Disclaimer: I am no way affiliated with Gilmore Girls, the WB / CW or any other shows referenced in the following story. All characters that bare resemblance to real people are entirely fictional, and any similarities in personality or belief are entirely coincidental.
Summary: Set one week before the first Thanksgiving of Rory's Barrack following career. (AU season eight)
Jess Mariano never came to Stars Hollow; his uncle instead encouraged Liz to support him in New York, occasionally making the commute to New York to lend a helping hand, eventually helping Jess get some small acting jobs under the alias 'Milo Ventimiglia', a career which gradually blossomed due to Jess' natural aptitude for, well, lying. It's still the same Jess however… all in good time. Lorelai and Rory have never met this phantom nephew of Luke's, even though Luke maintains sporadic contact with Jess.
Rory Gilmore continued dating one Dean Forrester until early in her sophomore year of Yale. She then dated Logan Huntzberger until his impeding change of location and an unexpected proposal drove them apart. Rory is now on leave from her journalistic endeavors and planning on spending some much appreciated time with her family during the holiday season.
Lorelai and Luke got back together not long after Rory left and are now pretty serious. Just as boyfriend and girlfriend however.
Let the story begin…
Chapter One: Meet the Family.
Rory's car pulled quietly into the drive of her family home, yet the barely audible sound of gravel crunching beneath tires was enough to send her overly alert and overly caffeinated mother bounding out the front door, down the porch steps and into her equally excited daughters waiting embrace.
"My little journalistic groin fruit, back from her adventure around the world!" Lorelai said affectionately into the hug.
"Loin fruit, and America isn't the world, mum!" Rory said, grinning like mad.
"You feed them, clothe them, then they leave you all alone, only to come back completely unpatriotic!" Lorelai cried, still holding her daughter close to her chest, holding on for dear life.
"I missed you mum!" Rory murmured into the hug.
"Me too babe, so much!" Lorelai agreed.
"How's Luke?" Rory asked with a smile once the two women had pulled apart, anxious to hear more about the relationship than she already had over the phone.
"Gah!" Lorelai groaned in frustration, "He's inside, hasn't gotten off the phone all day! Stupid thanks giving arrangements!"
"What's he arranging?" Rory asked, linking arms with her mother as they made their way towards the house.
"He's arguing with his family." She said with a wave of her hand.
"His family is coming here for thanksgiving?" Rory asked in surprise.
"Yeah, didn't I tell you?" Lorelai said innocently.
"Must've slipped your mind." Rory said with a playful glare as they slipped into the foyer (if you're feeling fancy… or French) and Luke's rather loud conversation came into earshot.
"Yes! Yes! I've said yes a million times, rephrasing the question makes no –YES! Liz, do you want to come down here? Then yes! Have you told Jess Yes? Then tell Jess again. Tell him I don't have the patience for this. Well then tell him I don't care if he's on his death bed, as long as it has wheels –he's coming! …Tell him –just put him on the phone! Jess? Is that you? It's Thanksgiving! Don't get smart with me… Jess, I'm warning you. I don't know… stuff. I want you to be here. No funny business! So you'll be here? I told Liz yes enough already, don't get started. You're really coming? Ok, good. I'll see you then. Bye." Luke hung up the phone with a sigh before turning and seeing Rory. "Rory! You're here!" He grinned and walked over to Rory, pulling her into an awkward but affectionate hug.
"Hey Luke." Rory smiled.
"Some family you have there." Lorelai commented, already getting started on the coffee for Rory's home coming.
"Yeah, they're just a little… difficult. But hey, Rory's back! How was the campaign?"
"Great! It's so interesting, I learnt so much! And it's exciting too you know? Not only do the American people really understand and want to be involved in the change that is being undergone, but world wide as well! I mean, this election is being so closely followed all over the place. I knew that this opportunity was great, but I only really –I'm boring you aren't I? I'm sorry." Rory smiled sheepishly at her mother who was feigning sleep.
"Huh –hm? What?" Lorelai said, 'waking up' suddenly.
"Lorelai!" Luke scolded before turning to Rory, "That sound great! I'm so glad your enjoying it!"
"Yeah, it is." Rory agreed.
"And it was the first fifty times you gave me the great opportunity speech… along with an in-depth description of how the electorate system works. I was fine with the cliff notes version honey." Lorelai smiled.
"Well as a registered voter you need to be well informed on our countries democratic system!" Rory argued.
"Alright, no politics at the table." Lorelai announced, setting a steaming cup of coffee in front of Rory and sipping at her own as she sat across said table.
