Meet Me Halfway - missgoalie75 - Gilmore Girls [Archive of Our Own]
An Archive of Our Own, a project of the Organization for Transformative Works. Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 Meet me halfway, Call Me Lyss. 32 • Kylux • Purveyor of soft garbage • AO3 • 18+ please • Banner art by Katie's Ghost. Shared by @alexstarrynight. Find images and videos about the end, fergie and black eyed peas on We Heart It - the app to get lost in what you love.
I guess I don't know him that well. Everyone in the town doesn't know what to make of it. They stare in silence as Jess walks with her usual swagger to the gazebo, handing Taylor crisp bills and taking Rory's basket.
Dean is in shock until it sinks in. If Rory weren't so sure of his utter devotion to her, she would be worried about his being infatuated with Jess. Jess, who laughs at town traditions, but will stand her ground and shoot Dean down for talking over Rory, a dangerous glint in her eyes she doesn't see very often. Even though the height difference between Jess and Dean is comical, Rory has no doubt that Jess could fight giants.
Maybe Jess is lonely, needing a friend but not knowing how to go about it. Sort of like Paris, in a way, but definitely more socially aware. Either way, Rory likes Jess. She likes that Jess has read more than she has, is quick with pop culture to the likes of her and her mom, is proficient at making the coffee just like Luke, and has a focus to her that feels like whatever Rory has to say or think matters.
But I suspect I could be a great proficient. Not to mention those spikes on your wrist — is that even allowed in school? But it's still bizarre that her mom doesn't approve of one of her friends. She invites Jess over one night for a Tarantino marathon — something she would do with Lane — and her mom is civil, Jess is civil, and Rory thinks maybe this will work out after all.
Kind of comes with the territory. I mean, likes you. What makes you say that? She plays games, she does it to annoy people. I actually don't mind her. She actually has literary taste, even though she has some glaring mistakes with it. There's nothing beyond that. Rory doesn't say anything. The weather is getting warmer, so their jackets are off. Jess grins at her blushing and flicks her lighter, burning the end of her cigarette. I assumed he meant all the guys," she jokes. Jess narrows her eyes.
Rory does her best not to cough.
That would be unfair to say. There aren't a lot, but she makes do with what she has. When the librarian stares at her in surprise, Rory pulls a Jess move and stares unapologetically, eyebrow tilting up expectantly. She only blushes a little. She stuffs the books in her bag before stepping outside. When in doubt, research. Her hair is in a haphazard bun, curls falling onto her face and her army green shirt brings out the green in her hazel eyes. It's unexpected and sort of adorable.
You could always just ask me, too. Could've saved you the trouble.
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Jess' amused smile softens. Rory can't fathom having such a horrible relationship with her own mom, but Rory can't ask Jess about it, not when she has such a dark expression on her face when she mentions Liz in a derisive tone.
The corner of Jess' mouth quirks up and she changes the conversation, but Rory doesn't mind; she got her point across. People who don't understand Jess' brilliance are sad at best, horrible at worst. Rory doesn't have an answer for her. She looks intently at photos of models and actresses, feeling nothing, but she thinks about Jess and it's different. She goes to Luke's with her mom on a Sunday and Jess is wearing loose-fitting jeans that are slung low on her hips and a black shirt that's a little too short, her midriff showing.
It has a Pepsi logo even though she hates Pepsi. She looks away when Jess catches her. Jess is the smartest person Rory knows — if Rory found Stars Hollow to be easy, Jess might be able to do her classes in her sleep.
meet me in the halfway
She doesn't know — she's curious. Maybe that's why she readily agrees to help tutor Jess, why she's looking forward to time alone with her. Her hold is so gentle on Rory's wrist that Rory can't believe anyone would think Jess uncaring. She probably cares more than anyone else. That she was so kind and brave to try to befriend the wild child, but look what happened — she hurt you.
