These Things We Do

Disclaimer: Ha! I wish!

Disclaimer Take Two: The lyrics are from 'Starcrossed' by Ash...therefore I don't own them!

A/N: Ok, so this is my first attempt at a proper songfic. I've done a couple before (posted on a different website) but they were Doctor Who and I used quotes instead of actually trying to find a plotline to fit with the song I was using...what can I say? I was young and naive! So, the other day, I was reading 'The World According to Clarkson' and I came across this section; "You 'hope' that the heroine meets the hero on the bridge at midnight and they all live happily ever after" and the mention of a bridge set me thinking about Rory and Jess and their bridge. Then I thought about how much the ending to season three sucked Literati-wise and I just knew I had to do something to sort it out because I know in my heart that Jess wouldn't-couldn't-have left Stars Hollow without telling Rory that he was leaving and why. This is just my little attempt at fixing it.

A/N Take Two: I can't stop listening to this song. It always makes me either think of Rory and Jess or of Sirius and Ebony (my OC) in one of my Harry Potter fics as it fits so perfectly with both pairings, but since Sirius and Ebony's story-whilst being etched firmly on my mind-isn't fully committed to paper yet, I had to use it for Literati and this little fic idea just seemed like the perfect opportunity.

A/N Take Three: I'll shut up after this, honest! I just wanted to remind you all that reviews equal lurve and you shall have my love in abundance if you press that pretty little button at the bottom of the page...still not tempted? Sure? There might be a cookie in it for you...

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Behold this night, still and clear,
You look here just like an angel sleeping.
I wish I could ease your fears,
I would catch the diamond tears you're weeping.

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Red ballet flats-reflected in the moonlit water, bringing new clarity to this supremely real situation. She's here. Right now. And so am I.

I have so many things that I want to say to her but it all slips away as my eyes travel from the calm water under our bridge, to the pure gossamer white of her legs, swinging down to tease the water underneath her. To the crimson satin of her dress. To the look of pure sadness on her beautiful face. To the tears falling from her painfully blue eyes.

Tears are always described as colourless-I know; I've read that particular depiction in most of my books-but hers are…iridescent. Every single colour imaginable shines through those illuminated droplets and I almost feel guilty for being the cause of this exquisite, excruciating vision.

In the time that I have been contemplating this, I have mounted our bridge and walked towards her. The scent of her is still too intoxicating for me to bear and makes this task even more difficult than I first expected it to be.

Against my better judgement, I reach out and brush a solitary droplet from her tear-stained face. She turns to me.

"What took you so long?" she demands, scrutinising my expression.

"Rory…" I begin, hearing the distance in my own voice.

"Don't. Don't say it. I don't want to hear it." Her voice fractures and crushes me. There is nothing left.

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In your eyes I would hide,
By your side I could defy,
The forces tearing us apart.

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I seek refuge in those all-knowing irises. So blue that you could never attribute the colour to anything else. My heart has buried itself in them more times than I can count. I could happily drown in them, giving my life to her. There's so much that I need to say but I have no way of forcing the words out. I can talk about anything but this. How can I tell her the truth, whilst I lie to her?

"Rory…" I try again, my throat closing up as I speak.

"I knew I had to be with you when you first took me here." I hate it when she does this. She turns all my carefully planned words on their head and pushes them to their limit with her own. My prepared speech sounds so pitiful compared to the prose slipping from her mouth.

"You're the only person who would ever argue with me about literature. Except Paris, but she'll argue about anything so it hardly counts. I love it here, Jess. It's so hard to let go of something that you love, even if you're being torn apart to do it. Even if it's in your best interests to do it. But I don't think I could ever let go of this bridge. It's ours."

I wish I could. I wish I could keep hold of her forever, but forget my best interests; it's not in hers. Everyone has been telling me this since the second I met her, but I'm only just beginning to understand what they really meant.

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But reality, as it seems,
Looking back, is that our dream
Was fated from the start.

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It's unrealistic. We knew that from the very beginning of this…whatever it is. Was. I forget that I have to start thinking in the past tense when it regards her. In a few seconds, whatever we are-were-will cease to be.