"Fine." Rory rolled her eyes, "So what's happening for Thanksgiving?"
"Well, so far we've got Lane, Zach, Steve and Kwon coming around before they head off to the Kim's. Then we'll drop by Sookie and Jackson's for a minute, followed closely by lunch with Luke's family-"
"If they don't change their mind." Luke's muttering interrupted.
"Quiet you," Lorelai scolded Luke's back as he walked out of the kitchen, "and last but not… we'll actually, least, dinner with the Gilmore's."
"So we're skipping rolls huh?" Rory commented.
"At least we don't have tofurkey." Lorelai said.
"It's good to be back." Rory sighed contently.
"It's good to have you back."
The phone ringing interrupted their mother-daughter moment and Luke re-entered with a determined look on his face.
"Oh you are not making any more excuses." He grumbled, grabbing the receiver roughly. "Look here mister! I don't care if I have to drive down to New York myself and drag you by your ears. You are going to come to Thanksgiving, you are going to be polite and you are going to give thanks and pretend that you want to be part of this family! –Oh. Mrs. Gilmore. I –uh, sorry, I thought you were… never mind. I'll pass you over to Lorelai."
Lorelai gave him a dirty look before taking the telephone from his outstretched hand.
Jess flicked off the TV when he heard knocking at his door, grudgingly he stood up and answered it.
"Baby boy!" The blonde woman on the other side shrieked when she saw him.
"Hey Liz." He sighed, letting her in only slightly reluctantly.
"What are you doing for Thanksgiving?" she asked as he swatted her away from his hair.
"I don't know, might go out with friends." He answered, slumping back on the couch in his apartment.
"Nope, you're coming with me to Stars Hollow to visit your uncle." She told him with a smile.
"No can do." He said indifferently.
"But sweetie!" She protested.
"It's important to Luke, he won't say anything, but you know how important it is."
Jess sighed, "Look, he probably doesn't have space for me anyway… I don't want to intrude because he feels obligated to invite me."
"I'll call him again, I forgot to ask him that this morning when we talked." Liz announced, grabbing the phone off the coffee table before Jess had a chance to protest.
"Ah Jeez." He sighed, slumping further into the leather furnishing.
"Luke? Hey big brother, it's me, Liz! Guess who I have here. No guess. Guess! Fine, don't guess. I'm with Jess. Yes, that Jess. That's what I was calling about actually. Do you have room for us there?" She covered the mouth piece and turned to Jess, "He has room."
Jess smirked, "You sure about that?"
"You sure Luke?" Liz asked, "Yeah, he's sure."
"Coz I wouldn't want to intrude…"
"And you're sure you want us there? Was that a yes? And you have space for Jess and I to sleep? You're sure? Coz we don't want to- yeah big brother, I want to come. Yeah, I told Jess yes, he just doesn't seem certain." She pulled the receiver away from her ear, "He told me to tell you yes again."
"Coz I'm not feeling too well, I don't want him to get sick too…" Jess' face was in full blown smirk now as he felt his uncle's anger radiating through the phone line.
"You're sure you want him to come, he says that he's not feeling too good and-" she turned to Jess, "Does your deathbed have wheels?"
"Tell him that I'm just looking out for his well being."
"Jess wants you to know that he's just looking out for your well being." She held the phone out to Jess, "he wants to talk to you."
"Hello?" Jess asked.
"Jess is that you?" Luke's voice came across the line.
"I sure hope so." Jess drawled.
"It's Thanksgiving!" Luke said.
"And I thought it was Easter."
"Don't get smart with me..." Luke warned.
"I'd try to act dumber but there's just no helping me."
"Jess, I'm warning you-" Luke's tone was growing in agitation, Jess decided to give his uncle a break.
"It's a stupid holiday anyway! What are we giving 'thanks' for?"
"I don't know… stuff." His uncle muttered, clearly frustrated.
"You really want me to come?" Jess sighed.
"I want you to be here." Luke confirmed.
"Aw shucks. I didn't know you felt that way."
"No funny business!" Luke growled, causing Jess to laugh, "So you'll be there?"
"I don't know… you have room for us?" Jess teased.
Jess could almost feel Luke's eye roll, "I told Liz enough already, don't get started."
"Alright then. Thanksgiving." Jess conceded.
"You're really coming?" Luke asked once more.
"I'm really coming; I can be down day after tomorrow if you like."
"Ok, good. I'll see you then." Jess held back a smile at his uncle's relieved tone.
"See you then." Jess confirmed.
Luke sighed, "Bye."
"Bye Luke." Jess hung up the phone with a sigh of his own before remembering his mother's unannounced presence in his apartment.
