Shameless Self-Promotion: I wrote a one-shot called Motorcycle Drive By about Jess's time in Venice Beach. I don't usually like my own writing, but I really love this fic.
Disclaimer: Taken care of, by nature of me being not the owner of anything.
A/N: Oh. My God. I just got some of the most fantastic reviews in the history of, well...reviews. Thank you so, so so so much, especially to: frequentlydazzledbylit, Sattelite-Of-Love, andKurisuta1, whose reviews far exceeded the requested length and quality.
This chapter is just a continuation of the previous chapter. I've been treating each chapter like a one-shot so far. It makes it easier for me, because I absolutely suck at plot. However, I really really really love the snow thing, and, come on, Rory can't eat all that food by herself, can she? In case you don't read the second author's note, reviewwwwwww. Please n' thank you.
Chapter 6: Snow part 2
"This is much better."
She was wearing grey drawstring sweatpants with the words "Chilton Preparatory" on her left leg written in navy blue. She had pulled her hair out of her face with a simple black headband, and she was now wearing a white Harvard t-shirt with maroon lettering. Jess was pulling containers of food out of the spacious cardboard box.
"You're not going to eat all of this now, are you?" He asked.
"Oh, God no. I was thinking of ordering Indian tonight."
"You planning on burning the place down afterwards?"
"Very funny," she said. He started putting away the containers in the fridge. "Thanks for this, by the way."
"Anything to get out of the diner for a few hours."
"Is that why you're here? To get out of the diner for a few hours?"
"Should there be another reason?" He asked.
"I don't know, I was just thinking out loud."
"Do you want there to be another reason, Rory?" He had stopped putting the food away. He was facing her, looking her directly in the eyes.
She averted his gaze and withheld her reply. The phone rang. Oh, thank God, she thought.
"Hello?" She answered, slightly out of breath.
"How's the party?"
"Oh, you know. The band is in between sets, and I think someone just vomited on the area rug in the living room, but other than that..." Jess shot her a look of confusion from the kitchen.
"Hey, your grandmother bought us that carpet!" A beat. "Can you get them to vomit some more."
"You're gross." She crinkled her nose. "So, why'd you call?"
"Just wanted to see that my lovely daughter was doing okay. You're doing okay, aren't you?"
"I'm good. Luke made me this huge care package, so I'm good on food. School is cancelled tomorrow. I rented a ton of movies. And I think I'm going to order some Indian food later."
"Hey, do me a favor, burn the house down when you're done?"
"The smell is not that bad," Rory said, defensively.
"Yes it is," Jess called from the kitchen.
"Uh...who's that?" Lorelai asked.
"Um, you know...Jess," Rory said, her voice weakly attempting casual-ness.
"Jess is there?"
She let out a sigh. "He carried Luke's care package home for me. My hands were full, and...He's just helping me unload everything now." A beat. "It was a very nice gesture."
Jess rolled his eyes in the kitchen. The elder Gilmore girl had more than a sneaking suspiscion that Jess was into Rory, which would have been fine, if Rory hadn't already had a boyfriend (who was a mother's dream). Lorelai didn't have anything against Jess personally, but she knew that he was trying to weasel his way into Rory's heart, and that was reason enough for her to develop a sort of instinctive maternal resentment.
"Work, I guess. Or maybe home now. I don't know. I saw him yesterday after you called. Does it matter?"
"I don't know, honey. It's just that you've been spending so much time with Jess lately. You talk about him when you're not around him, you see him every day. Are you sure you're not-"
"Mom, can we please not have this conversation right now." Her cheeks were hot with embarassment. Jess smirked. He could only guess what conversation Rory didn't want to have right now.
"Okay, okay. I'll lay off. But as soon as I get home, we're having some major girl talk."
"Fine," Rory said. "Speaking of which, do you have any idea when you're coming home?"
"They've been pretty vague about it. I offered to sleep with the guy at the front desk for information-"
"Whoa, overshare," Rory said, cringing.
"-but I'm 84% positive he's gay. From what we've been told, there's a chance I could be home either late tomorrow night or the day after that. But apparently there is going to be even moresnow..."
"Okay, just...call me as soon as you find out." Pause. "I miss you."
"I miss you, too, sweetie. I love you. And be careful," she warned. "You know what I'm talking about."
