Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Time After Time CH 11 (A Gilmore Girls Fanfic)

Rory stacked a third box on the hand truck and took a deep breath, lamenting the fact that she wasn't as fit as she used to be, back in the day when she used to run. Or, more accurately, jog at a pace only slightly faster than walking. Exercising had gone against her upbringing, but she'd needed a way to relieve the stress when she was on the campaign trail with Obama, and running was the only thing that had been able to relax her. She had even entertained the idea of running a half marathon, but she'd been too exhausted just thinking about it to actually sign up.
Now she tap-danced during times of high stress but it no longer seemed enough. Not when she couldn't even lift a few dozen boxes without getting winded.
But as exhausted as she was that morning, she knew she had no other choice. She needed to get the boxes out of the house and return her mother and Luke's house to normal. With a sigh that sounded more like a groan, she grabbed the dolly, tilted it back, and carefully dragged it out front door.
"Here let me do that." 
She turned to find Luke hurrying around the corner with an anxious look on his face.
"Oh, I got it, thanks," she said, dragging the dolly down the porch one step at a time, holding her breath with each bump.
"No, really, let me do this," Luke said, gently nudging her aside. "All this lifting is probably not good for the baby."
Rory sucked in a breath. "You know?"
Luke took the boxes over to his truck and began loading them up onto the back, not saying a thing.
"Yeah, I know," he finally said with a sigh. She opened her mouth to speak when he quickly added, "She didn't tell me. I figured it out on my own."
"Oh." Rory averted her gaze, feeling awkward and slightly guilty.
"Hey," Luke said, looking at her with soft eyes. "It'll be fine. You have me and your mom. And you have this entire town to help you raise that kid."
She blinked back tears as Luke's words unexpectedly hit her right in the chest. This quaint little town and its quirky cast of characters had had a hand in raising her over the years. How fitting that it would also help her raise her child.

Afterward, they unloaded the truck at the storage facility in Woodbridge then Luke dropped Rory off at The Gazette.
"Luke?" Rory said as the truck idled at the curb. 
"Nobody else knows about the pregnancy," she said.
"So you haven't...?"
"No, I haven't."
"Are you going to?"
"Eventually. When I figure out how." She slipped her purse over her shoulder. "Please don't tell anyone. Not yet." 
He looked at her across the way, understanding crinkling the corners of his eyes. "You got it."

The office of The Stars Hollow Gazette normally moved at a sleepy pace, at least, compared to the controlled chaos that was the Yale Daily News. But due to a problem with the printers, Rory was swamped all morning, fixing files and making calls to the press.
She groaned when the phone rang for the third time in five minutes. "Randy, give it a minute. They're already uploading to the server—" She stopped when her mother's voice came through the line.
"Stand down! Stand down!" Lorelai said. 
Rory released a long breath. "Sorry. I'm having quite the day."
"You get so scary when you have your bossy editor voice on."
"Randy's driving me crazy hounding me about the files," she said, leaning away from the desk that she'd been stuck at all day. "What's up?"
"I wanted to ask what happened to the desk."
"What desk?"
"What desk? The desk. The haunted desk," Lorelai said.
"What do you mean?"
"It's gone."
Rory sat up. "Like it just up and walked away?"
"As in it left as mysteriously as it came, without a note or even an uttered goodbye."
"It's not in the living room anymore?"
"No. I came home and all the boxes are gone along with the desk. I'm seriously starting to think it was sent here by my father as a prank from the afterlife." Her voice softened when she added, "He always did have a bit of a fondness for practical jokes."
"Wait, all of the boxes are gone?"
"Yes, I can actually walk in a straight line now. Wait, I thought you and Luke took care of that this morning?"
"Not all of it. We were only able to move twelve."
"Well he must have done the rest because the house is back to normal."
Rory paused when she noticed Esther and Charlie look up from their work. She followed their gaze, twisting around in her seat to find Jess standing in the doorway in his usual uniform of jeans, boots, and some obscure band t-shirt.
"Mom, I have to go," Rory said into the phone, unable to keep the smile off her face.
"Okay, but if the hall table starts talking, I'm calling John Edwards."
"Do that." She hung up with a soft chuckle and turned to Jess. "Hi." 
"Hi." He gazed at her for a few uneasy moments before clearing his throat. "I wanted to see if you could come by the diner later. I wanted to run an idea by you."
"Sure," she said, brightening. 
Then, with barely a nod, he turned and left.

