Title: The Trip Back Home
Author: Ickle Me
Word Count: 3,817
Based on the Song: For A Little While by Tim McGraw
1.) Character/Pairing: Jess/Rory
2.) Rating: NC17
3.) Time Period: Future Fic
4.) Ickle Word: Conanesque
Two out of three optional categories you choose:
5.) Random Object: planes
6.) Happening/Event: reminiscing about the past
BETA: Pickle Me
Disclaimer: Gilmore Girls, its contents, characters and situations are the property of WB, Amy and Daniel Palladino, its writers, directors and producers. The fanfic situations used are borrowed from within the series and are not meant to be spoilers. Hope you enjoy the story!
AN: This is for Ames who helped me get through some serious rough patches. This is one of my belated birthday presents to you. Cheers!
Jess Mariano looked at the flashing sign: Boarding: DC, Inner Harbor, Philadelphia, Hartford, Boston.
He slung his bag over his shoulder and followed the mass of people approaching the train's entrance. Snorting, he would have been lying to himself if he said he saw himself going back to the place he once avoided like the plague. But he owed it to Luke to be there. He had to give him the support his uncle had offered to him in his youth.
He sat on one of the well-worn seats. Had it been that long?
Ten years, he thought. He grinned, thinking of the boy he once was. Cocky and stupid, he thought Rory Gilmore was the only one who got him then .
Rory Gilmore was just not any ordinary girl. She was his. Chocolate brown hair and deep blue eyes any man could drown in focused on him, laughing. She was giggling as she attempted to pull her wet shirt from her body. It started so innocently. With their feet dangling at the edge of the bridge, they talked incessantly about the merits of Ayn Rand when their discussion suddenly took a turn for the physical, albeit playful, shoving match, landing them in the water, soggy and drenched under the summer sun.
"Now how do you think I can explain this to Luke?" Jess asked, splashing water her way.
"Uhm, 'Luke, I fell in the river and got wet?' Duh," Rory remarked, giggling.
"Oh, thanks, Smart Ass," he teased back, pulling her close to him.
Then, the unthinkable happened.
"Kiss me," she ordered. The longing in her eyes made him weak in the knees.
It was an order he was too happy to oblige.
He watched her eyelashes flutter shut. Her crimson lips parted in anticipation of his kiss. His tongue darted out, moistening his own lips before they touched hers. They may have been dating for a while now, but his mouth went dry every time she was with him.
Him… The loser that no one wanted, in a town whose poster child was running around with the reject. It was definitely considered a travesty to the townspeople that Rory broke up with Dean just to be with him. He knew she didn't have t,o but he was glad she chose him.
She groaned under the soft pressure he applied on the berry-colored lips. Her tongue dueled with his almost instantly, slowly driving him insane. His hands cupped the back of her head, deepening the kiss.
And those hands… In retaliation, her hands reached out and circled around his neck. Her pliant body warmed his cool front. All he could feel was her breasts pressed against his chest, her nipples burying themselves in his sensitive skin. He could feel himself tightening against the zipper of his jeans. He knew she was aware of his discomfort as she pressed up against his responsive member between his legs. And yet, he groaned in disappointment as she stopped grinding against him.
"Rory," he whispered.
"Shh, we don't have long," she muttered back. She slowly pulled away from him, tucking a wet strand of hair behind her ear. She beckoned him to follow her home.
And quickly they went. They hurried home to an oddly quiet neighborhood. He was grateful that neither Babette nor any of the snoopy neighbors were out to interrupt their state of hurry.
Swiftly, they crossed the living room into her bedroom. The afternoon sun cast a shadow against the Yale paraphernalia-covered walls.
"Rory?" he asked, his heart beating quickly.
"I'm ready," she said, determined to finish the task.
His eyes darkened in response to the words spoken. She peeled off the wet shirt clinging to her torso. He could see the dark peaks beneath the see-through white tank top she wore.
"Are you sure?" he asked, gulping. All he could think about was why she chose him.
"Absolutely," she simply replied.
She slid the Capri pants down her hips, a pink string bikini covering the skin he wanted to touch and taste the moment she was his.
She took the last few strides to attend to him, her hand on his belt buckle. Mesmerized, he left his hands on hers helping her as she slowly stripped him off of his denims.
The soppy pair of pants and boxers fell on the floor with a loud thump. The air-conditioned air circulating might as well not have been on. It did nothing to hide his state of arousal.
