Disclaimer: I own nothing!
Thank you all so much for the reviews from last chapter, I really appreciated them and I'm glad you liked it!
Well, here's the final chapter, I hope you like it. I'm working on a sequel to this, but before I post it I have another story I've been wanting to post for a while. It's of course another Jess and Luke centric.
Luke was relieved to hear they were releasing Jess early, the boy's body now fighting the virus on its own. His immune system wasn't perfect, but it was strong enough to handle what was left of the virus. They prescribed him two medications: one for pneumonia and one for his immune system. Things had been a bit awkward since Jess' outburst the day before, Jess still a bit angry at Luke for blaming himself. In all honesty, Jess believed it was his fault that he ended up getting so sick. He neglected that fact that something was wrong, he just wanting to move on from the events prior to his return to Stars Hollow and get on with his life back with Luke. He didn't want to deal with being sick, he just wanted to return to his life before going back to New York.
Jess sat on his hospital bed, waiting for Luke to return. He had changed out of the gown he had been wearing for the past four days and into a pair of jeans and a t-shirt that Luke had brought him. His coat sat next to him on the bed, Jess feeling no need to put it on yet. Even though he was being released, he still was feeling and even looking pretty crappy. His skin was still a sickening pale color and his eyes had a mix of black and a pinkish color underneath them. His clothes were still a bit baggy on him, his shirt sliding off his left shoulder constantly. After adjusting it about twenty times, the boy gave up and let it have its way, the shirt now hanging loosely off his shoulder, exposing the pale skin underneath.
Jess stared toward the ground, thinking back again to his outburst the day before. He shouldn't have blown up like that, he knew that, but he was just so angry about how Luke was constantly blaming himself. It wasn't his uncle's fault, he wasn't the one who tried to pretend there was nothing wrong. He should be able to take care of himself, he shouldn't have to rely on his uncle for help, and his uncle shouldn't think he should be the one caring for the boy. Jess was being stubborn and stupid, it was his fault that he was sick. He couldn't understand why his uncle couldn't see this. Usually, Luke would be yelling at the boy for his stupidly and neglect of his health, like how he did back in New York, but instead he was blaming himself. Luke should be angry at him, Jess thought, he shouldn't be angry at Luke. The man would have to pay a hefty hospital bill, and he had probably lost business due to the diner being closed for the first day he had been there. His uncle should be yelling at him, but instead it was the other way around.
Jess heard the squeak of a wheel and looked up to see Luke with a wheel chair.
"Ready to go?" he asked, walking over to the boy.
Jess nodded and looked over at the wheel chair.
"My feet are capable of walking," he mumbled to his uncle, the man pulling Jess' shirt sleeve back onto his shoulder, it falling down again seconds later.
"You're still weak from being sick," Luke told the boy, handing him his jacket and trying adjust the sleeve of the boy's shirt once more.
"I still am sick," he shrugged, standing up and sitting in the chair.
"Right," Luke nodded, "You are."
Luke grabbed Jess' bag with the clothes he arrived in from off the bed and looked over at the
"Put your coat on," he instructed his nephew, "It's cold out."
Jess rolled his eyes and put his jacket on, leaving it unzipped. "Zip it up," Luke ordered as he began to push the chair.
"I'll survive," he replied.
"Jess..." Luke warned. Jess just stared ahead, ignoring his uncle. Luke stopped pushing and walked in front of the boy.
"What are you--?" Jess began, stopping as his uncle kneeled and down and zipped up his coat.
Jess rolled his eyes as Luke got back up and began pushing again. He pushed the boy out the door, the cold air hitting them with force. Jess shut his eyes tightly, the cold air stinging as it hit his face. Luke pushed the boy to his car and Jess stood up. He opened the door to the passenger side and got in. Luke shut the door for the kid and walked to the other side of the car, getting in and slamming his door. Jess buckled his seat belt, Luke following. The man started the car and began to drive away, the two sitting in awkward silence.
Jess started to fiddle with the radio, shuffling through stations. After about five minutes with no station chosen, Luke cut in.
"Make up your mind already, Jess." He sighed, his eyes still focused on the road.
Jess shut off the radio fiercely and looked at the window. He was waiting for Luke to yell at him. He'd been waiting all afternoon. Luke should be angry at him, why wouldn't he yell already?
"God dammit," Jess snapped, causing Luke to look over wide eyed and startled, "Start yelling already! Why aren't you angry at me?! I was an idiot, when I'm usually acting like an idiot you yell at me! I'm sick of you blaming yourself for this! You don't blame yourself, you yell at me, understand!?"
"Jess--" Luke started.
