This is not going to be a long project of a story. I'm estimating it as only two, though it may stretch to three if needed. This was originally a brief one shot from Kiss Me Fool, but it's part of my project to rewrite the whole thing. It's cute, it's AU, and it's LITfriendship.

Disclaimer: I don't own Gilmore Girls...yet.

"Please, please, please?" Rory begged Jess as she followed him around the diner.

"No, no, no!" he responded hastily.

Rory pouted. "Please? Just this once? I'll be your best friend." Her eyes twinkled with delight.

Jess sighed. "No." Rory pushed out her lip to form the famous Gilmore pout. "Come on, Rory? The dance marathon? And besides, you're already my best friend."

"Hmmph! Not anymore, mister!" Rory withdrew her pout and folded her arms.

Chuckling, twelve year old Jess placed the dirty dishes he was carrying on the counter. "Then I officially revoke your pancake privileges."

"No more pancakes?" Rory gasped. "Not being your best friend is awful."

"You bet it is. I have a lot to offer these days: pancakes, The Clash CD, and occasional Jane Austen novel." Jess ticked each item off on his fingers and watched as Rory's eyes lit up. She pulled up a stool next to where he was standing.

"Please Jess? I'll get all dressed up. Mommy said she would make me a new dress and everything!" Rory informed him as she struggled to sit on the high counter stool. Jess smirked at her, but then helped her up on the stool. "And I can't be in the dance marathon without a partner," she added sadly.

Jess knew he would eventually succumb to Rory's charm and potent Gilmore pout. He just couldn't help it. No matter how hard he tried, he just couldn't resist the sad smile and the tremor of her lip. It always played out this way, and he couldn't help but constantly give in to his best friend. As Jess tossed his wet rag into the bucket, he looked at Rory. She was staring innocently back at him from her perch on the stool. "Is this stupid dance marathon really that important to you?" Rory nodded ferociously. "Well, that stinks that you don't have a partner." Rory's face immediately fell.

"Please, Jess. Why can't you just take me?" Rory pleaded with tears glistening in her big blue eyes.

As soon as he noticed the drops suspending from her eyes, Jess felt his heart sink. Her lower lip trembled and he threw his hands in the air. "Okay, you win. I'll be your partner," Jess grumbled.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" Rory hopped down from her stool and flung her arms around Jess's neck, throwing him off balance. He lurched backwards and they both met the hard surface of the diner's floor. Jess flicked water at Rory from the bucket, causing her to squeal with amusement and happiness. Giggling, Rory ruffled his messy hair as they sat on the floor.

Luke woke Jess at five in the morning, causing the boy in question to emit a frustrated growl. "Too early," he groaned, yanking the covers over his head.

"You told me to get you up at five," Luke said. "You need to pick Rory up in a half hour," he reminded his nephew before he ripped the bedclothes off him.

"Changed my mind," Jess grumbled sleepily, tearing back the sheets from Luke's grip. "You go instead."

"I don't think so." Luke reached for the lamp beside his nephew's bed and flicked it on. The light poured through the barrier of blankets and Jess stared at his orange eyelids.

"You're cruel," Jess said as he swung his legs out of bed. "I hate you."

"Glad to hear it," Luke responded dryly. "Breakfast is on the table."

"Quickly, Jess plowed through his waffles drenching each bite in enough syrup to cause Luke to flinch at the sweetness.

"You want to ease up on the syrup a bit?" Luke asked as Jess poured the sugary amber liquid on his second waffle, successfully filling every crevice on the first go.

"No. I need sugar to stay awake. This is twenty-four hours, remember?" Jess asked as he ripped a piece of waffle off with his fork to dip in the syrup puddle on his plate. As he sipped his tea, Luke watched Jess gobble up the final waffle and drop his plate in the sink.

"I'm going to take a shower," Jess grumbled as he headed for the bathroom.

"Twenty minutes!" Luke shouted after him.

"Mom! He's going to be here in twenty minutes!" Rory shouted, flinging herself on Lorelai's bed.

"Sleep good. Early bad," Lorelai said as she tossed the covers over Rory.

"No! You need to get out of bed," Rory begged, trying not to laugh.

"Mommy's tired," Lorelai groaned.

"But Sookie's friend is going to be here in twenty minutes!"

"Twenty minutes!" Lorelai yelped as she threw the covers aside.

"I made coffee!" Rory called after her mother, who was already in the bathroom attempting to get ready.

Rory headed to her own room. She had showered before waking her mother up. Sitting on her flowered bedspread, Rory looked around the room. It was a quaint, typical girl's room. Pictures marking her friendship with Jess littered the dresser. Sighing, Rory opened her closet door and selected the turquoise dress Lorelai made especially for the dance marathon. The material was sheer, but shimmery, and the flecks of gold sparkled in the light. It was too early in the morning to be excited, but she was. Happily, she tossed her bathrobe aside and pulled the zipper of the dress down before stepping into it.

Jess combed back his damp hair and looked in the bathroom mirror. He was tired, and his reflection could tell. Yawning, Jess grabbed his bottle of hair gel from the cabinet and squeezed a glob of it on his hand. He rubbed the light green gel through his hair, spiking as he went along. When the strands finally cooperated, Jess rinsed his sticky hands before reaching for the tie hanging on the doorknob. He struggled with his dark tie as he attempted to make it lay straight and flat. All this for Rory, he thought. How silly was that? A knock came from the other side of the door. "Come in," he grumbled. Luke flung the door open and snapped a picture of Jess decked out complete formal wear before he could protest. "Aw, jeez. Come on. I don't want to remember this for the rest of my life."

Luke smirked. "Too bad. You dressed up like that is a once in a lifetime experience."

"I need to pick up Rory. Make all the fun of me you want, it's okay!" Jess grabbed his jacket and thundered down the stairs past the dark, empty diner.

Jess stuck his hands in his pockets as he shuffled over to the Gilmore house. He was a couple of minutes early. To most people, a couple minutes were not that big of a deal. However, it would be a scandal to the Gilmores at nearly six in the morning. Jess rang the bell and was met with a clatter of feet.

Lorelai whipped the door open. "Loud noises bad. Hurt Mommy's ears!"

Rory laughed from behind her mother. "She hasn't had the coffee yet," she reasoned before Lorelai scampered from the room.

"Where did she go? Should I be scared?" Jess asked, looking around.

"No, it's fine. Just come in." Rory pulled Jess in the house and shut the door behind them.

Lorelai returned with a mug of coffee in one hand and her other arm behind her back. "Hey, Jess," she said. He turned to face her and was met with the flash from the camera that had been hidden behind her back.

"Jeez!" he exclaimed, rubbing his eyes in attempt to rid them of the purple and green spots dancing in front of him. "Why does everyone keep taking pictures?"

"Because seeing you all dressed up is a once in a lifetime experience," Lorelai said, snapping another picture.