Zooky: Hey everyone!! my first complete Gilmore Girls story yay! lol. I hope you all like this. this was just an idea I had while watching the graduation episode. I hope you enjoy.
Spoilers: major ones for Lorelei's graduation day (obviously) and minor ones for Teach Me Tonight
Jess stared at the ceiling of Liz's run down apartment. His thoughts were miles away in a little town called Stars Hallow with the girl who'd surprised him with a visit just the day before. His life in New York had been simple. He'd taken what he wanted and fought for what was his. He had simply been…drifting. Happy? No, but simple. Then he was sent off to a little back water town and after that he was never the same. For years he had been building a wall between himself and the rest of the world. He had been laying bricks of bitterness and anger to keep people at bay. His finely crafted wall began to crack the day a blue eyed brunette first smiled at him. With her and his uncle Luke both taking hits at that wall it slowly began to crumble.
Then with one mistake Jess ruined all of it. He came back to New York firmly believing there was no going back, it was over. He was sure that with time life would return to normal, but it hadn't. Not a day went by that he did not think about her and not a night passed that she did not fill his dreams.
To his surprise he even missed Luke. The very things that were so annoying about his uncle were the things he missed the most. Like making Jess help out at the diner, bugging him about school work and even the constant yelling. He realized all these things simply showed how much Luke cared.
Jess got up from his desk and walked out into the main room. He glanced at Liz, who was sitting on the couch watching TV. He observed her for a few wistful seconds.
"I'm going out," he informed her as walked out the door, but before closing it he leaned back in. "I'll be back in a bit." There was no response, but he did not expect one. It was just a habit still lingering from living with Luke. Another sign that his uncle cared, that now served as a reminder that his mother did not.
He pulled his jacket tightly around his shoulders to ward off the lingering spring chill. He headed out onto the street with no set direction. He just needed to escape, but even the new scenery did not keep his mind from wander to what had occurred.
Why couldn't he have let it go? He had finally started moving on with his life when he had a weak moment and called Rory.
After that he'd tried twice as hard to block out thoughts of Stars Hallow. His only hope of stopping the pain was forgetting. If he pushed the thoughts off long enough they would fade. Then he would forget and move on, just like always.
Then she, Rory Gilmore, had shown up. She'd ditched school hopped on a bus and come to see him in New York! Her visit shattered his plan of forgetting forever. Now every time he would go to the park, he would look over his shoulder expecting to see her there. The music store still carried her scent; even his favorite hot dog stand reminded him of her visit. He wouldn't even be able to read a book without wondering what she would think of it.
Jess sighed deeply and tried to push away the thoughts. He looked around and realized for the first time where his feet had carried him. Somehow he had ended up in the last place he'd seen her, the bus station. A smile pulled at his lips at the bittersweet memory. He wandered around the buses not fully sure what to do next.
He came to one that looked a lot like the one Rory had left on. Impulsively he jumped on board. The bus was nearly empty, but he wouldn't have noticed even if it was full. Slowly he walked to an empty seat at the back. He sat and leaned his head against the seat in front of him.
This was about where she had been sitting when they had their last conversation, when he finally asked the question that had been plaguing his mind.
"Why did you come here?"
"Because you didn't say goodbye"
Slowly he turned to the window, but instead his gaze was caught by something below it. Stuck between the seat and the wall was a bag. This would not have caught his attention if it had not been a very familiar bag. He grabbed the bag quickly and pulled the object out of it. His brown eyes widened with shock.
This was not only a bus like the one Rory had gotten on; it was the one she had gotten on! Not only that, but this was her very seat and the very album she had accidentally forgotten. The very album she had gotten from the music store he had taken her to. The one she bought for her mother's graduation present. Jess's heart was pounding hard inside his chest.
"On or off kid?" a gruff voice caused him to jump. Jess realized that sometime during his shock he'd leapt to his feet. "On or off?" the bus driver repeated. Jess stared at the man blankly, and then looked back at the album in his hands.
"Where you headed?" Jess finally asked.
"Only three stops today," the driver explained. He rattled off the names but only one caught Jess's attention. "…Stars Hallow." The teenager's heart was still pounded as he took a seat. It was only a matter of minutes before the bus started out into the road.
Jess stared at the bench in disappointment. Half of him had been expecting to see a certain diner owner there waiting. With a sigh he reminded himself that no one even knew he was coming, in fact he had not even known before it happened.
Jess resisted the urge to jump back on the bus as he watched it leave. He sighed as it disappeared, cutting off his means of escape.
Jess turned and walk down the familiar path. He avoided the main streets and the ever watchful gossips with them. It felt disturbingly natural to walk through Stars Hallow. He came up to the familiar house. Jess realized he had no idea what to do next. He wasn't even sure why he chose to come.
