly, not even trying to hide the fact that he was amused.
"You," Rory turned angrily. "You see me there, belly up in front of my child-"
"Our," Jess corrected.
"Oh, no," she told him. "He's mine now, only mine. I almost had to give him the talk, and he's not even in actual school yet!"
"It's Pacey's fault," Joey said quickly. "He honestly didn't mean to make you fight, right Pace?" She turned to him, giving him an obviously fake smile.
"Yes, ma'am," Pacey agreed. He knew by now not to argue with Joey, especially in front of other people.
Rory didn't even acknowledge Pacey, turning again to Jess. "You're dealing with him when he asks again, and you know he will."
"Only because you made the fatal mistake of telling him that you'll 'talk about it later'," Jess stressed with air quotes.
"You're enjoying this, aren't you?"
"Frankly, yes," Jess smirked. "I could use some amusement today. I'm still a little grouchy from this morning's wake-up call."
"This is all because I wouldn't have sex with you, isn't it?" Rory inquired, completely forgetting they were in front of company.
"Again, without a doubt you're both in touch with your sexuality," Pace interrupted.
"Pacey!" Both Joey and Rory scolded him. Rory did it more because she realized what he said, and Joey because she was embarrassed.
A silence overtook the group, as the two wives were too busy being embarrassed (each for their own reason) and the men were to busy being awkwardly uncomfortable with the situation.
Finally, Pacey spoke. "Should I tell them the second piece of news?" he asked his wife quietly.
Jess looked up, obviously tired of sitting in silence. "Please do."
"Oh!" Joey smiled, remembering which news he was talking about. "Yeah. You guys are going to love this."
"An army of couples are going to invade the street."
"Huh?" Rory asked, confused.
"Yeah." Joey nodded. "At least four couples are going to move in all of those empty houses. Can you believe it? Those houses have been abandoned forever."
Rory widened her eyes. "You'd think honeymooners would choose something more…appropriate."
"The first couple moves in next week," Joey exclaimed, excited.
"And in what way does this news involve us?" Jess asked, both bored and self-centered.
"I thought we'd throw them a welcome party," Joey suggested. "Are you guys in?"
"Oh please. Where are we? Pleasantville?" Jess asked with a roll of his eyes.
Rory slapped his shoulder, and put on a pleasant smile, saying,
"I would, but I have a meeting with the principle of James's new school next Friday, and it would've been the only day I'm free."
"Great then, it'll be an intimate evening," Pacey muttered.
"Isn't it doctor recommended to stop a couple months into the pregnancy?" Jess added, sarcastic yet again.
"That is so not what he meant, Jess," Joey stated.
"We sure didn't," Rory said under her breath.
Her comment earned a soft chuckle from Pacey, and a suggestive glance from Jess.