Disclaimer: I own nothing except my own ideas!
Thank you all so much for the reviews last chapter!
And here we are, at the end. It's sad; I loved writing this story. I sadly am having trouble sorting through my many ideas for a sequel, so I'm going to post up another Jess and Luke centric story right after this. It's all edited and should be up within moments after I post this! It's called Cocaine Lights, and I hope you guys decide to read it.
Enjoy the last chapter!
The sky was dark and gray and Jess could feel rain drops prickling against his skin as they fell lightly from the sky. The ground was moist, but thankfully not muddy. The weather fit the scene perfectly in his opinion. Sitting out in front of your mother's grave in a rain storm just seemed like a scene out of a movie. He felt like the funeral should have been like this. The sun had been shining that day, and the sky was clear of clouds. That was no day for a funeral. That was a day to sit out in the grass and just take in the fresh air and the wonders of life. He concluded that there should be some kind of law against having funerals on sunny days. If the weather didn't fit the event, then you shouldn't have it.
He craved a cigarette right then, but the rain wouldn't permit it. Neither would his shaking. He wasn't sure if it was because he was wet or because of his lack of medication, but it didn't matter. He was shaking madly, sitting outside in the chilly spring rain, staring at his druggie mother's grave.
Drops of rain slid their way down the stone, traveling down in trails along the glossy side of the stone. He been spending a lot of time in graveyards lately, sitting down on the fresh ground for hours with Liz. He had never liked going to graveyards, and like most others, he wasn't one for spending long hours in them, but lately he had actually wanted to spend time there.
He remembered the first time he had been to a graveyard. It was back after Liz's father had died--his grandfather. The whole concept of having grandparents seemed so foreign to him, though he did wish he could have actually gotten to know his grandparents. Liz had told him they were both very strict. She hadn't known her mother very well, but she had grown up with a very protective father. Though she acted like he had been a dictator, Jess remembered that day in the graveyard when she was crying her eyes out. He was very young then, and Liz and Luke had both been holding his hands, standing high above him. It had been raining that day, and the mood had been right. There were lots of tears and sniffles, but he had been too young to understand what was going on. Much of that funeral--like Liz's--was a blank to him, and he only remembered bits and pieces of the event. He did remember very clearly what had happened the next few days. Liz had gone on an alcohol binge and his uncle had come down to New York to take care of him while she was gone. His worried neighbor had called Luke about it, and less than an hour later, there he was.
Liz was gone for about a week, and during that whole week, Luke watched over him carefully. He had played Dinosaurs with him, though he wasn't much of a good one. He had read him stories and made him home cooked meals and everything. There was one conversation that they had had that had always stuck with him. He remembered it almost perfectly. Luke had been sitting on the couch around the third night, an arm holding Jess close to his chest as the boy drifted off. It had been quiet, until Luke had spoke up, "Jess," he waited until Jess gave a small 'huh' in response, "Does your mommy do things like this often?" The boy had replied with a yes, his eyes shutting slightly, body beginning to give into the warmth on his uncle's hold. Luke just sat for a moment, stroking a hand through Jess' dark brown messy hair. "Jess," he nudged the boy awake gently, watching as the kid's small eyes fluttered open, "I want you to call me if she does anything bad like this again." Jess had responded with the innocent question, "How will I know what's bad, Uncle Luke?" Luke told him, "You know bad from good, Jess. If she does anything naughty you call me and I'll be here within the hour," he paused and ran a hand through the boy's mop of hair, "And I told you, don't call me Uncle Luke."
That week was one of the most normal times in his life, minus the fact that his mother was off drowning in booze and doing God knows what. When Liz got back, she convinced Luke it had just been her mourning, and that she didn't have any serious problem. Luke was skeptical, but he wanted to believe her, so he did. He almost resented Luke for that, but he had wanted to believe that she didn't have a problem either. He had probably wanted to believe it more than Luke. He had wanted to believe her when she said she'd get clean for him, he had wanted to believe her when she said she'd change for him. She never did though. All those years she and those drugs had controlled his life. They took away his childhood, left him fighting to survive when she or one of her boyfriends got a little too aggressive. Even in death, her and her stupid drugs still wouldn't let him go. He had to watch her death replay in his dreams, over and over and over. Whenever someone brought her up, drugs quickly popped up in his mind. Now he was fighting for his sanity. If he didn't get over this soon, he'd develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He'd be plagued by her for months on end, and he knew he wouldn't be able to keep sane if that happened. He couldn't live like that. He would not let her take him down with her.
Jess stood up from his spot, determined. He looked back down at Liz's grave, the stone looking perfect and new.
