***I don't own anything.
Also, sorry this took so long. I had a really hard time with this chapter. I'm pretty happy with it though. Excuse the dialogue at the end though. I'm just not sure its 100% in character, but I was tired of trying to deal with it. Anyway. Enjoy.
Rory finally laid down on her bed. She and Lorelai had left the grandparent's house at midnight and would have to wake up at 5:00 to be ready for Yale, so she was trying really hard to fall asleep when her pager beeped. It was Jess. "U up?" was all it said. She thought about ignoring it, but upon realizing that she was leaving for Yale and would be 22.8 miles from him, as opposed to the usual 5 or so, she got up. She softly padded down the hallway, careful not to make any noise that would wake her mother, and took the phone back to her room. Jess picked up on the second ring.
"Sorry it's so late. I was gonna call earlier but then someone called in sick so I picked up an extra shift."
"Oh, its fine," Rory tried to stifle the yawn she felt coming on. "I actually just got back from the grandparent's."
"Now?" Jess looked at the clock, making sure it was as late as he thought it was.
"Yeah. It's a long story. Lots of ballroom dancing."
"Huh. You'll have to fill me on that one." There was a momentary silence, as Jess seemed like he had more to say. He cleared his throat and continued. "So, I thought we could go out tomorrow. Its kinda late notice, but I was thinking maybe we could go to Hartford. Maybe a nice restaurant and a…" Rory cut him off.
"Hartford?" Rory was so surprised at Jess suggesting a real, nice, planned out date that it slipped her mind that she was moving into Yale the following day.
"Yeah. I mean, maybe a last hoorah kinda thing before Yale." His voice sounded more self-conscious than usual. He clearly wasn't used to nice restaurant kind of dates.
Rory shook her head, even though no one was around to see. "Yale is tomorrow."
"I had my dates wrong. I have to move in tomorrow. Mom and I spent the whole day running around, getting all the stuff we had procrastinated on."
"Another time though? Hartford sounds great." The idea of a real date with Jess gave Rory butterflies in her stomach. It was so weird to her that after all this time he still did that to her.
"Sure… So I guess I'll see you in the morning? I'm sure you'll need coffee before the big move." Jess was a little disappointed. He had actually yahooed some nice restaurants and things to do in Hartford, but he didn't let it show in his voice.
"Definitely. See you then." Rory scooted down in her bed and tried to resume going to sleep.
Only five hours later Rory slowly forced herself out of bed and nearly crawled up the stairs. She plopped down on her mother's bed and Lorelai flinched. "Mom," she said as strongly as she could manage this early in the morning.
"Five more minutes." Lorelai turned to face away from Rory, desperately trying to slip back into a nice sleep.
"Yale," Rory insisted. When Lorelai still didn't move Rory added, "We don't want another repeat of Chilton."
That horrible memory was just barely enough to coax Lorelai out of the warm, safe covers. The whole time they were getting ready, Rory could hear Lorelai's tired grunts from upstairs, but by the time she came down they were both considerably more awake.
"Remind me again why we decided to wait and pack your clothes this morning?" Lorelai complained as she walked into Rory's bedroom where she had already started putting shirts in her suitcase.
"Cause we were to tired last night."
"Phew! Watching ballroom dancing really takes it out of you, huh?" Lorelai started working on packing the jeans from Rory's draw.
"Definitely! Much more than watching regular TV does."
Lorelai put one last pair of jeans in the suitcase and turned to her daughter. "You nervous?"
"No. I've been waiting for this moment my whole life."
Umhuh. Lorelai didn't sound convinced.
"Okay, so I'm a little nervous."
"A little nervous?" Lorelai checked.
Rory let out a huge breath that she didn't know she had been holding in. "A lot nervous."
Lorelai nodded and as they stood up she put her arm around her daughter's shoulder. "It's gonna be great."
Rory and Lorelai had been carrying boxes and unpacking for hours. Rory was so overly prepared that they didn't really have enough space to put everything, but they were almost done. They were currently working on the last box, filled with knick-knacks to make the room more "homey." "Mom. I said I wasn't bringing Colonel Clucker!" Rory turned the chicken to face her mom and gave her the stink eye.
"But, Rory, you know he gets scared sometimes when he tries to sleep without you." Lorelai raised her eyebrows and looked at her daughter. She knew her like a book and no matter how grown up she felt at the moment, Lorelai knew she still held on tight to Colonel Clucker during thunderstorms.
Rory huffed out a sigh, knowing her mother was right. "Fine," she gently threw the animal at Lorelai, "put him on the top shelf of the closet." Lorelai's smile was playfully smug.
"Where do you want this?" Lorelai asked as she pulled a framed photo of Rory and Jess out of the box.
Ughua. Rory turned around in time to see her mother do a fake shudder as she put the picture down. "What was that?" she said.
Ughua. Lorelai made the sound again. "I just realized that now you've got your own living space… and a boyfriend…"
"Mom!" Rory stopped her, embarrassed to be talking about this again. "I'll have a roommate… it's not like we'll be here alone."