"I made you lose business, and that hospital bill has got to be expensive! You should be angry at me for being such an idiot!" Jess continued, interrupting his uncle, "I'm a fuck-up! All I ever do is screw things up! I'm a burden to everyone!"
"Jess, no, there's no reason to be angry at you," Luke told him, "All that matters is that you're okay. Yes, you were being an idiot but thankfully everything ended up being alright. I'm not going to yell at you for being sick. You don't screw things up, don't ever say that! Stupidity runs in the family, Jess." He looked over at his nephew, "I was an idiot for shipping you back to Liz, I should have known she would do something stupid like kick you out."
Jess sighed and looked towards the ground. A smirk appeared on his face, "Our family is full of idiots."
Luke chuckled and glanced over at his nephew, "It is." They sat in silence for a minute, Jess staring towards his feet.
"Sorry about snapping," the boy spoke up, looking over at his uncle..
"It's fine." Luke shrugged, looking over at his nephew, concerned, "You're not a screw-up, you understand me? Nor a burden," he added, "It's just--you don't deserve to have to deal with all this, you deserve a better mother, you deserve so much better than what you have."
"Instead of the perfect mother, I got you," he shrugged, giving the man a smile, "You're more than enough to make up for her lack of parental skills. You took me in when I had nowhere to go, and you came to find me in New York. You could have just ignored Amelia's call, like anyone else I know would have, but you didn't. I really appreciate everything you've done for me, Luke, I mean it."
Luke turned towards his nephew and gently squeezed his shoulder, "I already knew that," he smiled, "But thanks for saying it."
Jess smiled and rested his head against the head-rest, shutting his eyes, "I'm going to get some rest."
"Alright," Luke smiled, removing his hand and turning his attention back to the road. "Jess," he added, the boy opening one eye to look towards his uncle, "Thanks for not dying on me this week," he glanced at the boy, a smile on his face.
Jess smiled and shut his eye, "It was my pleasure, Uncle Luke."
Luke turned the key in the ignition, turning off the car. Jess' head had somehow managed to make its way onto Luke's shoulder, the boy resting peacefully against it. Luke looked towards the kid, a faint smile on his face. The boy's jacket was large on him, making Jess look much smaller than he really was. He watched his nephew's steady breaths, a relief to the man. Four days ago, the boy needed an oxygen mask barely able to breath on his own. He was thankful he hadn't lost Jess. The first night at the hospital had been terrible for the man. Watching his nephew lay in that bed, helpless and weak, machines and tubes connected to the boy's skinny arms--Luke had never been so scared in his life. Seeing Jess now, much stronger, though still pale and frail, was a relief for the man.
The car began to get colder, Luke almost able to see his breath. He knew he needed to get Jess out of the cold, the boy still ill.
"Jess," he called, rubbing his thumb through the boy's hair with his unoccupied arm, "Jess, wake up."
His nephew gently lifted his head up to look up at the man. He sat up straight and rubbed his eyes, a yawn escaping his lips.
"Are we back at the diner?" Jess asked, looking over at his uncle, his eyes slightly squinted.
"Yeah," Luke smiled. "Let's get you inside and into bed, alright?"
Jess nodded and grabbed the handle to his door, opening it slowly. Luke got out of the truck and walked over to the sidewalk. He watched Jess slowly get out of the truck, the boy half asleep, stumbling as he stepped out onto the sidewalk. "I'm way too tired," he mumbled as he shut the car door, "Damn those pills they gave me, they make me look so drunk."
Luke let out a chuckle as Jess made his way over the man, "Let's get you inside." Luke lead the boy to the diner door, Jess almost leaning on the man for support. He unlocked the door and opened it, helping his nephew into the diner. The boy made his way to the stairs, Luke following behind him. As he pushed the curtain aside, he stared at the steep set of stairs and let out a moan.
"Can I just sleep down here?" he whimpered, leaning against the doorframe, "I don't think I can make it up the stairs without passing out."
"Come on," Luke grabbed the boy's waist and dragged him up the first few steps, "It's not that long of a way up."
The boy let out another moan as Luke dragged him up the remainder of the steps, the boy using the man as support, the little energy he had not enough to keep him upright. Luke opened the door to the apartment and dragged Jess in. He gently laid Jess down on his bed and pulled the covers over the kid's skinny body.
"Thanks," Jess mumbled, pulling the blankets around himself tighter.
Luke smiled at the boy and stroked his hair, "Good night, Jess."
"Night Luke," he mumbled, quickly falling fast asleep, thankful to finally be back in his own bed.
Thank you all so much for reading this story, I hoped you guys liked the ending!
I'll try and post the first chapter of my new story sometime this weekend.