"I'm not going to let you do this to me. It's not fair," with that, Jess turned and started his way down the gravel path of the graveyard, taking a quick turn left once he was out of the graveyard, towards his building.
He was going to get that door open, no more stalling. She wasn't allowed to keep him like this, her hold on him ended that day.
Rory and Lane stormed into the diner, out on a mission. Lorelai had been right, and the two girls had known it all along. Luke needed to know where Jess was, it wasn't right for them to hide it from him.
Rory's eyes darted around the diner, stopping when she spotted the familiar flannel attire that was worn by the owner. She nudged Lane and the girl looked over towards where Rory was gazing, a look of determination crossing her features. Luke was making his way hurriedly around the diner, trying to keep up with all of the customers that had pilled in. Whenever it rained in Stars Hollow, the word cooking disappeared from the town's vocabulary and was replaced by lazy.
As Luke passed by them, he gave the girls a small greeting, "Hey," he spoke, glancing over at the two as he moved, "we're pretty packed, you might have to take the stools." He still looked the same as the day before, off and tired.
Lane and Rory both looked at each other, the guilt rising in their consciouses. They suddenly wanted to back down. Doing the right thing may end up with them getting yelled out. The diner was packed with customers and Luke was lacking his usual extra set of hands.
"Maybe we should come back--" Lane started, but Rory cut her off.
"We have to tell him, Lane. He needs to know," Rory reminded her friend, eyes following Luke to around the counter. Lane gave her a look and Rory rolled her eyes, "Come on." She pulled her friend across the diner, sliding past chairs and tables as they made their way to the counter.
"Luke," Rory started, hands gripping onto the edge as she reached the counter. Luke looked up her way as he grabbed another coffee pot and filled the machine up with more beans. "Lane and I have something to tell you."
Luke raised an eyebrow and opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off by the ring of the phone.
"Hold that thought," he told the two, pointing at them as he made his way over to the phone. He picked it up and placed the phone between his shoulder and ear.
"Luke's Diner," he said into the phone as he fiddled with the coffee machine, trying to finish filling it up with beans and replacing the filter. "... Who?"
Lane and Rory looked at each other nervously, their flight instinct flashing through their minds. They didn't want to see Luke's reaction to what they would tell him if it was anything like Lorelai's.
"Wait, what?" The girls looked back over to Luke, catching his bemused tone. They could tell this wasn't the usual phone call, "How do you know Jess ... His old neighbor, and why are you calling me?" His eyes went wide right then and the two of them started to get scared. Had something happened to Jess? It would be all their fault if something did. They didn't tell Luke and now look what had happened...
"He's in New York," Luke stopped fiddling with the coffee machine and just stood there, "why does he want to go there? ... Alright, I'll head up there right now. I'll be there within the hour."
Luke hung up the phone, looking much more awake than he had before, "Caesar," he called, poking his head into the back, "I need to go. I'll be gone for while, you think you can handle this?" He paused, before adding, "I'll pay you extra for this, I swear."
Caesar gave him a reluctant yes and Luke ran up the stairs, appearing seconds later with his coat and his car keys.
"Luke," Rory called, following the man to the door, "what's going on?"
He turned to face Rory, looking determined and rather relieved, "Jess is in New York. I need to get up there quick, he needs me."
Luke swiftly opened up the door and slid outside, rushing over to his car in the rain. The two girls watched as he drove off before looking at each other, feeling much more relieved than moments ago.
"Well, looks like someone beat us to the punch," Lane comment with a small smile. Rory nodded and Lane ran a hand through her hair, "Thank God."
The key slid into the lock with such ease that it almost surprised him. He had felt that it would have been so much harder to get it to go in since he had been so frightened of it. His hand gripped the key, but he stopped when he went to turn it. Yet again, the thought that his mother would be truly gone if he opened that apartment and found nothing popped into the back of his mind. He knew he had to realize that, but the thought scared him. He had to do this, and the sooner he turned the key, the sooner he'd get over it.
Before he could even register what his hand was doing, the key had been turned the lock unhatched. His hand pulled the key out and grasped the handle. His body was really shaking now, and his hand jingled the knob unintentionally. He just stood for a moment before taking one last trembling breath and closing his eyes. He felt his hand slowly turn the knob and the door open with a creak. He then just stood, hand gripping onto the door, eyes closed. This was it, this was finally going to prove to him that his mother was dead. He let out a deep breath, then he opened his eyes.
"Jess, don't you dare," Liz was yelling at him, and he was standing in the bathroom, holding out a bag of her drugs above the toilet. She grabbed his arms violently and shook him. Luke's bruised hand marks stood out against his skin as he watched her pale hands hold him a little above them. He knew he was imaging this after seeing the bruises: they had not been there the first time it had happened. He looked up towards Liz, and was meet by her enraged expression, "Don't you dare do that. Those are not yours!"