"So you're going?" Liz asked rhetorically, grinning in a slightly crazy fashion.
Jess rolled his eyes, "Yeah, I'm going."
"Oooh! This is gonna be so much fun! One big family! You'll be able to meet Luke's girlfriend and her daughter." Liz squealed.
"Fantastic." Jess said with some sarcasm. His conversations with Luke had barely gone past grunts of acknowledgment and the general howdy-dos. Sure, he had heard about Lorelai in passing when she had interrupted their brief conversations, but he never knew a daughter was part of the package. He couldn't deal with kids, he hated them. He owed Luke a lot though, so he'd just have to suck it up and deal with Luke's girlfriend's little brat for a week or so.
"They're sweeties, you'll love them." Liz assured him.
Jess, however, was far from convinced.
-Gilmore Residence, that night-
"Oh! And then there was Amy!" Rory said, munching happily on a twizzler.
"Like Amy Winehouse? She may have soul, but she wears way too much eyeliner." Lorelai's feet were propped comfortably on the coffee table as she listened to Rory regale stories from the campaign bus.
"She steers clear of the drug scene, but she's completely boy crazy. It was like high school all over again." Rory rolled her eyes, but was smiling good-humouredly.
"Perhaps Bowling for Soup had it right when they said 'High School Never Ends'." Lorelai said, grabbing a twizzler for herself.
"Anyway, there's this guy, Anthony, who sits in front of her."
"Assigned seating, what, they think you're in preschool?"
"Yes, and they have to keep us away from scissors too. Anyway, Anthony is Italian."
"Well duh! His name is Anthony, no doubt he pronounces it An-ton-ie!" Lorelai exclaimed in an overly dramatic Italian accent.
"Hush, no interrupting… will I have to bring out the talking stick?" Rory scolded.
"Not the kindergarten techniques, I'll behave." Lorelai said in mock fear as Rory glared at her.
"Anyway, turns out that Amy has a thing for Italians," Rory continued.
"Ooh! Which kind?" Lorelai butted in.
"You just can't stay quiet can you?" Rory sighed, "I asked that exact same question, Leonardo DiCaprio, Milo Ventimiglia or John Travolta? So we debate on it, of course we immediately excluded Johnny; the pelvic thrust is just no longer a turn on."
"And anyone who has seen 'Hairspray' is immediately scarred for life."
"Exactly, and then she says she prefers Leonardo, and while Leonardo is totally gorgeous, and totally to-swoon-for, I had to disagree."
"My little debater." Lorelai teased.
"Because Milo has that whole dark mysterious look going for him, Leonardo could be any other blonde beach boy you find in Malibu."
"Just insanely good looking."
"You're right, he is amazingly attractive. Talented too." Rory agreed.
"Dirty." Lorelai laughed.
"Still, I stand by my previous statement, dark and handsome with a hint of 'Judd Nelson' the early years has more of that mysterious allure."
Lorelai laughed, "Which one was An-ton-ie?"
"Now I want to watch a movie." Rory mused, squishing a pillow into place behind her back.
"Me too, 'Dirty Deeds?'" Lorelai asked.
"We don't own 'Dirty Deeds'" Rory reminded her.
"But now I want to watch Milo Ventimiglia commit dirty deeds." She whined.
"That does sound good." Rory sighed.
"Kirk bought roller blades." Lorelai said with a snap of her fingers.
"So… he's been practicing really hard and doing this whole deals-on-wheels thing."
"Isn't it meals-on-wheels?" Rory asked.
"Honey, it's Kirk. He's having a hard enough time standing up, yet alone carrying hot soup." Lorelai said.
"Right, go on."
"So, we'll call Lulu and get him to deliver us our movies from the video store!"
"Or we could just walk the two blocks to the video store ourselves." Rory reminded her mother.
"What's the fun in that?" Lorelai asked innocently.
"You're right. Get 'Romeo and Juliet' too, we need to compare and contrast, Leonardo or Milo." Rory added.
"Food's in the cupboard, I'll grab the phone." Instructed Lorelai as their movie plans went underway.
-Gilmore Residence, next day-
"Blueberry pancakes, bacon and eggs, side of fries, two coffees, two chocolate muffins and a doughnut please." Lorelai rolled off as she sat at the counter at Luke's.
"Where's Rory?" Luke asked.
"Out there." Lorelai answered, flicking her thumb towards the window where Rory could be seen talking to Babette and Morey. Just as the couple walked away and Rory turned to enter the diner, she was greeted by Kirk who proceeded to gabber on about something, his words soundless through the glass of the diner.
