Summary; So she wondered how her life would be if she could have lived in that little boat for one. but she couldn't help feel that if Dean was just a harbour during summer; then Jess was an island in the storm.
Fandom; Gilmore Girls
Word Count; 2,217
Status; One-Shot / Complete
disclaimer. gilmore girls (c) Amy Sherman-Palladino
Life in a Paper Field.
i - .the sea outside my window
The shape of things and of life had become suddenly so singular and repetitive for Rory, that it was easy to explain everything in just two simple actions - Jess smiles and Rory tries to look away. Jess smiles and Rory tries to look away. That was the way things were and things were like that for a while.
It was lucky to get a window seat at Luke's diner in the late morning on a particularly definitive summer's day. Luke's wasn't technically a sunny place and Luke wasn't exactly a sunny type of guy, but when the day's early sunshine poured through the windows, it made the place seem so bright and friendly and perfect that it was almost paradoxal that Lorelai had aquired said table by innocently kicking someone else out. The coffee was poured and the conversation started and so began a dazzling Stars Hollow summer.
"Exactly. I mean, when Rory read Life of Pi, all she could talk about for weeks was how she was going to buy her own boat to live in." Lorelai told Dean as she stirred her half-full coffee mug.
Rory half-listened to the conversation, only vaguely aware that both members of her breakfast party had suddenly glanced at her for her reaction.
"But in that book, didn't the character share the boat with animals? I thought you weren't an animal person, Rory?" Dean prompted.
"I'm not," Rory began after a short pause, "But it's the life in a boat that intrigued me. Stars Hollow isn't exactly a sea town and that book made me want to, you know, see the ocean. Wouldn't it be, I don't know, nice?"
Dean smiled and inched his chair closer to Rory's.
"Maybe someday I'll take you on a boat ride on the ocean." he offered.
Rory shifted in her seat and nodded and then she looked up once again at the counter where Jess leant slightly over the counter, scribbling down orders on a notepad.
She slightly recollected her mother and Dean resuming the conversation, but their words and their actions suddenly moved their way past her like static in an ocean and she blocked it out. Jess lifted his head and for a moment, their glances collided but before she could look away, he was smirking again - his favourite kind of smirk, and of course, she was looking away, hiding a blush and trying to direct a smile towards her boyfriend. But Dean's words were lost to her and she couldn't help but feel Jess looking at her still; his gaze tickling at the back of her neck until she had to turn round to stop herself from going completely insane.
They collided. They collided and she couldn't stop to force herself to break away. She noticed the slow little twist of his lip when he half-smiled and she noticed his eyes - both welcoming and dangerous and then she had to catch her breath in her throat and fail at forcing herself not to think of him or of his smirk that knew so much more about her than the entirety of herself of the boy sitting next to her, holding her hand. She swallowed. Her hand flinched and then Dean stroked her finger lovingly and she had to stop herself from wincing. She smiled again and insisted that she wasn't distracted, however much she was; for the more she told herself not to think about him, the more vivid he became in her mind. She escaped from herself and she escaped from the world and then he was close to her, so very close, and his lids and lashes were beautifully downcast but his eyes were searching and his lips were touching her neck, just below her ear and as he kissed her, he let the whisper of her name escape from them so slowly against her that she could feel the very word-
"Pancakes with blueberry sauce?"
She all but jumped directly from her chair.
"Watch it." Dean warned.
"Watch it?" Jess repeated, "Watch where I bring the right orders to the right table. Jeez, do you have a high standard for service or what, your highness?"
Dean's mouth instantly flew open but Jess was already walking away and Rory was already looking down at her knees.
"I really hate that guy." Dean said under his breath. "His attitude just gets so under my skin it's unbelievable."
Rory remained silent and she gracefully rewound to the night she had met him as she had done so many times already for it was futile for her to try and resist him. Sometimes she wished she had taken his hand and followed him out of the window. If they'd walked around together; if they'd have sat on cold benches and stared at their shoes, for maybe then, things would be slightly different. Maybe then, things would be slightly perfect.
"What do you think of Jess, Rory?" she heard Lorelai say.
"Nothing." Rory heard herself say instantly, "I mean, I don't really think...anything of him."
Then she gently pulled herself away and out of the diner; and she thought about him, and she did that until she couldn't think anymore but she couldn't erase him either. Then she tried to tune her mind upon other things; and so she wondered how her life would be if she could have lived in that little boat for one, but she couldn't help feel that if Dean was just her harbour during summer, safe and sturdy, then Jess was an island in the middle of a storm. Dangerous, exciting and beautiful.