He bit his lower lip when her fingers sought the hem of his shirt. She stroked his midsection briefly before peeling of the wet fabric from his torso. A groan escaped his lips when she softly kissed his chest before nibbling and sucking on his exposed nipple. Not to be outdone, his hands sought for her breast, molding it against his palm. He brought the tip to a taught point, making her beg to have her wet tank come off.
"Jess," she whimpered. Her eyes were heavy with arousal. She stood in front of him, translucent against the waning sun.
"We'll take it slow," he promised.
He guided her gently to the bed, kissing her on the way down. He nuzzled her neck before asking her one more time if this was what she wanted.
"Yes," was her breathy response.
Gently, he planted a trail of kisses down her throat to the valley of her breasts. Slowly, he took a tip into his mouth, licking the nipple until it pebbled in his mouth. She writhed beneath him, alternating grasping his hair and rubbing his neck, beckoning him to finish the torture.
"Shh," he hushed.
He continued his journey of kisses down the flat plane of her midsection and stopped at the hem of her bikini underwear.
Then, ever so slowly, he hooked his forefinger on the side of her hip, pulling the piece of cloth to expose the skin.
He felt himself tighten up when he eased her off her garment. She was wet and ready, but he knew he had to make the moment memorable for her.
She clamped her legs together when his head descended between her legs. The sudden attack of demureness made Jess smile.
"It's all right," he reassured her.
He leaned over and kissed her calf. His tongue darted out, leaving a warm, delicious sensation of heat trailing, inching toward the apex of her legs. His fingers followed the same journey around the back of her thighs, coaxing her to spread for him.
He took his time before claiming the taut nub of her core. She was already slick with heat and firm from apprehension. Brushing up against it with his tongue made her groan with pleasure. She spread her legs farther apart, giving him access to the skin he sought after.
Inch by inch, he licked and kissed the sensitive spot, making her writhe with pleasure. And when he thought she was on the brink of going over, he slid a finger in to make her go overboard.
She screamed in delight, clamping down on the digit. She squirmed, pushing herself against his hand to taste more of the unique sensation introduced to her.
He pumped her slowly, introducing another finger, intensifying the feeling she was quickly getting addicted to.
"Jess! Jess!" she cried out, close to coming all over his digits.
"Just a bit more," he said as he grabbed the condom that was conspicuously placed by Rory on the nightstand before she stripped him of his clothes.
As soon as he was sheathed, he buried himself in her. She cried out in surprise, coming almost immediately. Not long after, he followed her lead.
An hour later, Jess heard the front door slam. Lorelai called out for Rory. Jess got dressed as quickly as he could and snuck out the window and into the dark.
"May I see your ticket?" the train conductor asked.
He handed the agent his ticket. As soon as the piece of paper was punched, Jess was left once again with his thoughts.
He wanted to blame her for their fallout, but he knew he couldn't. He wanted out, and he antagonized her so that she would be the one to reject him.
Months later, he kicked himself for taking the cowardly route. If only he could win her back.
But he wasn't prepared for the rejection she had served.
He took one last drag of his cigarette before flipping the butt on the road. He was angry that Rory refused to leave her life and join him in New York. He was upset that she wasn't willing to give him a second chance. He was bitter because she seemed to be back with Dean.
"Get in the car," she said, driving right next to him.
"I thought you wanted me gone?" he taunted her. "Did Dean leave you hanging?"
"Don't talk of things you don't understand," she replied wearily. "Come on, I'll drive you to Luke's."
He kept on walking. Giving a damn right now was the least of his worries.
"You know I have the diner on speed dial, and Luke won't like it if he has to leave at rush hour," she threatened.
"Call him. I don't care. When he gets here, tell him I say 'hi'," he huffed.
"We have to talk, Jess. We said words that we didn't mean..." she argued almost too quietly.
He gave her a look before stopping on his tracks. Finally relenting, he entered her car. In silence they sped away.
She didn't go back to the dorms. Instead, she took a couple of back roads until they ended up in a field full of lights. A few private and cargo planes littered the long concrete corridors, taking off and landing. She parked the car and walked around her small vehicle, leaving the radio playing softly in the early summer breeze.
"For someone who wanted me gone, you've gotten me stranded," he grumbled as he sat next to her on the hood of her car.
She remained silent, as if contemplating.
"It wasn't supposed to be this way," she muttered.
He looked at her and her sad blue eyes. "Nope."
"You left me, Jess. What did you expect me to do?" she asked.