Before he knew what he was doing, he spoke up, matching her temper, "You promised me you'd stop! You told me you'd get clean while I was living with Luke, and you didn't!" He held them up more towards the toilet, his hand loosening his grip on the bag.
"Jess, baby," she quickly changed her tone and released her grip. His hand let more go, and Liz became more frantic, "Baby," she gave him a panicked smile, "honey, don't do that. Mom needs those, she wants to feel good again, and without them she'll never be better. I-I'll get off of them soon, right after this. My last hit, I swear."
She looked at him with such a comforting look and held his face gently. She had on this hopeful smile, and whenever she gave him that look he could never say no. Jess held out the bag to her and she quickly took it from his hands, looking at him with this grateful, loving expression. "Thank you, baby." She leaned up and pressed his forehead against hers, wearing a happy smile, "This is my last hit, baby, I swear. I'll get clean right after this. I promise, honey." When Jess didn't respond, she pressed against his forehead a little more, "Baby?"
"Yeah," Jess kept his gaze lowered as he nodded. He couldn't look at her right then, he didn't want to see that look she wore, "Tomorrow."
Her smile grew wider and she moved up and laid a gentle kiss on his forehead. "Thank you, baby." She moved away and backed off into the living room, leaving him alone in the bathroom. He knew he wasn't going to stay in there and watch her get high for that so called "last time." Seconds later, he quickly made his way out of the bathroom and out the door.
He blinked and he was standing in the living room, eyes falling on the spot where he found her body later that night. It was empty, and she wasn't laying down there, staring back up at him.
He wanted her to be there, he wanted to see her again, even if it meant like that. Jess suddenly felt his knees go weak and he fell to the floor, eyes glued to that spot.
"Mom," it came out raspy and rough and he suddenly felt the tears that had been running down his cheeks, "no, mom, please come back."
Nothing happened and no one appeared. He felt much more lonely than he'd ever had before, and he was just staring, blinking and praying that every time he'd open his eyes she'd be there again, calling him baby and spitting out promises she'd never keep. He suddenly felt terribly alone. There was no one left now, and that was what he was afraid of seeing. Jimmy didn't want him and Liz was really gone. He had no parents, and all he was now was some broken kid who had never experienced a real family.
"Don't leave me all alone," he was crying madly now, body shaking uncontrollably as he gasped for breath, "I don't want to be alone."
He suddenly felt a pair of strong arms wrap around him, pulling him into a sturdy and warm chest, "You're not alone, Jess," the ruff voice of his uncle soothed him, holding him tight against his chest. Jess clung to his uncle and just let everything wash out of him. The confusion flew out with the gasps and tears that escaped his body, and Luke just held him even tighter, letting his tears soak his flannel shirt.
"You're not alone," he repeated.
In that moment, while Jess clung to Luke, body shaking as he cried, the boy finally realized it. Liz and Jimmy were his parents, but Luke was his family. Luke was there for him, and he would always be there, and he would need Luke now more than ever.
It had been a big mistake for him to come back here. He thought this would help, but in reality he felt it was doing the complete opposite. Coming here had brought so much he'd been trying to hide back out from the dark of his mind, and now he felt like all hell was breaking lose inside him. Every memory he had been trying to forget, every moment of his life that was painful or frightening seemed to be breaking free, and he couldn't stop it. It would have been better to keep on living feeling as if she was still here. He wouldn't have to deal with all of the memories that had started coming back then.
Jess clung to Luke tighter, the tears coming out uncontrollably now. He wasn't just crying about Liz and her drugs anymore. Every painful memory, every sad or terrible moment with his mother seemed to pop to his mind now, and he couldn't escape anymore. That wall he had built up had first started cracking the night she died, but now that he truly realized she was never coming back, the wall had completely crumbled. Everything was flowing out of him like a stream after a harsh rain: the current was so fast it frightened him.
No, this hadn''t been a mistake, he was wrong about that. He had needed this to happen, he needed to let it all out. Pushing his past behind him was the only way to truly move on. He could keep Liz with him, but he couldn't keep the bad memories of her.
It felt like a huge weight had been lifted off his chest, and he was finally free from the clutches of his mother and her habits. He finally felt free, and he knew he was getting closer to finally feeling alright. He'd let himself cry it out, he'd let Luke see him so broken up, because he knew that after all this he could finally start moving on.
Thank you all so much for reading, and I hope you liked it!
Thanks to all the loyal reviewers who helped me get through my writer's blocks and editing!
I hope you guys check out the new story I'm posting up, and hopefully a sequel to this story will be sorted out sometime. I'd love to write one.
Thanks again, and please review!