Rory wasn't sure what to expect when she left work later that afternoon. As she walked to the diner, she tried preparing herself for what was to come even if she knew it would all be for naught. Jess had never been transparent with his thoughts and she was definitely no mind reader. Who knew what tonight would be about.
"Hey, you here for dinner?" Luke asked when she came inside.
She pointed a finger toward the ceiling, heading to the stairwell in the back. She stopped and peered around the corner. "Can you please set aside a veggie burger for me, though?"
Luke gave her that bemused look. "You bet."
Upstairs, after Rory knocked on the door, she saw Jess' shadow moving around behind the glass. His blurry, dark form went across the room to the left, disappeared from view for a few seconds, then returned to open the door.
"Hey," he said, looking a little out of breath.
"Is this a good time?"
"Yeah," he said and stepped aside.
As soon as she stepped inside the place, she noticed the cream-colored curtain that hung from the ceiling, hiding the area to the left of the kitchen from view. "Oh, what's over here?" she asked, walking over. 
He stepped in front of her before she could go further. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain," he said, looking a little nervous.
"What are you hiding back there?" she asked, trying to peer over his shoulder.
He set his hands on his hips and took a deep breath. "It's just an idea I had. If you don't like it, you can say no," he said and stepped aside.
With a curious smile, she grabbed a handful of the soft curtain and began to tug. Slowly the room came into view. The single bed was still in its original place but the dresser had been moved beside it, and the armchair and side table that once occupied the corner were now gone.
Rory gasped when she saw that her grandfather's desk now sat in their place.
"It's here," she said, walking over. The massive desk was pushed against the wall, with a chair behind it and a lamp on top. 
"Luke and I moved it earlier. I did most of the lifting, he did most of the grumbling," Jess said, scratching the back of his head. 
In that moment he reminded her of that boy she used to know, who often hid his insecurity under layers of bravado and sarcasm. "You moved the boxes too, didn't you?" she asked.
"I heard about it and figured Luke would appreciate an uncluttered house," he said with a shrug.
She bit back a smile. "Look at you, going all HGTV all over town."
He chuckled, that crooked smile finally coming out. "I just figured, what with your grandma's house being sold, that you needed a dedicated place to write. Somewhere quiet and away from the weirdos out there." 
"What about the weirdos in here?" she teased.
He yanked on the curtain, isolating them from the rest of the room. "There. You'll never even have to see me," he said with a grin.
She sank down onto the plush computer chair and looked around, her heart fit to burst. Even when she didn't deserve it, Jess endeavored to make her happy.
He walked over and came to a stop beside her. "I know it's not as nice as the places you're used to but it's something," he said, leaning against the desk.
She looked up at him with a grateful smile. "I love it. Thank you."
"You sure? Because I could move it back," he said with eyebrows raised.
"Don't you dare."
He blew out a relieved breath. "Good. This thing weighs a ton."
She stood up, belatedly realizing how close it brought them together. "Jess, about London..." 
She felt him tense up, saw his jaws clench. "It wasn't my business. You didn't have to tell me anything," he said. 
"I didn't go there to be with Logan. I went there because he and I had unfinished business to take care of."
His dark gaze held hers. "And is it finished?"
"Yes," she said, finding it hard to breathe from their close proximity. She could feel the heat radiating from him and found herself leaning closer. "It's over."
The tight coil that was his body unwound. "Then that's all I need to know," he said in a raspy voice.
Rory couldn't breathe, couldn't do anything but look into the face of the boy who had always challenged her to do things beyond her comfort zone. Judging from the daring glint in his eyes, he looked to be provoking her to act again. 
But she'd jumped once before, leaving everything safe and comfortable behind to be with Jess. She didn't know if she could take that leap again, knowing the pain that could meet her at the bottom.
"What are you scared of?" he whispered, eyes flying over her face.
"You," she said a moment before she lunged forward and kissed him. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Time After Time CH 10 (A Gilmore Girls Fanfic)


Lorelai came home that afternoon to towers of boxes in the foyer, the hallway, and in the kitchen. "Rory?" she called out.
"In here," her daughter's voice came from somewhere within the house.
"My room."

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Time After Time CH 9 (A Gilmore Girls Fanfic)


Lorelai regretted the words the instant they left her mouth. She didn't know why she'd told Jess; the words just kind of tumbled out in her shock.
Rory. In London. With Logan.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Time After Time CH 8 (A Gilmore Girls Fanfic)


 When Rory arrived, she found London cloaked in gray, its pavements dark from recent rain. As she sat in the back of a cab on the way to Logan’s apartment, she gazed out at the gloomy streets, unable to shake the feeling of heading to a funeral rather than paying a visit to the father of her child.
Her hand instinctively went to her stomach as she neared her destination. When the taxi pulled to the curb, Logan emerged from the apartment building in his expensive blue suit, walking over with a smile on his face.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Time After Time CH 7 (A Gilmore Girls Fanfic)


Jess set the last piece of paper down and tried to swallow but his throat was dry. Without answering, he pushed away from the table and went to the fridge. "Want a drink? Beer or water?" he asked, turning his back on Rory while he gathered his thoughts.
"Water please."

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Time After Time CH 6 (A Gilmore Girls Fanfic)


Jess sat at his grandfather's desk, fingers tap-tap-tapping on the keys of his computer. His laptop was a relic, a veritable dinosaur by today's standards. Bulky and definitely not light, with keys that often stick, saving a document on its hard drive had long become a game of chance. But Jess and this laptop had been together for a long time and he refused to part with it. Maybe he was becoming a sentimental old fool, but he couldn't imagine writing without Big Bertha at the helm.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Time After Time CH5 (A Gilmore Girls Fanfic)


Rory couldn't park in the Gilmore's driveway, couldn't even get her mother's Jeep past the gates. Instead, she parked out on the street and walked to the house, a sense of dread snaking up her spine as she passed by a moving truck. Men in white shirts moved around, carrying boxes and heavy, dark furniture.
"Grandma?" she called at the door. She walked in, narrowly avoiding a man carrying a gilded floor lamp, and ventured further inside, finding the place all but empty. The sitting room where she'd shared many a drink with her family was bare, the settees and the bar cart were gone. Even the giant portrait of her grandfather beside the mantle was gone.