Disclaimer: I don't own Gilmore Girls. In fact, I don't own anything. I'm poor. It's sad.
A/N: So, I guess I'm back. Another Rory/Jess story. I happened to catch a re-run of 'The Real Paul Anka' today and I guess it got me inspired. Once again, I'm aware this is far from original, but I just had to fix what happened in that episode. I noticed some new things in that episode and it gave me a few ideas. I'm not entirely sure where I'm going with this yet. I do know this first chapter is extremely long, the next ones will be shorter. I just needed to get this story up to full speed.
Spoilers for 6x18 'The Real Paul Anka'.
The first part of this chapter is just the kissing scene from 6x18, with a few changes. After that it continues my way. I hope you'll enjoy and let me know what you think! Thanks.
Rory opened the familiar book somewhere in the middle and started reading the page she had only read about a hundred times before. It still made her smile and above all proud. He really did it. And today only confirmed it. He seemed to be in a good place and it felt good to get to be a witness of it.
"You know, you don't have to read it again." Jess' voice sounded from behind her.
She looked up and smiled as he pulled a chair up next to her and sat down.
"I know I don't." She assured him.
"God, there are so many things I would change in it."
"Like what?" Rory asked surprised as she turned to him and their knees touched.
She pretended not to be affected by it.
"I'd keep the back cover. Everything else goes."
She chuckled lightly.
"You know why I love your book?"
"It doesn't remind me of anything. It's not a rip-off. It's just you." She honestly confessed.
Jess nodded slowly.
"High Praise, miss Yale editor."
He playfully punched her knee. She smiled, but looked away. It was still hard to look him in the eye sometimes. She feared it would bring back feelings she should've buried long ago.
"Yeah, well, I don't get to write as much as I would like." She started, daring herself to look up again and meet his eyes. "It's mostly assigning and motivating, hand-holding and rewriting."
"And you love every minute of it. Come on, tell me you don't."
The fact he still knew her so well after all this time caused her to smile as he leaned forward a little. It wasn't much, but just enough to get her nervous. The kind of nervous only Jess could make her feel.
"I do." She admitted. "I do love it. It's exciting."
A short silence followed. Only a second, but it was enough for them to really look at each other. It didn't really help her nerves.
"You look happier than when I saw you last." He pointed out.
"So…" He started. "…you fixed everything?"
It was a bold question, but she knew it would come. She saw the hesitant expression on his face.
"Yeah." She nodded. "Everything's fixed."
The way his eyes wouldn't leave hers made her feel like that teenager she thought she had left behind a while ago. That look of desire and anticipation that she knew so well decorated his face.
"I'm glad you're here." He broke the short silence as he leaned in a little bit further.
Rory pretended not to notice.
"Yeah, me too." She told him as she looked right at him and they were only inches apart.
He leaned in quicker than she expected (but she expected it nonetheless) and before she knew it she felt his warm lips on hers. It didn't take her long to respond though and she carefully kissed him back, not really knowing how she felt about it. She felt his hand on her arm and she took it as her cue to pull back. This wasn't fair. She shouldn't do this to him.
"What?" His slightly disappointed voice sounded as she broke the kiss and pulled away from him.
"Uh…I'm sorry." She muttered while getting up.
She knew she needed to have more space between them. Otherwise this would get completely out of hand.
"About what?" Jess asked, not understanding.
She turned around to face him. He was slowly standing up and the newfound space between them finally gave her an opportunity to breathe and over think things for a second.
"Uh…about coming here…like this…"
Without even realizing she stepped closer to him again.
"I just got the flyer and…I don't know…I just wanted to see your place but…then this….it's not fair to you. I'm such a jerk." She rambled, trying to collect her thoughts.
"I...I don't know what you're talking about." Jess said as he watched the confused girl in front of him.
"I couldn't even cheat on him the way he cheated on me." Rory continued, not even listening to Jess.
"Who?" Jess spoke up, not following. "Who cheated on….."
Then it hit him.
"…That guy?" He asked.
Rory nodded, afraid to look at him.
Jess brought his hand to his mouth for a second as the realization hit him.
"You're still with him." He stated softly.
"Yeah." Rory nodded, hands in her pocket, feeling more uncomfortable than ever.
"I thought everything was fixed?"
"Everything but him." She said as lightly as possible.
"I hate this." Jess spoke up
"You should." Rory agreed. "And I'm sorry. "
It was a small gesture and she knew it wouldn't make either one of them feel better. She felt horrible about it all.
"You came her alone. To Philadelphia."
"He was out of town." Her weak defense sounded.
"I don't deserve this, Rory."