Rory blushed. She threw a stray glance in Jess' direction, which he luckily didn't notice. "Yeah, I will. I love you, too. Bye."
Rory went back into the kitchen.
"So, what were you two talking about?" Jess asked with a smirk.
"That's none of your business," Rory said, attempting to hide her blush. She scratched the back of her neck nervously.
"If you say so." He shut the refridgerator door. "Okay, everything is stored away. You should be able to eat for the next century."
"Please, you know how much I eat."
"Alright, the next week."
"That's more like it," she said, faking enthusiasm.
Silence washed over them. She didn't know if she was supposed to invite him to stay or not. He was still wearing his coat, so he obviously didn't intend to stay long, but he wasn't making any attempts to leave.
"So, do I get a tip?" He said.
"A tip. You know, for my services."
Rory smiled at no one in particular. She could just imagine her mother's voice in the background, saying, "Dirty!" And gasping in mock horror.
"No," she said.
"Come on, Rory. I carried that box all the way from the diner. I put your food away."
"Fine, fine. You can have some food."
He removed his jacket.
"You're staying?" She asked and raised her eyebrows. She didn't exactly mind, but it was getting late, and the snow wasn't exactly falling more slowly than it had been earlier. It would be dark in half an hour, and one or two inches had already accumulated outside...
"Well, yeah. You said I could have some food. That sounded invitation-like." A beat. "What, are you withdrawaing, because I could always go..."
"No, it's fine. You can stay. But it's getting dark outside."
"Thank God they invented flashlights."
She shot him a look.
He raised his hands defensively. She rolled her eyes and went back to the phone. She dialed.
"Hello?...Yes, I'd like to place an order...Gilmore...Yes, that's the correct address...I'll hold..." She pressed her hand to the reciever. "Jess, you want anything from Sandeep's?"
She placed her order, and she wrote down the total cost on a post it note. She grabbed a twenty from beneath the rabbi. Her mother had at least left her enough money. She disappeared into her room for a few moments, and she returned with the bag of movies from the video store.
"So, which one first?" She asked him, holding up the bag.
"I'm stuffed," she declared.
"Yeah, me too," he said.
They were sitting on opposite ends of her couch. She was tucked comfortably beneath a Harry Potter throw blanket. He had removed his hoodie, and it lay crumpled in a ball on the floor beside the coffee table. The table was covered in food. Lots of food. The Indian take-out. The red vines, the mallomars, the Doritos, Fritos, Cheetoes. All the eat-os. Some cold french fries from the diner.
"I mean, I don't think I can ever eat again," Rory said.
"You're just saying that. You'll probably be hungry in fifteen minutes."
"Oh, shit. It's Mr. Creosote. Swim away!" They were nearing the end of Meaning of Life, and Mr. Creosote was about to detonate.
"That's ironic," Jess remarked.
"Do you think I'll explode if I eat anything else?"
"I'd rather not test that theory."
"It's just a waffer thin, sir." Mr. Creosote grumbled something or other. He ate the waifer, and boom! He exploded all over the fancy dining room.
"I love this movie," Rory said. She grabbed a handful of Doritos and began munching.
"My top schools where I want to apply are Oxford and the Sorbonne. Harvard's my safety." Rory quoted effortlessly in time with the movie.
"How many times have you seen this?" Jess asked, amazed.
"Like, eleven," she said. "Shhh, this is my favorite part."
"You've said that three times already."
Rory watched as Max Fischer, played by the young Jason Schwartzmen, chatted up Miss Cross. Rushmore was easily one of her all time favorite movies.
She had moved so that she was lying on her side now, almost in the fetal position. Jess was sitting with his head propped up on his hand, his elbow rested on the armrest.
"He's so confident. But he's not good at anything," Rory said.
"What are you talking about? He's in like 9 million clubs," Jess replied.
"Yeah, he does a lot of things, but he isn't very good at any one of them. Except for the plays he writes. And his plays are the only things he gets nervous about."
"What about that math problem he solved?"
"That took place during a dream sequence," she answered, looking at Jess. "That's right, you got up to get more soda during the beginning of the movie. Haven't you seen this movie before?"
"I've seen it before. I guess I never noticed that he was dreaming."
She shook her head. "Get with it, Jess. You're getting careless."
"Yeah. At least I don't snore." He smirked.
She kicked him.
