Title: Meetings In a Subway Car
Chapter: Good Morning, Sleeping Beauty
Author: R. M. Jackson
Rating: PG-13 / T
Word Count: Approximately 2,200 for chapter eleven.
Summary: She intended to block him out of her life when she fled. He needed to get away from the West Coast. And somehow, they collided in the middle.
Disclaimer: I don't own Gilmore Girls or anything pertaining to Boston, Massachusetts
AN: Alternate Universe
Status: In progress
Good Morning, Sleeping Beauty
Jess cuddled Rory’s frame closer to his as he looked up at the bright numbers on his alarm clock. It was set to ring in forty minutes but, per usual, Jess was already awake. Usually, he would be out of bed in order to fix breakfast and get an early start on the day. Moving to California had disrupted his sleep cycle and, even though he had been in Boston for a couple of months, Jess was still accustomed to waking up early. Rather than get his things together for the day, Jess sighed and enjoyed the moment he was in with Rory.
He had the girl. Rory seemed to always be a loyal part in his life, and he hoped to hang onto her for a long time to come. No matter what happened, she always seemed to work herself back into his mind.
He had the best friend. Despite their differences and the fact that he snored like a tractor, Sully was special to Jess as well. He may have his odd quirks, but he was always there for Jess when he needed a friend.
He had the grades. Jess had never been one for school, but there was something about college that made him enjoy it. He couldn’t figure out if it was the freedom, the fact that he was paying for it out of his own pocket, or that his classes on English and literature made him dive deeper into studying.
He had the life. It didn’t matter that the girl probably still wondered how much he had actually changed. It didn’t matter that his best friend pranced around the living room in his Red Sox boxers when he was overly excited, or that he never had any of his own soda to drink, or that they lived in a run down apartment where you could hear the trains if you listened close enough. All that mattered to Jess was that his life was starting to piece itself back together before his eyes and, that sometimes; it was a good idea to turn off the alarm clock. So he did.
Rory loved waking up next to Jess in the morning. It was a new twist on their rekindled relationship. Most of the time, Jess would already be out of bed an in the kitchen. He had a habit of waking up before the alarm clock, throwing on a shirt, and shuffling out to the kitchen in search of ingredients to make breakfast. As much as she loved waking up to the scent of blueberry pancakes, she preferred to wake up to the familiar smell of hair gel and light cologne.
On Wednesdays, their classes wouldn’t start until late afternoon. Rory accepted that as an opportunity to stay and the Sully-Mariano apartment on Tuesday night. She had always been a fan of sleeping late, and she could think of nothing better than being cuddled up with Jess at eleven o’clock in the morning. That was, if he hadn’t dressed and started his day. He usually didn’t have the heart to wake her, and she didn’t usually hear the alarm clock when it buzzed on the opposite side of the bed.
That Wednesday morning, it was different. Rory peered up at the alarm after noticing she was still tangled in Jess’s arms. It was nearing eleven thirty and Jess was still asleep, snoring peacefully. Smiling, Rory realized she didn’t get to watch Jess in his most vulnerable state very often. She sat up and winced as the sheets covering them crinkled.
He was adorable when he slept. Rory didn’t usually get to see his hair after the gel had faded and his locks had been tousled by the sheets and pillows. His hair stuck up in several more directions than it did when it was tamed. Giggling under her breath, Rory ran her eyes down his toned body and back up to his face.
Jess smiled when he was sleeping. It had surprised her at first, since it was hard to work a smile out of him on a daily basis. His lips were parted ever so slightly, but there was no mistaking the smile that graced them.
“Hey,” he said hoarsely, his voice still scratchy with sleep. Jess reached up and rubbed the palm of his hand against his morning stubble. Rory had recognized it as a morning habit, and had gotten used to Jess rubbing his face until he finally shaved. Rory smiled and nestled her head against his chest. “It’s late,” he stated, the scratchiness still present in his voice. Jess fumbled with the alarm clock until it fell down the back of his nightstand. Groaning, he pressed the heel of his palm in his eye and struggled to sit up. They sat in bed silently until Jess stretched and tried to blink the groggy sleep from his eyes. “Hungry? You want breakfast?” he asked, clearing his throat. His voice was still heavy with sleep, a clever indicator that he had been in bed longer than usual.
Nodding, “I’m hungry.” Rory stretched and grabbed her jeans off the floor. Slipping them on, she noticed Jess opening his dresser drawer.
“C’m’ere,” he ordered. Rory buttoned her jeans and walked around the bed. There was an empty section in one of his three drawers. She looked at him questioningly, still in her morning funk. “Space for you. If you want it,” he said carefully. “You’re always forgetting something.” He smiled crookedly as Rory stood on her toes to kiss him.
“It’s nice. Thanks,” she said, letting her hand linger on his bare chest.
“So, breakfast?” he asked, grabbing a grey t-shirt from the pile of clothes near the door and slipping it over his head. The shirt straightened his hair out a bit before Jess grabbed the comb from his dresser and started to hack through his messy locks. Ruthlessly, he tugged at the comb and worked it though his hair until it looked mildly presentable. “Breakfast?” he asked again, setting the comb back on his dresser.
Rory shook the sleep from her eyes and looked back at Jess. “Yeah, breakfast.” She pressed her hand against her rumbling stomach as Jess opened his door to the living room.