Then, right there in the middle of Luke's diner, the shape of things to come began to unravel and unfold before her. Jess smiles and Rory can't look away. Jess smiles and Rory can't look away.
Jess smiles. And Rory smiles back at him. That was the way things became and things were like that for a while.
ii - .you can't move without crumpling the paper flowers beneath you
"Mainly," she began, beyond caring whether he heard her or not, "I think you're so scared of the world rejecting you that you just reject the world instead."
Rory heard him slam down the phone and she wondered how things had come to be this way.
For a while, everything was wonderful. He read to her out loud as she drove his car. She read to him out loud over the phone when he was having trouble sleeping. She gasped and choked out his name when his freezing cold fingers touched her skin near the bottom of her spine after they'd walking through the snow, dodging cars. She tried to make him laugh and she succeeded. He noticed how well she fitted beneath his arm and silently, stupidly wondered if it were possible for her to stay there forever. For he only admitted it to himself, so quietly that it didn't even matter; but he'd recognised the strange feeling that he'd fallen for her entirely a while ago. Then she took that feeling and she made it shine.
Then something floated down and covered their paradise; a blanket of her longing and of his insecurities, and instead of melting away, it hardened like harsh concrete until there was space between them. There was so much space and so little room to breathe that she didn't bother to reach out and he didn't bother to take a hold of her.
Seasons changed. Rory had never felt Stars Hollow as empty as this before.
Rory walked through England without smelling the summer rain. She took a train to Ireland and neglected to see the stars. She drifted through Italy and she moved slowly through Greece. Everything danced around her like an energetic cyclone that only she wasn't being pulled into and it was all because she was here and he was there. She was in all these places where every boy was suddenly created in his image and all she saw reminded her of him.
Then she told everybody she was over him and then she crawled right inside a book to sleep.
iii - .swim like an anchor to the shore
Once again, no matter how momentarily, Rory found herself wishing she'd said 'Yes.' to him.
"Come with me," he'd pleaded, and for a moment, his eyes glimmered with a light like fire reflected inside a jewel. She stared at him intently as he rolled off his absurd suggestions and rejected him as quickly as the word would slip off her tongue. Then, for the fourth time in her life, Rory Gilmore watched Jess Mariano walk out of her life without saying goodbye. She hated that because that way, it meant the story wasn't finished yet. It meant there was so much left untold. The passion burned out of his eyes and for a second, she feared she had broke him and almost as soon as she heard the car drive away, she wanted to run after it and scream that she would follow him anywhere. Yet, he had said he was 'ready'. He had said he was 'ready' to care for her, but Rory knew the truth was that Jess was still damaged and he was still reckless and she knew better than anyone that when he said they'd work together and live together and be together, what he really meant was that they'd fall off the edge of the world together.
"Yes," she whispered to her empty room, "Yes. But not like that."
iv - .rolling with the skyline
She picked up his book as soon as Logan fell asleep; and night after night she devoured it's content.
"Love is an embodiment." she whispered aloud, "Not so much a feeling but a being."
She couldn't help but start crying because she had never expected him to write something like this and she had always relied on the fact that they were waiting for one another. She had always relied on something that was slowly slipping away. Jess had grown on his own and he had left her behind to pick up the pieces of her own messes.
"Love is an embodiment. Not so much a feeling but a being." She wrote it in the front of all her notebooks and thought about it each day until she eventually gravitated towards him once again.
She was cruel. Three years had passed since he had last kissed her and all she could do was pull away. She had wanted to say to him "If I could say all the 'I want to be with you's I could, would you believe me?" She wanted to say "Does this mean you've waited since then for me to catch up with you?" because all at once, she saw that he was there with her and she saw that he was completely ready, but instead, she said nothing and she left without saying goodbye.
Seasons changed once again and with the turning of time, Rory finally grew up.
She called his number and nobody was there.
"I'm debating following you." she spoke softly into the phone, "But I often wonder whether you're still holding out for me. After all those chances you gave to me to be with you that I've turned down, I'd be surprised if you're still waiting. Yet, I think I know. I think I know you've been waiting for me for a long time. The last time I saw you...you'd waited for me, hadn't you? I realised that then. But the really stupid thing is that I always rejected you because I thought you weren't ready, when in reality, I was the one who wasn't ready. I mean, I've never even- I've never told you that I love you."
She was suddenly crying relentlessly and nobody was listening and nobody was confirming and nobody was there anymore and then, twenty-four hours later, she was walking down his street.
And then all of the characters from all of the books she'd ever read were suddenly all on her side.
"He waited for you." they said. "All this time."
"He waited for you." she said. "All this time."
So she knocked on his door, and she caught her breath. Then she embodied love and the world span on beneath her.