"How long has that been going on for?" Luke asked in his usual gruff manor.
Lorelai looked at her watch, "Only seven minutes, I got away to come order. People like to welcome her back. She's lucky Taylor hasn't spotted her yet."
"So, what are you doing today?" Luke asked, pouring their coffee before placing their order with Caesar.
"We're just going to 'reacquaint' ourselves with the town. Do the old 'meet-n-greet' before heading into Hartford for obligatory dinner with the 'rents. What about you?"
"Usual… but I've got to set up the upstairs of the diner for Liz and Jess." Luke said.
"Ah, phantom nephew." Lorelai nodded her head in recognition, "When's he getting here?"
"Sometime tomorrow." Luke answered.
"Then we'll see if he exists or not!" Lorelai said, waving her finger slightly.
"Hey, sorry it took me so long. Kirk wanted me to fill out a questionnaire on his rollerblading abilities." Rory said, taking a counter seat next to Lorelai.
"Foods already ordered," Luke turned to Lorelai, "and he does exist."
"Ooh! Phantom nephew, when's he getting here?" Rory said, bouncing a little as she sipped on her second coffee that morning.
"Tomorrow." Luke said gruffly, rolling his eyes.
"What does he do?" Rory asked.
"He's an actor." Luke said, slipping them their chocolate muffin and doughnuts.
"Would I know of him?"
"Not sure, Jess Mariano."
"Nope, never heard of him." Rory shook her head.
"I think he does alright for himself." Luke responded, with a shrug.
Lorelai threw her hand to her forehead in a dramatic display, "Starving artist, oh how thou beseech me!"
"You're hilarious." Luke deadpanned, while Rory giggled.
"So, can we be there to meet him?" Lorelai asked.
"I would let you, but I care too much for his sanity." Luke deadpanned.
"I can't tomorrow anyway," Rory said, "I'm spending it with Lane. Mrs. Kim is looking after Kwan and Steve for the day."
"You're leaving me all alone?" Lorelai pouted.
"Today is all yours." Rory rolled her eyes.
"Oh the woes of being a mother!"
"Now who's the starving artist?" Rory teased.
Luke placed their orders in front of them and the two women munched cheerfully away, greeting the townsfolk as they came. They were happy, Gilmore girls reunited at last.
"Yeah man, I'll read it over my break, I have a lunch date." Jess spoke into his cell phone.
"Another? Surely you've run out of women to date by now." Jess could clearly picture Brian's annoyed eye roll, "How long are you going away for anyway?"
"Two weeks in Fairy Land with my uncle."
"Nice." Brian drawled sarcastically.
"Nah, it'll be alright. Luke's cool and I owe him." Jess shrugged, a gesture invisible to Brian.
"Well I'm happy so long as you know your lines." Brian chuckled.
"Lines will be learnt Brian, chill." Jess said, slightly annoyed. Brian was a nice enough guy, he was lust slightly too anal for Jess' liking when it came to work.
"Sure, sure. I'll let you go."
"See you." Jess flipped his phone shut and walked out of the lobby into the cold late-autumn air.
"Ohmigawsh!" Came the excited squeal of two young teenage girls standing a few meters away.
"Do you reckon?" One giggled to the other.
"Yes! Common!" Her friend squeaked, rushing over to Jess who suppressed a groan before turning to them with a smile.
"Can I help you?" He asked, much more politely than he wanted to.
"Are you Peter Petrelli? Milo Vent-ey-meeg-leah?" The giggly one asked.
"Ven-ti-mee-lia, and yeah, I am." Jess answered, hating how nice he was acting. What he wouldn't give to tell his fans to piss off every once in a while, but Brian had put him through enough hell for doing that in the past. So instead he stood still for their photo and muttered a few choice words under his breath as he walked towards the waiting black BMW.
It was things like that that fueled his loathing of fame.
So, a new idea that I couldn't get out of my head. I hope to continue this story… though it is fairly spur of the moment. Yes, I'm writing a Lit for once because Jess is sexy and after numerous debates with my friend about whether Peter Petrelli, Jess Mariano or Milo Ventimiglia himself is sexier, I decided to write it out as a story. However, I think Jess is the sexiest so Milo Ventimiglia? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. Gosh, I don't even know if I am making sense anymore.
To readers of 'Don't You Forget About Me', I'm not sure when my next update is coming, chapter 10 is half written and sitting lonesome in my computer. I just haven't been in a Rogan mood as of late.
Tell me what you think and it just might help me decided whether or not to continue on this whim.