For all her posturing, Jess would defend you to the death like I would. It hits her all at once and just as quickly as it arrives — she shuts it out. Jess is more at ease, her smiles given more freely and her eyes filled with endless amusement. She teases Rory for questioning bringing food onto the subway which, in hindsight, was stupid since the subway platform is a very dirty place, indeedbut she takes the time to explain the subway map near the door, pointing at the different colored lines and naming neighborhoods.
There's a point when they're making their way to Port Authority and Jess is standing too close to the edge of the platform. The subway car rushes by and Rory feels her heart jump to her throat and she steps back, even though she was already safe. Jess' hair whips about her and she's grinning. The thought again slams through her like the subway and she tries to shut it out once more, but it's hard when she's on the bus, looking through the open window at Jess, wanting to say something, anything, more, more, more.
When Jess walks away, Rory shuts her eyes and rests her head back, failing at keeping her breathing even. The way the sun reflects in her eyes — warm, bright brown, a little green, maybe — and Rory can't help but think that Jess is one of the most beautiful people Rory's ever met. Maybe that's why she gravitates towards Jess, hugging her so tightly that she can't tell where her body ends and Jess' begins.
She comes bearing leftover doughnuts and coffee. Rory tells her about Paris and being student vice president. Her excuse is that she shares a phone with Paris and has to save her time with her mom, obviously, it sucks, but you understand.
She lies to Dean and lies to her mom. She writes to Jess and they talk on the phone about letters. She bites her lip when Jess laughs and twirls the phone cord around her finger when Jess rants about Whitman and the Beats. You think you can pick me up at Union Station on Saturday?
That's what everyone means in the tristate area," Rory retorts. Sometimes the darkness in Jess makes her nervous. Rory takes a breath. And maybe she does. She's wearing loose shorts and Vans and a t-shirt with armholes so large that they reveal the skin of her hip.
Rory's trying not to be so obvious with how happy she is, but Jess' smirk softens and she drops her bag to give Rory a hug. Rory blinks in surprise, but returns the hug happily. Rory narrows her eyes at Paris.
You know what, I'm going to book a hotel for the next few days. I don't want to bear witness to your Sapphic awakening. You have way more chemistry with her than you do with the beanstalk. Paris sighs dramatically, rolls her eyes, and grabs Rory's wrist. All I'm saying is that if you did have…feelings for Jess. I know the world does because everyone is some level of an idiot, but you won't get that from me. And neither are you.
I need to make the professor sweat. Jess changes into something that doesn't show half of her bra and she runs a brush through her wild hair. The waiter is almost charmed by Jess and her ordering a bottle of wine for the table, but Rory's face gives it all away.
Jess just teases her and orders soda. Rory sees a businessman checking Jess out and Rory wants to block him from watching. Rory sighs as they immediately start to argue, but she smiles into her water. They step forward to meet her, but Jess shakes her head and gestures forward, picking up her pace.
It isn't cool, you know. Madeline and Louise would seethe with envy. Paris holds up a hand and Jess high-fives it. Jess throws a thumb in Rory's direction.
From Rory's understanding, the public transportation system isn't nearly as extensive as New York City's, but she's sure Jess is resourceful enough to make her way around. Jess is always waiting outside, waiting to take her to whatever corner of the city she visited that day to check out this bookshop or this record store she just discovered.
Rory always has her routines — she doesn't stray beyond her schedule unless it's for a specific purpose. With Hartford, Rory only knows how to get to Chilton and from Chilton to her grandparents' house and to the one record store she only knew about because of Lane.
It's exciting — the deviance from the norm, the exploration of the unknown.
It's why she wants to be an overseas correspondent; it's why she dreams about leaving her small town and experiencing a taste of the world to come in college. She never thought she could experience it all so soon and it makes her feel… Rory watches Jess as she talks about Advise and Consent, how her hair whips behind her and she moves her hands and it makes Rory's heart ache that Jess is reading that in honor of this visit.
It makes her feel — She thinks she knows how it makes her feel and it makes her panic. Paris looks her directly in the eye. To her surprise, Paris smiles. I need a partner to help eviscerate this senator we're hearing speak today.
Rory bites her lip, avoiding Jess' piercing gaze. I think that barista needs a bit of training from someone who scares the living pants off her," Paris says, marching away. Rory sighs and stuffs the letter into her backpack as they make their way to her room.
