This One is Different
DISCLAIMER: I own no rights to the characters from Gilmore Girls created by Amy Sherman-Palladino. I merely recreate scenarios.
TIME: Set after Episode 18 "To Live and Let Diorama" in Season 5. Rory hasn't spoken to Logan for a week and is distressed.
A/N: This is a Literati fan fiction but will have a lot of Logan drama in it. I don't know how long it will be but I hope you enjoy it. Let me know your thoughts through reviews!
"Why doesn't he like me? Why doesn't he call me? What did I do?" Rory sobbed on the bathroom floor, leaning into Lorelai as her mum stroked her arm and face.
"Shh . . . Honey its ok. . . It's ok . . ."
"Logan . . ." she cried and continued crying, falling into a dreamless sleep on the cold bathroom floor.
Rory opened her eyes and looked around the room. She was in the bathroom. She tried to think back to why she was in the bathroom and then remembered. She had been throwing up, and quite a lot. Rory sat up and rubbed her eyes. Almost immediately she remembered the rest of her night.
"Ugh," she groaned as she recalled her sobbing and rambling about Logan. She had a splitting headache and got up slowly as she heard Paris and Kirk moving around in the kitchen.
"Good morning party goers!" came the loud excited outburst from Lorelai Gilmore as she walked into the kitchen. Rory walked into the kitchen as Lorelai explained about the hangover food; tacos, burritos and assorted Mexican delicacies.
"Oh good, hangover food," mumbles Rory as she saw the food on the tables. Her mum came up and put an arm around her handing her a bag. "Not for the rookies," she whispered and she smiled slightly, letting her lead her into the lounge room.
"So how is this daughter of mine this morning?" Rory looked at Lorelai and saw the concern in her eyes. Inwardly she groaned; outwardly she sighed and opened the bag of food.
"Oh good, a beef burrito," she said, biting into it, trying to avoid her mum's question.
"This is yummy. How was the shop opened at this time of morning?" she continued, not looking at her.
"I have special powers," Lorelai said, without a grin on her face. "Talk to me sweetie. Are you feeling ok?"
"I just feel like I drank too much of Patty's punch. You know the feeling – remember last year's Christmas concert? It took you what, four days to recover?"
"Rory, yesterday I had my strong, confident daughter crying on the floor on the bathroom floor. I don't know what thought is more disturbing, the fact that I don't remember the last time I cleaned the floor of the bathroom or that my daughter was feeling worthless because of a guy."
Rory avoided her gaze and muttered "I cried over Dean and Jess too."
"Yes, you did. I didn't like it much then either but that was because they were stupid or you were or they hurt you. You never asked me 'What did I do?' like you did last night. You never thought that it was something you did. You never cried because he didn't call you. You never –"
"Ok I get the point Mum; I'm all caught up now."
"Look," Lorelai said, crossing her legs as she got comfy on the couch. "I'm not trying to make you feel guilty or worse for getting upset last night – the best of us do it. I just want you to think about why you were upset. Speaking as your mum," she looked Rory in the eye, "maybe you're not a casual dater sort of girl."
She cut Rory off before she could continue. "I'm just saying sweetheart, that after you finished stuff with Dean, you met Logan and this was something new and exciting. You wanted to try out the casual dating thing and you did with Logan but tell me – did you date anyone else instead of Logan in this time?"
"Did you kiss anyone else?"
"And I'm only asking this one because I absolutely have to in order to make my point, but have you slept with anyone else?"
"Mum!" said Rory. "Don't!"
"Just answer the question, Rory."
She groaned and rubbed her face. "No," she admitted. "I haven't."
Lorelai smiled gently and said quietly "Then I'm afraid you've been doing this 'casual dating' thing wrong."
Rory leant back in the lounge and stared at the burrito in her hands. Her mum was right. Without even knowing it she had reverted back into girlfriend mode, not noticing any other guys, thinking about him and wanting to meet up with him and only him.
"I'm not going to tell you what to do," said Lorelai, "but I have a feeling you're not a casual dater honey . . ." She got up and left the room and Rory heard her start talking to Paris and Kirk about what they could remember from yesterday.
Rory continued to eat her burrito, feeling less sick as the food hit her stomach. Lorelai was right. She didn't like the way things were with Logan; she didn't like not hearing from him or having to find out from his answering machine that he was going club hopping with Collin and Finn, the party boys. She was a one guy sort of girl and she needed to have a guy who only wanted one girl.
She sighed deeply as she realised that she would have to stop this thing with Logan. She couldn't continue this. She felt like writing a Pros and cons list but didn't know if her brain would handle it today.
Maybe she'd just wait. She would just forget about Logan and see if he sought her out. In one morning she had made the decision to forget about a guy who was hurting her and she felt good.
"Hey Mum? Can I stay here for a few days?"
Jess dumped his stuff on the bed across from the kitchen in Luke's place.