"Hey!" He said.
"I do not snore!"
"Yeah, then what would you call that erratic nasal breathing thing you were doing in the middle of Love, Actually?"
"My head was tilted all funny. I couldn't breath properly," she said, defensively. She knew she couldn't win.
"Yeah, okay," he said. He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye.
He thought she looked so perfect like that. Just a t-shirt and sweatpants, curled up on the couch, her straight brown hair cascaded modestly on the sofa pillows, a blush fixed perpetually on her face. He loved that he could make her do that. Blush like that.
She caught him starring at her. "What?" She said. He thought it was funny that she thought something was wrong.
"Nothing," he said, turning his attention back to the movie. Nothing at all.
"Okay, so...I'm thinking you can take the couch," she said, her voice filled with amazement. They were standing on her front porch, freezing their butts off. He was rubbing his hands together and she had her arms wrapped around herself.
More than a foot of snow had fallen so far, and it was continuing still to fall as hard as ever. It was well past 11:00, anyways. There was no way in hell Jess was walking home.
"Guess I'd better call Uncle Luke then, huh," he said.
She nodded in agreement and hugged herself more tightly.
"Hey, it's Jess...No, would you relax. I'm fine, jeez...We watched some movies...Yeah, I'm still there...Look, she's the one who offered, alright. She said I could crash on the couch." After rolling his eyes, he held the phone out to Rory. "He wants to talk to you."
"Hey, Luke," Rory said.
"Is everything alright there? Is the thermostat working?"
"Luke, everything is fine."
"Are you sure? Because I can come over there if you need me to." Rory smiled at this.
"I appreciate it, really. But we're fine. I've got plenty of food-thank you, by the way. There are candles under the sink in case the power goes out. And flashlights on top of the fridge. Jess can crash on the couch until the storm passes."
Luke sighed. "I'm really sorry about all this, Rory."
"For getting you stuck with Jess. I know how much trouble he can be."
"He hasn't been trouble." Jess raised his eyebrows at this, and Rory blushed. She turned to avoid his gaze. "I don't mind, Luke. Really."
Luke grunted. "Okay. Just, let me know if you need anything."
"I will, I promise."
"Okay. Take care."
"Night, Luke." She hung up first.
There was a brief silence. A serious expression formed on her face. And then she said, "Empire Records?"
It was the sunlight that woke her up. At first, her vision was blurred. She wiped her eyes with the backs of her hands and yawned. She ran a hand through her hair before sitting up. She was on the couch. The comforter from her bed was now on top of the Harry Potter throw she had been using last night, and her favorite pillow had mysteriously found its way beneath her head.
Jess was fast asleep in the armchair, his feet propped up on the ottoman. He had found a pillow and a blanket somehow. The linen closet wasn't exactly difficult to find. The fact that he had gone into her room last night after she had passed out and tucked her in was just too much for her comprehend. It was such a sweet thing to do. She smiled affectionately at his sleeping form. She pushed the covers off of her and realized at once how cold it was in the house. She raised her arms to the sky and let out a deep yawn. She got up and set the thermostat a few degrees higher. She heard it click on.
There was plenty of coffee in the cupboard, thank God. They drank so frequently at Luke's that they had plenty of it at home. She poured in the maximum amount of water possible and dumped in an appropriate enough about of coffee. It couldn't possibly be too strong for her, and she didn't really care what it tasted like. She was just tired.
Then she went to the bathroom. She brushed her teeth and her hair. She washed her face and put on a little concealer to hide her few blemishes. She applied some chapstick, because, well, her lips were chapped. And, yes, Jess was there. Sue her for wanting to at least vaguely resemble a girl.
By the time she was finished in the bathroom, her coffee was nearly ready. She pulled down two mugs and poured the hot liquid into the both of them. She couldn't remember if Jess drank coffee or not, but she would always just drink his if he didn't. She set the two mugs down on the coffee table and went back into the kitchen to pour herself a bowl of Lucky Charms.
She turned on the news, careful to make sure the volume was low enough as to not wake Jess. Sure enough, nearly every county in Connecticut had cancelled school. It was the worst blizzard in a decade. It said that it had snowed between 15' and 30' in different locations throughout New England. Regardless, it was a lot of snow. She glanced out the window and saw that her mailbox was almost covered.