We had this ridiculous idealistic dream of a relationship; a life together. But who looks at me and thinks 'picket fence'? We had two blissful months to come to our senses. Now I have, but she needs a little push. I'd rather be the bad guy and save her the heartache that I will inevitably cause her.

"I know you don't want me to talk…"

"Then don't."

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Girl we're star-crossed and can't escape.
We're condemned and can only wait.
At this time now it's far too late,
To save us from our fate.

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"I have to. We have to talk about this. I'm no good with all this relationship stuff, you should have figured that out by now, Rory." I'm snapping at her but I can't help it. She sees the good in everyone when she should see the truth!

"I think I'll be the one to decide that, thanks." I hate that I've brought us to this.

"Rory, please. Just listen. We're running out of time, we shouldn't have done this. It was stupid and I blame myself entirely, but the fact remains that…us being together, well, it's wrong. It's not fair on you. We had a limited amount of time and it's been amazing but I can promise you that if you stay with me, you'll always regret it."

I can't look at her. It's done now. I can't take it back. I have to face the consequences of my words.

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I'll remain in your hold,
Body, mind, heart and soul,
As long as I breathe.

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Her warm fingers close over mine. I'll miss this closeness; I've never felt it with anyone else. I doubt I'll ever feel it again because I'm hers; completely and utterly.

My breathing-which had been swirling around in the cold night air-stops suddenly, as if something has cut off that part of my brain from the rest of my consciousness. I know why too. She's edging nearer to me, closing the gap between us, her lips slightly parted. She's smiling somewhat; my cue to kiss her.

She's seemingly impatient and soon, she does what I was expected to and our lips fuse together. The butterflies in my stomach quiver with borrowed excitement as electricity crackles between us. It's mind numbing.

We break apart and she smiles at me; that brilliant smile that will haunt me for the rest of my wretched existence.

"There. That wasn't so difficult, was it?" she asks, teasingly.

"It never is." And against my better judgement, my mouth turns up at the corner and I smirk.

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Though consequence takes its toll,
All is out of our control.
That's how it will be.

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My mind races through the ramifications of what I have just done. I promised myself that I would save her any unnecessary hurt and yet I've just done the one thing that would guarantee the most pain I could possibly have caused her.

I remove her hand from mine and regain my self-control. I have to.

"Rory. We can't do this. Please…just hear me out. Your mom, Luke, Lane, the whole freaking town knows that we don't work together. We have to accept that this…whatever we are…it's out of our hands. We can't control the natural order of things, Rory. You were always made for greater than me. Better than I could ever offer you. I'm doing you a favour, Ror. Please, just accept it. Let me let you go."

"Why should I? You don't want to let me go. If you do, then that kiss was a lie. Every kiss, everything you've ever said to me, it's all lies. I hate liars more than anything, Jess. You know that. Don't let me believe that I've been lying to myself."

I look at her; raw emotions colouring her face.

"Please. Jess, please."

I've never heard her beg anyone before. My arms slip around her; a perfect fit.

"One more night." I hear myself concede.

"Thank you" she whispers.

"Just one."

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So close your eyes my young bride.
Listen to me one last time,
There's something I have to say.

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The torrent of words won't stop. I don't know how long we've been sat here now but I know that this is my last chance. I'm leaving for California tomorrow, whether she wants me to or not. Whether I want to or not. There's a bus ticket waiting at Luke's with my name on it. This is it. The reckoning.

"I love you."

"Jess…"

"No. Let me say it. I've never told anyone that before. I've never felt that for anyone before. I have to tell you."

"Don't make this any harder than it already is. You're leaving tomorrow and I may never see you again and you decide to tell me that you love me now? That's not fair, Jess."

I know she's right but something is telling me that if I stop now, I may never be able to say anything like this ever again. I love her and if I can't tell her, I might just go mad.

"Rory, please, just let me say this..." I can't help but plead with her; she holds my sanity in her hands.