"Okay," Lorelai said.
"And besides, we've talked about this."
"I know. I know." They both just looked at each other for a moment.
Lorelai was the first to move. She blindly picked up a snow globe from when Rory was 14 and they had visited New York. "What about this?"
Rory glanced around the room and sighed. "I don't know where we're gonna fit all this stuff."
"How about," Lorelai glided over to the roommate's side of the room and placed the snow globe on their desk, "over here?"
"We can't just take over "P.G.'s" side of the room," she whispered as she scurried over to stand by Lorelai, like she thought her mystery roommate could somehow hear them.
"Are you sure? Cause I was thinking about making this your shoe closet," Lorelai said as she placed a hand on the second closet in the room. "Come on, we could take "P.G.'s" initials off the door. Always lock it when you leave. She'll never even know there's another bed in here!"
Rory looked back at the two more boxes they had to unpack. "You think we could pull it off?"
The day had been long and filled with moving boxes, orientation events, and a take-out food party with the rest of the girls on the floor. Now, Rory was tired, physically and emotionally. She couldn't believe that she was still this nervous when she had been preparing for this very moment for years. And what's more, she couldn't believe that her mother was sound asleep, especially on that disgusting Yale mattress. She turned over for what seemed like the hundredth time, now facing towards the clock. It blinked a bright red 2:33. Fed up with lying there, she quietly sat up and put her feet on the floor. Careful not to step on Lorelai or her mattress she made her way to the door and peeked into the living room. Just as she'd expected it was empty.
Once she'd settled into the couch she turned the TV on. It roared to life, still loud from the party earlier. She quickly turned it down and sat completely still, straining to hear if she had woken anyone up. Thankfully it didn't seem she had.
An episode of Roseanne later and Rory was still no closer to sleep. She wanted someone to talk to, so she dialed Lane's number. Of course, it being 3 am, she wasn't surprised when there was no answer. She put the phone down for a moment and tried to get into whatever was on tv, but she didn't recognize the show, so she picked up the phone again. As it rang she was thankful that she had finally convinced Jess to get a cell phone, albeit the cheapest one offered, while she was in Europe.
On the last ring Jess picked up, his voice groggy with sleep. "Rory?"
"Paris is my roommate."
That woke Jess up a little bit. "Paris Geller? The dictator-waiting-to-happen Paris?"
"Yes. Except now she's give-me-some-macaroni-and-glitter-I-gotta-glue-something Paris."
"She's a mellow crafter now?"
"No. No, she's still Paris. Just take everything she was before and add in a crafter corner. Also, a life coach." Rory tried to keep her voice down.
"No way. A life coach.?"
"Huh." Jess paused a moment. "So, why did you call at," he checked the clock, "3 am?"
"Well, we threw a party so…"
"You're first night at college and you're already partying 'til 3 in the morning?" Jess sounded concerned. That definitely wasn't the Rory he knew.
"Well, no. It wound down around 12:30."
Rory lowered her voice even more. "Jess, I'm scared."
"Uh huh." He didn't really know how to handle these kinds of talks, so he just urged her to keep going.
"It's just," Rory let out a deep breath, "Chilton was so small in comparison to Yale. Now I know what they mean when they say a tiny fish in a big pond, ya know? I mean. Every single person here was probably Valedictorian of their school. And, I mean, I struggled at Chilton for a while. What if I struggle here? What if I struggle here and can't catch up? And mom. I've never been away from mom for more than two nights. And I hate it. I'm 18. I should be ready for this. But I called my mom to come back and stay with me. Did Luke tell you that? Yep. She's sleeping on my floor right now. She's sound asleep without a care in the world and here I am freaking out, waking you up, sitting in the middle of my new living room that I feel like a stranger in because this couch is too hard and it doesn't feel like home." There was silence for a moment and then she added, slightly embarrassed, "And I'm done with my rambling now."
Jess sat up a little straighter in bed. "Don't let these snooty kids psych you out. You're Rory Gilmore. You're gonna blow everyone there away. And so what if you're mom's there. I'm sure everyone already loves her. They always do. If you want I'll come up tomorrow and we can go out. Ease you into this thing." Rory nodded along as he talked. "And the couch'll feel better the longer you sit on it." She let out a laugh at that and wiggled farther into the couch, unfortunately, it still didn't feel any more comfortable.
"Thanks." Rory didn't feel much better, but she did appreciate him trying.
"Yeah. But I know you're still gonna be like this 'til you're in class. Then you're gonna be in your element and you're gonna love it." Rory let out a giggle. He knew her so well.
"Thanks… I"ll talk to you tomorrow?"
"For sure." Jess closed the phone and immediately went back to sleep. Rory laid hers on the couch beside her. She thought she would watch some more TV, but soon enough she fell asleep on the uncomfortable couch.
Thanks for reading! Reviews are always appreciated.