"Look, Jess, I don't know how –" Jess interrupted Luke halfway through his sentence.
"Luke. I'm not here to make it difficult for you or Lorelai or . . . Rory. I just need a place to crash and I wanted to show you something too." Luke nodded at this heartfelt explanation and nodded at his nephew. Jess looked at Luke and smirked.
"You look good Luke." Luke scoffed as Jess continued. "Lorelai treating you right, Uncle Luke?"
"Don't, just don't Jess." Jess laughed and Luke gave him a grudging smile.
"Ok, I have to get back to the diner and feed the masses, one of them being Lorelai."
"I'll help you close up later, alright?" Luke nodded and then turned to go but doubled back looking Jess in the eye a little uncertainly.
"Do I tell Lorelai you're here? Or is it secret?"
Jess scoffed and answered "Is anything a secret in this town?"
"Well, no," said Luke. "I more wanted to know, would you like Lorelai to know you're here or wait till Babette or Patty tells her?"
Jess thought about that for a minute and then just looked at Luke. "Whatever's easier for you. She'll be annoyed if you do tell her, especially since I'm staying here but she'll definitely be annoyed if you don't tell her and I just run into her."
"Right," mumbled Luke, rocking back on his heels. "So . . . Um . . ."
"Tell her," said Jess, "And I'll come down from the diner, all normal-like." Jess cringed inwardly as he realised that 'normal-like' was not a word.
Luke, not thinking about the correct use of English whatsoever, grunted and nodded, leaving the room and going back to the diner, leaving Jess to organise his thoughts and living arrangement. Jess opened his bag and pulled out the books he had with him. He had left the majority of them in his room at Truncheon but he did have a good amount with him. He looked across the room and saw a box sticking out from under Luke's double bed, with 'Jess' scrawled messily across it.
Jess walked over and pulled the box out, intrigued by its contents. He was pleased to find a bunch of his old books, ones that he had obviously left there when he left the last time. He was surprised that Luke hadn't sent them to him, but to be fair, Jess had only recently got a stable address.
As Jess rifled through the box he also found a few other things: an old watch that he had, a couple of faded t-shirts and a bunch of letters and photos. Lifting the box up he walked across the apartment and sat on his bed, lying back as he looked at the bunch of papers in his hand.
The photos were of him in Stars Hollow back when he was seventeen, back when he had lived with Luke. A few of the photos were just of him around Stars Hollow and he wondered who would have taken them. He flicked through and saw a bunch of him and Rory together. He looked at a photo of the two of them; they were walking through the streets of Stars Hollow, holding onto each other. He had his hand around her waist and she was touching his face, smiling at him as he smirked.
Jess tore his eyes away from the photo and roughly shoved it back into the box. He put the box under his bed and leant back, extending himself on the bed.
They were over. There was no Jess and Rory anymore. They were single entities, they had no connection anymore. They weren't a couple. He did want to see her though. He was different now; less sarcastic and mad, more grounded and accomplished. Jess hadn't seen her since he asked her to run away with him and he wanted to thank her and tell her all about Truncheon and his book and everything that had happened since she brought him back to reality. At least she wasn't here; he had more time to figure out what to say to her.
He sat up on the bed and rubbed his face. He slid the box out and took the picture of him and Rory and slid it into a book, one of his Hemingway's. Jess stood up and grabbed a jacket, putting it on as he walked out the door, down into the diner.
As he walked down the stairs into the diner, Jess heard the hustle and bustle of Stars Hollow residents in the diner. He was just about walk through the entry when he heard Lorelai speaking to Luke.
". . . I just had to leave Kirk and Paris. They were simply not appreciating my good hangover food."
Luke grunted and Jess could imagine him nodding while he refilled Lorelai's coffee cup. Jess was just about to make his presence known when Luke asked "How's Rory this morning?"
She was here.
"Oh, she's feeling the hangover, but does have good appreciation for Mexican hangover food. She was up last night being sick and very upset."
"That's why you look a bit bleary eyed?"
"Hey! I'm not bleary eyed, I am as radiant as the noon day sun, thank you very much Lucas. I'm allowed to look a bit tired when my only daughter spends the night crying over a guy." Jess caught his breath then and decided he was better off staying where he was.
"That Logan guy?" asked Luke, and Jess could hear him put down his plates of food. He could see in his head how Luke would be standing. Behind the counter leaning towards Lorelai, as if they're plotting but looking intimate.
"Yeah, the Logan guy. The casual dater. The one who is charming and all society trained but has no respect for women. The one that my daughter sees casually."
"You really don't like this guy do you?" Jess could understand why Lorelai hated this guy; she hated anyone who wasn't good enough for her daughter but that didn't explain why Jess cared so much who Rory was seeing. He didn't, he told himself, he didn't.
"Huh, you think? Casual, Luke. Casual," she said with more emphasis. "My daughter has a no strings attached relationship with a blond playboy from Yale, who makes her cry on the bathroom floor."