"I don't know," he argued. "I said I was sorry."
"When?" she asked.
In his dreams he'd said the words. In the phone call he shared with her he'd remained silent as he heard her confession of love. When he asked her to run away with him, he screamed his apology with his actions alone.
"I can't leave with you," she said, picking at her shoe.
"Why?" he asked a little too firmly, testing her, hurting her.
"I have to find myself, Jess," she whispered. "I can't give up, not now that I've gotten this far."
"I didn't ask to give up your identity!"
"But I know I eventually will. If there's one thing I envy you for is the fact that you know who you are. I can't say I know who I am… Not yet."
He stared out at the dipping sun. He couldn't be upset that she was just asking him to grant her that one last request.
"Come on, it's getting dark," he motioned, rounding back to the car.
Minutes later, they were back in the town proper. He asked her to drop him off at the bus stop, itching to be rid of her, itching to escape the demons that held him back.
"Jess," she called out to him.
"Maybe this thing between us was never meant to last," he grumbled, pretending that he didn't care. "You could tell Lorelai she was right."
"Don't," she said.
He took hold of her chin and lifted it toward the solitary street lamp. A tear slid down her cheek. "Take care of yourself."
He gave her the sweetest kiss he could muster without letting her know it killed him to give it to her. It ended before it began.
He would be lying if he said he had not thought of her in the three years they were apart. What he wished he could say to her he wrote down. Word upon word, The Subsect came about. The story in particular was not about her, or them, to say the least, or what they had become for that matter. But the lesson behind the words, the rationales behind the dialogues were more than just words. They were a proclamation of what he knew now and what he could have had if he wasn't too angry at the world.
Then he saw her again. She wasn't the Rory he met in Stars Hollow. She was a collegiate with a respectable boyfriend every mother could brag about. She was now part of the world her mother had shunned. And she radiated.
And he had no place in her world.
His heart ached when she sent him away. This time they made their peace. He wished he could have said he wanted her back, but he knew better.
That was why he sent her the flyer.
When she showed up at the opening of Truncheon Books, he knew he had a sliver of a chance.
Awkward smiles and greetings were exchanged. Accidental touching took place. He wanted to get the moment right.
He could have not been more surprised when he made the same request that summer so many years ago.
It was a request he didn't question. In that moment, pictures of the first time she gave up her innocence came rushing through: the frenzied touches, the clumsy lovemaking. All had flitted and been replaced by a hunger only the two of them could satisfy.
She slid her fingers into the palm of his hand and guided it to her lips.
"Make love to me," her voice faltered as she kissed the inside of his wrist.
His knuckles drifted over the swell of her breast, making her cry out in anticipation. The other circled to her back, tracing her spine, resting on the sensitive spot at the base of her spine.
Her kiss seared. She conquered, plundered, and sought his mouth, introducing both pain and sweetness.
Without hesitation, the clothes came off. Urgency fed their passion. Gentle touches were replaced by desire to give and take. Raw intensity was all that consumed them.
There was no pretense to their craving. He reached out to her. This time, when he took her mouth, there was nothing casual about his touch. His lips assaulted hers, searing a memory that would never be forgotten. Her exploration was replaced with need. She cupped his derriere and coaxed his knee to feel the dampness between her legs. Her personal invitation stroked his primal need to have her.
He lifted her up against the table against the wall. Spreading her legs, his fingers sought. His probing digits found her wet and slick with desire, wanting him to claim her as his own. He felt her muscles tense up against his calculated strokes. Her kisses sped up and slowed down, mimicking the pace he set as he pleasured her. Their desire needed to be consumed before it ate them at the core.
It seemed like a lifetime when he finally pulled her next to him. In one swift stroke, he buried himself in her folds. It was the most intense sensation he had felt in a while. He shifted her leg around his waist before he continued on his onslaught. Stroke upon stroke, she matched his pace. She urged him to go faster, harder, longer until he took her to the brink of indescribable bliss. When she begged that she couldn't take any more, he conceded. He plundered deeper and he took her to heights he never thought he could reach. Her hands explored as he finished adoring her. And when it was over, his labored breathing fanned her skin.
When she finally leaned against him, he carried her off to his bed. He said nothing as she pressed his forehead against his chest, holding her close while their labored breath steadied.
She stroked his neck and his back, collecting her thoughts and thinking of the ramifications of the event that just transpired.
That night, they lay by the fire, staring at the dying embers on the pieces of wood left smoldering. When she got up, he could not summon the courage to ask her to stay.