The tone of his voice came close to breaking her heart.
"You're right. You don't deserve it. I just…"
If there was only a way to make this better. If there was only something she could say to make it right. To take it back.
"You just what?" He asked.
Rory looked up at him and smiled faintly. She couldn't think of a way. There was nothing she could say.
"I don't know." She shrugged. "I should probably just go."
"Probably." Jess agreed, nodding.
They looked at each other and Rory saw the hurt in his eyes. She had no idea she was still capable of hurting him after all this time.
"I'm so sorry I came here." She told him once again.
He sighed and shook his head.
"It's what it is. You, me…"
She wasn't sure how to respond to that. As vague as those words were, she was well aware they couldn't be more true. She nodded slowly as she did a few steps backwards.
"I'm proud of you though."
"Thanks." He responded.
She tried to smile at him.
"Bye." She offered, before turning around and heading for the door.
She had just reached the door and her hand touched the doorknob when he called out her name.
God, he made it sound so good. She turned around without hesitation, curious about his next words. What was left to say?
"When you're gone I'm going to head out and have a few drinks with the guys. Maybe get wasted and forget about what just happened." He told her.
She chuckled slightly and raised an eyebrow, not at all sure why he would tell her that. She decided to go with it though.
"Huh." She said. "Coincidentally that's exactly what I'm planning on doing when I get home."
He smirked at her and they locked eyes once again.
"I figured." He told her. "You wanna come with?"
"With you and your friends?"
"As if this evening isn't strange enough as it is." Rory murmured to nobody in particular.
"It's nothing we won't forget about after a beer or two." Jess offered.
She smiled again, staring at the floor, seriously considering his offer. It was probably a bad idea, but then again, leaving like this wasn't so perfect either. If she left now they would probably never speak again. Maybe going with him would give her an opportunity to fix some of this. To end things on a less sour note. If that was even possible.
"Are you sure?" She asked as she looked up at him.
"It couldn't possibly make things worse. Who knows. Could be fun. I've never seen you drunk." He said smirking, a slightly amused look in his eyes.
"I still have to drive home. No drinking for me." She said, wisely.
He nodded slowly, knowing she was right.
"Besides…" She continued. "Chances are I would see you drunk first." She pointed out. "You just said we'd forget about all this after a beer or two. I would need more than that."
"Rory Gilmore thinks she can drink me under the table? Is that a dare?" Jess asked, obviously amused.
"Because if it is, you're on." He continued.
She chuckled, considering things. She could always spent the night at a hotel. Perhaps drinking with Jess was exactly what she needed tonight.
"Philadelphia has a hotel, right?"
The choice was easily made. Whether it was the right one or not.
"In that case: bring it, Mariano."
Jess smirked as he walked up to her. Rory opened the door and headed out, closely followed by Jess. He closed the door behind them and caught up with her, since she was already walking. He softly placed a hand on her lower back as he guided her in the right direction. It immediately brought her back to earth and made her wonder if this had been a smart move. Still. It felt good. And wasn't she allowed to feel good for one night? One night only?
Several hours later the two of them were slumped over the bar. They were both resting their heads on the cold, filthy bar, faces towards each other, drunk out of their minds. Chris and Matthew had headed back to Truncheon thirty minutes ago, so it was just the two of them now.
"I think we should call it a truce." Rory said.
Jess shook his head. It was funny sight, since he was still resting his head on the bar and it made Rory laugh, although she wasn't really sure why.
"No." He said. "I won't admit defeat just yet."
He sat up just a little and motioned to the bartender.
"A shot of tequila, please." He ordered.
The bartended frowned.
"I think you've had enough, buddy."
"No, no, no…" Jess assured him. "You see…this girl here thinks that she can drink me under the table….I have to prove her wrong. Just one more. I can't loose to a girl, okay? I'm sure you understand."
"Your last one, Jess." The bartender warned him.
"You know what?" Rory suddenly said, sitting up. "Make it two. I can down another shot of tequila."
"Damn, woman!" Jess spoke up. "Where did you learn to drink like that?"
"Try having a boyfriend who spends most of his nights in the pub getting drunk. It easily catches on. I can drink with the better of them."
"As seen tonight." Jess added. "I thought I could hold my own."
"Aw, did I bruise your ego?" Rory smiled.
"You already did that before we got here." He said.
It took a second before the seriousness of his words caught on. The smiles on their faces faded as they looked at each other. A silence fell.
"I guess getting drunk doesn't make you forget after all, huh?" She eventually broke it.
"Maybe in the morning." Jess tried.
"Maybe." Rory nodded.