It's the twenty-first century, Buck Rogers, it wouldn't be the first time a couple's broken up. And besides, I doubt you've ever had a real relationship — what would you know about breaking up with someone? It would probably involve something along the lines of — you need to make up your goddamn mind about what you want, Rory, because this isn't working. So what's it gonna be, Rory Gilmore? Rory does her best not to cry but utterly fails.
Still, she's obviously concerned, not asking about Jess beyond where she was when she finally returned from the coffee shop. It takes Rory almost three days to muster up the energy to write back to Dean. I know when you're upset 'cause you look like my mother.
But the fact of the matter is Rory is beginning to come to terms with her feelings and how they're nothing like the feelings she has for Lane or even Paris now. She knows it's something more akin to what she used to feel for Dean, except it's sharper and a lot scarier.
This secret is almost too much to keep from her mom, but Rory just doesn't know how she'll react and the unknown has always been too much for Rory on her own. She knows her mom is confused, but Rory can't bring herself to clarify, to tell her the truth. She wishes Lane were here. She wishes her dad didn't disappoint her. She wishes that the feelings she has for Jess were as acceptable as the feelings she had for Dean.
She wishes for a lot of things. But when Dean finds her and brings her in for a kiss, Rory realizes she has the power to control a few things in her life.
She botches it horribly — she stutters and talks in circles and the heartbreak on Dean's face makes her want to take it all back, but the fact of the matter is she can't stand Dean kissing her anymore and she's overwhelmed by his height and how possessive he is.
He's just not for her anymore. She cries as she walks home and forces composure so when her mom asks if there's still a Dean, Rory is able to answer 'no' in calm and collected voice. It never bothered her, the rowdy groping atmosphere. In fact, it was the one place where she had complete control over her life. After years of being tossed around from family to family in the foster care system and years spent working far worse jobs than what she was doing now, Emma had a steady job, an income, though it wasn't as high as she would like, and a family consisting of her son and work friends whom she called her own.
For six nights a week, Emma danced on tables, poured shots, and collected just enough tips to pay rent and feed her eight-year old. It wasn't the life she dreamed of, nor was it the life she wanted for Henry, but she got by and would sometimes have enough leftover to save for the day when she would one day own her own bar.
This night was a good night for Emma. With the sudden influx of customers who were drinking quite heavily, it was easy for the blonde to earn her wages in tips. She laughed, rolling the wads of bills she'd received and placing the roll in between her cleavage tucking it safely into her bra. Ruby held her hand out to help Emma down from the counter as the heavy bass of the song died down.
She looked up to the counter where her friend was pointing to their makeshift dance floor, this particular section where the pole was stationed, and shrugged noncommittally. You make just as much as I do. Emma just laughed, shaking her head as she grabbed the shaker and mixing a drink, already back in serving mode. Hours later when the blonde stood on the counter, cupping her hands around her mouth and yelled out last call, she performed one more dance, bringing Ruby up on stage with her making the crowd go wild.
By the end of the song, she was ushering people out to close for the night, tucking her tips safely away. She got almost a hundred dollars from that dance alone. Emma leaned over the counter, wiping down the spilled alcohol and gathering any stray tumblers. She waved a hand to Ruby and the other bartenders as they left the bar for the night, or rather, early morning.
As soon as the door shut, Emma released the yawn she had been holding in since she arrived for her shift the night before. For a brief moment, she allowed herself to rest, leaning her back against the bar to catch her breath and rub the tiredness from her eyes.
She hadn't had a night off in weeks, and the lack of sleep was starting to catch up with her. The minute rest was up, and Emma moved to the register, counting the night's profits.
After double checking, she locked the bills in the safe behind the bar and began shutting off the lights. Her eyes rolled when she noticed the passed out patron sitting in a booth at the far back. Lucky for her he wasn't a huge guy, so she called a cab, poked at him for a minute until he was groggy enough to let her help him out of the bar and into the awaiting cab.