Okay, so Jess wouldn't be leaving any time soon.
Sighing, she switched from local to cable news. Rory was one of the small percentage of teenagers who would watch CNN, MSNBC, hell, even C-SPAN, uninterrupted, all day long.
She downed her first cup of coffee with ease. Just as she was finishing it, Jess began to wake.
"Good morning," she said, her voice oddly chipper.
He yawned. "What time is it?" He asked.
"10-ish. I forgot, do you drink coffee," she said, and she yawned, too, finding his contagious.
He nodded, still a little bit out of it. "Not like you, though." He smiled as he said it.
"Hah." she said. "Well, there's some for you right there." She motioned to the coffee table.
"Thanks," he said, picking the mug up. He took a sip, and he nearly spit the hot liquid out once it had entered his mouth. "This is black," he said, a look of disgust on his face.
"Yeah?" she said, innocently. It wasn't an act.
He set the cup down on the coffee table. "Never mind," he muttered. She smiled to herself. She really hadn't considered that he wouldn't want black coffee. She was just so used to it. She shrugged her shoulders, picked up his rejected mug, and began drinking from it herself.
"You know I put my mouth on that, right?" He said, smirking.
She shrugged, feigning nonchalance.
"We have Lucky Charms, if you want."
He got up and went into the kitchen to grab himself a bowl of cereal. When he returned a few minutes later with the Lucky Charms in one hand and a mug in the other, he sat them down on the coffee table and said, "Can we watch something else?"
"I don't do a leather jacket, punk-vibey thing, whatever that is. It's warm, and it's durable. I listen to the music I do because my dad left all of his old CDs when he skipped town, which, believe me, is the only decent thing he ever did, and I started smoking to deal with the stress of having Liz Danes for a mother."
Her expression of amusement quickly faded. She swirled the coffee around in her mug and starred into it's caffeinated depths. CNN had caused them to start talking lightly about politics, and Rory had commented that Jess's Holden Caulfield complex made him seem like a weird, Dead Kennedeys-esque communist-anarchist hybrid. Jess objected a little more seriously than she'd anticipated he would.
"Just because you think I fit some kind of typecast mold doesn't mean I do," he said, taking another bite. "Besides," he added more lightly, "I've never been one to live up to people's expectations."
There was silence, save for the sound of Soledad O'Brien's voice in the background. After a moment, Rory grabbed the remote from the coffee table and passed it to him.
He changed it to Cartoon Network. The Jetsons were on. Rory cracked a smile.
Politics and Jess. A bit no-no. She cataloged that piece of information in her brain's ever expanding Jess file.
She laughed involuntarily when Jess attempted to mimick the sound of the Jetsons' spacecar, his mouth full of soggy Lucky Charms. Maybe she wouldn't catalog that one.
"You don't have Huckleberry Finn?" He asked, incredulously.
"I checked it out of the library when we read it for school," she admitted. Her voice betrayed a hint of shame. "I didn't like it enough to buy it."
He shook his head and continued to browse her bookshelf. Rory was sitting on her bed reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. She laughed at one scene in which Elizabeth observed Mr. Darcy beheading the newly undead kitchen staff at Netherfield.
"I'm borrowing that, by the way," he said upon hearing the soft giggle escape her lips.
"When I'm finished," she said, a small smile playing at the corner of her lips. Jess finally settled himself on Salinger's Nine Stories. He opened immediately to "A Perfect Day for Bananafish" and seated himself on a beanbag chair.
Rory looked up at him and snorted (chortled?) at the sight of Jess sitting in a beanbag chair on the floor of her room reading Salinger. If ever there were an oxymoron...
He raised his eyebrows and wiggled a little in his seat, making himself more comfortable.
"There's an armchair, you know," Rory said.
"Oh, but this beanbag chair just seemed so inviting," he droned, reading his book. It was a short story about a suicide, though currently, the protagonist betrayed no indication that he desired to take his own life. Rory looked out the window. She could see icicles hanging from the gutters. The trees were completely covered in snow. The porch railings themselves had accumulated inches of the white stuff.
He shifted slightly. "Do you mind if I put on some music?" He asked.
"Of course not. There's a box under my bed." She read, and he got up to browse her music selection. She added, "That's just my personal collection. All the stuff I share with my mom is in the living room. That's where you'll find most of the 80s."
He nodded silently.