The bartender placed the two shots in front of them.
"Our last hope." Jess said, nodding to the shot in front of him.
It made Rory laugh.
"What?" Jess asked, smirking at the young woman next to him.
Rory shrugged, but continued to laugh. He joined her in a matter of seconds. He wasn't sure why he was laughing, but he was pretty sure she didn't know either. The most important thing was that it felt good to laugh. It felt good to see her laugh.
Rory reached for the salt shaker and put some on her hand. Jess followed her example. She took the shot in her hand and raised it to him.
"To last hope." She chuckled.
He did the same and their glasses touched.
"God, we're pathetic." Jess muttered. "
They downed the shot at the same time. When they placed their glasses back on the bar, they bit the lemon at the same time. Their sour faces caused some more laughter.
"Time to go home." Jess said as he put down the lemon.
He tried to make his actions fit the words as he got up from his stool, but he almost fell down and had to reach for the bar again. It made Rory laugh instantly. It was a hysterical laugh that made him laugh too.
"I'd like to see you try." Jess dared her.
Rory got on her feet and started to make her way to the exit. It didn't go fluently. She tried to walk in a straight line, but she threatened to fall over every other step. Still, she felt proud, knowing she did better than Jess. She turned around to face the bar again. While she turned, she immediately realized it was bad idea. Turning around while drunk equaled dizziness. Thankfully Jess was right behind her to catch her and she leaned on him to keep her balance. She laughed again.
"God, you're drunk!" Jess pointed out, smirking.
"Hello pot, it's me kettle." She told him.
"I have to pee." Jess announced.
"Not here, I hope."
"No. Just wait. I'll be right back."
Jess carefully let go of her as he tried to walk into the direction of the bathrooms. He had to lean on every single table he walked across, bumped into some guy who threw Jess a dirty look that he wasn't even aware of and almost walked into the ladies room, because he couldn't quite see the difference between the pictures on the doors. Rory was right. He was just as drunk as she was. But it was the good kind of drunk. Not the puking your guts out kind of drunk. He felt on top of the world, even though he couldn't even walk straight.
Rory watched Jess enter the bathroom and sat down on the chair next to her. She felt good. Really good. She wasn't sure she even knew the difference between left and right, but for some reason she felt like a million bucks. She was awake and excited and for some reason happy. Like she didn't have a care in the world. The name Logan popped into her head, but she didn't feel a thing. She looked up and came face to face with an older man who was apparently sitting at the table she had just sat down at. She didn't know the table was taken.
"Oh, sorry." She started as she tried to get up.
The man was obviously as drunk as she was and the look on his face told her he didn't mind her sitting down at all. She felt his hand on her knee and slapped it away.
"That's not a good idea." She told him.
She struggled for an answer as she looked up at the bathrooms, hoping to see Jess. No such luck.
"Just because." She told him. "I'm drunk, you're drunk. Bad idea."
The man wasn't unattractive. The first gray hairs started to show and his face was decorated with a few wrinkles here and there, but he was a good looking guy.
"I disagree." The man pointed out, placing his hand on her knee again and moving it up slowly.
"Look…" She started. "You seem like a nice guy…quite attractive too, but…"
She tried to remove his hand from her thigh, but she couldn't. He had a rather firm grip.
Suddenly she felt two arms pulling her up from the chair.
"Sorry, man." Jess said as he wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his chin on her shoulder. "She's taken."
Rory laughed as she leaned backwards against his chest.
"Sorry." She told the man at the table who immediately raised his hands in an apologetic manner.
"Sorry, man. I didn't know." He told Jess.
"It's okay." Jess said. "Neither did I."
He murmured the last part, only for Rory to hear. Her smile faded for just a second.
"You're lucky." The man said. "She's a catch."
"I know. Thanks."
Jess didn't let go of her as they moved in the direction of the doors that would lead them outside. He still had his arms wrapped around her waist and their walking was very unsteady. It made Rory laugh. They kept each other stable though and made it outside without falling down. They were both laughing as they felt the cold, fresh air on their faces and closed the door behind them. Jess finally let go of her and Rory rested her back against the outside wall, still giggling. She couldn't help it. She got like that when she had too much to drink. Jess wasn't laughing. The water he had splashed into his face in the bathroom just minutes before had sobered him up just a little and the fresh air was already doing wonders. He stood still right in front of her and trapped her legs between his. It caused Rory to look up and stop laughing. He was close. Real close. Their eyes locked and Rory recognized the look on his face. She knew what was next. She had experienced it before. In fact, she had experienced it just hours before. He leaned in and Rory had trouble catching her breath.
