Title: Not the Usual Kind
Summary: FutureFic. Rory's developed a few vices. Her life's not quite going as planned, and the realization that she may have never really gotten over Jess doesn't really help. Tipsy phone calls to ex-lovers generally don't help either, but when did that ever stop anyone?
A/N: I miss writing. And I miss Rory and Jess. This is my attempt to solve those problems- just a quick story, unedited and unpretentious. Unplanned. Hopefully it will stir my muses and inspire something greater.
Rory Gilmore never thought she'd end up an author. She never saw herself in the world of fiction- no, she had always had grand plans of reporting and journalism. But somehow, despite her extensive editing experience and work as a reporter on a campaign trail, she'd found herself writing fiction, against her better judgment. Yearning to quell her own loneliness by writing something achingly beautiful and true and hopelessly romantic. An epic love story, of all things.
She'd lie awake at night playing through scenes in her mind, acting them out as though they were her own true memories, not an imagined script or a world of her own making. The story simply came to her, the thoughts and emotions reverberating in her soul.
She had imagined herself as the heroine since the beginning, but she wasn't sure exactly when Jess Mariano became her leading man. The dark hair came first; the troubled past followed closely behind. The twisted lips and the crooked smile followed quickly. The rough, gravelly voice was a given. Suddenly, her character was carrying paperback novels in his back pocket and smoking on his breaks. She'd been imagining the scene where her heroine runs into her mystery man for the second time, in the frozen foods aisle of the grocery store, when suddenly she recognized the look in his smoldering eyes- the same look she'd seen so many times on Jess's face.
Snap, out of the fiction and back into her own mind. Because that had to mean something, right? Writing your ex-lover into what you had hoped would be the next epic love story, that wasn't normal, was it? And suddenly she can't ignore the fact that she misses him. Misses his company, misses his warmth, misses his lips. She wants him, intellectually and physically. Regrets the fact that they'd never taken it further, that he'd left before she'd had the chance to make love to him.
Oh, right. He left her. Dammit, how is it that she was always forgetting that? Just blindly missing him, and not remembering how he'd hurt her? Not very considerate of him. Not very considerate at all.
And now it is 3 a.m. and she is not only feeling lonely and pitiful, she is also confused and bitter. Not a good combination for one who can't sleep. She desperately wants a cup of coffee (that ever-comforting elixir), but she knows it will do nothing for her insomnia. So she makes her way into the kitchen and settles for hot chocolate. And tips a little alcohol in there, too. Just to help her get some sleep, she tells herself, not something she's been making a habit of or anything.
She's gotten good at lying to herself. It's easy to ignore the looks at cocktail parties when she's way ahead of everyone else and showing no signs of slowing down. Easy to tell herself that she's young and a professional and that the fancy drinks are just part of the game. Easy to pour herself a little something when she can't sleep at night (which is more often than not, and she's too busy to figure out what demons are keeping her up in the first place. Easier to just take a stab at self-medication.) After all, she's ivy league-educated and smart and sophisticated and she can handle her own life, right?
Well, she's sure going to try. Everyone else be damned. And come on, who doesn't have a few vices?
She's thinking too much again. And her mug of hot chocolate is staying level, but the glass bottle beside it is definitely getting emptier. Something in the back of her head is chiming in, annoyingly, that this is pathetic. And stupid. And not where Rory Gilmore was ever supposed to end up. This isn't her. This isn't her.
And then she's hearing that rough, sandpaper voice again- "This isn't you," playing on repeat in her head, and it won't go away even though she's trying to drown it out with lyrics from the last Clash song she heard.
But dammit, the Clash makes her think of him too, and it's all becoming too much (really, when are things not too much for her these days?). She's driving herself crazy and Lorelai's gone, and she's maybe had more to drink that she had intended, and suddenly she can't be alone with herself anymore.
Cell phone is right there on the table. Pick it up, dial, wait. Huh. Didn't realize she had the number memorized. But it's ringing now, and sure enough, sandpaper-gravel answers. More sandpaper-y than she remembers. But it is four in the morning, now, isn't it?
Well, sandpaper tells her it is anyway. Angrily, she might add.
He stops ranting about the god-forsaken time pretty quick. Apparently he doesn't forget voices so easily, either.
"You shouldn't pick up the phone so angry. What if it was an emergency?" she says.
Throat clears. Then, "Is it?"
"Not the usual kind."
"I feel like I'm supposed to say something like 'I'm sorry, I shouldn't have called'. And maybe I shouldn't have, but fuck that. I'm not sorry. I'm tired and I can never sleep and you're haunting my novel and you never told me why you left, and I'm tired of feeling seventeen forever."
"Don't you think you owe me an explanation? Didn't you ever think that? Isn't that what a normal human being would think? You can't just go around breaking hearts and-"
She stops. Feels foolish, but doesn't hang up. Waits. Shouldn't be hard, she's been waiting for so long already.
Except he doesn't really have a great response. He wasn't expecting this, it's late, his mind is fuzzy and hearing her voice so angry, directed straight at him at full-force, is unsettling in the extreme. Still silence from her end though, so:
"Maybe- maybe we should pick this up in the morning?" he offers.
Short exhale on her part- an exasperated sigh. Words muttered under her breath- "I'm an idiot." Is that what she said?
"Avoidance is just a softer version of abandonment. Never mind, Jess. Just forget it."
And then she really does hang up.