“Good morning, sleeping beauty,” Sully said as he looked up from his paper. “And Rory. Hi there.” He looked back at the paper and took another swig of the coffee that was next to him.
Jess scowled as he walked over to the pot of coffee. He grabbed two mugs out of the cabinet while Rory sat down across from Sully. “Bacon and eggs?” he asked while delivering Rory’s coffee to the table. Rory nodded as she took her first sips of the morning coffee.
Jess frowned and bustled through the refrigerator in search of eggs. “I could have sworn…” He straightened up and scratched the back off his neck. “Did you make scrambled eggs or something this morning?” he asked Sully.
“Please, you know I couldn’t beat an egg unless you gave me a chicken and a baseball bat.” Sully glanced up from the sports section in his paper at Jess. “You’re sure they’re not in the back?”
“No. They’re not.” Jess moved a few items out of his way before producing a carton of pre-made pancake mix. “How about pancakes for dummies?” he asked, showing Rory the carton of Aunt Jemimah’s.
“Hey! I resent that. Now you can’t use my pancake batter!” Sully sprung up from his chair and grabbed the carton from Jess, causing him to drop it on the floor. “Aw, crap,” Sully said sadly as he watched the batter ooze across the floor. “You’re cleaning that up.” He pointed a finger at Jess and shoved his smirking friend lightly. Jess lost his footing and slipped in the pancake batter, taking Sully down with him.
At the opposite side of the kitchen, Rory sipped her coffee and attempted to hold in her laughter. Giggling into the cup, she turned her head as Sully slapped a fistful of gooey batter on Jess’s head. She watched as the thick pancake mix started to creep down past Jess’s hairline and dribble down the bridge of his nose. Spitting the coffee back in her cup, Rory set it down on the table to grab the boys some paper towels.
Jess scowled as Rory attempted to wipe the batter off his head. She rolled off another three paper towels and Sully started to wipe the mess off the floor. “I’m taking a shower now,” Jess grumbled, throwing the mucky paper towels in the trash. Sully groaned and accepted a new bunch of paper towels from Rory.
“So you and Jessie boy…hmm?” he asked, scooping the mess into the trashcan.
Rory blushed and stood aside when Sully wiped the area in front of the refrigerator with a sponge. “Yeah. It’s…great.”
“Looks like it. I’ve never seen Mariano smile so damn much in one day.” Sully smirked as he wiped the pancake batter off his knee. “Nice having you around, too.” He sipped the coffee that remained in his mug and flipped the paper back open as he sat.
“Is there anything you can tell me about Jess?” Rory asked as she absentmindedly twirled her coffee cup.
“Other than he’s crazy about you?” Sully looked up from the paper and grinned. “Because he is.”
“It’s…yeah. I think he is.” Rory blushed and drained the rest of her own coffee.
“Ah. Modesty. I love that in a girl.” Sully chuckled and continued to flip the pages in the newspaper. “Arts and Leisure?” he asked, handing over the section he had just passed.
“Oh, sure.” She opened up the section of the paper and started scanning it.
“I have class in an hour, as usual. You two going to behave if I leave now?” Sully smirked again and closed the newspaper. “I’m just going to change and I’m out,” he announced as Rory nodded.
“Okay. I’ll see you later,” she said meekly as he disappeared into his room to change for class.
Jess had just zipped the fly of his stone wash jeans when his cell phone began to ring on the nightstand. Groaning, he eyed the familiar number and debated whether to answer. Finally, he hit the send button to take the call. “Hello?”
“Jess. Good. It’s you.”
“Hi, Luke,” he said cautiously, sitting on the bed.
“We’ve made the acknowledgements. What’s up? Why are you calling me?” Jess asked as he leaned back on the bed.
“Oh, you know. Just checking up.”
“Okay…” Jess scratched his hand through his damp hair and visualized patterns on his ceiling. Now that he was pancake batter free, he wanted to make Rory some breakfast so they could get on with the day before classes.
“You’re, ah, not doing anything for Christmas, are you?” Luke asked nervously.
“No. I’ll probably spend break with my roommate in the apartment. Why?” he demanded.
“My ass. What do you want, Luke?” Jess demanded again.
“I was wondering if you wanted to spend Christmas break in Stars Hollow. You’d get to see Rory that way,” Luke said, grasping at straws.
Jess sighed. “I don’t know. My friend doesn’t have anywhere to go, and I’d hate to have him spend Christmas tucked up in this rundown piece of crap.”
“So bring him with you.”
“You’re sure?” Jess asked, shocked at the invitation and gratitude.
“What’s this?” Jess asked.
“What’s what?” Luke asked in return.
“You know. The invitation. The whole taking me under your wing.”
“You called. I thought I’d give you the benefit of the doubt,” Luke responded.
“Ah, okay.” Jess nodded and walked over to the closet. “I’ll call you back after I talk to my friend.” Jess hit the off button before Luke could reply. Quickly, he grabbed a button down shirt from the closet and walked into the kitchen while sliding his arms in the sleeves. “So, what do you think about Poptarts?” he asked, startling Rory.
“Poptarts are great,” she said, shutting the Arts and Leisure section of the paper.
“Okay. Coming right up.” Jess paused to kiss the top of Rory’s head before padding barefoot to the cabinet.