Something We Missed Before
Summary: Rory/Jess. Lorelai/Luke. When Rory returns to Stars Hollow for her mother's wedding, she must confront Jess and the feelings she may still have for him. 3 parter.
My first try at a Gilmore Girls fic, despite being on my second run through of the show! I tried to capture the characters as best as I could. Reviews and con. crit. are appreciated!
"Hey mom!" Rory Gilmore announced, stepping inside her beloved childhood home. The home she had not visited in months, the campaign having taken her far away from the storybook town of Stars Hollow. Her last stop on the campaign tour bus had been California and she was glad to be back home in Connecticut, the breezy September afternoon was a welcome reprieve from the sun soaked West Coast.
"Rory!" Her mother, despite approaching forty now, all but squealed as she ran down the stairs to hug her absent daughter.
"Okay, mom, can't breathe now." Rory laughed, entangling herself from Lorelai's embrace.
"I missed you, kid." Lorelai smiled fondly, stroking her grown up daughter's hair.
"Missed you two, mom." Rory replied. "Let me see that ring!"
A lot had changed since Rory had left town almost immediately after graduating from Yale University. Her mother and Luke had finally overcome their differences and the wedding was back on, and taking place this very weekend.
"We had put it off before, and we didn't want to wait any longer but we'll postpone again if you can't make it. I won't get married unless you are right there with me Rory." Had been the message Rory had received a month ago during the jaunt across central America.
Things may have changed, for the better, between Lorelai and Luke but from what Rory had seen during her cab ride back home, nothing much had changed in Stars Hollow itself, and she was glad. No matter where she was in the world, Stars Hollow would always be her home.
"The rehearsal starts at six, followed by dinner cooked by Sookie at the inn." Lorelai told her, having finally released her long-lost daughter from her arms.
Rory glanced at her watch, it was four now so she had time to shower away the aroma of the taxicab and be ready for the rehearsal.
"Did I mention how happy I am for you?" Rory grinned.
"Once or twice," Lorelai grinned back, and the younger Gilmore loved the look of pure happiness on her mother's face. It had been a long time coming, and she certainly deserved.
"I'm going to go and shower," Rory said, picking up her canvas bag.
"Wait, Rory!" Lorelai called after her, suddenly looking uneasy. "About the rehearsal...Jess is going to be there. Luke asked him to be his best man, and I could hardly deny him that. Will you be okay?"
Rory forced a smile. "Of course. I expected him to be there for Luke." She said, continuing towards the bathroom before her mother could read the look in her startlingly blue eyes.
Lorelai watched her go, wondering if she should have told Rory about Jess being there sooner. She sighed, it was inevitable that her marriage to look would mean some contact between them again.
Rory stood under the hot spray of the shower until she was sure she had rinsed away all of the grime from the long plane ride and the taxi drive home. She tried not to think about Jess as she ran conditioner through the ends of her long dark hair but now that Lorelai had mentioned him, she couldn't get his face out of her head. She still remembered the way he had looked at her when she had visited his publishing house, and she had told him that she couldn't be with him because she loved Logan. If only she'd known how things with Logan would have ended at the time. She hadn't heard from his since she had rejected his proposal, and although it had hurt, she was beginning to see that, as much as had loved him, the two of them weren't meant to be together. This realisation had led her to think more about Jess, wondering whether she should have taken all the chances with him that had arisen since he had walked away Stars Hollow just before her high school graduation. All she knew for certain was that seeing him at the rehearsal this evening was going to bring all sorts of emotions to the fore.
"Jeez, Jess, how long are you going to be in the damn bathroom?" Luke demanded, feeling more agitated by the moment. He was actually more nervous about the rehearsal than the actual wedding ironically. "Remember this is my wedding rehearsal, not yours!" He called when Jess didn't reply.
"Sorry," Jess replied, looking slightly sheepish as he vacated the bathroom so his uncle could use it.