"When was the last time you cleaned that bathroom floor?" asked Luke and Jess stifled a grin.
"That's exactly what I said!"
"Rory was upset?" asked Luke.
"Yup," answered Lorelai, taking another sip of her coffee. "She was asking me questions like 'Why doesn't he like me? Why doesn't he call me? What did I do?' It killed me Luke; it killed me to see my baby girl questioning her self worth because of some guy. Some doofus who is sleeping with other girls." Jess felt angry; angry at Rory for dating a jerk and angry at the jerk for dating Rory. Casual. Casual wasn't Rory's style. She was a girlfriend girl, one who stays with one guy. She was a girl who stayed in a faithful committed relationship with one other. This wasn't her. What was going on with Rory?
"Anyway, I told her –" Jess decided that he was tired of hiding and walked through the walkway, stopping when he saw Lorelai staring at him in shock. Luke had a closed expression and was holding his breath.
"Luke," said Jess, nodding to him as he walked through the diner to the exit.
"Jess, that's Jess," said Lorelai, sounding very confused.
"Lorelai -"Luke began to talk.
"Did you know he was here?" she asked as Jess left the diner. Jess did not want to be around Lorelai while Luke explained why he was here.
As Jess walked the streets of Stars Hollow he got the painful reminder of his time spent with Rory and all the stupid mistakes he had made. He hated who he was at seventeen. He hated how he had treated Luke and Lorelai and especially Rory. No apologies would ever make it up to someone.
Without knowing where he was going he found himself at the old bridge. Old memories of picnics and baskets and kisses came to him as he sat down and dangled his legs over the bridge, keeping them elevated so he didn't touch the water. He pulled the book out of his pocket and slipped in the world he was more comfortable in – the world of literature.
Rory knocked on the door of Lane, Zach and Brian's house and waited. She had eaten three tacos and felt much better but she needed the fresh air. The door opened and Lane launched herself at Rory.
"Well, I hope you don't launch yourself at everyone who comes to your door. Zach might get jealous of the postman," said Rory, laughing as she hugged Lane tightly.
"Who, Kirk?" laughed Lane. "No one is ever jealous of Kirk."
"He's the postman again? Oh no, you'll never get anything."
"Well, so long as the bills get waylaid, it's all good. Keeping a house is hard, especially since the boys inhale food." Lane led Rory into the house and sat down on the couch with them. The room had Cd's piled up on the table, Lane's drumsticks shoved under pillows and posters of assorted bands stuck all over the place. It had a homely feel and Rory loved it.
"What's it like, living with boys? Still on a cloud?" asked Rory. Rory was pleased to see that Lane had a smile on her face and looked relaxed as she answered "I love it. I don't have to hide anything and they care about making me happy. I'm happy here, more happy than living at the Kim's."
Lane looked at Rory carefully and asked her "Is everything ok? You seemed upset yesterday and disappeared after a while."
"Oh well, yeah, I . . . was sick. You know Patty's punch. It's a punch in the gut." Rory laughed and avoided Lane's eyes.
"Rory, what's up with Logan?" Rory grinned inwardly as Lane got to the point. The problem with having two best friends, one that you live with is that they know you well and Rory was finding this today.
"I just can't be one of the many anymore, Lane."
Lane nodded and smiled sadly. "I know that."
"I mean, do you reckon he even thinks about me? Is a week not hearing from him such a bad thing? I mean life is busy. I'm busy, I'm writing, I'm reading and keeping up with Yale. He's probably just as busy. He might want to be with me but not be able to. I should give him the benefit of the doubt. He's a good guy. I mean I could –"
"Rory, stop rambling for a second," said Lane, interrupting her frantic talking and thinking. "I don't know Logan but is he busy with school?"
"No," admitted Rory. "He's bar hopping with friends."
"Rory, you deserve better."
"But maybe if I –"
"Rory," said Lane. "You deserve better."
Rory sighed and nodded. Everyone was right. This was typical Rory Gilmore. Make a decision and then change it later. Logan wasn't it for her. She needed to forget about him. There was a guy for her, one that loved books and had a plan, one that didn't include going to heaps of bars every night. There was going to be a guy for her, who loved her and her rambling.
She and Lane talked for a while more but when Zach and Brian came home from food shopping she left, needing some time to herself.
She walked past Miss Patty's and saw the little girls dancing happily, Miss Patty smoking out the door. Rory smiled and waved and kept going.
Rory didn't want to go home just yet and needed to go someplace where she could think, by herself without being interrupted by coffee or Kirk.
She went to the bridge, the one place she still had to herself. No one went there, no one who still lived in Stars Hollow. Rory went through the underpass, humming to herself and then stopped short when she saw a figure sitting on the bridge, legs dangling over the edge.
He looked up at the sound of footsteps and stared her in the eye.