Once again his perfect lips covered hers and he kissed her softly. It was a quick kiss. More like a peck. Sweet.
"Jess…" She whispered as their lips parted.
He was still close. Real close.
"I can't. It's not fair to you."
"Why not? I know now." Jess said. "You're with him."
"So, why…" She started.
"I think it means I'm taking advantage of you." He interrupted her.
Before she could say anything, he kissed her again. It was still soft and sweet, but this time he tried to deepen the kiss within seconds instead of breaking it. She felt his tongue against her lips and before she knew what she was doing, her lips parted and gave him access. Their tongues entwined and he brought his hand to her cheek. The kiss lasted all about ten seconds, then he broke it. He still didn't move away though. He looked at her expectantly.
"I don't want to hurt you." Rory said, eventually.
"Is not here."
She was running out of excuses and he knew it, even though he hadn't actually offered her great solutions. She looked at him.
"I'm drunk." She stated.
"Drunk people do stupid things."
"So I've been told." Jess smirked.
Another silence fell. Silence as far as words go, that is. Their minds were full of thoughts and it was loud. Extremely loud. Eventually Rory made a decision and didn't give herself the time to change her mind as she kissed him. He didn't expect it (although he hoped for it), so he pulled back about an inch. It caught her off guard as their lips parted. She frowned. Was this not what he wanted? Had he changed his mind? She tried to read the expression on his face, but got the answers to her questions as soon as she felt his lips on hers again. It was no longer soft and sweet. It was intense and hungry now. She felt his hand on her back, moving down slowly. His kisses went from her lips to her cheeks, then lowered to her neck. Her breathing became unsteady. She felt his other hand on her bare stomach underneath her top and she shivered. She was falling again. Falling hard.
They stumbled up the stairs of Truncheon Books. It went better than either one of them expected. Still, they were loud.
"Shhh…" Jess turned around and put his finger on his lips. "The others are already asleep."
"Shhh right back at you." She told him. "I'm not the one who just fell down two steps."
"Touché." He agreed as they continued up the steps and finally reached the upstairs.
He took her hand and guided her in the direction of his bedroom.
"It's messy." He warned her.
"Of course it is. It's your room."
He chose to ignore her and opened his bedroom door. Despite her current intoxicated state, she was pleasantly surprised by what she saw. Yes, it was messy, but not too bad. She was mostly impressed by the bookcases against three of the four walls, all filled with books. A slight pinch of jealousy hit her. Her books wouldn't even fill up one of these bookcases. She turned to him.
"Wow." She told him.
"I know. It's a gigantic mess." Jess said.
"No. The books. I'm jealous. And somehow kind of turned on." She joked.
He smirked, stunned to hear those words come out of her mouth. The Rory he knew would never say that to a guy. But she'd changed and definitely not for the worst.
"And you have a room of your own."
"Of course. The ladiesman that I am…I needed my own bedroom." He joked.
Rory smiled as she walked up to him.
"Right. Tell me, how many girls have you impressed and turned on by showing them your books?"
She had reached him now and she started to slowly take off his jacket. It slipped down his broad shoulders and fell to the ground. Jess was startled for just a second. How much he didn't expect that. Not that he was entirely sure of what he expected. He obviously didn't take her to his room for no reason, but it had all felt so surreal. Now she was taking off his clothes and it suddenly felt a whole lot more real. He recovered quickly though.
"Honestly? Not many." He said truthfully, looking her straight in the eye.
Rory stopped what she was doing (her hands were just about to lift his t-shirt) as she looked up at him. His words surprised her for some reason. The look in his eyes surprised her even more. He still loved her. And when he said 'not many', he really meant 'not many'. Maybe even none. Because she was still in his heart. She saw it in his eyes. It scared her a little, but it didn't stop her.
She kissed him softly and he wrapped his arms around her. They moved in the direction of the bed. By the time they had reached it, he had already taken off her jacket. They fell down on the bed and that's when the kissing stopped. She was on top on him and they just looked at each other. It suddenly wasn't about taking the next step anymore. He smiled at her and she smiled back. This was nice. They stayed like that for another few minutes. A million thoughts running through their heads and even though they couldn't be sure, they were convinced they were sharing the same thoughts.
"We should get some sleep." Jess broke the silence.
She nodded. He kissed her again, softly. She moved positions from on top of him to right next to him and curled up against him. She rested her head on his chest and he wrapped his arms around her.
"Sweet dreams, Rory Gilmore."
"Sweet dreams, Jess."
A/N: Please, let me know what you think. I'll try to update soon!
Steffanie (a.k.a nice-one)