"No. You've done all the talking tonight. Don't get me wrong, it's nice not to have to translate the monosyllables but at the same time, it might be nice for you to listen to me for once, Jess."

"I guess I could do that." I allow.

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When your faith turns to despair,
Always will my love be there,
And never fade away.

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"I gave everything up for you. Dean was safe. My mom loved him. The whole town did. And then you breeze in here like you own the place and suddenly my whole world turns upside down. You changed my life, Jess. You changed me. All those stupid things that mattered before don't even come close to concerning me now. You mean everything to me and you're just leaving me? Don't I even have a say in this? You're tearing my whole world apart and I have no input whatsoever in what's gonna happen!"

Her words tug at my heart; threatening to break whatever composure I have left. I want to scream that I have no control, that everything is decided for me and I don't have any input either. If I could stay for her and not ruin everything then I would, but that's just not an option anymore.

"Rory, you have to understand…" I have to try to make her see how much this is killing me.

"What? I have to understand what, Jess?" She's angry now; I don't blame her. I'd be angry too.

"That it's not that easy or simple. I can't click my fingers and tell everyone that I'm staying. My dad turned up. I've never known him and I want to. He's part of who I am, Ror. You can understand that, right? There's a bus ticket waiting for me at the diner. Stars Hollow doesn't work for me. It doesn't work for us…not as a couple anyway. We have to accept it. There's so much more, so much better, and it's waiting out there for you. You're gonna be Miss Conquer-The-World-Journalist and at the rate I'm going, I'm gonna be stuck out on the Boardwalk in California selling the hemp hats! Is that what you want out of life? What sort of a life is that for a Chilton honour student, for god's sake?"

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Girl we're star-crossed and can't escape.
We're condemned and can only wait.
At this time now it's far too late,
To save us from our fate.

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She looks like I've just slapped her.

"Is that honestly what you think of me? That I'm exactly the same as those stuck-up trust fund kids at Chilton? I chose you, Jess. I could've said no but I chose not to. I wanted to spend time with you, I wanted to be with you."

These may be the words that I want to hear but I can't deal with them. I need to stop her from talking; otherwise I won't be able to leave. I have to.

"No. You're not like the other Chilton students, I'll give you that, but your grandparents are paying your fees just like all the other four-point-oh whiz kids. You're gonna go to Yale. That's Ivy League, Rory. You can't turn up there with a guy like me in tow…it just wouldn't look right. I'm doing this for you."

"What if I don't want you to?"

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You can't save us.
You can't save us.

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I check my watch. Two hours. I have to leave Stars Hollow-Rory-in two hours. Luke will be wondering where I am. My bus will be here soon. It's all gone wrong. She was supposed to agree with me; to tell me that she was better off without me and that I should go and never come back.

But she won't.

She's trying to salvage whatever we have left. She's trying to single-handedly save the sinking ship, when all I want to do is let the iceberg take it under. Our relationship is drowning in expectations and I can't keep us afloat anymore. Neither can she.

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Girl we're star-crossed and can't escape.
We're condemned and can only wait.
At this time now it's far too late.

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The sun is coming up now; a blanket of orange over a dusky sky. Her face is illuminated. The tears have long since dried up now but I can still see the tracks that they have etched onto her delicate face.

She notices that I can't sit still anymore and seems to register what time it is.

"You have to go, don't you?"

"Yes." It's blunt but there's no way I can dress this fact up right now. I have to leave. This is it.

"Nothing I can say will stop you?" She's hoping for a last-minute reprieve that will never come.

"No."

"Well, at least I've got my old Jess back. You're not the same when you answer in full sentences."

I can't help but laugh and I pull her towards me for one last kiss. The end of everything. I have to cut myself off from my safety net and leave her to get on with her life. As she breaks away, I look deep into her eyes, drinking in the intensity of them.

"I love you, Jess Mariano," she whispers softly.

"You'll get over it." I shrug it off because I have to. This won't be easy for either of us but if I can take away any of her pain, I will.

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The poison's in our veins,
It's true.
You know that I'd die for you.
You know that I'd die for you.

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I'd give my life for her.