"You look nice," Luke admitted grudgingly, before disappearing into the bathroom to finish getting ready.
Jess sank down onto the spare bed, the one that had been his when he had lived here. Whenever he came back to Stars Hollow to visit his uncle, or his cousin April, it almost felt as if he had never left the place. He pulled a thin volume from his pocket and began to read, but he couldn't concentrate on the words on the page. Once again, his mind was full of thoughts of the blue eyed brunette who would now become his step-cousin, or something of that sort. But God, he wanted to be far more to her than her 'step-cousin'. It scared him to realise that part of him wished it was the two of them walking down the aisle tomorrow, rather than Uncle Luke and Lorelai. He threw his book to one side in frustration and ran his hand through his styled but messy hair, wondering how he was going to get through this weekend without making his innermost desires obvious. Every time Luke had looked at him since he had arrived in town on Friday night, Jess could see that he was trying to spot any signs that his nephew was planning to win Rory back this weekend. Jess wasn't sure if he had any intention of that, he had tried so many times before but if the opportunity presented itself, he knew he would do anything to make her a part of his life. He wished he could see what he saw; that they were perfect for each other.
"Ready to go, hon?" Lorelai called from her position by the front door. She was feeling a sudden rush of anxiety, but knew that as soon as she saw Luke, it would pass. She had no intention of running away, the way she had when she had been engaged to Max Medina.
Rory entered the living room, taking her jacket from the end of banister.
"Let's go," She smiled, linking her arm through her mother's as they left the house.
Lorelai drove towards the perfect church she had picked out the first time she had Luke had been engaged. Rory talked incessantly as they drove, telling her mother about all the things she had seen and experienced as part of the Obama campaign.
"It's been the opportunity of a lifetime." She gushed. "There are so many places I want to show you."
Lorelai smiled at the genuine happiness in her daughter's voice, pleased that they were both happy and could share in each other's good fortune.
When they arrived at the church most of their friends were already there, Sookie and Jackson liberated while their brood of three were at home with the babysitter. Everyone greeted Rory with smiles, hugs and kisses. It was hard for her to fight back the lump in her throat that came from being with these people who she loved and who loved her in returned.
"Where's that fiancé of mine?" Lorelai asked once everyone had been reacquainted with the younger Gilmore girl.
"Right here," Luke replied from behind her, pulling her into a gentle kiss. "Hey, Rory." He smiled as he pulled away from his wife-to-be. "It's good to see you."
"And you Luke," Rory said, allowing herself to be enveloped in a bear hug. "Congratulations by the way."
"Thanks," Luke replied, and would have said more if Jess hadn't chosen that moment to join the small party who surrounded his uncle and Lorelai.
"Hey Rory," Jess smiled, but his dark eyes didn't quite meet her gaze.
"Hey," She smiled back, not feeling quite as awkward as she had anticipated. "It's good to see you again."
They hugged awkwardly, Jess pressing a chaste kiss to Rory's cheek. When they stepped away from each other again, Rory could feel the place on cheek where his lips had touched still tingling.
"Let's go inside." Lorelai suggested, having been rolling her eyes at Luke during the reunion of Rory and Jess.
"It's beautiful, mom," Rory whispered to Lorelai as they went inside, taking in the flowers and ribbons that decorated the small but charming church.
Lorelai smiled at her, before they took their places for the rehearsal.
If this was the rehearsal, Rory knew that the actual wedding tomorrow would be magical. As she watched Luke and Lorelai stand where they would exchange their vows and rings the following day, Rory caught Jess' eye across the aisle and smiled softly. He smiled back and Rory felt the familiar speeding up of her pulse and the stirrings low in stomach that she had experienced as a seventeen year old. She was surprised that after all this time, being around Jess would still bring out these feelings in her. Rory knew for now for sure that she was definitely over Logan Huntzberger.
Hope you liked it! More to follow soon! Xx