"I still love him," she said, her eyes almost filled with sorrow.
"So why are you here?" he inquired, dreading her response. "Why go back to him? It's not like you…."
"I owe it to him," she simply stated.
He wanted to yell. He wanted to argue. But she wasn't the same girl from that summer so many years ago. He couldn't even pretend to be the angry boy he once was.
"Does he make you happy?" he had to ask.
She nodded to herself slowly as she looked away from him. "He can give me the 2.5 kids, the white picket fence, the big Labrador retriever that seems to be a staple in every suburban home."
"The dog has to be better than Paul Anka, right?" he chuckled. "Are you sure that's what you want? There's also the drunken husband who has at least one mistress for every marriage, you becoming the pill-popping or coke-snorting wife, a kid that has ADHD, and a dog that would receive better health care than half of the country's population."
"Can't you at least be happy for me?"
"If you wanted to be happy, you know you wouldn't be here," he pointed out. Seconds passed before he asked, "Why are you really here?"
"Because I had to see you," she muttered. "I had to explain."
"There is nothing to explain. You're still with him, and I... I am the chump you've cheated with," he said with nonchalance.
"Jess!" she exclaimed. "It's nothing like that."
He rested his fist against his forehead, allowing the sheet that covered his body to slide down to his midriff. "Nothing like that? It's rubbing insult to injury. You just gave me a litany of things I can never give you, not the way you want it served to you."
"Don't start," she sighed, running an exasperated hand through her hair.
He watched her as she dressed hastily in silence.
"Rory," he finally found his voice. "I am sorry."
She looked up, confused.
"For all the times I was an ass. For all the times I took you for granted..." he looked at her. "For making you feel bad for being here."
"I was the one who sought you out," she admitted.
"But you came here with the premise of being a friend, and all I did was take advantage of something that used to belong to us. I am sorry."
She smiled at him wanly. "I have to go."
He wrapped what was left of the sheet around him and walked her to the door. He had to finally let her go.
She was down the flight of steps when he found the courage to call out to her. "Hey!"
She looked back, flashing him with the same bright eyes that once looked at him with anticipation.
"Do... you ever think of us?"
She paused, smiling. "Every once in a while."
"Good," he replied, smiling back at her. "They were good times, weren't they?"
"It surely was memorable," she chuckled.
"Take care of yourself, okay?" was all he had to say.
"You too," was her reply before blending with the night.
That was the last time he saw her.
He would Google her every now and then. He knew she started out as an online reporter covering the Obama trail. Later on, she caught a break fielding for a West Coast paper. From there, she got green-lit to be a field reporter for CNN. As for her love life, he knew Huntzberger met up with her again a year after she turned down his proposal.
At times he wondered whether she thought of him at all.
The train conductor announced Hartford as the next stop. He bookmarked the page he left unread and stuck the book back in his overnight bag. He shuffled toward the door, waiting for the train to slow down and have him disembark.
A cool breeze greeted him when he took a step off of the train. His eyes wandered in the artificially lit station in search of Luke. Imagine his surprise when he found Kirk holding up a sign with his name on it.
"What's this about?" Jess asked, a smirk forming on his face.
"Are you Jess Mariano?" Kirk asked, avoiding eye contact.
"You know I am," he remarked.
"Very well, Sir. Your vehicle awaits," Kirk answered so mechanically it made Jess chuckle. Kirk reached out for Jess' worn out bag, underestimating the weight of its contents. He struggled for a second before finding his balance and heading off to the dark-colored limousine.
"I never expected Luke to shell out some dough just to get me back to Stars Hollow," Jess replied in humor.
"I am sorry, Sir. I did not say that your vehicle was provided for by Mr. Danes," he replied.
"Then who..." his voice trailed off when Kirk opened the door for him. Inside was a woman he never expected to see again.
"Wow. I am so glad that I had Kirk pick you up," Rory said with a smile. "Otherwise I would not have recognized you with the new 'do."
"Yeah, the publishers thought my Conanesque coif left something to be desired," he quipped.
Rory nodded. "It's you… Very grown up."
"Thanks," was all he could cough up. "So, what's the limo for?"
"Oh, I don't know," Rory shrugged. "I thought you and I could give Stars Hollow something to talk about."
"What's a wedding without a back story, right?" Jess remarked as his heart skipped a beat. This time, his mind raced to a time when he sought out the same girl, at a wedding, when time stood still and their story began.