She checked her phone, loathed to find it was almost 3am. She'd be up in four hours to get Henry ready for school. Noticing she had a voice mail, she clicked the icon and listened attentively to the tinny voice of her landlord saying her rent from last month was overdue.
Emma kicked back on the brick wall she was leaning on as the message continued. Only now had she remembered that she used the rent money to get Henry some clothes for school. The kid loved his new outfits, so the blonde couldn't even really be upset at the fact. So much for a good night though. Most of what she had made tonight would be going towards her apartment with the leftover used for necessities.
The dream of owning her own bar was moving further and further away. She kicked at a garbage can angrily, frightening the alley cats and causing a couple of lights from overhead apartments to turn on in anger.
Emma was beyond caring at the moment. Right now, she just wanted to go home and sleep, to forget about money and rent and everything. Heels clicking on the wet pavement sounded behind her followed by a stern clearing of a throat. The items up for bid held their own value, of course, what with one of a kind vases circathrow rugs worth the equivalent of a college student's tuition, and original canvas paintings, the real value of the night came in the form of who among them had the most money.
Regina sat near the front, her family name already prevalent in the minds of the auction goers with her parents owning a multimillion dollar chain of hotels. Despite having her name in the society section of the newspapers since birth, Regina had made a name for herself with her photography, her gallery garnering quite a following with both elitists and amateurs alike. Now she sat bored with her friend Kathryn, a wealthy heiress due to the fact that her father's company stumbled upon black gold years prior.
That would be you," Regina said sipping her champagne. Kathryn nodded her head in agreement. I have to make sure the gallery is in order for my next showing. I know a friend who is entertaining tonight, and you need to get your mind off your gallery for five minutes. She eyed the woman beside her as she stood and made her exit to the door. What harm could following her friend to a social event do?
The harm, Regina soon found out, came in the form of losing Kathryn's Volvo as it weaved through the streets of Manhattan at a speed that was ungodly even in the big city.
Her Benz couldn't prevent the blonde woman who sped up during a yellow light to leave Regina stranded at an intersection. By the time Regina had continued the journey, she had to guess which direction her friend had gone. She had pulled over numerous times, attempting to call Kathryn, but every attempt had her call being sent straight to voicemail.
So Regina drove hoping to find her way back to familiar territory, but as the street lamps began to become more and more sparse and the people walking the street became more grunge looking, Regina knew she was in a part of town she didn't want to be in. Her fingers clenched tightly around the steering wheel as she looked for any street signs that weren't vandalized or any sort of landmark to direct herself back home.
She was in no such luck. She mentally cursed Kathryn for convincing her to leave the auction, and she concocted ways at getting back at her friend. Her scheming was cut short when a loud pop sounded beneath her, and her Benz lowered to the ground at an awkward angle.
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Her mouth dropped at what just happened. Of course it had to happen in a seedy part of town. Why wouldn't it have happened where there was actually civilization?
She let her head drop onto the steering wheel before putting the car in park. She was driving a Mercedes. No doubt someone would attempt to steal the car especially in this neighbourhood. The last thing she wanted to do was be attacked in some thug's quest to turn her precious vehicle into scrap metal. She needed to get out of here and fast. Scrambling in her glove compartment, Regina pulled out her cell phone only to be met with a black screen.
She pushed any available buttons but was met with the same result. Her phone was dead. What was she supposed to do? Hope someone came looking for her? She was no damsel in distress, that much was clear when she refused to go into the family business and instead took up photography. Looking around for any sign of civilized life, she saw a taxi cab pull up in front of her. A man was being dragged out of some establishment and placed in the cab leaving the person who helped him alone and turning to lock the door they had exited from.
Regina squinted at the neon sign above the person's head, an outline of a bright blue whale squirting out water from its blowhole shined brightly in the night under a flashing sign proclaiming the place as The Wooden Whale. Oh god what had she gotten herself in? The sound of a boot hitting against brick had her looking up to see the person under the sign pace.
Upon closer inspection, Regina could see that the frame of the person was thin and toned, small and feminine, and to her relief she realized it was a woman.