The Shins. Dresden Dolls. Macy Gray. About ten albums from some chick named Sam Phillips. Ash. XTC. The Vandals. The Smiths. Elvis Costello and Marshall Crenshaw. He finally decided on The Buzzcocks' Singles Going Steady. He put it into her 5-disc CD changer, which already housed a Bowie greatest hits album, a Ted Leo mix CD, Death Cab for Cutie's You Can Play These Songs with Chords, and More Adventurous by Rilo Kiley.
"I met Ted Leo," he said, upon seeing the CD in her player.
"No way," she said, losing the starring contest she was having with her trade paperback.
"In New York. It was actually right before I got here. My friend Danny got up on stage with him and played guitar while he sang. He let us hang out with him after the show."
Rory's eyes lit up as he recounted his experience.
"That is so not fair," was all she could come up with. She suddenly found it hard to concentrate, but she pretended to be engrossed with her book again. Jess pressed play and skipped the album's first track. It was called "Orgasm Addict." He would spare Rory the discomfort. He nodded his head in time to the music, as did she.
"I'm hungry," she finally said, and she got up to heat one of Luke's care-package burgers.
Jess turned the volume up so that the music was blaring. Babette and Maury would probably be able to hear it, but Jess really didn't care. He left Rory's door wide open when he left the room.
"I just want a lover like any other, what do I get? I'm in distress I need a caress, what do I get?" Jess sang along quietly as he reached into the fridge and pulled out a random container. He peered inside. French fries.
He looked upon the container with disdain.
"What's the matter?" Rory asked. She was standing facing the microwave, waiting for her burger to heat up.
He tilted the container so she could see its contents.
"Reheated french fries suck," he said. She pouted.
"They do suck."
He had better luck the second time around. The next container housed a burger as well, and he popped it into the microwave.
They ate without speaking. The words weren't necessary as the Buzzcocks were currently filling the silence. They did most of the talking.
Ever fallen in love with someone?
Ever fallen in love-
In love with someone?
Ever fallen in love,
In love with someone you shouldn't've fallen in love with?
"Go fish," she said, smiling triumphantly.
Reluctantly, Jess slid his hand into the middle of the table and picked a card from the top of the deck.
"Got any 2s?" Rory asked.
He handed over a pair of 2s. Rory laid all four 2s on the table. She only had one card left in her hand.
"Your turn," she said.
"Are you holding a 6?"
"No, you're supposed to say, 'Got any sixes?' Not, 'are you holding a whatever.' There are rules to follow.'"
"Well, do you?"
She paused. "Go fish."
"Jeez," he muttered. He added another card to his hand. "Hah," he said, reckognizing that he had finally made a triple. He laid down three 4s. "That means I get to go again, right?"
She nodded, amused.
"Okay...are you holding a 10?"
She rolled her eyes and handed over her lone card.
He smiled for a moment, until she said, "I still win, smart one. I can't believe you've never played 'go fish.'"
"Excuse me, I was too busy having a troubled childhood." He smirked.
"My name is Jess. My daddy left me with an awesome CD and vinyl collection when I was 8 months old, and I never learned to play G-rated card games. Observe as I brood," she mocked.
"My name is Rory. My mom named me after herself because she was too drugged up to think clearly in the hospital, and I freaked out when Jess suggested we play strip poker, so I challenged him to a riveting game of go fish. Watch me shift uneasily under his brooding stare."
She shifted uneasily under his brooding stare. "Hey!" she said, obviously upset that he had predicted exactly what she was about to do. "That's not fair."
"Neither was asking me for my 2s after I asked you if you had any, but you don't see me complaining."
She stuck her tongue out at him. He raised his eyebrows at her before throwing a piece of kettle corn at her head.
It landed squarely in the middle of her forehead. Her jaw dropped. She quickly grabbed a handful of Cheetoes and tossed them in his direction.
"Why, Miss Gilmore. Are you challenging me to a food fight?" His smirk had grown to a full fledged smile.
She merely gave him her best aren't-you-just-dying-to-know stare and placed her hands on her hips. For a moment, neither of them moved a muscle. She saw his arm twitch slightly, though, and she practically dove for the fridge. It escalated quickly. They started with the dry foods, of course, for practical reasons. It was easiest to grab, to aim, to throw. Rory found a container of the despicable cold french fries and began hurling them in Jess's general direction. Her aim was not so good. He ran into the living room and returned with a handful of left-over samosas. She attempted to dodge them, but his practiced arm was too accurate for her girlish reflexes.