He realized they may not even be home. Jess glanced at the bag still held tightly in his hands and it strengthened his will. He decided to leave it on the doorstep then run back to New York and never look back. It would be hard to leave again now that he was here, but he had dealt with hard before.
Jess walked slowly up onto the porch and was about to lay it on the welcome mat when the door swung open. He found himself looking straight into a pair of blue eyes, though not the eyes he had been hoping to see. Those eyes quickly turned from a look of shock to a full on scowl.
"What are you doing here?" Lorelai growled. Jess felt everything in him prickle and a sharp reply quickly flew to his tongue but he bit it back. He had come this far and he was not about to mess up now.
"Here," He said with pseudo apathy, as he handed her the package. She looked at it warily before pulling the album out of the bag. Her blue orbs widened.
"The Go Go's…" She gasped. Something like a squeal escaped her lips. "It's signed by Belinda!" Her gaze turned back to him and her smile was replaced by confusion.
"Rory got it for your graduation. She accidentally left it in New York," he explained. Lorelai was speechless, something only a handful of people had ever seen. Jess took the opportunity to get himself off her porch. He started down the driveway but stopped and turned back to her. "Congratulations…" The word sounded awkward but right somehow. He didn't wait to hear her response, if there even was one.
Jess quickly walked away from the house and toward another place he had been missing. A smile tugged out his lips as the diner came into view. He pushed open the door and was instantly assaulted with the familiar sounds and smells. His eyes followed the owner for several silent minutes before Luke ever looked up. Jess locked eyes with his uncle. Shock came across Luke's face. Jess felt the thousand of things he had wanted to say instantly disappear now that the chance was before him.
"Luke…" Jess felt like he was chocking on the words. "…can I use your phone?" he quickly covered. Luke seemed dumbstruck so Jess quickly made his way up into the apartment above. Luke watched him go without moving. Ever since the kid left Luke had been sulky and grumpy and did not even know why. Now that Luke saw Jess standing in his diner again, he knew the answer. The reason had been Jess or rather the absence of Jess. When the teenager first came to live with Luke, the diner owner could never have imagined caring for him this much.
Luke quickly shook himself from his shocked stupor and headed after Jess. He heard the kid speaking into the phone.
"Liz?" Jess asked. "Ya it's me…" Luke walked into the room and merely listened. "I'm in Stars Hallow…I don't know." Luke could hear Liz yelling from where he stood but he could not make out what it was she was saying. "…it will be awhile before I can catch another bus…" Jess was explaining. Luke walked over and grabbed the phone away from his nephew.
"Hey Liz," the diner owner said casually.
"Luke?" His sister responded.
Luke furrowed his brow, Liz sounded drunk which only strengthen his decision. Luke looked straight into Jess's brown eyes as he spoke.
"Jess is gona come back to staying with me Liz." Luke watched his nephew's shocked but not at all displeased expression. Luke smiled and no longer had doubt about his choice.
Five smart aleck exchanges, three loud 'discussions' and a mutual Taylor bashing fest later all was right with the world, or at least Luke's part of it. The diner owner was taking orders and Jess was cleaning off the counter. Every once in a while Luke would glance up and smile.
Jess was really back.
A bell rang signaling the arrival of more costumers. Luke looked up and saw a distraught looking Lorelai followed by a confused looking Rory enter. Rory's eyes bulged when she saw Jess, but he was still unaware of their presences.
Lorelai marched over to the counter and slapped her hand down on it. Jess looked up in surprise, as did everyone else in the diner.
"Why would you do this?" Lorelai asked, her tone unreadable. Luke stepped forward wondering if intervention was necessary or a death wish. "this was really, really…" she walked around the counter and stood beside Jess. Luke was amazed at Jess's ability to stand his ground despite the unpredictable woman confronting him. Or maybe he was just paralyzed by shock. "…really…nice." Jess's jaw nearly hit the floor and Luke's along with it.
Lorelai stepped forward and wrapped her arms around the unsuspecting teenager. He cringed visibly at the touch.
Lorelai realized that Jess was not used to such tactile acts. She remembered mentions of his negligent mother and felt a wave of sympathy. Not only that, she felt guilty. She knew so little about this kid because she had never stopped judging him to find out. She felt him shifting uncomfortably under her embrace. Lorelai released him and met his eyes.
"You ran off before I could say…thank you Jess."
He recovered slightly from the shock and sent her one of those rare genuine smiles.
"You must really like the Go Go's."
AN: this is just a small oneshot but another story will be coming soon called Rory's graduation gift, not exactly a sequal but just another alternate ending to a graduation that could have gone better.and yes it's Literati! (aka Rory/Jess for those who don't know the slang)