"Oh, it's on," she said. She grabbed a bottle of Hershey's chocolate syrup from the fridge. His smile quickly faded. He grabbed the bowl of snacks from the kitchen table and began backing up slowly.
"You wouldn't," he said, eyeing the chocolate sauce nervously. She was making him nervous.
"Wouldn't what?" Her voice was innocent. She approached him slowly, dangling the bottle of syrup from her index finger. She snapped open the top and raised her arms to squirt the chocolate at Jess, but before she could successfully cover him in the sticky stuff, he reached out to her sides and began tickling her.
"Jess!" She squealed. "Stop. Stop, this isn't funny," she said, lauging uncontrollably. She fell to the ground, but he was relentless.
"I think it's hilarious," he said.
He finally stopped. He was kneeling on the ground beside her, the bottle of Hershey's long forgotten. She was panting for breath. She sat up slowly and smacked his arm. They glanced around the room. Luckily they hadn't progressed past the dry snack foods, although the broken bits of things would still be difficult to clean up.
"We had a food fight," she said.
"I mean, it's such a cliche. No one actually has food fights."
"We did," he said.
"...We have to clean it up," she pouted.
"So, you talked to Luke?"
"He said the roads are still bad."
"You can take the couch this time," Rory said, yawning. "I'm gonna turn in."
Knock knock knock.
They starred, wide-eyed, at Rory's front door.
"Who do you think it is?" Rory asked, genuinely concerned. You'd have to be crazy to go outside right now.
"Publisher's Clearing House?" He offered.
"I don't know, just answer it."
"I'm not answering it!"
"Then you'll never find out."
"Rory, are you there?" The voice called.
Rory's stomach did about 10 thousand backflips. Dean.
"Hide," Rory instructed.
"What, you want me to just hop in a closet?"
"Yes, that's an excellent idea. Now hide."
Jess rolled his eyes.
"Jess, if you do not hide, so help me God, I will-"
The door opened. Shit. Dean flexed his jaw. His fists clenched. His whole body tensed.
"What the fuck is he doing here, Rory." Rory froze. She put her head in her hands and wished that she was anywhere but in her living room.
"I take it bag boy didn't know I was here, huh?" She shot Jess a death glare. His smirk actually faded.
"Rory?" Dean asked.
"Dean, please, just...sit down or something."
"No. Not until you tell me what's going on."
Rory sighed heavily. "Dean, please. Sit."
"You'd better do what she says, man," Jess said.
"Stay out of it," Rory and Dean said in unison. Jess raised his hands in mock apology. He sat down on the couch and began flipping through an issue of Jane magazine.
"Explain," Dean said firmly.
Rory stepped into the kitchen. Dean followed closely behind her.
"My mom is snowed in in Pennsylvania. Luke made me a care package. I couldn't carry it so Jess offered to do it. I let him have some food, and he got snowed in while we were eating." She seemed to say it all in one breath. She closed her eyes when she was done, bracing herself for Dean's reaction.
"You lied to me, Rory." Dean said, his voice hitching a little.
"I know," she said, nodding and she let out a small sob. She shut her eyes more tightly.
Dean was too overwhelmed to even be angry. "I don't think this is going to work, anymore."
Rory was shaking now. She was sad, yes, that Dean was breaking up with her. But more than anything, she was disgusted with herself. She had lied to and manipulated someone who genuinely loved her. She was a horrible person. She nodded as Dean spoke. His voice was gentle, and it angered Rory. He should be yelling, and punching things. Now she would have no one to be angry at but herself.
"My mom made a pot roast. I brought you leftovers." It was too much. Too much. She needed him to tell her how horrible she was. That she was the worst person on the planet. No, he gave her his mom's leftover pot roast.
Rory didn't respond. Dean left, and Rory sunk down to the floor. She didn't care who saw her. She was a mess.
Jess walked slowly into the kitchen and sat down on the floor next to Rory. She looked at him and continued to cry.
"I can leave...if you want."
Rory shook her head.
He grabbed her hand and gave it a squeeze before sliding down to the ground next to her. She buried her head in his shoulder and cried.